Gabriels Diary

Gabriel#9758

New member
This is my first diary. Im very new to this so i dont know what to expect but I'll give this a shot.
I am a 21 year old student in germany. Im around 170cm tall (or small, depends on how you look at it) and weigh around 156lbs (71kg).
I want to lose weight not for health reasons but for feeling better about myself. I have been training since the age of 16. My twin brother walked in a funny way and the doctor said that he needed to strengthen his back muscles and be more active so my dad signed me and my brother up in a gym (do you say this like that?). I immediatly got hooked and had so much fun. Then I didnt know anything about proper nutrition and just ate what came on the plate. I gained a lot of weight in form of muscle mass and was pretty happy for a while. But after a while my training kinda plateaued and i didnt make any real progress. I even lost some of my strength and i am trying to regain it until today. Corona wasnt very kind to all of us (or maybe only to me, who knows) and social distancing paired with closed gyms and boredom led to me gaining weight. Not by much but its noticable. Im trying to use this as an oportunity to make things right this time and try to take nutrition as well as training a bit more serious.

Now about my 2 Weeks:
Years of training and interest in related topics gave me basic knowlegde. I know how to lose weight and how to gain weight. I know how to track calories and macros or how to bulk or cut. But knowing all these things doesnt mean that you can apply the knowlegde right away as many of you might experienced. For the past week I tried the OMAD fasting method/diet. Its intermitten fasting. You fast for 23 hours a day and eat for one. I didnt really struggle with that. I ate at roughly 6 or 7 pm and then restartet the timer. But i didnt really lose any weight. And since the OMAD method isnt suited for a long period of time (a week at most, i think) i quit today. Now there I am, confused and frustrated. Counting all those calories and fasting for 23 hours a day for a whole week and the result is just stagnation.
Now i did try to look up of what may be possible causes and found some answers. According to some calculators and apps, my maintenance calories are around 1500-1600 calories per day. I ate around 1000-1200 per day. But in addition to that i went to my sports ground every day and did some bodyweight training and some cardio. I didnt count those calories in so maybe the deficit is too high? In combination with me being a terrible example on sufficient water consumption might have caused my body to store the water and synthesize every carb and fat it could get (its only an assumption, and not at all based on scientific knowledge). Furthermore i tried running again but after a long break I got an ache in my legs (I think the word ache doesnt describe it quite right. In german its called "Muskelkater"). Ive read that affected muscles (in my case my leg-muscles) store water as well. So im waiting for the Week to pass and hopefully i can see some kind of weightloss.

I adjusted my nutrition according to my goals and try to eat a semi-keto diet. I limited my carbs to roughly around 60-80g and up my protein to around 140-150g. The rest of my calories are fat (what else haha). Ive found some good recipes but its really hard to eat according to these macros. Being a student with limited budget is an aspect i have to consider as well.
Instead of the OMAD diet, I think I'll just go for a 18-6 or 20-4 Fasting period. Eating only one big meal a day instead of multiple smaller ones is a bit harsh on your digestion as well.
Maybe i need to track my caloric deficit from the training.

As you can see, im not very satisfied with how things go right now but i actually dont really know what to change. I didnt have cheat meals and ive been dedicated and strict with my diet and fasting. Seeing no results is kinda disappointing. Training with bodyweight and resistance bands are not the same as weight-training and I personally just cant stand endurance training (im still trying to get it done).

Well tomorrow (or today, its 1am right now) is a new day and I'll try to train until my limbs fall off. Maybe that helps haha.
Thats it for my first diary page. I am open for any comments, criticism, suggestions or just chatting. Maybe someone had a similar experience and has some good advise.
I dont expect other diary entries to be that long. They'll be more "diary-like" i promise.
And i apologize for any grammar or typos. As I said, I'm from germany and i've always struggled with foreign languages. I sometimes even don't understand my parents (korean). But that might not be because of their lack of german-skills or my lack of korean-skills. Probably it's because I dont listen haha >:D
 

Cate

Support crew
Gabriel, I think your first diary entry is a great way to let others get to know you. I’m sure you’ll get some good advice :)
 

LaMaria

Well-known member
Welcome to the forum! Muskelkater is muscle soreness, more specifically, DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), and it can indeed make you retain water. Going too low on calories may make you cold and lethargic because your body is trying to conserve energy and that effect can last longer than the low-calorie eating but it doesn't prevent you from losing weight unless your calculated deficit would've been very small to begin with.

