Saturday, May 23, 2009

Vary your calorie load

Both intake and burn.  It can help you bust a plateau when your body has adapted to your calorie intake.  I sometimes skip a meal.  I know that is contrary to popular wisdom.  However, I seem to benefit from it.  I prefer to skip a dinner meal rather than  a morning meal because I do so much physical activity in the morning.  I make sure I don't eat less than 1200 calories.  I have been listening to the Motivation to Move podcast on my shuffle while I was doing yard work (weed eating is very sweaty work.) Scott mentioned varying his calories this morning as a way to improve his fitness/physique.  I think he is on the right track.  Last year when I was in my last plateau (I'm in one now) I used calorie cycling to get myself out of a 9 month plateau.  Now, if you are in a plateau you shouldn't despair.  I have learned from Sandra Ahten and the IOWL podcasts that these are times to reevaluate my behavior and also to embrace the fact that I have learned how to maintain a lower weight than I was before.  I don't expect Scott to get around to reading my blog (he probably doesn't know I'm here lol!) Still, if you do, the cool part about calorie cycling is that you don't have to always abstain from your favorite foods, you just put off the higher calorie ones until your higher calorie day.  

Also, giving yourself permission to eat what you really want to eat (with a bit of portion control) removes some of the power that food can have over you.  Checking in with your stomach to find out what your body really needs is a very effective method for becoming more at ease with food.  Thats a major premise in IOWL.  

I am now working on getting out of my plateau.  Contrary to popular method, I have skipped the occasional breakfast.  I am trying the IF method.  That is short for Intermittent Fasting.  I'm not as hardcore as the Eades are as posted on their blog.  Instead, I just skip breakfast.  I have shifted my cardio to the evening on those days.  I don't want to do cardio without fuel in my system.  This incorporates a period of no food with unpredictable feed periods.  Also, I'm still using a couple of days of my old style of calorie cycling, with eating 

In a week it looks like this:
S Low calorie day (stop eating at 1 pm)
M Eat until 6 pm
T Start eating at noon.  (this is where I vary from the Eades)
W Eat until 6 pm
T Start eating at noon.
F Eat until 6 pm
S High calorie day Normal calorie load, no fast at all.  Low carb to avoid a problem 

I have also shifted my workouts to accommodate my variation in calorie intake.
S off
M am Jog, pm Yoga
T am yoga, pm Step
W am Jog, pm whole body strength 
T am yoga, pm cycling (1 hour steady state)
F am Jog, pm Yoga
S am Step, pm Yoga

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