Saturday, February 12, 2011
Of Whooshes and Squishy Fat
A few weeks back I answered a question about Not Losing Fat at a 20% Deficit, What Should I Do? and among other things, one comment I made had to do with a water retention that often occurs during fat loss which can mask fat loss and make it appear as if the diet is not working. I also mentioned specifically that I had written (with a straight-face no less) about whooshes in The Stubborn Fat Solution, along with a related phenomenon which I call squishy fat.
In any case, to expand on that issue, Iím going to excerpt the chapter section from The Stubborn Fat Solution dealing with both phenomena. With that introduction, I give you (again, with a straight face)Ö
Of Whooshes and Squishy Fat
Before you freak out and think youíve entered some weird Internet forum where people talk about stalls and whooshes, please bear with me; thereís actually some physiological rationale to what Iím going to discuss.
Many people have noted that fat loss is often discontinuous, that is it often happens in stops and starts. So youíll be dieting and dieting and doing everything correctly with nothing to show for it. Then, boom, almost overnight, you drop 4 pounds and look leaner.
Whatís going on? Back during my college days, one of my professors threw out the idea that after fat cells had been emptied of stored triglyceride, they would temporarily refill with water (glycerol attracts water, which might be part of the mechanism). So there would be no immediate change in size, body weight or appearance. Then, after some time frame, the water would get dropped, the fat cells would shrink. A weird way of looking at it might be that the fat loss suddenly becomes Ďapparentí. That is, the fat was emptied and burned off days or weeks ago but until the water is dropped, nothing appears to have happened.
For nearly 20 years I looked for research to support this, I was never sure if it was based on something from the 50ís or he just pulled it out of thin air as an explanation. Recently, one paper did suggest that visceral fat can fill up with water after massive weight loss but thatís about it.
Somewhat circumstantially, people using Bioimpedance body fat scales (which use hydration to estimate body fat levels) have noted that body fat appears to go up right before a big drop. This implicates water balance as the issue here.
As well, women, who have more problems with water retention, seem to have bigger issues with stalls and whooshes than men. Further, some individuals who have done dry carb-loads (high carbohydrate refeeds without drinking a lot of water) have seen them occur; presumably the body pulls water into the muscles and out of other tissues (fat cells). In lean individuals, appearance is often drastically improved with this approach, it doesnít do much for those carrying a lot of fat.
Iíd note that dry carb-loads suck because youíre so damn thirsty. Interestingly, even normal refeeds often work in this regards, perhaps the hormonal effect Ďtellsí the body to chill out and release some water. So not only do refeeds seem to improve stubborn fat mobilization the next day (as discussed above), they may help the body drop some water so that you can see what is happening.
Finally, many have reported whooshes following an evening which included alcohol. A mild diuretic, this would also tend to implicate water balance issues in the whoosh phenomenon.
Iíd also note that this isnít universal, lean dieters often see visual improvements on a day to day basis; a lot seems to depend on whether or not they tend to retain water in general. Folks who do have problems with water retention tend to have stalls and whooshes, those who donít show nice consistent visual changes.
On a related topic, I wanted to discuss something else that often happens when people are getting very lean and dealing with stubborn body fat: the fat gets squishy, feeling almost like there are small marbles under the skin. Yes, very scientific, I know. Thatís the best I can do.
As folks get very lean, down to the last pounds of fat, the skin and fat cells that are left will often change appearance and texture. It will look dimply (as the fat cells which are supporting the skin shrink and the skin isnít supported) and feel squishy to the touch. This is bad in that it looks really weird, but itís good because it means that the fat is going away. I have nothing truly profound to say about this topic, just realizes that it happens and usually indicates good things are happening.
I got this from bodyrecomposition.com I though it was a neat article on how people loose weight and maybe if it's correct, explains how I loose weight.
Now for some INSPIRATION !!! Please watch this adorable little girl do her daily affirmations. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR3rK0kZFkg
&feature=player_embedded I guess you can copy and paste this. I am not sure how to do this right.
Well I am off to exercise.
Hugs everyone. Have a Great day.
Friday, February 11, 2011
My butt has been kicked Royally. Its been rough lately. My system has been through a wringer. However, I am still Kicking and a Screaming Loudly and not rolling over without a fight. My labs came back normal so I am having a multiple sclerosis flare. Talking to the company that makes my meds, they said I should be doing better than I am on the medication. It has not stopped the progress so next month maybe it's time for the neuro to order some MRI's and see what is going on. From there I have to decide what medication to take if any to try to slow down the progress of the disease.
The other day I took a shower and didn't realize I had the temp. on too high until I washed my hair. It was scalding hot. Fortunatly no lasting damage. My skin has been very numb, its been very difficult to walk, and get up out of the chair. My legs have been buckling, there has been extra dizziness, and nausea, vision issues, headaches, and other issues, including wonderful slurred speech which I really love because I sound like a drunk woman. I have never, ever been drunk in my life. Maybe one of these days I will have to try it just to see what its like. LOL. Na. I just don't like the flavor of alcohol and even more I hate nausea and headaches.