Since you're in Germany I assume you're weighing your food rather than using cup measurements? Accuracy while calorie counting generally makes a big difference, so weighing tends to be best unless it's for small volumes where teaspoon/tablespoon measures are better.

Best of luck with your plans and let us know how it goes!
 

Gabriel#9758

New member
Thank you Cate. You are very kind and always so nice
LaMaria yes I weigh my food with a foodscale. But after I thought about it, I noticed that I don't really weigh my salt or spices. Weighing those with a scale is really tedious. Measurements in tablespoons and teaspoons might be more suited for that. I'll give it a try.
But I don't really like cups or spoons as measurements because on the one hand, I actually don't know if my cups or spoons have the same size as other cups and spoons. Even the spoons I have at home are all different for some mysterious reason. And I do ,on the other hand, know that there is a fixed amount which goes into a cup but it's like inches and feet compared to the metric system. It's always some odd number and at the end I have to convert it to gramm anyways, since I still can't remember how much a cup is.
 

LaMaria

Well-known member
Ah, for spoon measures you really ought to use measuring spoons. You can get them for a couple of € in a kitchen store (I think mine were €2.50 for the set). European measuring teaspoons are 5 ml, tablespoons are 15 ml. Normal cutlery can be wildly different! Salt doesn´t have calories, so I don´t measure it, and dried spices without added oil or sugar don´t have enough calories for me to care :p
 

Gabriel#9758

New member
I don't know where to post my second entry, so I'll just do it here.

Today's training was... Ok.
The first hour was rainy and therefore all the bars and poles were very slippery. After the sun came out, I mainly did some exercises with resistance bands. I still struggle a lot when it comes to these since its kinda difficult to max out on reps. I have the feeling that your breaks let you recover a lot more than with weights and therefore I could hypothetically go on forever. After people startet to look at me funny for doing the same exercise for 1 Hour, I startet walking my steps. I'm at 7500 right now. I ate some low fat quark mixed with some sweeteners and isolate to get a few proteins in while being in the anabolic state. Now I'm headed to meet some friends. By the end I probably will have my 10.000 steps and eat my remaining calories. Today's dinner is some low calorie variant of oven-potatoes. Well that pretty much wraps up my day. Have a good one you guys (and girls)!
 

LaMaria

Well-known member
I don't know where to post my second entry, so I'll just do it here.
Excellent, that´s exactly where it goes :)
I ate some low fat quark mixed with some sweeteners and isolate to get a few proteins in while being in the anabolic state.
The anabolic window is bit of a bro science myth: in reality it´s about 5 hours long. So don´t worry about it too much. You can eat an hour before and four hours after the start of your training or the other way around and it won´t make a difference.
 

Gabriel#9758

New member
Oh really? That's good to know, thanks. I learn so much from you haha.
I'm on my way home and walked about 17.000 steps. That's about 600 kcal If I'm right. If you are going out with friends it's much easier to get those in. Much better than going for a walk with those steps in mind.
 

Err2

New member
Welcome Gabriel!

I think you're doing great so far and the only things I noticed Lama already covered (sore muscle water retention & anabolic window). Looking forward to seeing your progress
 

Cate

Support crew
Off to an excellent start, Gabriel. Walking with friends (or a dog :) ) does help to increase those steps. 17000? Well done!
 

Gabriel#9758

New member
Today I think I'm gonna take a day off. I've trained the past 2 weeks every day for at least 2 hours in the morning and the muscle soreness or better yet the DOMS (@LaMaria ;D ) is lingering and my back is sore from yesterday as well. I'm still gonna go out for a walk to get my 10.000 steps.
I've did some research on my daily calorie consumption again and the average intake to lose weight according to a few different calculators (I tried 4 or 5) is around 2000 to 2200. I'm eating 1300-1500 right now. I already expressed my suspicion of having a way to high deficit but this already got debunked by LaMaria. So is me not losing weight really the water retention? Yes I do have musclesoreness in relatively "big" muscles like my lats or legs but does it really make that much of a difference? Maybe I should really try the 2000 to 2200 calories per day and look where I end up. Normally I would beginn at around 2.500 to lose weight and adjust my intake according to my weight loss. But since gyms are closed and compared to 1 year ago i'm a lot less active (A LOT), I startet at around 1.500 and still have no weight loss. What are your thoughts on that?

