Nomadic-ERE Year 5 - Wanderlust Prevails

Where are you and where are you going?
2Birds1Stone
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Re: Semi-ERE Year 5 - Wanderlust Prevails

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2024 4:11 am
And speaking of gym access........getting small and fat over the past few months has lit a fire under my ass to prioritize fitness/health/well being going into year two of FIRE.......with a separate post coming on my thoughts/plans around this. It's going to get spicy though.....
We've been in Poland for just over two weeks now, the first couple of things I did was join a really good gym, purchased a bathroom scale and a food scale and took all of the knowledge around nutrition and training that has been sitting in my head for the past fifteen years, along with much of the new material I consumed over the past few months and formulated a plan around eating and training that would point me in the direction I wanted to go.....namely to get leaner and rebuild some of the lost lean body mass due to no/poor gym access and poor diet while traveling the past few months.

My starting point on 5/28 was a true morning weight of 212.3, which was already down from a high of 216-217 in early May. Estimated body fat % of ~20%. No gym at this point for 6 weeks.

The game plan for the lifting was to reintroduce resistance training steadily but limit loads and focus on reestablishing motor-patterns with good form, training with higher reps and slow eccentrics. I landed on a pull/legs/push split and chose 1-3 exercises per body part, with the first round only having me do one set of 30 reps per exercise using very light weight. The second run through the split, I increased the sets per exercise to two, keeping weight light and doing sets of 20-25. Then slowly increased the weights over the next several rounds while decreasing reps a bit where today I'm wrapping up a session doing 2 sets of 12-15 reps. The next step will be adding a third set to each exercise.

Diet wise, I'm focusing on hitting 1g of protein per lb of lean body mass, and shooting for a caloric deficit that has me losing between .5-1% of my body weight per week. Here were the results from the first two weeks;

Week 1 - av. daily intake = 2,647 cals, expenditure = 3,195 for a total deficit of 3,838 with a weight loss of 2.3 lbs
Week 2 - av. daily intake = 2,358 cals, expenditure = 3,264 for a total deficit of 6,344 with a weight loss of 1.7 lbs

The extra weight loss in week 1 is just glycogen/water, which is very normal when starting a fat loss phase. The big variable that will throw numbers off a bit for the first few weeks to possibly month is after going untrained for 6 weeks, some muscle fullness will return despite being in a caloric deficit which can make the numbers seem odd despite visual progress.

I am going to be sticking to this plan for the next four weeks until we return to the USA, and then assess whether to keep leaning out or if I'm back to a healthier bodyweight/body fat % bring food back up towards maintenance and then slowly work on improving lean body mass.

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Lemur
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Re: Nomadic-ERE Year 5 - Wanderlust Prevails

Post by Lemur »

I'm with you @2Birds1Stone. In a cutting phase myself. Not sure how long either but I'm probably right around 20% as well. Feels better and looks better to just be in that healthy 10-15% range. 500 calorie defict + 1 gram of protein per pound of LBM is pretty much what I do as well.

How are you getting the expenditure numbers? Curious about that. Using like an app or something? I've always measured calories in with an App...never measured calories out. That seems useful though.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Nomadic-ERE Year 5 - Wanderlust Prevails

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Lemur wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2024 11:13 pm
How are you getting the expenditure numbers? Curious about that. Using like an app or something?
I wear an older Garmin Forerunner 935 24/7 and it does a really good job of using base metabolic rate (so long as you keep your weight updated at least once a week), and capturing calories burned from both NEAT and workouts. The absolute numbers may not be 100% spot on, but the relative expenditure over time should be pretty damn close.

My expenditure is pretty high because I'm averaging 19k steps a day here.

mooretrees
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Re: Nomadic-ERE Year 5 - Wanderlust Prevails

Post by mooretrees »

You make the calorie counting sound so easy! I am considering a cutting phase but have never counted calories before. We make so much food food from scratch that I get easily overwhelmed with how to count. I am focusing on protein intake as a first step and slowly getting used to looking up protein amounts in the food I am eating.

Sounds like you will hit your goal with ease!

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Nomadic-ERE Year 5 - Wanderlust Prevails

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Laura Ingalls wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2024 9:58 am
You have planned so much further out than we have. I think too much of a plan makes DH anxious. We have a plan until mid to late August and then nothing.

