Could someone explain "spike" days?

I'm sure there's a great explanation somewhere in the forum, but I can't seem to find it by searching. Thanks!
«1

Replies

  • gp79
    gp79 Posts: 1,799 Member
    In a nutshell :)

    You eat 500 below your TDEE (BMR + Activity Factor) for 6 days, and then on the 7th day you have a spike day which is essentially 2x your BMR
  • gp79
    gp79 Posts: 1,799 Member
    The spike resets leptin, which lets your body know (hormonal) you're still being fed.
  • beckipercy
    beckipercy Posts: 160 Member
    Some people choose to take one day each week/fortnight/month where they increase their calories to treat themselves to something they have wanted for a while. There are many different opinions, but I know personally, if I want something and deprive myself of it, I won't be happy. I don't have a set "spike" day on a regular basis, but use it more if I have plans. If I go out for a meal, I choose what I want to eat, rather than what I should eat.

    Don't know if this made any sense, sorry if not!
  • beduffbrickie
    beduffbrickie Posts: 646 Member
    to me what I can a spike day is where, I have a blow out from strict healthy eating, and over eat, so my body does not become acustomed to my diet, on a spike day I tend to just eat more, not always bad or fatty food, maybe the odd cheat meal, I believe it goes along way for weight loss, if your an active person aswell. I have seen massive results from having a spike day.
  • My nutritionist is not a fan at all of spike days. She has taught me to eat 500 calories less than my BMR and to remember to not go less than 1200 calories a day. She does encourage to every now and then treat yourself, always in moderation, but not to "spike" or double your BMR. She says health wise it's not a smart idea. She says everyone has some idea that your body needs to know it's being fed, but if you are eating ever 4 hours and eating the right foods, including carbohydrates which are the only food that provides glucose to the brain, then your body already knows it's being fed.
  • gp79
    gp79 Posts: 1,799 Member
    I'm coming to the end of my first week on the spike diet.

    My diet is structured like this.

    2k calories monday - friday
    3.5k calories Saturday
    4.5k calories on Sunday

    This Sat / Sun are already logged in my diary if you want to look.

    I set my macros to 1g protein and .3 - .4g fat per lb of body weight. The remainder of the calories come from carbs. I don't watch sugar, fiber, sodium or any other nutritional data.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
    My nutritionist is not a fan at all of spike days. She has taught me to eat 500 calories less than my BMR and to remember to not go less than 1200 calories a day. She does encourage to every now and then treat yourself, always in moderation, but not to "spike" or double your BMR. She says health wise it's not a smart idea. She says everyone has some idea that your body needs to know it's being fed, but if you are eating ever 4 hours and eating the right foods, including carbohydrates which are the only food that provides glucose to the brain, then your body already knows it's being fed.

    Taught you to eat 500 below your BMR?!

    Do you know what BMR really is?

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/477703-why-bmr-should-be-known-as-an-important-figure
  • gp79
    gp79 Posts: 1,799 Member
    Alot of people just don't have the discipline to track their nutrition as closely as some others. A spike day for me takes a good amount of planning ahead. There's no right or wrong way. Meal timing and frequency I don't believe has any effect on weight loss. I do have a preferred method but whenever my friends / coworkers ask me for what "they" should do, I always tell them to do what allows them to stay within their goal. If eating 1x per day is their method and they are getting all of their nutrients from one meal, I find that better than trying to force someone into a meal plan that doesn't fit their lifestyle and schedule. It's a numbers game. The two most difficult things to figure out are, maintenance calories and willpower.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 33,932 Member
    In a nutshell :)

    You eat 500 below your BMR for 6 days, and then on the 7th day you have a spike day which is essentially 2x your BMR

