I can't believe the end of month is already here!
My stats for these 30 days are as follows:
Weight change: -3.6lbs
Bodyfat: -1.1% | -3lbs
Lean Mass: -0.17lbs
Avg Exercise Minutes: 30
Avg Calories Burned during exercise: 217
Avg Carbs/Fat/Protein (g): 72/70/96
Avg Carbs/Fat/Protein (%): 22/48/30
Avg Calories Eaten: 1320
Avg Calorie Differential: -505
Skip the rest if you aren't interested in the analysis. :)
At the beginning of the month, I rebooted my weight loss goal after coming back from honeymoon.
In the past, restarting weight loss has been an exercise in frustration. Things just don't seem to work as well as they did before. It can be demotivating.
In the past year, I took a far deeper look at my weight loss journey than I ever have before. I made myself my own n=1 case study.
In "My n=1 Weight Loss Analysis" part 1 and 2, I described my methodology. I tracked a wide number of variable in an excel spreadsheet.
Now I have pretty good picture of how my body behaves on low-fat versus low-carb diet. I also know that it is possible to slip and lose gains, just like on any diet.
So how has rebooting my diet worked this time?
In February 2011, I restarted my low-fat diet and I barely lost anything. That was one of the events that lead me to research low-carb around April-May.
Having repeated this frustrating cycle too many times, I admit I was nervous rebooting low-carb.
Would history repeat itself?
According to the overlay of my weight last May versus this July, it is almost exactly the same.
Any perceptions I had about it being 'slower' than last time were just my impatience. I went back to the same way I ate last year, and my body is responding similarly.
I changed the method in which I track my bodyfat, so I recorded it more frequently than last year. The fluctuations are very confusing, and I don't know how to interpret them yet. I think more data collected next month might be more conclusive. Despite how much the bodyfat is varying, the important thing is my lean mass calculations consistently show I am maintaining lean mass. My weight loss is due to bodyfat.
When I started low-carb last year, I lost 6lbs and gained 1.6lbs lean mass in the first 30 days. I lost 3.6lbs this time and no lean mass gains, negligible loss. However, last year I was starting out with higher bodyfat, higher weight, and less lean mass. I probably lost more water weight last year, accounting for the bigger weight drop. I was also undereating protein on my low-fat diet, so the lean mass gains was due to eating an appropriate amount. My lack of lean mass gains this time tells me that my exercise level and protein consumption has reached homeostasis. If I want more gains, I will have to increase my resistance training/protein. I'm not ready for that yet. I want to maintain my LBM at this stage.
The main puzzle is the weight change is inconsistent with BF and LBM totals. I'm not sure what this means. Hoping August's data will help me figure it out. [Update: Fixed error in bodyfat reporting. Weight difference is within expected +/- margin.]
The calorie differential is interesting. According to calorie in-calorie out math, a differential of -500 calories per day should equate to a one pound loss in a week. I did lose almost 1lb per week this month. It didn't work that way last year, but that may have been because I was more biochemically imbalanced. Perhaps my metabolism is functioning in a way that the thermodynamics is applicable. It's too early to say, as this could be coincidental. We'll see if there's a pattern at the end of August.
In any case, I still believe the calorie composition matters for me. Eating more than 150(g)+ carbs would cause me to gain weight. You'll have to take my word for it, because I don't have any intention of experimenting with this further!
So what does this mean for August? If my historical pattern holds true, then my best gains in body shape will happen next month. I will be right where I left off in January before my schedule changed and the slight backslide.
Then looking farther ahead, my next challenge will be maintaining gains into the fall and holiday season.
Edit: Error in my bodyfat calculation. I reported it as 1.1lb change when it was supposed to be 1.1% change. 1.1% change in my bodyfat IS a 3lb loss, thus net weight change is consistent with what I expected. Correction made above.