New Trick To Help You Stick to Snacks-Only Diet (The Oven Tip)

In today’s blog post, I am going to give a tip on how to better stick to a snacks-only diet regimen. It’s not exactly about what you eat, but rather how you prepare it and the timing of said preparation. This is all about using the oven, so it’s going to apply when you have something to prepare by heating in the oven. It doesn’t generally work well for the microwave. This tip refers to using an traditional oven.

To use this tip, you need to know 2 things:

1. The approximate time between snacks; and
2. How long it takes to prepare the snack that you are going to eat.

A lot of times, you will start to get a little hungry before it’s time for your next snack. This is the perfect time to use this easy method. If you are not hungry in between snack times, then this method is not even necessary. But it wouldn’t hurt to use it, anyway.

You only need to do one simple mathematical calculation to use the oven trick:

1. Determine the amount of time it will take to heat up the snack.
2. Determine the time left until your next meal.
3. Wait until the minutes in Step 2 are equal to or less than the minutes in Step 1.
4. Start heating the meal.
5. Eat when the food is ready. If you did the other steps properly, then it will be the right time to eat.

If you have a dish that takes 20 minutes to heat up (Step 1), then start heating it up when Step 2 is 20 minutes or less.

Why would you do this? Well, as I said, do this when you feel you are getting a little too hungry and feel like you want to eat before it’s time to eat. Knowing that the food is getting ready can help you wait a little longer. As long as you abstain from grabbing something while the food is in the oven, then this method helps you maintain your snacks-only schedule.

You can use this method to help you eat at an exact snack time, to delay the time a little, or even to possibly eat a little early but less early than you would have if not using the method. Of course, it’s desirable to eat on schedule instead of early, but none of us is perfect over time.

I just used this method while writing out this blog post. I decided to have some baked french fries as my next snack. I have been fairly hungry today and was again having a little trouble waiting the 2 hours or so between snacks. So I waited until about 10 to 15 minutes before the usual time, knowing from experience that it takes about 25 minutes to cook the fries. Mission successful. All I had to do was to wait it out a little bit longer for the fries to be done so I could eat.

The little bit of extra time you wait by using the oven method can really add up and possibly keep you from eating an extra snack by the end of the day. It could potentially be the difference between gaining and losing weight.

I was up to 79.2 after the 4th snack today. The hunger is a little more intense than usual, but I am hanging in there. I don’t think every day is going to be easy with a snacks-only diet. After almost 4 weeks on it now, I don’t perceive it to be much easier than Day 1. However, I am still happy with this, and it was never meant to be something that can be easily followed every single day. I almost certainly have to start exercising again if looking at this long term. I’ll need to make up for the occasional bad day.

Interestingly, I was still 79.2 after the 5th snack and going to the bathroom. Unlike yesterday, I will not be having a pizza, which was actually 2 snacks in 1. Instead, I will have one last small snack before bed and then call it a day on the food. I appear to have a good chance to lose weight again.

Despite doing pretty much everything right today, something is odd. I am about to weigh in and am still .1 kg over, at 78.4. That is a very low drop of only .8 kg in about 12 hours. Sometimes, it seems there is no natural way to avoid this kind of result. The body just isn’t ready to lose weight. At any rate, it is still more or less a breakeven day, which I consider another success. In my case, it’s also important to keep in mind that I am only a few pounds above my target weight. In this position, just breaking even with no exercise is a huge success.

Like yesterday, I had a good late surge and got down to 78.2 kg. That made for the smallest trackable weight loss of .1 kg.

Day 24 – broke even
Day 25 – broke even
Day 26 – lost .2 kg
Day 27 – lost .2 kg
Day 28 – lost .1 kg
Overall Result: lost 2.8 kg

“No Exercise” Days: lost 1.5 kg – 26 days
Simultaneous “No Exercise” Portion: lost .2 kg – 2 days
All “No Exercise” Stats: lost 1.7 kg in 28 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

How Much Weight You Lose Can Depend On How Much You Need To Lose

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

Planning a Weigh-In Routine For Snacks-Only Dieting

I started today at 78.7. I have broken even on both of the last 2 days. It would be nice to put one in the win column again today. However, I am actually still at a 1.0 kg weight loss on non-exercise days when following the snacks-only diet.

