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Magdalena Ravenclaw

Quarantine Challenge Makeover, part 2

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34 minutes ago, Harriet said:

 

I've read this but I don't really understand... isn't it still the total amount of calories that matters? Does it really matter what order it burns them in? Or do you think your resting calorie expenditure is lower while you're processing the alcohol?

 

Yes, the order matters. The human body has three things it uses incoming calories for, only three. The first one is "keep all vital organs working", and this always takes priority over everything else. After enough calories have been allocated for that, the next priority is, "repair and recover what yesterday's workout clearly proved we need to improve". Phase three is "store as fat reserves for upcoming emergencies".

 

Alcohol is technically a neurotoxin, and the human body recognizes this. This means the alcohol is attacked first, for keeping organs working and repairing the muscle fibers we tore when we lifted yesterday. But alcohol has really low nutritional contents so it doesn't build muscle fibers nearly as effectively as protein does, but that's irrelevant to the human body. The toxin must go away! After that has been done, the high number of calories in alcohol has made sure that the martinis and beer were used as low quality fuel for keeping us alive and recovering from workouts, and after that was done, the nutritious food that was eaten along with the drinks, is 100% metabolized into fat. Take away the alcohol calories and the food is used for the first steps as well.

 

So if you eat 800 calories of ice cream with a healthy meal, that counts as food and step one uses food and ice cream for the first two phases. If you drink 800 calories with a healthy meal, that healthy food will not be processed by the body until the 800 calories of alcohol are gone.

 

Disclaimer: Summarizing a detailed NF article from memory. I am not a nutritionist.

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15 minutes ago, miss_marissa said:

TBH I have just read and repeated this, without doing any deep dive into the research or anything (so I don't know how true this is).

 

But my understanding is that as your body processes alcohol it is treated as (for lack of a better term) toxic to the body. I don't know if it is the alcohol itself, or some byproduct of the breakdown process. The body then says 

 

I gotta fix this shit. (probably the liver?) so it then it's like all hands on deck! Get this alcohol nonsense OUTTA here and starts processing the alcohol, instead of processing stored fat or consumed fat, protein, carbs for energy. 

 

I think logically that makes sense? but could all be bullshit tho. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I imagine quantity consumed has something to do with it, binge drinking probably has a higher effect than 1 drink. But again too, alcohol has a higher calories/gram than your 3 macronutrients. In general though, reducing alcohol consumption probably helps to achieve weight/fat loss goals

 

I understand that the body prioritises processing the toxic alcohol before burning fat, I just don't understand how that makes you fatter, if you drink/eat the same calories. I'm assuming your tdee stays the same whether you eat 500 cal of wine or 500 cal of cheese...but I don't know if that's right.

 

7 minutes ago, Scalyfreak said:

 

Yes, the order matters. The human body has three things it uses incoming calories for, only three. The first one is "keep all vital organs working", and this always takes priority over everything else. After enough calories have been allocated for that, the next priority is, "repair and recover what yesterday's workout clearly proved we need to improve". Phase three is "store as fat reserves for upcoming emergencies".

 

Alcohol is technically a neurotoxin, and the human body recognizes this. This means the alcohol is attacked first, for keeping organs working and repairing the muscle fibers we tore when we lifted yesterday. But alcohol has really low nutritional contents so it doesn't build muscle fibers nearly as effectively as protein does, but that's irrelevant. The toxin must go away! After that has been done, the high number of calories in alcohol has made sure that the martinis and beer were used as low quality fuel for keeping us alive and recovering from workouts, and after that was done, the nutritious food that was eaten along with the drinks, is 100% metabolized into fat. Take away the alcohol calories and the food is used for the first steps as well.

 

So if you eat 800 calories of ice cream with a healthy meal, that counts as food and step one uses food and ice cream for the first two phases. If you drink 800 calories with a healthy meal, that healthy food will not be processed by the body until the 800 calories of alcohol are gone.

 

 

I still don't understand how it makes you fatter than if you'd eaten the same calories in ice cream. Unless you're saying that, because it's using alcohol for low quality fuel, the body does a bad job of repairing muscles after lifting, so you gain less muscle from the same workout/calories? 

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1 minute ago, Harriet said:

I still don't understand how it makes you fatter than if you'd eaten the same calories in ice cream. Unless you're saying that, because it's using alcohol for low quality fuel, the body does a bad job of repairing muscles after lifting, so you gain less muscle from the same workout/calories? 

