Having trouble figuring this out

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  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
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    Excellent results.
    You might start tagging which weigh-in's are valid as data points to really base any math on.

    And indeed, good sign you are losing before reaching potential TDEE, that means body is unstressing enough to allow a deficit to occur without needing to spend a lot of time there to get it up there.

    So if valid weigh-ins, it would appear TDEE is more than you are currently eating.

    The fun will be how high can you go!

    So much harder at the end then the beginning, isn't it? Much smaller margin for error.
    But you are seeing positive results and sounds like good mental make-over.
  • miztrezzlyn
    miztrezzlyn Posts: 44 Member
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    It is DEFINITELY harder at the end. When we decided to start losing weight and get more fit, I just took a deficit and I lost weight. Every week pretty much was a loss, not always 2 pounds but a loss.

    I'll watch to see which weigh in's are good ones. Is it possible to have a "false" low weigh in? I can't imagine so.

    This morning it was the same 128.6.

    Something else that's curious is that my husband has been experiencing this sort of thing too. Bouncing between a pound or two and not really losing. BUT, he still has about 30 pounds to lose. He has a bigger deficit than I do. When I was talking to him about what I was doing, he decided to try it. He figured might as well lol

    He filled out the worksheet and was surprised at what it told him he should be eating. He's increased his calories up and is moving towards maintenance. After about a week at higher calories, his weight finally moved down. He's going to get to maintenance and stay there for a week or two, for a diet break, and then cut from there.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
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    Easy to have false low or weight loss. 2 reasons.
    Big cardio night before weigh-in, and don't eat enough carbs to replenish. Less than normal carbs stored, less water.
    Lower than normal sodium eaten the day before by decent amount. Less water retain.

    That's why valid weigh-in I described usually avoids or minimizes that.

    Hubby is probably eating at suppressed maintenance right now, the bigger fluctuations is because more carb stores going up and down.
    Increase slowly.

    Males do get advantage of recovering quicker, but I'd still suggest 200 extra daily for a week, then another week 200 more, ect.
    Males usually also take longer and have less negative effect compared to females - but they can get there too eventually.

    Don't be too jealous if he recovers faster, though you seem to have started off fast too.
  • miztrezzlyn
    miztrezzlyn Posts: 44 Member
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    I didn't even think about that. That the same could be true in reverse for water in the body. Duh, I don't know why though, that is what competition people will do yes? Or people trying to make a weight class in boxing, etc?

    Anyway, my weight was 128.8 this morning. None of these 128 days was after any large cardio and I think same as normal carb and sodium intake, in fact like I said it was a little on the high side. My sodium is always a bit on the high side anyway, 2800 - 3000mg. So, at the least, Friday and this morning I think could be considered valid. Just had a normal walk yesterday, my sodium was decent (not too low or high) and carbs I believe was right around normal. Definitely shouldn't worry about a 0.2 increase right? In my crazy brain it just freaks me out some, even though I KNOW that weight isn't ever static and fluctuates from day to day. ALSO, I know that I could potentially get a bit higher before I level out if I am searching for maintenance. So, I better not freak out about 0.2 pounds when it could probably be 2 or 3 pounds before all is said and done :p

    As to my husband, yeah he didn't jump all the way up at once. I'll remind him about it. I won't be jealous if he recovers quickly :) I'm really just about done, but I know he has/wants to lose another 30 pounds. I hope it works quickly for him as he was starting to feel pretty discouraged about his stall in weight loss.

    Thanks again :)
  • miztrezzlyn
    miztrezzlyn Posts: 44 Member
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    As I guess should be expected, my weight has gone back up. I started a new lifting routine though and was really sore so I know that can contribute. The next couple of days will be high sodium too due to making some yummy enchiladas today and tomorrow. Trying not to let myself get discouraged, but it's hard to see the weight go right back up as it ALWAYS freaking does.