At 4 in the afternoon, my weight was 79.4 kg. That was after 3 small snacks. This is a pretty average start. It is important on a day like this to keep tracking because the next 2 snacks can make me or break me. Also, it’s a good idea to weigh in before the last snack of the day so you have an idea how much you can eat. By the same token, if you have already overeaten before the last snack of the day, it’s obviously too late. You can’t have a last snack with negative weight. This is why I frequently check my weight multiple times a day. Today, checking in after the first 3 snacks may save me. I can see that even one regular-sized meal would put me at risk of going over today. So it’s vital to have no more than about 3 more small snacks.

Let me put this another way. Checking in only before the last snack is only marginally better than checking in only at the beginning and ending of the day. It may be okay if you have a lot of discipline and don’t need to constantly check your weight to avoid overeating. But if you have a tendency to make mistakes, it is going to often result in being over for the day even before the last snack. You could limit the damage at that point but probably can’t save the day except by doing extra exercise.

It’s a lot better to weigh in some time in the middle of the day, such as what I have done today. I finished what is expected to be half of my snacks so I can plan accordingly the rest of the day. It just so happens that today’s half-day results are about average (an increase of .7 kg). So I should be okay by simply staying the normal course.

Conversely, I sometimes find myself at about 1.0 kg over the starting weight at 4 to 5 in the afternoon and occasionally even earlier. This is when the value of consistent tracking really kicks in. In this situation, I have the knowledge that I need to make adjustments the rest of the day.

Be mindful that the numbers that I am giving apply to me, but not necessarily to you. And the numbers I am citing here are for days with no exercise. For exercise days on the snacks-only diet and days after exercise, I don’t have a number yet because I have only done 2 runs. Days after exercise can potentially see more food consumption because my runs are at the end of the day, meaning I may be hungrier at the beginning of the next tracking day (it is immediately after a run and the end of the previous day). I am still planning out these numbers but hope they are not much more than regular non-exercise days.

After the 5th snack today, I was still around .7 over. Most of the fifth snack was some broccoli, and the only filling item that I had was a sandwich with a little bit of liver spread. Hopefully, one more meal will be enough today. I’ll finish the broccoli and have a little bread or fruit.

After the last snack, I waited a little while, went to the bathroom, and was at 79.6 kg. Being only .9 over near bedtime looks really promising. I have 12 hours until the official weigh-in. It would take a really bad overnight result to not lose weight now.

My overnight result was actually not that good. At 6:30 a.m., I was at about 79.0, for a loss during sleep of only about .6 kg. However, this was about 4 hours before the official weigh-in. That left plenty of time to at least break even and maybe to lose a little weight.

I finished up today at 78.5 kg, for a weight loss of .2 kg. That breaks up the last 2 days, where I broke even, on the positive side of the equation.

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
Overall Result: lost 2.5 kg

“No Exercise” Days: lost 1.2 kg – 24 days
Simultaneous “No Exercise” Portion: lost .2 kg – 2 days
All “No Exercise” Stats: lost 1.4 kg in 26 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

First Day Of Correct Pentamize Tracking In a While

Despite my typical hardcore tracking, the past few days have had very little weight tracking. When this happens, I don’t expect results to be good. The past 3 days have shown a weight gain of .4 kg overall, although yesterday was a breakeven affair. However, I must point out that 2 of the days were partial cheat days, meaning I probably would have gained weight on those days even if I had tracked.

My belief is that a lot of people gain weight simply because they don’t realize that they are overeating. For example, I never even realized before that one large meal can cause you to overeat for the whole day. The reason this happens in my case is because I will just eat again in a few hours even after having a large meal. The damage is usually done by the end of one large meal and is going to be hard to reverse since it would entail starving the rest of the day in some cases.

There are many ways in which you can avoid having to track all the time, but they may or may not fit your situation. Can you accurately estimate in your head how much you are eating all day long? Can you exercise enough to compensate for mistakes? Do you actually not mind fasting the next day if you eat too much? You may also be someone who doesn’t gain weight even if eating a lot, but you don’t even need weight maintenance tips from me or anyone else if you fall into that category. Unless any of these situations applies to you, then you are usually going to need to track your weight on a regular basis.

