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TOPIC: Over eat one day, Under eat the next?

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February 26, 2013 9:55 PM
I have always wondered how much it balances out. If for some reason I have to go out and eat with family, and I over eat like 1000 calories, is it okay to under eat like 250 calories for 4 days after that? Or just say "I screwed up" and continue eating to your net goal?
  37865011
February 26, 2013 9:58 PM
I am very curious about this, too!

Should you start with a clean slate every day, or is it ok to "roll" some of those calories?
February 26, 2013 9:59 PM
I wondered aboit this too. Especially since I have done WW's and they give yoi the extra points each week.
February 26, 2013 10:00 PM
Always start with a clean slate! Today, I overate by a lot, but tomorrow I am not going to eat less. That's not a healthy way to lose weight. Plus, your body doesn't know the difference so it doesn't work anyway.
February 26, 2013 10:04 PM
Depending how much I go over my calorie goal, I'll sometimes do that to make it balance out. Personally, I believe your weekly average is what matters most. Say you get 2000 calories per day, then as long as you average 14,000 at the end of the week, it should all balance out fine. Just be careful not to make your calorie goal too low when you're "making up for it" because it may just trigger you to overeat again if you get too hungry.. which makes it increasingly harder to make up for if it turns into a cycle.

If you do that, I wouldn't decrease your calorie goal by more than 200 per day to avoid overeating or a binge. You could also commit to burning an extra "x amount" of calories per workout that week as well, rather than cutting back on food if that is easier. I've done this before and it works for me. However, if I go over by too many calories, sometimes I'll just forgive myself and move on rather than making daily calorie goals for the following week too low and unrealistic.
February 26, 2013 10:04 PM
It's called calorie cycling. Some of us do it intentionally to give ourselves a metabolism boost once or twice a week :)
February 26, 2013 10:04 PM
It's perfectly find to fluctuate calories daily, it's how we naturally have eaten from the beginning of time. Constant overeating should be avoided. wink
February 26, 2013 10:06 PM
Look up calorie cycling and intermittent fasting... they both play with the idea of "yo-yo" caloric intake. There are different views about both, of course, but it is really interesting and might help to answer your question.
  3043782
February 26, 2013 10:06 PM
My body responds fine to weekly calorie goals
February 26, 2013 10:07 PM
I don't know the answer, but... Aren't all time periods sort of arbitrary anyway?

If you eat 1800 calories in a day, do you split them exactly into 600 calories per meal? Does the 'day' end at midnight or does it end when you go to sleep (if you're a night owl)? I see no reason why a weekly calorie allotment--used sensibly--couldn't be just as effective as a daily one. Your body is just sort of sailing along, using energy as it needs it based on the things it has available.

But, you know... Thinking is one of the things that got me chubbers in the first place. :)
February 26, 2013 10:09 PM
QUOTE:

Always start with a clean slate! Today, I overate by a lot, but tomorrow I am not going to eat less. That's not a healthy way to lose weight. Plus, your body doesn't know the difference so it doesn't work anyway.


I'm confused. What do you mean your body doesn't know the difference? A caloric surplus is a caloric surplus, and your body will store the extra energy as such. It's smart and does know when extra energy has been consumed. Reducing the next day's calorie goal by a small amount will help it to balance out, although I think it's a bad idea if there's a chance that it'll cause that person to overeat again or cause a cycle of overeating/reducing calories the next day. However, reducing the calorie goal by a SMALL amount (say, 100-200 per day) for a week won't hurt anything and your weekly average will not be affected.

It's a matter of preference really. What works for some obviously won't work for others. It works for me and I've been quite successful losing weight and maintaining my loss thus far.
Edited by LoseYouself On February 26, 2013 10:10 PM
February 26, 2013 10:09 PM
I know nothing about anything.

I've noticed that if i have a day of feasting, i will happily go a few days managing to keep to my targets quite easily. Especially if i overate on 'good food' rather than icecream and pizza.
Guess this would fall into 'cycling' as mentioned before.

I wouldn't try to make up for the calories i overate over the next few days, as that would just lead to a horrible backlash in a couple of days
  35900130
February 26, 2013 10:12 PM
QUOTE:

It's called calorie cycling. Some of us do it intentionally to give ourselves a metabolism boost once or twice a week :)


Exactly. :) I used to do this strategically and it can be really convenient as well.. especially if you need extra calories for an event or special dinner! I don't eat nearly as much on rest days when I'm just sitting at home, so it all works out. It's worked for me thus far anyways!
February 26, 2013 10:13 PM
QUOTE:

I have always wondered how much it balances out. If for some reason I have to go out and eat with family, and I over eat like 1000 calories, is it okay to under eat like 250 calories for 4 days after that? Or just say "I screwed up" and continue eating to your net goal?