A good friend of mine is at around 3000 calories and is losing weight. I mean yes he is much taller and bigger and heavier than me so his intake is way higher than mine but relatively speaking, his consumption right now is way higher compared to mine. He told me that I have been eating so little that my metabolism dropped and therefore my body doesn't burn as much. But wouldnt I make up for that with my daily sports routine?

When in comes to eating habits, feeling hungry or eating junk food isn't really a problem for me, since I've never struggled to eat the right things or fight cravings. Even during my OMAD diet I didn't have any problems with the 23 hour fast at all. I think I'm very lucky in that regard. Many people really struggle and I can relate only so much but that must be very difficult to be in this unbearable hungry state for weeks or even months.
"Ich ziehe meinen Hut vor euch". But what do I know. I think there are way more variables aside from hunger or cravings that play a role.

My best friend is suffering from depression and many other things and her eating disorder combined with all the other things are really almost a struggle for life. I think that seeing her struggle gave me some kind of gratitude that I'm relatively healthy (aside from my sick love for petting wild cats). Sometimes I feel really bad since she doesn't want to be treated like she's some handicapped or disabled person and I just sit there and pretend like nothing's wrong.

Wow this got very emotional very quick. Well I hope that makes up for my lack of sports today, I already can feel my fingers getting numb from all that typing. Maybe I'll get fingermusclesoreness as well. Great!
I wish you guys a great day, good morning or good night.
 

LaMaria

Well-known member
Having at least one (active) rest day a week is a sensible thing to do. Your muscles can´t repair themselves without adequate rest. I agree that 1500 kcal/day isn´t enough for a healthy adult guy, by the way, especially one who´s working out for 2 hours a day! I just don´t agree that it´s keeping you from dropping weight. 2,200 sounds a lot better to me* but I can see that might feel wrong when you´re not losing weight right now.
I´m trying to figure out when you started and for how long your weight has been stable but my brain isn´t cooperating. Are those two weeks you mention the plateau or the whole process so far? Because if you started training a lot harder than you used to two weeks ago a lack of movement on the scale wouldn´t surprise me at all due to the aforementioned water weight.
Sometimes I feel really bad since she doesn't want to be treated like she's some handicapped or disabled person
You probably didn´t mean it to sound this way but most people with disabilities don´t want to be treated differently either, beyond reasonable accommodations for whatever limitations they have. It´s not nice to feel different all the time.

*For comparison: I´m a 40-y/o women, relatively active, 1.74 m and 74 kg this morning (with a good bit of bloat, sigh). My maintenance calories seem to lie around 2,400 a day.
 

Gabriel#9758

New member
I also don't really see any reason why the deficit is preventing me from losing weight, but the scale speaks for itself and visually nothing really changed. I've never really had this issue before with not losing weight despite a deficit, so it's very surprising to me as well. As I said, my friends explanation is the decreased metabolism because of the low intake I currently have. I'm kinda out of ideas.

I began to take sports more seriously about 2 weeks ago (15.03.2021 / 03.15.2020). Before that I did the occasional walk or jog but not really on a daily or frequent basis. The gyms were closed since November I believe, so that's around the time I had my last gym-workout. So that must be roughly a 4-5 Month break from any serious training. I didn't weigh myself regularly, but my weight increased until December (around 73-72 kg) and has been stable ever since. I didn't track my nutrition, but I didn't really gain or lose weight until maybe 4 weeks ago. At the end of February/ end of March I began to pick of my training again. At first, it was very light, mostly just half an hour to an hour and 3 times a week. 2 Weeks ago I began to weigh myself again and increase the intensity of my training. Stayed around 71 as my weekly average since then. That's pretty much the whole story. Next week's going to be kinda busy, but I'll try to slowly up my intake. By the second or third week of April I should be around 2000 to 2200 calories per day. If I at least not gain any concerning amount of weight until then, I'm happy for now. Best Case scenario would be losing around 0,5 or a bit less kilograms per week, but I don't think it's going to happen, we'll see. My first ever diet went a lot better and much more "textbook", so maybe I'm overthinking all of this.

