Saturday, May 19, 2012

Week 4 and a Revelation

I mentioned last week that I was turning into a crankypants towards the end of Week 3 of Project Recommit to Weightloss. Wondered it if was fatigue with the process or maybe hormones.

That crankiness extended into this week, and things got kicked up a notch when I developed a ravenous appetite and started having dreams of serious cheat meals. I'm not on a strict diet by any stretch of the imagination and have small treats here and there. So I'm definitely not deprived - just watching what I eat and having smaller portions.

Which got me to thinking - is there a physical reason behind this?

Turns out there might very well be. It took some digging, but I found an article that indicates that our metabolism increases 5-10% for a few key days each month. Which means that, yes, your appetite will be higher during those days. Which just might mean that eating an additional and sensible 100-200 calories won't sabotage your weightloss efforts. Which also means that if you're feeling bloated during this time, you really do need to remember that it's water retention and not let your hormones trick you into thinking that you gained fat from eating a bit more.

This all seems very reasonable to me but I have to tell you - it was quite the revelation. Having 3 good weeks followed by 5 difficult days is a definite pattern for me from month to month. There have been months where I've been so discouraged by those 5 days that I've put weight loss efforts on hold for a few months afterwards.  

I am really hoping that I'll have a better perspective on things next month and beyond. I'll certainly allow myself an extra snack when I'm feeling hungry - and really try to have faith that it's not going to make me gain 5 pounds. 

Now, let me ask you - did you know about this? The women I've talked to this week didn't, and found it to be an eye-opener.

I do have to ask why it was really easy for me to find thousands of discussion threads online with women despairing over their (temporarily) ravenous appetites, but so hard to find any information about what could be the cause - nutrition, biochemistry, metabolism...? Something's behind it and I am astonished that we don't have clear answers. We could save a lot of women a lot of anxiety.

I only found one other article which touched this topic. It suggested that although every other species of primate (observed during a study) increased their food intake slightly during their cycle, that human females are different. Apparently we aren't physically hungry - it's that our monthly hormones make us depressed and so we eat for comfort.

Almost threw my laptop across the room when I ready that one.

Instead, I ranted a bit at my husband about the lack of research into women's health issues. OK, maybe it was more of a full-blown rant, but at least my computer didn't get hurt.

I've now made it to the end of week 4, and am back to feeling like I'm good to keep things up into week 5. I'm getting weighed and measured at my gym in the morning and am looking forward to seeing where I'm at.

Fingers crossed.

Here's this week's recap -

Saturday - 2.5K dog walk; family hike around High Park and a great game of catch; 1K dog walk before bed.

All tired out and waiting for the humans to leave so she can nap

Sunday - Mother's Day! 4.5K run with Stella, then out for brunch with my inlaws. Later - picked my son up from a Scout's camping trip. He came home BEAMING - they went to the archery range gfor the first time and he managed a bull's eye!

Monday - Curves bootcamp/circuit.

Tuesday - 2.2K run (9s and 1s) and 1K walk with the dog.

Wednesday - Rode to my gym and back (6K round trip); circuit/bootcamp insanity.

Thursday - Rest day! 2K dogpark walk and a game of dog soccer; played catch with my son for almost an hour after dinner.

If there's a tree, they'll climb it :-)

Friday - 4.5K run (10s and 1s), and it was a good run. Could have gone further and will aim for 5K next time. Really, really proud of that.

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