Go On a Diet But Also Avoid Feelings of Starvation

Day 241

Starting Weight: 75.7 kg
Ending Weight: 76.1 kg
Result: gained .4 kg

As of now, I am definitely firmly back in Pentamize maintenance mode. There is no urgency at all to lose weight because I am in the 75 range again. My weight is likely to go up and down on a daily basis. But there just isn’t much more to lose. So I can start to reduce the average time of my running sessions. As I have said in previous blog posts, 90 minutes almost every day is a pretty brutal schedule. That’s just not easy to keep up because my legs do get pretty tired after some runs. And taking a complete break is not necessary, reducing the time of the jogging sessions on at least some days has proven to be my best method of balancing the need for regular exercise and giving my muscles a break from excessive exercise at the same time.

It would certainly not be impossible to lose 10 or 15 more pounds. While that is certainly a possibility, I feel like I would have to starve to do that. I am basing this on my experience of hitting 75 kg before. Beyond this point, even running for 90 minutes several days has not resulted in any additional weight loss beyond a negligible amount. So I need to balance the need to exercise and keep the weight off with eating at least enough to avoid feelings of starvation.

At the same time, the difficulty in eating the proper amount for weight loss or maintenance occurs for some people when they fail to distinguish starvation and mild hunger pangs. A lot of people who have a tendency to get overweight interpret the slightest hunger pang as starvation. We constantly hear people say, “I am starving.” Yet, a lot of people who say this actually ate just a few hours before. Are they starving? Obviously, compared to some other people in the world, they are not really starving.

In my case, I like to sacrifice by enduring slight hunger pangs in the evening hours. I may feel a little hungry. But if the only thing I am going to do later is go to bed, how much food do I really need? You don’t need energy to sleep. You just go to sleep.

So one thing you can do is practice avoiding eating at night if you already have a habit of eating a snack in the later evening hours and close to bedtime. If you feel a little hungry but know you are just going to go to bed soon, anyway, then just don’t eat and go to bed. And to help you, you could even decide to go to bed early sometimes. Going to bed early has often helped me avoid unnecessary food intake.

There is no clear path to convert your mind from feelings of starvation to feelings of a slight hunger pang. However, one thing you can at least try is to just stop using words like “I am starving.” If you stop using such words, you may realize that you can eat less because your brain is not constantly telling you that you are starving. Instead, just tell yourself that you are a “little hungry” and eat only what you need for energy purposes.

Ultimately, the best way to avoid overeating is to track how much you are eating and stop when necessary. Of course, this is not easy to do for everyone. Some willpower is necessary. The reason I recommend small meals is that a large meal you eat early in the day may be so big that you end getting a feeling of starvation later in the day when you stop eating because of the one large meal.

If you keep your meals small, then it’s generally easier to keep from starving at any point in time during the day. Once you feel like you are starving, things often get worse because you have a tendency to overeat when you feel “starved.” So the best thing to do is to have a schedule where you never get that feeling.

There is no “one size fits all” solution here. There is no replacement for tracking your diet and practicing to follow it once you have an effective plan. Only you can come up with this personalized plan through your own tracking and experience. But at least for me, it’s been a fun and beneficial experience.

I’ll be running only one hour today regardless of my pre-workout weight. By 7, I was up relatively high, hitting about 77.3 kg. That’s going to put me in a tough spot if I eat anything after the run. As of now, I don’t really feel that hungry. Maybe I will just eat a small snack of about .1 kg shortly after running. Even with just that, I could be in danger of gaining a little weight today. However, I can always just increase to 90 minutes and make up for it if necessary. A short session in the morning is also possible if I need to reduce a substantial weight gain.

The one-hour run produced somewhat low results. I dropped to only 76.5 kg, which was around .8 kg. Then, I went to the bathroom and dropped .1 kg more, getting down to 76.4 kg. Being .7 kg above the morning weigh-in at 11 at night is borderline for breaking even or losing or gaining a little. I don’t really need to eat anything now. So I will just have a little water and call it a night. My before-bedtime weight was 76.7 kg.

I got up at 8 and was alarmed that my weight was 76.3 even after going to the bathroom. That is ridiculous. However, it will likely drop a little more before the final weigh-in. But this is definitely going to end up as a bad day of weight gain. It’s disappointing that so many days with a one-hour workout and decent diet choices still show a weight gain. And I don’t mean a small gain of only .1 or .2 kg, which would be expected. Days with .3 and sometimes way more are hard to comprehend even when I don’t cheat on my diet. But that’s part of my life and something that may be part of your life. It’s also good to remind yourself that exercise has other benefits besides losing weight or keeping it off. The general health benefits are reason enough to keep up almost daily exercise.

My final weight dropped a little bit to 76.1 kg. But that resulted in a large weight gain of .4 kg for Day 241. I really have no idea why it was so much. Small gains make sense, but .4 kg really confounds me. The only thing I can do is stay the course. That has always worked before even though some of these daily results are impossible to comprehend.

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