5 days of Rice and Chicken

I interrupt the regular weight loss series to bring up a special VERY related topic - my own weight loss "experiment."

Last week I participated in a food challenge presented by my church (Eagle Brook) to help change our perspective and soften our hearts to those who live in poverty. The challenge was to eat like they do Monday through Friday last week, a diet of mainly beans and rice. We were allowed beans, rice, a little bit of chicken, tortillas, oatmeal and water. We were asked to limit ourselves to 3 8oz portions a day.

Everything inside of me did not want to do this. It was going to set me further back from my fitness goals which I have recently been doing well towards. But I decided this was not about me, and I gave it a whirl. From a professional standpoint, I decided to chalk it up as an experiment to present my viewpoint that dieting is not an effective technique for weight loss.

Now I did not follow the serving size guidelines, did not limit my chicken, and I did add one protein shake every day. After all I have to get through exercise classes without fainting. I managed to sneak in 1000-1500 calories every day. But this is far from my usual 2200 and I was hungry every minute all week long. The experiment was effective for me in learning extreme appreciate for the variety in my diet I take for granted every day.

I measured my weight and body composition before and after and the end result from a fitness standpoint is that I lost 3 pounds and did not lower my percent body fat at all. That means I lost 1/2 pound of fat and 2 1/2 pounds of muscle. This is what I expected but did not want to happen. This is significant. After ONLY FIVE days of eating lower calorie I lost 2.5 pounds of muscle. EVEN THOUGH I instructed THREE WEIGHT TRAINING classes during this time to build muscle. That means this week I have a lower metabolic rate by approximately 100 calories every single day. I cannot resume eating as normal, or I would quickly gain back more fat than muscle.

This is the problem every dieter is up against. Eating low calorie only destroys one's metabolic rate and does nothing to make one less "flabby." Weight loss plateaus; fat is regained. Stay tuned to learn about a better way!
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