The Overly Round Mid-Section Dilemma

DietFor me the biggest dieting challenge does not involve food or eating, its exercising patience.  Last week I outlined my plan for getting faster and looking better on race day by getting leaner and loosing my overly round mid-section(here).  After allot of research, I theoretically knew what I had to do to slim down.  The plan focused on sound understandings of the workings of the body and not fad diets and fad weight loss solutions, instead on proper eating based on numerous biometric factors paired with activity output.  With a plan in place all I could do then was follow the plan and see where things go.

I am a huge fan of immediate gratification.   I want to know ‘now’,this instant, that things are working.  But proper eating and dieting does not work like that.  Taking daily weight can drive one mad as the body routinely fluctuates because of so many different factors its dizzying to comprehend.  Proper eating involves allot of faith that the reasoning is sound and that the results will eventually present themselves.  But the results take time to become noticeable, sometimes taking weeks.

This means the only true way to diet, involves laying down a plan and sticking with it for at least a month.  Frequent progress gives data, but should not be acted on immediately.  The body is too complex to try and micromanage a proper diet.  This is the part that is hardest for me, the waiting.  I keep track of all nuances so I can adjust and adapt my plan, but only after several weeks and maybe even months.  Of course I want to know now if things are working, but I know I have to trust the research I have done and rely on results to manifest.

My current tracking system, maybe in the long term I can find definite correlations.

My current tracking system, maybe in the long term I can find definite correlations.

The hardest part of my current diet is the odd direction, almost counter intuitive direction, my caloric intake has taken.  Unlike most dieting strategies which involve removing and reducing calories I am increasing calories.  Based on my research, the body needs a set number of calories or it panics and slows down, causing weight loss to stall.  This is where I have been for the past several months and it appears the solution is to eat a better range of calories calculated on my activity level (often two a day work outs or very intense and strenuous).  This is requiring allot of faith on my part currently.  It seems so strange to strive for such a high range of calories and expect my body to respond by loosing weight.  I am still creating a deficit, its just not as large.  My workouts lately can burn somewhere between 1000-2000 calories or more in a day.  This is where the dilemma  sets in, I need more calories to reduce the deficit to get the body to loose more weight than it would loose with the larger deficit.  That is my understanding based on my research I have done and at this point it requires some faith that it will work and that after a month I will see results.

It all boils down to faith and patience in my research and understanding of physical anatomy and exercise science.  Both topics I am not formerly trained, but for which I have researched and sifted to understand how they work to be most efficient in my training and my diet.  Now I just have to log the data, eat the food and practice what I set in motion and wait….  and wait…. til I have waited long enough to be able to make sound decisions with a stable body of results to act on, then I can adjust and start all over again…  For now I wait.

Til next time.

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10 comments

  1. Although I usually highly agree with you, I’m going to have to disagree a little on this one. I’ve never heard of a strategy that says eat more to lose weight. This sounds a little like the slow down to run faster concept.

    Although I agree that starving yourself can put your body into a stall mode (especially if your sedentary), but if you remain active you have to burn something and at the end of the day it comes down to calories in vs. calories out. When I started my training I got some advice from MarkAllenOnline and one of their biggest recommendations is to keep your workouts aerobic (lower heart rate where you burn more fat than sugar/carbs). This, in their opinion was the easiest way to lose weight while building a strong base and endurance. The other point stressed is that calories in aren’t always equal. You need to ensure you’re eating high quality foods and proteins and limit the carb intake – which if your training aerobically the carb usage is much less.

    Of course I’m definitely no nutritionist and this is just my inexperienced opinion 🙂

    1. I think this might be a case of over simplification. I am not hands down saying eat more to lose, but eat enough to limit the deficit while working out hard. I agree with the aerobic zone concept and try to stay close. I am trying to eat enough calories to maximize the fat loss, but fuel my workouts. I did not mean to imply eating tons of calories and junk, just enough to create a 500-1000 calorie only deficit. Of course I could be totally wrong as well and then its back to the drawing board after a bit of time trying this. The basis of this diet involves using BMR with activity level to set an acceptable range of calories. Programs like Live strong/dialy plate automate this series of formulas. Also you can use a site such as http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm to get the range.

      Of course it does not amount to much if the food source is garbage, I try to eat tons of fruit and vegetables and good quality calories and less junk food and manage the carbs and fats accordingly. As I said I am simplifying. I guess we will see if this works out in a few more weeks.

      Of course I am not a nutritionist either and I can understand and appreciate the discourse on this.

      1. Well said and it will be great to read about your progress.

  2. kruzmeister · · Reply

    Consistency over the long term is the key Chatter. Stick with it mate and you will see the results. Good luck to you, I have faith you’ll reach your goals, both in training and in weight loss! – Simone

    1. Could not agree with you more. Consistency over the long haul.

  3. Fat belongs to all the body not just the bit where it is, so if you want to lose weight from your stomach, sits ups might make your abdomen muscles stronger, but won’t shift the fat.
    Low level. long duration exercise does burn fat more than high intensity, but you still need some high intensity to give the body variation which helps to keep the metabolism active and not go into starvation mode.

  4. I think dieting is just like working out. You can’t go from not doing anything to doing everything overnight. I think it’s incredibly difficult to change eating patterns or training regiments over night. As Simone says, consistency is the key, but that consistency will take months and years to develop. I’ve lost 25 pounds since last January and rarely “tried” to change my diet. It has slowly morphed into what it is (and far from perfect) but more often than not I am reaching for better fuel. If I had to guess I’d say I probably lost no more than a few pounds each month. I used to eat a ton of fast food, and honestly still splurge once or twice a week, and I do it without guilt because, not only are we human, heavy training shocks the body and the last thing you want to do is shock it nutritionally as well. With the level of workouts you’re getting into, I think you just have to eat what you need to not get wiped out. Often that will be “crap” but I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Just be patient and keep training hard. Your body will adapt and naturally crave what it needs.

  5. […] fellow blogger/triathlete just made an intriguing post about weight loss and it got me thinking.  One of his theories is that he may (at times) need to […]

  6. […] put up a post regarding how hard it was exercising patience while trying out a nutrition strategy (here).  In the comments one poster pointed out that the premise of eating more to loose weight sounded […]

  7. […] a day.  Running through a bunch of BMR calculations I have previously described (here and here) I put a plan in motion to eat roughly 3000-4000 calories based on exertion level of my activities. […]

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