Monday, June 11, 2012

Exercise does not always lead to weight loss.

Although I had pledged to stay off the scale for some time, my curosity got the better of me one day. I decided I wanted to step on and check my body fat percentage, and to do that, I needed to know how much I weigh. I was hoping that even though my weight wasn't changing as I had hoped, maybe my body fat percentage would be down. Everyone kept telling me that I was likely building muscle.

I started going to CrossFit in September 2011. I was 206.5 lbs and 37.9% body fat.

By October, after just about two months of CrossFit and strict Paleo diet, I had come down to 196 lbs and 37% body fat.

After that, though I continued to go to CrossFit, I struggled to keep eating healthy. I stay pretty busy and I don't like to cook. I fail to plan ahead most of the time, and while everything I ate when I was eating Paleo was delicious (and is inteded to be a liefstyle, not a temporary diet) - when I stopped eating Paleo, my weight came back. Fast.

My last check I was 201 lbs and 37.4% body fat. Not only did I gain weight, I've gained a considerable amount of at - not muscle.

Somehow, and this may be due to how much I worked out leading up to the test - I managed to keep a clear head. How can I work out this much and still gain weight? Because they don't go hand and hand, and in fact, exercise really is kind of use less in terms of weight loss.

I'm not in any way saying you shouldn't exercise. Exercise is good for you, whether it is CrossFit, running, Yoga, Zumba, or going outside and walking your dog. Anything and everything that gets you moving is good for you.

However it may not make you lose weight. I hate to say it, but you really can not out exercise a bad diet. You are only as good as what you fuel yourself with - and I fail in that area, badly.

I went back to counting calories - and I remember again, why I hated it so much. When you count calories, it doesn't matter what you eat. As long as you are under a certain amount, you can eat what you want... but that's where you'd be wrong. What your calories are made up of are what matters.

You can't eat 1500 calories containing tons of sugar and salt and expect to lose weight. You could eat twinkies all day, come under 1500 calories.. and well, you'll probably be starving, but you're not going to feel very well either.

However, when I followed the Paleo diet to the letter - I lost 10 lbs, and that was the only 10 lbs I've lost all year. All signs indicate, that that particular lifestyle suited me, and I need to return to it. I ate clean and my body responded well.

I stopped because I missed old comfort food. Eating out is difficult when eating Paleo (and really, that should be a good thing!), you can't eat things like macaroni and cheese or ice cream by the buckets or pizza twice a week.

When you eat Paleo, you eat a lot of protein, and a lot of veggies. You have to be creative because you can't used proccessed foods, grains, or beans. You have to be ready to change your lifestyle.

I'll never be thin if I don't change how I feel about food. Food should not be comfort, or something to do when you are bored, and should never be a social 'activity'. Food needs to become fuel for my body. I want to be a lean, strong, athelete.

I want to be strong and fast and healthy.

I'm still going to be logging my food as a way of keeping track of what goes into my mouth, but the amount of calories I consume really doesn't matter. What matters is that I eat clean and I stick to it, because exercise alone will not help me.

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