Deficit Breaks

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Replies

  • lauriekallis
    lauriekallis Posts: 2,743 Member
    Wow - kudos to you, Bella. That is a significant achievement. Thank you for sharing - I'm walking that path soon and will try to emulate you.
  • Bella_Figura
    Bella_Figura Posts: 2,968 Member
    edited September 2021
    Previous entries:
    I thought I'd document the progress of my deficit break in the hope that one day it'll help someone else.

    In the 26 weeks prior to the deficit break I lost 20kg (from 96.0kg to 76.0kg). My TDEE is currently approximately 2,030, so my intention is to consume 2,000 calories from 16th September to 2nd October inclusive (17 days).

    Day 1:
    16th September.
    Weight: 76.0kg
    Cumulative gain/loss since start of deficit break: N/A
    Target calories: 2,000
    Actual calories: 1,838
    Target carbs: 150g minimum
    Actual carbs: 212g
    Target fat: 80g max
    Actual fat:67g
    Comments:
    Got off to a rocky start. Thought I'd hit 2,000 calories, but I'd logged 50g strawberry conserve on my slice of breakfast toast instead of 5g strawberry conserve, and didn't notice until the following day. So undershot my calories on day 1. Must try harder!

    Day 2:
    17th September.
    Weight: 76.4kg
    Cumulative gain/loss since start of deficit break: +0.4kg
    Target calories: 2,000
    Actual calories: 1,998
    Target carbs: 150g minimum
    Actual carbs: 229g
    Target fat: 80g max
    Actual fat:79g
    Comments:
    Spot on with my target calories. Haven't noticed any changes in my energy levels yet. The extra calories are making me nervous! It takes gumption to mess with something that's been so successful to date...I'm trying to have faith in the process. I'm using the extra calories to eat more healthy, nutritious food rather than just frittering it away on empty calories. The aim is to give my body a nutrition boost.

    Day 3:
    18th September.
    Weight: 76.2kg
    Cumulative gain/loss since start of deficit break: +0.2kg
    Target calories: 2,000
    Actual calories: 1,785
    Target carbs: 150g minimum
    Actual carbs: 262g
    Target fat: 80g max
    Actual fat:42g
    Comments:
    Another logging error - am I subconsciously trying to sabotage myself? Still no noticeable changes in energy levels, but it was nice to feel I had more calories to play with today - so it was a pity I ended up not making the most of them!

    Day 4:
    19th September.
    Weight: 76.4kg
    Cumulative gain/loss since start of deficit break: +0.4kg
    Target calories: 2,000
    Actual calories: 2,181
    Target carbs: 150g minimum
    Actual carbs: 351g
    Target fat: 80g max
    Actual fat:44g
    Comments:
    Today I went too far in the opposite direction! I made healthy choices, but maybe added a few too many extra carbs, which gave me a hunger knock. I've noticed I've been unusually hungry since starting the deficit break. Ended up eating an unplanned late night snack for the first time in 26.5 weeks. It was nutritious -and tolerable from a calorie perspective - but interesting that I needed it on a day when I'd already had my full complement of calories. Maybe it was just because I'd neglected my hydration today - I drank much less than usual, and had cramp in the night as a consequence.

    Day 5:
    20th September.
    Weight: 76.8kg
    Cumulative gain/loss since start of deficit break: +0.8kg
    Target calories: 2,000
    Actual calories: 1,991
    Target carbs: 150g minimum
    Actual carbs: 269g
    Target fat: 80g max
    Actual fat:58g
    Comments:
    A bit of an overnight jump on the scale, following an unsettled night with some leg cramps. I made more of an effort to hydrate properly today, and pretty much hit my calorie goal. Still no noticeable difference in energy levels. Still feeling a bit nervous about mucking about with a weight-loss plan that's worked well to date - an inner voice keeps saying "You don't NEED a deficit break...wait until Christmas and take one then". I'm trying not to listen to it...