    4-30 129.3 1963 cals (this is supposed to be about 100 calories from maintenance)
    5-1 128.6 2037 cals (did a little above my normal exercise this day)
    5-2 128.6 1863 cals (somehow couldn't make myself eat to 1950 this day)
    5-3 128.8 1929 cals (new weight routine started on this day)
    5-4 129.5 1992 cals
    5-5 130.2 1986 cals (weight lifting)
    5-6 130.4 1953 cals

    My maintenance is figured at 2071. That is including 300 minutes walking, 180 minutes jogging, and 90 minutes lifting. My lifting is actually about an hour (3 times a week) but theres some fiddling around and not the entire time is lifting. I don't think it necessarily matters all that much anyway.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
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    Yep, so discovering that non-valid weigh-ins is only useful looking at a month at a time.

    So indeed, sore means retaining water.

    Of course it should always go up when sore, or after eating high sodium meals.

    What inches are going up?
    If you don't know, you should know.

    Because your BMR also is changing during the month, and part of the month more deficit, part is less.

    Also, the lifting line is smaller calorie burn because it expects the rests between sets of 1-3 min. Doing half the time is half he calories again - don't short yourself too much - maybe 135 min weekly for midpoint, avg 45 min per day.
  • miztrezzlyn
    miztrezzlyn Posts: 44 Member
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    Ok :)

    My inches are not going up. In the last month, I have gone down in spots by 1/2 an inch or so. Of course, I'm nervous that that is just mismeasuring lol but at least not going the other way (up).

    I'll change the spreadsheet to 45 minutes instead of 30 minutes per workout. So 135 minutes per week instead of 90.

    I'll keep watching :)

    Thanks!
  • miztrezzlyn
    miztrezzlyn Posts: 44 Member
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    Just putting some results in here to keep track. I am now at what should be maintenance calories, its been a couple of days at that. I'm going to keep at this supposed calorie target until the end of the month. I'm worried though that I'm gaining. The jumps in weight seem too quick for that? But, the trend has still been up.

    I have been having trouble eating this much food. I always feel so FULL, especially in the evening. I normally eat dinner around 6:30 or 7:00 pm and I get up and weigh at 5 am.

    4-30 129.3 1963 cals (this is supposed to be about 100 calories from maintenance)
    5-1 128.6 2037 cals (did a little above my normal exercise this day)
    5-2 128.6 1863 cals (somehow couldn't make myself eat to 1950 this day)
    5-3 128.8 1929 cals (new weight routine started on this day)
    5-4 129.5 1992 cals
    5-5 130.2 1986 cals (weight lifting)
    5-6 130.4 1953 cals
    5-7 130.4 2021 (lifting)
    5-8 129.5 1998 (just couldn't make myself eat more that day, high sodium though)
    5-9 130.5 1968 (same)
    5-10 129.3 2193 (pretty active day, lots of walking and weight lifting)
    5-11 130.1 2104
    5-12 130.7 2100 (lifting)
    5-13 130.2 2103
    5-14 130.7

    My time of the month is coming up in a couple of days and I don't know how that is or will affect things. I know some women KNOW when in their cycle they'll add weight because of the time of the month, I have no idea, guess I haven't really watched that. It used to be that I'd always drop weight during that time. The last few cycles that hasn't been the case, always hovering around that damn 130 number. We'll see what happens. I'll try and take some measurements this weekend too to see if there's any appreciable difference either pos or neg.

    Is sitting at that maintenance number for what will be 2 weeks total, enough? Or because of my weird weight fluctuations should I stay at it a bit longer? I'm not sure when or how I'll KNOW if its the right target and actual maintenance and when to start cutting back down.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
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    I can't really tell the valid weigh-in days to pay attention to there.
    Since your BMR really does change through the month, you really will have 1 week where TDEE is higher, 1 week where lower, and about 2 weeks at the average.
    And that's if you even had a tested TDEE to go by.
    So what would be gained for 1 week would be lost another week as you went above and below true TDEE.
    But like the morning after a lift day, you drop almost a pound. Unusual.
    Another example like that, you gain 0.2 pound. More expected.
    Almost pound gain starting new routine. Expected.

