On the diet – month 3

Day 63

Ultimately, it’s all about this:

imageI replaced my scales in April as the old ones developed a fault. The new ones seem to record greater daily fluctuations in weight. I’m not sure about this – whether it’s correct or not. The weather has been warmer so maybe my hydration is more up and down. Or maybe the scale are more or less accurate.

However, they do show the trend and also agree well with the ones at the gym, which the old ones didn’t. The old ones weighed lighter by about 300g.

On this basis I’m happy to go with them for now.

Feeling great.

Red pointed 6c outdoors last week. That’s equal to my previous PB!




Day 75


So yeah, things have got a bit tougher since I last reported. I really felt my weight loss had stopped for the first time but I have not been able to do more exercise recently in order to keep it going, or much cardio vascular exercise at all in fact. I’ve done some outdoor sport climbing, with good results but that’s it. I’ve been eating about 1750 calories a day, so not a lot.

At the beginning of this week I had a think about where I am going with all this. I wasn’t feeling great, very tired, looking quite gaunt. However, I wasn’t loosing weight and I had achieved my original goal of 75kg long ago. Also, critically, I wasn’t climbing any harder. I was climbing longer – so my stamina, or my ability to move my reduced body weight up and down the wall, had increased, and in fairness I was working 6c/+ and 7a (and failing, which is fine) but I was’t seeing the sea-change in achievement I had hoped for. Maybe I’m just not a good enough climber yet.

So…I decided to get back down the pool, drop my calorie intake to 1550 a day, get down to a maximum weight of not more than 72kg (average of 71.3kg then) then start eating more, plus immediately get back down to TCA and start bouldering, working on technique.

I went to TCA this Tuesday and I must say I did see a definite increase in performance and endurance straight away. I’m still at the low end of the grades, but considering I haven’t bouldered since February, before I burst my finger, it was a pretty good session. Maybe climbing routes indoors on plastic just isn’t that motivating for me…?

6 thoughts on “On the diet – month 3”

  1. Hello, been somewhat following your progress =) i am in a similar situation and would love to share experiences, am half way in my week 8 of ketosis and have lost 5kgs in total, and by week 6 has lost 3% body fat, so all good in that front, but on the climbing front i am a bit confused… i seem to have less energy and get pumped quicker… still doing similar grades from before the diet, onsights 6b/b+ and work on 6c-7a sort of grades… went on a climbing trip recently and found walking up hill on the walk in felt harder… get out of breath faster… and i started to get calf cramps at nights… any ideas what is going on?


    1. Well, yeah, I see your predicament but personally I’d say it’s not very practical to include alcohol in this diet. One pint = 250 calories, which is the equivalent of about 200g cooked or 50g of dried pasta, being 50g of carbs.


  2. original measures were 66.5kg and 32.5% body fat, after 6 weeks i got down to 63.5kg and 29.5% body fat, now towards the end of week 8 i’m at 61.5kg and no idea about the body fat =)
    i went to see a nutritionist for the start and after 6 weeks and she has those weighing scales with the body fat measurement… i havent measure the body fat % at week 8 yet, as my scale at home is not working… but i am visibly leaner (trousers falling off etc)… just bought the skin fold and tape measure online, see how that goes.

    how do you measure body fat? and any idea on the drop in fitness and climbing energy? I am trying to eat more protein on climbing days and see what happens… currently on 20% protein, 75% fat and 5% carb…


  3. Thanks for the data.

    I’m not sure how accurate any of these body fat % scales are. My old ones provided that data, and they went up as well as down quite a lot when I was visibly loosing fat. Also, it would be best to look at weekly average weights if you can, as daily variations can be pretty big.

    Notwithstanding that, let’s take a look at the maths. You were 66.5kg and 32.5% fat. That’s 21.6kg of fat and 44.9kg of other stuff (bone, muscle, digestive tract contents, etc). Then your body fat was down 3% to 29.5%. At that point you were 18.7kg of fat and 44.8kg of other stuff. Based on that you should be maintaining pretty much the same skeletal mass and muscle mass despite the weight loss, which is the point after all. That was the calculation I wanted to do and the answer I was looking for: it’s not obvious that you are feeling weaker because you have lost muscle mass. However, this is not certain, due to measurement errors and variations.

    Myself – I am not measuring fat loss directly. I can tell by my appearance and the good old skin fold test that I am losing fat. Beyond that I’m just focussed on calorie balance, daily macros and strength work to make sure it’s not muscle loss as well!

    Your macro ratios are spot on, but you have to be careful with actual consumption. There’s a lot of latent carbs in food that you might not immediately think of as being carb-containing. Take garden peas for example! What I find is that if I go over 75g carbs/day I feel really tired and I stop losing fat. Personally I find it pretty unrealistic to hone things down to under 25g/day in my real world scenarios. I guess my body is getting confused about energy source at that 75g point. A day on high-fat soon sorts it out. Creme fraiche is ideal!

    So to answer your question,. yes I periodically have low energy/fitness days or a week., like last week for example. I have usually found my carb intake has crept up (it did) and nailing it back down again quickly sorts it out. However, other factors play a part. You may be ill, or stressed, or tired, or a combination of these as well, or instead of.

    I would also say that you are loosing weight very quickly and you need to be careful with that. 0.5kg/week is a sensible maximum. You’re over that.

    Grades – I thought I would see a real change in my climbing grade when I lost 12% of my body weight, but actually it’s not been quite like that. Sure, I am now working 7a, 6c indoors or outdoors on redpoint is fine and HVS 5a is now easy. Sit starts at TCA are now remarkable straightforward. So there is a the expected power/weight ratio gain there and my finger tendons are al ot happier, but now I need to make my technique and route reading catch up with the physical change, and that is taking longer. When I first posted links to this blog on UKC someone commented that this would be the case – 5% weight loss would not always give me a grade of advancement, and they were quite right.

    Finally – cramps. I had morning leg cramps once on this diet so far, and at that time my carbs had crept up over 75g/day. Sorting that out fixed it. Previously when on a simple calorie restricted diet, I had insane leg-locking muscle spasms most mornings. It wasn’t particularly painful: it was just simply too weird to tolerate. It was one of the main reasons that diet failed for me. This time no such thing has happened.


  4. Thanks for the tips!! am trying out different things now, will try to up my calorie intake on climbing days (maybe allowing bit more protein). As for carb intake creeping up… maybe… i do use myfitnesspall to track calories and macros, so will check when the low energy happens. In general i stay well below 50g of card, averaging around 20-25g net carb. I do indulge in wine and slimline G&Ts at times tho =) this is the bit that is the hardest to give up… i love my red wines!! but i do count the carbs in the wine and include it in my daily allowance.. but i think the alcohol might lead to the low energy as well, as body is burning alcohol first… hhmmm… difficult this, as outdoor climbing trips almost always involve some sort of alcohol!

    Also, i have noticed that in the first few weeks, i drink a cube of stock each day to get the sodium i need, and i have stopped this the last few weeks… that may cause the cramps… so will try drinking stock again, and taking slow release magnesium supplements as well, so lets see if that works…

    Oh, and the skin fold measurement just arrived! Will start recording that instead of the scales.

    Thanks! and lets keep in touch =)


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