Maintaining Diet-Exercise Balance

Day 323

In my Pentamize book, I frequently talk about creating a balance between diet and exercise. In a nutshell, this means that you should find the combination of diet and exercise that allows you to lose weight or maintain after having reached your target. Even with only two factors – diet and exercise – involved, your combination is likely to be very different than some random person’s other combination. So while there is no magic formula to finding this combination, you can test and track until you find what works for you.

Example 1: Billy is a hardcore exerciser, but he loves to eat and is prone to gaining weight. Billy will probably have to work really hard when it comes to exercise unless he is able to cut down on his food intake. And even if he does work out hard, he might still have to sacrifice and cut down some. So while Billy may still be eating more than many dieters, that is only because he is able to handle a lot of intense exercise.

Example 2: Jenny doesn’t like exercising much, and she is a slight overeater who tends to get about 20 pounds overweight when not exercising. In this case, Jenny might not even have to change her diet much. But her sacrifice may have to be developing a more consistent exercise schedule. This is close to the opposite of Billy’s situation. While he may have to eat a little less, Jenny needs to exercise a little more.

You may be different than Billy or Jenny, but everyone has a particular tendency with diet and a separate tendency with exercise. In my case, I must eat less than desired, and I have achieved this mostly by eating less carbs and also tracking the weight of my food to make sure I don’t go over on a regular basis. And I also must exercise a lot more than I thought would be necessary. I am frequently running 90 minutes, so my sacrifices are in both diet and exercise, not just one of those two areas.

Now, if you look at yesterday’s blog, you will see what can happen when you lose this balance. I overate because I didn’t track properly. And when I woke up in the morning, I was 80.6 kg and 80.3 right before running. This was way above my needed mark of about 79.5 (in fact, almost 2 pounds over). The only way I could reachieve balance in this situation would be to exercise a lot more. And that’s exactly what I decided to do. I ran for 2 hours and actually managed to lose weight on the day.

The problem you will encounter is that reachieving balance can become impractical to impossible. I simply don’t have the physical conditioning to run 2 hours a day. Further, depending on how much time you have, you may find out that there simply isn’t enough time in the day for you to achieve balance by increasing your exercise to make up for overeating.

Now, overeating is not a time issue. You simply eat less. But when you have to balance out by exercising more, that’s when the amount of time involved can present a problem. So it’s best to find your proper balanced combination of diet and exercise and stick with that on a daily basis. Of course, you will probably mess up sometimes like I did yesterday. And that’s when you will have to sacrifice. Again, though, you have to keep in mind the time it takes to exercise. If you are messing up your diet often, you might completely fail on your weight loss plan. Just keep that in mind and track your diet rigorously to avoid frequent mistakes.

Today, I certainly did much better in terms of diet. I went to bed and weighed about 80.1 kg, which was less than my weight even when waking up yesterday morning. However, I did not lose much weight overnight, waking up at 79.5 kg. Then, before running at 10 in the morning, I had gotten down to about 79.3 kg. When considering all this, I may or may not lose weight today since I am decreasing to 70 minutes, and could possibly gain a small amount. Nonetheless, I am still extremely happy about yesterday’s “redemption run.” So it’s all good for now regardless. I am still stuck around the 78 mark. But I’ll eventually break through this and get into the 77s.

My 75-minute jogging session resulted in a weight loss of about 1.1 kg, dropping me down to 78.2 kg. After a bathroom break, my official weigh-in came in at 78.1 kg. That was a weight loss of .1 kg, and a second day in a row of weight loss. Just as before, I am still hovering in the 78 to 78.5 range. This is okay because it does take time to break through these barriers sometimes. If history is a guide, one of these days, I will suddenly lose .6 kg in a day or something like that, putting me well into the 77 range. However, because of a little party on Day 324, this could be delayed.

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