    If you get on and off your scale 3 times in a row, letting it turn off if digital - does it read the exact same weight? Which I'm guessing is only given to nearest 0.2 anyway, and accuracy may be stated to be even worse than that?

    Is 2 weeks enough?
    If metabolism was that fast to heal, would have lost some on that week eating 100 less.
    Ultimate test is 2 week 250 more.
    For 2 weeks eat 250 more calories, with whatever normal routine you'll keep.
    If prior level really was maintenance, it would take 2 weeks to slowly gain 1 lb. And with lifting, not even fat.
    If you do gain 1 lb, then prior level was TDEE. Take that number and finish off couple more weeks.
    If you gain nothing, it obviously wasn't TDEE.
    If you gain more and/or faster, it water weight and wasn't TDEE either.
  • miztrezzlyn
    miztrezzlyn Posts: 44 Member
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    Yeah there are no good valid weigh ins it seems. I'm going to have to try and get my sodium spikes under control, that is one of my bigger problems. I'll go this two weeks at maintenance and see what happens and try to get things more normalized. I had just started a new routine (going to the gym for lifting weights vs doing dumbbells at home) a few weeks ago so it kinda shook things up.

    My routine for weight lifting is Mon and Wed are both sort of "lighter" lifting not as intense as my Saturday lifting. I joined a 1 hour "Women on Weights" class at the Y and its not as challenging to me as what I do on my own on Saturdays. I joined it mostly for the exposure to the gym (since I was new there) and to see if I could learn anything. I was hoping for form and how to use some of the equipment. It is a little bit more laid back than what I had hoped and not really pushing anything for me. It lasts 8 weeks though, and I paid for it so I'm going to continue with it to the end and just keep up my other lifting on Saturday that I do on my own.

    M/W - WoW class, 5 mile walk 4.0 mph (just shy of 75 minutes)
    Sa - Heavy lifting including squats, bench press, deadlifts, rows, etc. plus 5 mile walk
    Tu/Th/Sun Jogging 5 miles - avg pace of 5.25 mph 55 minutes roughly (its actually a 10min/1min jog/walk, 10/2, 10/3, 10/4 that ends up being 5 miles) and 30ish minutes Abs at the gym with weights and bodyweight exercises
    Fridays - just my 5 mile walk

    My hope is that during these next couple of weeks I won't see a lot of spiking. However with the time of the month coming up, that will probably interfere. This is where my frustration comes in, there always seems to be some "excuse" for the spikes in weight, sodium, being sore, I stood on my front foot too long, I looked right instead of left first when I crossed the street. It drives me crazy but the overall picture was at 1450 (I think I was overestimating calories burned and underestimating eating though) I wasn't losing much it would spike up and down but overall I'd lose maybe a pound a month. Then it sort of stalled and I went up. I posted here and I've been increasing my calories and really its still been just hovering around that same 129 and 130 pounds so, what the hell? LOL I am at almost 700 more calories per day(allegedly) than I was in March and doing LESS now than I was then.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, I'm sorry if I am being a pest and making it difficult for you to help. I really do appreciate it :) I'll try and chill out and wait a couple of weeks and see where I go from there.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
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    No problem. Chilling needed though, always. Since stress can cause weight gain.

    And yes indeed, isn't that incredible you can eat almost 700 more and still maintain basically.

    So good test month. Changes in sodium from one weigh-in to the next can cause big changes, but eventually fat loss would still show up.
    So your measurements at end of month will be interesting too.

