No Rebound Diet – AKA Naomi’s Gonna Wear a Dress

Ruh ro. The dress doesn’t flatter.

Naomi’s gotta do a quick diet.

An event has come up and Naomi’s gotta see what can happen, realistically, by the end of the month. Naomi doesn’t wanna be seen wearing a dress with her belly pooching out.

(Okay, what’s up with the 3rd person? Maybe I don’t really want this to be about me. Haven’t you notice when things are too horrible, people switch to the 3rd person, like it happened or is happening to someone else? I’ll stop now!)

I’ve just plugged my numbers into my trusty calculator, the only source I’ll ever trust again*.

I have 3 weeks. My Venus Index contest photos are in the 137-139 pound range. The lowest I ever got was 134, for about a minute, after a crash diet (never ever do that, okay?) and my waist is in within my Venus Index Metrics as long as I’m 145 pounds or under. This morning, admittedly, after a potluck with some extremely yummy food, I’m 148.8. Okay, okay, that’s pretty much 149 pounds! Yuck.

How much do you think I should lose per week?

By the way, if you’re reading this and think these numbers are telling you something, they’re not giving you the complete picture. It’s like solving for x without knowing y. Until you know my height, weight is entirely meaningless. Height and weight (and gender) must be correlated! My height is 5’11”. I have a very narrow frame and am 48 years old – these two facts mean I don’t get to carry as much extra weight (<cough cough> fat – women don’t pile on all that many pounds of muscle) as I used to get away with gracefully.  I am already at least 20% body fat, according to a recent DEXA scan. I’m up a few pounds since then, some of which is fat and some, I hope, is muscle coming back after a bout of illness.

Are you ready for the answer? Did you think I could drop 1 pound/week? More? Less?

It turns out that the most fat I can sustainably lose is just under 1/2 pound per week, and that is as aggressive as I can get.

Why Can’t I Lose a Pound of Fat a Week?

*The truth is, I can, and more, and I’ve done it. I already mentioned that the lowest I ever got was 134 pounds and I did the last few of those pounds by eating extremely low calories for a few weeks. What happened? As predicted by the Reverse Taper Diet, (maybe it should be called the No Rebound Diet) I immediately rebounded. I was in and out of control for months and ate my way back up to 150 pounds within 6 months. I know I am at that weight again now but I am years into recomp and having built significant muscle, I am able to carry a few pounds higher now than then.

The above numbers have me on target to drop about 1/2 pound of fat per week. Remember, this is not exactly correlated to scale weight. I could indeed lose more weight, but not more fat as inflammation comes off.

Diet Strategy

I’ll be blogging about the process over the next few weeks. I get to have nearly 10,000 calories per week, divided however I like. I can have 0 or 2000 on any given day. It doesn’t matter as long as by the end of the week, I’ve stayed under that number. The same goes for protein. I need to have 80 grams per day on average. Some days, I may only have 20 grams and other days, I may have 200.  I haven’t counted calories in quite some time but I have gotten pretty good at keeping a running total in mind just as I do when grocery shopping.

My focus will be on filling my plate with protein and vegetables first and making small adjustments to save a few calories here and there. My breakfast is normally just a lovely cup of espresso with heavy cream and xylitol. When I was seriously cutting, I gave up the cream entirely. Today, I added a little extra xylitol and carefully measured a tiny spoon of cream. It’s a very busy day so an ideal time to fast until dinner. Technically, the cream means I am not doing a pure fast but I am not doing this for spiritual purposes. It’s simply a way to create a caloric deficit so I can eat a bit more some days. I am not a fan of low fat or low carb diets but I will use them as needed to help stay within my numbers.

Exercise Strategy

I will add gym cardio back in for the next few weeks. My chosen methods of torture are the StepMill and perhaps some jumprope. I’ll start with 20 minutes a few times after workouts. I don’t do indoor cardio consistently but I do keep active. I use a standing desk, mostly because it hurts to sit, but also because it is just better for the body to stand. I will catch up on some projects around the house. None of these things will create a major caloric burn but it all adds up.

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