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Nutrition & Dieting/BMR and Calorie Cycling (Zig Zag


Hi there hope you can help with a very confusing thing for me!

I am trying to determine my calories using the zig zag method. Quick note about me.

age 29
weight 59 kg
height 158cm
body fat 30 %
BMR 1262
TDEE 1514

After doing a lot of low calorie diets I have noticed my fat percentage go up and lean muscle go down. This is terrible and am looking to correct the damage I have done.

to lose 1 lb of fat a week you need to eat less 3500 cal a week. that would mean I would drop to 1014 per day (minus 500 cal from maintenance pd).   
Guidelines suggest to not go under 1200, and not under your BMR.

So how do I lose 1 lb a week when I cant go passed my Bmr?
If I incorporate weight training and cardio (which I will) does this mean I should not eat back those calories (even though it would create a deficit that again goes below my BMR)??

CONFUSED! Thank you for your help- I cannot find anything that relates to this!

I am not quite sure what the "ziq zag" method is. Of all the "methods" out there, science is the one that always works.   You are correct about the damage low calorie diets do and I applaud you for wanting to fix the damage while you are still young. You can grab a copy of my Special Report 22 Big Fat Lies Keeping You From The Body you want if you want an explanation and graphic to explain why it happens to keep it from happening again. With anything below 14-1500 calories you are on the same course as you were before.
22 Big Fat Lies Keeping You From The Body You Want

I'm not sure what formula you are using to calculate your BMR however it does not seem to take into account your daily activities presuming you are exercising, doing normal daily activities and not lying in bed all day. in 18 years with over 1500 clients in home and online, I have NEVER put  a client under 1400 calories and they have all lost weight and reshaped their bodies

Take a deep breath, it sounds like you've gotten yourself confused and frustrated with too much fluff and over thinking but it's actually quite simple. Our clients have lost hundreds of pounds and kept them off with what I'm going to tell you.

More important than the "calories" you are taking in are the TYPES of calories you are taking in meaning protein, carbs and fats and whether they are processed or whole.  I just did a blog post on this very subject. My #1 Secret: TEF: How to stop counting calories and lose more weight .

With the basic information you provided and based on NASM and AHA Guidelines for optimum fat loss while maintaining or adding lean body mass (muscle) you should be taking in roughly the following in daily (roughly 1400 calories with 25% coming from Protein, 50% Carbs, 25%> This is just an estimate (the percentages are in the mid range of the options available)

82 grams of protein        (meats and dairy)
4 from the Bread/Grain Group
3 From the Fruit Group
4 from the Veggie Group
4 from the Fat Group  

You can get a list of how much equals a serving and which foods are in which groups here
Serving Sizes and Portions

Keep me posted and let me know if you have any more questions

In Health,
Dianne Villano ,MExPhys, NASM certified ,  Your Personal Body Sculpting Expert
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Dianne Villano


I can answer any questions regarding general nutrition,exercise phys and weightloss. I specialize in science based programs to speed up the metabolism and lose fat permanently through a combination of adherence to the 6 Components. No gym science, no myths, no "opinions" no fluff just answers which will get you the results you want. All responses are based on the latest, most cutting research in nutrition and exercise sciences with a focus on Nutrition Requirements as dictated by the National Academy Of Sports Medicine. You can grab a copy of my Special Report “22 Big Fat Lies Keeping You from The Body You Want” and my revolutionary "7 Day Fat Loss Blue Print" , check out "Fat Loss University", join our facebook community or sign up for our newsletter at


MExPhys, NASM CFT , author of “How To Lose Fat & Reshape Your Body in 21 Days” and “The Ultimate Belly Blast Program”. President of Custom Bodies which has been serving the Tampa Bay with results driven, cutting edge nutrition & fitness programs for 18 years. I am a frequent speaker on health and fitness related topics with articles published in over 20 media outlets.

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