When a Week Of Pentamize Tracking Is And Is Not Enough To Assess Your Diet And Exercise Plan

Day 329

Yesterday, I finally broke through on my third day of recovery from 2 cheat days in a row. On the first day, I lost .3 kg. Then, I had some trouble and lost only .1 kg. But yesterday was finally the day where things turned around big time. I lost .7 kg.

As usual, I really don’t have a clear reason why yesterday was so much better than the 2 previous days. I basically did the same thing all 3 days and got 3 different results. In fact, I ran harder on Day 326 than on Day 328. Yet, my results on Day 328 were much better. Never let daily results drive you crazy unless you see that what you are doing is simply not working. I usually give a plan about a week.

If you just keep on gaining weight almost every day after a week, it’s probably a flaw with your system. This does not mean you have to have lost weight after 7 days. What it means is that you probably need to tweak your system if you are gaining weight on half of the days or more over a one-week period. Something is often wrong there that needs to be fixed. But if you lose weight on 5 of 7 days but gain overall due to a cheat day or something, then it’s easy to see it was the cheat day that probably hurt you. The easy solution to that is to avoid the cheat day.

I will show some examples of when tracking for a week is not enough to let you know for sure whether your plan is working. Then, I will show an example of when a week is sufficient to let you know that you probably have a bad plan.

Example 1
Tracking Insufficient Due To Middling Results

Day 1: lost .1 kg
Day 2: gained .2 kg
Day 3: lost .1 kg
Day 4: lost .4 kg
Day 5: gained .2 kg
Day 6: lost .1 kg
Day 7: broke even

In this example, you lost or broke even 5 out of 7 days and gained on 2 days. Overall, you did lose .3 kg. While this is starting to look like you may have an effective diet and exercise plan, it’s too early at this point to say one way or another. Although you lose, it was less than a pound. The next week, you could actually gain .3 or more and end up breaking even or even worse. The tracking results here are almost meaningless after only 7 days.

Example 2
Tracking Insufficient Due To Wild Swings And Middling Results

Day 1: gained .4 kg
Day 2: lost .5 kg
Day 3: broke even
Day 4: gained .1 kg
Day 5: lost .6 kg
Day 6: gained .3 kg
Day 7: lost .1 kg

This is similar to Example 1. You lost .4 kg, which is not that bad. But the swings are crazy, and they can affect short-term results enough that the .4 you see here could be an inaccurate estimate of long-term results.

Example 3
Tricky Due To Cheat Day But Should Track Some More To Be Sure

Day 1: lost .1 kg
Day 2: lost .3 kg
Day 3 : gained .7 kg (cheat day)
Day 4: lost .2 kg
Day 5: lost .1 kg
Day 6: gained .2 kg
Day 7: lost .3 kg

In this case, you lost .1 kg despite having a cheat day. And you also lost weight 5 out of 7 days. This is looking more like a good plan. But one week is rarely enough to say for sure that you have a good long-term plan. Typically, one week is only enough to show that you have a bad plan, such as in Example 4.

Example 4
Most Likely a Bad Plan That Needs Changing

Day 1: gained .2 kg
Day 2: gained .3 kg
Day 3: lost .1 kg
Day 4: broke even
Day 5: lost .1 kg
Day 6: gained .2 kg
Day 7: gained .2 kg

You gained .7 kg in this case, and you lost a small amount of weight on only 2 days to go with one breakeven day. This is about a pound and a half. And if there were no diet cheat days during this week, this is not looking like a good plan. In addition to the .7 kg gain, also consider that you are losing weight on well less than 50 percent of the days. Do you really think this looks like a winning plan? Although one week is never enough to say for sure, I would make some modifications right away instead of going another one or two weeks with a plan that doesn’t seem to be working. In other words, it’s probably time to exercise a little more or eat a little less and track those results.

In short, a week of Pentamize tracking (I mean tracking your diet and exercise and daily weight loss or gain) is generally not enough to say that you have a good plan. Just keep on tracking another week or two to make sure. I prefer a tracking history of about 3 weeks before reaching a firm conclusion about whether your current plan is going to help you lose or maintain weight in the long run. However, one week might show that you have an ineffective plan that needs some modifications. You could go ahead and test a seemingly bad plan for weeks. But you will risk gaining more weight and wasting a lot of time in the process. It is advisable to make modifications after that first week and then start tracking anew after making those changes. Then, after 7 days, you will have a new set of numbers to analyze.

Today, something happened overnight, causing me to lose almost no weight. I went to bed weighing about 80.8 kg and woke up at 80.2 kg. That is an absurdly low amount compared to previous overnight weight-loss results. I am typically losing 1 kg or more, but this was not always the case. Today just apparently was not meant to be a good day for some reason. And while these days are inexplicable, I have grown accustomed to not being too upset because they are predictable and, more importantly, NOT fatal to my overall efforts.

