Tag Archives: weight loss

Week 1 – 6 of Intermittent Fasting

So, do you guys remember through the past few posts of mine I’ve mentioned a change in my diet?  Yeah.  I’ve been fasting for the past 11 weeks, however my blog post was getting quite long so I decided to break it up.

This is part one

I’ve been looking at changes to my diet, not faddy changes or “Do this for xx weeks & drop x dress size”, no.  Something that is right for me. For life. Probably….hopefully.  I did Dukan a few years ago,but it wasn’t feasible to do something like that long term; even though everything I read about it said that you could – I personally felt that it wasn’t.  I looked in to IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) but, still being a n00b to all things macro it sounded epically complicated.  A colleague of mine told me about Lean Gains, so I looked in to it….It also didn’t feel 100% right, but I pursued this path & finally (after discussing it with Andy) settled on Intermittent Fasting.  I chose to eat between 2pm & 10pm – meaning my 7:30am gym sessions would be fasted.

May the fourth.  Day 1 of IF.

I have my BCAA, prepped 4 days worth of food stuffs & Omega 3 supplements.  I’ve read countless articles on-line about it & have sought the advice of Andy, my PT as well as a colleague who has been on an IFplan for some time.

I. AM. READY.

Well, sort of.  I’ve read that IF can whack female hormones out of balance & if you’re completely ravenous you SHOULD eat because that’s your body’s way of alerting you to something being really wrong. (something to do with the instinct to be able to carry life & whathaveyou) also, I’ve decided to learn my macros as I go. I know what they should be, but I don’t have that kind of relationship with food that I instantly know whether I need more protein or more carbs, etc.

I got a little peckish around 11am, but didn’t give in. I got myself a huge cup of water & chugged those til it got to 2pm…..the start of my eating window!!  I easily blasted through 1,000 calories at lunch & felt quite, quite stuffed.  Returned home after work & ate some Greek yoghurt with nuts/seeds/oats and had my dinner an hour later.

I’m below my calorie intake for the day, but not by much.  I could quite easily only eat 1,000 calories in a day before, so being at 2,000+ today is a pretty big deal.  I still feel full.

Measurements:

  • Underbust: 29
  • Waist 32.5
  • high hip 37
  • hip 41
  • thigh 20.5
  • calf 15
  • bicep 10.5

*******************************

Day 2 – quick update.  Still felt full when I went to bed, woke up & wasn’t hungry.  However, slept longer than I’d have liked to. Not sure if I was too tired or whether it was a weird side effect of LG.

Day 6 -weighed myself in the gym yesterday, showing a 3kg (6lb) loss.

Week 2:

Hunger still kicking in at around the 11:30am, however most days I have stayed strong – only nibbling on a smidge of protein if I felt like my stomach was gonna eat itself.

I’ve not used My Fitness Pal this week to track macros, I’ve not used anything & I know I need to rectify this.  MFP has been too inaccurate due to needing different levels of calories on training and non-training days.

I did go to the gym one morning without previously having BCAA’s – which I will never do again!  I had to admit defeat and stop training because everything just felt too heavy.

Eating seems to be falling in to a slight pattern:

Training:

2pm Breakfast

4pm Lunch

6:30pm Snack

8pm Dinner

Non Training:

2pm: Lunch

5pm: Snack

7pm: Dinner

Week 3:

My hunger pangs have gradually started to take longer to appear, ranging to mostly after 12pm now.  Tiredness subsiding & training getting back to normal in the gym.

ended up ravenous one morning, so ate when I woke & then didn’t touch food for about 9 hours.

Week 4:

Towards the end of the week I’ve started to get tired again, I’ve not tracked my macros this week (oops) which I know I should have, however I know the tiredness is due to not eating properly, so from tomorrow (start of week 5) I’ll be on more structure (hopefully)

Week 5:

The weeks seem to be flying though. This week – tracking macros a little better than I have been, I’ve lost about 10lb since I started too!  Strength training is starting to normalise as well – not back up to weights on a few moves but not as bad as it has been, sought advice from a different PT as I wondered if it was psychosomatic but he said it’s most likely to be the lack of calories on a morning; which I guess makes sense.

Week 6:

Macro counting religiously didn’t last long, I still check it from time to time, but I tend to focus on what I’m eating – I weigh my foods out when portioning for work & ensure to include good carbs in every meal.

Weight training is/was getting back to normal – I seem to be balancing out now my body is getting used to training fasted….mostly.  i have a new programme as well.  This week has not been good for training though, I’ve not had as much training time as I’d have liked, but it’s almost a new week!

