Late-Night Eating And Its Possible Effect On Weight Loss

Day 157

Starting Weight: 81.6 kg
Weight Before Early Afternoon Jog: 81.7 kg
Weight After Running 90 Minutes: 80.6 kg
Final Weight: 81.7 kg

After the “2.5 Pound Test” failure yesterday (see blog post), I was expecting to get a nice bounce today and lose a little weight. It didn’t work out that way. I gained a small amount of weight, and it was the minimum amount trackable on my scale (.1 kg).

This was one of the strangest tracking days I have ever witnessed. After one of the greatest starts ever and a good 90-minute run, it all fell apart. I could feel that I was eating quite a bit of food. I don’t even know why. But I was both hungry and thirsty, and I let myself go a little too far. After the afternoon run, I increased all the way from 80.6 to 82.5 by bedtime. That’s like 4 pounds, including water. It’s not really feasible to measure how much of that was water and how much was retained even after sleeping. But there is no doubt that I was eating and drinking a lot, and that turned a potentially fantastic day into a mild failure.

I still probably would have lost a little weight, but I ate quite a bit of cauliflower shortly before bed. I think that put me over. Now, it’s important to keep in mind that something like cauliflower is obviously a healthy food and not fattening. But it can take some time to digest. So it’s possible that this small weight gain today is due to the time of the day (late at night) that I ate some of my food. In this case, it was cauliflower. But it really could have been anything. The point here is that a one-day result can be misleading. But the reason I track my weight on a daily basis is to get as much information as possible. Nonetheless, you need to learn how to analyze this information. Otherwise, you may be clueless about how to carry on with a diet and exercise plan. My Pentamize book shows you how to perform and analyze daily weight tracking to reduce the misleading nature of some daily results.

So while daily tracking can be misleading, the cumulative information provided by rigorous tracking can help you develop an effective diet and exercise plan. It’s just a matter of learning how to interpret this information. Briefly, I will just say that you need to look at averages instead of focusing on individual days. Certain individual days can give you good information. But those are usually days with extremes. With results that have a very small weight loss or gain, you will need to average these out to get a reasonably accurate picture of the effectiveness of a particular diet or exercise plan.

Of course, it’s usually smart not to eat late at night. That snafu, by itself, is probably what cost me today. While I am not going to make any scientific claims, I have never seen anyone say that it’s good to eat late at night and close to bedtime. It may or may not negatively affect you. But even if you are uncertain about it, it’s best to avoid it since it could have a negative effect on your weight loss or maintenance. It’s also not good for morning weigh-ins since it means there will be less time for the food to digest.

Since getting really serious again about losing the weight I put on over vacation, I have lost about a pound a week. So while that is not a fast result or as fast as what I have achieved in the past, it’s within the range of 1 to 2 pounds a week that people typically recommend. I prefer about 2 pounds a week. But that is easier to do when you are significantly overweight. I am close to my target weight, so it would not be easy for me to personally lose 2 pounds a week with my current weight of 81 kg.

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