Offboarding Transition vs Maintenance Macros
I'm currently 328 days into my DSK journey.
And am now offboarding, moving into the point where fat gain may be on the cards soon.
- I started at 1523 calories
- Onboarded up to 2689 calories
- Found my protein threshold and then...
- Cut down to 1352 calories
- and I am now moving back up, sitting this week at 2327 calories.
Now I may be freaking out prematurely, and may only putting on water weight, but the scales have started moving upwards.
- I'm due to menstruate in a few days so may have started bloating
- I'm eating a lot of cured meats, salami/ham this week in my daily OMAD meal, so may also retaining water there too
But I'm curious as to what kind of GAIN across a week or two is enough (beyond those above circumstances) for me to take notice and realise that it's time to settle into my maintenance calories?
I've also started weight training (a full-body program, across three days a week) and have heard that new training programs (or simply starting to lift heavy things!) can also have an inflammation type of fluid retention there too in the beginning...
How can I tell these situations apart?
I track my cycle and my sodium, so I can watch those closely.
But is the inflammation likely to be registering on the scales? Or is it not that big of a deal? (program screengrab attached)
I recalculated my "Lean Mass Gain" macros using Roberts' macro calculator and it has me shooting for 10C 214F 150P 2566C.
This week my offboarding macros are 10C 199F 120P 2327C, and next week is due to be hitting 10C 213F 134P 2493C.
After which I'd be climbing above the new "Lean Mass Gain" numbers - 10C 228F 147P 2681C and then 10C 244F 162P 2884C.
Do I now settle in?
Or do I keep increasing my macros till after my cycle settles, and I drop my sodium to normal levels and see what happens over the next two weeks?
I've booked in a DEXA scan for 2 weeks from now, to see what ratio of fat/muscle I could be starting to build. I want to make sure I'm getting muscle out of the increased calories I'm consuming.
Any tips, hints, ideas, input, or feedback is appreciated.
From any and all of the fabulous DSK coaches (so that would be ALL of your fine folks!)
Hey@fiona I am glad to read that you are doing well! So I am just going to give one big answer instead of answering each question individually if thats alright. Ill make sure to hit all of the points of concern.
So when you are reversing, weight gain does not have to happen. When you see a rise in your avg weight ( so basically if you had a low weekly weight and you are no longer hitting that number) instead of stopping , you can simply stay at those calories for a week longer and give your body more time to adjust and then increase calories moving forward at a slower rate. This will give your body time to adjust. Now with what the weight is. This is where progress photos make a big difference. For women, your cycle time will come with a lot of water weight fluctuations. That plus being exposed to the gym can cause inflammation in muscle fibers and fluid retention. I would weight until after your cycle ends and you've had a rest day to really understand where your weight is.
I hope this makes sense. Let me know if you have any questions! I am looking forward to seeing your dexa scan results!
OK cool. I'll wait until my menstrual cycles' water weight fades away, then see how I level out.
I think shifting things a little more slowly in my macro increases, changing less frequently, and in smaller jumps, to then see how I go for a while will help me dial things in.
Will be back here after my DEXA scan to ask more questions.
TLDR; I was worried about 'fat gain' for nothing.
OK, here's an update.
I got a DEXA scan done on 14th June (when I started offboarding + before I started working out) to give me a snapshot at the end of my 'fat loss phase' to get those results, and as a starting point for my 'build muscle phase'.
I got a follow-up check-in scan today, 5th August, to see what effect the offboarding calories and my new workouts were having on my body so far.
I wasn't expecting to see much noticeable or measurable change, at all.
But as I'm curious, and the x-ray technician was too.
I wanted to make sure that my offboarding calorie increases were slow enough that the extra energy was being directed to muscle growth and not an increase in my fat %. So we booked my check in @ ~6 weeks. (I normally check at around 12+ weeks)
PULS the x-ray tech - who is a fitness fan - didn't want me overeating calories, beyond my needs, for months on end if we have the tools to check in more frequently and track my trend. He's been astounded at my fat loss results thus far, so was curious as to how my body would respond to training.
So here's how my body responded to more calories and strength training (3 x week, full-body sessions):
- Bone Mass - was 2.8kgs, now 2.8kgs - no change
- Fat Mass - was 41.2kgs (45%), now 39.5kgs (42%) - dropped 1.7kgs of fat (or 3.74 lbs)
- Lean Mass - was 46.8kgs, now 51.2kgs - added 4.4kgs of muscle (or 9.71 lbs)
- Total Mass - was 90.8kgs, now 93.6kgs - increased overall 2.7kgs (or 5.958lbs)
And for those of you who are playing along at home, during the same time period:
- Estimated Visceral Adipose Tissue (VAT) - was 186cm2, now 139cm2 - so the dangerous fat around my organs is dropping too!
- Calculated RMR Calories - was 1591 kcal/day, now 1688 kcal/day - and to keep my muscles I'm using more energy!
So I'm excited to see that fat loss continued and muscle building started. And even if the muscle calculations are only 93-94% accurate as a tool, that's still 4 kilos (9lbs) of new muscle I now have on my body.
The x-ray tech was expecting the chart to be heading in those directions, some fat loss and some muscle gain.
But he was damn near speechless at the magnitude of the change, and so quickly.
I was 100% speechless. I sat there dumbfounded for a whole minute before I could say anything.
I even asked if he was pulling my chain, or faking me out with those numbers.
But there were there, in front of me, in black and white!
I had lost around 12.5 kilos (27.5 lbs) of lean mass, during my keto and DSK adventures (which have taken me 23 months to date - all bar onboarding was at some sort of calorie deficit) so was surprised to see so much - almost a third of that mass - come back, in only 5 weeks.
I have 8 more weeks of this lifting program to go, and I'll check in again with another DEXA scan then. To see what's going on as my body gets more used to training. Though I'm not sure 12 weeks is enough time to 'get used to' training. But I'll happily take these gains while they're heading my way.
Is there a variation or version of the DSK cutting calculations that I can use to move into a "build muscle" phase now?
Or do I simply keep increasing my macros/calories, slowly at the 4% rate, until my fat mass moves UP during one of these scans?
Any tips for what to do next, with the goal of getting strong and building muscle mass, would be appreciated. (Still
Hey @fiona ! Those are awesome test results! Its crazy the effects of a reverse diet when handled properly.
As far as going forward, the program is only for a 90 day cut and the off board phase. My advice would increase calories until you see a sustained weight increase then back track a week or two and hold those calories.
Again, those are AWESOME TEST RESULTS!