2 Semi Cheat Days And Then Plan To Add Some Exercise To Recover

This blog post covers 2 partial cheat days, on Sunday, March 11, 2018, and Monday, March 12. Neither is a full cheat day. The only reason for doing this is a trip that I have to take. After these 2 days, I will step up my testing by adding a few days with exercise.

The reason for these semi-cheat days is not because of not wanting to do the snacks-only diet. I am happy doing that diet so far and believe that I can do it on a permanent basis with the occasional cheat day only. I am taking a short trip, and it is kind of hard to follow a snacks-only diet in this situation without more preparation. If I were to travel all the time, then I would need to come up with a travel plan that does allow for this diet. But for the occasional trip, I am not going to bother.

At any rate, this is a good time to add some exercise after these 2 days, as I only have 2 days of testing so far with exercise. The other days have all been with no running at all.

This will be a good time to see how quickly I can recover from a cheat day when combining the snacks-only diet with exercise. I plan on running 90 minutes to get the full effect the first day. After that, I will need to play it by ear due to my poor ankle condition. It is feeling better now, but it got way worse the last time I ran for 90 minutes. There has hopefully been enough rest for the ankle that a 90-minute run on Tuesday doesn’t bring back the pain.

Although the next 2 days are likely to be a mess, they started out very well because I was still at home and was sticking to small snacks only. I was still only 78.4, or only .1 kg over, after the first 3 snacks. This did include going to the bathroom several times. After the 4th snack, I did rise to 78.8. Then, shortly before leaving on my overnight trip, I was still at 78.8. That was very good at that point in the day, but things are going to start going downhill from here. I also will not be able to weigh in until Monday evening. The rest of this time will not be a full cheat day, but I won’t stick to the snacks-only diet. It’s just not worth the time it would take right now to plan out snacks on a trip. Again, though, if you travel frequently, you should have a travel diet plan.

I should say that, if you know in advance that you can’t exercise for physical reasons, then it naturally becomes more important for you to not cheat. Unless a snacks-only diet allows you to actually lose weight over time and not just break even, then you are going to be in big trouble if you never exercise unless you literally never cheat. This is why, if at all possible, you should have exercise as a possible option to help you recover from cheat days or days where you stray a little too far and gain some.

At the end of these 2 days, I was somewhat surprised to have gained only .4 kg, to finish at 78.7. That was only a gain of .2 kg per day on average. As I said, though, these were more like partial cheat days. I did eat some fast food (one of those value meals) for one meal and had a number of snack foods. But overall, I still tried to keep the meals small. And this kept me from gaining a large amount of weight. I am happy with this result. It was always going to be a gain but was a lower one than expected.

Are Weight Loss Success Stories Reliable Even If True?

Let’s face it. Fad diets are popular. That’s how they become a fad to begin with. And a lot of these diets will actually work for you to some extent. A number of them are even backed by some pretty serious scientific studies. Unfortunately, weight loss studies tend to have one severe limitation that I will discuss here. And for the same reason, even most honest weight loss success stories have serious reliability issues. Forget about scams. I mean even honest and accurate weight loss success stories have their limitations.

The main flaw of weight loss studies and related success stories is the period of time that they cover. You have to understand human nature to understand why the length of time is important.

When someone gets motivated to lose weight and either participates in a weight loss study or buys a book or otherwise starts a weight loss program, that is the exact time that someone is likely to have enough willpower to actually follow a diet plan. This is why people often do see positive short-term results from a weight loss plan or even a fad diet. This is a period of high motivation. In such a period, you are more likely to follow a diet that you don’t actually like. You will often reason that you can sacrifice for now and eat those vegetables because it is only temporary.

However, these same people who start a diet in a period of high motivation don’t always maintain that level of motivation. And this is when they fall off the wagon and start gaining weight again. This could be in a month, 6 months, or even a year.

So there is a good reason you should be careful about reading weight loss success stories. The vast majority of them give examples of short-term results. I have kept my weight off for over a year just on this blog and through all types of experiments. Heck, I even recently improved my results with the snacks-only diet. But I am not even convinced that one year of keeping weight off is enough. But it’s certainly better than the “lost 5 pounds in 3 days” and “lost 20 pounds in a month” stories.