 

Exactly. A much larger number of the calorie total goes towards fat than if the body had been given something useful to build muscle fiber with.

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27 minutes ago, Scalyfreak said:

Exactly. A much larger number of the calorie total goes towards fat than if the body had been given something useful to build muscle fiber with.

 

Ah, okay. That makes more sense. So that could be a lot more motivating for a warrior than merely thinking 'alcohol is bad'. Bad? Who cares. But 'alcohol is bad for muscle building'? *slaps glass out of own hand* 

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2 minutes ago, Harriet said:

 

So that could be a lot more motivating for a warrior than merely thinking 'alcohol is bad'. Bad? Who cares. But 'alcohol is bad for muscle building'? *slaps glass out of own hand* 

 

It definitely is for me.I try to think of alcohol as cheap fuel that slows down muscle growth and causes my body to waste the important building blocks my muscles need in order to grow stringer, by turning the healthy food into fat instead of muscle fiber. The alcohol basically sabotages the lifting efforts to the point of almost negating it if you drink enough of it.

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12 hours ago, Scalyfreak said:

 

It definitely is for me.I try to think of alcohol as cheap fuel that slows down muscle growth and causes my body to waste the important building blocks my muscles need in order to grow stringer, by turning the healthy food into fat instead of muscle fiber. The alcohol basically sabotages the lifting efforts to the point of almost negating it if you drink enough of it.

 

So here I am drinking a protein shake in between sips of a sangria in the hopes of off setting the carb/alcohol intake. So does that mean I'm not only wasting the protein shake but also that the calories from the protein shake are going to get stored as fat instead of refueling my muscles? 

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Did a lower body workout. The slightly added height did help a bit, though I still found my shoulders rounding a bit on the deadlift. I'm gonna get blocks or something to raise it higher. But, no pain in the knee (probably helped that I didn't "push through the knees" and just stood up like @Harriet said). I still am stronger on the RDL; I can do more reps of them. I'll have to try to refind that article that I'm pretty sure said you will always be able to lift more on the traditional deadlift than the RDL. Maybe I misread? 

 

Anyway . . . poor little 2 year old fell and broke his wrist! He's okay, he didn't even cry when the doctor moved his wrist all about. He fell in the kitchen last night and it was swollen but I figured it was just a sprain. But it was still swollen this morning and then he fell again at the playground and was really favoring it so I went ahead and took him to Urgent Care. He broke the bone that runs from the wrist to the thumb. I feel so bad for him. He's in a splint for now (waiting to see an orthopedic specialist). For the first several hours he kept pulling at it and saying, "help, mommy, off." But this evening I guess he got used to it because he was just running around the house giggling like normal. 

 

Am watching movies now with hubby, sippy on my second (and last) very weak Sangria (about 1/3 wine). 

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18 minutes ago, Magdalena Ravenclaw said:

Did a lower body workout. The slightly added height did help a bit, though I still found my shoulders rounding a bit on the deadlift. I'm gonna get blocks or something to raise it higher. But, no pain in the knee (probably helped that I didn't "push through the knees" and just stood up like @Harriet said). I still am stronger on the RDL; I can do more reps of them. I'll have to try to refind that article that I'm pretty sure said you will always be able to lift more on the traditional deadlift than the RDL. Maybe I misread? 

 

Anyway . . . poor little 2 year old fell and broke his wrist! He's okay, he didn't even cry when the doctor moved his wrist all about. He fell in the kitchen last night and it was swollen but I figured it was just a sprain. But it was still swollen this morning and then he fell again at the playground and was really favoring it so I went ahead and took him to Urgent Care. He broke the bone that runs from the wrist to the thumb. I feel so bad for him. He's in a splint for now (waiting to see an orthopedic specialist). For the first several hours he kept pulling at it and saying, "help, mommy, off." But this evening I guess he got used to it because he was just running around the house giggling like normal. 

 

Am watching movies now with hubby, sippy on my second (and last) very weak Sangria (about 1/3 wine). 

 

Ooh, sorry about the lad's wrist. I hope he heals up quickly. I'm glad your deadlift is going a bit better, though.

