Quick diet update
It’s been a week now. Yeah… I decided to just dive in. Why bother waiting?
I’m trying to find something I can stick with, because that’s the hardest part. Really, I can stick with almost anything with sufficient motivation. But what seems to make a difference this time around is data. First, having numbers up front, thanx to something like Scooby’s calorie calculator. Second, keeping track of things somewhere, like here on this blog.
Having the numbers up front is what’s making things interesting. If I know I can have x grams of carbs and y grams of protein and that’s that… boy, it sure changes your perception of portions. And yes, you need to measure it all out. I’ve had a kitchen scale for a while now and boy that’s handy. But also simple measuring cups and spoons. Really tho, using grams for everything is about the best and easiest way. Plus calorieking.com has such a great interface for being able to calculate on the fly. Good stuff there. And yes, I do this. I try to figure out every meal.
It’s kinda tough. You can’t just measure out meat and say “there’s protein” because what if I’m having brown rice? That’s got enough protein in it to matter. I’ve been using Daipoong brown rice (hey, it’s the Korean in me), and 1 cup of cooked is about 50g of carbs but also 5g of protein… and when I have to measure things out, that 5g matters. In fact to show how much it matters, I went back to Scooby’s calculator. I re-entered my calculations from before, then I adjusted it from “moderate exercise” to “light exercise”. It dropped down 300 calories per day, and each meal dropped 5g protein, 5g carbs, 2g fat. Not much, but you can see how 5g can add up over the course of a day!
But the real interesting thing is watching portion sizes. I thought “oh, this is how much rice to have”, but no… 1 cup of cooked rice on your plate looks pretty huge. Then I pack an afternoon snack of some dried fruit, and a portion size to give me 55g of carbs there ends up looking like a handful… something that would have been “one bite” for me in the past. Geez. Enlightening.
What’s been kinda cool tho is noticing my energy levels feel pretty solid. I don’t feel drained for my workouts or for just getting around in a day, which is great. I do fear in the past I just wasn’t steady enough at bringing in energy vs. my output, so I’d underconsume thinking it was right levels, then my body would scream from being depleted and I’d gorge and get no where. So this is all very good. I did wonder about it in yesterday’s deadlift workout… is the reduction in diet affecting me? Is that why I didn’t get 8 reps and only got 6? Perhaps. I also gave blood a couple days prior, which could still have a mild effect. Hard to really say what’s involved here… it’s only been a week of eating this way.
And in that week, I haven’t seen much affect on the scale. I’m not sure why. Could it be a muscle vs. fat issue? That is, the scale won’t tell me if I’ve both gained a wee bit of muscle and lost a wee bit of fat. Or maybe I just found a static intake. I did wonder that because when I see what I am ingesting for carbs, maybe I am taking in enough but now just spread over 5 meals instead of 3? I don’t know. I probably should have measured my complete food intake prior to this for a baseline.
So given all of that, I am adjusting my intake slightly. Instead of aiming for 55g of carb/protein per meal, I’m aiming for 50g. I do want to keep it at least 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight. Again, I expect my strength work will either stall or decline some, but I’d like to minimize it. Workouts will continue forward on this 2x/week BBB-style plan, still increasing weights and moving ahead as normal. I figure when I stall due to diet, I’ll stall and I’ll know it, meantime why not just forge head?