I’m almost a week in and still going strong on the new, reduced cal plan. I’ve also made some workout changes in light of this article, which talks about shifting away from certain weight machines in favor of free/body weight workouts.
FOOD: I’m still no hungrier than I have been, and still not seeing any physical issues like headaches, dizziness, weakness, or over-tired. I’m having an increasingly easy time making better and better food choices, since limiting my calories means choosing the most filling, satisfying foods to make up those calories. As such, I’m seeing a HUGE decline in my cravings fro sweets and alcohol. I had a beer the other night and it was awesome, but did not automatically spark the wanting of another one as it had done before this cut back. I had a serving of dark chocolate at lunch today and again, no immediate craving for more. I followed it up with spicy black bean soup too, which helped a lot in terms of resetting my palate. I’m definitely eating a lot more vegetables, fewer carbs, and more protein. I know it’s something I could do without limiting my calories, but at least right now it’s too easy for me to fill up a larger calorie goal with the wrong foods. When I know I have a very limited amount, it’s much easier to choose the foods I know will keep me going.
EXERCISE: I’ve stopped doing the leg press in favor of squats. They don’t feel as effective overall, so I may up the reps there. I’ve switched away from most of the arm machines too, and while on paper it looks like I’m not working as hard since I’m using MUCH lower weights, I’m feeling it a lot more. I’ve also mostly gotten rid of a seriously pesky soreness in my left shoulder that was really bothering me. It took me weeks to figure out that it happened after I used the chest incline press machine. Tossing a medicine ball, which I combine with squats, is working much better without making it feel like my shoulder is broken somehow. Also, despite doing the same number of sets/reps, it’s taking me less time… so I’m able to fit 15-20 minutes of cardio in at the end. To help me stay on track with free weights and the like, I ordered The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises: Four Weeks to a Leaner, Sexier, Healthier YOU!, suggested by a fellow early-morning gymrat.
Speaking of which, I’m doing intervals of 3.5mph and 6mph. I’m only able to do about 15 minutes most mornings, so I’m doing a little over a mile in that time, which is the best consistent speed I’ve ever had. I’m wondering if I could maintain those intervals for a longer time, and I’m considering attempting my first ever treadmill based 5K this weekend.
I’ll get back on the scale and take new measurements on Friday, so we’ll see if this new plan is showing fast results. Even if it’s not, I like the way it’s making me feel, so I’m sticking with it for a while.
What works for you? What makes you feel your best?