Counting Calories for the Week Vs Each Day

My daily calorie goal is 1300 which would give me a weekly goal of 9100 calories (net). I've started looking at my week as whole rather than just daily so that if I go over my calories on a day I can balance out the rest of the week and still only net 9100 calories per 7 days.

My question is: Is this still an effective way to track or am I doing myself some sort of metabolic disservice by going over some days and under on others? I generally eat more on work days and less on weekends which would be my balance out time to make up for days I went over during the week.

I do eat my exercise calories back.

Thanks. Feel free to ask me questions if I'm not explaining this clearly enough.
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Replies

  • horrorstory
    horrorstory Posts: 125 Member
    Bump because I am curious as well.
  • howardheilweil
    howardheilweil Posts: 603 Member
    Definitely 2 schools of thought on this, but I really haven't done any research. Personally, to me it makes sense to eat in a sensible , balanced way each day rather then over-eating one day and under-eating the next.
  • SLLRunner
    SLLRunner Posts: 12,943 Member
    I also track weekly, as well as daily. I save calories for a weekend when I know I'll have a family outing or something. I try to eat all my exercise calories back but I'm never that hungry. I eat a good portion back, though.

    I look at it this way: I didn't gain weight in a day, so I won't lose weight in a day, therefore it's more about not going over my calorie allowance for the week.
  • cingle87
    cingle87 Posts: 717 Member
    I will do this if lets say im going out one night for or having a party etc, I will undereat slightly for a few days before, enabling to eat/drink more on that given day. It hasn't stop me from losing so far.
  • kathyk519
    kathyk519 Posts: 197 Member
    Well first, they say to only weigh once a week, so looking at your calories for both daily and weekly shouldn't hurt anything. When you look at weight watchers for instance, you have points for the day, and extra points for the week (I forget what they are called) but you can use those extra points in one day or spread them out for the week. So I would think that you are okay to look at it that way. I know that when I splurge one day, I try to better the next day or the next couple of days to make up for it. You are not going to gain 10 lbs in one day, it is a cumulative effect, so as long as you don't go continually crazy, you should be fine. I wouldn't suggest that you eat way over every day in the week and then eat way under on the weekends, but I would look at it both ways.
  • JenRun1
    JenRun1 Posts: 212
    I track weekly but also daily, I know that contradicts each other. So here is my thoughts:

    1. My calorie goal is 1600 net daily
    2. Sunday I eat 1600 calories
    3. Monday I eat 1400 calories
    4. Tuesday if I am hungry I will eat 1800 calories because I am balancing it out from what the deficit was on Monday.


    Now what I won't do is eat 1000 calories one day and then 2500 another day. It is all about balancing and in order to balance your weekly goal you also have to maintain some kind of balance with your daily goal.

    But don't feel bad if you are over one day and under another by a couple hundred calories. At least this is my school of thought and it has worked very well for me.
  • BorntoROAR
    BorntoROAR Posts: 91 Member
    Well that's called a calorie zig zag, and it is extremely effective for some people, myself included.
  • I counted my calories for the week in the beginning and it gave me too much freedom. One day I would overeat thinking I could make it up during the week. I never did and used that to "have a reason" to wait until Sunday when my week would start again. It is easier for me to hold myself accountable on a daily basis, that is one thing that has helped me.
  • DawnOBRN
    DawnOBRN Posts: 290 Member
    I average for the week, that way I "save" calories for a nice cheat meal at the end of the week.
    Many fitness/bodybuilding programs use this technique as well and call it calorie cycling.

    http://breakingmuscle.com/nutrition/calorie-and-carb-cycling-breaking-through-your-diet-plateau
  • melham
    melham Posts: 233 Member
    I have read that varying calorie intake from day to day is actually beneficial, but I have no idea how true it is.

    My take is that it's going to just about impossible to eat exactly the same number of calories every day for any period longer than a few weeks, so it's reasonable to work with total weekly calories in lieu of total daily calories. That's what I've been doing, and I've successfully lost even more weight than I was originally trying to lose. I understand that just because it works for me that doesn't mean it would work for anyone else, but that's my experience.
  • agggie550
    agggie550 Posts: 281 Member
    For me its about being accountable for myself, and I find it more helpful to track everyday. I also weigh myself everyday, sometimes a couple times a day, not because I feel like I "have to", more because I want the instant gratification of knowing I stuck to my plan and I'm were I think I should be.

