Tracking weight gain and loss is inherently subject to certain forms of variability that makes it essentially impossible to fully test a diet or exercise regimen. This is not only true in the sense that different people may get different results. It is also true that the same person can get different results depending on how much he or she weighs at the time the diet or exercise tracking test is being performed.
Let me give an example under my old diet. I was exercising a great deal and actually running 90 minutes a day on a regular basis under this diet. It was a lower-carb diet, but it doesn’t matter what the diet is because this concept is generally going to apply to any diet or exercise routine.
When I was losing the first 50 pounds or so, I had gotten up to an average weight loss of about 2.8 pounds a week for something like 3 months. However, as I got closer to my target weight, that average weight loss started to decrease.
Eventually, I hit 75.0 kg and stopped losing any weight. If we were to describe this weight loss rate in stages, it would look like this:
Stage 1 – a lot of weight to lose (amount varies per person)
typically highest rate of weight loss at this stage
Stage 2 – getting close to your target weight (amount also varies by person)
typically a lower rate of weight loss than Stage 1 even with the same exercise and diet
Stage 3 – no more weight loss when reaching your target weight even with the same exercise and diet as Stages 1 and 2
Think about this logically. You are not going to just keep losing weight until you weigh only 50 pounds, right? You would be dead way before that for most people.
When starting my snacks-only diet, I was in what would be considered Stage 2 and pretty close to Stage 3. What does this mean? It means that if I started the same diet in Stage 1, I might be getting even better results. I am not going to say that is 100% certain, but it already happened with my other diet. So there is a chance that would happen.
Here’s the problem. I am not going to gain back the extra weight just so I can test this. That would be a horrible idea. The better alternative is to test in Stage 2 or even Stage 3 if you are right at your target weight. If you maintain in Stage 2 or 3, then you probably have a pretty good plan. As long as I can lose a little in Stage 2, then I know the regimen being tested is effective. At that point, the next question is whether it is too hard to stick to that plan. If it’s not, then I have a winner. Ultimately, I am guessing that I will mostly go with a snacks-only diet and add enough exercise to lose some when necessary.
In fact, after observing this phenomenon of differing results based on stages, I wonder if a lot of weight loss studies are even less reliable than currently thought. Does a study take into account how overweight a participant is and that person’s target weight? If studies don’t consider this, then that pretty much calls into question the results all by itself. However, it does not mean a study is completely invalidated. It just means that you can’t rely heavily on the results as a predictor of what will happen if you do the same diet or exercise routine or system. You could be in a different stage than the average stage of study participants. You might be starting in early Stage 2, and the average participant might be 80 pounds overweight, which is Stage 1 for our purposes. This doesn’t even consider possible differences in motivation level, medical conditions, and other factors.
Today, I am weighing in the first time after 4 snacks. At times, I have eaten some crackers in between the snacks, but I am counting them as part of the 4 snacks. Nonetheless, if you do this too much, such as halfway between snacks, it could constitute “cheating” and mess up your snacks-only diet. In this case, though, I was in good shape at 79.3 kg, or .8 kg over the 78.5 starting weight.
Having gotten back down to 79.1 kg, it seemed like a good time to combine the last 2 snacks into 1 and have a frozen pizza. I am only going to do this because my current status allows it. Tracking can also let you do this, whereas you would risk overeating if you were to combine multiple snacks while not knowing your weight status up to that point of the day. The pizza is about .4 kg, so there is plenty of room to eat the whole thing as the final snack of the day. Although this does violate the general snacks-only rule, 2 snacks can be combined into 1 when you track and determine that it is not too risky. I should be fine in this spot and not get hungry enough again to have to eat another snack before bedtime.
As expected, I rose to a max of 1.0 to 1.1 kg when eating the pizza. That is a very good daily max weight increase and often leads to a daily weight loss. So regardless of today’s final result, I performed well and successfully planned out the combination of 2 snacks into 1. However, I should note that combining 2 snacks into 1 more than once a day might be a serious problem and take you too far from the snacks-only diet. This is the only diet regimen I have tried yet that has allowed me to break even without exercise. So straying too far from it could be really bad in my case.
Things did not go as expected overnight. I really figured I would be losing weight today, but I was at 78.6 even after going to the bathroom and then checking about 90 minutes after getting up. Maybe eating that pizza later in the evening is not helping this morning’s weigh-in. At any rate, I still have 45 minutes to go, so it’s still a successful day even with eating almost a whole pizza. I already expect to have to do some exercise and just hope my ankle will feel close to ready soon. It’s getting there.
Actually, I had a late surge and lost more weight at the end of the day. My finishing weight was 78.3, so I did lose again today. After going through a bad streak of gaining a little, I have now turned it around and either broken even or lost weight the past 4 days.
Day 21 – lost .3 kg
Day 22 – gained .2 kg
Day 23 – gained .1 kg
Day 24 – broke even
Day 25 – broke even
Day 26 – lost .2 kg
Day 27 – lost .2 kg
Overall Result: lost 2.7 kg
“No Exercise” Days: lost 1.4 kg – 25 days
Simultaneous “No Exercise” Portion: lost .2 kg – 2 days
All “No Exercise” Stats: lost 1.6 kg in 27 days
Exercise Days: lost 1.3 kg – 2 days
30-min Days: lost .3 kg – 1 day
90-min Days: lost 1.0 kg – 1 day
Day After Exercising: gained .5 kg – 2 days
Average of Day Of Exercise And Day After: lost .8 kg – 2 sets of 2 days