Gotta Live or Get It Done?
Losing fat is not a pleasant experience. When your body is in deficit it fights hard to get the fuel it wants. You are starving and your energy goes in the toilet.
The question today is: Is it better to just put your head down and get it over with as quickly as possible or should you make it as painless as you can and take it slowly and sanely?
The problem with just Getting it Done is that the pain and madness are sometimes overwhelming. It requires great strength, courage and will power to survive day upon day of low calorie eating and high intensity training. You need to put most of your normal life on hold. But the results are significant and immediate. You can achieve large losses on the scales every week.
The problem with the Gotta Live approach is that a small caloric deficit mean that fat loss is painfully slow. Your results are masked by hormonal and water fluctuations so sometimes you feel you aren't getting anywhere at all. It requires faith, persistence and patience. But there is bearable pain and minimal madness along the way. Your life can continue while the fat slowly melts away.
I think Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle is the perfect program for me because it combines the two approaches. For three days I am Getting it Done - eating 1400 calories and keeping my carbs under 100g a day. I am continuously hungry the whole time and slightly bonkers. By the fourth day I can't take it much longer and I have just Gotta Live. I eat 'on plan' for most of the fourth day but I have either more food or a re-feed meal and dessert. My calories and carbs are high and my deficit is small [if at all?]. But the hunger and the madness stops just long enough for me to regroup, re-energise and refocus on the next three days of fat loss mode.
I have been on this program for 15 weeks which is the longest I have stuck to anything. In that time I have lost over 5 kilos when I wasn't overweight to start with. I realise that this is only 300g a week, but in my world, 300g consistently is a huge success.
I have the strength, courage and will power to survive being in a deficit 75% of the time, and I have the faith, persistence and patience to keep going when the scales don't move or even go up. I have been losing fat while still enjoying meals out with my husband and friends. I have had Christmas dinner and because today is a re-feed, I could even have Easter eggs if I wanted [but I am not that fussed as I eat chocolate all the time and I'd rather have cheesecake].
Most importantly, I appear to have finally got control over my bingeing.
Would you rather just Get It Done or do you Gotta Live?
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