I lost about 30 lbs by running an average 500 calorie deficit from September through May. This month I did a sprint triathlon, and don't have the same motivation to maintain a deficit for now.
I'm considering a "lean recomposition" approach through the summer, while I train for another triathlon or two, and would appreciate some feedback on the approach and some specific questions.
I'm not that lean. I weigh 153ish and have 32% body fat. I'd like to be leaner, but want to improve cross-training performance even more than I want to look ok in a jersey.
I'd like to eat somewhere between maintenance and a mild deficit (200-300 cal). I've got a food scale, and just got a heart rate monitor, the better to track calories out.
The "lean recomposition" recommendations I've seen focus on high-protein/low carb diets, but I'm not sure that's quite right for a tri crosstrain schedule. The day after I finished the triathlon, I was very hungry and was craving carbs. I suspect it's because my body needed some more carbs.
After the October triathlon, I'd like to focus more strongly on fat reduction, with a calorie deficit and some boot camp / more intense weight training.
Any feedback on the overall approach, and specific advice?
I dunno before i started cycling i was on 1200-1400 per day and eating prolly about 50-60% carbs and wasnt hungry at all ..
infact reading back on my journals it was just about 5-6weeks ago when i thought i'd never manage to eat more than 1,300 cals haha ....
so im pretty sure its the lack of carbs that's doing it.
haha found this in my journals from the post i wrote when i decided to more to the lean recomposition
unfortunatly the major sticking point i can see is the high carb days - ie gym days ... no i have no-problem with eating the carbs but my 1,900-2000cal maintaince could be a problem as i struggle eatting 1,300-1,400 most days.
I know i know easily fill myself full of 1,900 cals of junk but thats not really the point of a "lean recomposition" .. im not going to get lean on junk and im worried amount of food it seems to require me to eat.
and this from 2 days before that
*sob* its 9:30pm and i've only eaten 850cals and i feel sick and bloated and i really don't want to eat anything else, but there is no way i can leave my daily calories so low.
Yup definatly the carbs not the calories haha i could quite happily live off 100cals as long as it had enough carbs
Thanks for the tips. I eat plenty of bulky vegetables so that's not it. I could stand to drink more water, and will do that.
But I think the simplest explanation is the most plausible. Yesterday for dinner I had a whole foods packaged meal of (pretty lowfat) fresh vegetarian indian food that was 16 oz and I felt great, after feeling starving all day. Then I lifted weights at the gym and felt fine instead of lightheaded and weak. I think it's the food.
So I'm going to strive to eat maintenance for two weeks with the new, harder workouts, and go back to the calorie cycling then. The calorie cycling is just going to be overall calories, not cutting back on carbs in specific. I want to do another triathlon or two, and lowcarb doesn't seem like the right way to go.
It's frustrating because I think I'm going to reach my body fat goal in 2010.
Original Post by rnjt:
Original Post by melkor:
Covert Bailey's home body fat test, mostly :) Which is to say, I use a tape measure to see that I'm still making progress in the direction I want, though with agonizing slowness compared to the effects of dieting and working out a year ago :)
actually melkor, my friend & i found some interesting results using that calculation. she has an apple shape. great legs, not so great on top. im the opposite. i found that calculation to be seemingly correct for me but she believes she has more body fat than it stated. i think its because the calculations only really takes your lower body into account. but i know once you do it you can use it to see to track progress.
I just took this and it says that I have 17% body fat. Absolutely, positively, incorrect. I have more fat than that in just my breasts!
So far, this aproach has been highly successful from the POV of fitness goals, and a wash or retrograde for body composition.
I've added club rides and group swim interval classes, and have been able to do both without feeling like keeling over.
I've taken hill climbing performance up a couple of notches. The extra food has helped fuel this progress.
Body comp goals:
According to consistent scale readings it looks like I've gained 1.5-2 lbs (!), even though by my count I've been at or under calorie balance. This could be dehydration water retention (I need to be drinking more water). It could conceivably be some muscle gain though I can't tell from measurements. Or it could be that my body has been rebelling from keeping a deficit for 8 months. In that case eating closer to maintenance is really the right thing to do.
What's most bizarre, the bathroom scale seems to think I've gained 4% bodyfat. Now, I think the body fat readings on this scale are pretty worthless - they can fluctuate by 1-2% per day, and my body isn't gaining/losing 6 lbs of fat per day! Today's 35% reading follows a 33.x% reading yesterday. I doubt yesterday's bike ride catabolized 5 lbs of muscle. I had gatorade and a snickers on the ride, and a big hunk of fish for dinner; it seems more likely that the scale bodyfat reading is worthless than I dissolved noticeable muscle from the bike ride. Right?
I dont' think my clothes fit worse and I feel great.
This is the week where my goal is to "normalize" the more intense workouts. I plan to do a club swim and group ride, and lift weights twice. Then take next week easy. Then reset goals. The goals will depend on what I learn from a sports medicine appointment tonigight; but the reset might include some more intense weight lifting with some trainer advice.
Update: in this phase, fitness goals are primary and body comp goals are secondary, so I can't be too annoyed. After tri season, I'll spend some time with body comp as a primary goal - if I get similar results then I'll be really p-o'ed.
congrats to you on your success with the fitness goals. i think you're wise to focus on one set of goals at a time. i think it also makes sense not to hover over the scale during this phase. your big cardio days will cause some water retention, so as long as you're not noticing a clean trend of increasing numbers on the scale, i think you're fine. the lean recomposition plan wasn't designed for someone who is training for triathalons, so it makes sense that you were struggling with some hunger bugs when you tried to do both at the same time. good luck with your training and i really hope you are proud of your acheivements, even if they are not necessarily in the bf% realm.