THE COMPENSATION DIET
Each day, in my fitness-filled life, I am surrounded by people working out like maniacs, literally every day, to reach their aesthetic goals. Though I do give them an “A” for effort, I can’t help but feel bad seeing them go through this vicious yo-yo cycle. Workout like mad person - Get little to no results - Workout even harder - Still little to nothing - and finally end up feeling defeated and worthless. This cycle is all to common for many people. But though the workout part is the same for all you workout junkies, I see two significantly different types.
The fitness junkie with the huge calorie deficit.
The fitness junkie thats got his/her head in the sand.
Let me tell you a story of a certain ginger you may know (umm…thats me), that went through this horrible cycle. Don’t worry…it has a good ending.
When I was in my late 20’s… I lost a bunch of weight through not-so-healthy means. Though I did in fact lose a lot of weight, I knew very little about nutrition, was malnourished, and felt like shit. I was also recovering from an eating disorder (bulimia), that has haunted me my entire teen and adult life.
I was a year or so into my profession as a fitness instructor and felt the pressure to look my best; so I hit it HARD. I strapped a body bug on my arm each day to track my calories burned, I tracked on my phone everything I ate. Before I tell you my daily stats, let me remind you that the average person burns between 1500-2000 calories per day. To lose or maintain a healthy weight, we should not have a deficit of bigger than 300 calories a day. Example.. If you burn 2000 calories a day, try to eat no less then 1700 calories a day. The goal - To become fat burning, muscle maintaining (or building), well-oiled machines!
- I burned - Apx 3500 calories (Spinning, running, triathlons, bootcamps..etc)
- I consumed - 1500 calories (High fat, High carbs because I was so tired.)
- My weight - 145lbs
- Body fat % - 30%
(Here's a seemingly happy, a bit more fluffy Carolyn.)
Folks… That is a 2,000 calorie deficit EACH DAY. You’d think that with that deficit, i’d be tiny right?! NOPE. I had over 12% more body fat than I have now…. I was exhausted all the time…. and I could not keep muscle on my body to save my life. I felt SO defeated, that my bulimia came back with vengeance. I literally needed a complete reset.
So, to not give you my whole epic story, lets get to the nuts and bolts here. What changes did I make to transform my body, heal from my eating disorder, and get healthy?
POST TRANSFORMATION STATS:
- I now burn apx 2500 a day. I stopped doing so much damn cardio.
- I now consume between app 2200-2500 a day. I started eating a little more, but more importantly, I made PROTEIN my top macronutrient.
- I meal prep every week so my eating disorder mind stays clear and stress-free.
- I started lifting weights.