Can unused calories be taken forward to the next day?

I've read that if you go over your daily calorie allowance whilst doing the nhs diet, then you need to reduce your calorie intake accordingly for the rest of the week. Does the same apply if I don't use my full calorie allowance on a particular day? Eg I use 1700 calories on a Monday (allowance for me is 1900), which then gives me 200 calories to use the following day / extra over the course of the week?

4 Replies

  • Hi trucker84,

    I would say unused calories cannot be taken forward to the next day. This is because if you don't reach your daily calorie needs, you body will likely immediately burn other resources.

    If you run short on blood glucose (sugar), for example, your body might burn some muscle mass (protein) to transform it into glucose in order to keep you blood sugar normal. Your blood sugar needs to be always on a good level to make sure your nervous system works well. Unfortunately, body fat cannot be transform into glucose to keep your blood sugar normal...

    For this reason, on the next day those calories may no longer be necessary and you risk transforming them in body fat.

    Are you following the NHS Weight loss plan? They have a community: you should find loads of other people following the same plan and sharing their experiences!

    Hope that helps!

  • Your glycogen stores would need to be depleted before you use muscle for gluconeogenesis.

    As an aside, have you seen Dr. Robert Lustig's explanation as to why insulin resistance leads to fat deposition?

  • Exactly, not eating enough can cause you to deplete your carb reserves (glycogen) and start burning your good reserves (muscle). I don't think it is that difficult if you have a reasonably active day!?

    Yes, I have seen a few of his presentations and I find his work very interesting! I think the analysis is very important, specially in countries like the US where high fructose corn syrup is literally EVERYWHERE. Would be great to see some food policies be put in place to limit the amount of hidden sugar on foods...

    BUT, trucker89 here is following a healthy diet and lowering calories in order to lose weight, which is an effective method and I doubt she/he is having loads of sugar on a low calorie diet.

    To be honest, I don't particularly like counting calories either (rather just diminish portions) but truly there are loads of ways of eating healthy and losing weight. I have stopped looking for THE answer or THE diet... Agree with the simple views from Marion Nestle:

  • I think the solution stated at the beginning is an oversimplification for the following reasons:

    If you eat less your body may not have sufficient of what it needs and so will make you hungry to eat more.

    Similarly, if you move more you may produce an energy deficit (which is the purpose) and your body recognising this energy deficit will again make you hungry.

    Is eating fruit healthy? It has been genetically selected for the qualities that people wanted to accentuate, which is often sweetness, which often means fructose.

    Similarly, grains were selected for their ease of growth to prevent people starving. If they are prepared properly, by soaking, fermenting or sprouting, then eaten in small amounts they are fine as part of a balanced diet. Mainstream 'healthy eating' guidelines over-emphasise their consumption.

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