I Am Officially Ending My Vacation Recovery Period

Day 221

Starting Weight: 76.3 kg
Weight Before Afternoon Run: 77.6 kg
Weight After Run: 76.8 kg
Amount Lost During Session: .8 kg
Exercise Routine: 80-minute jog
Final Weight: 76.5 kg
Result: gained .2 kg

In January of 2017, I weighed myself at 76.3 kg before going on a 3-week vacation. After eating way too much and not exercising enough, my weight shot up to a max of about 83 kg.

After coming back in February, I started a recovery period to try to lose all the weight put on over the vacation. Just as I have always discovered, it turned out to be much harder to lose the weight than to gain it.

After gaining weight for 3 weeks, I finally hit 76.3 yesterday. That is almost 3 months to lose the weight that was gained in only 3 weeks.

I see no good reason at this point to keep pushing for 75.0 in official “recovery period” status. Otherwise, I will just be putting myself back in recovery status every time I gain 2 pounds. I don’t want that kind of mental pressure at this time, as my body has grown tired of constantly running 90 minutes almost every day.

No, this does not mean I am taking a break. In fact, I am going to run for 90 minutes later today because my lunch was bigger than usual. When it’s appropriate to run 90 minutes and my body is in decent shape, then I will do it. The point is that running for 90 minutes almost every single day is just overkill for me. That is appropriate for a recovery period or a period in which I need to lose a large amount of weight to reach my target.

I am now going back to standard weight maintenance. Yes, I will still work on staying around 75 kg. But I am not going to kill myself to get there when my weight is already only 2 to 3 pounds over that mark.

It’s important to keep in mind that I am not talking about changing my permanent lifestyle change. My plan is to permanently stay physically active and maintain a decent diet and food intake amount for the rest of my life. Some people do look fine overweight and may even be healthy. But my experience is that being overweight just isn’t good for me on any level.

At the same time, 90 minutes almost every day has run its course for me for the time being. If I slip up again, such as when I went on vacation, I’ll start up a new recovery period and run about 90 minutes almost every day. But as long as I am near my target weight of 75.0 kg, a maintenance phase that combines shorter running sessions with 90-minute runs is better for me. This is particularly true right now, when my body and mind both feel like they need a slowdown. A complete break would be a disaster for me, but a slowdown is the way to go as long as I am near my target.

Today ended badly because I overate, making this a partial cheat day. It seemed like it was going to be far worse. When I went to bed early at about 9 to 9:30 at night, my weight was about 77.8 kg. That put me at 1.5 kg over the morning weigh-in. However, unlikely recently, my weight did drop a large amount overnight. It fell 1.3 kg, making me only .2 kg over on the day. So a likely disaster was just a poor day. It was all due to overeating, including quite a few chips. I need to have more discipline at times. Then again, perfection is not the goal, so I don’t want to be too hard on myself.

Finally Reached My Pre-Vacation Weight

Day 220

Because of the strange result yesterday, I am trying to watch my diet a little better. However, I am going to make a little change. I stopped eating at approximately 5 even though I probably need a little more food before sleeping. But instead of eating it before the evening workout, I will have a small meal after getting through with my run.

At about 6:30 at night, my weight was approximately 77.8 kg. That is already better than the 78.3 I was at when starting the run at 9 p.m. last night. In fact, that is a whole .5 kg better. So at this point, my goal is to have a small meal of only about .2 kg after the run and have a little bit of water. That should be give me a pretty good chance of losing weight unless something weird happens like last night, where I only lost .4 kg during sleep time. That is very low and was surprising and certainly bad timing considering that I ate a little too much yesterday. So I needed to lose that weight. Nonetheless, a decent run result meant that I broke even on Day 219. So it wasn’t all bad even though the overnight result was lower than average.

At the end of the run, today seemed like the opposite of yesterday. While I did great on my diet today, the problem was the workout. I ran for 60 minutes because my mind just wasn’t in gear to run the full 90. And my weight loss was a paltry .6 kg. I don’t know why it was that low. But fortunately, my diet was much better today. I was about 77.5 before the run, as compared to 78.3 yesterday. So even though I only dropped to 76.9, that was still better than yesterday’s 77.0 after the run. However, I did need a little more food today after the workout. So my ending weight after a snack was around 77.1 kg. Finally, I was about 76.9 right before going to bed. All in all, this ended up almost the same as yesterday, albeit through a completely different path. Now, the hope is to lose a decent amount overnight instead of the pathetic .4 kg lost overnight on Day 219.

