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Thread: Calorie Cycling and Rogue-Style Maintenance

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    Calorie Cycling and Rogue-Style Maintenance

    Some of us in the rogue saloon have been discussing calorie cycling while on hcg, as opposed to steady VLCDs. We wanted to have a new thread for calorie cycling, calorie switching, or calorie confusion, so here it is!

    We've also been talking about rogue maintenance, such as using lower dosages of hhcg in R3, which many people have tried and found very helpful, for appetite control, body reshaping, and even continuing to lose 1-2 lbs a week during P3s. Another point for rogue maintenance is that many have found that starches and sugars do not need to be avoided, and it is helpful to do calorie cycling during maintenance also.

    Here's the calorie cycling plan, originated in 2008 by a woman named Dakota, who also started a Yahoo group called hcgAmerica. Many people had great results using this non-protocol plan:

    I am not a doctor nor do I advocate nor claim that everyone will have the same results as I while developing this diet. Please check with your own doctor before attempting to follow any diet, including this one. I am merely sharing my experience and what has worked for me. We are all different. I formulated this diet by research of my own as well as using myself as the guinea pig – there are no sponsored test results or clinical trials available. Results may vary by individual.
    Here is how Calorie Switching works.

    The steps below help you figure your 3 calorie ranges for weight loss and maintenance on this program.

    You will be figuring your High, Mid and Low ranges for calorie switching.

    1. What you need to do is figure out your ideal body weight goal. For me, mine is 130 lbs. Next you need to determine your caloric needs to maintain that weight. Simply multiply 14 (sedentary lifestyle) or 15 - 16 (if you are moderately active or have an exercise program) x your goal weight = Total maintenance caloric needs.
    Looks like this 14 x 130 (weight) = 1820.

    For me, mine is 1820 (I round down but if the number if 50 or above round up) to 1800. Then you take those calories and subtract 300. This number will be the calories you need to use as your HIGH Range.

    1800 (goal weight calories) – 300 = 1500 (my calorie high range for example)

    2. Next you need to figure your mid-range calories. Simply subtract 500 calories from your High Range.

    1500 – 500 = 1000 (my Mid Range)

    3. Last you will have to figure your low range – simply subtract another 500.
    1000 (mid range) – 500 = 500 (low range)***

    ***Important: Do not go lower than 500 calories on any day at all – even if your low range is lower. If its 438 you do 500.. do not go lower. You cannot nourish your body properly – especially if you are exercising.

    So at this time I have ranges – that’s it:

    High – 1500
    Mid – 1000
    Low – 500

    These are the values I’ll be using to switch calorie intake for my days on the Calorie Switching diet.

    Here is how you apply the caloric values to your diet each week – and each week varies to keep the metabolism switching speeds as well. Still very simple, and when you start you’ll see why.

    But first lets talk about the foods and supplements.

    PART II - Foods and Supplements

    It’s always advisable to take a multivitamin when dieting. You are the best judge of that, and need to see your doctor if you have deficiencies before starting any diet. I take a multivitamin anyway.

    Foods should be limited to low glycemic foods, proteins and fibrous veggies.
    No starches and sugars should be taken while on the diet, unless you have a medical condition that requires it. Should you add a sugar or starch to your diet that day, you MUST count the calories contained in it to your daily intake. If you want quicker weight loss its important to remember that limiting starches and sugars does that exactly. Even if you add a little bit of sugar or starch – especially if your are carb sensitive - you can affect your weight loss. Remember we are talking about refined sugar and starches. On your high days you can add any starch and sugar as long as it’s in the form of whole grains, legumes, veggies and fruits. Whole foods are best.

    All food must be weighed and calories calculated. Try to space out your food for optimum energy and metabolism fat burning. As long as you measure what you eat you will have a better idea of just how much your body for fuel. Always eat at least 2 servings of protein per day – usually about 3.5 – 4 ounces each serving. Protein is important to maintain proper body functions. To figure out how many grams of protein you need per day, just ½ your goal weight, and that is what you require to maintain your body every day. For me, I want to weigh 130 – I need 65 grams of protein per day at minimum. If you work out you need to up that number a little bit. There are formulas all over the web for that. Use that as a rule of thumb as to how you are going to divide up your calories everyday.

    IMPORTANT: GET A GOOD KITCHEN SCALE – WEIGH EVERYTHING AFTER COOKING. Of course weigh raw foods too that you are eating raw!!!!!!!

    Examples of good foods for your low and mid days:

    MEAT (protein) - Any lean meat – obvious fat removed

    Fish: Any fish

    Vegetables (look for low carb veggies) - (no peas or corn – only on High Range days)

    Fruits:
    Tomatoes
    Strawberries
    Raspberries
    Apples – this is the higher of the two but has a lot of advantages – limit to 1 per day.

