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Well folks, I'm back in the threadmill of exercise and diet. Actually, I wasn't really dieting all that much in the past, despite hanging out here and on the low carbs board. Back in January I gained weight to an abysmal 85 kg (187lbs for the metrically challenged) while only being a petite of 1,58 m tall. It fell to 80 kg but despite my hopes of losing more in Brazil, this didn't happen.

Food is very inexpensive there and contains a lot of carbs. I also only cycled 1 out of every 3 days, so didn't spend all that many calories.

So I came back with the same 80 kg (though it had been 78 kg until my host in São Paulo was feeding me delicious cakes and other high fat high carby stuff). This was still a very long distance from the desired 65-68 kg. My body fat level was/is 36% fat, thus have 50 kg of lean body mass, which makes 65-68 kg the desired body weight at 25% BF which is considered to be healthy for a woman.

Well, 2 weeks ago, when I got back, I saw a friend back who started training with weights in order to GAIN weight, as she was very thin. While she gained weight on a high-calorie diet, she was disgusted about the rapid gain in fat, so she started dieting with a low carb diet. She has decided to commence a 4-week cycle of alternatively eating a lot for 2 weeks and then slimming down on a low-carb diet for another 2 weeks.. this is called the ABCDE diet.
Stands for Anabolic Burst Cycling of Diet and Exercise.

Since two weeks I have embarked on a real low-carb diet as well, called Cyclical Ketogenic Diet. Real, since I've half-heartedly done the same from March-May but just cut out bread, rice, pasta but didn't really up the protein and fat contents of my meals while succumbing to delicious desserts and sweets too frequently.

We made a meal plan which allows me to eat 1800 kcals every day (slightly below needed amt., calculated at 22 kcal/kg wt - 10 kcal/lbs wt) in 6 meals of roughly 300 kcals each. The strictest part is the amt of carbs, which is limited to 3 g of carbs for each meal (less than 20g every day). The amt of protein is 1,7 g per kg body weight, whereas fat is the remainder, making protein into an energy source at 35% and fat at 60% and carbs just 5%.

The kicker is that this diet is going to be extremely strict for 5,5 days (Sunday thru Friday or Mon-Sat) and allows very liberal amounts of carbs for 36 hours on Friday evening & Saturday. This carb-up day is meant to replenish emptied glucogen storage in muscles. It calls for 10 kcal/kg lean body mass per day... which means consuming 500 grams of carbs (approx. 80 g/meal). However, protein and fat intake is to be restricted to 15% of calorie intake... so no unlimited amts of icecream :-(

Carb-up is seen as essential for anyone who lifts weight and exercises lots. I will have to experiment with the amt of carbs in weektime when I do more cardio training as the diet was meant for body builders and anyone focussing primarily on weight training. But not just for weight lifting, it is also meant to up the leptin hormone levels in your body which is the hunger-suppressant gene which also controls testosterone levels. Leptin levels drop less with low carb diets than with low fat diets but still drop. A result is an incontrollable carb craving. A carb up will result in restored high leptin levels.

Haven't done a carbup day yet as I only yesterday entered the gym again for the first time. That awful foot injury I got in February by skipping rope is still bothering me. The sports physician told me that I could cycle or swim as much as I liked, but should refrain from putting (a lot of) weight on the feet, while doing specific exercises which I did 4 mo. ago to cure the problem. It will be a challenge to find exercises that also will not put too much stress on my right shoulder which is also still killing me as soon as I lift my arms above the head.

At the moment, I can say that I am absolutely amazed at the rapid weight loss, which is predominantly water, even though I try to drink 3 liters of water every day. I have lost 4 kg already in 2 weeks, though the % of fat measured by the fat meter has stayed the same.. meaning I'm losing equal amts of fat and lean body mass. The latter is said to be predominantly water, and I notice that I am really a lot slimmer than before.

Will keep you informed...

For further reading
on cyclical ketogenic diets

a forum

On leptin and why refeeding carbs is important

a tool for calculating your needs


Well, it seems that dieting is an important tool for permanent weight loss after all. However, exercising is just as important, and helps me especially with curbing appetite. The best part about the current diet is the lack of hunger because of the high fat content.

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