Monday, October 1, 2012

Calorie Shifting - Here we go again

Happy October everyone!  I'm so excited for the upcoming seasons!
Has it really been almost 2 months since I last posted.  Is it just me that has been slacking?  I feel like everyone Facebooks more...

Anyway, I've been trying for the last little bit to try to find a diet plans that works for me.  I'm sure I'm not the only one, but it's actually been a little emotional for me because I'm tired of this post pregnancy body, but I can't seem to stick to any of the "diets" I try. (I say "diets" because I'm trying to find a diet that is actually more of a life change rather than a quick diet) 
I'm not sure what my deal is exactly... Though, in a nutshell, I do know that I've been super tired lately and then in-turn lack motivation.

Well, today I started a new diet plan that I'm excited to jump into!  One that I think I'll do much better at sticking with. 
I am one to do a lot of research and get really organized before I start something (or buy something). And after recently starting a diet and then ending it before you could say... well just about anything, I asked for advice on Facebook.   I had a really hard time with the fact that I quit so soon (I had such a hard time eating so much chicken and eggs... which is basically all you eat along with a ton of veggies... I was fine with those) On Facebook, I asked if other people had trouble with the food and what they did.  That diet program (which was based from a book) has a separate recipe book that was suggested to me by a friend of a friend.  As I was looking into the recipe book online, I randomly came across some info on Calorie Shifting (or calorie zig-zagging).

So the idea of calorie shifting is that you don't count calories in a way that every day you stick to 1400 calories (or whatever your limit is). When eating the same amount of calories each day, your body gets used to how many calories it needs to burn and adjusts to burning that many only.  If you eat 1000 calories every day your body will get used to burning just 1000 calories and eventually sort of plateaus. I guess it takes your body a few days to recognize adjustments so if you keep changing up your calorie intake, you confuse your body with how many calories it needs to burn and it goes into fat burning mode... so they say.  (This is similar to muscle confusion, if you're familiar with that)

So, as I can tell, there is no set plan on how to do it.  Basically you have a caloric goal (say 1400). So your weekly calorie average is that caloric goal, but your daily caloric intake is different. You can easily make up your own plan by taking what your daily calorie goal is, eating that once a week, and then eating, say 300 higher and 300 lower for 3 days a week each. Just work it out so your average is still the same as if you'd eaten the same number of calories every day.  (Some people eat 500 lower and higher)

So eating...
1100 calories on Sunday
1700 calories on Monday
1100 calories on Tuesday
1400 calories on Wednesday
1700 calories on Thursday
1100 calories on Friday
1700 calories on Saturday

Equals 9800 calories for the week
But averages out to 1400 a day

I found out that about 1900 calories is how many calories my body needs to eat and burn in order to keep my current weight.  But because I don't want to keep my current weight, I need to consume fewer calories total.  Does that make sense?... I don't explain things very well sometimes.

I decided to make my caloric average 1400 calories.  1900 - 1400 = 500.  So, I'd be 500 calories fewer a day with taking 1400 calories/day (on average).  If I burn another 250 calories a day with exercise, I'll be burning 750 calories a day on average.   

Side note: Did you know that 1 pound of fat is equal to 3500? (I always thought it was 2500!) So for every 3500 calories you burn you lose a pound of fat.

So, burning 750 calories a day x 7 days a week = 5250 calories burned in a week. 
That is equal to 1 1/2lbs lost a week. 

I knew, when picking out a weekly menu, I needed to start slow and easy for me.  (Don't judge).  I wanted to pick out foods that I already eat or that would be super easy to do.  I know as I get more used to this diet plan and routine I'll introduce more recipes and less pre-made meals.  I just don't want to overwhelm myself again and quit... I know I'm pathetic.  We'll see how this works.

Below are examples of the charts and calendar I made up to help me stay organized.  They are going on my refridgerator.  (I also downloaded the free app Lose It, and I love it... look it up (Thanks Nicki!))

To help me stay motivated I asked Tyler if I could do a weekly reward system.  So, if I stick to my calories and eat right for a week I earn $10, if I burn at least 250 calories a day with exercise I earn $5... so each week I can earn a total of $15 (that's what works for me).  I'm going to be putting this money in a container of some sort and hopefully save it for when I need to buy new clothes when I reach my goal weight..  Although, if I desire, I can take out money whenever.

I made this calendar to help me keep track and earn my rewards.  I picked a few exercises that I can do daily and I wrote down how many calories it burns in how many minutes... those are listed at the bottom.  (I used to figure them out... there are a ton more options)  There is a colored bullet representing an exercise and as I do them, I'll mark them off on the calendar with a coordinating marker (like the example below)  I'll put an "x" in the box next to the colors, if I burned at least 250 calories that day and I'll put an "x" in the box next to the calories, if I ate that many calories that day.  Depending on whether or not I reach my goal each week, I will write $0, $5, or $15 in the "GOAL" box on the right.
These are the menus for each of my 1100, 1400, and 1700 calorie days.  I decided to keep to the same basic menu... all my 1100's are the same and all my 1700's are the same; just to make it easier.  I do have different prepared meals picked out for each day and different yogurts and such, though.

A lot of days I feel like I can't get much done with my two kids around and with them being so young, so this plan is a good stepping stone for me, at this point..  When I feel more comfortable with this minimal routine I'll add more challenging/time consuming exercises and different foods.

Today is the first day, and so far so good, haha. :)


  1. Good luck! I look forward to hearing how it works out for you. I am holding on to the post-pregnancy fat much more than I did with my first too, and it's bugging me that I have to work harder to get it off ;) The more exercise you do the more calories you burn! It's so hard to make time to exercise with little ones, but I keep telling myself that even just a little bit here and there is better than nothing.

    1. Thanks Sarah! It IS super hard with kids cause they want your attention or want to participate too (which really means stepping in my way, crawling all over me, or me accidentally smacking them in the face)! I've actually changed up my calorie intake and goals so hopefully that will help with my success. Good luck to you too :)

  2. I am doing Calorie Shifting by myself with quite good success since more than 6 months and I was able to achieve (almost) my ideal weight and most important I am able to maintain my weight. This I was not able to do with any other diet I used before. It is a very good idea to use this calendar in order to keep track and if you are doing cardio exercises in addition to this diet you will have very good results too. Good luck!

    1. Thanks David! I'm so happy to hear you've had great success with Calorie Shifting. Way to go, too! That's awesome that you're almost to your ideal weight. It really gives me hope and motivation to hear other successes. I really slacked with this plan, at first, but I can tell it works if I stick with it :)
      Thanks for checking my blog! I'll be sure to post updates.
      Good luck to you too! I'd love to hear when you reach your ideal weight :)


It's the cool thing to do.