Thursday, March 3, 2011

My N=1 Experiment Part 5

Ok, now I'm really frustrated. First the numbers. This week my averages:

Calories: 2280.7
Fat: 172.2 g or 68% of calories
Protein: 116.4 or 20% of calories
Carbs: 28.8 g or 5% of calories
Fiber: 7 g

And my weight? Well the two day average puts me at 211.1 so 1.1 pounds over my 2 day average last week. Body fat 24.7 % so the same as my 2 day average last week. Given the margin for error for my equipment, I would suggest that I have essentially maintained my weight while eating in the range of 1700 to 2300 calories a week. There appears to be little or no difference in eating 1700 calories or 2300 calories (although the highest calorie count was this week) in terms of maintaining my weight.

Now I wasn't as successful in working out as much as I'd hoped. I did one slow burn workout, one set of tabata sprints on the treadmill and 2 - 45 minute walks on the treadmill. Not a lot but more than last week where my weight was less.

So what to do... Well, I'm off to Toronto for the weekend so there will be alot of walking for 3 days. When I get back I should be able to fit in a couple slow burn workouts but probably not a tabata day. Probably will be able to fit in a couple walking workouts though.

In terms of eating, well lowering my carbs down below 30 (close to Atkins induction in terms of net carbs) did nothing for me last week. I will still try to keep them at that level but I'm going to try for a week or two keeping my calories at around 1500 on average. With 1 24 hour fast next week (no breakfast or lunch), that'll probably mean the non fast days I can eat around 1600 calories and 800 on the day I break my fast. We'll see.

Does this mean I believe in Calories-In Calorie-Out? Well, I think that as a general rule for ALOT of weight loss, that belief is really useless. But for the last 15 pounds (which is what I want to lose) there may be something to be said for being conscious of a habit of eating a certain quantity of food when satiation can be reached with fewer calories allowing for the body to make up the deficit from the fat stores.

I suspect that for maintenance, calories-in calories-out becomes much less important. As the numbers for myself show (and yes I know this is one person's experience) you can maintain your weight with a range of calories so eating until satisfied is enough as long as you are keeping the carb count down. Once the carb count creeps up, you cannot trust your hunger/satiation response...

So let's see how this works. I'm not saying that 1500 calories a day will be easy and I am a bit worried about my metabolism slowing down but in theory, my body should be able to make up whatever deficit there is from my stubborn fat stores....


  1. Posted this before, but it's either lost in moderation land (if you use that), or it blackholed.

    Low on time, but short recap: Instead of lowering your calories every day, consider just not eating one day a week. Tom Naughton's been doing it, and it seems to be working for him.

    36 hour fast engage!

    I just started this week, too early to tell but I have high hopes.

  2. Plateaus suck buddy. I feel for ya. I'll log my food intake the next couple days so we can compare, maybe identify new things to try.

    I think my fat intake is less than yours but am just guessing that right now. Only other difference I can think of is that if I sacrifice a workout it's the slow burn workout I try not to miss Sprints or Lift Heavy Things workouts.

  3. Thanks for the comments.

    I have tried intermittent fasting and plan another 24 hour one tomorrow but so far it hasn't seemed to make a difference in the plateau. 36 hours though seems like a long time without eating and I'm not sure I could do that... We'll see. I will try a couple more weeks doing 24 hour fasts once a week and maybe after that I'll try going 36 hours.