Now Entering Pentamize Maintenance Phase With Primarily Snacks-Only Dieting

This has been a while coming. But I have finally come to the full realization that my short-term goal of getting back to 75.0 kg is pointless. As a result, that short-term project is permanently cancelled. It is simply not good for my mental and emotional well-being as it relates to weight loss and maintenance.

I have decided to go right back into weight maintenance, but with a focus on the following:

1. Eat a snacks-only diet, but it’s okay to cheat from time to time; and
2. Do exercise as necessary, but don’t worry about struggling to instantly break even on the same day every single time.

Let me put this another way and give some examples.

1. I am no longer going for a specific weight, and this takes a lot of pressure off instead of constantly getting stressed out from daily ups and downs. The goal is to stay close to 75.0 kg. 5 or so pounds over is not bad, but 10 pounds or more over is probably a bit too much. If I do get to 10 pounds over again (about 4.5 kg), then it is advisable to increase exercise to get a little closer to the target weight.

2. A cheat day that causes substantial weight gain is a good reason to do some extra exercise for a few days.

3. The amount of exercise should generally vary based on how much I have gained over the previous day or recently. If I actually lose weight without exercise, then it’s fine to take a break. I sometimes refer to this as a flexible exercise schedule. Although I recently did not do so well on a flexible exercise scheduling 100-day test, that was before beginning the snacks-only diet. It should be much more effective with a snacks-only diet. It is good to give some examples for this part of the plan.

Example 1.

Day 1 – no exercise – gain .2 kg
Day 2 – I would need a short run of 30 minutes or so to make up for the previous day’s .2 gain.

Example 2.

Day 1 – no exercise – broke even
Day 2 – I could take a break here since I broke even on Day 1. But if I am feeling good, I can go out and get a decent workout. If I am really feeling good, then there is also nothing wrong with getting “ahead of the game” by doing a long workout (90 minutes of jogging for me).

Example 3.

Day 1 – no exercise – gained .7 kg
Day 2 – This is when I should likely go out and do a nice, long workout.

Example 4.

Day 1 – exercised and gained .3 kg (this is bound to happen from time to time)
Day 2 – This is a good time to exercise for 45 minutes or so. That is hopefully enough to erase Day 1’s .3 kg gain. But let’s say it doesn’t work this time. Instead, I somehow gain .2 kg.
Day 3 – I am now .5 kg over the past 2 days. A 60-minute run would be a good option here. Let’s say I do that and lose .1 kg. At least I am turning it around and going back in the right direction.
Day 4 – From this point forward, I just continue in a similar path until I have recovered from the Day 1 gain. This might take a week or more. The time varies considerably.

If you find yourself gaining weight on almost every day or at least the majority of days when not exercising, then you will probably have to modify your diet or exercise. If at all possible, it is good to at least break even on your standard diet on average. This will reduce the likelihood that you need large amounts of exercise. Of course, you will probably have some cheat days, and that is when exercise becomes more important.

This first day started out much better than yesterday’s disaster. I was up .7 kg after the first 2 snacks and still only .9 kg up after 3 snacks. Yesterday, with a very similar diet, I was up 1.4 kg after the 3rd snack. After the 4th snack, I was 1.1 over (78.8 from 77.7). I am inching closer to yesterday’s mark, but there is another issue. It’s not like I went way up yesterday. The bigger issue is that the weight stuck on. Was that because I ran 90 minutes the day before? That appears to be the case, but we’ll see what happens overnight.

When the 5th snack was over (the final one for the night), I was at 78.9, or 1.2 over. The last thing I will have to finish the night is water only.

I got somewhat bad news at 5 in the morning. I woke up and was still .8 kg over, at 78.5. However, that is certainly better than yesterday already, with 6 more hours to go until the final weigh-in. I know for a fact that I will not be eating less because I am eating so little already. This means I will be forced to do at least some exercise if I cannot break even. Today is not an exercise day because I want to get a full 24-hour non-exercise reading (meaning no exercise the day before, as well).

