The 31st of January marked the end of my first month of weight-loss for 2018. While my fat loss goal is less ambitious this year than in previous years, since I have a lot less to lose, I’m still supposed to go from 89 kg (196 lbs.) on January first, down to 77 kg (170 lbs) in the first 3 months of the year, for a total loss of 12 kg (26,5 lbs.), meaning a loss per month of 4 kg (8,8 lbs.). I’m teetering on the upper edge of healthy BMI, depending on whether I’m using the regular BMI calculator or the adjusted BMI calculator.
Unlike earlier years when I had so much fat to lose that I could just cut calories and let the weight drop, I’ve entered a recompositioning phase where my goal is to maintain, or ideally build more lean mass, while reducing body fat. This is one of the things that I did wrong during the first 5 – 6 months of 2017, I just let my weight drop down from 106 kg (234 lbs) to 86 kg (190 lbs), hitting a year low of 83 kg (183 lbs), without lifting weights for the first 5 months of the year, so I ended up with a very bad body composition at my year low. I pretty much looked like a smaller version of the same fat f*ck.
Towards the end of last year, I decided to eat at maintenance and focus on adding some lean mass back. I’ve always tried to maintain a major weight loss for 3 – 6 months after reaching my year goal to give myself a break, and my body time to adjust. I haven’t done all this work only to end up with loose skin or similar problems towards the end. I’m also focusing on maintaining good habits, even during diet breaks.
In 2016 and 2017 my goal was fat loss, in 2018 my goal is to maintain or ideally add more lean mass, while reducing body fat percentage. For this reason I’ve recalibrated my diet to include extra protein, and I’m running a less aggressive deficit than I was for the fat-loss period of 2017.
I had a planned deficit of 750 calories every day for January, this coincided nicely with my plans for an alcohol free month after Christmas. It’s always easier to maintain a solid deficit without alcohol in the picture. I’m happy to say that I was a little bit over the planned 750 calorie deficit for the month. This was somewhat unintentional, but I didn’t bother adjusting on a few days when I went greatly over. As I’ve spent a long time in deficits, I’ve found that it’s better to err on the conservative side, to allow some leeway for those days when you have less control over your intake.
I had to do some travelling for work, and it included dinner with some co-workers at a fancy restaurant, where I had no real way of tracking the calories in the food accurately. On the side of this text, you can see the summary table from part of my weight loss spreadsheet. The starting weight is the 6 day average of the first 6 days of January. The theoretical deficit takes the average for how many days have passed in a month and multiplies it with the number of days in the month, giving me a total deficit if I maintain the same average deficit, the total loss in kg for the month and the estimated end weight for the month. I’m 150 grams over what the theoretical deficit says I should be as of this morning.
I lost exactly 3,5 kg (7,7 lbs) during the month. I started with a body fat percentage of 24,8% and ended with a body fat percentage of 21,8%. My goal for January when I set it on the first of the month was 86 kg. This was a 3 kg loss, as I weighed in at a weight of 89 kg (196 lbs) on the first. This was a result of a heavy party night on New Years eve, along with a big meal, so I’m guessing the 87,75 was more accurate. A funny thing about alcohol and food is that, you usually weigh less the day after a night of heavy drinking because of dehydration, but your body rebounds on day two, so you get a little extra back. I’ve had my weight vary as much as 5 kg (11 lbs) between day of the drink, day after the drink, second day after the drink.
If I maintain the same amount of lean mass, and lose the planned 3,14 kg (6,9 lbs) of fat in February, I should be about 18,7% body fat when I write my next update. Weighing in at 81,4 kg (179,4 lbs) with a total fat mass of 15,14 kg (33,3 lbs).