Today's blog is to just give a bit of an update with regards to my diet. If you haven't had the chance to read my previous blog post title "My Reality Check," please stop what you're doing and go check that out. Inside you'll find the back story to what I'm doing along with everything that I am doing to help fix the issue of some un wanted weight gain.
Despite only being about 21 days in, I've lost some weight and learned a bunch. Not only confirming some of my theories (and theories that are not my own) but also overcoming some mental setbacks by recognizing physiology and thinking through changes rationally and logically.
Original bodyweight: 230-231
Current Bodyweight: (This Morning) - 225.6
Original Calories: 2900-3000 / day
Current Calories: 2300-2400 / day
Refeed calories: 2950 with emphasis on carbohydrate
The nutrition side of things.
When I first started this diet, I began with my maintenance calorie intake which was just about 2900 calories per day. From there, I dropped my total calorie intake by about 20% to roughly 2300 calories per day.
In addition to simply tracking total calories, I began using a carb cycling approach. Carb cycling basically entails consuming an amount of carbs that correlates with your energy demands of the day. On days that I train the most, I consume the highest amount of carbs, and on days with minimal training or no training at all, I use a low amount of carbohydrate. The catch is that my total calorie intake is the same across the board.
One of the first things that many people do when starting a diet is restricting a macronutrient, typically carbs. While that may be beneficial, the number one thing is reducing calories. Most research reveals (some outliers) that when total calories and protein are matched, weight loss is attributed to calories rather than specifically macronutrients.
As such, my number one focus is total energy balance or calories in vs calories out or just making sure that I'm hitting a certain calorie amount and then I am worrying about the macronutrient content of those calories.
If you haven't read my cutting essentials guide, go check it out for some more information on this subject.
Some days, I hit my macronutrient ratios pretty much spot on, and some days I don't. However, each day I make sure to hit the total calorie and protein needs for the day. <--- This is the most important.
Lastly, I'ev continued Intermittent Fasting. Honestly, I think that it's worked out pretty great, especially with being in a calorie deficit. Normally I fast anyways and don't get hungry early in the day, but do later on.
By fasting through the morning, this allows me to save my calories for later in the day when I am more likely to be hungry, rather than running out of calories earlier and risking a binge or simply eating too many calories for the day.
What I changed with my nutrition after a few weeks
After about 2 weeks, I actually noticed that I was losing weight a little too quickly. equating to a little more than two pounds per week. While that may sound great, I knew that I was subconsciously increasing my training volume and eating a little to scarcely.
After noticing this occurring, I increased my calories back up to 24500 calories, so a 150 calorie increase.
In doing so, this allowed me to slow down the rate of which I was losing weight slightly, but not cause it to completely halt.
Typically, you hear about people refeeding or having cheat meals.
Having a return in caloric value back up to your original maintenance level is a practice that can provide a boost to levels of thyroid hormones, leptin and more.
For my refeeds, I have had two.
During my refeeds, I have focused almost entirely on carbohydrates. In doing so, I made sure to monitor the amount of fat that I was consuming as to not increase calories too much.
In my experience, I decided to do a controlled refeed rather than having a "cheat day/meal" that was untracked. In doing so I was able to control everything.
Additionally, it allowed me to rationalize a 2 weight gain I experienced afterwards.
Brief weight gain after my refeed and how I kept my cool
Upon completion of my refeed (which included appx 400 carbs compared to a normal 200-250), I woke up the next morning about 2 lbs heavier than I was the day before.
Normally, this would be reason for alarm. However, I knew it would happen, and I was totally cool with it.
Chances are, by consuming so much carbs, I was refilling glycogen stores in my muscle that I had probably depleted over the course of a week. Further, carbohydrate is very hydrophilic, meaning that it brings water with it when it goes into the muscle.
By consuming so much carbohydrate, I was storing more glycogen in my muscle and also, storing more water.
The day after my refeed, I actually returned to my original 20% deficit and tracked to a T. By this morning, I woke up and was .4 lbs lighter than before I began my refeed. A change of roughly 2.6 lbs in a little over 28 hours time.
Just goes to show when you follow the process and recognize that different things can effect how your weight fluctuates, there is no real reason for concern.
Going forward with nutrition.
Going forward from here, I am going to continue with my 20% from original, deficit and have a refeed day once weight loss stalls again. Further, I am actually going to moderate my carb cycling a bit more, as my previous days were sort of haphazard and on the fly. Otherwise, I'm continuing what I'm doing.
How I dealt with holidays
Over the weekend was both easter and then the next day my birthday.
Unfortunately (and fortunately) holidays like this typically involve eating less than optimal foods. Luckily for me, I flexible diet and accounted for it.
Knowing that food was going to be subpar, I accounted for it by making sure during the time of day that I could control myself, I did and then enjoyed myself other wise.
In doing so, it allowed me to stay on track and also not feel guilty for wahtever I was doing.
And oh yea, I tracked the beers I was drinking. You'd be surprised how many calories are in beer. For many that may seem ridiculous, but for me and my sanity, it was necessary. Plus, 600 calories of beer is quite a bit, I don't care who you are.
The training side of things.
As for training, I've been struggling a bit.
I'm noticing its more difficult to recover and I feel sort of achey when I lift.
The number one thing I'm going to do is take a bit more rest. I'm one of those people that don't take my own advice and immediately ramp up the intensity when I get the idea to diet.
While it sometimes makes me feel like I'm being proactive and getting things done, it doesn't really help if you're trying to recover.
Just the other day I took the day completely off and came back the next feeling refreshed and stronger. From now on, I'm going to rest a bit more and let my calorie deficit do its work.
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