Monday, July 1, 2013

Aaaaaand it's Monday

Let's get this second-half-of-the-year party started!

The tale from the scale this morning was a bit of a surprise: I stayed the same, and I'll take it.

LoseIt reduces your daily target calorie as you lose weight, which makes sense. A 250-pound person obviously needs to eat more than a 150-pound person does. My number is now below 1200 calories. Conventional wisdom is that 1200 calories is "too low" and the body will go into "starvation mode."

My total calorie deficit has gone from -5000-ish four weeks ago to -3000-ish this past week. I'm not sure it matters what the daily total is supposed to be; obviously if I ate 2000 more calories this week than I did a month ago I should expect my weight loss to slow down.
My deficits are created by the tried-and-true combination of calories in/calories out. I'm creating big deficits because I'm not eating my exercise calories. I try to keep the food at the target amount (but sometimes I don't even do that) and the intentional almost-daily activity is a bonus.

I'm not sure how the paleo community feels about starvation mode. I certainly don't feel as though I'm starving. I'm rarely hungry. I'm able to walk a minimum of three miles almost every day. This weekend I did back-to-back six-milers. I rest well. I get meals on the table, the house is presentable and we haven't run out of clean socks.

Everything I thought I knew about losing weight has turned out to be wrong FOR ME. (I only speak for myself here, and I'm sharing my experience so I won't forget it, not to get you to hop on board the paleo chuckwagon. As it were.) Sadly, I don't just have to eat less and move more. I was SO FRUSTRATED doing just that and losing less than a half-pound a week the first three months of this year.

I have to eat less, move more AND jettison some food groups that were clearly slowing my rate of loss to a crawl.

I get one question pretty consistently from my face-to-face contacts who learn I've given up sugar, grains, legumes and dairy: "What about calcium? Don't you need milk or cheese or yogurt for strong bones?"

I say, "Humans are the only species that continue to consume milk after weaning." Calcium is readily available in fatty fish (salmon, sardines), leafy greens (especially kale), almonds (one of my friends who began the paleo plan a month or so ago calls it her "almond diet"), citrus, broccoli and figs. Vitamin D is freely available from the sun. I get plenty of all of them. Except sardines. (I've never eaten one.)

Also? Weight-bearing exercise – like walking – does as much or more to strengthen bones as food does.

At the halfway point of the year, I can see that I might need to do some calorie cycling – throw in a high-calorie day once a week or so. I'll probably spend a little time each week with a pair of dumbbells or doing some yoga or squats. I'm gradually picking up my walking pace – I'm pretty consistently doing 3.5 mph instead of 3, and I'm approaching a 15-minute mile pace by adding some running intervals.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with the first six months. I'm sorry to bore you with two consecutive wrap-up posts about it, and I hope you won't delete me from your Feedly list. I haven't been able to report successes like this in years.

I'm long past due.


Vickie said...

You may need to decrease the fruit and increase the green veggies and protein rather than lowering calories. or you might need to change the type of fruit, depending on how much fruit you are eating out of the very high sugar category.

Fruits Lowest in Sugar
Small Amounts of Lemon or Lime

Fruits Low to Medium in Sugar
Casaba Melon
Honeydew melons

Fruits Fairly High in Sugar

Fruits Very High in Sugar
Dried Fruit, such as dates, raisins, dried apricots, and prunes

Vickie said...

Rhubarb and cranberries in low column are real foolers, because people rarely eat those without (major) added sugar, or another fruit (which means more sugar) added to them

Vickie said...

I think I remember reading all this on paleo shopping lists/info. They did not include the total fruit list. They just picked out a couple fruits from the high list and said to eat very little of them. I think the total list is helpful. I find red raspberries the most helpful numbers because of the fiber, but realize you are dealing with your teeth.

Diandra said...

Well, a colleague has starved her body for years (anorectic/bulimic - yes, we're going with extreme examples here), and the moment she eats more than 400kcal per day, her body starts gaining "weight". I'd guess the body will do a lot of rather foolish things to enable survival if you feed it less than a decent amount of calories... I tried going below 1200kcal for a few weeks last fall, quit when I realized I was heading in a stupid direction, ate normalish again and gained almost everything back. Never going there again, that was scary. (Not to mention my hair and skin started looking pretty bad pretty soon.)

Of course this does not mean that everyone will experience the same, just... a body can function (kind of) with way less than 1200kcal, but that is not healthy, and it will permanently screw up your metabolism. Just take the slower weight loss and stay healthy.