Published on October 20, 2014
1. What Does Your Weekly Calorie Intake Pattern Say About You? Alykhan Gulamali
2. The Loose Cannon: Chart
3. The Loose Cannon: Definition This person is almost always over on calories for the week. He thinks having one or two less-disastrous days a week counts as “dieting”. But let’s be real. He’s not trying very hard. Eating a salad for dinner one day doesn’t do jack if you follow it up with two large pizzas the next two nights. If your calorie intake pattern looks like this, don’t delude yourself into thinking you will lose any weight. You need some serious habit changes to get your calories under control. Result: long-term weight gain and obesity-related health risks.
4. The Punisher: Chart
5. The Punisher: Definition This punisher aka the crash dieter, is someone who goes way below maintenance on calories every day. For example, it would be like eating 1,200 calories per day when your maintenance is 2,000. It will work for short-term weight loss, but it’s not sustainable long-term because leptin levels will drop and hormones will be out of whack. Keep this up and the body will take measures to lower its energy requirements putting you at a lower maintenance set point which makes it that much harder to lose weight. Result: short-term weight loss, long-term hormonal and metabolic implications, not to mention the misery of eating too little.
6. The Average Joe: Chart
7. The Average Joe: Definition Remember the movie Dodgeball? Ben Stiller’s gym was full of meatheads who were super dedicated and over-the-top. But Ben Stiller was ripped! Vince Vaughn’s team was the “Average Joes”. They weren’t hardcore. Just there to kind of feel good about themselves, not get results. And it showed. They just looked… average. Not bad. Just nothing special. The average Joe eater isn’t eating terribly. But they aren’t doing anything special to get results, either. They are kind of just hovering at or slightly above maintenance calories week in and week out. Result: no change in the short-term, but long-term weight gain (these are the people who were fit in their teens and early 20’s but wake up one day in their 50’s and realize they have become significantly overweight).
8. The Weekend Warrior: Chart
9. The Weekend Warrior: Definition The weekend warrior works hard at his or her diet during the week, but blows it on the weekend. Almost like being a punisher Monday thru Thursday and a loose cannon Friday thru Sunday. It might work and it might not. If you are creating a large enough deficit during the week and not eating 10,000 calories on the weekend, you can lose weight or maintain on this protocol. In fact, I did this for quite some time. However, this approach is quite extreme. You are underfed for a few days and definitely burn a lot of fat, but grossly overfed during the weekends and honestly, don’t feel that great. Now, I’ve found that as an introvert, I’m better off avoiding extremes and practice a more moderate approach. Result: can be a decent short or long-term strategy for weight loss or maintenance, but it’s also very easy to get carried away on the weekends and go over on calories if you’re not careful.
10. The Marine: Chart
11. The Marine: Definition This is a very calculated and regimented person who knows exactly what they need to do to lose weight or maintain and just grinds it out every day without fail. If they are cutting at a 15% deficit, they are eating 1,700 calories a day without fail. If they are maintaining, they’re at 2,000. Props to you if you can pull this off, but for most people, it’s way too rigid. There’s just no room for error. What if your friends invite you to happy hour or you have a birthday dinner or something? It’s going to be hard to stick to 1,700 calories when you’re at your favorite restaurant or a Thanksgiving dinner. Just saying. Result: exactly what you want, but you’re also eating like a robot and most people aren’t down with that.
12. The Smooth Operator: Chart
13. The Smooth Operator: Definition Finally, my favorite calorie intake protocol. The smooth operator, like the marine, knows exactly what he or she needs to do. The difference is that they build in flexibility in their diet plan. Maybe they eat a little less on normal days and a little more, but not an excessive amount, on weekends and special occasions. This person is always in total control, but practices conscious dieting to enjoy the process and not let dieting rule their life. I like to think that I have evolved into a smooth operator with my eating style over the years. I’ve maintained my weight pretty effortlessly over the last few years without giving up my favorite foods or special occasions. Result: exactly what you want, and dieting is more of a lifestyle than a grind.
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