Absolutely. It is all about the week as a whole. 3500 calories make up one pound. If you eat 500 calories less each day, by the end of the week you will have eaten 3500 calories less and lost one pound. Also, if you eat 500 calories extra each day, you will have eaten 3500 calories extra over the course of a week and gained one pound. Of course, this doesn't take into account water retention etc, so it isn't an exact formula for weight loss. When ever I know I am going to have a big meal (like over the holidays) I plan out in advance what I am going to eat and spread it out over different days throughout the week. It usually works out to saving about 250 calories each day. For example, this past Thanksgiving, I logged mashed potatoes and gravy on Wednesday, Pie on Friday, Stuffing on Saturday. I ate those foods on Thursday, but by logging them on the other days I was sure to not eat those calories. I also do this if I accidentally go over one day. I will just log those calories on the remaining days in the week so everything works out.
  13306345
February 26, 2013 10:14 PM
Cool. I know there are days I will consume like 2800 calories when my goal is 1800, but that's normally on a day I do a lot of physical activity and most of it is eating back calories, but there still might be a surplus.
  37865011
February 26, 2013 10:14 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

It's called calorie cycling. Some of us do it intentionally to give ourselves a metabolism boost once or twice a week :)


Exactly. :) I used to do this strategically and it can be really convenient as well.. especially if you need extra calories for an event or special dinner! I don't eat nearly as much on rest days when I'm just sitting at home, so it all works out. It's worked for me thus far anyways!


Precisely. It just takes a little more self discipline than normal because you have to make sure it evens out and you're not "going over" more often than "going under".
February 26, 2013 10:16 PM
QUOTE:

I wondered aboit this too. Especially since I have done WW's and they give yoi the extra points each week.


This is exactly why the give you weekly points. They have figured out your minimum requirements for your daily points. Your weekly points are what you can eat up to and still lose. You are supposed to eat your weekly points, they just call them weekly points to keep people from freaking out if they go over one day.
  13306345
February 26, 2013 10:16 PM
If I overeat by a lot instead of trying to eat less calories for the rest of the week I try to increase my exercise over the week to make up for it. Otherwise I end up hungry and eat many many naughty things.

More exercise can only be a good thing anyway right?
  9156427
February 26, 2013 10:20 PM
I love this website i just joined. I think keeping track like this will make you more aware of how much you really eat and what you need to do in the future.
February 26, 2013 10:20 PM
QUOTE:

Cool. I know there are days I will consume like 2800 calories when my goal is 1800, but that's normally on a day I do a lot of physical activity and most of it is eating back calories, but there still might be a surplus.


I have been known to go and back log food on a day that I didn't eat all my calories. I am constantly checking my weekly totals to see where I am. The important thing is to log the food somewhere and not just try to remember that you should eat a few less the next day. Just go ahead and put it down on the following day so you don't eat it (unless you can put in on a past day where you had more calories). Also, all of this is done within the time frame of 1 week. If it is Monday, and I ate a whole pizza, I don't put calories in the previous week. Every week starts as a clean slate.
  13306345
February 26, 2013 10:23 PM
I found this site. It offers a lot of information. I always wondered why I lost weight after eating a good sized meal. I didn't know it had a coined name. http://www.livestrong.com/article/129304-calorie-cycling-lose-weight/
February 26, 2013 10:25 PM
It can be done, to be sure.... but considering your calorie goal is already set in a deficit to lose as is, by the end of the week, odds are you'll still be in the deficit..
February 26, 2013 10:28 PM
It takes 40 to 50 hours for food to be digested. I would think that following a heavy day with a light day is exactly right since you're still digesting yesterday's heavy food. Spreading it out over several light-ish days, not so much. But I think if I ate 3000 calories in one day I would just fast the next day and let my intestines work on the gut bomb I already gave 'em.
  36577045
February 26, 2013 10:29 PM
QUOTE:

It can be done, to be sure.... but considering your calorie goal is already set in a deficit to lose as is, by the end of the week, odds are you'll still be in the deficit..


Correct, I was just wondering about keeping the deficit at the fixed number it's set at.
  37865011
February 26, 2013 10:35 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

It can be done, to be sure.... but considering your calorie goal is already set in a deficit to lose as is, by the end of the week, odds are you'll still be in the deficit..


Correct, I was just wondering about keeping the deficit at the fixed number it's set at.


Then yes, it can be done.

When I cook up a big batch of nacho mix, I log half the ingredients for today and the next. It doesn't really matter.

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