 

37 minutes ago, Magdalena Ravenclaw said:

So here I am drinking a protein shake in between sips of a sangria in the hopes of off setting the carb/alcohol intake. So does that mean I'm not only wasting the protein shake but also that the calories from the protein shake are going to get stored as fat instead of refueling my muscles? 


What do you mean by offsetting?

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16 hours ago, Magdalena Ravenclaw said:

So here I am drinking a protein shake in between sips of a sangria in the hopes of off setting the carb/alcohol intake. So does that mean I'm not only wasting the protein shake but also that the calories from the protein shake are going to get stored as fat instead of refueling my muscles? 

 

Pretty much. 

 

Everyone interested, please do check out the article @analoggirl posted. I was only quoting from memory, and it's definitely better to go straight to the source of information than rely on my posts. For example, it mentions the insulin increase, which I had forgotten about.

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Today I lifted less. Well, more weights, but less sets and reps. I've been so sore after lower body days that I've had to skip cardio the following day(s), and add in extra rest days, so I decided to experiment. So instead of 3-4 sets of stuff, I did 2-3 sets. And I'm up to 70 lbs on the dead lift and RDL. Mostly because I set it up on stacked weight plates so that it actually hit my lower shin instead of my ankle. It's amazing how much more you can lift when you can actually do it right, lol. Oh, and I've added Bulgarian Split Squats to my routine but without weights at this point because those suckers are HARD! 

 

Oh, and I'm up to 42lbs on the OHP. I did them yesterday. Starting to feel sore in the shoulders this evening. Hopefully I'm not ridiculously sore tomorrow or I'll have to add an extra rest day for upper too.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Magdalena Ravenclaw said:

 And I'm up to 70 lbs on the dead lift and RDL. Mostly because I set it up on stacked weight plates so that it actually hit my lower shin instead of my ankle. It's amazing how much more you can lift when you can actually do it right, lol.

 

YAY!!!

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16 hours ago, Magdalena Ravenclaw said:

Today I lifted less. Well, more weights, but less sets and reps. I've been so sore after lower body days that I've had to skip cardio the following day(s), and add in extra rest days, so I decided to experiment. So instead of 3-4 sets of stuff, I did 2-3 sets. And I'm up to 70 lbs on the dead lift and RDL. Mostly because I set it up on stacked weight plates so that it actually hit my lower shin instead of my ankle. It's amazing how much more you can lift when you can actually do it right, lol. Oh, and I've added Bulgarian Split Squats to my routine but without weights at this point because those suckers are HARD! 

 

Oh, and I'm up to 42lbs on the OHP. I did them yesterday. Starting to feel sore in the shoulders this evening. Hopefully I'm not ridiculously sore tomorrow or I'll have to add an extra rest day for upper too.

 

 

Great success all around!

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Wasn't too sore for a workout. Yay! Did not do 42lbs though. Stuck with 30 -- OHP, Chest Press, and Bent Over Rows. Plus delt isolation. Same old, same old.

 

But, I did do half of Ahch-To today -- yay! I'm actually wondering if I should do a cardio challenge next. Is that Scouts? All I do is short HITT workouts (10 minutes or less; did I mention I hate cardio?). What I mostly mean is that unless I'm too sore, I lift 5-6x a week. But Cardio is maybe 3x. I'm thinking to shed some of the fat so I can actually see the muscle I'm building, I may have to up the cardio. So does that mean I add HITT to my warrior goals, or do I do a Scout challenge? 🤔

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14 minutes ago, Magdalena Ravenclaw said:

I'm thinking to shed some of the fat so I can actually see the muscle I'm building, I may have to up the cardio. So does that mean I add HITT to my warrior goals, or do I do a Scout challenge? 🤔

 

Whatever you prefer :) Maybe the rangers would be a good fit, too. 

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1 hour ago, Magdalena Ravenclaw said:

I'm thinking to shed some of the fat so I can actually see the muscle I'm building, I may have to up the cardio. So does that mean I add HITT to my warrior goals, or do I do a Scout challenge? 🤔

 

You can be a Warrior and do cardio. After all, how are we supposed to pursue our enemies as they flee in terror from us, if we can't sprint properly?

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2 minutes ago, Scalyfreak said:

You can be a Warrior and do cardio. After all, how are we supposed to pursue our enemies as they flee in terror from us, if we can't sprint properly?

