Friday was the last day of my participation in the exercise experiment at work and I went back to the labs for another series of blood tests and to be weighed, poked and prodded.
6 weeks ago I weighed 76.5kg (a smidge over 12 stone), had 29.9% body fat, had a 32 inch waist and 38 inch hips. I was a very content size 14, which at 5’8″ I think I pulled off quite well. However it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if I was a bit lighter I could probably run a bit faster. And so, in pursuit of some faster finishing times my Racing Weight experiment began.
6 weeks after trying to eat less fat, exercise more frequently (5-6 short sessions a week, rather than 3-4 longer sessions), and incorporating more strength training into my week, the results are in…
I’ve lost 2kg, or 4.6lbs, and now weigh 74.5kg (11 stone 10lb).
My body fat has remained largely unaffected at 29.6%.
I’ve lost 1.5 inches from my waist and 2 inches from my hips.
I have ran a 5K, 5 mile and 10K PB over three consecutive weekends.
I though I might lose a pound or two if I was lucky, but the results I have seen (and others have commentied on) are far exceeding my expectations. My running feels effortlessly bouncier, I have far more energy in the evenings, and I have just bought a pair of jeans that 2 months ago I couldn’t even pull all the way up my legs.
I realise that my body fat has remained pretty much the same, but fat is very difficult to shift and, during a relatively short 6 week period my body is probably just trying to preserve my fat stores. I think that the key to lowering my body fat will be to stick with my new approach to exercise and continue to trying to improve my eating habits. If these habits become routine then my body might just be willing to give up some of those fat cells..!
I have therefore decided to extend my Racing Weight experiment until the end of the year and my mission remains – I am still aiming for a 25% body fat composition and a weight of 70-72kg. Though a 5% decrease in body fat is quite a dramatic drop to aim for, 25% is quite average figure, and actually quite high for an athlete, amateur or otherwise (18-30% is considered a healthy range, 15-25% is considered an optimal range for fitness). This is what I’m trying to tell my girlfriend anyway when she suspiciously pokes at my new shoulder muscles…
Racing Weight aims for the next few weeks are:
A teaspoon of cinammon a day
Apparently cinammon is one of the best natural fat burners there is and a teaspoon a day is all you need. I’m going to stick it in my porridge in the mornings.
10 different fruits/vegetables a week
Runners are sticklers for routine, and while routine is great for our training it’s a crap approach to eating. I always buy the same vegetables and usually eat 2 bananas a day, which is just ridiculous. I’m rather reluctantly going to trade my breakfast banana for something else and I’m also going to try and eat 10 different fruits/vegetables over the course of each week. Hopefully this challenge will appeal to my competitive streak.
I really don’t eat much fish despite being aware of the health benefits of oily varieties. One of my first Racing Weight aims was to eat more fish, but I haven’t so far. This week I will eat some, I promise.
Try new carbs
Interviews with Olympians and Paralympians have filled newspapers and magazines over the last few months. I’ve been particularly interested in any comments they’ve made about nutrition and noticed that quite a few avoid eating pasta too often as even the wholewheat variety is heavily processed. I’m going to try experiment more with carbs that are eaten more or less as they are picked, such as wholegrain rice, quinoa, and bulgur.
Expect recipes to be posted as I try out these new challenges…