Full Diet Break Failure
Over about the last 11 months I dropped my weight from 260lbs to 164lbs.
At the later stages I was eating 1800kcals / day. I am 53 and 5'10".
I am suffering with incredibly cold hands and itchy skin on my back. I am guessing this is due to the standard adaptation to a low cal diet for a long time (thyroid down regulation).
I decided to follow the advise in flexible dieting and tried a two week diet break.
I upped my calories to 2200 and the end of my two weeks is on Saturday.
I found this quite hard and binged on chocolate raisins the first couple of days.
So although I didn't feel like I needed a rest I probably did.
My weight jumped from 164 to almost 173 mostly due to glycogen storage from the extra carbs. This took about 4 days but I only overeat for 3 days of which the first two were likely a couple of thousand above my limit.
From this point on my weight has declined as I stuck to 2200kcals. This morning it's 167.
I eat similar foods each day. I have averaged 130g of carbs each day with an average of 42g of fiber. So net carbs is bellow 100g each day which might be a problem.
My activity tracker suggest my average calories burned over the last seven days is 2670. That's obviously very inaccurate and at least doesn't include the 10% metabolic slowdown the calcs for the 2200kcals maintenance took into account.
I still have the cold hands and the itchy skin. I have enjoyed eating more though.
Have I under eat carbs to get the hormone reset?
Could I have been in a slight deficit and hence didn't get the effect.
Should I continue on the 2200kcals so long as I keep losing weight or go higher or return to reducing calories? Current weight loss I see over a few days could just be glycogen if I am not eating enough carbs. Might stop once I am glycogen depleted.
I probably have only another 10lbs to lose before I want to bulk. I expect this 10lbs is going to be hard though.
For example I am thinking one path is to continue on 2200 until weight loss stops them reduce calories very slowly and increase exercise very slowly. (say 200 cals split from food and exercise). I just put up with the cold hands etc until I am done.
Lyle's advice transitioning out of a diet and could apply to a diet break, especially after a loooong diet like this is 90% of maintenance the first week and then second week going to your full maintenance. I don't think you have been at your actual maintenance level yet. There's no rush to this, so I would recommend doing another full 2 weeks at what you estimate 100% of your maintenance to be.
Also to the point in carbs, get your net carbs up to at least 100g a day during that period, if not trying to go higher with the additional calories you will have now.
I just calculated my maintenance by multiplying my weight by 15*90% as per Lyle web version of what he has in the book. In the book he has a table.
Just doing 15*165.1 gives me 2477 so that's 277 more than I am currently eating. That does seem like a reasonable increase.
I get most of my carbs from veg/beans etc so they come with a fair bit of fiber. I'll eat a bit more junkier stuff.
I did the additional two weeks at maintenance keeping the carbs higher.
My gym performance seems to have started to improve. I guess I thought things in the gym would get better much faster but it seemed to take a couple of weeks to see the benefit of extra calories.
I still have the cold hands issue.
I have noticed a couple of things though. I eat a large meal of peanuts (or other nuts) at night. Might be as much as 800-1000kcalcs. I use these to hit my fat macro and a bit of my protein macro (I have normally already hit my 38g of fiber for the day from veg).
This meal in pretty short order gives me warm hands. Even hot hands but I might be imaging that given that they were cold.
Exercise also drives them to be hot.
I have returned to the deficit (but only by 200kcals/day) and will try to resolve the cold hands issue when I get were I want to go or if I give up.
I see reports that you can get stuck in an excess rT3 trap. I am guessing excess rT3 is the problem.
Apart from the cold hands I am felling very good.
Any ideas or insights welcome.
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