    I'm sure you meant to say "Eat 500 below your TDEE" [not BMR:noway:]
  • gp79
    gp79 Posts: 1,799 Member
    Yes, I've edited above.
  • ahinski
    ahinski Posts: 200 Member
    I'm usually a little less strict Friday night through sunday night. Though, I still stay within my caloric limit, but might have a higher percentage of fat or carbohydrates and more sugar than usual. I DON'T binge on these days, I still stick to serving sizes and choose maybe one or two things that I consider a "treat" when I'm at a party or something where there is a lot of food that I could go nuts on. I've also found that if I overdo it, I get really bad stomach pains because my stomach isn't used to junk anymore. I also still make sure that on my "spike" days (not what I usually call them, but it's a similar concept), I still get plenty of fruits, veggies, protein, etc. This seems to be very productive for my weight loss, and it might not be the case for everyone. The only thing that seems to be counterproductive is when I eat too little. For my activity level and weight loss goals, I try to eat 1800 calories a day. When I eat too little, I seem to plateau or even gain, but when I stay right at 1800 (give or take 50 calories), I lose about a pound a week, which is what I'm aiming for now since I'm getting closer to my goal weight and will start to try to maintain soon.

    I also take a rest day from working out once a week, but I make sure that it doesn't fall on one of the "spike" days, and always exercise even when I'm eating less strictly.
  • snowflowr82
    snowflowr82 Posts: 141 Member
    I think i'm going to do this ive been eating inbetween 1200-1300calories each day and never eat my calories burned so tomorrow on superbowl sunday i'm going to do 2600 calories i watch everything and track everything going into my mouth since Jan 2nd and have lost 10.2lbs as of today with a total goal of 30lbs lost. so 1/3 of the way there
  • ahinski
    ahinski Posts: 200 Member
    I think i'm going to do this ive been eating inbetween 1200-1300calories each day and never eat my calories burned so tomorrow on superbowl sunday i'm going to do 2600 calories i watch everything and track everything going into my mouth since Jan 2nd and have lost 10.2lbs as of today with a total goal of 30lbs lost. so 1/3 of the way there

    I know that you didn't ask for any advice, so please ignore me if you don't want it. I wouldn't be surprised if tomorrow, when you eat two days worth of your normal number of calories, you feel very sick to your stomach afterward. And you may have slowed down your metabolism some since you may not have been eating enough already ("may" being the key word, because I don't know for sure), so if you do this eating-enough-for-two-days routine too regularly, it could result in weight gain. When a person eats twice their normal intake in one day, it's generally considered a binge, which is not really a "treat," because it ends up being counterproductive.

    I DEFINITELY think it's a good idea to treat yourself tomorrow in honor of a special occasion, but eating twice your normal amount could make you feel really sick (I know when I go over my normal intake by only a few hundred calories, I don't feel well). Perhaps you should consider increasing the amount of calories you eat in a normal day to 1500 and then on these "spike" days, take it up to 1800-2000. When I was eating 1200 calories a day, my weight loss was very slow and practically negligible, but now I generally eat 1800, and the pounds are just falling off. But that's just my own experience, and I am in the low end of a healthy BMI, so if someone's BMI is higher, they actually need to eat more but if it is lower, than you would want to eat less, but if a person's BMI is on the low end of healthy or below, it might be time for that person to consider weight maintenance.

    I promise I'm just trying to help. I hope I didn't stick my nose where it doesn't belong. Good luck!
  • My nutritionist is not a fan at all of spike days. She has taught me to eat 500 calories less than my BMR and to remember to not go less than 1200 calories a day. She does encourage to every now and then treat yourself, always in moderation, but not to "spike" or double your BMR. She says health wise it's not a smart idea. She says everyone has some idea that your body needs to know it's being fed, but if you are eating ever 4 hours and eating the right foods, including carbohydrates which are the only food that provides glucose to the brain, then your body already knows it's being fed.

    Taught you to eat 500 below your BMR?!

    Do you know what BMR really is?