I was still 79.9 kg about 3 hours after getting up. It was then about time to go for my run, which will have to be 90 minutes again today because of the weird overnight results.

I am deciding now to run only 75 minutes tomorrow regardless of what happens today. And even though today’s result will probably be a weight gain, it’s time to remind myself that recovery is a slow process that can’t be rushed. I will get there and can’t overwork myself to rush this process. So it’s best to just decide right now that I will reduce to 75 minutes tomorrow since it seems like I need that. But it does mean I need to finish a full 90 minutes today.

I delayed a little bit until 12 noon to run. So my final weigh-in will be at approximately 1:30 in the afternoon. This is a little later than usual, but it’s not so late that I would call it cheating. Sometimes, I also weigh in a little earlier.

Something came over me with about 40 minutes left, and I sped up dramatically for the remainder of the run. The last 20 minutes are so were very hard for my ability, and I had a heart rate of about 168 at the end of this tough session. The first 50 minutes were fairly slow. But at the end, I weighed in and had lost a large 1.7 kg. This actually dropped me so far that I lost .1 kg today. My finishing weight was 78.2 kg, down from yesterday’s 78.3. That is now 4 days in a row of weight loss during this recovery period.

Change In Mental And Physical Focus Helps Keep My Exercise Regimen Going

Day 328

There are several days recently where I mentally really needed a break from exercise. This is also partially a physical thing, as the mental and physical aspects are connected. However, my physical conditioning is good enough to run any time I need to run.

The only real problem I have on the physical side is my left ankle. But that only slows me down. It does not prevent me from working out. Rather, it only affects my speed. For example, I can’t just walk out of my house and start sprinting near my previous max speed. It’s not going to happen because there is too much pain there. But I can jog for up to 90 minutes on a regular basis.

Of course, it is natural to want to take some break days. And that is fine. The problem is that I have hurt myself on the diet side of the equation. In 3 weeks since coming back from vacation, I have had 3 cheat days. This is what is forcing me to keep on running with no break days. The only hope of balancing out these cheat days is to keep on exercising. And one cheat day can require several days of workouts to recover from. In fact, right now, I am still way above the 78.0 mark I was at before the first cheat day, which was about 10 days ago. 3 cheat days can require me to work out every day for even a month to fully recover, depending on the situation (this time varies and can’t really be predicted).

This situation is compounded by the fact that I was already over my maintenance weight because of the vacation. So I am constantly recovering at this point. All of these diet mistakes are making me my own worst enemy in my Pentamize weight-management plan. So what to do?

Well, the first thing I must do is stop the cheat days. There is no amount of exercise that is going to make up for these days if there are too many of them. As it stands now, I have to cut those out and then focus on exercising on a daily basis. And that can be difficult when the mind and body start to wear down with no breaks.

What I decided to do yesterday is something that works very well every time I have tried it in terms of allowing me to continue exercising with no break days. And that is to slow down to the point that I have almost no stress while running. The pace must be enough to get an effective workout. Otherwise, it is too slow. But in terms of jogging for 90 minutes, it can be just a little above a fast walk. This is actually my normal speed, but I sometimes speed up quite a bit for short 10-minute spurts or for the last 15 or 20 minutes. But instead of those faster spurts, I just maintain the same pace all the way. It may be more monotonous. But when your mind and body need a break but can’t afford, just slowing down and keeping that same pace all the way is helpful.

Doing that yesterday, I still ended up losing 1.2 kg during the run. And that helped me lose a little bit of weight on the day.

So even though I am in a long recovery period because of the vacation and 3 cheat days, that doesn’t mean my exercise intensity must be high when I work out. It just means I need to work out at the proper mental and physical pace I can handle on that particular day. A loss of even .9 kg due to slow pace is obviously immensely better than a loss of 0 from having no workout at all. And sometimes, like yesterday, you will get good results, anyway.

There is no perfect mathematical formula to describe the slower pace I am talking about. But I will give you an example by comparing the heart rates on Day 326 and Day 327. On Day 326, I was still in the “run hard at the end” mode. And my heart rate was way up there around 145 to 150. Conversely, I just kept the same slowish pace all the way to the end on Day 327. My pulse showed a heart rate of 116. These numbers differ dramatically from person to person. But you can see the difference. It was approximately 20 percent less for me in this example, comparing a fast finish with a continual slow pace until the very end of the session. Sometimes, it may even be 30 percent less. The lowest I have ever tracked at the end of a 90-minute run is about 100 beats per minute. However, that is starting to push it toward being too low. But again, if that’s all you can do and it still gets some results, then do that pace because it’s better than doing nothing at all.