*****

I told a few people what I was doing & I got some really, really mixed reactions.  Some were supportive but a lot were confused as to why I was doing it.  I don’t need to justify my eating habits to anyone, & I definitely do not need the opinions of others thrust down my throat about why I shouldn’t do it, cos “I don’t need to lose weight” it’s not about weight loss & it never has been.  I struggled to get up early enough to eat a decent breakfast prior to going to the gym on a morning.  This way I can grab an extra half hour’s sleep, drink my BCAA while I cycle & then drink my bodyweight in coffee/water until my feeding window.

The science behind IF is just:

 Fasting can accelerate fat loss by creating a favourable metabolic environment for the mobilisation and burning of fatty acids. Such environment is characterised by lower insulin (the “storage” hormone) and higher growth hormone levels. In addition, exercising in a fasted state can further enhance the fat-burning effect.  A favourable metabolic environment means you have the potential to burn fat. The degree to which you actually do depends on a number of factors, including your body’s ability to run on fat rather that “sugar” (or glucose, the preferred source of energy).

**Weeks 7-12 will be published in early August, due to having minor spinal surgery next week.**

A mild image spam for you with special thanks to Andy for the deadlift pic (taken between May 5th & end of June)

*I’m aware most images are of my back – however, that’s been my main focus for strength, so shut up!*

If you would like to know more about IF,  http://www.precisionnutrition.com/intermittent-fasting is a great start

Advertisements

How Much Food Is Enough?

There have been multitudes of various different recommendations from WHO, the FDA & governments from around the world about “how much” food you should eat; the food guide pyramid, using your fist & hand as a portion guide, or even Michelle Obama teaching people about the “food plate”, to name but a few.  Obesity in the US started in the 70’s when food needed to be cheaper, so it was bulked out with lots of processed things – which made it taste awful so sugar was added in vast quantities, a seemingly fine idea at the time that people are paying with their lives for now.

As someone who has struggled with food for many years, knowing how much to eat has been a constant battle for me.  However, if training has taught me anything it’s that you really need to pay attention to what you eat; as well as how much of it you eat.  I’ve tweaked my food intake vastly since I began training & my current food relationship is a mostly healthy one. I seem to have adapted a high fat/high protein & low-ish carb kind of thing.  However, a more in-depth post about my current “diet” will be forthcoming in a few weeks.

Mmmmm, bacon. *homer drool*

So, that being said…..with all the vast choices of diets & faddy “lose weight FAST” kind of advertising about, it’s no wonder people often find themselves slipping from one diet to another; losing weight only to put it back on due to restricting certain foods & finally, admit defeat on the “contraband” and gorge until you feel sick & full of guilt.  Usual pattern, no?

I did Dukan 2 years ago, & while I did lose about 2 stone doing it, it didn’t stay off.  As soon as we stopped the crazy restrictiveness (my hubby did it with me) the looseness in my clothes that I’d began to notice started to lessen.  After that I just kinda went back to the “old” way I ate; skipping breakfast, grabbing something sugary/processed for lunch along with crisps or whatever & then devour a whole tub of Ben & Jerry’s every few weeks because well, why not?!  It was only when I started going to the gym & Andy asked me for a food diary of a few days that I found out that what I was eating was mostly awful.

I was given a guide on foods to stick too, if it wasn’t on the list I didn’t eat it.  I experimented and managed to get a decent diet sorted & lost a few pound in the process.  By this time, I was cycling & was advised to recalculate what I was eating as that level of cardio meant I needed to refuel more than what I was used to; or risk going catabolic – a process that essentially uses your muscle to refuel, meaning muscle loss & fat gain NOT something I was aiming for.

I started looking at calculating what I needed, there’s a few TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) calculators on-line, I used a few then took an average & used that on My Fitness Pal….it wasn’t working though.  I was cycling through my calories….literally. I had MFP paired with a cycling app & the results were, less than promising.  I needed to eat.  This was disconcerting.  Especially as everything in the media tells us to eat less not more, we’re surrounded by people pushing low fat garbage at us; “guaranteeing” to help weight loss….ummm, no. Stop that. My issue was that I felt full,but how? I was eating about 500 calories less than my original TDEE calculation had said, there was no way I could fit more in…..was there?  I heard about macros through xxfitness (an amazing subreddit for ladies) and looked in to that side, instead of calories.

Recently, I learned how to calculate macros myself. they need tweaking from time to time, however this is the formula:

Calculate the calories you need:

Calculating for cutting (Fat loss)

Bodyweight in lbs x 11, 12, 13, or 14

11 if you’re sedentary with little exercise

12 if you’re sedentary & train 2-3 times a week

13 if you’re active & train 3-4 times a week

14 if you’re active & train 4-6 times a week, or more.

Then, from that you can work out your own macros:

Protein:

Take your weight in lb & that’s how many grams you should eat

Fat:

Ideally, you should aim for 0.3 to 0.6 grams of fat per pound of weight.