I did lose more overnight this time, ending at 76.3 kg. That is the exact amount I was before leaving on vacation in January. I am going to officially end the recovery period now even though my target maitenance weight is 75.0 kg. More info on this will be in tomorrow’s blog post.

Very Strange Lack Of Weight Loss Overnight, But Still Broke Even

Day 219

Day 219 tured out to be a strange day. By the official weigh-in, I broke even. However, it’s one of the odd days where I expected to lose weight when I went to bed. But alas, something happened. And yet again, I learn that the only prediction you can really make in weight loss is that you will gain weight if you overeat by a large amount. Other than that, you really can’t predict what is going to happen from day to day.

Yesterday was a fairly bad one, as I gained .2 kg. My exercise session was 60 minutes, so I bumped it back up to 90 minutes today.

First, things were kind of bad because I may have overeaten a bit. Before my run, which was at 9 at night, I had increased my weight from 76.6 to about 78.3. At 1.7 kg, that is just too much. So at that point in the day, things were not looking good. However, I felt there was hope because I anticipated not eating anything after the run. While I may have eaten too much earlier, at least what I did eat was enough that I was not really hungry anymore.

My pace was fairly slow, and my heart rate was about 108 at the end of the jogging session. The good part is that I had dropped back down to 77.0 kg. This was excellent and little better than expected.

Now, at this point, I was still not very hungry. So I did successfully abstain from eating and went to be roughly an hour after finishing the run. Things looked great because I only had to lose .4 kg overnight to break. And it is not uncommon at all to lose .8 kg overnight. Yes, sometimes I lose more or less.

Unfortunately, my weight somehow only dropped .4 kg overnight. It kind of makes sense in that I did not drink anything after exercising. But .4 is awfully low and was not expected. That is so far below average that it meant that I didn’t even lose weight on Day 219. However, the silver lining is that I did still break even.

After a day like this, it just reaffirms that you just can’t predict what is going to happen on a daily basis. The expected big weight loss did not come, but at least I did break even. Tomorrow will hopefully have a better result than this strange 24-hour period.

Diet Is Often More Important Than Exercise, But That’s Not The Whole Picture

Day 218

Today, I reduced my jogging time to 60 minutes after 2 really good days where I lost .3 kg each day (total of .6 kg). The results were not as good today. I gained .2 kg. Was that because I ran for 60 minutes? I am not sure about that at all. But something a little odd happened with this run that may have had a factor in gaining a little weight today.

Before running, I measured myself at about 77.5 kg. After the run, I weighed in at 77.0 kg. That is way too low. It led me to believe that I either got the wrong weight before the run or that something odd happened that caused me to lose very little weight during this workout.

My diet was pretty good, considering that I had only risen from 76.4 to about 77.5 before the run. And after, I ate approximately .3 kg of food and a small amount of water. So I dropped from roughly 77.4 to 76.6 overnight, for a pretty small gain of .2 kg. I can’t pinpoint the reason for the gain. It was just weird that I did not lose more weight during the run. It is normal to not know exactly why you lose or gain weight on a particular day. And I have never determined the reason for during-workout weight loss fluctuations. So long as it’s just an odd day here or there, I don’t fret over it.

It is often said that diet is more important than exercise. While it is true in some respects, this kind of generalization is very misleading. Sometimes, exercise is such a crucial component that it is at least as important as diet.

When people say diet is more important, what is true about this generalization is that no amount of exercise will allow you to compensate for a very large diet and overeating. If you eat 4000 calories and your body will only use 2500 calories and store the excess, then you are likely going to gain a whole lot of weight. It would take a heck of a lot of exercise to burn off 1500 calories on a daily basis.

Now, I am not giving you a perfectly scientific example here, but the example serves the purpose of showing you the reason that diet is important. Depending on your size and metabolism, your body is usually going to need somewhere between 1500 and 3000 calories. Some need more, and some need less. So you would have to test to determine how much your body needs without exercise. It could be 1800 for you, or it could be 2900. And if you go over that amount, you will generally gain weight because the body will end up storing the excess.

Now, here is where the statement that diet is more important than exercise can be misleading. Let’s assume that you don’t even eat that much but still gain a little bit of weight over time. You are not ballooning up overnight. But over the course of months, you notice that you slowly but steadily gain weight. Let’s say are down to about 2000 calories, and you naturally feel you need that much food even without exercise. Yet, you are steadily gaining over time.

