If you notice yourself burning out from a monotonous diet and exercise plan, or even if you just want to have room to eat more calories every few days, cycling the number of calories you eat on a day throughout your week might help.
This approach can prevent your metabolism from getting comfortable enough to adapt. Learn how to “confuse” your metabolism to keep it from settling into a plateau.
At first glance, metabolic confusion and metabolic adaptation might sound like synonyms. In reality, they mean two different things.
Metabolic adaptation refers to the process by which your metabolism adapts to your lifestyle over time. As you eat fewer calories and burn more of them, your metabolism will adapt and get greedier with energy from calories and stored fat. That’s why you’ll hit a wall where you just can’t lose any more weight, even if you keep eating small portions and exercising frequently.
The goal of metabolic confusion, on the other hand, is to prevent your metabolism from getting comfortable enough to adapt. It’s like carb-cycling — alternating between high and low intake throughout the week — but with a specific focus on your calorie count each day. One day, you might eat 2,000 calories; the next day, you might only consume 1,200, and so on.
If done safely, you can confuse your metabolism to keep it from settling into a plateau.
How to Stay a Step Ahead of Your Metabolism
If you’ve ever followed a flexible dieting approach — the “if it fits your macros” style of dieting — you probably have experience tracking calories. If not, then it’s important to build that skill up, or you won’t have much success alternating them throughout the week.
If you notice yourself burning out from a monotonous diet and exercise plan, or even if you just want to have room to eat more calories every few days, then metabolic confusion might be worth a try.
Here are some tips for safe and successful metabolic confusion:
1Learn to track your macros. If you don’t have experience tracking your macros, then the first step is to learn how to do it. The point of metabolic confusion is to alternate the amount you consume every day, so invest in an app that can help you keep an accurate count for each meal.
2 Make a plan that fits you. Once you know how to count your calories and macros, you can plan your diet according to what suits your body and goals best. It’s especially important to plan out your lower-calorie days to ensure you stick with your goal. Save the higher-calorie plans for the days when you need the extra energy to exercise.
3 Try temporary fasting each day. On your lower-calorie days, you can make controlling your calories easier with intermittent fasting. Spread your calories for the day across just a few satiating meals. Eat them within a certain window of time (eight hours, perhaps), and fast for the remaining hours of the day.
How a Metabolic Meals Plan Helps
For many people, counting calories and macros can take more time than they have to spare. Fortunately, it’s a lot easier with the help of a healthy meal delivery service such as Metabolic Meals. Prepared by top-rated chefs according to your specific metabolic needs, our meals come in different portion sizes — “Fit” and “Performance” — that make metabolic confusion easier.
For example, you can plan to eat “Fit” portions of your favourite meals on your lower-calorie days and “Performance” portions on your higher calorie days, plus a snack or treat.
Want an example of what a weekly meal plan might include? It could look something like this:
Day 1: 1,290 Calories (Fit Portions)
Breakfast: Almond Butter and Jelly Oatmeal with Free-Range Scrambled Eggs
Lunch: Oven-Baked Chicken Parmesan with Pasta al Pomodoro
Dinner: Korean BBQ Grass-Fed Beef and Brown Rice Bowl
Day 2: 1,860 Calories (Performance Portions)
Breakfast: Broccoli and Cheddar Free-Range Egg Casserole
Lunch: Wild-Caught Cod and Corn Cakes with Roasted Root Vegetables
Dinner: Grass-Fed Bison Burger and Southwest Aioli with Riced Cauliflower and Broccoli
Day 3: 1,073 Calories (Fit Portions)
Breakfast: Red, White, and Blue Mixed Berry Muffin
Lunch: Chili Colorado
Dinner: Garden-Fresh Summer Pasta with Italian Chicken and Sausage
Day 4: 1,446 Calories (Performance Portions)
Breakfast: Free-Range Eggs and Turkey Bacon Scrambler
Lunch: Mediterranean Organic Turkey and Veggie Skillet
Dinner: Apple Cider Chicken with Broccoli, Golden Raisins, and Toasted Sunflower Seeds
Day 5: 990 Calories (Fit Portions)
Breakfast: Breakfast Hash
Lunch: Italian Lasagna
Dinner: Oven-Roasted Turkey Breast with Lemon-Rosemary Sauce and Loaded Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Day 6: 1,700 Calories (Performance Portions)
Breakfast: Dairy-Free Coconut Crave Bar
Lunch: Smoked Grass-Fed Flank Steak with Cilantro Salsa and Roasted Root Vegetables
Dinner: Organic Free-Range Turkey Burger with Mozzarella and Summer Vegetables
Day 7: 1,049 Calories (Fit Portions)
Breakfast: Low Country Cornbread Breakfast Casserole
Lunch: Chicken Marsala with Green Beans
Dinner: Organic Free-Range Turkey Meatloaf with Homestyle Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower and Corn
Every week can consist of different meals with varying calorie counts to keep your meals interesting and your metabolism guessing. To learn more about our different meal plans and gourmet chef-prepared options, contact Metabolic Meals today!
Zac Bell is a Nutritional Health Coach at Metabolic Meals, supporting customers with their nutrition and fitness goals. Zac has a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science.