The graph below begins on July 7, the day I committed myself to a belated and intensive training regimen for the 2013 Everest Challenge.
The goal was to lose one pound per week for 5 weeks leading up to the week before the race (last week is a taper), which requires a caloric deficit of 500 calories per day, with a stretch goal of 650 calories per day (1.3 pound loss per week).
As shown below, the average caloric deficit (red) wsa 627 calories per day for the first eight days (July 7 - July 14). That’s a total deficit of 5000 calories, or 1.43 pounds of body weight (hopefully almost all fat).
Good to remember is that a “swap” of fat and a gain of some muscle reduces the initial “weight loss”, a fact all too easily forgotten by mistakenlly focusing purely on weight loss.
It’s a heavy training load that on a few days left me feeling those “dead legs”, but already I feel my strength increasing, backing off judiciously on a few days to afford some respite/recovery.
And I feel leaner, as unscientific as that may be. The feedback loop in the early stages (before body fat becomes low) is a very nice one: stronger and leaner just feel better, and one can feel 1-2 pounds in ways less subtle than one might imagine from the numbers.
My other feedback mechanism is body temperature at night: when I’m dropping weight and gaining fitness, one somewhat annoying manifestation is being too hot for half the night, along with heavy perspiration. This is a metabolic effect that always occurs when I am losing fat and gaining fitness. Not particularly likeable, but I’ve learned to recognize it as confirmation of the right things happening. And if it does not occur, it means that I’m not training hard enough and did not cause enough physical stress to encourage physiological changes.
Click for larger graph.