Weight Loss Update: April 2018

April was an interesting month, weight loss wise. I changed my workout program from a full body program highly focused on compound lifts and low reps (5×5 and 3×3) to a push/pull/legs split with more isolation and using a 3×12 rep scheme. I’ve kept some of the heavy load exercises in the program, so I’ll still do heavy deadlifts, squats and bench press every two to three weeks but most of my work is done at around 60% of 1 rep max, instead of 80% or more of 1 rep max. This change in program was due to me getting bored with my full body program after a full 12 months of the same program, but also because I wanted to focus on building more mass over strength.

I also tinkered a bit with my macros. As I said in my March summary, I was on a 30/30/40 macro split (carbs/fat/protein) and tapering my deficit down from 500 to about 350. This was the plan until I experienced some pretty bad gastrointestinal issues about halfway through the month and decided to try changing it up. I’ve always felt the best on fairly low carb macro planning, usually between 20 and 50 grams per day. However, this time I decided to go all out and try zero-carb for the last 10 days on the month.

While I’ve done sub-20 grams of carbs before, also known as “ultra-low carb” I’d never done zero carb before. So, on the 20th of April I embarked on 10 days of nothing but water, coffee, red meat, eggs, butter and a little bit of cheese, with very good results. I’m going to write a dedicated post on it, but in short, my GI issues cleared up in about 3 days, I saw no change in energy levels, and the weight started dropping again.

April Weight Loss Statistics

I decided to start tapering off the deficit in April, I’d been unable to maintain my goal deficit for March, and I’ve been approaching my goal weight, so it made sense to taper it back a bit to avoid going from a 750+ deficit to 0, or even worse right into a lean bulk with a surplus of calories. I set a goal for 250 – 350 calories per day for April, but I came out slightly higher than that at 393. The major concern when I did my measurements this month is that I’ve dropped from 66 kg (145 lb) of lean mass down to 65 kg (143 lb), however since the body fat calculator I use doesn’t allow for decimals in inputs or outputs, this could be a much smaller drop, for instance going from 66 exactly to 65.5 or something. I’ve managed to maintain all my lifts, and have made sure to throw in a heavy workout every couple of weeks just to maintain that muscle mass even though I’m on more of a mass building program now.

I’m 1.4 kg (3 lbs) off the 77 kg (169 lbs) goal weight, so I’m going to aim to hit that sometime in May. One of the major changes I made in April, was to switch off the 40/30/30 macro composition I’d been on for a couple of weeks and over to a composition very similar to the Atkins induction phase, where I eat zero carbs. This wasn’t prompted by wanting rapid weight loss, but by the fact that there was something in my old composition that made me very bloated and uncomfortable. I remembered that the best I’ve ever felt was when I was on the Atkins induction for the first time, so I’ve decided to give that a go.

My food is very one-track at the moment, consisting of a lot of high fat animal protein (beef, pork) supplemented by eggs, some hard cheese and butter. I’ve set the macro targets in Myfitnesspal to 30/65/5 protein, carbs, fat, and I’m aiming to hit a bit below maintenance until I get down to goal weight, and I’ll re-evaluate at that point where to go next. I’m looking forward to trying a lean bulk,  but I want to makes sure that my body fat is low enough that I can do a 6 – 8 month bulking phase without adding too much body fat.

I also found my old weight loss spreadsheet from 2016, so I thought it would be fun to share the journey I’ve been on for the past 16 – 17 months, to show that it’s not been a linear process, I’ve lost and regained a couple of times but I’ve managed to get back on the program after the worst periods.

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