At 8, I was at 78.1 kg. So I at least shaved off .4 kg over those 3 hours. The next 3 hours might not shed the remaining .4 kg, but this is at least not a disaster and certainly not like yesterday.

I hit 77.9 with 1 1/2 hours to go. I now actually have a shot at breaking even. My weight has steadily fallen even after getting up.

Oops. My weight stopped going down, and I finished at 77.9. That’s a daily weight gain of .2 kg. It’s still a lot better than yesterday and not a terrible start to my maintenance mode.

Understanding Odd Daily Results In Weight Loss And Gain

I am coming off of a really great day that produced a weight loss of .7 kg. The finishing mark of 76.7 is a pretty good start to my recovery from 2 days of weight gain with no exercise.

I erased the really bad gain of .7 3 days ago, but the .4 lost 2 days ago still needs to be recovered from. I won’t take any crazy measures to do that, and it may end up being difficult because my average amount of weight loss on exercise days after an exercise day is close to .3 kg. Thus, I would have to do slightly better than average to get back down to 76.3. It’s possible but certainly far from a sure thing even with another long run. The idea is to have another typical snacks-only day.

I am going to give a few examples of the snacks-only diet that strongly appear to be caused by varying water consumption and exercise activity. This is confusing if you don’t look at the numbers as a whole. Ultimately, what you must look at are averages over time. But to do that, you need to track individual days and understand the results of those individual days. Let’s look at some actual examples.

Example 1
4 Days In a Row With Exercise

Day 1: 79.1 to 78.6 (lost .5 kg); non-exercise portion – gained .6
Day 2: 78.6 to 78.0 (lost .6 kg); non-exercise portion – gained .4
Day 3: 78.0 to 77.7 (lost .3 kg); non-exercise portion – gained .6
Day 4: 77.7 to 77.8 (gained .1 kg); could not measure non-exercise portion

For these 4 days, I was aided greatly by substantial exercise. And that exercise resulted in an average weight loss of about .9 kg for just the run portion. One showed a weight gain (Day 4), but the others showed a weight loss. The average loss was around .3 kg per day overall.

But look at what I weighed before exercising at the end of the day. Without the exercise, I would have gained weight. In fact, I would have averaged a gain of about .5 kg for Days 1 to 3.

Why are these results misleading? Well, the overall result is not misleading if you include the exercise. It looks like you would gain a lot of weight if you did not exercise, though, right? It doesn’t seem misleading, but the true nature of the .5 kg gain before exercise becomes apparent when you look at Example 2.

Example 2
5 Typical Days In a Row Without 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

In fact, these are the first 5 days that I did the snacks-only diet. I lost a little bit, but it’s basically a breakeven. So these 5 days are very close to the overall average.

Do you see the difference? When I don’t exercise, I am just about breakeven. When I do exercise, Example 1 shows a huge difference. It shows a weight gain of .5 kg before exercise. This is odd to someone who has never been exposed to such results. What is the reason? I can say for sure that I am following the snacks-only diet in both examples, but I am also drinking more water in Example 1. All the running makes me thirsty. Does this mean that drinking water makes you gain weight? Well, it has zero calories, but it does have weight. That weight does not always leave the body completely in 24 hours or less. This is the only explanation that I can come up with.

So what does this all mean to you? It means that, should you decide to do Pentamize tracking, it is advisable to at least test a full week at a time or at least a few days in a row while exercising every day and also a separate tracking period where you do not exercise at all for about a week straight or at least a few days in a row. Your own Example 2 will tell you how your diet is going without exercise, while Example 1 gives you an idea of what will or at least can happen when you add exercise.

Alternate back and forth until you have at least 20 days or so with both exercise and the separate set of data without exercise. You can average all the sets together because short spurts of only 4 or 5 days or even a whole week give varying results.

