What Is Calorie Cycling?

If you’re looking to change up the way you eat in order to lead a healthier lifestyle, there are plenty of ways that you can do it.

What Is Calorie Cycling?

Diets are one of the most popular methods, giving you set routines and amounts to eat, allowing you to get the perfect balance.

However, another method is through “calorie cycling”. But what is this?

To put it simply, calorie cycling is a way of making sure that you get a daily average of calories that you’re consistently hitting.

This doesn’t mean eating that much every day. Some days you can have fewer and other days you can have more, the point is that it balances out over time and you reach an average.

In our handy guide below, we’re going to go into calorie counting in far greater detail, expanding on that brief definition.

On top of that, we’re going to cover the benefits that come from doing it, and the different ways that you can carry out the calorie cycling. Read on!

What Is Calorie Cycling?

To begin with, let’s get into the actual concept in greater detail.

Calorie cycling is a method of varying the amount of calories that you eat each day, but in such a way that you build up a consistent and healthy overall daily average.

It’s not technically a diet, more just a pattern to follow in order to make sure that you’re taking in the correct amount of calories. 

When somebody usually tries to track the amount of calories that they’re eating daily, so that they can ensure they’re getting the right amount for a healthy lifestyle, they will simply set a daily calorie goal for them to follow.

With calorie cycling, you get all the healthy benefits of that, but you can vary it a lot more while still keeping the correct balance.

Using the calorie cycling process, you’re still aiming for the same daily calorie goal, but you’re not necessarily hitting it on each individual day.

Instead, you’re reaching a daily overall average of that goal. This means that on some days you might eat fewer calories than the set goal, while on others you may eat more. 

Both are only okay because of the other: you’re balancing them out. If you were to just under-eat in terms of calories, then that would be very bad.

Similarly, if you only ate too few calories on most days, but had the occasional day where you actually got more than you needed, then that wouldn’t be good either.

You need to calculate the daily average, and ensure you’re getting the correct balance overall as a daily average.

Do You Lose Weight With Calorie Cycling?

However, we must stress that calorie counting is actually not a weight loss technique on its own.

It simply regulates the amount that you’re getting on a daily average, allowing you to reach a calorie target that you’ve set.

If you want to lose weight, then you’ll need to have an overall calorie deficit. A calorie deficit is the term given to when you’re taking in fewer calories than you’re burning off.

If you’re taking in more calories than you’re burning off, then the weight isn’t going to go. 

What Are The Benefits Of Calorie Cycling?

What Is Calorie Cycling?

Calorie cycling can be a really effective way to change the way that you’re getting your daily calorie intake, and make sure that you’re reaching a healthy goal on a daily average.

There are plenty of benefits to it, which we’re going to go into now.

Exercise Makes You Hungrier

It’s good to have a regular exercise routine alongside your calorie cycling. However, when people exercise they are often a lot hungrier afterwards than they might usually be.

This is where calorie cycling can really be useful, because you can use it to balance your intake.

For example, if you’ve got a day where you know you’re going to be exercising, then you can allocate yourself a higher amount of calories to eat and drink on that day.

Then, to balance out, you simply have fewer calories on the next day. Overall, the average should remain the same, if you’ve calculated it properly. 

It’s Stressful Trying To Chase Calorie Goals

We’ve all been there: trying to eat and drink the same amount of calories every day can be stressful, as well as very repetitive. Some days you just won’t feel like it. 

With calorie cycling this goes. If somebody is aiming for 2550 calories for their calorie deficit, but they finish the day with 2750 calories then they may feel discouraged.

Using calorie cycling, though, they can just make sure that they have 200 fewer calories the next day to balance it out and reach their average.

Flexible Weekends

Some of us like to splash out at the weekend, and that’s fine!

With calorie cycling, you can have more calories at the weekend, and then simply balance it back out during the week by having fewer on some days.

Should I Plan My Calorie Cycling?

It may seem stressful and restrictive planning out your calorie cycling ahead, because you then feel forced to stick with it. Instead, you can just adjust as you go along!

To begin, set a daily goal, such as 2550 calories a day. Then calculate the weekly total: 7×2550=17850 calories. 

With these targets in mind, adjust as you naturally go through the week in order to reach an overall of 2550 daily average.

There are some days where you just won’t be as hungry as others – and that’s okay! Simply eat more calories on another day to balance out. Calorie cycling is extremely flexible.

Final Thoughts

Calorie cycling is a flexible and stress-free way to ensure you’re hitting your goal for a daily average intake of calories. 

Jenna Priestly
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