2019 Calorie Counting: Weeks 3-4

If you haven’t been following along, start with my explanation of this calorie counting experiment.

Macros

I haven’t changed much from the first two weeks. I did start cutting back on carbs and calories a little bit on rest days like the Renaissance Diet recommends. Not too much though, because some of my rest days are active recovery days where I do 30-40 minutes of light cardio.

I didn’t track for two days between weeks three and four due to a cheat day when I had family visiting and then not knowing how to count some split pea soup from my Mom. I cut week 4 to only 5 days because of the previous weekend and I’m visiting a friend today so it’ll be a cheat day.

With better selected Factor 75 meals it was so much easier to dial everything in over the last two weeks. Two of the F75 meals were no longer contributing more fat than my goal for an entire day. I started adding some variety to my snacks and supplemental food.

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Greek yogurt, raspberries, and Rice Krispies (Frosted Flakes also work great) for breakfast

Due to the winter storm, my food delivery in week 4 came two days late, but I was able to work things out pretty well with some other frozen meals I had bought at Meijer.

I found out that Renaissance Periodization (the company behind the Renaissance Diet) has an iOS app with a wizard to help design your diet. I downloaded it and used the free trial to see how it would compare to what I came up with from the book.

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Pretty damn close to my goals and really close to what I was consuming in the first two weeks. I also found a handy spreadsheet that comes up with similar numbers to the app. Check out that spreadsheet if you want a simple guide to designing your own diet.

Time for the data…

Day Type Carbs Fat Protein Calories
Baseline All 259 99 140 2,485
Week 1 All 212 83 196 2,379
Week 2 All 200 85 200 2,365
Week 3 Training 222 71 203 2,342
Week 3 Rest 184 81 200 2,263
Week 4 Training 221 71 201 2,313
Week 4 Rest 193 73 200 2,229
Goals Training 220 70 200 2,310

Couldn’t ask for anything closer than that on my training days.

Water

Has still been extremely easy to hit the water intake. I cut back, averaging 114 ounces per day in week three and 106 in week four because getting up so many times in the night was getting old. I also try to be done drinking at least an hour before bed. Hasn’t seemed to change my pee frequency during the night yet.

Scale

What about the scale and my body composition?

Weight Body Fat %
Start 199.3 15.0
Week 1 199.0 15.2
Week 2 196.9 15.0
Week 3 197.0 14.2
Week 4 196.1 13.8

Note: these are an average of three days at the end of each week.

The first of the weigh-ins in week three was high, so the average was a bit out of whack there. This morning’s reading was exactly 195 pounds, so that’s one goal hit, but it’s as low as I really want to go. Happy to see my body fat decreasing quite a bit as well, because my ultimate goal is to lean out and get back down to the 11-12% range.

I think my core is looking leaner in the mirror, but it’s hard to judge because I didn’t take any pictures.

Looking back at the history in my Withings account, I got down around 200 pounds last year when I started getting the F75 meals and I hovered there until starting this experiment. The first time I went over 200 in my life was in October of 2013. I sort of roamed in the 193-202 range for the next year but hadn’t had any long period under two bills since then. My high was 217 in February of 2017 when I was following a competitor’s program for the CrossFit Games Open with a couple of buddies.

I’ve lost 20 pounds since I started eating Factor 75 back in May.

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Thoughts

I am feeling really good, especially in the gym where I’ve set several significant PRs in 15-20 minute metcons, which historically are not a strength of mine. Gymnastics movements have never felt so easy and fluid. Those improvements probably shouldn’t be such a surprise since I’m so much lighter. Maybe I got stuck for a while when I was 215+ and it’s easy to forget what things felt like when there was less of me to move around.

A movement that has really stood out over the last few weeks is the wall ball. I don’t remember them ever feeling relaxing during a workout and they have been. I stuck to unbroken sets of 30 in a workout the other day, which is something I’ve never attempted for more than one set.

My strength is slowly coming back after not doing much heavy following my bad back tweak almost two years ago. Not concerned with the slow progress there though, because I’m focused on staying injury free instead of pushing limits with the weight on the bar.

What’s Next?

I think 195 is good for me, so I feel good about where I am. I would like to lean out, which will be a slower process now as I get more of my strength and muscle back. I’m going to adjust my macros to 245g of carbs, 85g of fat, and 195g of protein for 2,525 calories on training days. Hopefully the extra 200+ calories get me close to a caloric equilibrium.

The next update will probably be two weeks out again.

Real talk…

Since I started this experiment I’ve had several people mention something to the effect of, “Wow, you’re really serious about this.” This way of thinking is exactly why nearly everyone fails to reach their goals when dieting. A diet only works as well as you adhere to it. I’ve seen it countless times…

“I’m having a cheat meal,” turns into a cheat weekend.

“I’ll only have a drink or two,” turns into a full night out, a hangover, and several cheat meals.

“This is my reward for a tough workout,” quickly turns into a reward for every workout.

I’m not saying you can’t live a little, but the majority of people aren’t willing to make sacrifices (applies to way more than dieting). Making sacrifices is the quickest way to achieve things in life. People would be amazed at what changes they can make to their body over the course of two months if they had some discipline. If you half-ass a diet, it may take 6 months or a year to see big changes and you’ll probably give up long before that.

All of these posts will be tagged 2019 calorie counting to make it easy to browse the posts.

2 Replies to “2019 Calorie Counting: Weeks 3-4”

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