How 2 Years Of Being Stubborn Stopped Me From Finding The Better Diet

I developed the Pentamize tracking system close to 2 years ago now. There is no exact date because the techniques I use were discovered through testing. I did not decide to write a book and come up with a system. Nope. I gradually developed my system and then determined, with no plan whatsoever at the outset, that I had the makings of a book on my hands. I was actually just trying to lose weight and had not even planned to write anything until I realized that this information could help others.

One of the main things I have learned is to experiment with diet and exercise and track the results of all these experiments to see what works best. While it does take weeks to test new methods (eating habits, exercise routines, and the like), there is no way it should have taken me 2 years to get around to the diet that I have been testing for the past 8 days.

So far, I have lost .7kg in 8 days with no exercise. This is a monumental improvement over break days on my old diet, which saw a weight gain (and sometimes a very large gain) the vast majority of the time. 8 days is too soon to decide whether I have found a winning formula. But the results are so good that it looks highly promising.

What has caused me to wait 2 years to discover this technique? I would say assumptions and stubbornness are to blame.

For the better part of 2 years, I did focus on smaller meals, but often ate a fairly large breakfast. I guess I just assumed that breakfast would be good for me since I have heard that eating a good breakfast is good for you. Never again will I assume anything like that without my own testing. I am not saying this was the major culprit. But for the last 2 years, the meals after breakfast have been pretty small. At least for weight-loss purposes, I am going to avoid a bigger breakfast for now and make every meal a small snack instead of a regular meal.

The other possible factor is that I often ate 4 to 6 small meals before. But eating about 8 snacks is what I have been doing, and it’s working far better. It’s clear from my tracking that I am eating less with 8 small snacks than I was before with 4 to 6 smaller meals.

The real reason for the delay, though, is that was successful with the previous diet. However, a large part of that was extreme amounts of exercise. I don’t mean extreme for a distance runner. But I was running 40 to 50 miles per week for many months.

What I should have done is vary my diet to see if I could reduce the required amount of exercise. Part of the reason is that I refused to ever give up my favorite yogurt and meatballs. I knew that .5 kg of yogurt daily was probably a little too much, and I would sometimes get out of hand with the meatballs and eat close to .4 kg in a day. If these things happen on the same day, it is often too much when adding whatever other food to the mix.

Sometimes, though, you need a clear idea in your head before you are ready to test it. In this case, it never specifically crossed my mind to eat 8 small snacks in a day and take a break day at the same time. So lack of knowledge and experience also played a role, not just being stubborn. Making assumptions is related to a lack of knowledge and experience.

I encourage those who are losing weight to experiment with a variety of eating routines and track the results. At least 3 weeks of testing per routine is recommended. And although even that is not enough for scientific conclusions, it is enough to get a rough idea of what you can expect absent any unforeseen changes. You can try to eat 3 meals only and test that on days with and without exercise. You can then move to 5, 8, or even 10 meals. But remember that the meals must be more like snacks as you increase that number.

For each number of meals or snacks (4, 8, etc.), you can also still vary the average amount of food per snack or meal. If you eat 8 full meals, you are probably not understanding the function of eating 8 meals. The idea is to eat small snacks only so that the total eaten in one day is actually less or at least no more than 3 regular meals. If you really want to get hardcore, you can plan out a specific number of calories for each snack. I don’t do this because I like more flexibility. But I do know that I average something like .2 kg per snack. That would work out to roughly 3.3 pounds of food per day.

Today started out okay. I had the typical small breakfast, which is often the hardest part to stick to since there is a natural tendency to be hungry in the morning. I have to struggle a bit with this first meal because I often feel like eating more. And I am also used to eating yogurt, which I have completely removed from my diet now. So far, though, I am adapting pretty well.

At 2:30 p.m., I was still at 78.9 kg. That is a pretty good start and only .5 kg over the daily starting weight. Even at 6 p.m., I was at 79.1, or only .7 kg up on the day. I am amazed at the difference eating snacks only is making. I’ll put it into perspective tomorrow by comparing how much my weight used to increase.

I did go up some after the above update. The max was around 1.2 kg and hovered around 1.0 to 1.1 kg the last time I checked at night. That included water.

I happened to be up at 4 in the morning and had gone down pretty fast to 78.8. It looked like a big day, but my weight slowly dropped after that. I was 78.6 at 8 and then 78.5 about an hour later. It looks like I will more or less be break even today. Regardless, I am still at a good weight loss over 10 days on this dieting technique and with no exercise at all.

