Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Quarterly Report

Consider this a quarterly report.

As you can see over to the right, this first quarter of the year was uneven, with plateauing and even weight gain, but in the latter half of March, I managed to refocus and end up precisely on schedule.  Of course, if I'd stayed focused the whole time, I might be ahead of schedule now, but I'm focusing more on not repeating those mistakes in the future.

While we're on the subject, what were those mistakes?

1.  I let myself slide away from the intermittent fasting part of my new system, the part where so many days/week I'm supposed to go from dinner one day to dinner the next day without eating anything in between.  Those intervals are when fat gets burned, because no new fuel is coming in. But I started allowing myself nibbles and noshes at other times (in the name of "energy", of course) as long as the calories were low and the foods were healthful; even though those small pick-me-ups weren't adding much to my calorie total, they were keeping my system from going into "fast mode" and dipping into the long-term fat reserves.

2.  I let the number of calories on the fast days creep upwards, seduced partly by MyFitnessPal's running calorie count.  I started thinking, "Well, my weight maintenance total is around 2000-2400 calories/day, so if I restrict myself to 1200 calories, I'm still running a deficit."  But even though holding the line at some decent percent on what were then only nominal fast days was good behavior and prevented any serious collateral damage, a 50% day is still not a fast day and it isn't going to yield those results.  Fast days need to be down around 25% (600 calories) for the serious fat burn effect, and there need to be a few of them each week.

So, live and learn.  I know at least part of what I was doing wrong, which is at least part of avoiding the same traps during the next 3 months.

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