(picture from 5 years ago running half marathon at 220 lbs.)
Plateau at 200 lb.
My weight has been oscillating around 200lbs. for two weeks. In response, I had switched from eating 25% of calories on my down days to 0 calories. This didn’t move the needle much and was close to unbearable. I switched back to eating 25% of my TDEE calories. I was beginning to worry about making progress. But looking at some other scales of progress gave me a little more perspective. Here’s what I found.
Body Fat Measures continue to converge.
Now that I have four weeks of data, I can see that the three measures of body fat are converging. The first measure is body electrical impedance using an Omron monitor. The second is using a caliper and associated look up table. The third is a calculation using waist and neck circumference, age, and height. For the last week, all three measures have been within 1% of each other in value and 6% as a percentage deviation. So, I have some confidence in the number.
Regaining FFM from lifting
Having confidence in the body fat percentage number means that although my body weight has been holding steady, my body fat percentage has been going down. That means that not only am I holding on to muscle mass as I lose weight, but I am gaining fat free mass. This is surprising because, I am eating at an overall caloric deficit on a weekly average. Perhaps, alternating eating a caloric surplus with a caloric deficit is giving my body enough nutrition to gain mass. That seems to be the case. I have kept to my lifting schedule of full body compound free-weights three days a week. This is plenty of stimulus to gain muscle. It’s not like I’m adding to my baseline muscle mass. It’s more I’m recovering fat free mass that I lost during the first six weeks of fasting. I’ll take it.
Weekly Averages Tell a Different Story
I may have stalled for two weeks but the weekly averages show continual progress. It is just not apparent in the noise of everyday measurements. Weight shows a plateau, but waist circumference and body percentage show continual progress. As long as the lines are moving down, I’m making progress.
I have also been exercising more. This consists largely of carpentry. I am building a greenhouse in the back yard using recycled materials. This involves a ton of labor. Two hours every day. I have also been commuting by bike to appointments which adds another 20 minutes a day to my exercise.