    Tag whatever weigh-in was most valid prior to starting the new program. You'll want that one to compare to weigh-in prior to going back to other one.
  • miztrezzlyn
    miztrezzlyn Posts: 44 Member
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    Just putting my recent data here, I seem to be steady, if not slightly decreasing weight, the last week, although altogether I AM still up 2 pounds. My lowest weight in the last month was 128.6, I believe. And to answer your earlier question, my scale goes in 0.1 increments and if I were to stand on it and get off and stand on it again (say 3 times) I get slightly different weights each time. For example, it may say 130.3, 130.4, 130.3 etc. I try to take the average of those numbers.

    5-10 129.3 2193 (pretty active day, lots of walking and weight lifting)
    5-11 130.1 2104
    5-12 130.7 2100 (lifting)
    5-13 130.2 2103
    5-14 130.7 2095
    5-15 130.5 2105 (lifting)
    5-16 130.5 2109
    5-17 130.4 2213 (lifting and bit of extra activity)
    5-18 130.3 2233 (extra activity)

    Like I said, the past week has been fairly even, despite my sodium problems. Seems to ever so slowly be decreasing. So, the only thing I don't understand and it seemed to always happen in the past is that my weight will shoot up like because of lifting or sodium or what have you, but then it doesn't drop down quickly. I don't know but, at 2100 calories per day(the spreadsheet actually says 2150), it SEEMS atm that it's fairly steady. We'll see what the ToM brings. My routine seems to be settling in, I'm sore from it still the next day but not as drastic as when I first started.

    I'm going to stay on this number until May 26, should be 2 weeks at supposed TDEE, then I don't know what I should be doing after that :) Up? Down? Stay longer at that number?
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
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    So valid days looks like 130.4, prior 130.5, 130.7. So indeed seems to be coming down.

    Good idea on getting 4 weeks out of it.

    Those bounces on the scale is it trying to report 130.35 probably.

    The quick rise and slow fall is glycogen stores when in a diet.
    You eat more, or more carbs at least, big top off.
    Then it takes a week for the exercise to slowly deplete that back to prior level.
    Now if in a reasonable deficit fat is burned that whole time too, so what happens is a loss prior to big gain, and then next week it lowers to prior weight and below, showing more fat gone.

    That should stop when eating at maintenance, unless you weigh morning after big cardio day, and you didn't top off carbs with meals eaten. But usually 24 hrs it's back up easily (unless low carb eating style).

    If you keep losing slowly, then I'd find the valid weigh-in just prior to starting new lifting routine.
    And then on the Progress tab far right, get your total gross eating from that day to a month to another valid weigh-in day.
    Then plug in how much you lost, it'll suggest new TDEE based on results, and tell you what to change in the Activity calc to make it happen.

    Then you can decide if you need more reset time for few more weeks or not, if you feel comfortable with food. If that slight increase holds you steady, ect.
  • miztrezzlyn
    miztrezzlyn Posts: 44 Member
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    Ok, thank you :) This morning's weight = 129.9

    How do I know when that valid "before" weigh in was? I look back and I just see these ups and downs ranging from 128.6 (low) to 130.7 (high). I don't know for sure which is valid. If I don't know what was valid, how do I proceed from there?

    Also, the days before I raised my eating goal to 2100 (and thus increasing carbs) vs. now, the weight is up because of glycogen stores so hard for me to tell where a loss would be, if there is one. Is that what you meant by waiting for a month? Or should I just pick the day before I started All Pros lifting routine? Because I had switched from doing Turbo Fire all of the time (stopped middle of March) to lifting at home with Chalean Extreme (stopped beginning of May) to lifting at a gym with All Pro's lifting routine(current).
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
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    Valid weigh-in to minimize known water fluctuations.
    Morning after rest day eating normal sodium levels, not sore from last workout.

    That's why my very first post in this topic pointed out a valid weigh-in day, and I've reference tagging those in your records. Because otherwise if you want to include the noise of invalid weigh-ins, you require at minimum a month, and another spreadsheet to do a trend-line from the data, and some different more difficult math to get a figure.

    That's why my guess of valid weigh-ins was same day as a lifting workout, proceeded by it appeared a rest day or two.
    Only thing to confirm is average sodium on the rest day, not a super bland day compared to normal, not Chinese the night before - average.

