Monday, 31 August 2015

Six Months and More on the Exercise Diet

About 6 kg  (13 lbs) weight loss by simply exercising more (extra running, as it happens)
The blue line marked "raw" is the daily weight measures I take, and the red line is a smoothed version of that.
So there you have it.
Most diets only measure weight for a month or two, maybe six if you are lucky.
Six months on the "Exercise Diet" (stop worrying about carbs/fat/calories and do some darned exercise!) has given me about a 6 kg (13 lbs) weight loss.
And more than that, I am healthier for it too!
Ran 10K for the first time in MANY years, cycled the local 100km Tour de Vale in 5hrs 23 mins, and cycled the famous London to Brighton Bike ride in 4 hrs 30 mins.
Fitter AND less fat,
Win, win.

After 7 months my weight has risen a bit, but now at close to 8 months looks like dropping back.
Enough of that.
What about the period after that?
So many "fad" diets only get measured short term, with no longer term follow upWell, here is 8 months on the "Exercise Diet" (Jan 1st to 31st August - today! - is 8 months, so that is all the data I have).

So how come I have put on weight?

Annotated Weight-loss Graph showing three big cycling events, a dietary supplement (Creatine) amd a holiday week.

Things are looking a little clearer now.
The 8 month graph is the same - all I have done is add some notes.
So I gained a bit of weight on holiday. So far, so normal.
But what about the cycle events?
Well, when I want to do my best "on the day", I rest up beforehand to make sure I am not tired at the start-line. For the Tour de Vale (100km) and the London to Brighton ride (86km, but it ended up being 100+km by the time you add in the distance I cycled to the start line and my warm-down and stuff like that), I took a week of rest before each event.
I still went to work, and all that, but I didn't train at all.
No exercise on the "Exercise Diet" = no weight loss.

Then for my recent 200km ride (that, all included, turned out to be 232km - 145 miles! in just ONE DAY!) I took more severe steps.
I rested for 2 weeks beforehand, not one, and I did almost nothing the day before, as I had (not coincidentally!) a day off work.

What about the note marked "creatine"?
Well, creatine is a "sports supplement" - a "legal" one used by many athletes and body builders.
It's actually an amino acid (they make up protein).
Pretty well proven to enhance endurance.
Can allow you to train harder, but in my case I was using it to enhance my endurabce on the day.
Dosage I took was about 0.1g per kilo of body weight for 3 weeks,
After the 200km ride, I stopped taking it.
Like everything that actually has more than a placebo effect, creatine has a few "quirks".
One is weight gain - 2kg (4 1/2 lbs) is typical.
Apparently the muscles store more water (which, of course, weighs more!).
Now I have stopped taking it, I'll pee it out of my system in three to four weeks.
Notice the downwards curve in the weight graph almost as soon as I stopped taking the creatine.

So, to summarise, I have put weight on in the "events seasons" because the "rest" patterns means I have been running a lot less, and the creatine has caused a short-term weight "blip".

Now that my "event" season is over, I'll be going back to the running three times a week.
For me, running seems to be the most cost- and time-effective way of getting a decent workout with a decent calorie burn.
It is that extra few hundred calories a week lost by regular running that was causing the weight loss in the first 5 months, and it will do again.

Onwards and downwards, as they say!

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