    Dairy – use freely but remember you need to count it, and it can add up quickly – especially on low range days. Eggs are great for breakfast.

    Drinks: Any low calorie sodas, teas, coffee, water (drink at least 8 glasses of water per day) – if you drink something that has calories – COUNT IT – even if its only 5 calories…you’ll be surprised how fast that all adds up. You’re best friend will be your calorie journal when you look back and see what you have done wrong or what you did right!

    Portions:

    Meat – 3.5 – 5 ounces
    Veggies: Unlimited - count calories
    Fruits: Unlimited – count calories
    Grains: limit to 2 onces per day (not recommended for low days)….except on High days – just count calories

    On high days – eat at your own discretion.

    PART III – How to do the Weeks

    You have some versatility on this diet. You have to do what works best for you. Now you know you can eat whatever you want on this diet as long as you WEIGH and COUNT it and you stick to the limits. Here is an example of how I do my weeks:

    Start – Start days are days were you eat as much as you want for 2 days. I would not go over 2000 calories, but that’s just me. This is a time that you will allow yourself many of the starches and sugars you will not be getting while you are Calorie Switching. Pizza, a burger on a white bun, etc….whatever you wish…just have a ball. Or be conscientious and eat more of the good food you are already comfortable with on your previous food plan. Its up to you. No rules. Your way. 2 days only.

    Week 1: VLCD (I take an hcg supplement to curb my appetite – some take hoodia, others visit their medical doctor and take a prescription of something – its up to you and your willpower).

    Calories: Calorie Switching Body Buster Week – all vlcd everyday…optional
    Day 1 - 500
    Day 2 – 500
    Day 3 – 500
    Day 4 – 500
    Day 5 – 500
    Day 6 – 500
    Day 7 – 500

    If you prefer and you only have less than 20 lbs to lose – you can start with Week 2. But no need to use Start days (loading food for capacity for 2 days).

    Week 2: Calorie Switching starts – Switch High - See the pattern? High – Low, Low – Mid – Low - High (3 low days) (2 high days) (2 mid days)

    Day 1 – 1500
    Day 2 – 500
    Day 3 – 500
    Day 4 – 1000
    Day 5 - 500
    Day 6 – 1500
    Day 7 – 1000

    Week 3: Switch Low Week - Low, Low, Low, High, Low, Low, Low (6 low days) (1 High day) (1 Mid Days)

    Day 1 – 500
    Day 2 – 500
    Day 3 – 500
    Day 4 – 1500
    Day 5 – 500
    Day 6 – 500
    Day 7 – 500

    Week 4: Switch Mid Week - (mid, mid, low, low, low, high, low) (4 low days) (2 mid days) (1 high)

    Day 1 – 1000
    Day 2 – 1000
    Day 3 – 500
    Day 4 - 500
    Day 5 – 500
    Day 6 – 1500
    Day 7 – 500

    Repeat: Switch Low Week – to - Switch High Week – to Switch Mid Week - do not repeat VLCD week – that is for induction only.

    PART IV – Maintenance….now you have reached your goal…to keep your weight stable after you are done losing you need to switch again your caloric intake per day. Since you’ve been eating low calories to lose weight you will need to give your body a chance to get used to eating your maintenance calories. For me, 1800 per day. So while I don’t want to shock my body and start eating that everyday, I’ll ease it in. Here’s how:

    Substitute for where you ate the 500 calories before to lose weight, with the caloric intake for your goal weight calories (GWC) (for me 1800). So after reaching goal weight, use Switch High Week:

    High – GWC – GWC – GWC - High (3 GWC days) (2 high days) (2 mid days)

    Day 1 – 1500
    Day 2 – 1800
    Day 3 – 1800
    Day 4 – 1000
    Day 5 - 1800
    Day 6 – 1500
    Day 7 – 1000

    Eventually you will ease off to everyday is 1800 calorie days. If you lose weight, increase calories on the 1000-calorie days to 1500 calories, and it would look like this:

    Day 1 – 1500
    Day 2 – 1800
    Day 3 – 1800
    Day 4 – 1500
    Day 5 - 1800
    Day 6 – 1500
    Day 7 – 1500

    If you gain weight, just cut back on the amount of days you are on 1800 calories. You will be trying to figure out how to set your weight – as not every formula will work for everyone. You may need to eat 1700 calories a day to maintain…but by the time you get to that point, calorie switching would have taught you what works for you and what doesn’t.