The decision fatigue thing is real and for us that means we are traveling too quickly usually.
It's definitely give and take with regards to planning ahead.......up to this point, we would spend a solid week with our heads down researching and then buying the big ticket stuff like international flights and our longer stay accommodations. Typically this paid off because things tend to be cheaper and you have more options BUT it closes the door on serendipitous changes to itinerary without eating the cost of certain decisions. Usually accommodations are refundable, but if you buy cheap economy flights they rarely are.

We're learning that some parts of the world are easier to book on the fly than others. SE Asia has thousands and thousands of places to stay and cheap flights even at the last minute......Europe from May-October does not.

The other consideration is Visa requirements. Some countries do require you to request a visa ahead of time, and part of that application process is often showing proof of accommodation for your stay as well as the inbound and exit flights from said country. So for example, if we want to get a 60 day visa for Thailand in December, we need to book our stays and figure out where we are traveling to next, and buy those flights too.

@moretrees, it's not that difficult with the power of the internet at your fingertips. Here in Europe 99% of food products list the macronutrients and calories per 100g of the food product, so as long as you have a food scale and a little patience it's quite easy.

A few considerations; it's much easier if you tent to stick to mostly the same foods on a day to day and week to week basis. I would say that 90% of my diet is pretty much the same 20-25 food items/ingredients in a given week. Once you know the info for the foods you regularly eat, it gets much easier to do.

If you spot cook each meal from scratch it does take more effort.......but batch cooking and eating generally the same stuff most of the time makes it super easy.

I guesstimate when eating out, which is like 10-20% of the time here. There's no need to be 100% accurate, this is just a way I know for a fact will produce results over time. After you track this stuff at home for a while, you get pretty good at making educated guesses when you're eating at someone else's house or a restaurant.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Nomadic-ERE Year 5 - Wanderlust Prevails

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Musings & June Update

June flew by.....

The cutting phase by the numbers so far;

32 days
26 weight training sessions
7 short bike rides (55 miles total)
646,000 steps walked
78,000 calories consumed
106,200 calories burned
-28,200 calories of deficit
~8 lbs of body fat lost (~20% BF -> ~16% BF)

Overall feeling fantastic. Hunger and energy levels have been a non-issue, gym performance continues to improve and a good amount of the lean body mass I lost in Italy has returned.

We spent most of June hanging out in hometown, with family and friends followed by a 5 day trip up to the tri-cities part of Poland near the Baltic. It was the first time visiting that part of the country and we enjoyed it very much. The weather cooperated and we walked and saw a ton, found a gym where we got a 3-day pass and enjoyed a small AirBnB right in the heart of historical Gdansk.

A mere 13 days left in Poland before we fly back to NY......then we have a month to prepare for this epic round the USA road trip that's going down from August-October.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Nomadic-ERE Year 5 - Wanderlust Prevails

Post by AxelHeyst »

Wow nice progress! You're going to be a lean monster by the time you get here. I'll see what I can do about hooking up some 'real' equipment so you don't lose all your gainz over one weekend... no promises. Looking forward to following your road trip.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Nomadic-ERE Year 5 - Wanderlust Prevails

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

AxelHeyst wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2024 3:56 pm
Wow nice progress! You're going to be a lean monster by the time you get here. I'll see what I can do about hooking up some 'real' equipment so you don't lose all your gainz over one weekend... no promises. Looking forward to following your road trip.
Hehe, time will tell. I should be wrapping up the cutting phase in the next 4-5 weeks. By the time Sept rolls around I hope to be back on the gain-train.

PS: I am planning on spending ~week at QH (pretty sure that's what we RSVP'd for).

Likewise looking forward to following your trip to AK and back. Sounds like we may be in the PNW around the same time before Fest.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Nomadic-ERE Year 5 - Wanderlust Prevails

Post by AxelHeyst »

Oh that's right, great! If the equipment procurement process falls through we've always got paleo-weights, aka rocks. 8-)

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Nomadic-ERE Year 5 - Wanderlust Prevails

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

I love it when a plan comes together.....

Wrapped up week #6 of the concerted fat loss phase. Totals so far;

872,000 steps walked
35 weight training sessions
-39,000 calories of deficit
-12.0 lbs of body fat lost (6% BF)

I use a rolling 7-day average weight to track the fat/weight loss, but today was a notable single day weigh in of 198.8 lbs, the first under 200 since last October. The other cool thing, I was not this lean at 199 lbs last time, so the weight training is doing its job in a big way.

Excited to continue dropping body fat for another 4-5 weeks until I reach the low 190's and then it's time to slowly bring the calories back up to maintenance and beyond.

