Wednesday, October 24, 2012
When you get into the single digits left for weight loss goals, losing even .5% bodyfat is cause for celebration and dancing in the streets. I *only* have 7-8lbs to lose as a goal milestone, but I've been stuck for over 3 months.
When I had 40lbs to lose, just cutting out soda and walking more was enough to lose weight.
When I had 30lbs to lose, I needed to eat cleaner. I eliminated processed and fast foods.
When I had 20lbs to lose, I had to cut back carbohydrates. 160g carbs was simply too high for me. Eating less than 100g carbs trimmed off fat nicely.
Now that I have less than 10lbs to lose, what to do?
I'm experimenting with carb cycling. This is a technique used by bodybuilders to trim fat before competition. While I am not even close to a bodybuilder, I thought it might do the trick to kick start fat burn again.
Basically it works by alternating no carb, low carb, and high carb days. No carb clears out fat storage hormones (insulin). High carb resets leptin and muscle growth hormones. Both of which can get out of whack on very low carb and very high carb diets. Carb cycling, the theory goes, juggles the hormones around to optimize fat loss. It's supposed to work better when a person is already at normal or low body fat levels. So I'm giving it a try.
I'm also upping the intensity of my workouts with circuit training to increase both calorie burn and resistance. I'm all about efficiency, and circuit training is more bang for the time buck. It's been pretty brutal this week, but I think it's working.
My plan is something like this:
No carb (less than 40g): Veggies/Protein
Low Carb (less than 80g): Veggies/Protein/Fruit
High Carb (approx 100-120g): Veggies/Protein/Fruit/Starch
"No carb" isn't exactly 0, and "high carb" isn't exactly high for my purposes.
It's cycled like this:
Mon: No Carb
Tues: Low Carb
Weds: High Carb
Thurs: No Carb
Fri: No Carb
Sat: Low Carb
Sun: High Carb
That means a couple of days a week and on weekends I can indulge in a side of mashed potatoes, rice, bread or even a small dessert.
My exercise routine is alternating between short, high intensity (elliptical/spinning/circuit x30mins) and long, low intensity (walking/cycling x1hr+) - 3x HIIT and 4x LIIT.
I'll let you know in a few weeks if this does the trick.