 

You can also be a Warrior and do cardio grudgingly, for the sole purpose of increasing your work capacity for lifting (or, alternatively, for resucing small friends) while complaining that Dwarves are wasted on long distance. 

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1 minute ago, Harriet said:

 

You can also be a Warrior and do cardio grudgingly, for the sole purpose of increasing your work capacity for lifting (or, alternatively, for resucing small friends) while complaining that Dwarves are wasted on long distance. 

 

Absolutely. 

 

The moral of this story is that cardio can always be made to fit in anywhere you want it to fit in. Warriors, Scouts, or Rangers.

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9 hours ago, Magdalena Ravenclaw said:

Wasn't too sore for a workout. Yay! Did not do 42lbs though. Stuck with 30 -- OHP, Chest Press, and Bent Over Rows. Plus delt isolation. Same old, same old.

 

But, I did do half of Ahch-To today -- yay! I'm actually wondering if I should do a cardio challenge next. Is that Scouts? All I do is short HITT workouts (10 minutes or less; did I mention I hate cardio?). What I mostly mean is that unless I'm too sore, I lift 5-6x a week. But Cardio is maybe 3x. I'm thinking to shed some of the fat so I can actually see the muscle I'm building, I may have to up the cardio. So does that mean I add HITT to my warrior goals, or do I do a Scout challenge? 🤔

Lifting 5-6x a week and HIIT 3x a week is honestly kind of a lot.  TBH if fat loss is the goal, I would take another look at your nutrition. I think increasing to add 20m of HIIT is going to be a lot lower calorie burn that cutting out a few hundred calories of intake. Fat loss 80% nutrition, 20% fitness. 

 

But with that being said, you can put cardio wherever you want it to fit. Many of us warriors do or have done challenges with cardio. 

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31 minutes ago, miss_marissa said:

Lifting 5-6x a week and HIIT 3x a week is honestly kind of a lot.  TBH if fat loss is the goal, I would take another look at your nutrition. I think increasing to add 20m of HIIT is going to be a lot lower calorie burn that cutting out a few hundred calories of intake. Fat loss 80% nutrition, 20% fitness. 

 

But with that being said, you can put cardio wherever you want it to fit. Many of us warriors do or have done challenges with cardio. 

 

Excellent, agree. 

 

You need cardio just for health reasons. The heart is a muscle and a Warrior will train it accordingly. We just don't make it the sole focus like a scout or even co-equal like a ranger. Just a little bit is plenty for health if you are not seeking VO2 max or other goals. It doesn't even have to be a sole cardio session, something like circuit training works as well or a long walk. 

 

I agree with Marissa that's a lot of work. It might work, but it could just burn you out and you find that your workouts suffer. Especially if you are on a calorie deficit. 

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17 hours ago, Scalyfreak said:

 

You can be a Warrior and do cardio. After all, how are we supposed to pursue our enemies as they flee in terror from us, if we can't sprint properly?

 

True that!

 

17 hours ago, Harriet said:

 

You can also be a Warrior and do cardio grudgingly, for the sole purpose of increasing your work capacity for lifting (or, alternatively, for resucing small friends) while complaining that Dwarves are wasted on long distance. 

 

Oh, good, because I like being a warrior and didn't really want to leave for 5 weeks. I would miss you all!

 

9 hours ago, miss_marissa said:

Lifting 5-6x a week and HIIT 3x a week is honestly kind of a lot.  TBH if fat loss is the goal, I would take another look at your nutrition. I think increasing to add 20m of HIIT is going to be a lot lower calorie burn that cutting out a few hundred calories of intake. Fat loss 80% nutrition, 20% fitness. 

 

But with that being said, you can put cardio wherever you want it to fit. Many of us warriors do or have done challenges with cardio. 

 

I've actually upped my calories because my typical weight loss diet is 800-1000 calories (with weekend splurges) and didn't think that would be enough now that I'm lifting heavy. 

 

8 hours ago, h3r0 said:

I agree with Marissa that's a lot of work. It might work, but it could just burn you out and you find that your workouts suffer. Especially if you are on a calorie deficit. 

