My week 2 weigh in is behind me and I rocked it, almost. I say almost because I lost 5 pounds…woot woot! I have also lost some major inches in my abdomen and hips, yippee. The not so good news is that I lost 3 lbs of my lean mass, which is the fat burning machine that I need to hold onto if I want to succeed on the rest of this diet and into the future.
Lean Mass is not just muscle, but organs, and the other parts of the body that are not fat. Fat is just that, fat. We all need some essential fat to be healthy, but it is imperative that we retain lean mass when losing weight. Most diets are designed to lose 50% fat and 50% lean mass. Now imagine going on numerous diets over the years. As you do this, you deplete your fat and lean mass but when you regain the weight, most of what you gain is fat. You never really replace your lean mass without solid effort and strength training. This is why it is so crucial to hold onto your lean mass and not keep depleting it. It is this aspect of the Ideal Protein Weight Loss Protocol that I really appreciate. Otherwise, you end up with less lean mass and a reduced ability to burn those calories. Now I don’t know about you but I want to eat more than chicken and lettuce in my old age. A reduced metabolism and depleted lean mass create a situation where it becomes very difficult to keep the weight off. Hence the “yo-yo” diet effect that so many dieters experience.
Now I have to admit that most days I am run off my feet with work and being busy. What was not clear to me is that none of what I do is really physical so I was confused about still losing my lean mass. I mean, as long as I wasn’t exercising vigorously while in ketosis, I should be only burning my fat and not touching my lean mass right? I learned today, that when I use my brain a lot and have much to tackle and think about, I am still using extra calories and if not careful, my body will resort to my lean mass to compensate. The other factor that impacts my lean mass is that I travel from one place to the next, scarcely having any time to eat. This leaves me with too much time in between meals leading to lean mass depletion. Thank God I have a Coach who monitors not only my weight loss but my body composition on a weekly basis.
Now really, I should know better. I am always coaching people to be prepared, have food in your car, your bag, your desk. Healthy quick snacks so that you don’t go hours without eating. Well, perhaps I need to sit down and take some of my own advice. It is so simple to take some quick and easy snacks with me. With Ideal Protein, there are over 70 choices that are easily thrown into my bag and whipped up in less than 2 minutes with my shaker and cold water. How easy is that? Apparently in our instant gratification society, not easy enough. At least judging by the excuses I and others have made. Healthy eating, whether for weight loss or otherwise, requires that we plan our days in advance, ensuring that we give our bodies the fuel required to take care of everything.
The other challenge I had with week 2 is simply this, I am not hungry. I have no cravings (except for when a house full of teenagers decides to cook up a few pounds of bacon but that’s another story) and I have to remind myself to eat. That makes it all the more difficult to remember to have those healthy snacks and food available, as I no longer have a focus on food. I also don’t experience those moments of needing to find something NOW.
I also learned about weekends, and was reminded of all the people I have coached who struggle on the weekends. I really get this. This weekend, I found myself struggling. The routine was off, I didn’t have all my supplements with me, I was not at home or at work, places of staid and comfortable routine. To make matters worse, I was taking a care package of food to a friend who was under the weather and without thinking, ate a mandarin orange section in the grocery store to make sure that they were tasty. Now most of you are going “ya, big deal” but for me it is. There is no fruit in the initial phase of my plan because fruit has sugar and I am trying to eliminate ALL sugar, including healthy ones, until I lose the weight. This is not so much a weight loss tactic as a committed plan to let my pancreas and liver rest and heal from constantly having to produce large amounts of insulin. I will reintroduce fruit once I am done my active weight loss, in a controlled and healthy manner. Also, just popping the orange section in my mouth without a second thought showed me that I am still susceptible to mindless eating, which is they type of eating we do that can really pack on the pounds.
I pulled out my weight loss diary and made a point of writing it down. Mandarin Orange, 1 section. Small item, no impact, but important in ensuring that I go forward without mindlessly popping food in my mouth. It is too easy to do this. Orange section here, piece of candy there, a taste of cheesecake and before you know it, you have taken in another 500 calories and haven’t even realized it. It is no different than drinking a latte and consuming 500 or more calories without realizing it. It is mindless and has huge impact over time. Something like the sugar that is hidden in so much of our grocery store food.
Ah well, lesson learned. I am looking forward to week 3. I have now lost 15 lbs. I am looking to lose at least double that and I know that I need to reduce my expectation of losing the next 15 in two weeks, even though that would be awesome. Perhaps 2 lbs of fat for week three? Hey universe, I am putting it out there, are you listening?