    Day 6:
    21st September.
    Weight: 77.0kg
    Cumulative gain/loss since start of deficit break: +1.0kg
    Target calories: 2,000
    Actual calories: 2,004
    Target carbs: 150g minimum
    Actual carbs: 255g
    Target fat: 80g max
    Actual fat:71g
    Comments:
    Another upward tick on the scale - isn't this supposed to have leveled off by now? I don't like the number on the scale today! I hydrated well today, and pretty much hit my calorie goal. All food was nutritious and balanced. The extra calories are mainly being spent on protein. I felt I had more energy today. When out with the dog I constantly felt like breaking into a jog - it's a while since I've felt that urge! And on the turbo today, my legs felt strong. Hills that seemed like hard work last week were much easier today. It felt good. Today my appetite seemed back to normal - i.e. no abnormal hunger. So no need to break out the potatoes and apples just yet..

    Day 7:
    22nd September.
    Weight: 76.4kg
    Cumulative gain/loss since start of deficit break: +0.4kg
    Target calories: 2,000
    Actual calories: 1,995
    Target carbs: 150g minimum
    Actual carbs: 252g
    Target fat: 80g max
    Actual fat:65g
    Comments:
    A downward tick on the scale today, so clearly I've lost a bit of water weight. After feeling yesterday as if I could leap tall buildings in a single bound, today I felt lacklustre and tired on the bike, and definitely didn't have the urge to break into a jog on my dog walks. Just 35 minutes on the turbo was a real effort (though I did choose a course with a King of the Mountain monster climb in the middle of it). Bodies are funny things! Strong yesterday, weak today. My appetite continues to seem back to normal - i.e. no abnormal hunger.

    Day 8:
    23rd September.
    Weight: 76.4kg
    Cumulative gain/loss since start of deficit break: +0.4kg
    Target calories: 2,000
    Actual calories: 2,000
    Target carbs: 150g minimum
    Actual carbs: 246g
    Target fat: 80g max
    Actual fat:57g
    Comments:
    No movement either up or down on the scale overnight. Spot on with my calories today. All food was healthy, balanced and nutritious. I bought cakes from the bakery because we had contractors working in the garden, and I had enough calories for one but I spent them on yoghurt and fruit and some roasted, salted yellow split peas instead. I don't have a sweet tooth so it was a fair trade. Energy levels and appetite back to normal (i.e. no abnormal hunger). I'm expecting a water-weight spike tomorrow because I got stung by a wasp on my after dinner walk, and because I'm allergic I had to use my epipen. This stopped the full body anaphylaxis in its tracks but didn't prevent localised swelling; right hand and arm to elbow are double their ususal size, and the big dimples that appear when I press the skin show that it's fluid build up around the affected area. This normally takes at least 24 hours to disperse. So tomorrow I'll have to brace myself before I step on the scale.

    Day 9:
    24th September.
    Weight: 76.4kg
    Cumulative gain/loss since start of deficit break: +0.4kg
    Target calories: 2,000
    Actual calories: 1,995
    Target carbs: 150g minimum
    Actual carbs: 214g
    Target fat: 80g max
    Actual fat:59g
    Comments:
    Weight has stayed the same for 3 days now, which surprises me given my hand looks like a water filled surgical glove, and my forearm isn't much better. Wasp stings aren't fun! I'm feeling a bit grotty today, but I think that's due to the reaction to the sting and the epi-pen. Clearly my body's doing its best to fight off the toxins, so I'm trying to let it do its work and avoiding stressing it with too much extra activity. Just the dog walks today (just over 15,000 steps). Might have to defer tomorrow's third attempt on the Alpe Du Zwift until I've fought off the infection. Food was healthy, nutritious, balanced. Plenty of protein and complex carbs. Hopefully tomorrow I'll feel more like my usual self...