 

Honestly, at this point, I don't know if I'm in deficit or not. I've never had this much problems losing weight before. I would cut out carbs, eat around 800-1000 calories (1200-1500 on weekends) and strength train (work with 8bs dumbbells and body weight -- lunges, squats, etc. with no weights). When I started working with barbells, first I added an extra protein shake, and then when I still wasn't losing, added in another meal as I assumed I wasn't eating enough. I'm not counting calories, but I don't think I'm eating too much. I've never eaten to lift heavy before. 

 

Here's my typical day.

 

Coffee -- 165 cal (from sugar-free creamer & added protein)  / 11 gr. protein
Protein Shake -- 160 cal / 30 gr protein (I do forget this one a lot, unless I'm hungry which reminds me)

Lunch (ranges from 160-240-300 depending if another protein shake, chicken on low-carb wrap, or protein bar) / pro. 15-30 grams

Dinner -- At least 30 gram protein, and under 45 grams carbs (usually carbs are closer to 15-30 range)

Snack / Post Workout -- Protein shake 160 cal / 30 grams protein plus 2-3 squares 90% chocolate 190 cal (and about 5 carbs) And if I'm really hungry, I'll also eat raw red pepper with light ranch dressing (80 calories for the ranch)

 

Not including dinner, my calories are around 915 if I remember my morning shake and 755 if I forget.

 

Dinner is usually chicken or steak strips (150 calories) or burger (250 calories) with bacon (70) plus cheese and/or low-sugar sauce (100-200), possibly including a low carb wrap (80 cal) or very occasionally pasta (always under 30 grams carbs) and/or veggies. 

 

So, my highest dinner would be the bacon cheeseburger on low carb-wrap for about 530-600. But honestly, it's usually chicken or lean steak strips. 

 

For instance, yesterday's dinner was only about 300 calories (chicken sausage with cheddar cheese). The day before, I had steak strips (180) with pepperjack cheese (70) on low carb wrap (80) with light sour cream (40-60) and a bit of salsa (30), for a total of 420.

 

So my guess is my calories are between 1200-1500 on average. I've no idea if that is a deficit or a surplus -- it feels like a lot to me. All I know is I'm not walking around starving, and if I do feel hungry it reminds me that I forgot a shake so I go drink it, or if I get hungry later, I let myself eat the red pepper and ranch. 

 

This is the most I've ever eaten on a "diet." I'm actually trying not to diet and just choose healthy foods 80-90% of the time (I eat thin crust pizza on the weekends, and weekend snacks are rice cakes with cream cheese). I don't feel deprived for the first time ever, so I'm happy with my eating right now, just not happy that I'm not losing. If I'm eating too much (my fear), that would suck. If I'm not eating enough, that's scary, because I honestly don't know how to eat more; I would be terrified I would gain weight. 

 

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8 minutes ago, Magdalena Ravenclaw said:

True that! I would cut out carbs, eat around 800-1000 calories (1200-1500 on weekends) and strength train (work with 8bs dumbbells and body weight -- lunges, squats, etc. with no weights).

 

Gaaaahhhhhh! 800 calories is like, a somewhat large salad. 

 

8 minutes ago, Magdalena Ravenclaw said:

So my guess is my calories are between 1200-1500 on average.

 

This is still not much. Wait. Are you rather short? That would be fair enough, I guess... but then again, maybe not, if you're doing a lot of exercise. 

 

8 minutes ago, Magdalena Ravenclaw said:

I'm actually trying not to diet and just choose healthy foods 80-90% of the time (I eat thin crust pizza on the weekends, and weekend snacks are rice cakes with cream cheese). I don't feel deprived for the first time ever, so I'm happy with my eating right now, just not happy that I'm not losing. If I'm eating too much (my fear), that would suck. If I'm not eating enough, that's scary, because I honestly don't know how to eat more; I would be terrified I would gain weight. 


Hmmm. I'm not sure eating more would make anyone lose weight. It might re-balance the stressy hormones that make losing weight harder... but you still have to be in a deficit to lose, if I understand it right. Some sources recommend taking regular diet breaks and eating at maintenance for a couple of weeks to mitigate those sorts of negative hormonal adaptations. If you're neither hungry nor overeating, I guess you're in a good place for maintenance, though it depends on how good you are at intuiting your needs. 

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2 hours ago, Harriet said:

 

Gaaaahhhhhh! 800 calories is like, a somewhat large salad. 

 

 

This is still not much. Wait. Are you rather short? That would be fair enough, I guess... but then again, maybe not, if you're doing a lot of exercise. 