Scientific studies have the same problem. Some of them cover only a few weeks or months of results. There are some better ones where the guinea pigs are tested for 6 months or a year or maybe even more. At least those have a little more reliability. But is even a year enough?

Studies do have other issues, as well. Do the participants try harder on average because they know they are participating in a study? Also, what do average results mean for you? They don’t mean a lot because you could do better or worse than the average. The value of a professional scientific study is to show the potential for a plan to work. It’s still going to be up to you to get at least the average or typical results, and that depends on a lot of factors.

Whatever you say about studies, success stories are typically even less reliable since it is only one person. I fully admit this with my Pentamize system. I have only tracked my results. But the idea of my system is to individualize a diet and exercise plan, NOT to prescribe a rigid set of rules that you may or may not follow.

In short, one of the main reasons fad diets work on a short-term basis is that the dieter is typically in a period of high motivation at the beginning of embarking on this new weight loss journey. But if and when that level of motivation falls, which often happens with rigid diet plans, then the dieter crashes and burns.

Trying to follow a rigid diet plan is not necessarily a good approach to permanent weight loss and maintenance. This is going to depend on whether you can adapt to that system on a permanent basis. Can you envision following that diet plan forever? When creating the Pentamize system, I tried to make it as nonrigid as possible. There is no food you can or cannot eat and no exercise that you must or must not do. Rather, you learn to balance diet and exercise until you find a permanent plan that works for you.

Hoping To Get Diet Back On Course Today

Yesterday was my 22nd day testing the snacks-only diet. It was largely a disappointment because my weight seemed to keep rising without as much of the large drops between snacks that I typically observe. I rose to an increase of 1.6 kg, causing great risk of daily weight gain.

After the large increase, things did get better for the sleep portion of the day and the 3 hours between getting up and having my final weigh-in. I lost 1.0 kg overnight and then .4 kg in the final 3 hours. This was a good recovery, and it allowed me to have a daily weight gain of .2, which could have been a whole lot worse.

Today, I hope the results get back to what I usually see, which is a combination of small gains from snacks and pretty big decreases between those snacks. The decreases are a little smaller than the increases, though. Otherwise, I would go to bed already at the daily breakeven point. That virtually never happens and would typically occur only if you were to almost starve yourself. But during testing, my good days have typically shown an increase from 1.0 kg on the low end to about 1.4 kg on the high end.

Sometimes, a daily increase of 1.4 or thereabouts will still result in a small weight gain. But overall, 1.4 ends up being close to breakeven overall. So far, then, anything over 1.4 is risky, and anything below has a decent chance of producing a daily weight loss. There is no way to get an exact breakeven point because the body can change over time and your diet choices can also affect your breakeven point (a pound of sugar is likely to cause weight gain, but a pound of broccoli is unlikely to cause weight gain). But 1.4 is a reasonable estimate for me now as long as I don’t make any wild diet changes. I already keep the sugar content low and don’t overdo it on the carbs. So no major diet changes are expected at this time.

Note: When I say 1.4, do not confuse that with the total increase, which would require tracking literally everything and adding it all up. Even I don’t do this. Instead, I look at the maximum weight that I have increased at any point of the day. Using yesterday as an example, I started at 78.0 and ended at 79.6 near bedtime. That is a max increase of 1.6 kg.

Today, I am doing good after the first snack and using the bathroom. I was still at 78.3, up from a start of 78.2. After the second snack, which was probably .2 kg of chicken, only a mouthful or two of rice, and a very small piece of cake, I was still at 78.5 kg. This is a great start and only .3 kg over at 1:30 in the afternoon.

The 3rd snack was more french fries, and the news is getting even better now. I am 78.7, or only .5 kg over at 3:30 in the afternoon. This is exactly how the snacks-only diet has worked when I have had good days with it. There is a slight increase throughout the day, but it never gets above about 1.4 or so on good days. 1.4 does not guarantee a good day. With half of my snacks done, I am not even halfway there. That is when you know things are going well. It’s just a matter of tracking enough results until you have determined your approximate ideal max increase.

