The ZigZag Method
I’m sure by now you all know that in order for you to lose weight, you must be in a calorie deficit. I know I have talked about it as well as other coaches, because it really does come down to nutrition in regards to body composition. So yes, being in a caloric deficit will help you lose weight. But did you also know that staying in a calorie deficit for too long can actually hurt your weight loss goals?
I know it looks like I am contradicting myself here, but let me explain a little further. If you were to stay consistently in a caloric deficit day to day, week to week, you will definitely lose weight. However by doing so, you will also affect your BMR. BMR stands for Basal Metabolic Rate, which represents how many calories you burn at rest. By being in a calorie deficit for an extended period of time, your body will recognize you aren’t getting enough food and lower your BMR. Making it harder to burn calories and lose weight. Resulting in you hitting a plateau.Which may cause people to further decrease their calories, which is the worst thing you can do.
In order to combat this, you can use the Zigzag Method. You do this by cycling your caloric intake. So if you are trying to lose weight, you will be in a caloric deficit for four to five days. Followed by normal caloric intake for two to three days. By doing this you will give your body time to adjust your metabolism with your diet. Yes you may go up slightly when raising your calories back to normal, but it also helps bring up your BMR before you go back into a caloric deficit for the coming days. Think of it as 2 steps forward, and 1 step back. This is one of the most effective ways to lose weight and keep it off. But as I said before, you want to make sure you are working out and doing some form of weight training. As well as getting adequate amounts of protein. That way the weight you do lose is fat, and not precious muscle tissue. So make sure we Zig, then Zag.