With calorie cycling, you maintain the current weekly calorie consumption but vary the consumption from day to day. So instead of eating your 1250 calories every day, you might eat 1000 one day and 1500 the next, or even 900 one day and 1600 the next. Try this approach for a month or two, along with the other suggestions in this column. If you have successfully broken through your weight loss plateau, it will be time to increase your calorie intake by just 50 calories or so per day. This is assuming that you don’t want to be stuck with a 1250 calorie per day diet for the rest of your life.
Concern #2: Your cardio workout is predictable.
Your body becomes very efficient at what it does often and routinely. That means you burn fewer calories than you used to with the same activity. Throwing your body a surprise curve ball will charge it up to burn more calories.
Switch up your cardio routine in at least one of the following ways, and preferably with more than one.
1) Vary the intensity of your workouts. On some days, keep your pace consistent for the entire duration of the workout. On other days, add more intense intervals by increasing the pace of your walk (even adding a little jogging if you can) or by increasing the rpms, the resistance, or the incline on your elliptical. You’ve got to throw some intensity in there—as much as you can tolerate without hating it or injuring yourself. Start modestly, with just 30-second to one-minute high intensity intervals. Then gradually increase the duration of those intervals.
2) Vary the duration of your workouts. Two or three days per week, increase the time of your cardio to 45 minutes. On another day, ramp up the intensity of the entire workout, but decrease the duration to 20 minutes.
3) Increase the frequency of your workouts. If you are working out three to four times per week, add another one or two days.
4) Vary the activities. If possible, add another activity or two to your cardio workouts. This doesn’t have to be cycling or swimming or attending a class. It can be as simple as running the stairs in your house or jumping rope for short bouts. Throw them in to your workouts.
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