Training periodization has been used successfully for several decades within the bodybuilding and sporting community. However, the idea of nutrient periodization or cycling has struggled to catch on, with most people sticking to the old school off season bulks and pre contest linear cuts / diets. Much like training or certain supplements, our body adapts to a given stimulus after a period of time, for this reason, long term calorie surpluses (bulking) and calorie deficits (dieting) are not ideal and may be the limiting factor in your fitness regime / progression (Maclean et al. (2011)).
Based on these phases, your diet and supplement protocol should logically reflect this. For example, we know to create adaptions you may need to go through different training cycles, incorporating different rep ranges, intensities, frequency and volume. Performing 10 reps on the bench press at 200lb for 20 weeks is not optimal, so why would you diet on exactly 500 calories, every day for 20 weeks?
Calorie Cycling for QUICKER and LONG LASTING fat loss!
Although the research is still in its infancy, the idea of regular cycling / shifting may help improve these poor dieting statistics and increase your chance of long term success. In fact, the research is fairly impressive, showing this approach may actually help you maintain satiety hormone health, resting metabolic rate (metabolism), hormones such as testosterone and actually cause greater fat loss than a typical, linear dieting model (Davoodi et al., 2014).
In short, calorie cycling involves different periods of calories. For example during a diet rather than just dieting everyday, you may do 11 days dieting and a 3 day refeed. You can also do longer cycles, such as a 3 – 4 week diet and 1 week refeed.
This strategy seems superior to a chronic, daily diet, at least based on the research we currently have. If you want to read the full article head over to bodybuilding.com which contains a full article and a variety of different calorie cycles you may wish to try!
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