Messing with food and exercise - controlled apathy experiment.
Saturday, April 06, 2013
As I approach my target weight (for fat loss, not muscle gain), I have been trying to taper my weight loss to gently ease down to the the 75kg I'm aiming for. I figure I don't want to power down to 75kg then suddenly slam on the anchors and start eating at a weight-maintenace level rather than a weight-loss. In my mind this is just as bad as eating poorly then suddenly starting a crash diet.
I know my diet and exercise will be changing soon and I've been a little worried that stepping off my current routine may leave me open to a lifestyle where I'd start gaining fat.
As Easter was upon us and there was going to be sweets knocking about the place I thought it would be the perfect time to skip a few days of exercise and indulge in some non-diet friendly foods to see what would happen. So, I missed a few 30 minute treadmill routines (about half of my weight-loss cardio per week) and started to consume closer to my maximum permitted food intake rather than hovering near the minimum like I have been.
As expected, my weight stopped going down and after a few calculations and averages I believe I put on weight for the first time in nearly 6 months. This was not a plateau, it was definitely a gain of a few hundred grams over the course of a couple of weeks. The end result is that I ended up at a higher weight than my previous 2 weigh-ins.
I think this was a great indication of how easy it is to start gaining weight with just a little slacking off. Even though I was still doing some exercise and not eating over my limit it was possible for me to gain weight easily, probably due to my still very sedentary lifestyle (at home computer operator).
When it comes time for me to stop losing weight, I can see how important it will be to continue to correctly balance my diet and exercise to ensure that I don't start gaining weight, and also, don't continue losing weight I shouldn't.
As I will be starting my muscle building program at 75kg I expect juggling the correct amount of food per day will be harder than it is now. I will be required to eat enough to feed my muscles while trying to avoid a consumption level that leads to fat storage. After 6 months of focussing on not eating too much it will be quite odd having to mentally switch over towards not eating too little.
Now I am back on track. It has forced me to push my target date out by a couple of weeks but the weight is once again falling off at the previous rate.
2.3kg to go and then I'll find out. :)