About the people with disabilities not wanting to be treated differently either, you are right. I didn't have that in mind. Maybe this wasn't a very smart comparison.

Oh, one more question for any readers (so probably you LaMaria). Do you have cheat days or cheat meals during your diet and how often? I didn't have any in my first diet as well as for the past 2 Weeks. I don't really have a craving for sweets or some calorie dense food, but I've read some articles about it, and I'm kinda interested. My usual approach to those kinds of foods during a diet was to make it work into my nutritional plan. So if I want to eat I don't know... pizza or ice cream or whatever, I'd just make them myself and therefore control how many calories went into the dish or just made up for them with more lifting or some Cardio. So how often do you "cheat" or are you opposed to that idea completely? I read some articles and blogs from people saying that if you have the need to have cheat meals you're dieting wrong. Others on the other hand praise these days and say that they boost motivation and give you something to work up to during a week or a month (depending on how often you cheat). What are your opinions on that?

One last thing. Since today's my day "off" and I don't have any tests or classes to take, do you guys have some good movie recommendations? Or a good book would be nice as well.
 

LaMaria

Well-known member
Ok, if you weren´t really tracking your calories up until 2 weeks ago AND upped your exercise at that point you´re probably losing fat and just not seeing it because of the water weight in your sore muscles.
With cheat days I think it´s very individual. If they make you crave calorie dense food more it´s probably not a good idea to have them, or at least to keep them very controlled. If they scratch the itch and it then leave you alone for a month: go for it. I think adapting your favorite foods to fit your dietary needs is probably the best solution in most cases, and then if a once-a-year opportunity comes up (boss invites you and your colleagues to a fancy restaurant and they´re paying?) you can enjoy it without feeling bad.
 

Cate

Support crew
Gabriel, why do you actually want to lose weight? You seem to be at a healthy weight & BMI. I hope that question does not seem rude, but, with a BMI of 24.5, which is in the healthy range, I was just wondering.
 

Gabriel#9758

New member
I'm trying to lose some weight in order to be more happy with myself and to reach my Fitness-Goals. I know that my BMI and body fat and all the other stuff is in the healthy range. Therefore I'm not trying to lose weight for health reasons. It's more like an effort to shape my body the way I'd like it to be.
Furthermore I'd like to be a bit more conscious about nutrition and be more in control. I think my biggest fear when it comes to my health and body is to realize my mistakes when it's too late. So maybe all of this, me being here, me counting calories and trying to shape my body, trying to get into healthy habits and talking to you guys about all of this, might be some kind of therapy.
 

Trusylver

Powerlifting Coach
Staff member
I mainly did some exercises with resistance bands. I still struggle a lot when it comes to these since its kinda difficult to max out on reps. I have the feeling that your breaks let you recover a lot more than with weights and therefore I could hypothetically go on forever. After people startet to look at me funny for doing the same exercise for 1 Hour

What is your actual exercise goal ? 1 hour on the same non cardio exercise will not be helping anything except perhaps endurance.
 

Gabriel#9758

New member
My current goal is to lose fat and regain strength. Stimulating musclegrow is not really the primary focus. But as I tried to point out, I didn't do the one exercise for 1 Hour hoping to train my endurance. When it comes to strength, I usually do the exercises with appropriate weight and do my 4-5 Sets until form breaks. But since I don't have any weights, I struggle with having my limit reached within 4-5 Sets because of the reasons mentioned in my previous entries. Progressive overload is also very difficult without weights. Maybe less pauses between sets?

Today I'm planning to have my workout a bit later than usual. Hopefully I'm done with my appointment by 6pm.
 

LaMaria

Well-known member
The easiest ways to increase resistance when working with bands is either to shorten the band a little (leave longer ends or wrap it around your hand once more), step a little further away from whatever you tied your band to, or move more slowly, especially around the endpoint and on the negative.
 
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