    And yes I'd find one prior to starting new workout, but including the increased eating level and carbs. So it may not be a 4 weeks yet. The not being sore may be hard to know this far away, but if you were still doing those other workouts and never sore after a rest day, then you are covered.
    If you started the new workout prior to eating more, still pick a valid weigh-in prior to new workout, the lower cal's for some days will work itself out.
  • miztrezzlyn
    miztrezzlyn Posts: 44 Member
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    Here is where I'm at currently.

    5-18 130.3 2233 cals
    5-19 129.9 2097 cals
    5-20 129.6 2110 cals
    5-21 130.2 2096 cals
    5-22 130.5 2143 cals
    5-23 129.6 2113 cals

    Weight seems to me like it was fairly stable (minus sodium or workout soreness) eating at maintenance. So I'm doing the scary thing and adding 250 cals a day to see what happens. I figure some of the weight gain will be muscle (I hope!) as I'm lifting heavy following All Pro's Simple Beginners. I've been doing it for about a month.

    5-24 129.9 2392 cals
    5-25 129.7 2346 cals
    5-26 129.6 2353 cals
    5-27 130.7 2448 cals
    5-28 131.3 2333 cals
    5-29 130.6 wil be around 2350 cals today

    Those large increases are from sodium, weight lifting on 5-26 pretty hard day, and just from glycogen and stuff, right? At any rate, I've decided to stay with this calorie range until the end of June. I am very curious to see what happens and since I'm lifting heavy anyway, I'm hoping the increased calories will help with my workouts. I already feel a big difference and have had strength gains in this last month. I really FEEL great anyway :)

    I am watching my measurements as well and in the last month, I have lost a small amount in waist and hips but my arms and thighs have increased just slightly. It could be mistakes in measuring but I'll see what happens in a month's time :)

    I mean really, a couple of months ago I was eating 1400 calories and that was including all of my exercise calories. That might have been about 950 net calories and now I'm eating 2350 calories, netting I think about 1800 calories. I find it fascinating and a little scary to be the lab rat in this but still it is interesting :) I figured I was hovering at the same weight anyway (this same 129-131 pounds) on much less calories, I'm not going to really hurt anything trying all of this for a couple of months :)

    Thanks so much for the feedback and sorting through my rambling.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
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    Excellent results and mental attitude.

    Your review of the facts really helps to clarify what is possible and not possible. Eating almost 1000 more now it sounds like, and not gaining 1 lb weekly. Great work.

    And indeed you should make fast progress of adding weight on the bar, and good news, when you take your deficit, you usually can retain those gains, as long as recovery time is kept, because it'll be slower in the diet.
    But you also won't keep increasing nearly as fast.
    But those strength gains will really help to increase your metabolism.
    I really wouldn't be surprised if your weight is the same, or even with 1 lb more proving out the prior level, at the end of the test, but your bodyfat has dropped enough, your LBM has gone up enough, that your TDEE goes up even more.

    And the results of this test time is exactly what you can use in that TDEE calc on the Progress tab to nail your best TDEE.

    Increases can't be fat, not with mere days at only 250 more. Must be water from something.
  • miztrezzlyn
    miztrezzlyn Posts: 44 Member
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    5-29 130.6 pounds 2345 cals
    5-30 130.2 pounds 2438 cals
    5-31 130.3 pounds 2331 cals
    6-1 130.6 pounds 2414 cals
    6-2 131.9 pounds 2367 cals (holy jump!)
    6-3 132.5 pounds 2376 cals
    6-4 132.7 pounds 2217 cals (its got me scared now :p)
    6-5 132.8 pounds 2327 cals
    6-6 132.3 pounds will be about 2350 cals today

    Such big jumps, it is so confusing to me. Anyway, I made a deal with myself before I increased my cals the extra 250 that I would see it through for about a month. I will check measurements this weekend but that's where the weight, at least, is at right now. I don't really have a great explanation for why those huge weight jumps are there.