Further, let’s say you can’t adjust to eating less, and it might even be unhealthy to eat less since all bodies need a minimum amount of various nutrients. So what are you to do? Well, the obvious answer here is that exercise is very important for you. You have your diet pretty much in order, but you are still slowly gaining weight. Now, at this point, the statement that diet is more important than exercise is pretty much meaningless to you. You are already doing well on your diet but are still gaining weight. In this predicament, exercise is at least as important as your diet. If we look at it in simple terms, it’s going to be around 50% of your path to success.

Let’s summarize this. If you are already doing pretty well on your diet without exercise, that sometimes is still not enough to lose weight or keep the weight off. That’s when the balance of the “diet vs. exercise scale” tips more towards exercise as being important. It’s not exactly 40 or 50 or 60 percent. But it’s a vital component that you cannot in this situation that I am describing. If eating less is not a viable option, then your only other available option (other than something risky like surgery or drugs) is going to be exercise.

Now, this article is not going to tell you how to exercise or diet. Losing weight is a little more complex than one single article. However, my Pentamize book can show you exactly how I lost weight using a combination of diet and exercise.

How I Lost Weight Even With One Of My Slowest Runs Ever

Day 217

On Day 216, I had one of my slowest runs ever and still managed to lose a good deal of weight. I dropped .3 kg, which is over .6 pounds, on just this one day. And while I did jog for 90 minutes, it was one of the slowest I have ever tracked, at least in terms of heart rate.

In fact, my heart rate was only about 95 at the end of the session. I don’t recall ever being that low even one time after an actual jog. I have been much lower after using the elliptical trainer. But that’s precisely why I don’t use that elliptical trainer anymore. It was not a good workout for me. But for actual jogging, 95 is the lowest heart rate that I can recall ever measuring.

So you might be wondering how I lost weight with my slowest exercise workout. First, I still lost 1.0 kg. So it’s not like it was a bad workout. Rather, it was just slower than usual. But there was a much bigger factor that helped me. And that was an effective diet and tracking of that diet. This all goes back to the most crucial element in probably any weight loss plan – balancing your diet and exercise to achieve a winning formula.

Even before the run, I measured myself as being only 1.0 kg over my morning weigh-in. Further, I was running at night and knew that I was almost finished with the day. For some reason, I just didn’t eat that much yesterday. Or to put it another way, at least the weight of the food that I ate was not that much. Thus, I would not be able to get these results every day with a slow run. But because I was tracking so closely and knew I was on course for a big day, I made a strategic decision to run slow.

My body didn’t really feel like running, anyway. So in addition to that “body condition” consideration, I felt that running slowly would keep me from getting too hungry. So there were 2 purposes to this slower run: one was to give my body a partial break while still getting a workout, and the second was to limit the risk of getting really hungry because of a hard workout.

The plan worked almost perfectly yesterday. I ate just a little after the run and, as expected, lost quite a bit of weight by morning weigh-in time.

Why is all this important? Because it’s an example of how you can reduce your exercise intensity when your body really needs it. But you can’t do this every day. Yet another good reason to track everything is to determine when you can reduce your intensity. When you have tracked and know you can give your body a bit of a break without actually taking a break day, then go ahead and do that if you feel the need.

I need to do this sometimes because, unfortunately, my metabolism is just not good enough anymore to take frequent break days. Like I told someone the other day who was asking about my weight loss, most of my exercise break days are not actual break days. They are just slower workouts. I don’t pretend to like this, as more break days would probably actually be good for me. But my motivation to keep the weight off is higher than my desire to take break days.

Yesterday was a rare day because my net food consumption would usually be more than that before an evening run. So once again, I am obviously not saying that you can do this every day. Track using my Pentamize methods and then use this idea when the opportunity presents itself.

For Day 217, I was able to use this opportunity the second day in a row. My weight had gone up to 78.4, but it dropped to 78.0 for the evening run. However, the situation was even better because I felt there would be no need to eat anything at all after the jogging session. And as expected, I was able to avoid eating after a slow run. My weight dropped to only 77.1 after the session due to the slow pace. And after drinking a little water, I was up to about 77.3 kg.

My weight dropped down to 76.4 by morning, and this made for the second day in a row of running slow but still losing .3 kg.

About the most that can be suggested from the past 2 days is that diet is often more important than exercise. And this is common knowledge. However, the statement that diet is more important than exercise is misleading and does not present an accurate picture of an effective weight loss system. Read tomorrow’s blog for more on this topic.