    But at the same time tracking for the week might work for some people too, I don't know if I could be that focused without having to check were I'm at all the time. And I see alot of people "saving up" for cheat days. I have mixed feelings about that, I feel like the reason you set a calorie goal for the day is so that you hit your mark, and what your body needs to balance your life/workouts, but if you are under cutting to save calories for alter are you really giving your body what it needs that day.
  • mkphotogirl
    mkphotogirl Posts: 55 Member
    i track daily but look at my weekly overall #s since some days it's hard to hit my minimum calorie goals, some days it's super easy to go way over. i want to balance out that way. works for me and allows me a couple splurge days where i go out and drink without feeling guilty about exceeding my limit.
  • GCAsMom
    GCAsMom Posts: 120 Member
    I've been using the "zig-zag" method with good results for some time now. At the moment, I've been banking my calories for the weekends when I have a tendency to go over due to everyone being home, but overall, I'll eat more on some days and less on others purposefully so my body doesn't get used to a set amount of food. That being said, I have plateaued, but when I do, I just change something up and I start losing again.

    tl:dr - Zig-zagging has been very beneficial for me. :)
  • Holly_Roman_Empire
    Holly_Roman_Empire Posts: 4,440 Member
    I track weekly but also daily, I know that contradicts each other. So here is my thoughts:

    1. My calorie goal is 1600 net daily
    2. Sunday I eat 1600 calories
    3. Monday I eat 1400 calories
    4. Tuesday if I am hungry I will eat 1800 calories because I am balancing it out from what the deficit was on Monday.


    Now what I won't do is eat 1000 calories one day and then 2500 another day. It is all about balancing and in order to balance your weekly goal you also have to maintain some kind of balance with your daily goal.

    But don't feel bad if you are over one day and under another by a couple hundred calories. At least this is my school of thought and it has worked very well for me.

    I agree with this approach. It's fine as long as you're not eating under 1000 one day and 3000 calories the next.
  • Well that's called a calorie zig zag, and it is extremely effective for some people, myself included.

    And me. I've been doing it for 9 ish years - first to lose and then maintain. Some days my body really wants 2,500 - 3,000 calories other days 1,500 does the job. A lot depends on how much sleep I've gotten and how busy I was at work. I just go with it.
  • judilockwood
    judilockwood Posts: 134 Member
    I sort of do this dong the 5:2 diet. I eat 500-600 calories 2 non consecrative days a week and have a sensible diet the other 5. This gives a lot of flexibility, though it needs god planning, and I can be sociable with family and friends. Now I'm at goal I'll maintain doing it 1:6. The benefits of intermittent fasting are great and its easy to do.
  • bump this is good info
  • mcibty
    mcibty Posts: 1,252 Member
    I log daily and I am usually within my goal, including most eating exercise calories back. Sometimes life does happen and I'll go wayyyyy over for the day. I don't under-eat the next day, but I do make up for the over-eating the previous day and ensure I'm at a reasonable deficit.

    Your body isn't on a 24 hour clock, it doesn't specifically work in that you've eaten X over or under in that 24 hour period. I wouldn't do a weekly goal, personally, I find it easier to look after my daily limits and even it out on those occasions where I over indulge.
  • HOPEPATRICK74
    HOPEPATRICK74 Posts: 54 Member
    I think in the end we all have to find what works best for us. I have read several differnt blogs about what one person does v another, and I say if it is working for you go with it. I personally have to hold myself accountable per day. If I went to a weekly accountability I would definatly overeat for the week. I just jknow how I am.

    Good luck with your journey!
  • My daily calorie goal is 1300 which would give me a weekly goal of 9100 calories (net). I've started looking at my week as whole rather than just daily so that if I go over my calories on a day I can balance out the rest of the week and still only net 9100 calories per 7 days.

    My question is: Is this still an effective way to track or am I doing myself some sort of metabolic disservice by going over some days and under on others? I generally eat more on work days and less on weekends which would be my balance out time to make up for days I went over during the week.

    I do eat my exercise calories back.

    Thanks. Feel free to ask me questions if I'm not explaining this clearly enough.

    I've heard it is a really good way to track. For me personally, I've been confused of why my weight hasn't been going down at the rate it's "supposed to" and it "used to".

    Just yesterday I logged in on my phone using the MFP app and saw that over the past four weeks I've been overeating my weekly goal by a lot. And up until then I'd thought that I was only getting one "cheat day" a week! Turns out that if you eat within 50 calories of your goal and then blow it once or twice by a few hundred on a day or two, you're not actually eating at a deficit.