I’ve come to the conclusion that I am eating more than my body needs and I now have no alternative but to adopt strict calorie counting to control my calorie consumption and reduce my weight. I am invariably surprised by how many calories I have been consuming – the amount or volume of food I thought I needed was way in excess of what I actually needed. Therefore, my first challenge is to educate my brain and body to eating less.
My second challenge is dealing with the night time hungers I often get. My plan to deal with the challenges are as follows:
- Spreading my calorie consumption across the day, eating on average every three hours – this will keep my blood sugar at a constant level
- Eating six times per day – breakfast 7.30am, mid-morning 10.30am, lunch 1.30pm, tea 4.30pm, dinner 7.30pm, and finally supper 10.30pm
- Adding calories to meals prior to training
- Planning my meals one week in advance to compliment planned training
- Partitioning nutrition so that carbohydrates are prioritised in the first half of the day and proteins in the latter part of the day
Over the past few weeks my weight has risen to 74kg which is a big increase from just a couple of months ago when it was headed towards 71kg. So, what’s happened?
My performance on the bike has definitely improved the last few months and a quick look at my stats on Training Peaks reveal this. I also feel a lot stronger on the bike, especially when climbing or on long bike rides. I recognise the need to improve my muscular endurance so that I can ride at a higher pace for sustained periods of time but that is in hand with specific training sessions planned to improve both, CP30 and CP60.
I am currently averaging 5/6 training sessions per week, 2/3 in the gym and 3 on the bike, averaging a Tss score of between 550-700 per week. So, as far as my training is concerned I am making good progress, however, my weight is going up. What is happening?
I have been tracking my weight along with other body measurements such as BMI, body fat percentage, muscle mass, etc. Over the past couple of months my muscle mass has gone from a low of 135lbs to a high of 142 lbs and based on todays measurement it is now about 141 lbs. What is clear is that muscle mass along with body water % and fat % fluctuate quite a lot. What is clear and unequivocal though is that since 26/6 my weight has steadily risen from 154 lbs to 163.6 lbs today, an increase of over 6%. In an 8-week period I have added 1.2 lbs per week or I have consumed an excess of 2400 calories per week or 350 calories per day. Now, I’d be happy if this weight increase was due entirely to muscle gain but I can’t be sure that it is. Therefore, I have to be extra careful about what, when and how much I eat. It is that old fiend again, weight gain that is potentially undermining all my training gains.
I am aware that I have been eating quite a bit, and I argue to myself that it is in response to my body’s need for food and that the upside has been a steady decline in body fat % (that was until today’s reading of 10.5% versus just 8% from a few days ago) and an increase in muscle mass (again, not terribly accurate). Therefore, I have to rein in my appetite and be a lot smarter about my nutrition. My biggest challenge is still at night time when my hunger demons force me to eat. How can I address this?
- Devise an eating plan for the next two weeks that covers my calorific needs, that is 1820 calories for basic metabolism and whatever calories are needed to sustain my planned training.
- Weigh all meals and stick to them – have a plan in place to deal with night time hunger pangs
I will get back to reducing my weight to my goal of 69.5kg, come rain or shine!!