After a couple of bowls of stew for the 4th snack and plenty of water, my weight finally went up faster. Perhaps I ate a little too much, and I was 79.2 even after peeing. Now, I have to be a little more careful for the last 2 snacks to hopefully stay below a 1.4 increase.

I was back down to 79.0 before the 5th snack, which was only one roll and some cheese spread. It was quite small, and I was actually down to 78.9 a little after this snack. With one more snack to go, I am only .7 kg over for the day and have a chance for a huge weight loss by 10 in the morning. All I need to do is to have the typical small snack before bedtime.

I didn’t weigh in after the above but had the typical small snack and one cup of water. Then, one of the strangest things I have seen yet occurred. I was shocked to be at 78.6 right after waking up and peeing. However, this is far from impossible. I have tracked overnight weigh loss of only .3 or .4 kg before. It hasn’t happened in a while, but it does happen. I do still have a couple of hours to go, so the tracking day is not over yet.

Whatever happens, I am not going to complain about my performance or second-guess it because my diet choices were perfectly fine today. If my body wants to retain water, I don’t want to do anything to artificially interfere with that. It’s an odd day but not something that should get me down because the typical day like this would show a weight loss.

Besides all this, I don’t think the main goal of a diet should be to lose a bunch of weight solely from the diet unless you are someone who LEGITIMATELY CANNOT exercise AT ALL for medical reasons. It should be to maintain weight, perhaps lose some excess weight along the way, and then lose any excess by incorporating an exercise lifestyle into the mix. Does it even sound like a good idea to not exercise? Do you really expect to never have a cheat day that needs some exercise to aid in recovering from those cheat days?

This strange day ended at 78.3, for a gain of .1 kg. So strange. The only thing I can think of is that I have a bit of constipation. I tried to go, but nothing came out. If this is the reason, it does make sense and will correct itself naturally.

Day 19 – gained .1 kg
Day 20 – gained .3 kg
Day 21 – lost .3 kg
Day 22 – gained .2 kg
Day 23 – gained .1 kg
Overall Result: lost 2.3 kg

“No Exercise” Days: lost 1.0 kg – 21 days

If you look at only the past 5 days, the results do look bad. But this is a normal streak. I had an awesome streak in the days right before this and lost a lot of weight. The “no exercise” days on the snacks-only diet are still showing an overall weight loss of 1.0 kg.

Struggling With Diet Today, But Pentamize Tracking Gives Me a Chance

Yesterday’s blog has a summary of my 21-day test of the snacks-only diet. Briefly, I can say it was a huge success. I actually lost weight overall on 19 non-exercise days and lost weight on both exercise days. You can get the specific statistical results by reading yesterday’s blog post.

From this point forward, I am only going to list the total numbers and the last 2 or 3 days of results in each blog post. It is important to start exercising again because the 2 days of exercise so far cannot provide anything close to reliable stats on anything. Just like with the snacks-only diet in general, it will be best to have at least 21 days with exercise while using the snacks-only diet.

Today, I kind of felt like celebrating because of the great success of the experiment. And this caused me to perhaps eat a little too much in the early part of the day. After the first snack and going to the bathroom, I was actually pretty much breakeven. But I started nibbling without tracking and suddenly found myself 1.0 kg up at about 2 in the afternoon. Being 1.0 kg up at that point of the day is a little too high.

I just made the point 2 days ago on this very blog that the purpose of Pentamize tracking is to avoid overeating. This is precisely why I do it multiple times a day on the typical day. And when I don’t do it, you can see from today what the possible results are. I shot up to 79.0 from 78.0 way too early. Now, I am going to be forced to be extra careful the rest of the day.

By 4:30 in the afternoon, I had had another small snack but was actually back down to 78.9 kg. Honestly, I don’t prefer checking my weight constantly. But history has shown that this is what works for me. So while the snacks-only diet is really helping me create a regimen with less exercise, tracking still remains an indispensable part of the process.

