Calorie Shifting: Tricking Your Metabolism


What is Calorie Shifting?

Calorie shifting is a type of diet emphasized in several diet books and weight loss programs, particularly Fat Loss For Idiots. The premise of this diet sayscalorie shifting 300x220 Calorie Shifting: Tricking Your Metabolism that if you vary your calorie intake, you can basically trick you body to leave you metabolism at a high rate. This is to avoid pitfalls of many other diets, in which people are able to lose weight on other diets, by reducing carbohydrates or calorie intake, but then they quickly gain the weight back due to the metabolism adjusting to the lower calorie intake. As the metabolism adjusts lower, the rate of weight loss is reduced or reversed. Calorie shifting diets aim to eliminate this problem.

How Does Calorie Shifting Work?

The Fat Loss For Idiots diet, and other types of calorie shifting diets, use a “zig-zag” approach to dieting. It proposes that you have to keep the metabolism “guessing” in order to prevent metabolism reduction from a constant reduced calorie eating style. For example, in a normal diet, if your daily diet requirement to create an appropriate calorie deficit is 1400 calories per day, then your calorie intake for this type of diet could be:

On average this equals 1400 calories per day. However, the idea is that your metabolism won’t figure out that your calories are being reduced, so your metabolism will stay high.

In other words:

  • Instead of eating the same calories and types of foods each day, the weekly calorie need is determined. For example, 1400×7=9800 calories.
  • Instead of eating the same amount of calories each day to get to this total, dieters vary the calorie amounts each day, but stay within the total weekly calorie need.
  • The body doesn’t know what to expect, so the metabolism can’t adjust or slow down.

Does Calorie Shifting Work?

Dieters seem to like this type of diet because it isn’t so restrictive — some days the dieter can splurge by eating a lot more, while on other days the dieter will need to eat less. However, like all diets, the types of food are very important. A good calorie counter would be needed though, so you can estimate your total calorie intake for each day. In addition, planning ahead is needed, so that every day you can eat a different amount of calories (a menu planner and a diet journal is a good idea), but still stay within the weekly allotment.

While some people have had very good success by incorporating this type of program into their diet regime, there isn’t significant scientific evidence to suggest that these programs actually change your metabolic rate.

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