So, normally I'm not a big numbers fan. I've never been good at math (and let's not even talk about things like statistics). I'm much more of a humanities, arts, writing type of person but I've been thinking a lot about what it was that made me so successful with low carb from October 2015 when I first tried it through April-ish of 2016 when I fell of the wagon and am still trying to find my way back on it.
So I took some time and went through my blog week by week, looking at every weigh-in day and how much I lost or gained. I then coordinated (maybe not the right word) this with My Fitness Pal for each week and wrote down, week by week, how many cheat days I had, how many calories I took in a day and how many carbs, both regular and net, and I've discovered some interesting things.
I had a cheat day every week that I tracked (I tracked 20 weeks). Some weeks I had more than one day. One of the things I found was that I lost more weight on the weeks where I had one cheat day and when that cheat day was the first day at the start of the week. There were four weeks where I had two cheat days where I still lost weight but it was a small amount.
But even more interesting, I found that almost every week I had one very low calorie day. Not a fast but under 1,000 calories, usually in the 800 range and I lost weight on every one of those weeks. I also double checked back in the blog and I felt really good on those weeks. I've done some reading on intermittent fasting so this is a really fascinating finding to me.
As for carbs, I averaged carbs in the 40's for whole carbs and net carbs of the lower 30's on the weeks that I lost weight and, once again, I felt really great those weeks, especially the weeks where I had healthy veggie carbs. I also saw that I did go up on carbs on the weeks that I had really tough workouts but, once again, they were more veggie carbs and not things like bread, chocolate or desserts.
But it's also interesting that even on days where I had one cheat day I usually lost some weight. Of course the less cheat days there were, the more I lost.
I started all of this today because both yesterday and today when I had something high carb (like a bagel this morning... big mistake) I felt really unwell, lightheaded, sick, dizzy and just out of it... like I was in carb fog kind of thing.
The biggest thing I regret looking over all the info I tracked down was that I didn't track cheat days and I really wish I could look back and see what and how much of it I ate on those days.
So, obviously low carb is what works for me (which of course I already knew and wrote about numerous times). Not necessarily keto but I think it's close because the average net carbs were right around 35 net and I think that counts as keto? Anyway, it's really cool to be able to look back and see all that information right at my fingertips. I could have kept going and looked at more weeks but I just wanted a general idea of things and I got it!
So what does this mean for me? Well, low carb is where I should be if I want to be successful and I now know the calorie and carb amounts that help me lose the most weight and leave me feeling the healthiest but I still need to up my veggies and things like that, especially on workout days.
This doesn't really change a much of the plan except that I want to back off the idea of 100 grams of carbs a day and go back to 50 and under as long as I can fit some good servings of veggies into that. I don't want more bagels, not after how I felt this morning, and they're really not that great for me anyway and I bet they didn't have nearly any of nutrients that I needed.
I'm basically going to keep playing with the plan as I go. When I plan my food days, at least for the next week or two, I'm going to build my days around veggies to make sure they come before something like a small piece of chocolate. I'm also going to make sure that my highest carb meal will come about two hours before a workout and plan for a good chunk of protein after the workout and then I'm going to keep taking it day by day.
Despite seeing that I was losing weight with cheat days I still want to cut way back on them. Maybe not fully cut them out but work them into my plan instead of throwing the entire day away and I'm going to start tracking the cheat days because this stuff is fascinating to look back on!
I don't really feel like I'm majorly changing the plan, I'm just tweaking it a little here and there based on the information I found and figured out. But just imagine how much more info I could have gotten if actually liked numbers and spreadsheets and all that stuff lol.
I say bring on the week and let's see what happens!!