2019 Calorie Counting: Weeks 5-6

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

Macros

As I said in the last update, I increased my macros for these couple of weeks. It went well. Week five tracked six days and week six tracked eight due to things going on.

Day Type Carbs Fat Protein Calories
Baseline All 259 99 140 2,485
Goals 1 All/Training 220 70 200 2,310
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 2 Training 245 85 195 2,525
Week 5 Training 243 87 196 2,541
Week 5 Rest 184 95 197 2,379
Week 6 Training 249 87 197 2,567
Week 6 Rest 201 80 198 2,312

I don’t have anything interesting to point out.

Water

Still no issues drinking enough water. I’ve settled in on an average of 106 ounces a day and seem to be down to one wake-up most nights. I’m still keeping track of water intake because it would be really easy to fall out of the habit.

Scale

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
Week 5 196.4 13.9
Week 6 194.9 13.8

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

Kind of surprised with the dive in week 6. I really want my weight to stabilize around 195.

2019-02-18-withings-chart
Great trend lines.

Thoughts

After the decrease in weight I’m going to switch up the macros goals again. In order to help build muscle and lose fat, I’m bumping protein up from 1.0 gram per pound of bodyweight to 1.1. I’ll also increase carbs and fats. I will stop eating less on rest days, especially since one of my two rest days each week has been a 30-40 minute active recovery / cardio session. New goals will be 255g of carbs, 90 grams of fat, and 215 grams of protein for 2,690 calories. These changes will give me about 1,500 more calories a week.

I’m still feeling great throughout the day and even better in my workouts. Looking forward to what my body does with the extra calories.

The next 5 weeks are the CrossFit Games Open and I’ll be in San Diego for one of those weeks. I suspect I won’t be as disciplined as I have been. There wasn’t much to say in this post, so I may not publish another update until after the Open.

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

2019 Calorie Counting: Week 2

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

The second week is in the books. Some things were better and some were not. It was a net win though.

Macros

Something I forgot about last week that added to the difficulty dealing with more fat was that when I went to get milk the only skim left was expiring in a day, so I bought 1%. That gallon carried over through all of week two.

I think it’s important to repeat that during week one I got a bunch of home cooked food and really had no idea what the macros were. I estimated one day at 268 grams of carbohydrates, which shot the average up for that week. I’m going to go out on a limb and also say that my estimates were low on all of those meals, because the scale didn’t really show any progress compared to this week.

This last week was probably worse on the high fat Factor 75 meals, even with being able to pair them up better for the entire week. Yesterday was the first day I wasn’t fighting against fat calories from two meals. This new delivery is on point though because I selected all low/medium fat meals.

Carbs Fat Protein Calories
Baseline 259 99 140 2,485
Week 1 212 83 196 2,379
Week 2 200 85 200 2,365
Goals 220 70 200 2,310

As you can see, I was on point with my protein. Fat was a bigger problem than last week, causing carbs to go down in order to keep calories close. I’m looking forward to the next couple of weeks as I dial things in. I’m still surprised the macro counting isn’t feeling like a chore yet. Planning out all of my meals the night before has really been huge for me so far.

Water

Nothing exciting to report. Water consumption has been really easy. I went up from an average of 110 ounces to 118 ounces per day. I am trying to drink more earlier in the day, so I’m not drinking much before bed. Hopefully it’ll prevent multiple wake-ups to take a piss. Oh, and I keep forgetting to use my SodaStream.

Scale

I started at 199.3 pounds with 15% body fat and was 199 with 15.2% at the end of week one. Things started to move this week without any estimated meals. My three day averages for week two were 196.9 pounds and 15% body fat. Dropping 2.1 pounds in a week is about right. Curious to see what happens as I start hitting my carb and fat macros.

Thoughts

One change I made this week was picking up some Magnesium tablets to take in the morning with the fish oil and multivitamin. I haven’t had any alcohol since Christmas Eve, mainly because I was sick over the holidays. That changes with a beer tasting / comedy event tonight though. I also have not had fast food or takeout at all in 2019.

