Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A New Approach

After reading quite a bit of information on here about undereating, working out and not eating back calories, etc, I think I may have found the root of my problem. Not enough calories!
When I started this whole thing a year ago, I was eating between 1200-1400 calories a day, rarely more, and working out pretty consistantly 5-6 days a week. Everything was going great, I was dropping the weight at a rate of 1-2 lbs a week. Until about October. Then it slowed. And then it STOPPED. Completely. I'm 10 lbs from my goal weight and it hasn't budged. What I was doing that worked so well suddenly didn't work anymore. I tried eating less (like 1000-1200 calories a day) and that failed miserably. Then I started eating more and lost a pound or two to get down to 150 lbs (where I am now). I started doing more intense exercise at the gym and eating more protein. Still nothing.
But the one thing I learned from reading all the informative posts and blogs on here is that when you get close to a healthy weight, my BMI is just under 27 right now,  it can't handle really large calorie deficits anymore. Well, I'm still eating 1400 calories a day, that should be enough, right?
NOPE! I burn 600-800 calories during an average workout now. Which means I'm netting a measly 800 calories at most on those days. Sometimes closer to 500 depending on the workout. That's such a high calorie difference that I think it's slowed down my metabolism.
So, new plan... EAT! Not many people can argue with that one. But my focus is to eat more good stuff, like veggies, fruit, nuts, lean protein, etc. Also, my new system is to focus on carbs during the day prior to my workout, and protein after my workout to rebuild muscle. So a typical day might look like this:
Breakfast - whole wheat english muffin with PB, coffee
Snack - Almonds or craisins
Lunch - Salad with chicken, small slice of bread, soup, etc.
Snack - banana, Vitatop, granola bar, yogurt, etc.
Dinner - Chicken or fish with fresh veggies like zucchini, squash, etc., plus a post-workout protein shake
Snack - Greek Yogurt
This still gets me the ratio of protein and carbs that I want, but it splits it up so it's more beneficial. I need to carbs to be able to run and the protein after to be able to recharge.
Also, I'm going to try weighing less. Everyone keeps telling me it just stresses me out more, and it's true. So I'm gonna start with puting it away for a week. Tomorrow is my weigh in day, so I'll weigh and then hide it til next Thursday and see what happens. I suspect it'll take a week or more to adjust to this new plan, but I have high hopes it might actually work this time. I can't keep starving my body or my metabolism will shut down completely. And the drastic swings in food from the weekend and weekdays (eating too little during the week and splurging on the weekends) is doing more harm than it should if I'm not eating enough to begin with.
So, that's the game plan. You'd think with a Masters degree that it would be easy to figure all this out. But there is a reason that this blog is named "It Isn't Rocket Science, It's Harder!" 

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