    Day 10:
    25th September.
    Weight: 76.6kg
    Cumulative gain/loss since start of deficit break: +0.6kg
    Target calories: 2,000
    Actual calories: 2,118
    Target carbs: 150g minimum
    Actual carbs: 214g
    Target fat: 80g max
    Actual fat:117g (whoops!)
    Comments:
    Weight nudged up by 0.2kg, which is a pretty modest increase given the state of my hand. Doc gave me a prescription for antibiotics in case cellulitis sets in, but I haven't filled the prescription as I think the swelling has stabilised. I'm certainly in much less pain today and can bend my fingers, so I was able to hold the grips of my bike and do a short (15km) ride - but I'm not going to attempt Alpe Du Zwift until tomorrow at least. My energy levels were fine today despite a crap night's sleep. Feel like my usual self again today. Didn't do much walking though - just under 10,000 steps. Appetite is steady - no cravings, no hunger. Food was healthy, nutritious, balanced until dinner time, when we shared a portion of donner kebab meat and chips from the chippy (which was bloody lovely) because neither of us felt like cooking. I ate my share guilt-free and with enjoyment. Debating whether to keep the break going for another week or to finish it tonight after 10 full days....It's been nice having the extra 500 calories a day to play with, but I certainly don't feel as if dropping back to 1,500 will be too difficult. Next break is already planned for Christmas & New Year - so under 13 weeks until the next calorie boost.
    Having mulled overnight, I've decided to carry on the deficit break for another four full days (up to and including 29th September). This is because I made logging mistakes in my first 3 days that meant I didn't hit my maintenance calories for days 1 and 3...so adding 4 days on at the end ensures I get the full benefit of the break. Plus it allows time for the effects of the sting to leave my system. So today is day 11...

    Day 11:
    26th September.
    Weight: 76.8kg
    Cumulative gain/loss since start of deficit break: +0.8kg
    Target calories: 2,000
    Actual calories: 1,992
    Target carbs: 150g minimum
    Actual carbs: 215g
    Target fat: 80g max
    Actual fat:66g
    Comments:
    Weight nudged up by another 0.2kg, which I think is within tolerable limits given that this is day 11 and I still have visible oedema on my hand and arm. Energy levels are fine: felt up to having another bash at the Alpe Du Zwift challenge and got 32% further up the mountain than I did last week (419m of climbing at an average gradient of 10%). So that's progress! Appetite remains steady - no cravings, no hunger. Food was healthy, nutritious, balanced.

    Day 12:
    27th September.
    Weight: 76.4kg
    Cumulative gain/loss since start of deficit break: +0.4kg
    Target calories: 2,000
    Actual calories: 1,992
    Target carbs: 150g minimum
    Actual carbs: 268g
    Target fat: 80g max
    Actual fat:64g
    Comments:
    Weight dropped by 0.4kg, which dovetails with my hand looking like its old self again. Whoosh. Just like magic the water is gone and the wrinkles are back! Energy levels are fine: I completed a 16km (virtual) bike ride and 12,000 steps. My ankle and knee were bothering me on the second walk so I cut it short - that's a huge NSV for me because in the past I wouldv'e pushed on anyway and risked an injury just so I could get the calorie burn. Maybe I'm getting older and wiser. Appetite remains steady - no cravings, no hunger. Food was healthy, nutritious, balanced. I'm sneaking in my 500 extra calories through things like 20g extra peanut butter on my toast; 20g extra houmous in my pitta; a handful of chopped nuts on my yoghurt, a couple of dates after my workout, a scoop of protein powder in my porridge....things that add extra good fats and protein, but that don't feel like extra meals/snacks so (theoretically) I won't miss them when I have to cut them back out in a few days' time. Two more days to go...

    Day 13:
    28th September.
    Weight: 75.8kg
    Cumulative gain/loss since start of deficit break: -0.2kg Whoops! That wasn't supposed to happen!
    Target calories: 2,000
    Actual calories: 1,996
    Target carbs: 150g minimum
    Actual carbs: 216g
    Target fat: 80g max
    Actual fat: 79g
    Comments:
    With the whoosh of water weight disappearing down the u-bend, my weight dropped by 0.6kg overnight, which was obviously not part of the plan. Luckily I flung myself at speed from my bike onto tarmac, so more water should accumulate overnight and I'll be back above my starting weight tomorrow morning. Energy levels are fine: I did almost 25km on the bike and over 13,000 steps. Appetite is still normal - no cravings, no hunger. Food remained healthy, nutritious, balanced. I didn't even self-medicate with cake after my tumble. Polishing my halo is burning lots of NEAT calories. Goodness, what will tomorrow bring? One more day to go..