    PART IV – In a Nutshell

    Now you know how to Calorie Switch. Once you try it you’ll be surprised what you learn about your body, your mind and how much you really did eat.

    Don’t be surprised that while one week you’ll drop 5-6 pounds and then on another you’ll drop only 2 or 3, or you won’t at all…you have to understand that by switching with these weeks and the days of the weeks your caloric intake, you are keep your body nourished as well as burning the extra fat stores. You are not depleting valuable proteins from inside your own body and you are also learning how to eat to maintain a healthy body. The best part is that you are not starving yourself. You can enjoy a dinner out with family, a cocktail or a low carb beer or two, eat a piece of birthday cake on your Dad’s birthday or your little girl’s or your own!

    Dieting doesn’t have to be suffering. It’s about education, health and commingling the mind and the body to have the same goal. Remember it’s all about retraining your eye for portions, and changing your palate so that you appreciate better foods for optimum health. That is the key to long-term weight loss. Hating food or fearing it is not the answer….food didn’t make you fat, bad choices and too much of it did.

    I lost 22 lbs in 44 days. Don’t weigh yourself everyday….I did only for the sake of figuring this out. If it goes up don’t worry, when you increase calories, you increase bulk and water, you are eating low enough calories to maintain WEIGHT LOSS - it will all work itself out in the next few days…some days I lost fast, others it was steady others fluctuated. If you remember you aren’t have to suffering for your weight loss, it makes it better to deal with. Unlike other diets, you are still in control of what you put in your mouth. You can stay on a very low calorie diet for 3 days at most and then reward yourself with eating a lot more at least once to three times per week. You’ll be surprised how those days make you feel, and when you realize that your high days, would have been low days for you before you started this diet, where you’d be starving eating 1500 calories per day. But now after being on th diet you just can’t eat that much food anymore. Wow, that is freedom.

    Happy Dieting, and Switch Up those calories with Calorie Switching.
    We thought we'd need some new abbreviations for the calorie cycling plan, normally people write, R1VLCD1 200.5 VLCD2 198.5 etc. It just doesn't work for calorie cycling because all of our days are not VLCDs. Instead, we can use, L for a low day, M for a medium day, and H for a high day. Here's how mine looks:

    (R1P2)
    CC1 L 159.5
    CC2 L 156.5
    CC3 H 154.5
    CC4 L 154.5
    CC5 L 153.5

    CC stands for calorie cycling, and the number is the number of days we have been on the hcg.

    Good luck if you choose to try this, we've been thinking about how it works in the rogue thread, and we're thinking we prevent ourselves from going into starvation mode by having a long period of time on a low number of calories. Switching it up allows us to stimulate our metabolism, and lose while eating more, and more healthily.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tia's Avatar
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    Count me in! R2 starting next Monday, 11/29. I have pellets and my goal is to lose 18 lbs. before Christmas.

    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

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    Retired Moderator mgsondance's Avatar
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    i would like to know if that was this gal's first round. i would bet that was the case. from a calorie deficit perspective you can not lose the same amount of weight if you're eating more calories.

    i don't have a problem with anyone trying something and finding it works for them. but the issue i have with stuff like this is that new people naturally gravitate toward it because it's easier- and then they are not always successful.

    i have tried something very similar to her plan- i did the vlcd for the first week, then switched to eating the vlcd diet every other day (i was doing this to see if i could lose weight yet not get as weak). on the other days i ate somewhere between 800 and 1500 (rarely) calories. although i kept the weight loss from the first week off, i did not lose any additional weight for the rest of the month.
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    Retired Moderator mgsondance's Avatar
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    btw- in terms of P3, i have long suspected that you could eat healthy sugars and starches as long as you kept your fat and overall calories low. i think the most important thing during P3 is to keep your weight roughly the same, no matter how you accomplish that. i do think it's easier to eat a healthy number of calories when you avoid sugar and starch- but i no longer believe that every little 1/2 gram of sugar added to some product makes any difference.
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  5. #5
    Margie I agree with you 100%. I know there are things (sweets) I have had in p3 with no issue however it has always been in moderation and I struggle to eat over 1500 calories on a daily basis in p3 anyway. I am rogue when it comes to this diet and have certainly done what works best for me and made it fit my lifestyle but I can't imagine eating 1500 calories while taking the shots. I don't know if I would gain but I know I wouldn't lose and there are certainly things I got away with eating in the beginning that I can't have while on the shots. I have never really "cheated" like going to McDonalds or anything while on the shots but I use to be able to eat a Teriyaki Salmon filet on a bed of lettuce and now find myself not losing that day if I have that. I will definitely follow this thread out of shear curiosity but will be surprised if people can eat 1000 to 1500 calories while taking the shots and still lose. I think I have an easier time with this diet than a lot of people and have had little to no issue adding back foods in p3 . . . never had to do a steak day . . . but I can't imagine the calorie method working for me. Maybe interesting concept to help with maintenance . . . I don't know. I hope people will post their results and experiences as I am always fascinated at how different we all are!