Today is not getting any easier. This is where I am reminded that there are no miracles in weight loss and maintenance. It’s going to be hard sometimes. In my case, though, if I falter and eat a little too much, there is wiggle room there to exercise and make up for it. I probably can’t stick to a snacks-only diet every single moment of every single day. But if I keep the mistakes to a minimum, it is likely that some running can make up for it.

After a small bowl of stew and about half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I was up to 79.4 kg. I can’t believe I am up another pound so fast unless it is mostly from water. It does seem that most of it is from water because the last snack was certainly not even close to a pound of food. Today could end up being a disaster, but there is a chance that the weight could fall off overnight if it mostly due to water. I can’t predict at this point.

A little later, I managed to lose down to about 79.2. At least I have temporarily reversed the ugly trend. But with a couple of snacks to go, I am not out of the woods yet.

My next to last snack was some french fries, and my weight was 79.3 after finishing the fries and going to the bathroom. As long as I can hold to 79.4 or under, I will have a chance to break even today. Actually losing weight would be difficult at this point. I am referring to anticipated results with no exercise.

There was just no way to keep to 1.4 kg or less today without starving. I was 79.6 after the last snack. This may put me in trouble, but this may just have to be a bad day because I am not going to starve. That is my limit – starving is not the answer. If even a snacks-only diet doesn’t work on a particular day, there is the option of doing some exercise to burn off the excess.

Overnight results are always important, and I lost 1.0 kg while sleeping this time. That amount is fine, but even a loss of 1.0 kg might not be enough today. It still had me at 78.6, which was .6 over the starting weight of 78.0. However, this was at 7 in the morning, leaving me 3 hours to go. I will not be exercising this morning and plan on just accepting whatever weight gain I have today. History has shown I always bounce back, and that’s what I will do again. However, depending on your current diet results, you may have no choice but to incorporate exercise to help yourself out.

Things have turned for the better since getting up. I had dropped to 78.1 with about 30 minutes to go until the final weigh-in. This actually gives me a chance to break even. Just like I said in the middle of the day in this blog post, Pentamize tracking is what gave me this fighting chance. Without that, it could have been a potential disaster since I would not have realized that I gained 1.0 kg so quickly.

Actually, when doing the final weigh-in, I was at 78.2. This was checked multiple times to get as accurate of a reading as possible. Still, that result is somewhat of a relief when looking at the day as a whole. I gained .2 kg but was expecting a lot worse.

Day 19 – gained .1 kg
Day 20 – gained .3 kg
Day 21 – lost .3 kg
Day 22 – gained .2 kg
Overall Result: lost 2.4 kg

“No Exercise” Days: lost 1.1 kg – 20 days

Last Day Of My Initial 3-Week Test Of The Snacks-Only Diet

When testing a new diet or exercise routine, my usual practice is to compile about 3 weeks of results. This does not establish an actual average result, but it is typically helpful enough to make a decision on whether to abandon or carry on with a weight loss method, technique, or regimen. In the case of my current test of the snacks-only diet, these 3 weeks have been a smashing success. It’s an easy decision to make here. I will continue the snacks-only diet and also add more exercise to compile a more comprehensive set of results.

I have tested the actual diet with no exercise for 19 of the 21 days. This is plenty of time to see that my entire dieting life appears to have been transformed from a consistent failure to a solid success. While I don’t have specific numbers on my old diet without exercise, I do have a set of days with a 30-minute light workout. So I am going to compare my old diet with a 30-minute workout with my new diet and no exercise. Even with no exercise, my new diet is doing better than my old diet with the 30-minute light workout.

Old Diet With 30-Minute Light Workouts: actually averaged a weight gain of .147 kg the first 19 days
Snacks-Only Diet With No Exercise At All: averaged a weight loss of xxxx the first 19 days

Under the old diet, I actually decided to abandon 30-minute light workouts as pretty much worthless. However, at that time, I had never tested the snacks-only diet and pretty much just placed blame on the workout. It is important to look at both diet and exercise, though. There is nothing inherently wrong with a light workout. It is exactly what it is – a light workout. It might be right for you, but your diet better be in order because you likely aren’t going to get much weight-loss results from a light 30-minute workout.

