This year will be a 10th anniversary competition for us where we will end the year hitting the fitness/natural bodybuilding stage in Toronto Dec 8th. As we begin planning we review a plethora of dieting techniques we have used to shred down to single digit body fat levels. One of the techniques which has stood the test of time on and off the stage is the Zig-Zag approach.
T showing off her medal backstage and A’s ab shot onstage…will be fun to see how we look a decade on.
The Zig-Zag approach has proven to be extremely helpful for avoiding plateaus as well as stopping any backsliding and the format is quite friendly. First use the basic daily maintenance calculation we suggested in our last blog post: https://wefit.ca/2018/03/01/disordered-eating/ . If you want to lose weight and have struggled it is worth tracking for 7 days – really worth it.
Now you take your maintenance amount and…wait for it…eat 100 calories more on day 1! Day 2 reduce 200 calories (so now maintenance minus 100 calories) next day 3 reduce 300, day 4 reduce 400, day 5 reduce 500, day 6 reduce 600 day 7 add 500 then start over.
So say your maintenance calories are 2000 per day you go: 2100, 1900, 1800, 1700, 1600, 1500, 2000 then back up to 2100 and start down again.
The idea works because it keeps you away from slowing your metabolism from sub maintenance calories as well as stoking the fire after each hard run. Furthermore, it helps convince your body that you are not having difficulty finding food and thus circumvents the protective mechanisms humans have evolved with to survive starvation.
Now you can of course make a more dramatic reduction in calories each day but it is actually the gentle reduction format which promotes success. Also it works well if paired with our style of strength training because you can still feed your muscles on day 1 of each week.
Give it an honest go and let us know how you feel.
Be well, be strong,
Andrew and Tierney