Dieting Very Carefully

After my 1.5-year journey of not being on a diet, I felt ready to try doing some calorie-cutting again. I decided to go slowly and carefully, using my trusty Android phone to count calories. (I’ve surveyed the field of diets extensively and this is what I feel will work best for me right now.) I’ve been doing it for about a month and a half, now, and it’s working well enough. I’m dropping weight gradually, hopefully not losing any muscle, and it’s pretty painless. Yay!

But something interesting that has come out of counting calories every day is noticing patterns. For example, the daily calorie count varies quite a lot. My goal is about 1650 calories each day. Some days, obviously, I consume significantly more than that. It’s pretty easy to do in our world. Also, I have a rule that if I’m really starved at the end of the day, and I’ve already had my 1650, I go ahead and have a snack, anyway. That helps a lot with sticking with it over the long term, as it doesn’t take very many days going to bed hungry before the old willpower begins to run out.

What’s more surprising, though, is that every once in a while, for no apparent reason, I consume far less than my goal calories, in the area of 1000 to 1100 calories. This always surprises me, because invariably on those days, I am not hungry after racking up so few calories.

At first, I was like, hey, free calorie deficit! I’ll take it. But after the first couple of times, I noticed something weird. I was dead the next day. It’s really dramatic. I wake up with ┬áno energy, feeling mentally dull. If I go to yoga, I have a terrible class, and am barely able to survive it. Even if I eat a lot on that second day, I don’t feel better until I go to bed and wake up on the third day.

Peoples! It’s as if food is energy or something. Totally wild!

So yesterday, when I finished the day at just under 1000 calories, I knew I needed to eat more or I would be tired the next day. I did, but unfortunately only made it to 1078 calories.

The result? Yeah, tired today. Rough yoga class.

So, I thought it was a fascinating observation. Also, if I hadn’t been counting the calories, I would never have known I ate so little. I would have assumed it was a normal day of calories. It’s also possible that the low appetite is a precursor to the low energy day. Perhaps my body is battling a virus or something, and lack of appetite is a symptom. In the future, I will make a better effort than 1078 calories to see if I can prevent the exhaustion from happening.

So for those of you that have intermittent exhaustion, you might want to start counting your calories and make sure you’re getting enough. Let me know if you learn anything interesting.