Western Red Cedar
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Re: Nomadic-ERE Year 5 - Wanderlust Prevails

Post by Western Red Cedar »

Well done! From what I've researched you're at the high end of cutting fat while maintaining lean muscle. That's impressive.

I've noticed that it is more challenging for me to optimize health while nomadic. There are definitely benefits, like more incentives to move throughout the day, more time to focus on health, less sitting/sedentary lifestyle, and better sleep. The biggest challenge I've encountered is dealing with new environments, and thus new systems, every 2-4 weeks. Something as simple as not having access to a scale (or a decent gym) impacts consistency.

Ultimately, I'm a creature of habit so it is harder for me to stay consistent and disciplined with my nutrition in changing environments. Nutrition is 70-80% of the battle IMO, and there are definitely daily temptations on that front. With that said, I've actually found there are plenty of options for healthy food as well. There also seems to be plenty of nomads that prioritize health and continue to make progress on that front.

Keep up the good work!

delay
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Re: Nomadic-ERE Year 5 - Wanderlust Prevails

Post by delay »

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2024 4:56 am
-12.0 lbs of body fat lost (6% BF)

I use a rolling 7-day average weight to track the fat/weight loss, but today was a notable single day weigh in of 198.8 lbs, the first under 200 since last October. The other cool thing, I was not this lean at 199 lbs last time, so the weight training is doing its job in a big way.
Congratulations on passing the 200 lbs mark! That felt great when I did it. Of course without knowing your height, it's hard to tell where this puts you on the road to healthy weight.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Nomadic-ERE Year 5 - Wanderlust Prevails

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

@WRC, your research is correct. ~1% of bodyweight per week is about as much as you can/want to lose in order to prevent muscle loss and keep things sustainable and sane. Similarly, it's advised to only lose up to 10% of your total bodyweight in one shot, followed by a maintenance phase of equal length to your weight loss phase. So if you took 10 weeks to drop 10% of your bodyweight, reverse slowly back to maintenance, hold it there for 10 weeks and resume cutting (assuming you have a lot to lose).

It's definitely more challenging for me too, especially when traveling to new places and having no kitchen or regular gym facility. Poland is a VERY controlled environment for this project. We have one of the best gyms I've been to in the world 500 yards from our apartment, a Lidl store practically next door, a full kitchen, large fridge, and a huge park along the river that borders our building with ~7 miles of walking/biking trail. It doesn't get any better for sticking to a good exercise/nutrition regimen. Poland's Lidl stores are also chockfull of high protein/low calorie goodies, making it super easy to eat higher protein while still satisfying the taste buds to a degree.

Temptations are abound here too, but since it's a place we are at regularly almost every year, I don't have FOMO of having to *try all the things*. It's going to be interesting in the winter when we're back in Thailand/Vietnam/and most likely Japan later this year.......though I imagine it will be a LOT easier to stick to a quasi eating plan when it calls for 3-3.5k calories a day vs. the current 2.2k I'm averaging.

@delay, thanks. I'm 183cm and currently sitting ~14% body fat......so probably leaner than 90% of the male population in the western world at this point. The goal is to get down to ~191-192 lbs @ ~10% body fat, which would be the lightest/leanest I've been since last competing in drug tested bodybuilding back in spring of 2014. I was a lot younger back then, so this will be completely uncharted territory as I rapidly approach 40 y/o.

Western Red Cedar
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Re: Nomadic-ERE Year 5 - Wanderlust Prevails

Post by Western Red Cedar »

Chiang Mai is actually one of the best places we've found to balance health and wanderlust on our trip. I think you guys will love it here. After our first week here we found out that 7-11 has multiple options for plant-based protein shakes for sale. My breakfast is usually a vegan protein shake ($1.10) and a couple boiled eggs with soy sauce ($.50) from 7-11, so I feel pretty good about spending a bit more on a healthy lunch and dinner. Initially I was hammering a peppered chicken breast, but the chocolate tofu shake is better on so many levels.

The city is very walkable, the drivers are courteous, and it has lots of options for healthy restaurants at bargain prices. There is art around every corner - if you look for a bit. It is a city designed for serendipity, as is the case with all good cities.

The main setbacks are traveling during rainy season (which limits our ability for longer trips into the mountains), but that shouldn't be an issue for you.

And....we've had the best Pad That and Crab Fried Rice of our lives at the same restaurant. it costs like $5.75 for both :D

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