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TOPIC: Zig Zag Diet Plan for maximizing fat loss?

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September 11, 2011 7:00 PM
I have been reading up on this and this is what I have found (please let me know if you have tried this before)! I am going to try doing it for two weeks!

Zig Zag Dieting is a new and interesting diet which can help shed maximum fat very quickly. Based on what I have read it makes perfect sense. It can be used to lose fat, gain muscle or maintain your current weight. The basic idea is like muscle confusion for your diet. You have three days of low calories high in protein and low in carbs then one day of high calories that are lower in protein and higher in carbs. It’s very interesting!

The basic idea is this:
There are five rules to the Zig Zag process:
1. Eat at least 5 meals a day but preferably 6 or 7.
2. Make sure your meals are balanced including some fats, protien, and carbs (portions shown later)
3. Food is fuel. Eat it as such! What I mean by that is if you’re getting ready to take a nap eat less carbs than normal in that meal. If you’re going to be doing a tough workout eat a meal high in carbs to give you the energy you need. Basically ask youself “what am I going to be doing for the next three hours of my life” and eat accordingly
4. Zig Zag your caloric intake. 3 days with low calorie’s and 1 day with high then repeat. For example, If you are on a 2100 calorie diet, your three low days you eat approx 1800 calories and on your high day about 2400. That high day will readjust your BMR, support lean tissue building and give you a psychological lift. There is just no way to maximize lean muscle mass while on a calorie-restricted diet
5. Supplement your diet with vitamins and minerals. Your reduced intake of calories makes it impossible to get all of the nutrients your body needs. This is a must to remain healthy and active. ( I take Shakeology for breakfast and a multi vitamin at dinner to make sure my body is getting what it needs. )

To Lose Body Fat:
1. On low days use a 50/30/20 approach (meaning 50% protein, 30% carbs, and 20% fat)
2. On high days use a 30/50/20 approach

Here are some rules of thumb to figuring your percentages:
Protein has 4 calories per gram
Carbs have 4 calories per gram
Fat has 9 calories per gram
So on a 2000 calorie fat shredder diet, you will want 1000 cals from protein, 600 from carbs, and 400 from fat. This would mean 250g protein, 150g carbs and 45 g fat)

What do you think? Anyone else want to join me for 2 weeks trying this method? I currently take in a 1200 calorie diet, (usually 1400 - 1600 on my workout days) so I think I am going to go with these numbers:

Low Calorie days: 1200 Calories
150g Protein
90g Carbs
27g Fat

High Calorie days: 1500 Calories
112g Protein
187g Carbs
33g Fat

What do you think? Am I wrong in trying this? Should I change my numbers???
September 11, 2011 7:06 PM
sounds like a great plan, we do about the same thing as it is, however I do not zigzag, perhpas I do, I'm at 1200cal, with ek-outs up to 1500-1600, eat anywhere from 1250-1450
September 11, 2011 7:06 PM
Doesn't sound like a harmfull "diet". Just keep in mind that the most lasting affects will be the ones that you can sustain. If you can learn the proper way to eat and still follow this diet than go for it. My doctor told me that your body will get comfortable with what ever you do. So, you should never eat the same foods, do the same exercises and live a mirror life of the previous day. It will adapt and utilize your fuel in a more efficient manner. I suppose this system follows the don't let your body know what to expect theory.

I won't be joining you on this journey...I'm happy with what I'm doing. But, I wish you much success.
September 11, 2011 7:07 PM
I followed a zig zag plan when I hit a plateau recently- I found another site

which calculated a 7 day plan for me- it gives an EXTREME fat loss and regular fat loss- I aimed for somewhere mid range.

It helped me break thru the plateau and I've been steadily losing once again.

I liken it to rocking your car back and forth when you get stuck in the snow...helps you get "un"stuck.....

Worked for me- and if I hit another plateau, I'll do it again.

Good luck with yours- sounds like it's A LOT of strategy. I hope it pays off for you!
Edited by Jill_newimprovedversion On September 11, 2011 7:09 PM
September 11, 2011 7:08 PM
I have been zig zag counting for a long time now, and its a good way to learn good eating habits without binging. I go lower on the carbs however and I mix the calories up by threes such as 1200,1350,1500 but the same %'s on fat and such. :)
September 11, 2011 7:11 PM
Thank you for all of your input. I have been kinda "stuck" in the fat loss area. I am building muscle like there's no tomorrow, but not shedding that last layer of fat!

I am hoping this will get that ball rolling, and if you check out my diary, you will see I can use a little more help in the "what is the right thing to eat" area =)

Thank you all again =)
September 11, 2011 10:57 PM
I zigzag aswell, and there is some science to it. I explained it in another post, but if you want I can try to find it.

My high days are still at or slightly lower than my reccomended calories from MFP though, but the high days keep my Daily Calories Burned at a higher rate
September 11, 2011 10:58 PM
Have been listening to Jillian Michaels last couple of days, she suggests 1200 cals a day with 2 days a week 1600cals and only on workout days... I'm trying that now...

Yours sounds interesting to look into also, (could be a little hard for some... )

Thanks for sharing
June 4, 2012 12:05 PM
June 4, 2012 12:12 PM
I find that I almost naturally zig-zag...I go low (follow the MFP guide) for 3 or 4 days, and but the 5th day I'm usually really hungry! Those are usually the days that I eat back all my exercise calories.
January 11, 2013 8:46 AM
Thanks for that link, it looks good.
January 11, 2013 8:49 AM

Thank you for all of your input. I have been kinda "stuck" in the fat loss area. I am building muscle like there's no tomorrow, but not shedding that last layer of fat!

I am hoping this will get that ball rolling, and if you check out my diary, you will see I can use a little more help in the "what is the right thing to eat" area =)

Thank you all again =)

Impressive, you're building crazy amounts of muscle in a deficit?
January 24, 2013 11:31 AM
I am currently on a 1200 calorie diet. I have been at a plateau for weeks. I also looked into this zig zag dieting and was also told by my cousin to try it.I did the calculator and it said fopr my weight, age and working out 4 days a week that I should do 1530 on low days and 1730 on high days.I would like to know how this is going for you. Please add me as a friend I would like to be involved in this group very much!!!!!Thanks!!!smile
May 9, 2014 1:09 PM
I was reading about zig zag .. and found the following formula..

a = 2 x (weight in lbs)
b= original amount of calories required

so for positive days: the total amount of calorie consumed would be : b+a e.g: if your normal is 1200 and your weight is 150 lbs then positive days = 1200 + ( 2*150)
and negative days the total amount of calories consumed would be : b-a;
susbequently , for negative days it would be : b - a => 1200-300= 900 calories.

Also , it also states that you make sure that your food's nutritional values stay in this ratio.. Fat : protein : carb
1 : 2 : 3
May 9, 2014 2:47 PM
It's really nothing new and exciting and you don't have to think too hard about it - you eat more on the workout/strength training days and less on rest daydream. It is a good way to diet and leads to healthy eating patterns (eat more when you're hungrier, less when you're not).


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