How To Reduce Exercise Instead of Taking a Full Break Day

Day 390

Here, we have yet another 60-minute day. I’d like to do an even shorter run soon. But the idea is to play it by ear by recording my weight before all exercise sessions and then seeing if a shorter run may be enough for me to at least break even.

My Pentamize book discusses this method in more detail. It’s just a hardcore way of tracking your weight and exercise that allows you to reduce the severity or duration of a session instead of taking an actual break day. So if you know that you need to lose .5 kg to break even, and your average session lets you lose about .7 or .8 kg, then you can estimate how much less you need to run or whatever kind of exercise you do to at least break even.

If your metabolism or diet is better than mine, then you can also use this method to determine when to take a break day. However, in my case, I can almost never break even without exercise. The reason is simple – I have tested this over and over and almost always gain weight absent exercise. There are exceptions, but that exception is actually bad for me overall. For example, if I grossly overeat on a Tuesday, then I will sometimes lose weight on Wednesday. But that’s because all the excess weight from the day before is coming off due to the normal process of digestion and calorie burn. But this situation is actually harmful to weight loss because the amount lost without exercise on Wednesday is generally less than the amount you gained on Tuesday. Thus, while that Wednesday looks good in a vacuum, the problem is the combined result on Tuesday and Wednesday is still a disaster. This is no way to lose weight.

Absent these kinds of odd situations, I must exercise on most days. So instead of going for a full break day, it is at least possible to do some hardcore Pentamize weight tracking and reduce the amount of exercise when possible.

Another thing you can do if break days hurt you as bad as they hurt me is to reduce your amount of exercise even if it results in some degree of weight gain on that particular day. To do this, you want to go some days where you lose weight overall, tally up those results, and then determine how much you can give back by reducing exercise on a particular day. Here’s an example:

1. You start at 100.0 kg.
2. Over several days, you lose .5 kg. So you are now 99.5 kg.
3. You can now give back .5 kg. And while you will gain that, at least you are back to 100.0 kg. So it’s like a reset, but you get a partial break in the process.
4. Let’s say you usually run an hour and lose .7 kg during that exercise and average a very small daily average weight loss of less than .1 kg.
5. You wake up one morning to go running and weigh 100.2 kg (this always happens before you exercise for the day, and then the weight comes off before the final weigh-in due to exercise).
6. If you lose the normal .7, you would be right back at 99.5.
7. You feel you need a little bit of a break. So you run for 30 minutes and lose .4 kg.
8. In this case, you are now at 99.8 kg. So while you did gain some weight on this day (.3 kg), you are still below the 100.0 kg mark. This gives you a semi-break day without causing too much weight gain.

I am now switching to my daily summary. Keep reading for that.

Today, I got off to a very good start on my diet. I began at 76.1 kg and then rose to 76.9 after the first 2 small meals. It was about 1:30 in the afternoon. So while I have a long day ahead of me, my weight is looking great so far.

I had about .1 kg of meat and strawberry smoothies at about 4 in the afternoon. That raised me up to 77.6 kg, or 1.5 kg over the starting weight. I guess one more smallish meal will be enough to get through the rest of the day.

After one more meal and some lemonade, I rose to about 77.9 kg, which means my max today is about the same as yesterday.

My overnight weight drop was poor this time. I woke up and weighed in at about 9 in the morning and was still sitting at 77.2 kg. This amount is roughly .3 kg more than yesterday at the same time. I am a bit constipated today, and that could be the reason. But who really knows the exact biological reasons? It’s impossible to say, but I am probably in the ballpark of being able to break even. Besides, I have lost so much weight lately that my body may be due for a slight weight gain.

Even though I had a pretty hard run, the scale showed that I only went down .7 kg, which was a drop from 76.9 to 76.2. I figured that my weight would drop at least .8 kg because I finished at a heart rate of 144. But for whatever reason, the results just were not that good. Since I was weighing in a little bit later than yesterday, I decided to call it a day at 76.2 and record a slight weight gain. I was kind of expecting that, anyway. There is just no safe and healthy way to keep losing every day, especially when I am actually in weight maintenance phase. Besides, a gain of only .1 kg is not exactly a tailspin. You just want to avoid seeing that on multiple days in a row or a few times a week. That coudl suggest a problem with your plan.

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