I’ve been pretty close to my calorie goals and haven’t had cravings for sweets and treats. I also haven’t felt like I was over-eating. So I was curious what macros the old Eat to Perform calculator would recommend. We based our diets on that calc in my early CrossFit days. It shows my BMR just under 2,000 calories per day, which is an estimate of how much my body needs to function at rest, and it calculates I need over 3,000 calories per day if I’m moderately active, which would be 390 grams of carbs! If I set very active or extra active in the calculator it increases carbs by almost 100 grams for each level! No wonder Eat to Perform didn’t work for me, eating was a chore, and I was always struggling to get enough carbs by the end of the day! Pizza and Mountain Dew sounds really good, so maybe I should try those wild carb goals. 😉

I’m not tracking today due to a drinking event tonight, so week 3 starts tomorrow. I may wait and do my next update after two weeks.

Check out the coupon Meijer gave me last night when I picked up milk and yogurt. Damn trolls!

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

2019 Calorie Counting: Week 1

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

I made it through my first week!

Macros

I noticed the calorie counts in MyFitnessPal didn’t match up with 4/4/9 (cals per gram of carb/protein/fat) calculations, so I started a spreadsheet of daily macro totals and will be using my own calculated calories from now on. Turns out that there are several different methods that can be used by nutrition labels to determine calories.

The averages from my baseline were 259 grams of carbs, 99 grams of fat, and 140 grams of protein for 2,485 calories. During my first week I averaged 212g C, 83g F, and 196g P for 2,379 cals. My goals were 220g C, 70g F, and 200g P for 2,310 cals. I’m really pleased with the shift I was able to make. It could have been even better, but I faced some challenges right off the bat.

Many of the meals I had left from last week’s Factor 75 delivery were very high in fat and eating two of them was already putting me at or over my goal for the highest calorie macro. To make up for it, I decided to cut back on carbs and still try to get as close as I could with protein. It was too late to change my food delivery for this week, so I’m having a similar issue, though not quite as bad because I’m able to plan it out right away.

My housekeeper brought me a bunch of food, so I have no idea what the actual macro content was for 4 of my meals. I simply estimated based on items I found in the MFP database. My actual intake for the week could be very different (either high or low) from what I estimated.

On the first day I was realizing how much the volume of food is when you replace fat calories with proteins and carbs.

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Seems like a lot of food!!!

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My usual lunch would be the Factor 75 meal without the sweet potatoes and cottage cheese. I powered through even though I’d already eaten a lot more in the morning than normal. After dinner I was so full I didn’t even think about snacks.

On day two I ate a late lunch right before going to a movie so I wouldn’t get popcorn and Mountain Dew. It was tempting. On day four my body seemed to already be adjusting; after eating a bit for breakfast, my stomach was rumbling at noon. A couple hours after eating some banana pudding I was given, I could feel cravings, which I hadn’t had in the previous three days. I’d been so full I hadn’t thought about treats. That’s what excessive carbs do! On day five shortly after finishing off the pasta and banana pudding I could feel the meal. Too many carbs!

I still don’t like the macro tracking, but having the Factor 75 meals makes it bearable. If I was cooking on my own and had to input recipes and serving sizes I may have quit already. I’ve been planning out everything I’ll eat the night before, which has been huge for me. I just look at the log and eat what I’m supposed to. There isn’t any stress about needing to get 50 more grams of protein at 10pm.

Water

During my baseline I averaged 101 ounces of water, but like I mentioned in the last post i was already increasing my intake. This week I averaged 110 ounces per day, for a nice bump. On days I go to the gym, the average is even higher at 115 due to getting an easy 34 ounces between my intra- and post-workout drinks.

Going in, I thought water would give me the biggest struggle, but it’s been easy. I am waking up 1-2 times a night to pee with the water increase, compared to not getting up or getting up once a night before. Hopefully my body adjusts.

Scale

My averages coming in were 199.3 pounds and 15% fat mass on the scale. Over the last three mornings I averaged 199 and 15.2%. Not much change, which could be due to those macro estimations being off, so I don’t want to jump to any conclusions. Fat percentage is hard to measure, so I don’t like to look at it too closely. I find it better to look at fat trends over longer periods of time.

Thoughts

No plans to quit yet. Due to the high fat F75 meals I still have, I expect week 2 numbers to be similar to week 1. My food delivery on Tuesday will have meals with much lower fat content, which will make everything easier to manage.

It’s too early to make any observations about how I feel, so I’ll wait another week or two.

Beyond the Whiteboard, my favorite app for tracking CrossFit workouts, added a Macros feature and it looked really good. I was going to try their free trial over the next two weeks, but I immediately noticed the database of foods can’t compare with MFP so I cancelled after entering one meal.

Continue on with the update for week 2.

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