    With my schedule, I plan to continue this calorie range through June 30th. Then cut down to 1800 (that is about 350 deficit per day). After that, I'm going to cut for 4 weeks, eat at maintenance for 1 week and cut for 4 weeks, etc. I think having the weeks eating at maintenance will be rejuvinating for mind and body :) I sure do enjoy having the increased calories atm and it has done wonders for me in the gym.

    Ultimately, I do want to do a bulk/cut cycle like bulk in autumn/winter, cut in spring. I tentatively have planned to start bulking maybe beginning November through March and then go back to a 4 week cut/1 week maintenance thing until the following winter. I am not sure about doing a bulk for that long at one stretch? I've seen people say that it's better than doing smaller bulk/cut cycles. I don't know.

    The act of counting calories is easy and automatic for me. I don't mind doing it at all and my gym/workout routine is going so magnificently. I *love* doing All Pro's Simple Beginner Routine and I've seen increases already in my lifts. I am going into my 5th week and based on this week's lifts I don't think I'll have any trouble getting my targets next week for lifts. I am lifting what was my 1 set for 10 rep max at a now 2 sets for 12 reps.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
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    Interesting.

    So much more than 1 lb slow gain over 2 weeks.

    Prior level was not potential TDEE likely. Will be interesting to see if that weight keeps dropping in to the month.

    Also curious how fast and high those increases on the bar can come - that's excellent.

    Good plan for future maintenance weeks.
    I might suggest something a tad different, since you are doing a reasonable deficit, and doing a great lifting workout.

    Every 6th week, so good strong 5 weeks in a row, take an exercise break.
    Either massive deload on the bar, or just walk during that normal exercise time. This allows you to come back stronger and really recovered. Until you experience it, you'd never imagine how well you come back.
    During that week get the new TDEE for new routine, and still eat at a deficit.
    Then the week after, when you come back recovered and stronger and able to really hit it hard - take a diet break.
    Back to correct TDEE for that workout level, but no cut.
    So now your body is stronger, making gains, and you are eating more during that week. Great improvement possible.

    And that basically gives you 2 weeks with much less stress, so you can wait until 6th week out to do it.
    Others reported big increases on the bar during that one week above what they had plateaued at prior.
    Just a thought.

    That is a long bulk session. You may want to do it by weight not time. When weight, or even better BF%, get up to certain level - then you start your cut again.
    You may be able to get 2 cycles in 4 months like that.
  • miztrezzlyn
    miztrezzlyn Posts: 44 Member
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    Hmm that is interesting, your suggestion. I don't know if you're familiar with All Pro's or not, but it works on a 5 week cycle. It has you lifting your 10 rep max for 2x8, 9, 10, 11, and then 12 reps. Then you increase the weights by 10% if you were able to successfully lift the 2 x12 and start the cycle over again with the 2x8, 9, 10, 11, 12 scheme. So there is a sort of deload built into the beginning of the cycle. Also, it has a Heavy/Medium/Light scheme through the week. Would that be sufficient enough of a "deload"? I could cut out the jogging during the "exercise" break week. If possible, I'd like to keep the lifting in there since it ramps back down to only 2x8 (of the new 10 rep max) for the 1st week of the cycle.

    As to the other part, the long bulk/cuts. If it were a 5 month time span (Nov - Mar) that'd be 1/2 pound per week for 5 months would be about 10 pounds and not all of it being fat gains. Is that considered too much still? Or is going for 1/2 pound per week gain not enough or what people usually do? I admit that I am a complete noob in relation to bulking. I've read about it some, that's all.

    So, you don't think that my 2100 that I was at recently (what the spreadsheet had estimated to be my tdee) was really my tdee? That would be interesting if it wasn't. I would definitely like to see what happens the rest of the month. I've been at 2350 for about 2 weeks now. How long should I stay at this level? I had intended to stay until June 29.