Friday 28 June 2024

Physical transformation update

Decided I might as well do my quarterly post update re weight loss and body transformation progress today, as it is already almost the end of the second quarter of 2024. Since hitting my all-time maximum weight (122.8 kg) on 5 July last year I have managed to reduce my weight by just over 30 kg (67 lbs) so far, to about 92kg. My goal from here is to lose another 10 or 15 kg of body fat without losing any more lean body mass (muscle). To do so I will need to increase my daily caloric intake slightly, and be more consistent about getting to the gym three times a week for weight training sessions, and doing some short sessions of HIIT indoor rowing (at about 85%-90% MHR) on my non-gym days. I have managed to get into a routine of walking 16K-24K steps/day, which seems pretty effective at maintaining a caloric deficit and ensuring most of my weight loss has been due to fat loss. I have found that not having my first meal of the day until noon has been quite easy (I don't feel particularly hungry when I wake up, so 'breakfast' was more of a habit that an urge to eat something), and it isn't too hard to stick with a rule to not eat anything after a reasonably early dinner around 6pm or so. This results in an 18:6 'intermittent fasting' regime that I find is easy to stick with, once you get out of the habit of 'snacking' after dinner. Apparently most of the longevity benefits of caloric restriction found in rodent studies may actually be achieved by simply restricting the food consumption period, rather than total calories per se. So having a daily 'fasting' period of 75% of every 24-hours may provide similar health benefits as 20%-30% caloric restriction, and may not have some of the adverse side effects (eg. sacropenia and increased sensitivity to the cold) that higher levels of caloric restriction might impose.

I had made little progress with my attempt to lose excess body weight up until 12 Feb, when I commenced the '90-day transformation challenge' that I had signed up for towards the end of 2023. While there was nothing revolutionary about my approach to diet and exercise since then, it did make me more aware of the need to consume quite a high level of protein while maintaining a caloric deficit (around 1g per lb of ideal body weight), and I switched from tracking my daily food intake 'on paper' (and then having to use a spreadsheet to calculate macros - which was quite a chore) to using the free version of the myfitnesspal app. Being able to just scan barcodes or search for a food item within the app, and then record the total macros at the end of the day made it much easier to keep an accurate track of my daily macros and keep an eye on my weekly averages. The impact of this change of approach is quite apparent in the chart of my daily morning weigh-ins:

I had been a little concerned that (according to my bathroom scales) my body fat percentage was remaining quite high, despite the constant weight loss. And using the body fat readings to calculate lean mass it seemed as if around 1/4 of my weight loss was due to decrease in lean mass. However, I had a new DEXA scan done last weekend, and it reported my actual body fat percentage as 17.9% (a *lot* better than the 27% being reported by my bathroom scales). The DEXA reading of body fat seems more realistic, as didn't seem to have lost any muscle mass since February, due to more regular weight training sessions and higher levels of protein intake.

My goal for the next six months is to lose the remaining 10-15kg of body weight to get down to a 'healthy' BMI value (and body fat around 10%-13%), while also (hopefully) putting on a bit of muscle mass via regular weight training. If I do manage to retain muscle mass during the next six months of more gradual weight loss I should end up weighing about 78-80kg with 10% or so body fat. I'll get another DEXA scan at the end of the year to see how things have worked out, and then for 2025 will focus on maintenance caloric intake while continuing with weight training, walking, indoor rowing, and sticking with the intermittent fasting routine. I'll also do another DEXA scan at the end of 2025 to check on progress. My long term goal will be to stick with 18:6 IF and maintain a health body mass of around 78-80kg with ~10% body fat.

My DEXA scans and key metrics from 2019 and 2024:

Still quite a way to go, as I have previously managed to get my weight down below 90kg on several occasions over the past 40 years, but then didn't have a plan for the transition to a long-term 'maintenance' program.

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1 comment:

mOOm said...

Wow, that is really impressive!