    Day 14:
    29th September.
    Weight: 76.0kg
    Cumulative gain/loss since start of deficit break: 00.00 kg
    Target calories: 2,000
    Actual calories: 2,006
    Target carbs: 150g minimum
    Actual carbs: 185g
    Target fat: 80g maxActual fat: 78g
    Comments:
    Well, well, well. Fourteen days of eating at maintenance and I've....maintained! I'm exactly the weight I was at the start of the break. Maybe that means I've done it wrong and a small loss is being masked by water weight - the next couple of weigh-ins will be interesting. I haven't eaten massively more carbs than usual (I've focused more on protein) but I guess there may be a pound or two of injury-and-glycogen-related water to whoosh away over the next few days. Then again, maybe there isn't.

    To summarise the whole two weeks, I felt extra hungry the first two days, but then my appetite stabilised and stayed pretty much normal for the remaining 12 days. No cravings. I didn't feel as if I had oodles more energy, but nor did I feel weak and feeble. Really I guess I didn't feel any different from the way I've felt for the past 6 months of running a hefty deficit (i.e. fine and dandy). I made an effort to sneak in food that was nutritious, rather than indulge in between-meal low-nutrition snacks that I might find difficult to set aside once back on deficit. I'm sure on a cellular level my body was glad of the 7,000 extra calories. Next 2 week break is planned for over the Christmas/New Year period.

    Day 1 post break
    30th September.
    Weight: 75.4 kg
    Overnight change: - 0.6 kg
    Comments:
    An overnight whoosh. I'm now 2.5lbs lower than I wouldv'e expected to be from my calculated TDEE and my daily intake over the past 14 days. Either this means I'm burning more calories than my 200 days of data would suggest (pushing my TDEE above BMR x 1.6%) or my logging accuracy has deteriorated and I've taken in fewer calories (which I don't think is the case). My Happy Scale app is telling me that my trend weight is 75.8 kg. On day 1 of the deficit break it was 76.4 kg. So I've lost despite trying to maintain. Go figure.
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 10,682 Member
    edited September 2021
    You maybe moved your.... err... tail extra fast to protect it from attack cars??? Are you using a Fitbit type device or how are you adding your calories for exercise?
  • Yoolypr
    Yoolypr Posts: 1,015 Member
    Guess I can count my year of maintenance as a deficit break? The good news is forming good habits and no gain at all. Unbelievably steady daily weigh-ins for the whole year. It’s time to get back to deficit eating now. There’s still a goal I want to reach and I’m tantalizingly close.
  • conniewilkins56
    conniewilkins56 Posts: 3,271 Member
    Yoolypr wrote: »
    Guess I can count my year of maintenance as a deficit break? The good news is forming good habits and no gain at all. Unbelievably steady daily weigh-ins for the whole year. It’s time to get back to deficit eating now. There’s still a goal I want to reach and I’m tantalizingly close.

    Me, too!…I am 2.5 lbs from my lowest weight….I want to get to 199 so badly….hopefully this will be sometime in 2022!
  • Bella_Figura
    Bella_Figura Posts: 2,968 Member
    edited October 2021
    PAV8888 wrote: »
    You maybe moved your.... err... tail extra fast to protect it from attack cars??? Are you using a Fitbit type device or how are you adding your calories for exercise?

    Here's where I find I've been doing it wrong for the past 6 months....

    I don't use a fitbit device...

    For sessions on the turbo, I use the net calorie burn estimate from Strava, since it comes directly from the trainer's inbuilt power meter, and is based on watts/kg. I double-checked the Strava burn figure against the formula Average watts X 3.6 per hour - the variance ranged from 10 calories to 16 calories per ride (with Strava assigning a lower calorie burn in 100% of cases). So that gives me reassurance that Strava isn't over-estimating the calorie burn of the virtual rides.

    For real life rides, I take the net calorie burn figure from Strava and reduce it by 10% to allow me a margin of error.