 


Hmmm. I'm not sure eating more would make anyone lose weight.

 

I'm 5'5. I wasn't sure about adding more, but that was based on the "if you don't eat enough you go into starvation mode and won't lose weight" theory. Ugh. 

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27 minutes ago, Magdalena Ravenclaw said:

I'm 5'5. I wasn't sure about adding more, but that was based on the "if you don't eat enough you go into starvation mode and won't lose weight" theory. Ugh. 


Ah. Then that is indeed not much food, in my opinion. Everyone is different, so you know best what's right for you. But just for reference, I'm 5'6" (rounding up), 73kg, and I might eat anywhere from 1800-2800, depending on how much activity I'm doing and whether I'm in a slight deficit or slight surplus.

Starvation mode. Hmmm. Well, your body does adjust to prolonged low caloric intake via hormonal and other mechanisms that make you more efficient at using calories and therefore slow down your weight loss. But weight loss won't stop completely if you're in a deficit; a deficit will always cause weight loss. BUT the amount that used to be a deficit for you might no longer be a deficit because 1. you are lighter and therefore need less energy 2. you have unconsciously downregulated non-exercise activity throughout the day and 3. you have lost muscle mass.

 

Excessive exercise doesn't help, because it increases stress hormones. Also, when you're on a caloric deficit, especially with low carbs, a workout might feel subjectively hard because your glycogen stores are low. But it might nevertheless not be objectively difficult enough to provoke a strong adaptation (i.e. increase your fitness).

 

For those two reasons, you can't just increase exercise/decrease calories repeatedly and indefinitely, since this will drive down your maintenance calories and cause chronic stress, which is bad. To get out of this cycle, you should take regular diet breaks where you eat more or exercise less or both. Some studies show that alternating dieting and maintenance in two week blocks might be just as effective for weight loss as dieting continuously, but without the downsides! I think this research is preliminary, however.

 

I am not a doctor, and the literature is confusing. This is my best attempt to synthesise everything I've read. I hope it helps.

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Except for the stubborn weight loss, I don't have any of the symptoms of Metabolic Damage / Starvation Mode (been googling this for the last several hours):

 

Gas / Bloating / Constipation and/or diarrhoea / Reflux or heart burn / Low energy or fatigue / Increased hunger and food cravings / Reduced libido / Oedema -- fluid retention, especially in the calves or ankles / Anxiety and depression / Weight gain or stubborn weight loss / Loss of muscle mass / Irregularity or cessation of periods in women / Low immunity, recurring and/or prolonged colds and flu / Sleep disturbances / Changes in mood

 

Spoiler

My husband might disagree on the reduced libido, lol, but I chalk that up to not liking how I look. 😁

 

However, I've spent my life either on a low-calorie diet or splurging, so I *should be* the poster child for it. The advice seems to be, for a 3 week period, either eat less and workout less or eat more and workout more, but don't eat less and workout more . . . the opposite of what I'm tempted to do. The thing is, since I started lifting heavier I was eating more. So I would have thought that was eating more and workout more. Ugh! 

 

Okay, so I'm thinking of this as my new workout schedule and keeping my eating the same / aiming for 1500 a day. 

 

Mon: Lower Body (compound & isolation)

Tues: Yoga, Cardio, Abs

Wed: Upper Body (compound & isolation)

Thurs: Yoga, Cardio, Abs

Fri:  Full Body (compound exercises)

Sat: Rest

Sun: Rest OR Cardio & Abs ( and maybe yoga)

 

My cardio will either be 1/2 Ahch-To (unless I'm really motivated and do the whole thing)  or my 10-min HITT DVD, and my yoga is this 12-min Yoga Emergency for legs and another for hips. I'll either rotate or do both. I have NEVER gotten into a regular yoga routine so if I actually succeed at this, it will be amazing. I tend to only focus on one thing at a time (probably due to the ADHD) which is usually strength training. If I'm really motivated, I'll add in cardio. And I tend to only do yoga when I'm in pain (usually the 12-min emergency back version -- I have them all, lol). 

 

I'm going to try to force myself to do this routine for the rest of this 5-week challenge, so only 2 weeks and see if it makes a difference. I tend to try something for a few days and give up if the scale doesn't go down. I might try to keep myself off the scale too. 

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