Even with all the challenges I have been walking most days with the help of my husband. The walks have been reduced to 3/4 of a mile this month with a few longer walks but not many. They have been labored, very slow, and I need his assistance to do them. I can't balance alone walking. My foot drop has been bad so I have been stumbling. My quads have been pretty weak so Its been hard just to move my legs. My arms feel like lead as do my legs. I have gotten in a few dvd workouts but not as many.
Today Tracy Anderson's new dvds came !!! I grabbed them away from the UPS man and screached. My husband never saw me so excited to receive a package or the UPS man !!! LOL. My husband said it looked like a Jenny Craig package because it was all pink. Next I have to see if the dvds will play as they were loose in the package and scratched. I told my husband I am excited because other than the cardio section they are workouts that I can do with MS on most days. I think he was rather amused by my sheer excitement. Did I tell you I was excited !!! I just wished I had gotten the abcentric one. Some lady says she lost 5 inches off of her waist in a couple of weeks.
My plans are to still do P-57 dvds and barre type workouts as they are working for me. I also will add in some Tracy Anderson Workouts and see how they add to the results. Again I hesitate to switch just to T.A. because P-57 works. I had results that surpassed much of what was posted by T.A. fans. I do want to add the big range of movements that T.A. does and the different exercises. I think they complement each other.
Over the last few days, I continue to add a few plants each day to the Zen Garden. My husband has been working outside putting in a french drain and some drip irrigation for the flowers. We are going to go shopping for some containers for our roses soon before they leaf out.
Donít compare your goals.
Donít compare your training.
Donít compare your accomplishments.
Do what you can each and every day to the best of your abilities.
Sunday, February 06, 2011
It is so hot here. I feel like I may need to pull out my cooling vest for when I go for walks soon. Its 75 degrees most days lately and is supposed to get up to 78 degrees. My skin is getting a tan from all the sun. The skies are blue. The flowering plums are in bloom along with the pear trees, iris, paperwhites, the manzinitas, and many other plants. Spring is here in California already. It is hot and dry. It hasn't rained in forever.
Ok, I haven't posted in a while. I haven't wanted to sound like a complainer. My body isn't working too well. My neurons aren't communicating well with my muscles. Which makes exercising, taking, writing, and thinking a challenge. My appetite has been decreased. My body has been stiffer or spastic and there has been more pain lately. Hopefully it passes soon. On the brighter side . . .
Overall I still get in my exercise the walking almost daily and the dvds most days. However it is with great difficulty. It takes all my strength to walk at the moment. My husband has to help me stand when I get out of the car and to get my legs moving. Its so fusterating. Today I feel really sad from how weak I feel. If the messages could just be communicated better to the muscles all would be well.
Yesterday I spent the day running around town with my husband going to antique shops having fun and going for a 2 mile walk. I do struggle to make the walk and it talks all my energy to do it, but I am determined to keep on moving and stay on my weight loss journey.
Today we managed to get in a 3/4 mile walk. It was very slow and difficult, my legs buckled, my feet were dragging, but I got it done !!! The rest of the day I spent sleeping. I am back to sleeping most of the day and night from the multiple sclerosis. When I do wake up I try to get in some nutrition and go for a walk or do a workout. It does take all my strength to do it and to be totally honest I feel like not moving at all. I feel like just curling up and doing absolutely nothing. That I found is not the best thing for me. Even though I am as weak as a baby and I need help getting up out of the chair I still need to exercise to try to keep those neurons communicating to the muscles.
I decided not to participated in the P-57 facebook challenge this month. The challenge was set so high that I would be doomed to failure from the beginning. I did try for a few day but my body became weaker. I realized I was only harming myself by not giving it the rest it needed when it needed by trying to keep up with people who were healthy.
Instead I will set myself up for more reasonable and achievable goals. I need to be able to work with my bodies abilities rather than what everybody else is doing. My plan is to continue on with barre DVDS, P-57 and the new Tracy Anderson DVDs when they come. I will mix her in to the rotation a few times a week as I don't want to stop doing what is working for me.
My husband and I will continue on our walks as much as possible and if I can get in some kettlebell swings that will be great. In addition I do try to add on some stretching, yoga, and additional ab work.
We have been working outside in the garden since the weather is so nice here. We are making a retreat in our small backyard. My husband named it the Zen zone. We found an ancient statue of virgin Mary that we hope to bring home to place in the area. I relocated some iris and flower under the mulberry tree. My eyes are on the lookout for a piece of driftwood to make a crystal windchime to hand in the tree.
My husband installed an irrigation system for the flowers. There is going to be some real looking artificial grass that will be eco-friendly over part of the area where we do some of our outdoor exercises. We invested in a Beauty Manduka Pro that we will use for doing yoga outside. We are going to get some containers to put some gardenia by where we sit to rest between reps. He has been busy designing a system to take our body elastic resistance band system outdoors by making a frame that attaches out on the back of house. Its rather exciting to see it all coming together. Hopefully we can get a fountain or something to add to the peaceful, tranquil feeling back there.
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