Weight Loss Step 2: Education (you may want to read this first)
Holy crap, I’ve lost a lot of weight so far. It was more than I expected, but it makes sense once I break it down later in this post. Let me back up a little bit.
In case you haven’t read part 1 or 2,
How a (Future) Dietitian Does a Diet Part 1
How a (Future) Dietitian Does a Diet Part 2
While I have the education step covered seeing as I will probably be a registered dietitian within the next five months or so, there is always more to learn and more strategies to develop for teaching others. I can also work on finding and making more healthy recipes, so there may be a couple of those in the future J For many of you out there, whether you have already started your weight loss plan or not, Education is a vital step in your weight loss journey that should always be ongoing. Research is hard to do, especially when you are a normal person without training on how to read scientific literature. It truly is confusing. Misinterpretations of science have filled the internet with hundreds of misconceptions about weight loss and healthy eating and many people are out for your money without a concern for you as a person. Basically, what I’m trying to say is to be wary when reading or listening to nutrition advice from people that aren’t dietitians because they don’t see the whole picture!
The biggest educational piece I’m currently working on for myself is a Quick Weight Loss Kickstart diet that will help people safely lose 2-4 lbs* of fat per week for several weeks, in as healthy of a way as possible, before transitioning into a more balanced weight loss approach that you can sustain long term (.5-2 lbs per week). People with obesity may be able to stay on the program for more than several weeks. My inspiration for developing a faster weight loss diet was my girlfriend who worked at a medical weight loss center that put patients on diets as low as 420 Calories per day. Although I’m not a member of the primary targeted population for this diet I’m developing, I do think this diet does have some application to the more athletic, leaner population in the right context. I will be working out the kinks to this diet for the first 2-4 weeks of my diet and documenting my progress. Then, I will demonstrate a slower, more flexible diet plan for several weeks after that.
*Total weight loss will be greater than this due to a decrease in fluid, glycogen, and intestinal content.
My results so far after one week:
Day 1 (2/24/14) Weight: 207.6 lbs
Day 8 (3/3/14) Weight: 196.2
- I’m moving towards my goal of a healthier body fat percentage.
- I look leaner.
- My squat hasn’t been affected much, if at all. I did two sets of 335lbs for 3 reps today.
- My acid reflux has improved. I had a little today before working out, but it has been way less frequent recently.
- My 32” waist jeans are fitting better.
- I’ve not been feeling bloated and lethargic when I wake up in the morning.
- Hunger hasn’t been that big of an issue despite a restrictive diet!
Talk about being motivated by progress! A large part of you exercising fiends that are really concerned with muscle loss are probably thinking that this is a ridiculous weight loss pace and I must have lost a lot of muscle. I almost didn’t put this weight in up here for that reason and because I thought it would look fake and gimmicky, but please let me explain. A huge portion of that weight loss is fluid. When switching to a lower carbohydrate diet, you lose your stored carbohydrates in the form of muscle and liver glycogen. Carbohydrates are hydrophilic, meaning that they like water and hold on to it in the body. For every gram of stored glycogen, we store about 3 grams of water. Basically, my body had a lot of stored glycogen because I went straight from eating a ton of carbohydrates (>500 g/day) to a lower carbohydrate intake. I burned a lot of my glycogen and the water had to come out with it. Most people won’t see weight loss at this fast of a rate, even on this quick weight loss plan. I probably lost about 3-3.5 lbs of fat and 7.9-8.4 lbs of fluid, glycogen, and intestinal content. I suspect minimal muscle loss at this point because:
- My strength has been surprisingly good in the gym for a much lower Carb intake.
- I don’t visibly look like I’ve lost much muscle.
- I had been gaining weight for the previous 2 years so my hormones are primed for muscle retention.
- I have only been dieting for a week so far.
According to my estimations, I have lost the weight of about 1 gallon of water (~8.3 lbs!) from glycogen, fluid, and intestinal contents in just one week!
Photo Courtesy of Travis S.
*This weight changing phenomenon is a large part of the reason many dieters experience a large weight gain after only one or two “cheat” days. They consume more carbohydrates and sodium than usual during the “cheat” and then the body begins to hold on to more water. But I digress.*
I expect my next weight in will be about 193 lbs because I shouldn’t have much more water weight to lose. Stay tuned for my progress and more posts! Some big articles will also be coming out within the next 7-10 days, including the next part of this series and hopefully the next installment in my weight loss steps series – Weight Loss Step 3: Preparation.