Carbohydrates:

Take your daily protein & multiply by 4. This is because there are 4 calories per gram of protein. Then multiply fat by 9, as there are 9 calories of fat per gram.

Add the numbers together & minus your calorie intake to get total carbs.

 Using this helped me work out how much of each macro I needed, so now when I prep for the week I can gauge how much of each macro I need per meal.  They’re not hard & fast rules though & you require a “delicate balance” so you don’t begin to panic if you’re over or under on a macro.

Since starting training & being more aware of food I’ve lost 17kg (2st 6lb, or 37lb) however have gained strength.  My total inch loss is around 12″, oh & my body fat percentage has gone from 35% to around 20%. It has taken me months of trying various different eating plans to find something that I’m happy with & what works for me – everyone is different & what is working for me, may not necessarily work for you, however a good place to start is knowing how many macros you need!


The “Muscle Weighs More Than Fat” Debacle

Logic is the use & study of valid reasoning.  Logic is “something that we know to be true” so WHY does logic fly out the window when it comes to people training & wanting to lose weight?

I have many, many pet hates & have often been told I’m an angry person, I’m not.  I just don’t suffer fools gladly.  I cannot stand double negatives, people putting themselves down & moronic sayings like “muscle weighs more than fat.” It just doesn’t & the sooner you stop saying it, the more intelligent you become.  (my annoyance list is longer than this, but let’s keep it there)

Let’s investigate:

Muscle Weighs More Than Fat

HOW? How can the weight of something firm be more than that of something soft?  Switch it to something else, lets go extreme….lead and feathers.

Hrmmmm, those scales look level to me.  Whaaaaaaaaaaaaa?  How can this be?  Lead is obviously heavier, than feathers.  Isn’t it? Is it?  No.  No. NO. NO!

A pound is a pound is a pound is a pound is a pound is a pound!  A pound of feathers weighs the same as a pound of lead.  The same goes for muscle versus fat. A pound of muscle is the same as a pound of fat; in weight, not density.  What you mean & what you say are two different things.

MjAxMy1kYTViNzQ5Y2RlODk5M2M0

This may sound a little harsh, but when you realise what you’ve been saying for years is utterly preposterous, perhaps you’ll change your mind.  Otherwise, if you’re unsure if your statement defies logic; Google may have the answer for you.

rnrggrwy

I’ll leave you with some “food for thought”

muscle-vs-fat

Muscle is more dense, so takes up less space that fat

60-kg

Identical weight, but entirely different physiques


Something Profound Happened….

The past week or so things have thwarted me in one way or another from training as much as I’d like. Some sound like awful excuses; so I’m not going in to it. It’s made me feel quite shitty & I’ve had to get back on the codeine.

I’ve been looking in to my diet & have made some changes- hopefully I’ll get to blog about it in greater detail later.  For now, I’ve added BCAA’s to my morning routine & have had some minimal success with Beta Alanine pre-gym.

Today, once I’d finished my set I weighed myself.  It’s not really something I want to make a habit of, but I do like to know where I am.  I’ve lost 3 kilo’s (6lb) this is the most I’ve lost for a long time.

Anyway, while I walking to work I was thinking about that 15kg – I use 14kg kettlebells to do squat warm-ups.  I used to carry that weight EVERYWHERE.

Although my journey to being fitter has never been about weightloss, I find it quite profound that what I lift (& couldn’t a few months ago) was the extra I used to weigh. I’ve never looked at it like that before.

DUOKnkM


My Top Inspirational People

I’ve been thinking about a post like this for a while, I had an idea for this & have been dwelling on it.  I now think I have my list; the people who in one way or another drive me to be better, who show through their own achievements; that you can be greater than the sum of your parts.

Andrew Burton

11050705_442441642581432_7937388424536406483_n

My trainer.  The man who has to put up with me talking & procrastinating when I should be lifting.  Who watches me hand out protein treats to other trainers, because it’s rare I make gluten-free stuff. He’s seen me laugh, he’s seen me cry; he even trained me when I was covered in bruises from breaking my nose.  He’s experienced his own fair share of trauma & heart ache. but is still really humble despite all this.  His energy radiates & it’s really hard to not be sucked in to the enthusiasm he has. I swear at him & tell him he’s mean, but he pushes me to beyond what I thought my limits were & I wouldn’t be where I am now without his guidance (despite him telling me, it’s all down to me. It really isn’t)

Amy

My internet friend for a few years; Amy ended up in hospital a few years ago & it was during her stay that she decided to change her life & lose weight. She dropped a lot & began heavy lifting, she was the first woman I knew to lift heavy & seeing her transformation was inspiring! (I was still quite lazy at the time, but admired her dedication & her results speak for themselves)

10455108_10155131653070455_2824764528476236210_n

Steff

I found Steff on Instagram after she’d liked one of my progress photos & her own personal training journey should be one that anyone who has ever wanted to get in to lifting should look at, she is just incredible to look at (I’m sorry if i sound like a perv, but hard bodies! hnnng!!)  Just viewing one of her posts makes me want to go to the gym!  It’s taken her a few years, but good things come to those who wait.  Based on her Instagram she’s training to go to body building competitions & I’m genuinely intrigued to see her progression.

