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What's magical about 24 hours?

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I've been wondering. I am really hungry on some days, and other days I am not hungry at all. Does calorie intake really depend on daily intakes, or would a weekly average work just as well. Like yesterday, I didn't plan on eating so little but I was gone all day, and by the time I got home I just wanted to go to bed. Can I eat some of yesterday's missed calories? or I am just fooling myself to think that could work. Also, if I have a really bad day and overindulge, can I just make up for it the next day (as long as I don't go under 1200 calories?)

I apologize ahead of time if this is a ridiculous question with an obvious answer, I have never really monitored calories or paid attention to what I eat like I am now. And the more I read on-line the more lost I seem to be on all of this.

Replies

  • Sharla_G
    Sharla_G Posts: 72
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    I like your question. Don't know the answer and would like to hear opinions.
  • grantdumas7
    grantdumas7 Posts: 802 Member
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    Don't worry about daily calorie intake. Weekly intake is more important, so if you eat 0 cals one day it wont hurt to eat 500 above maintenance the next.
  • MsPudding
    MsPudding Posts: 562 Member
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    I work on weekly averages. My personal opinion is that eating the same level of calories every single day is an artificial state - nobody who isn't losing weight or in some rigid fitness program eats exactly the same amount each day, they simply stay in shape because on average their intake and output is in balance.

    Actually it's one of the things that bugs me about MFP....you can get a nice bar chart of your weekly calorie intake, but it doesn't give you the weekly total and the bars aren't even labeled with the daily totals to allow you to add up easily. I have to flick through my diary for the week with a calculator by my side.
  • nokanjaijo
    nokanjaijo Posts: 466 Member
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    I work on weekly averages. My personal opinion is that eating the same level of calories every single day is an artificial state - nobody who isn't losing weight or in some rigid fitness program eats exactly the same amount each day, they simply stay in shape because on average their intake and output is in balance.

    Actually it's one of the things that bugs me about MFP....you can get a nice bar chart of your weekly calorie intake, but it doesn't give you the weekly total and the bars aren't even labeled with the daily totals to allow you to add up easily. I have to flick through my diary for the week with a calculator by my side.

    I use MFP to figure out how many calories I've had in a day. Then I log the total for the day into a spreadsheet I made on google drive that calculates running average in addition to 10 and 20 day moving averages.

    I highly recommend it as you seem to want to geek out on your data as I like to do.
  • diaryofaskinnygirl
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    I work on weekly averages. My personal opinion is that eating the same level of calories every single day is an artificial state - nobody who isn't losing weight or in some rigid fitness program eats exactly the same amount each day, they simply stay in shape because on average their intake and output is in balance.

    Actually it's one of the things that bugs me about MFP....you can get a nice bar chart of your weekly calorie intake, but it doesn't give you the weekly total and the bars aren't even labeled with the daily totals to allow you to add up easily. I have to flick through my diary for the week with a calculator by my side.

    On the iPhone app it tells you how many calories you have left for the week.
  • jfan175
    jfan175 Posts: 812 Member
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    My personal opinion, based on nothing but personal experience and gut feeling, is that the 24hr period is important......especially the sleep/wake timing. I believe a lot of important things as far as fat burning and muscle building take place while sleeping. Time and time again, my greatest losses occurred after a particular good night's sleep. If my sleep was off for a few nights, my weight loss inevitably stalled, most likely due to the increased cortisol. I don't think there's a big issue as to what time of day you get your calories, but I think they should be fairly consistent from day to day (depending on your goal of muscle gain or fat loss), so the mechanisms that take place while sleeping are optimized. Like I said, solely my own opinion, and I have no scientific studies to link these theories to.
  • Queenofthezoo
    Queenofthezoo Posts: 69 Member
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    Thanks for the opinions.
  • 3dogsrunning
    3dogsrunning Posts: 27,167 Member
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    Lots of people do calorie cycling where they eat more on some days, less on others. I honestly haven't done much looking into it. Maybe look into the theory.
  • Confuzzled4ever
    Confuzzled4ever Posts: 2,860 Member
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    The importance of 24 hours comes into play when re-learning *so to speak* or perhaps learning for the first time proper eating. We don't want to say.. oh well it doesn't matter if I eat too much today, cause I can just eat less tomorrow.. we all know where that sort of thinking landed us. So to have a daily goal and to stick to it is important in that regard. Once you've got that under control daily calories won't be as important as long as you stick to proper eating principals. Over eating one day and under eating the next, then getting back on track is fine. Just not the best way to stick with a healthy lifestyle if repeated often. I went to golden corral and ate whatever i wanted (yesterday).. and it was a lot of calories.. but I know i will exercise and eat better the next day and previous days I had eaten properly or not enough. So it's fine. Actually i haven't gained an ounce after eating there. Today I ate a little more then planned, but I had a good week.


    So in summary it's fine to "save" calories from one day for the next.. if it's not a habit and you have already taught yourself proper nutrition and are disciplined enough get back on track after a day like that.
  • zhvah18
    zhvah18 Posts: 158 Member
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    I work on weekly averages. My personal opinion is that eating the same level of calories every single day is an artificial state - nobody who isn't losing weight or in some rigid fitness program eats exactly the same amount each day, they simply stay in shape because on average their intake and output is in balance.

    Actually it's one of the things that bugs me about MFP....you can get a nice bar chart of your weekly calorie intake, but it doesn't give you the weekly total and the bars aren't even labeled with the daily totals to allow you to add up easily. I have to flick through my diary for the week with a calculator by my side.

    I use MFP to figure out how many calories I've had in a day. Then I log the total for the day into a spreadsheet I made on google drive that calculates running average in addition to 10 and 20 day moving averages.

    I highly recommend it as you seem to want to geek out on your data as I like to do.

    I go by weekly average and keep a running monthly spreadsheet as well to track averages and fluctuations.
  • lemonfizzle
    lemonfizzle Posts: 40 Member
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    I use a weekly average also. The app shows you how many calories you have left tor the week but I haven't been able to find those stats on the webpage. I think an independent spreadsheet is great idea. I am totally going to start keeping one.
  • SharpieV
    SharpieV Posts: 26 Member
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    I am glad to see this question as I was wondering the same thing. I really believe that it's about 'averages' rather than specifics in any given 24 hour period, but have no proof. LOVE the spreadsheet idea! I just spent a half hour and put one together so all I have to do is put my calories in and it'll take care of all the math for me.
  • JUDDDing
    JUDDDing Posts: 1,367 Member
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    I use a weekly average also. The app shows you how many calories you have left tor the week but I haven't been able to find those stats on the webpage. I think an independent spreadsheet is great idea. I am totally going to start keeping one.

    Try this: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/879517-myfitnesspal-reports-with-iiteractive-graphs

    It will allow you to create averages for any arbitrary time period.
  • littlelily613
    littlelily613 Posts: 769 Member
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    Some people go by the week as well. As long as they balance everything out for the week, they feel they can go over and under on some days. I personally don't do this, but it seems to work for them.

    Edit: clearly I didn't read the other responses and notice a lot of other people already suggested this! lol Well, there is another vote for do it weekly!