    For walks, I take the gross calorie burn figure from Strava and multiply it by a factor of 0.57, which bring it into line with the net calorie burn figure estimated by this calculator: https://exrx.net/Calculators/WalkRunMETs.

    All the above is just for curiosity though, as I set my calorie budget based on my rolling TDEE, and don't eat back my exercise calories. However, the burn data shows that in an average week I'm burning about 4,500 net calories as scheduled exercise (650 calories a day) on top of my BMR + any NEAT calories burned). My BMR is currently around 1,282.

    I calculate my TDEE in the following way:
    1) I weigh every day
    2) I input my calorie intake every day
    3) I log my BMR (Miffin St Jour) every day
    4) I then add a percentage to my BMR to equate to an approximate TDEE (currently BMR + 60%)
    5) I then calculate my theoretical deficit by subtracting my calorie input from this theoretical TDEE
    6) On a rolling daily basis I then compare my actual weight loss (in cumulative calories, on the basis of 1lb = 3500 calories) against the cumulative deficit I derive from subtracting my cumulative calorie input from my cumulative theoretical TDEE.
    7) If the actual weight loss in calories matches the theoretical weight loss from TDEE-input, I assume my TDEE % is accurate. If the actual weight loss is lower, I assume I'm burning less calores and I tweak my TDEE % downwards until my theoretical weight loss figure matches my actual weight loss figure (in calories).

    Does that make sense? On the basis of the above, I reckon my TDEE at the moment is closer to BMRx1.65% than BMRx1.6%, suggesting I'm burning about 830 calories a day above BMR (pushing me above 2000 calories a day, to around 2,115 calories a day). So I'm burning almost 200 NEAT calories a day in addition to my exercise calories. This would explain why I may have continued to lose fat on my 2,000 cal/day deficit break. I should've set my budget to 2,115 cals/day not 2,000.


  • lauriekallis
    lauriekallis Posts: 2,743 Member
    Bella - your meticulous approach is awe inspiring. PAV is going to marvel at this post. I need some of your brainpower...wanna come to Canada and help me finish up the project I'm working on today? :)
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 10,682 Member
    I am marveling at the awesomeness.

    Your steps would indicate BMR * 1.6 to BMR * 1.8

    Plus the bike.

    Your calculation is even more accurate.

    Not sure, if you're feeling a1, which it sounds as if you are, that you need to worry too much about whether you hit things to 100 cal either way!!!

    What you do need to do is what you did now... for a good couple of years once you stop making an official effort to lose.... and then you'll be in as good a spot as any of us can be❣️

    Though I don't know what kind of cat you will be once you're closer to Odie than Garfield!😹
  • Bella_Figura
    Bella_Figura Posts: 2,968 Member
    Thanks for your kind words @lauriekallis and @PAV8888....what can I say, I love data! Not to the point of obsession, but I do get a little buzz from collecting data and using it to inform my strategy.

    As you say, a hundred calories is within an acceptable margin of error - I'm confident I'm heading in the right direction, and as long as I can stay focussed, I'll eventually reach a weight I'm happy with. I don't really care how long it takes me to reach it.

    I have a zero percent success rate at maintaining - even for 2 weeks, let alone 2 years or over the long haul - so these are important lessons and habits that I'm trying to learn and embed. I don't think I'll ever be able to relinquish the process, so I'd better make peace with it and learn to enjoy it!

    Here is one of my favourite quotes on that exact topic...

    haubybi2c19k.png

    For 9 other great insights, check out the whole blog post: https://www.halfsizeme.com/10-things-ive-learned-maintaining-my-weight-loss-for-four-years/
  • Bella_Figura
    Bella_Figura Posts: 2,968 Member
    edited October 2021
    Connie and Yoolypr, you'll be at goal in no time!
  • Yoolypr
    Yoolypr Posts: 1,015 Member
    Connie and Yoolypr, you'll be at goal in no time!
    Thanks!
    I just got the okay from my ortho guy to get back to walking and the gym. I hope that motivates me after a year long pause. Also cooler weather seems to help. It’s been so hot and humid since May. Somehow being able to open a window or be comfortable outside is good for the mind and the soul. It’s actually raining too - first time in a month.
  • lauriekallis
    lauriekallis Posts: 2,743 Member
    Connie and Yoolypr, you'll be at goal in no time!

