This is a Photo of me at my starting weight
Weight loss is a simple process. If you take in fewer calories than you expend, you will ultimately loose weight. It is really that simple, or is it?
The first 4 Months of making a healthy lifestyle change were just that simple. I stuck to a diet consisting of 1,800 calories and week after week I shed pounds. At first the weight came off pretty rapidly then it began to slow. After 3 months of diet and exercise, things changed. Suddenly the weight stopped coming off and I was consistently gaining and losing the same 3 to 4 pounds.
After the first week I brushed it off thinking that it was a side-effect of lifting heavy in the gym. I didn’t think too much of it after the second week but not knowing the cause was bugging me a bit. After a solid month of no weight change, I began to develop a mild concern. What was going on? Why did the weight suddenly stop coming off?
There is a term that the dieting world likes to use in these situations, it is called ‘Starvation Mode’. Personally, I don’t like the term. I was hardly starving with net calories hovering around 1,800 per day. Even so, I was beginning to think that my caloric intake may be set too low for the level of exercise that I was performing on a regular basis.
My concern was confirmed just a few days ago when I posted Weight Loss Progress: 143 Days and Counting. I received email from two individuals that I hadn’t spoken to in some time. Both were very helpful in pointing out that my body may be holding onto calories in preparation for a famine situation. This could be caused by eating too few calories and expending a bunch while working out.
I took my stats and started plugging them into online BMR and TDEE Calculators. it is suggested that people looking to lose weight try and hold a 20% calorie deficit. A 25% deficit is considered aggressive and anything over that isn’t recommended unless the individual is severely obese. The calculators were showing that my deficit was in the 30% range. The major concern was that running this sort of calorie deficit, for a prolonged period of time, could wreak havoc with my metabolism.
The day after I ran through the stats, I received a follow-up email that was incredibly helpful. All of the changes that I considered making were verified by an individual that makes a living in the health and fitness industry. With a new caloric goal in mind and Macro Nutrients outlines, I began tweaking my intake.
I bumped my calories up from 1,800 to 2,250. In addition, I would be aiming for 40% Protein, 40% Healthy Fats, and 20% Carbohydrates. After making the changes, I saw an immediate change. I felt more energetic throughout the day and my gym sessions weren’t as taxing. I expected to see my weight climb while my metabolism adjusted but I saw an immediate reduction in weight. Out of nowhere, I was back to losing weight like I had the month prior.
The biggest challenge with my new Macro Nutrient Goal was that my protein intake practically tripled. I didn’t know how I was going to cram in so much protein. With the help of protein powder and better food selections, I haven’t had much trouble getting close to my daily goals.
It is hard to believe but I’m even more motivated now than I was previously. When I look in the mirror, I see changes. I like what I see and it makes me want to work harder towards reaching my goal. I’m quickly closing in on 40 pounds lost and I feel better than I have in a long time. I can play with my daughter for extended periods of time and I no longer get winded like I used to. I’m happier and my family seems happier as well.
In the coming weeks I’ll be making yet another change. One of the people that I spoke with via email has offered to send me a copy of INSANITY by Beach Body (the same company which does P90X). I hear that it is a very intense cardio workout and I can’t wait to give it a try. Pretty much every review I’ve read, where the individual stuck with the program, showed great results. I’m eager to get started with INSANITY, I think the additional cardio will make a big difference.
This is a Photo of me at me at 38 pounds lost