21 Days of Food Tracking

In a previous blog, I wrote about my personal results over tracking my food over the course of 14 days (you can read about those 14 days’ worth of results HERE).

Now, I want to share with you the results of my 21 days of food tracking.

A quick refresher from the last blog…
Day 1: Weight 205
Day 14: Weight 203

My calories ranged from 1600 – 3600 (that 3600 was my best guess of a cheat meal that I have once a week); thus, I averaged 2600 cals per day, give or take.

That means 2600 cal average with an average drop of 1lb a week. (Click HERE to read more about how to figure out how many calories you need to lose weight.)

Also, during this time, according to MyZone, I worked out an average of 63min for 5xweek.

From there, I decided to keep my cals the same at about 2600; increase my workouts from 60min 5xweek to 75min 5xweek—basically, a 15 min increase in workout length.

So what were the results!?

I weighed in a 205 on Friday, day 21. A 2lb increase!

WTF, right? What happened!? Why did I all of a sudden gain weight despite doing what the numbers told me?

I mean, I LOOKED leaner, clothes were fitting different, so what was going on? Did I screw myself over? Did I magically gain two pounds of fat despite working out harder and holding closer to my calorie goals?

I didn’t binge. No. My cals were 2650 average/day for the week, pretty damn close to my original goal, AND I did workout 5xweek for an average of 75min. So what gives???


What Happened?

This is where being a coach comes in handy cause I knew exactly what was going on.

Right off the bat, I’m lucky in the fact that I don’t get emotionally attached to the number on the scale; we teach people at RTC the scale is just ONE way to measure change. We also encourage progress pics and progress in your workouts. I visually saw I was leaner, and my workout numbers were better, so I knew I didn’t gain fat.

Here is what I did notice.

This past week was a HARD week on me. I didn’t sleep much, worked a lot, worked out hard, and by the end of the week (Friday on day 21), I felt exhausted and pretty beat up.

I figured I was holding onto water weight.

So I did my last workout for the week; again, I was committed to my goal of 5 workouts, went out relaxed with some friends that afternoon, and that night got in some good rest.

The next day (Saturday, day 22), I was at 200 even when I woke up. Yes, a 5lb difference in ONE day.

This previous week my body was stressed; I was running on little sleep and burning the candle at both ends. When a person does this, you are GOING to have a natural physiological response to hold onto more water in a stressed state.

Stress does cause water retention, and this is more common than people realize.

Simply put, I wasn’t giving my body the proper recovery (sleep, food, and stress management) for what I was asking it to do. Then, when I finally gave my body some downtime, I got rid of a lot of that water and stress weight.

The next day (Sunday, day 23), when I woke up, I was hovering at 201, and this was after a big cheat meal for my wife’s birthday.

Again it was water weight from a hard week of work and stress.


What Am I Going To Do Now?

I will continue to trust the process but focus on making sleep and recovery more of a priority for what I’m asking from my body.

I’m going to keep my cals at 2650 and work out for 75min 5xweek. I mean, I did drop 2+lbs from my day 14 of 203 to 200-201 range, so it’s working; why change it.

All I’m going to do now is focus harder on making sure I’m in bed at a specific time instead of staying up later than normal; I’m going to have a hard stop with work where I give myself time to relax and recover. If I don’t give myself a hard stop, I KNOW I’ll keep going.

Side Note: for those of you that own a business, do sales, have a management role, or are very driven to succeed, you will ALWAYS feel like there is work to do. Just keep in mind that work, for people like you, never stops; you just get to a stopping point for the day. Don’t feel guilty for that.

Lastly, I MAY switch my measurement day to Saturday instead of Friday because I tend to feel and be pretty beat up by Friday, which means my body is hanging onto more water weight from stress. But Saturdays, I tend to come in more rested and recovered, giving me a more accurate result.

Over time, we’ve found that when we do member’s measurements, we pick days of the week where they come in more rested, refreshed, and less stressed, thus less water retention. These days typically fall at the beginning of the week instead of the end of the week for most people.

Recovery is an essential part of the transformation process. The goal is to get better, not beat up.


To Sum it Up

  • I’m going to keep my cals at 2650 (or close) for the week.
  • Continue to workout 75min for 5days a week.
  • Have hard stops with work to give my body some time to decompress and relax
  • Make my sleep more of a priority

I’ll continue to track for another 7 days and update you on what happens from there!

I hope that reading this and seeing me go through this will give you some insight into your journey and ease some tensions if you had the same weight gain experience I did after doing so well for the week.

Remember, sometimes it’s just stress and not giving your body a chance to recover.

Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, (and other letters behind the name) is the Owner of Rowlett Transformation Center in Rowlett, TX.

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