Calorie Cycling and the FL4I diet

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 02, 2012 at 11:05 AM

A friend of mine has had great success on the "Fat Loss 4 Idiots" diet plan. It's obviously one of many fad diets found on the internet, but upon closer inspection, its basically a combination of paleo-ish concepts (no processed foods) and calorie cycling. There are no limits on portions, but you need to eat until satisfied, not stuffed. You eat 4 meals per day and each day is a different mix of protein/fat/carb as to trick your body so that it never knows what's coming. A sample Menu would be: Meal 1) Eggs and bacon; Meal 2) salad; Meal 3) macadamia nuts and baked fish Meal 4) Chicken.

In a nut-shell, this is a low-carb, high protein, high fat diet with no processed foods allowed. What I found fascinating is that my friend is basically eating the same things that a paleo person would, but she is sticking to a strict plan in terms of cycling her calories. She has lost a LOT of weight in a relatively short period of time. So my quesion is: has anyone else experienced similar benefits with calorie cycling? On the surface, I see nothing wrong with this sort of plan but am I missing something?



on October 02, 2012
at 07:54 PM

Wisper, Fat Loss for idiots is not calorie cycling. it uses the term incorrectly.



on October 02, 2012
at 05:05 PM

It works for me. I lost 24kg in 70 weeks, most of it thanks to LeanGains, which relies heavily on calorie cycling.

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on October 02, 2012
at 11:38 AM

What they are really doing is macronutrient cycling not calorie cycling. Calorie cycling, ala Leangains, is a very effective tool. Changing your macronutrient ratios because a website tells you to, and not in response to your physical health, seems odd. But I looked at their site, here are a couple of quick thoughts.

The good:

  • Eating whole, unprocessed foods is good.
  • Eating with a lot of diversity (i.e. the diet forces you to mix up the types of food you eat)

    The bad:

  • Their focus on "tricking the body" -- I think it is better to focus on reprogramming the body. Rather than leave the body in a state of stress, not knowing what form the energy will come in makes it difficult for the body to create new set points (note, this is my opinion, I don't have a study to back this).
  • The focus on only lean meats -- You need more fat in your diet than this plan (based on their online auto generator meal thing) allows.
  • Only one strip of bacon for breakfast!
  • The "seed" days. One of the days I saw on their generator was 90% fruit with a single serving of macadamia nuts.

    In general it seems like a very complicated and odd way of eating (especially being called a "for dummies" diet). Will you loose weight, yes, can you maintain this diet forever -- IMO no.

    Eat good, whole, unprocessed foods, reprogram your body, and then learn to listen to your body. Eating is not as complicated as we have made it (we being SAD).

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