Body Fat Loss Contest – Weeks 3 & 4

June 16, 2013

Tomorrow will be four weeks in my body fat loss contest. It’s still going well, and this time I actually have some decent results to show for it. I have a body fat scale at home, and while they aren’t completely accurate, I ‘calibrated’ mine to the best of my ability the day the contest started, so I’m treating it as if it always measures an average of 1.35% lower than it should. So I weigh a few times to get the same measurement twice (usually only 2-3 times), and then add 1.35%.

Taking all of these measurements with a grain of salt since they are all using a home scale, as of one day before the official 4 week mark, I have lost 3.8 lbs, and about 2.45% body fat. My calculations show that I’ve lost just under 4.6 lbs of fat and gained just under 0.8 lb of lean mass. I’m very pleased with the fat loss, but the lean body mass gain is much less than I was hoping for. I’m a bit over halfway down to the total weight I want to be, and don’t want to go lower for both bone density and maintainability reasons. So that means I need to kick up the muscle building a bit. The reading I have done tells me that, horrifyingly to the average American woman, this requires eating more calories than you burn. Because your body needs extra fuel to build muscle. Logically that makes sense. You are adding weight, it’s just a different kind than you normally add when you overeat dessert or snack foods while not working out. But it’s still a pretty unnerving thing after all the lifelong mental conditioning for losing weight – especially to a person who has struggled with their weight. So I’ve got some more balancing to figure out for the next couple of months.

A couple days during week three, I felt as if I had a lot of extra energy. I was hoping that would continue, but sadly, during week four, which was a busy week schedule-wise, that surplus energy feeling went away. And my sense that semi-sweetened yogurt tastes sweet on its own has lessened, which I find somewhat odd.

My workouts have consisted of a full body weight lifting session three days a week, two days of harder cardio training, with seven to eight one minute all-out/two minute recovery intervals, with a five minute break and then 20-30 minutes of more steady cardio, and then a day where I just take a long walk. I’m still struggling with feeling like my lower body has recovered enough to handle the squats and lunges I do, but the rest of my weight lifting is going well. I’m concentrating on only doing about six reps at higher weight in the interest of building muscle mass over muscle endurance. Diet-wise, I’m still eating whole foods with no refined ingredients (aside from protein bars or shakes), but giving myself one meal a week where I eat out and split a dessert.

Bring on weeks 5-13!

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