    Good luck with the losses everyone!

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    Retired Moderator mgsondance's Avatar
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    I lost 22 lbs in 44 days.
    this is what i found interesting. if this was her first round and she was eating lots of carbs ahead, of time, that weight loss might be quite low compared to what she would have lost on the protocol.

    but i also know some people just can't bring themselves to do the diet because they see it as too restrictive. and certainly some weight loss is better than none, if someone can find something that works for them. i've eaten extra protein this round and although it has lowered my losses a bit, it doesn't seem to be a lot and i feel better.

    i know that jillian michaels does encourage something like this for maintenance (not this low calorie, though). she says if you vary your diet from day to day your body won't adapt to fewer calories. so she eats low-cal m/w/fr, moderately t/th/sat, and then eats more on sunday.
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    I used to benefit from doing a three lower calorie days and one higher calorie day when I was dieting. Kind of following the famine/feast scenario where if you eat famine-style continuously your body adjusts. If you eat a bit more every 3rd or 4th day it helps with the low calorie days.

    Of course this was all before starting hcg.
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    I'm not sure this would work with shots either. But since I am trying the homeopathic pellets this time, thought I might as well try the calorie cycling too. It's either that or wait until the new year to do round 2 since there's no way I can follow original protocol during the holidays. Plus I want to see if this will work!

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  10. #10
    Senior Member Tia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgsondance View Post
    this is what i found interesting. if this was her first round and she was eating lots of carbs ahead, of time, that weight loss might be quite low compared to what she would have lost on the protocol.

    but i also know some people just can't bring themselves to do the diet because they see it as too restrictive. and certainly some weight loss is better than none, if someone can find something that works for them. i've eaten extra protein this round and although it has lowered my losses a bit, it doesn't seem to be a lot and i feel better.

    i know that jillian michaels does encourage something like this for maintenance (not this low calorie, though). she says if you vary your diet from day to day your body won't adapt to fewer calories. so she eats low-cal m/w/fr, moderately t/th/sat, and then eats more on sunday.
    Thanks for keeping an open mind about this. I don't mind losing at a slower rate as long as it's steady. I have a lot to lose and I was dreading having to wait months between rounds when I got to the 4th and 5th rounds. I'm really hoping this works. I'll post my results nearly every day here even if no one else does.

    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

  11. #11
    Retired Moderator mgsondance's Avatar
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    I think at some point you have to weigh the pros and cons of any adaptations. I started eating some "rogue" veggies in R3, and have tried a few modifications here and there. Some of them were worth losing a little less, some weren't. But when you have a lot of rounds ahead of you i'd trade a few pounds for a bit more variety.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by mgsondance View Post
    this is what i found interesting. if this was her first round and she was eating lots of carbs ahead, of time, that weight loss might be quite low compared to what she would have lost on the protocol.

    but i also know some people just can't bring themselves to do the diet because they see it as too restrictive. and certainly some weight loss is better than none, if someone can find something that works for them. i've eaten extra protein this round and although it has lowered my losses a bit, it doesn't seem to be a lot and i feel better.

    i know that jillian michaels does encourage something like this for maintenance (not this low calorie, though). she says if you vary your diet from day to day your body won't adapt to fewer calories. so she eats low-cal m/w/fr, moderately t/th/sat, and then eats more on sunday.
    Thanks for the info on Jillian Michaels. If someone as lean and shredded as her, who probably also exercises like a fanatic, uses calorie cycling to stay lean, it's definitely a good confirmation.

    Regarding Dakota, from what I'd heard, she went continuously this way and lost all her weight. Many people joined her on the journey in that hcgamerica group with similar successes. And more recently, there's a woman at lowcarbfriends named Deb294ever who is the starter of their non-protocol threads, who I've gotten my inspiration from. She's used calorie cycling and continual dosage to lose 75 lbs over 3 months! No more or less than she would have, doing protocol, it would seem.

    So, while I'm definitely not the trailblazing first at this approach, I'm more than happy to be a kind of guinea pig for others to see if this can work or not. Of course, if it works for me, it may not work for you. I haven't been on low calories for a very long time, so my body's used to getting lots of nourishment (and junk too of course). So, it does seem to be good, perhaps, for people who haven't been chronic dieters? And hey, even if you do protocol on hcg, you can always use calorie cycling for an effective maintenance plan in the long run

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