follow me on twitter

Thursday, February 28, 2013

it doesn't add up

I am working on solving this system of equations.

no activity + 1800 kCal/day = 1 lb weightloss/week
training + 1800 kCal/day = 0 lb weighloss/week

note: macronutrient composition constant in both conditions.

Years ago I read Why Zebras Don't get Ulcers by Sapolsky which is an excellent book detailing the horrors of cortisol (the stress hormone). At the time I was involved in research on an intervention designed to reduce stress and we were using salivary cortisol levels to measure our outcome. I think I need to re-read this book from a different perspective.

A friend pointed out that training -- particularly the kind of training that goes into endurance events -- raises coritsol. It is a stress on the body. This is so obvious that I totally didn't think of it.

Dieting itself is a stress. And my body is already mad at me. If you want to piss off your body, gain a bunch of weight and then lose it. Fun times.

So dieting is stress. Training is stress. Plus sometimes life is stressful.

I have always found it easiest to lose weight in the off season. I assumed it was because I was so hungry all the time when training on a high carb diet. But now I am not hungry all the time -- or really ever -- and I am still not losing weight.



  1. Maybe with your weight loss, your daily caloric needs have dropped. Coupled with more efficiency from exercise you're just at a nice equilibrium. Since you're not hungry, maybe dropping from 1800kCal/day down to 1600kCal/day would get you going again.

    1. Thanks for the comment. What’s interesting is that I have been getting advice that falls solidly into two camps:
      1) eat more
      2) eat less
      I am considering giving up my food log for a few weeks, eating only when hungry, and trying not to mentally tally up everything I eat. Tomorrow is March 1 so it makes a nice start date for this.