Holy Caloric Deficit, Batman!
For a few months now I’ve been actively fasting. It started with a once-a-week fast that lasted over 24 hours, then it has settled into a daily intermittent fast lasting 12 to 14 hours per day. In a lot of ways it has done really well for me. Unfortunately the scale hasn’t mirrored what I’ve been feeling. It didn’t bother me so much because I felt great.
Recently I’ve started getting into a routine of running every day. I am not much of a distance runner, always preferring the brief sprint rather than endurance, but I figured it was time to work on that, having only sporadically being able to handle running a mile. Well I am up to two miles a day and growing that number. The problem is I didn’t run today. In fact, I didn’t go to the gym at all. And today wasn’t supposed to be an off-day.
When I woke up, I felt completely drained. Drained like I didn’t have the energy to walk to the kitchen to get a glass or water, much less head to the gym, warm up with burpees, then weight lift, then run at least two miles. I just didn’t have it in me.
Now yesterday I ate a little less than I normally do, and I didn’t think anything of it then. But something struck me. After having not logged-in in a long time, I visited myfitnesspal.com to check on my calorie intake. I’ve heard plenty that fasting is good for weightloss, but when training, it is necessary to keep the calories up to maintain and grow. Me? Yesterday I at only 33% of the calories I should have ate. WHAT?! Aren’t we normally underestimating calories?
I didn’t believe it either. I thought it was more like 75%, but when I checked and double checked the numbers, it was low. And it’s been that low a lot lately.
On a lower carb diet and trying to run daily with strength training it just doesn’t work.
Because I’ve kept making progress, however small, in the gym, I never thought my caloric intake was a problem. Sure, there were days I felt tired. I never felt overly hungry though, so whatever right? It’s my stress or what-have-you, right? Probably not. No wonder things have been harder than I thought they should be; I wasn’t eating enough!
I am all about experimenting with intake and workouts trying to find the best combination of things to work. I haven’t found that magic formula yet, but what I have been trying is working less and less. I will certainly need to watch my calories far more often until I get a better handle on it once more.