If I go over calories one day can I eat next and it washes out? Also, if I am under calories one day can I eat extra the next to wash it out? I guess I am thinking like the weight watchers points plan where you can save your points for a fun day. Is counting calories like that?
Yes, for the most part. I wouldn't go overboard with it, but many people have a "cheat" meal or even a cheat day once in a while.
It's what you average that counts in the long term. If your goal is to have 1500 calories per day, and one day you have 1200 and the next you have 1800 -- it's really about the same.
But really, if it was just a weak moment or a math mistake, and you overate one day (or one meal) I would just call it a mistake and go ahead with the next day as normal.
One day isn't going to make or break your weight loss journey.
Thank You for the info.
Yes, calorie counting does work like that. In the long-run, counting every calorie and trying to hit a specific number or range every single day for the rest of your life is not realistic for most people.
I'll use myself as an example. I've maintained a low-healthy weight for many years. I am VERY physically active, so I usually aim to eat around 3000 calories per day. However, I do not log or track my calories. I have a good enough knowledge of nutrition to be able to estimate about how much I've eaten on a given day. There are some days I'm not very hungry, and eat around 1500 calories. There are other days when my appetite is ravenous and I'll eat 4000 calories. At this point, I don't try to balance out my calories because my body does so naturally. Sometimes my body needs more food - so I eat. Sometimes my body is content, so I eat less. Over the course of a week however, my averaged daily intake is usually around 3000 calories.
The point here is that what you eat/do (exercise) in ONE specific period of time does not make or break you. It's how you do overall as a trend. Unlike CC which resets every day back to 0, the human body does not work like that. It's more of a continually-working machine or system. If you have a calorie limit of say 1500 calories per day, it's perfectly fine to eat 1300 on even days and 1700 on odd days. Your body will treat it about the same as if you were eating 1500 every day.