In fact, though, I think I will go ahead and run for 30 minutes after doing a normal final weigh-in. Then, I can start to determine whether this plan is feasible with exercise. That is, is it possible that adding exercise will cause me to eat too much compared to not exercising. As unlikely as that sounds, we cannot make assumptions when testing. It’s better to just experiment and get an actual answer instead of guessing.

Today, I finally decided at the end to run for 30 minutes. Before the session, I was at 78.5, for a daily weight gain of .1 kg if not including the run. But after the session, I was at 78.1, for a daily loss of .3 kg. The loss was expected, but the real issue is what is going to happen over the next 24 hours. Will the run affect my diet? Right after, I was a little thirsty but not that hungry. So far, so good. Find out what happens in the next blog post.

First 10 Days On New Diet:

Day 1: gained .3 kg
Day 2: lost .2 kg
Day 3: gained .3 kg
Day 4: broke even
Day 5: lost .6 kg
Day 6: gained .1 kg
Day 7: lost .4 kg
Day 8: lost .2 kg
Day 9: gained .1 kg
Day 10: 30 minutes – lost .3 kg (gained .1 kg before exercise)
79.0 to 78.1 overall (lost .9 kg)

“No Exercise” Days: lost .6 kg – 9 days
Exercise Days: lost .3 kg – 1 day
30-min Days: lost .3 kg – 1 day
no other session durations yet

9 Days Without Exercise And Still Losing; Thoughts On French Fries And Fast Food

At 6 in the evening, my snack plan is going great again today. I am at 79.2 kg, up from 78.3. I am thinking that I need 2 and maybe 3 more snacks today. That will hopefully keep me at a max increase of 1.3 kg or less.

Yesterday, it was about 1.4 and I actually ended up losing .2 kg. So far, it’s too early in this new diet for me to establish a desired max increase. In fact, I might not even set a desired max increase. That has at least the possibility of eating more to get up to the max or to starve when reaching it. Neither one of those scenarios is particularly desirable.

At 8:30, I was surprisingly at 79.1. And I did 2 more small snacks. But the snack weight was cancelled out by going to the head. If I maintain control, this looks like another weight-loss day with no exercise. After eating the last snack for the day, I was at 79.3 at 10:45. That leaves me 1.0 kg over. With 12 hours to go, there is a good chance for another day of weight loss. Regardless, it feels like another good day.

Oops. The reason I stick to the plan is because you cannot predict what will happen overnight. When I woke up at 7:30 in the morning, I was still 78.7 kg. That was a low weight loss overnight of only about .6 kg. It left me with .4 kg more to lose with 2 1/2 hours to go until final weigh-in time.

On one hand, it’s disappointing that I might gain a little today. But on the other hand, it wouldn’t be the surprising because the last 2 days have been so good. That pace was not going to stick. 2 years of Pentamize tracking shows that peaks and valleys are the norm. I would actually be happy if I could just break even without exercise and use exercise to lose a bit when needed.

With one hour to go, I was down to 78.5 kg. Things seem more manageable now. And I am a bit constipated, which probably means I would be doing better if I were “regular.” So a little weight gain is probably perfectly normal today. And even with that, I have a chance to break even.

I almost did break even by hitting a 78.4. That was a small weight gain of .1 kg today, and I did finally go to the bathroom, although it didn’t really help that much.

Results Of 9 Days On New Diet And No Exercise:

Day 1: gained .3 kg
Day 2: lost .2 kg
Day 3: gained .3 kg
Day 4: broke even
Day 5: lost .6 kg
Day 6: gained .1 kg
Day 7: lost .4 kg
Day 8: lost .2 kg
Day 9: gained .1 kg
79.0 to 78.4 overall (lost .6 kg)

Note: There is still no exercise day to compare with these break days. It will be interesting to see if exercise has an effect on my diet. It’s normal to get a little hungrier when you exercise, but the effects will hopefully be minimal. I will start with 30-minute runs only and then adjust if necessary.

I said I was going to talk about french fries. I ate some more today and plan on eating them on a regular basis. As we all know, french fries are associated with fast food, and fast food is implicated as a cause of obesity. I am not saying fast food is good for you. A lot of it is pretty bad stuff. But this seems like an exaggeration to me or at least a gross generality.

First, do obese people eat fast food all the time? Some do, but some don’t. But even if they do, is the problem the fast food in and of itself, or is the amount that they are eating. Fast food is the Bogeyman of obesity. Basically, the mentality is to blame it on that instead of putting the blame squarely where it should be: lack of portion control on a daily basis.

I can eat french fries because I don’t eat very many. It’s one or two small snacks a day of about 20 to 30 french fries.

Now, let’s look at what typically happens when people go and eat fast food. They go get a value meal, super size that meal, eat it all at once, and then eat something again a couple of hours later.