Today, my weight was similar to yesterday at bedtime. It was around 81.1 to 81.2. And when I woke up, it was better. I was about 79.8, which is the best waking-up weight in a while. Of course, it is not enough to take a break. This would be a bad time to take a break because a start of about 79.8 kg could give me a very big weight loss today. I can’t spoil that opportunity. However, I am going to do a slow pace all the way to the end again and accept whatever results are obtained from it. With a better starting weight, it will still probably end in a good weight loss for today.

Before my run, I had gotten down to about 79.6 kg. This should allow me to lose quite a bit of weight today by the end of the jogging session. As I discussed earlier, I am going to stick to my slow pace all the way through. If I have enough energy, I might speed up just a little in the last few minutes. But the only goal is to take my slowish pace and get through the full 90 minutes.

I had a nice, slow run, perhaps a little faster than yesterday. However, my heart rate was about 120 at the end, suggesting almost the same pace. And I lost 1.2 kg this time, getting down from 79.6 to 78.4 kg. Then, my official weigh-in showed a 78.3, which is a huge weight loss today of .7 kg. This is exactly what I have been waiting for. Now, this feels like a real recovery period.

Another Wild Day Results In a Little Weight Loss

Day 327

After a crazy time on Day 326, I actually managed to lose a little weight. With the cheating days behind me, I am back on the march to losing the 6 to 8 pounds I need to get around my target weight of 75 kg. It will be a long haul, and I am well aware of how hard this is for me. And my body is tired, along with a left ankle that continues to have significant but luckily only moderate pain.

This is the kind of time that might make some people fail. The one thing my Pentamize system cannot do is literally give you the motivation and willpower to do the work. Some people have it, and some don’t. Some have way more than me, especially when it comes to diet. I only have moderate discipline when it comes to diet and probably above-average discipline when it comes to exercise. Still, others will have less motivation and willpower than me, and your results might not be the same. However, you can always focus on at least losing some weight if you are overweight now and maintaining that. We can all improve even if the improvement is not the exact same level as me or any other random person. Just focus on improving yourself. Continue to set a target weight that you can personally achieve and maintain. And if that’s truly all you can maintain, then it’s still a success.

I did so-so on my diet today. My max weight was about 81.3 kg, and my weight then dropped to about 81.2 kg for bedtime. After sleeping roughly 7 hours, my weight had dropped a fairly small amount. I was 80.4 kg. That amount is .2 kg better than yesterday. However, this may improve some since it was 80.6 at about 7 in the morning. There is a little more time until 7, so my weight may drop a little more.

The past 2 nights, my weight has dropped less overnight. But this may be due to the fact that I am now trying to eat less. And when you eat less during the day, you tend to have less weight to lose overnight. So I am trying not to focus on that one factor because it can be misleading. Other major factors in my Pentamize system include the amount of weight increase during the day and the amount lost during exercise. These things must balance out for you to maintain weight, and you do a little extra in order to actually lose weight. So looking at just one of them can be very misleading.

Almost unbelievably, my weight was still stuck at 80.4 at 9 in the morning. Sometimes, it seems the only thing I can do is starve. It looks like I might actually gain weight today after having a .3 kg advantage at bedtime last night. I can work out today for another 90 minutes, but it must be a slow pace. And that is very unlikely to drop me from 80.4 to 79.1, which is what I would need to break even. So unless I go to the bathroom after, I am screwed this time.

Before running, I did drop to 80.2 kg. This puts me in a little better spot, but it’s going to be close to a breakeven weight by the end of the workout. I have to run slow, so I might not even break even. But this is okay as long as I know the effort was there. Proper effort does not always give results on the same day. But if you are persistent in giving the right amount and type of effort, the positive results come.

Today, I ran much slower and hardly sped up at all in the final part of the running session. Yet, I lost 1.2 kg. I know I worked a lot harder yesterday but still somehow lost more weight today. These results are crazy. The 1.2 kg was just enough for me to record another small weight loss today. I finished at 79.0 kg.

Wild Day Finally Ends With Weight Loss Of .3 KG

Day 326

I noticed some unusual things going on today when doing my Pentamize tracking. Although my diet was demonstrably better in terms of weight, there was a point in the day when I consciously cut myself off and stopped eating early and even stopped drinking water. Yet, my weight just kind of stuck there.

I had reached about 81.6 close to 5:30 in the evening, which was good compared to yesterday. In fact, I went to bed at about 82.2 yesterday. So this was already an advantage of about .6 kg, with some time left to lose even more weight before hitting the sack. That is when things got weird.

Despite going to the bathroom 2 or 3 times and eating nothing else, my weight didn’t seem to be falling. It was just stuck at 81.6. It was not until about 9:30 at night, when I decided to go to bed early, that my weight finally dropped to 81.5. I would expected at least a .3 kg drop and maybe a lot more during that period. But for whatever reason, my weight just kind of stuck there.