If you get results similar to mine, then the amount you gain before running can be important. For example, if you were to exercise 40% of the time, you may see something like this:

Day 1 – no exercise – broke even
Day 2 – exercise – lose .9 kg
Day 3 – exercise – lose .3 kg
Day 4 – no exercise – gain .5 kg
Day 5 – no exercise – break even
Overall – lost .7 kg and average daily loss of about .15 kg

This is just a sample. But you will see wild differences from day to day like this if you are constantly alternating between exercising and not exercising. Day 2 is the best day because you are coming off a non-exercise day and typically breaking even before exercise. Of course, all these numbers will be different for you. Day 3 is still good, but the results decline because of the body’s tendency to retain additional weight after Day 2’s exercise. Day 4 is the worst because of the tendency to gain after exercising and no additional exercise session to burn off the excess. Days 1 and 5 are typical breakeven days that occur when exercising neither on that day nor the day before.

—–

I’m off to a bad start today. For some reason, I was up 1.2 kg before the 3rd snack. At this point, I am just about used to this, although it still stings a bit when I step on the scale and see that. By way of comparison, my MAXIMUM weight increase all day yesterday was about 1.2 kg. This is the difference in Examples 1 and 2 that I laid out earlier.

I was up 1.4 after the 3rd snack (78.1), including quite a bit more water. The actual snack was only a measly .1 kg or so.

I was back down to 1.4 before the 5th snack. This is still going to be a rough day, and I need more water, too. Nonetheless, my diet discipline seems to be okay.

The 5th snack got me to about 1.6 kg. That is about .4 kg higher than yesterday’s max weight increase. At this point, it might be difficult to just break even, much less lose weight. But I have no regrets today. My diet was just fine as far as I am concerned. That .7 loss yesterday is not something that I see continuing for days. There is usually a decrease in loss or maybe even a gain the next day, as this is the way the body finds its average.

Completely confounded. I was still at 78.0 when waking up, which is 1.3 kg over the day’s starting mark. It may be that my body does not want to lose any more weight at this point. These numbers are insane. I am so upset now that I am not going to run 90 minutes. I don’t like doing everything right and still gaining weight. I’d rather run for 45 minutes and maybe gain a little weight. At least that would make some sense. This is it for me. No more trek to 75.0 kg. That short-term project is suspended for being unrealistic and unnecessary. It’s time to start testing different run durations (30 minutes, 60 minutes, etc.) instead of pushing for a specific weight. This is not good for my psychological well-being. The snacks-only diet is fine, and I like that. But one thing I will not do is run for 90 minutes and still gain weight. It’s unacceptable. This was fine under my old diet, but it’s not going to work with the snacks-only diet. It feels like my body is sabotaging me.

To be clear, I will still run for 90 minutes sometimes on my snacks-only diet. This is not a switch to being lazy or anything of the sort. Rather, I am no longer going to keep pushing to lose more weight when I have essentially lost pretty much all the weight that I need to lose. It’s time to accept that I am in maintenance phase and stop trying to force my body to lose even more.

My current BMI, as of yesterday, is a 26.5, down from a max of about 36.5. If that’s not a success, what is? And the 26.5 is only slightly into the overweight range. I have been unrealistic now, and it seems my body is screaming to tell me that.

I decided not to run at all today. My weight dropped to 77.6 in the 3 hours after getting up. That left 2 more hours. A decrease of .4 is definitely a decent mark.

Just dumbfounded again. 2 hours later, I thoroughly checked and had a final weigh-in of 77.7 kg. This solidifies my belief that my body does not really want to lose more weight (or at least much more weight). I am completely halting any short-term goals and am going to transition to Pentamize weight maintenance on the snacks-only diet. More about that in the next blog post.