I did not track after every snack today, but I did check near the end of the day and was at 79.6 kg, or .9 kg over. This was also after having avocado smoothies again, which is a bit high in weight for the snacks-only diet. But it left me in good shape with only 1 or 2 snacks to go. This is the value of tracking. At this very point in the day, I could have easily overeaten. But by checking my weight, I knew that about .3 kg more food would be just about the perfect amount to set up a probable day of weight loss.

After that 79.6 kg weigh-in, I had some spring rolls that were a total of about .3 kg, making for an ideal final snack based on weight. While I was a little hungry before bed, it was the typical small amount of hunger that I have gotten used to on a snacks-only diet. If you were in my shoes and still a little too hungry, you could eat one more small snack as long as it is not too risky for you. To know whether something is too risky, you have to track and determine your own approximate max weight increase for breaking even. That is about 1.4 kg for me, but it could be a different number for you since everyone is different.

At 7:30 in the morning, I was sitting at 78.8 kg, or only .1 kg over for the day. That gave me 2 1/2 hours to lose a little more and either break even or lose weight for the day. I was likely to lose at that point. With 30 minutes to go, I was at 78.6 and hoping to get down to 78.5. The snacks-only diet continues to be a huge winner. When I fully incorporate exercise into it, I strongly feel that my weight-maintenance issues will be completely solved. This includes recovering from cheat days, which has been a considerable problem at times so far. I have done it, but only through extreme amounts of exercise.

Despite doing so much better today on tracking and working to maintain proper discipline, I somehow only broke even. Then again, the system did what it was supposed to do – allow me to at least break without exercise while not starving to do it. Now, adding exercise will be the icing on the cake so long as I maintain the same diet or add only a small amount.

I have decided not to run today, but I plan on getting in a run tomorrow.

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
Day 24 – broke even
Day 25 – broke even
Overall Result: lost 2.3 kg

“No Exercise” Days: lost 1.0 kg – 23 days

Broke Even On a Risky Day With No Tracking

This is the first day after 2 partial cheat days, and I am getting back to the full snacks-only diet. Today, I was hoping to lose some weight, but I ended up only breaking even. My starting and ending weights were both 78.7 kg. In actuality, this is a pretty good result.

Today’s results were even better considering that I did not track my weight at all during the day. This is not the Pentamize way of tracking, which is more than just weighing yourself twice a day to get a beginning and ending weight. As I have said many times, the purpose of weighing during the day is to avoid accidentally overeating. It’s not much different than occasionally peering down at the fuel gauge to make sure you don’t run out of gas.

For some bizarre reason, some people recommend that you only weigh yourself once a week. There is even a program that says not to weigh yourself for an entire month. As far as I know, no cause-and-effect proof has ever been provided that not weighing yourself somehow helps you lose weight. Does not checking the gas gauge help you not run out of gas? I realize the 2 are not exactly the same thing. But my experience is that I can avoid many mistakes by weighing in constantly because I often do not realize how much I just ate. I can then adjust by making the rest of the day’s meals or snacks a little smaller. This is not even possible unless you check your weight or are so perfect that you never make a mistake.

Despite my Pentamize way of tracking, even I sometimes throw caution to the wind and decide not to track during the day. This may be why I only broke even today, but it’s impossible to say. One thing I did today was to drink an avocado smoothie in one snack that was probably too big based on weight alone. However, this is a pretty nutritious snack as long as you otherwise have milk in your diet and don’t have a problem with it like some people do. It’s not clear at all that such a snack is going to cause weight gain even over a short period, so my lack of tracking today may or may not have been a problem.

Using one day to try to prove anything for weight loss or maintenance is pointless. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that daily tracking is not valuable for that reason. It is valuable because it gives you an average result over time. As explained above, it also alerts you when you have accidentally overeaten. I realize that a lot of people are not used to this level of tracking. But just like anything in life, you will see that it helps “keep you honest” if you let it alert you to small mistakes and then correct those mistakes as appropriate. The best way to do that is often going to be to have slightly smaller meals than usual the rest of the day. An often poor way of doing that is starving on purpose the next day. This can cause you to binge the day after starving.

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
Day 24 – broke even
Overall Result: lost 2.3 kg

“No Exercise” Days: lost 1.0 kg – 22 days