In fact, I can give you an example of how you need to look at both diet and exercise to understand what is going on. At the same time period as the light 30-minute workouts, I was following the same basic diet but exercising 75 minutes on some days and 90 minutes on others. I did lose weight on the 75- and 90-minute days. So in this case, my diet was still kind of bad, but a 75- or 90-minute workout on that diet was enough. We are talking a bad diet for weight loss but not an absolutely terrible one.

To make the point clear, your decisions about diet and your decisions about exercise cannot be totally disconnected from each other. One decision depends on the other decision, and vice versa. As long as I can follow the snacks-only diet, this is what I am going to do. And the reason for this is that it allows me to greatly reduce the amount of exercise needed to maintain my weight.

With one day left in the initial test, I am still 1.0 kg below on days with no exercise and would have to intentionally overeat at this point not to have a net weight loss.

Today’s first snack was about .05 kg of beef and a bowl of oatmeal. The second one was 3 chicken patties and about 10 chips. I was only at 78.6 after those snacks, so I am off to a great start. I am feeling a little hungry but not starving. I’ll eat another snack in about 45 minutes, which is at about 2 in the afternoon.

My 3rd snack was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a small cup of soy milk (probably about 4 ounces at the most). I did not bother to weigh in until after the 4th snack, which was a bowl of oatmeal and a pear. After eating that and going to the bathroom, I was at a very reasonable 78.9, or only .6 kg over. This is comparable to recent days with good results, so this last day of the initial experiment is good so far. I do want to try to keep it as normal as possible, though, and don’t want to eat less than I should just to finish strong. At any rate, I am so far ahead that it doesn’t matter much at this point.

I had a bowl of stew and a small roll for the last snack. A little while after that and going to the bathroom, I weighed in at 78.9 kg. With 12 hours to go until the final weight check, I am about to smash it on this last day of the initial test.

The last 12 hours did not produce a great deal of weight loss, but I did get down to 78.0 kg. A .3 kg loss on a non-exercise day is very good.

Having now completed 21 days on the snacks-only diet, it’s the best test I have ever done of either diet or exercise. Of course, I lost a lot of weight when running 90 minutes on almost a daily basis. But one could easily expect such a result due to the extreme amount of exercise. Conversely, the results of this snacks-only-diet experiment took me by surprise.

I have lost .07 kg a day even when not exercising. While that is not a super fast rate, it’s not supposed to be because of the lack of exercise. This just shows that losing weight fast is usually going to require exercise. The purpose of testing the snacks-only diet was not to try to lose weight fast without exercise. I have never expected that and do not think it is realistic for most dieters. Just coming close to breakeven should be enough when adding exercise. That was the idea, and it is looking very doable at the moment once I get to exercising again.

21 Days On “Snacks Only” Diet And Final Stats On Initial Test

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)
Day 11: gained .2 kg
Day 12: 90 minutes – lost 1.0 kg (lost .3 kg before the run)
Day 13 – gained .3 kg
Day 14 – lost .1 kg
Day 15 – lost .1 kg
Day 16 – lost .4 kg
Day 17 – lost .2 kg
Day 18 – lost .5 kg
Day 19 – gained .1 kg
Day 20 – gained .3 kg
Day 21 – lost .3 kg
Overall Result: lost 2.6 kg

“No Exercise” Days: lost 1.3 kg – 19 days
Simultaneous “No Exercise” Portion: lost .2 kg – 2 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

Moving forward, I will need to add a lot more exercise days to the 2 days of exercise completed so far. 2 days of stats is practically worthless. There is almost no doubt that I will lose a lot of weight on those days. However, it is also important to track the day after those exercise days to test my theory about possibly gaining weight in such a spot. So far, I have gained weight on those days, but 2 days’ worth of tracking is not enough to be useful.