There is definitely a science and art to leaning out. The science is everything you learn to be true about the human body related to nutrition and exercise. The art is figuring out your own body and how it will respond. The latter is very tricky.
It is easy to research all the information regarding the science of clean living and exercise. I am armed with truck loads of knowledge on that. What I am still learning is how my body will actually respond. Thankfully, I have a good friend that has a degree in nutrition and is a personal trainer that warned me of this. She said you just have to play with all of it to figure out what works for you. Being an impatient person, this is maddening to me at times. I have success, then I have set backs. I believe that being a woman of a certain age, my hormones cause havoc with water retention, that leaves me bloated. When you have the “bloat”, as a friend of mine and I call it, feeling lean is not happening.
So why don’t I just give up? After all I am middle-aged. I am hanging in there pretty well. Why don’t I just let my body run the show and be happy I am fit and healthy. Because it is a challenge, as long as I don’t lose a healthy perspective of what I am doing, I am learning and growing. Truthfully, I am seeing progress.
I had two months of set backs. Increasing my protein to build muscle, did the trick, but I always added fat. No a huge amount, but it was a set back in my goals. So I adjusted my protein intake and my timing of meal. I, then, hit the gym for a bit more intense cardio. As of today, I am back to my original weight, but with something new. I am a fat percentage less at that weight than I use to be. What that means is I gained muscle! That’s the goal. Gain the muscle which will in turn, burn more fat. So instead of being 120 lbs and 20% body fat. I am now 120 lbs and 19% body fat. My original goal was to hit 18% body fat. I got side tracked on that, because I was burning muscle while losing fat. I need to stop that train, fast. I was looking flat and deflated. So I am back on track. Now, I just need to continue on this path. A science and art form!