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/477703-why-bmr-should-be-known-as-an-important-figure

    Yes I do, the benefits of having a professional nutritionist is being able to have all the tests from basic questions to blood work to determine the BMR. When I reach certain goals through activity and weight loss it changes.
  • lilsassymom
    lilsassymom Posts: 407 Member
    I have a question...how do you know how many calories to consume on a spike day? Is it just anything over your normal calorie deficit OR is it TDEE x 2 OR BMR x 2? What is a general rule on how many?
  • ahinski
    ahinski Posts: 200 Member
    ^^^^Good question!! I think it's BMRx2
  • ahinski
    ahinski Posts: 200 Member
    My nutritionist is not a fan at all of spike days. She has taught me to eat 500 calories less than my BMR and to remember to not go less than 1200 calories a day. She does encourage to every now and then treat yourself, always in moderation, but not to "spike" or double your BMR. She says health wise it's not a smart idea. She says everyone has some idea that your body needs to know it's being fed, but if you are eating ever 4 hours and eating the right foods, including carbohydrates which are the only food that provides glucose to the brain, then your body already knows it's being fed.

    Taught you to eat 500 below your BMR?!

    Do you know what BMR really is?

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/477703-why-bmr-should-be-known-as-an-important-figure

    Yes I do, the benefits of having a professional nutritionist is being able to have all the tests from basic questions to blood work to determine the BMR. When I reach certain goals through activity and weight loss it changes.

    I, too, am surprised a nutritionist would suggest 500 cals less than your BMR (the amount of calories your body burns if you were to literally lie in bed all day and not move an inch). That would mean I could only eat about 900 calories! Maybe she wants you to eat 500 cals less than your TDEE (Total daily energy expenditure). That is the traditional recommendation...
  • you would think right? but nope, its the BMR. Different nutritionist and dieticians do things differently, It seems to be working for a healthy weight loss and my doctors are in support of it, so yea, idk, I just know she's completely against spike diets and diets that double or triple calorie intake once a week or even once a month.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
    you would think right? but nope, its the BMR. Different nutritionist and dieticians do things differently, It seems to be working for a healthy weight loss and my doctors are in support of it, so yea, idk, I just know she's completely against spike diets and diets that double or triple calorie intake once a week or even once a month.

    "Healthy" and "it seems to be working" are two entirely different things. What if someone said you had to cut your exercise back by 300 calories average a day, just not allowed to do it.
    Think 300 cal exercise could impact your goals?

    You may be doing it to yourself. Don't mind the link name, it's speaking against the idea, but is about suppressed metabolism.

    http://www.exrx.net/Questions/StarvationEffect.html

    A similar case study was published by Jampolis (2004). A 51 year old patient complained of a 15 lb weight gain over the last year despite beginning a strenuous triathlon and marathon training program (2 hours per day, 5-6 days per week). A 3 day diet analysis estimated a daily intake of only 1000-1200 Calories. An indirect calorimetry revealed a resting metabolic rate of 950 Calories (28% below predicted for age, height, weight, and gender). After medications and medical conditions such as hypothyroidism and diabetes where ruled out, the final diagnosis was over-training and undereating. The following treatment was recommended:

    Increase daily dietary intake by approximately 100 Calories per week to a goal of 1500 calories
    32% protein; 35% carbohydrates; 33% fat
    Consume 5-6 small meals per day
    Small amounts of protein with each meal or snack
    Choose high fiber starches
    Select mono- and poly- unsaturated fats
    Restrict consumption of starch with evening meals unless focused around training
    Take daily multi-vitamin and mineral supplement
    Perform whole body isometric resistance training 2 times per week

    After 6 weeks the patient's resting metabolism increased 35% to 1282 Calories per day (only 2% below predicted). The patient also decreases percent fat from 37% to 34%, a loss of 5 lbs of body fat.

    So her RMR went up over 300 calories. Each and every day. 2100 calories of free burn had been lost each week at the lowered BMR level.
  • dandelion39
    dandelion39 Posts: 514 Member
    Thank you all SO much. This is really helpful. So, just to clarify...

    My BMR is 1363. Following a plan with a spike day included every week or so, I'd eat 1363 PLUS the exercise calories burned (so, say I burn 200 cals I eat 1563) for 6 days that week, and on day 7 eat about 2600 cals?

    When I first read about spike days a bell went off in my head--I've noticed in the past when I've been really careful and haven't lost weight, then had a "bad" day, when I weigh myself afterwards, I'll have lost. So, I'm thinking I'll try this.

    Do you think it's a bad idea to try it on the first week of a new eating plan?

    Thanks again.