10923586_1595618517318520_7092745305819888101_n

And lastly, but by no means; least. My Husband.

Untitled

My beloved.  My hero.  He believed in me when I didn’t.  He’s told me to train for years & I’d never bothered until last year.  He’s helped me in more ways than I could ever imagine. He carried me when I was at my weakest, brought me back from despair & has encouraged every step of my training journey. He’s open & extremely blunt but will make time for anyone who wants advice or just someone to talk to.  He’s creative & courageous; he endured painful physio after an injury that rendered his rugby playing days obsolete – pains that still live with him today.  He’s the strongest person I know.


A Detailed Progress Post – Number 1

So. 5 months in from when I vowed to stop being a lazy/easy option out/take all the painkillers kinda person. Let’s see where we are….

IMG_20140805_201821

Me. August 2014 First day back at the gym. So happy!

Wow.  I’ve not looked at my “starting” images for a long, long time.  I’ve mostly used the “month 1 progress” image, I’ve just looked.  Wow.  Er, wow.  I know I’ve progressed, but wow.

I’m gonna attempt some detail about my progress, but I’m not sure what I’m going to add, so I may ramble.  Anyhoo, first up I thought it’d be good (read: heinous) to have a starter image with a recent one, so here you go:

Holy Shit! I mean, I know I’m smaller than I was, but O_o  I’m kind of appalled with myself for accepting how I was for as long as I did.

*A quick calculation gives me around 13″ total loss – but I’ve gone up in certain places due to muscle growth*

I’ve been told to be more accepting of praise, positive comments & to accept that I am actually an inspiration.  I’m gonna try to accept it, my before & during snap shot is probably gonna help me to take the encouragement head on instead of shirting around it.

2015-01-15 10.00.15-1 2015-01-15 10.01.59-1

Possibly the most surprising about my “fitness” journey is how much has gone from my hips; around 5″ so far.  The trousers I’m wearing in the above images I bought in April 2014 & when I did they fit just below the natural waist line.

I never actively sought weight-loss, but it is a pretty big side effect of lifting weights & cycling over 100 miles a week, most weeks.  However, I guess it’s kinda contradictory in terms as I *did* change my eating habits, which then has helped the weight loss.  Although that might be a little weird as I eat more now than I have in years! Don’t get me wrong; there are days where I won’t have prepped food, or I’ll give in to a craving. However I can reign it back in….I’ve never really been “overweight” not in the morbidly obese sense anyway.

Part of my desire to change my eating habits was down to being told that under eating can have a worse effect on your muscles and can in-turn make you flabbier than you were.  That was new information to me, I’m not sure how I thought it worked, but I never thought of working out could lead to less definition – but this is why there are trained professionals out there to be able to guide the clueless………..

2014-12-25 20.56.212015-01-02 20.07.04

Perfect examples of what I eat, steak with grilled courgette & Teriyake Chicken with cauliflower “rice”. Most of our food is prepared on the day, but I will make things in advance – especially for work as rushing out to find something to eat can be disastrous, even if you think you’re choosing the healthier option, you might not be.

*I think I’m losing my point….hang on*

Oh, yes.  Here we are:

IMAG0838One of my favourite images of me, I use it as my profile pic on Fitocracy & The Neila Ray Forum – both insightful, and both extremely different websites; worthy of a look though.  I’m not overly active on them, but they’re there, as well as xxfitness on Reddit.

What I adore about that image is the way the lighting in my bathroom seems to capture the new definition in my back.  It’s pictures like this that help me to get up at 05:30 every morning & cycle to the gym….I say every morning; 3…sometimes 4 mornings a week.  Mostly three, but it’ll get to 4 more regularly.

PicsArt_1416422720529PicsArt_1416423720700

My PT commented the other day that my progress pics are usually of my back, but I do sometimes take pics from other angle, however I hate them.  This post is supposed to detail my progress though, so I’ve added them. Er, Images with grey leggings are from about September, black leggings images are November.

Today (February 2nd) I whacked the leg press on 93KG & managed a decent amount of reps, I remember it wasn’t too long ago that I struggled to do 50KG….I *did* try to go over 100KG, but I didn’t move! Then there’s also the fact when I started cycling I could just to say cycle stood up – cycling today was predominantly stood up.  I have to keep stopping to blow my nose though cos me & cold weather don’t get on.

I *think* that is it for this post……………..