This is SO counterintuitive, it irritates me.
For the past month (since my third WW meeting), I’ve been bouncing around the same 1.5lbs, despite working my ass off and eating very health foods (for the most part).
WW week 3: Lost 1.4 lbs
I was sooooo not looking forward to this WI, which came during the week Evan and I went to Cedar Point and indulged in fried dough, sno cones, a pizza buffet and some other restaurant/convenience food throughout the 3- 1/2 day trip and 15 hours of drive time. I explained the loss on my activity (especially doing hundreds of stairs at the water park and starting my running regimine that week).
WW week 4: Gained 1.4 lbs
This was the week I was home for the family reunion. I have a tendency to oversnack at home for some reason, but I was pleased with my ability to stay on track, despite having almost every meal at a restaurant. I chose the salad bar at Ruby Tuesdays, paired with a baked potato since they didn’t have the steamed dumpling appetizer. I ate a grilled Buffalo Chicken salad that had an almost overwhelming number of healthy substitutions for our poor waiter. Another day, I had a sub for lunch and avoided the bakery cake and cookies at the reunion in favor of two homemade mini cupcakes I had brought to the event (although I did have 2-3 servings of chips!). I drank a ton of water and I skipped the McD’s on the way home and the DQthat is temptingly close to my parent’s house. I even went to the gym 6 out of 7 days that week! I assumed it just took a few extra days for the Cedar Point trip to catch up with me.
WW week 5: Lost 0.6 bs
This was a pretty normal week, except for the fact that I had a piece of chocolate zucchini cake. Every night. I didn’t pay too much attention to how many points it was, but I later learned the cake was about 500 calories a slice. I blamed the loss on my inability to do proper math and figured that I miscalculated the zucchini cake calories. I even said to myself “Man! Imagine how much weight you would have lost without the daily cakefest!”
WW week 6: Gained 0.8lbs
I ate mostly perfectly this week. I planned the perfectly healthy July 4th festivity. I indulged a bit at Evan’s house over the weekend (Baja Fresh burrito bowl for lunch on the same day we had his birthday celebration and party food) but still stayed within my calorie and point budgets. I still had 5-7 servings of fruits and veggies a day, I limited my carbs (only eating whole grain carbs) and maintained a good carb/protein balance. I worked out 6 days this week. Calorie-wise, I stuck to eating about 1500-1700 calories a day or 30-35 points. This is my regular point budget for WW, including a portion of my weekly points. I did NOT eat activity points. I figured this was just a normal hormonally-related jump in the numbers.
WW week 7: Gained 0.4lbs
I ate mostly perfectly this week. Despite Evan’s party (where I stayed within my calorie budget and limited the alcohol intake to 1 beer), I still had 5-7 servings of fruits and veggies a day, I limited my carbs (only eating whole grain carbs) and maintained a good carb/protein balance. I worked out 6 days this week. Overall, I consumed more points and calories than the previous week–I actually started eating some of the Activity Points I earned.
When I started my food blog, my sister pointed out my startling low net calories each day. (Net calories is calories consumed minus activity calories.) Truthfully, I hadn’t noticed it until I posted the food blog.
And now, upon taking a closer look at my food journals from week to week, I notice that my losses are NOT during the weeks where I’m “good.” They’re during the weeks where I allow myself a daily indulgence and increase my calories a bit more than usual.
My mindset has always been: cut 500-ish of calories out of your food intake and exercise enough to burn 500 calories a day and you’ll lose 1-2 lbs a week. For me, that’s a 1500 calorie a day diet and a moderate to high intensity 30 minute cardioworkout. By my workouts are typically longer. I pair a weight routine with my 30 minute run/walks. I pair a 15 minute absroutine with spin class (which is actually 45 minutes). And my training walks are now at least 90 minutes long (soon to be 2.5 hrs and longer).
So, I’ve been contemplating the fact that I need to eat more. And, ironically, dreading it. After all, isn’t food what got me in this nee for weight loss predicament in the first place? I’m pretty satisfied with my diet right now. I eat very healthy foods and allow myself 1-2 little indulgences a day. I like the feeling of control and the ability to instinctively know when I’ve probably used up my 1500-1700 a day calorie budget. It has become quite easy.
And now it needs to change.
Yesterday, I had nearly 2000 calories. Today, the scales showed a whopping 2lb loss. Seriously? That’s all it takes? A trip to Coldstone and one and a half chocolate peanut butter bars? Bring. It. On.
No… not really. Yesterday, I had too many sweets. I will do this increased calorie challenge for myself, but I will supplement it withhealthier foods. Trust me, I won’t be turning down a daily sweet treat, but I will make sure that the extra 300-500 calories I need to consume daily are “clean” foods with good carb/protein balances.
As I continue to lose weight, I’ll need to continue to adjust my diet and fitness plan. This skill I’ve developed at firmly budgeting my calories will suit me quite well as I get closer to goal weight. But right now, it’s time to stimulate the economy metabolism. So that’s what I’m gonna do.
This week’s goal is to consume 1200-1400 net calories daily, to ease into eating more. If that seems to work, I’ll decide whether my net calories need to increase a little more or be tapered a bit. I also have to change my workouts. My feet are in more pain than they should be feeling right now, and I suspect I may have a stress fracture from running and the long training walks for the Breast Cancer 3-Day. Oops. I’m sticking with biking and swimming this week, scheduling a doc appointment (and maybe x-rays) and laying off the walking/running until further notice. It makes me sad. Just skipping one day of running this week was tough, but trying to walk after Thursday session has been tougher.
The rest of the day is now booked with relaxing, cooking and meal planning. I’m about to make a batch of gazpacho for lunches and pick a couple recipes from Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian” to make later in the week.