Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Learning to balance workouts and hunger:


I have learned some interesting things over the last 4 weeks of logging and thought I might share…
Ever since I began logging my food in 2001 (no that is not a typo, I have actually been logging my food for 11 years.) I have always done it on my terms. I was able to tweak whatever I needed to do make the results happen. Counting my workouts as cardio, not counting housework or yard work as workouts, and taking a break from logging on the weekends were all things I learned to do that did not necessarily follow the rules.

Regardless of my activity level, I was always pretty successful with my weight loss when I logged. There were times I was working a desk job, and right after pregnancy when I was up all night and still able to lose my baby weight (all 40 pounds of it) within the time I had given myself to lose.
It didn’t matter how active or stressed or busy I was, I was able to make it happen. Obviously I am better at it now than I was when I first started.  I have learned a few tricks and have also become very accurate at counting nutrients over the years.
Over the last few weeks something different has happened to make me realize how important it is to understand my own body and what works. I entered into two challenges on my fitness pal and the one that I CREATED (what an idiot I am) requires that we log 7 days a week. I have really struggled to log on the weekends and I think that is having something to do with the fact that I am sort of yo-yoing around maintenance.  I no longer have the ability to tweak things as needed because I have an accountability that does not seem to be working in my favor!
Just in case you are wondering, no way have I logged consistently over the last 11 years! But anytime I needed to get back on track I was able to do so with logging. I can eat the same foods my family eats, go out to dinner with friends and never feel like I am on a diet or stuck eating foods I don’t like.
This summer was the first time I began having trouble losing when I wanted to, I got my bodyfat down to under 20 percent and things came to a screeching halt after 8 weeks of success. I found myself feeling starving all of the time. I attributed it to my food habits, I am not a “health nut”, I wish I ate more veggies and less processed foods, more fish and less peanut butter but I realized I was not willing to do what it takes to get any leaner than I was, and honestly didn’t care! I was happy with where I was at and felt it was okay to be satisfied with that. But now I am wondering if it was the food or the workouts that were doing me in.  
But I think I figured out something really important today that could have helped me earlier this summer when I was stuck. Lately some days I burn 400-700 calories and other days I don’t workout at all. I am a solid 5 day a weeker when it comes to working out. Whether I maintaining or training for an Olympic distance triathlon, 5 days is what my body works with.  4 is not enough and 6 is too much. My best quality workouts come with 2 rest days a week.  The problem is that I find myself STARVING on my off days and not able to get in all my calories on my long workout days. This was really screwing with me this summer when I was training for a few races and I think it is why I had such a problem then and now. I am falling into the “if you eat too little, you eat too much” quandary that I preach to my clients about.
So tomorrow I am trying something new. I am going to begin working on a weekly deficit instead of a daily one, so if I go under my calories today by 200 calories, it is okay to go over tomorrow by 200 calories if I feel the need to eat.  It works like this
Day
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
BMR
1300
1300
1300
1300
1300
1300
1300
Exercise Calories
500
500
Off day
500
Off day
500
500
Total Calories
1800
1800
1300
1800
1300
1800
1800
Actual Calories eaten
1657
1657
1657
1657
1657
1657
1657

So even though I have gone under some days and over some days, I am still average out 11600 (or pretty darn close) for the week. I know I am not the first one to figure this out, I am pretty sure I have seen it before even on the forums. But until now I didn’t need it because the other way worked for so long. So… tomorrow begins a new day. I will let you know how it goes!

No comments:

Post a Comment