Lose Muscle! Gain Fat! Dieting for MTFs, Part 3
Back in October I decided to do some serious dieting. I was at a reasonable level of bodyfat or a woman, but because of the way I’m shaped I didn’t look quite like what I wanted. My body’s fat distribution isn’t stereotypically feminine, though after a little more than a year on hormones it’s changing slowly.
Anyway, I decided I wanted to get to the point at which I could see my abs again, and that I wanted to lose some of the mass in my shoulders that I gained from all of my weight training. I’ve tried several kinds of diets before; being a bodybuilder, I’m no stranger to dieting. What I found was that the diets I was used to didn’t work as well as I would like in my, uh, new hormonal environment. So, keeping in mind that things were different now, Mistress Krista and I set out to change my body.
All of my dieting as a bodybuilder was focused on losing fat while retaining muscle. I decided that I didn’t really care about retaining muscle because, well, I have so much to start with. The Mistress recommended a very low calorie diet (VLCD). This term represents a diet in which the caloric intake is well below maintenance levels, which are the levels at which one maintains one’s existing weight. Depending on your metabolism and level of activity, maintenance levels can range between 10 and 15 times bodyweight. (By the way, we’re measuring this in pounds and kcalories: if you weigh 150 lbs, then 10 times bodyweight for you would be a caloric intake of 1500kcal/day.) This diet is not for people who are new to dieting, or people who have health problems. NEVER diet without checking with a physician first. I’m serious.
I chose a very severe VLCD of 8x bodyweight. I started at a bodyweight of just over 180 lbs, so my maximum caloric intake started at 180×8, or 1440kcal every day. I also committed to myself that I would increase the amount of cardio exercise I got every week. Exercise makes a huge difference in the rate and quality of weight loss. I did it by cycling as many places as I could. I live downtown in a major city, so it wasn’t hard to hop on my bike for the trips to and from work, or to and from meetings with friends, or whatever. During the week I was getting almost an hour of high intensity cardio every day just from cycling to and from work. Not only did this speed up my weight loss, it made me feel good.
I’ve had to stop cycling because of the weather, so now I am making up for it by spending more time in the gym and by riding my exercise bike at home. As much as I hate to admit this, mostly because I abhor doing cardio, weight loss is MUCH more effective with it. I’m trying to get 3-4 hours of interval cardio a week. I don’t know if I could keep this up for an extended period of time, but I think after another two months I’ll be where I hope to be, and I can cut back to maintenance calories and target my workouts to general fitness.
So far I’ve lost fifteen pounds, and that includes a very loose refeed schedule and three week pig out session in December because of the holidays in which I gained five pounds (but ate everything in sight). I should be finished by the time we release the next issue of Trans Health, so I will post my before and after measurements and maybe some pictures if I get up the nerve. 🙂
Lift heavy, run hard,