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My Fat Loss Progress in October 2015: Retrospective

October 30, 2015

Another four weeks have passed since my last update, and I am still making decent progress:

October 1st: 92kg
October 30th: 90kg

Those values are moving averages, so they already account for daily fluctuations. I also saw a 1% drop in body fat percentage on the bio impedance scale, but those are notoriously unreliable, so I’m not taking it seriously. A more realistic metric for the important question of whether I’m actually losing body fat (not muscle) is waist circumference, and I saw that shrink by 1-2cm, or just about one notch in my belt.

When I started this experiment back in September I came up with a set of ten rules, and today I thought that it might be a good idea to reflect on how well I have been following them:

  1. Eat adequate protein
    Check. A few weeks ago I even increased protein intake to 200g/day, but I found that hard to maintain and scaled back to 120-150g, a comfortable level for me and in line with the general recommendation of 1g per pound of lean body mass.
  2. Skip some meals (eat 1-2 meals per day)
    I am still doing that occasionally, but not as much as when I started this experiment. Doesn’t seem to make a big difference.
  3. Eat only when hungry
    Usually I follow this rule, but I should do it more consistently.
  4. Alternate days of caloric deficit with days of caloric balance, in alignment with exercise (the more exercise, the less deficit)
    I haven’t really been doing this deliberately, but I managed to skip some meals on rest days. Definitely an asset when you’re trying to create a caloric deficit.
  5. Maintain a weekly caloric deficit consistently
    Yes! This is the core principle of my diet or indeed any weight/fat loss diet.
  6. Eat clean most of the time (80/20 rule)
    Yes, I have been eating mostly clean. On some days I even ate ultra-clean, think chicken breasts, vegetables and rice. I won’t do that too often, since it is quite a hassle.
  7. Fast/junk food and candy/sweets are fine occasionally, as long as caloric deficit is maintained
    I definitely enjoy some completely unhealthy food from time to time. Works as long as you really account for the calories. I will definitely keep doing that – complete deprivation is not a good long term strategy.
  8. During vacations and holidays the diet is modified: Caloric balance and more daily meals allowed (breakfast)
    Sure! As I said above, I am not really doing a strict IF regime like 16/8 (anymore). I still skip meals when I’m not hungry, but I will also eat when I’m hungry, not counting the number of meals per day.
  9. Macros: neither low-fat nor low-carb
    Definitely. On some days I have been eating low carb, on others low fat, but always adequate protein.
  10. No excessive calorie tracking – instead eat a small, but varied number of meals with known macros/calories
    Haven’t really been following that rule – instead I am tracking calories in excessive detail. I should try to find a simpler solution – create some meals on myfitnesspal.com and then eat/log those most of the time instead of logging individual items.

Outlook for November 2015

My goal for November is to lose another 2-3kg of body weight and make that mostly fat, so I expect my waist circumference to shrink another 2cm, measured by my belt.

I’m also revising and simplifying my rules:

  1. Eat adequate protein (1g per pound of lean body mass per day), vary fat/carbs
  2. Don’t eat (skip meal) when you’re not hungry
  3. Maintain a consistent weekly caloric deficit
  4. Eat clean 80% of the time, make sure the remaining 20% don’t blow your caloric budget
  5. Always track calories, but simplify by eating standardised meals most of the time
  6. Eat low-moderate fiber – avoid high fiber cereals and grains

About #6: Let’s just say that in October I tried focusing on high fiber cereals and grains and found that they don’t agree with me. I also read Anthony Colpo’s books again and took a look at the studies. I am now convinced more than ever that whole grains have no benefits – neither for fat loss nor for any other health outcomes. My take on the matter: If you enjoy eating them and don’t get any digestive problems – go ahead, but if you find that the opposite is true, stick with smaller portions of refined grains and rest assured that it will not have any detrimental effects on your health.

That’s it for now … stay tuned for another update probably by the end of November!

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