Well, after about 11 days of exercising every day and maintaining what should be a calorie deficit I have essentially lost no weight. I did get as low as 200.4 (a net loss of 2.6 pounds) on October 1st, but then I regained a pound and I’ve been stuck at 201.5 for the last 4 days. My calorie intake over that time averaged 1769 calories per day, and I recorded EVERYTHING. If I was unsure about the calorie count of a food I rounded up. I did 30 minutes of cardio (biking) on 10 out of these 11 days. My heart rate (measured via monitor with a chest strap) during those sessions stayed between 130 and 140, which is 73%-79% of my maximum heart rate (60%-80% is generally considered an appropriate zone for aerobic fitness conditioning and health).
The only positive effect seems to have been on my blood sugar, and for that reason I may end up keeping up the biking. I’m going to stop counting calories though.
New plan. Based on my Thyroid labs a few months back I decided to experiment with thyroid hormone, and I ordered some T3. My T3 and T4 were both within range but on the low end. I could have either tried T3 or Natural Dessicated Thyroid (NDT), but decided to go the T3 route to start. I received the T3 yesterday, and am going to start this today. Just took my first very small fraction of a pill – about 4 mcg. I’m going to see how it affects me on this dose for now and increase very gradually to avoid hyperthyroid symptoms.
The timing of this is interesting. Within 11 days of diet and exercise my resting heart rate dropped 12 points (from the low 80s to the high 60s). I know that a lower heart rate is generally associated with good physical condition, but it is also a sign of low thyroid. It’s hard for me to believe my cardiovascular health improved that much in 11 days…the more obvious reason for the drop is a change in thyroid function. See this article for some of the ways hypothyroidism can affect heart function.
Yesterday I felt depressed and lethargic and craved sugar all day (very unusual for me…I can generally take or leave sugar). And this morning for the first time I checked my basal body temperature. It was 96.9 – pretty low. These things too can indicate hypothyroidism, which can be exacerbated by diet, exercise, or other forms of stress the body endures. I’ve been reading Ray Peat’s blog (with translation into practical steps thanks to Danny Roddy). Peat focuses extensively on thyroid health, from what I gather so far. I have a lot to learn and a lot to read but it’s a direction that may prove helpful.
I do know this: when I lived in California almost no one around me was fat. No one I knew there exercised or ate a particularly healthful diet – but no one was fat. Here in Wisconsin everyone is fat. There’s something different about the environment – maybe a lack of iodine in the local soil? – that has a massive effect on the health of the population.
And I can’t forget…my own sister had her thyroid removed after being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s.
So for now I’m busy learning. And trying T3.