If you want to eat this kind of food, you probably need to split it up over the course of a few hours. Portion control is the issue. If you have to eat it all in one sitting, then you have to consider not eating it to begin with. A lot of these value meals are too big for one meal and certainly too big for one of the snacks that I have been eating on my new diet.

Again, I am not saying fast food is something that you should eat. But if you learn to eat it the right way, it is not nearly as bad as its overall reputation. Whether you are overeating at home or in restaurants, it’s the overeating that is the problem. I have eaten crackers, french fries, and a few other questionable foods over the past 8 days and have LOST .7 kg with no exercise. What you eat is a factor, but how much you eat is a mammoth factor.

Although I have been very successful the past 8 days, I will need to get some exercise in soon. My muscles might get out of shape if I wait too long. A week is probably not too long at all, but it’s getting to be about that time. I also need some exercise days on this new diet to compare to days with no exercise.

Example Of Tracking Exercise And Non-Exercise Days During Same Time Frame

I am probably going to finally run today after taking a week off. So this is a good time to lay out the procedure for comparing exercise and non-exercise days on the same diet. You can do this during the same time period, just not on the same day. For example, if you exercise 3 times a week, you should be comparing the 3 days with exercise with the 3 days without it.

First, it is important not to just exercise, track how much you lost during a session, and assume that you will lose that much extra weight in comparison to a day where you do not exercise at all. For example, let’s say you are breaking even on your diet with no exercise. Then, you go out and run 60 minutes and lose .6 kg. Does this mean you are going to lose .6 kg on average for every day that you run for an hour? Although some may assume that, this is absolutely not true. The reason is that adding exercise can cause changes to your diet, metabolism, and various other things.

In order to get at least close to an accurate comparison (we aren’t trying to win a Nobel Prize here but are trying to get a reasonably close estimate for comparisons), you must track entire full days at a time. Fortunately, it is easy to do this. Just weigh yourself at the beginning and ending of every single 24-hour period and make note of which days had exercise including the type and amount of exercise you did.

To compare, you average the days with exercise and separately average the ones without it. It’s really that simple. You must average the 24-hour results to get anywhere close to accurate.

Note that you can do this on alternating days or sporadic days, such as randomly working out when you feel like it. There is no need to set a specific exercise schedule. However, it is potentially more accurate to work out every day for a while and then take a break for a few days. But this is not necessary to get a reasonable estimate.

Today has been another success on the “snacks only” dieting approach. I maxed out at about 1.4 kg above the starting weight and woke up at 78.5 kg, which was breakeven for the day at that point. But I still had a couple of hours to go before the weigh-in. My final weight was 78.3 kg, so I lost .2 kg.

Results Of 7 Days On New Diet And No Exercise:

Day 1: gained .3 kg
Day 2: lost .2 kg
Day 3: gained .3 kg
Day 4: broke even
Day 5: lost .6 kg
Day 6: gained .1 kg
Day 7: lost .4 kg
Day 8: lost .2 kg
79.0 to 78.3 overall (lost .7 kg)
all 8 days so far are break days

“No-Exercise Day” Results
lost weight on 4 days
gained weight on 3 days
broke even on one day
lost .7 kg overall

“Exercise Day” Results (today is first day)

Well, I changed my mind, so today was not the first day with exercise. I’ll decide later whether to run tomorrow.

Lost Weight In a Week Even With No Exercise (First Time During Pentamize Tracking History)

Today is the 7th day, and it feels like I am having trouble staying satiated compared to most of the past 6 days.

I knew this would happen eventually. However, the good part is that I continue to eat snack-sized meals only and no regular-sized meals. But there is still a danger with this kind of approach, which is that you might end up eating too many of these snacks.

Because this is the 7th day, I will not work out in the morning regardless of my weight. I want to get a figure of how much I gain or lose in one week on this diet and with no exercise at all the whole 7 days.

It looks like I am going to be struggling the rest of the day. At 5:15 in the afternoon, I weighed in at 79.5, and the starting weight today was 78.9 kg. That is only .6 kg over so far and is a very good number. Maybe I can still have a good day by keeping the meals small. I have had 3 chicken patties today as one snack, and the other foods have mostly been a couple of eggs, 3 or 4 medium-sized weiners, a small amount of fish, about 30 french fries, a few carrot sticks, and less than half a small bowl of rice.

There is still some oatmeal left, and I am going to have some of that next. I must keep it to a small bowl.

At 9 at night, I was still 79.5, presumably because the oatmeal and peeing evened out. I still needed some more food and ate a small bowl of pasta and an apple. Despite being a little hungry, it was time to stop eating for the night. After that, all I had was water (in the form of black coffee). I was up to about 1 in the morning and was only a little hungry.

