It is said that fluctuating the amount of intake of calories in your diet can trick your body into keeping your metabolism rate elevated. The original diet that uses this principle is the calorie shifting diet.
Many people have claimed that they have successfully lost weight on up sizing or down sizing the calories consumed! Popularly known as the Fat Loss 4 Idiots diet, this is one of those few diets that lets you eat food without starving yourself because it keeps shifting calories. So, if today you ate less, tomorrow you can eat more. The diet is also called the Zig-Zag Diet by some people. It gives you variety in your diet each day by changing the diet menu according to your height, weight, BMI index, eating habits and health requirements. You can generate your diet plan online for 11 days. The diet is so attractive and popular among dieters that many people resort to this shifting diet after being disappointed with several fad diets.
The Fat Loss 4 Idiots diet is the original diet that has been around for many years and since then, there have been several other calorie diets introduced by dietitians with several variations. On these diets, you can eat 4 to 6 meals per day. The Fat Loss 4 Idiot diet also gives you 3 days off to cheat! Now, how many other diets allow that? Calorie shifting constantly manipulates your metabolism, that is the rate at which your body burns calories. The original shifting diet does not burn a hole in your pocket by putting exotic foods on the diet plan. They are everyday foods that you can easily accommodate by tweaking your grocery list. Let’s take a look at some FAQs and calorie shifting pros and cons.
How Does Calorie Shifting Diet Work?
By continuously changing the calorific value of the diet each day, the diet confuses the body as the body cannot adapt itself to one type of diet. This stimulates the body to keep up the metabolism rate in order to break down the food into energy. Some days you eat more. The body has to raise its metabolism level to digest that amount of food. However, when you eat less the next day, the calorie deficit coupled with high metabolism makes the body burn fat. Your body does not know how much food you are putting inside your stomach and how many calories they contain. Its metabolism rate adjusts to a certain level and remains constant unless you motivate your body to increase it by exercising or eating fewer calories or when the body is used to a low metabolism rate and you feed it more calories which are then stored as fat. This is why you see fluctuations on the weighing scale.
This diet keeps switching the calorific intake in your body and makes it a fat burning machine. If you were to stay on a high calorie diet with heavy exercises or a low-calorie diet with no exercise, your body would get used to the routine and your metabolism rate will become stagnant. That is why you reach a plateau after a few months on one diet irrespective of the intense workouts. This is when your trainer or dietitian will make some switches in your diet and exercise pattern to kick-start the body’s metabolism rate again. Your body stays in shock and functions with optimum efficiency.
However, like all other diets, there are pros and cons too.
- Simple and easy-to-follow diet plan
- 4 meals a day. No deprivation, no starvation
- High weight loss achieved
- Dieter’s satisfaction
- Affordable food on the menu
- Strong determination to stick to the calorie specifications
- Lowers sweet cravings
- Allows adjusting rest (cheat) periods
- Transforms eating habits
- Doesn’t lose its effectiveness
- Neglects to ensure sufficient intake of all vitamins of minerals in the diet according to the recommended daily allowance (RDA)
- No exercises combined with the diet, no muscle mass built
- Likely to put back weight again, if the diet is not followed later
- Constant check on calories in food
- Not suitable for vegetarians
- Bland and monotonous food on the menu
How Much Weight Loss is Achieved?
Dieters claim that you can lose as much as 9 pounds within the first 11 days of adopting this diet. Later on, you can target anywhere between 20% to 25% weight loss of the total body weight. Average weight loss observed per week is 1 to 2 pounds. This continues for a long time until you drop the diet or have achieved maximum weight loss. If you have adopted this diet after hitting plateau on your previous diet, it may take up to a few weeks to notice the change in weight, but you will surely see results!
Can I Keep the Weight Off?
Yes, you can keep the weight off on the diet. However, the problems with this diet include low metabolism rate and weight gain in a few weeks of getting off the diet. This is because, without the body’s high metabolism rate, that was stimulated by the shifting diet, your body will fall back to its previous state of constant or low metabolism, leading to fat re-accumulation. But, if you follow the diet as a lifestyle, you will surely remain slim throughout the period you are on the diet. Do not forget, you must stick to the diet plan.
Are Calorie Shifting Diet Plans Worth Giving a Go?
If you are okay with following a strict pattern of calorie intake, you can totally give it a try, and expect some quick results. However, after a while you may either get used to the restrictions or you may end up getting weary of it and get off it. However, the drawback is that it does not advocate exercising while on the diet. It heavily relies on calorie fluctuations made in the diet. If you do not work out, you will end up building no muscle mass to promote fat loss and maintain it in the long run. I’d suggest that you workout 45 minutes thrice a week at least and keep changing your workouts to avoid monotony.
What are the Calorie Shifting Diet Problems?
The drawbacks being that the diet does not depend on the required daily allowance of all vitamins and minerals. Hence, there are chances that you will end up having a deficiency of one of them as the diet mostly consists of eggs, fish, lean meat, fruits and vegetables. It could well be the deficiency of Vitamin B12 derived from whole grains. I recommend you always take multivitamin tablets on any diet to make up for any deficiencies. I have already cited, the other drawbacks are that you may end up misjudging the amount of calories in your food and might cross the daily calorific requirement recommended in the diet. This will defeat the purpose of the diet. You need to absolutely count your calories.
Many bodybuilders prefer the shifting diet to stay in shape for a long time with minimum efforts. You can make this diet totally fun. As I said, you can combat the problems by combining efficient short duration workouts with it that you engage in 4-5 times a week on an average. It will help you to tone up as well and when you are on a rest period, you won’t end up gaining a lot of weight. Losing weight and maintaining it is all about smart choices. Hard work does pay off but you must know how to aim for maximum weight loss in the shortest period without causing much discomfort in your usual dietary habits.