Things didn’t get much better overnight. Despite sleeping over 8 hours, I woke up, had a very long pee, and still my weight was 80.6 kg. Although that was a drop of .9 kg, it seemed like it should have been a lot more. My diet was far better today than yesterday, or at least seemed to be. I ate a banana, a bell pepper, about 3 hot dog weiners, a little bit of bread, and a fairly small serving of pasta. Although the bread and pasta are high-carb products that are not good for my weight-management efforts, these were not large helpings and don’t seem like they would have hurt me too badly.

At rany rate, my weight of 80.6 at about 7 in the morning was the same as yesterday’s mark at about the same time. That means the .7 kg advantage was COMPLETELY ERASED, as if I had no advantage at all. This is disappointing, as it means there is now probably no choice but to run 90 minutes again. I felt like I sacrificed a lot for that advantage, but it’s time to buckle down and sacrifice even more.

My run started out slow and finished quite fast, with a heart rate of about 148. Yet, according to the scale, I lost only 1.1 kg, which reduced my weight to 79.3 kg. That was yet another downer on a day of many downers. Despite that, I went to the bathroom and had an official weigh-in of 79.1 kg. That 79.1 did show a daily weight loss of .3 kg. So while the tracking showed a lot of crazy stuff today, I still managed to lose weight. And a loss of .3 kg in one day is certainly not something to complain about.

Second Partial Cheat Day Results In a Little More Weight Gain

Day 325

In yesterday’s blog, I talked about how I actually gained 9 pounds at a party. That sounds alarming. But after sleeping and also running for 90 minutes, that amount dropped to about 2.2 pounds, or exactly 1.0 kg. This kind of wild swing can occur when your weight increases by a large amount in a short period of time. If a lot of the weight is water, then it will come down really fast and may completely leave your body overnight or over 48 hours or at least a short period of time. But if a lot of it is food, then you may end up having to work hard to lose it all. In yesterday’s case, the extra 1.0 kg even after working out shows that I have some work cut out for me to lose that. But at least it’s not 9 pounds.

Today, we still had food left from the party and had some of the coke left over. So this ended up being the second partial cheat day in a row. In fact, my weight rose right back up to the 82 range again. I went to bed at about 82.2 kg.

Note: Although I rose to a similar max weight today, that does not mean I cheated as much. Yesterday, I started at 78.1 kg. But today, my starting weight was 79.1 kg. So the amount consumed, including food and all fluids, was about 1 kg less than yesterday. This means I didn’t cheat as much. However, unless I lose a large amount of weight overnight, I will still be at risk of gaining some weight even by the end of the morning running session. This is not the end of the world. Increasing by 3 kg during the day is very risky. I try to stay below 3 kg, and that includes any amount from water. Once I pass about 3.0 kg, I am in serious risk of gaining weight on the day even if working out for 90 minutes. Be aware that this 3.0 kg figure could be different for you since people have varying metabolism efficiency and other biological factors.

After going to bed early and sleeping for roughly 5 hours, I was 81.5 kg. That was a fairly fast drop of .7 kg. Hopefully, that number will continue to go down. I was not able to get back to sleep and finally just got out of bed at about 2:30 and decided to get online and do some surfing and a little work. More sleep would probably be better for losing even more weight. But I will hopefully continue to drop until it’s time for my run, which will be early today. I need to run at about 7 in the morning and will probably go ahead and do 90 minutes again.

I was able to finally get back to sleep after dropping to about 80.9 at roughly 4:30 in the morning, and then woke up at 7:30 at 80.6 kg. This was actually a much better drop overnight than last night, where I was still 80.8 or so at 11 in the morning.

Although the overnight drop was better today, the run result was not as good. I ran for 80 minutes, and the last 25 minutes or so were hard, with a finishing heart rate of about 156. Yet, the scale said that I lost only 1.1 kg, which reduced my weight to 79.5 kg. With a couple of hours to go before weighing in, I am at risk of gaining a little weight today because it will be hard to get down to 79.1. Nonetheless, my overall result is still better than yesterday, when I gained 1.0 kg. I am already doing better than than despite the poor run result because today wasn’t as bad of a cheat day as yesterday.

Today, my ankle was hurting pretty badly at the start of the run. So the first 30 minutes or so seemed even more like a warmup than usual. That may have negatively affected my overall result even though the last 20 minutes were great. By that time, my ankle was not hurting nearly as much.

My final weight was 79.4 kg, which was a daily weight gain of .3 kg. I just didn’t seem to be dropping much after the run. So I just weighed in a couple of hours early, and I am fine with this particular weight gain today since it was a partial cheat day, anyway.