All together, I had about 8 snacks today. As I have been blogging about for a week now, these are not really meals. That is working out well so far, but the one hard part is that I am almost always a little bit hungry. It also takes some getting used to. I have focused on smaller meals or snacks for almost 2 years now. But I usually had one bigger meal, and that was typically breakfast. Now, I am trying to eat exclusively snacks.

More On Yogurt

It’s not that the yogurt I was eating is bad in and of itself. But I had gotten used to eating a .25 kg cup of that plus something else at the same time. I haven’t found a smaller cup that I like much, which convinced me to make the decision to cut out yogurt completely for now. A .25 kg cup plus something else is harmful to the “snacks only” plan because the snacks I am eating are often .2 kg or less. I believe the portion size was hurting me, not so much the actual content of the yogurt.

Tomorrow, I will discuss french fries. It may be a surprise that I have eaten fries every day over this past week, and it hasn’t stopped me from doing well. How am I eating a fast food item and not gaining weight over the past week despite not exercising? That will be discussed tomorrow.

I was 78.8 kg when waking up at 8:15 in the morning. So I had already lost a little weight at that time and had 2 hours to go until the final weigh-in. This means I have done what I previously thought was probably impossible without starving. I actually lost weight over the course of a week.

At the end of the day, I went to the bathroom and knocked off a bunch more weight, finishing at 78.5 kg. That capped off a huge week of weight loss with no exercise. I dropped from 79.0 to 78.5. This is the first time recording such a thing since I started doing Pentamize tracking. It’s obviously all about the new diet since I did not exercise at all.

I will summarize and talk about these results more in tomorrow’s blog. But it’s obviously good news and gives me hope that I can finally reduce exercise, which is what my body needs at times. I do not expect every week to be like this, but it would be great if I could break even on average and then exercise after a cheat day or bad slump.

6 Days On New Diet And Still Close To Breakeven With No Exercise

For the first time in 2 years of tracking, I have specifically chosen to take a break day for 6 days in a row. The only reason I am doing, this, though, is because I could see that my new diet is working so much better than what I have been doing for the past 2 years. I would not have been able to predict that I would actually be losing weight over the past 5 days, having dropped slightly from 79.0 to 78.8 kg.

If nothing else, I am one stubborn fool at times. For 2 years, the only modification I made to my diet was to reduce carbs, such as bread and rice, and add yogurt and meatballs right out of the box (just straight meat with no sauce or anything added). I was so happy with the yogurt and meatballs that I stubbornly refused to try a diet without them and see what happens.

It’s more difficult going without the meatballs for me. I am on Day 6 and starting to not miss the yogurt so much anymore. Eating oatmeal has been a fine replacement. I do still eat meat, but it’s generally 3 small chicken patties that are heated in the oven. If I don’t eat oatmeal, then I might eat 6 of the patties.

The hardest part for me is eating vegetables, but I have been eating mostly broccoli so far. I have it with red pepper sauce, which makes it easier going down.

If I am going to take more break days, though, one thing that will take getting used to is more days with a small weight gain. For example, I woke up today and was .4 kg over even though my diet has been great today. I do have 90 minutes to go before the weigh-in, so that could go down some. But today is going to have a weight gain. However, my thinking on this is to get close to breakeven on the new diet and then add enough exercise to lose or maintain weight.

I had a 78.8 start today and was only up to 79.6 at 6 p.m. That is a really good start and what is needed on a break day. I keep on eating small snacks instead of meals, and part of me is starting to resent society for pushing 3 meals on everybody. I have not been tracking my weight as much lately during the day, although that can be a problem when you have a tendency to overeat. However, today I just needed a little more food and water and didn’t feel the need to weigh in again before bed.

For some reason, I didn’t go down much at all overnight. I was 79.2 kg in the morning. Although that is a very low overnight drop, this is not surprising to me on a break day, at least under my old diet. As to what is the norm for the new diet, the results have been very mixed so far. I doubt there is any way to plan or predict overnight weight loss, as I have always had wildly different results from day to day. Just as with the old diet, it’s the average that will determine success or failure.

I went to the bathroom and finished the day pretty nicely, losing .3 kg more and finishing at 78.9 kg. So I gained the minimum of .1 kg. Overall, though, I have now lost .1 kg over the course of these 6 days. With all of those being break days, things couldn’t be much better.

Day 1: gained .3 kg
Day 2: lost .2 kg
Day 3: gained .3 kg
Day 4: broke even
Day 5: lost .6 kg
Day 6: gained .1 kg
79.0 to 78.9 overall (lost .1 kg)
all 6 days so far are break days