    And me???!!!!!!!!! :D I want to be at goal too.... B)
  • lauriekallis
    lauriekallis Posts: 2,743 Member
    Yoolypr wrote: »
    Connie and Yoolypr, you'll be at goal in no time!
    Thanks!
    I just got the okay from my ortho guy to get back to walking and the gym. I hope that motivates me after a year long pause. Also cooler weather seems to help. It’s been so hot and humid since May. Somehow being able to open a window or be comfortable outside is good for the mind and the soul. It’s actually raining too - first time in a month.

    Very good! Does this feel like a relief or intimidating?
  • conniewilkins56
    conniewilkins56 Posts: 3,271 Member
    Connie and Yoolypr, you'll be at goal in no time!
    I hope so and I can only hope my next break is half as successful as yours has been!….I have no knack for data!….I can add, multiply,subtract, divide, percentages, and fractions!…
  • Yoolypr
    Yoolypr Posts: 1,015 Member


    And me???!!!!!!!!! :D I want to be at goal too.... B)

    Of course!
  • conniewilkins56
    conniewilkins56 Posts: 3,271 Member
    I would like to lose 10 to 15 more pounds before I do another planned break….I have had some horrible binges the past few months and right now I am in control…I am thinking mid January….if I do it over the holidays it will be like waving a green flag at my brain!….I have told the entire household we are going to cut our baking and cooking way back…I love cookies more than most people!…hopefully this year I won’t have a huge gain like I did the past two while on MFP but I am in a much better place now to handle this!
  • Yoolypr
    Yoolypr Posts: 1,015 Member

    Very good! Does this feel like a relief or intimidating?

    It’s a relief to know I can get back to exercising without needing surgery. Just need to go a bit slower at first. But it’s intimidating because now I have to get serious about the deficit. I’ve been coasting along being fat, dumb and happy for a year.
  • conniewilkins56
    conniewilkins56 Posts: 3,271 Member
    Halloween and Thanksgiving are not the problem….our grands don’t trick or treat anymore and no kids come to our door….last year we did a popcorn and scary movie night….no one but John and I like a baked Turkey so some years we fix ribs!…I am thinking of doing a small one because it smells so good!….since my son in law has diabetes I fix a few things he can enjoy, too…I don’t much like pumpkin pie and Nov. 24 is daughters birthday so we might only have a cake…and then again the family might decide on traditional…I would prefer to go out lol…

    Christmas is the holiday that causes the most problems….if I only ate the one day it would be ok but the eating starts when the cookies are baked and lasts until they are gone…maybe I will try for 3 or 4 a day!…I made the most amazing fruitcake cookies last year…
  • Bella_Figura
    Bella_Figura Posts: 2,968 Member
    Connie and Yoolypr, you'll be at goal in no time!

    And me???!!!!!!!!! :D I want to be at goal too.... B)

    Of course you too!!! 👍👍
  • Yoolypr
    Yoolypr Posts: 1,015 Member
    Christmas is the holiday that causes the most problems….if I only ate the one day it would be ok but the eating starts when the cookies are baked and lasts until they are gone…maybe I will try for 3 or 4 a day!…I made the most amazing fruitcake cookies last year…

    Halloween’s not a problem. No grandkids or trick or treaters in the neighborhood. My husband and son are the cooks now. They are foodies but respectful of my diet. So thanksgiving is traditional but de-fatted as much as possible. Still more food than usual and I also would rather go out!
    Christmas is kind of difficult. I love to bake cookies too but only make those I can freeze. And I always try to have a baking assistant to prevent me from the embarrassment of public cookie gobbling while baking!
    The majority of the cookies go to friends and neighbors as gifts. The rest get frozen for hubby - and son when he comes over. There’s a process in defrosting cookies that makes me pause. Doesn’t always work but I try. 🥴