I would like to lose 5 lbs. in the early weeks of training, so as to not sacrifice my running to dieting when I’m faced with the dreaded tempo runs from Hell that my Program will surely call for later.
I used the McMillan Running Nutritional Calculator (http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/) to figure out how many calories I should consume a day in order to lose 1 pound a week. (I like this calculator a lot because it takes into consideration not just your age, height, and current weight, but how many miles a week you’re running). Calculator says: 1,560 calories a day. Current "real life": 1,700-1,900).
So, it’s been a week, and I’m down 1 pound, and I should be pleased. But I'm not.
Call me crazy, but I swear I look flabbier now than I did before I started dieting. My excess fat looks like it's literally drooping off my frame. And this is concerning, because it is NOT attractive. No, not a good look for me at all.
Although I know the real answer to this mini- freakout is to just stick with the plan and be assured that anything that is happening is surely temporary and will resolve itself on its own, I can’t let it go. Instead, I consulted the magic resource of all resources (yes, Google!) for answers. (And yes, I Google-d, “why do i look flabbier after starting a diet?”)!
Sure enough, I found an article that talked about looking flabbier in the first weeks of losing body fat. Basically, it says that when you create a calorie deficit your muscles go into a glycogen depleted state (I’m well aware I’m only ever a few miles away from a glycogen depleted state) and as a result they "flatten out" because there's not as much water being stored in them (remember there’s 3 grams of water for every gram of carb stored). The article says, "When this happens it can look like you have less muscle in relation to body fat, and you can actually look like you've gained a bit of weight."
How's that for a crappy reward?