Day 1: 79.1 to 78.6 (lost .5 kg); non-exercise portion – gained .6
Day 2: 78.6 to 78.0 (lost .6 kg); non-exercise portion – gained .4
Day 3: 78.0 to 77.7 (lost .3 kg); non-exercise portion – gained .6
Day 4: 77.7 to 77.8 (gained .1 kg); could not measure non-exercise portion
Day 5: 77.8 to 77.1 (lost .7 kg); no non-exercise tracking
Day 6: 77.1 to 76.9 (lost .2 kg); no other tracking today
Day 7: 76.9 to 77.0 (gained .1 kg); no non-exercise tracking
Day 8: 77.0 to 76.8 (lost .2 kg); no non-exercise tracking
Day 9: 76.8 to 76.3 (lost .5 kg); no further tracking
Day 10: 76.3 to 77.0 (gained .7 kg, but no exercise at all); non-exercise portion – gained .7
Day 11: 77.0 to 77.4 break day and also not a snacks-only day; not included in averages below
Day 12: 77.4 to 76.7 (lost .7 kg); no other tracking
Day 13: 76.7 to 77.7 (gained 1.0 kg); no exercise, so non-exercise portion was the gain of 1.0 kg
average: about .34 kg of weight loss on exercise days; non-exercise average – gained .6 kg

Day 13 above is the last day of this trek to 75.0 kg. There is no further point in pushing for that. However, I am still at a weight loss on the snacks-only diet. This is nothing against that diet in general, which I have happily adopted.

First Full Test Of Snacks-Only Diet In a While Without Exercise The Day Before

Starting Weight: 77.4 kg
Ending Weight: 76.7 kg

My weight after the 3rd snack was about 78.1 kg. This is definitely the best mark I have had at this time of day in a while. This is likely due to less water intake, though, rather than any marked difference in food consumption.

Not having run this morning, I have definitely felt less thirsty and, as a result, have consumed less water than recently. Again, though, I have quickly abandoned the idea of actively trying to drink less than desired, instead opting to drink whatever amount of water my brain is telling me that I need.

Later in the day, after the 4th snack, I was up about 1.0 kg on the day, or 78.4 kg. After that point, my weight topped out at approximately 78.6. I actually did not measure, but that’s just about what it was (around 1.2 kg over).

I was 77.9 at wakeup time, which was very early. That was a decent drop for a short overnight period, and my run was from 5:45 to 7:15. I then cooled down and weighed in at 77.1 kg. That is not a great run result historically, but it is okay when compared to recent results. Additionally, this has set me up for a nice daily weight loss. At 77.1, I was already below the start of 77.4, but also with over 4 hours left until the final daily weigh-in.

I finished the day about an hour early, but I had already lost .7 kg. My final weight today was 76.7 kg. Thus, I came fairly close to erasing the 2 really bad days I just had. I was 76.3, 77.0, 77.4, and now 76.7. The .7 loss today is another example of great results on the snacks-only diet when not exercising the day before.

I am finally starting to wrap my head around how exercise affects my body’s need for more water. Today, it was pretty easy to stay at a max increase of approximately 1.2 kg, whereas it is very difficult to stay at a 1.2 when exercising the day before. And why is this so? Well, conclusions are so hard to draw. But the simple facts are that I did not exercise yesterday and clearly felt less thirsty. And this day is consistent with other days that I have had when testing the snacks-only diet without exercise the day before. In the next blog, I will go into more details on these differences, as it can greatly affect your understanding of what is going on with your own results (you will not necessarily receive the same results as me, but you might).

Ultimately, I have decided that actively trying to drink less water is basically fighting against nature. In the short term, it can slow down weight loss. But it certainly does not promote a healthy overall lifestyle and good general nutrition. If you were trying to set a speed record for weight loss, less water might actually help. Fighters trying to make weight, for example, dehydrate themselves. But no one claims that is a good long-term or permanent solution. In the end, water leaves your body. So you are probably going to end up losing around the same weight in the long run.

Day 1: 79.1 to 78.6 (lost .5 kg); non-exercise portion – gained .6
Day 2: 78.6 to 78.0 (lost .6 kg); non-exercise portion – gained .4
Day 3: 78.0 to 77.7 (lost .3 kg); non-exercise portion – gained .6
Day 4: 77.7 to 77.8 (gained .1 kg); could not measure non-exercise portion
Day 5: 77.8 to 77.1 (lost .7 kg); no non-exercise tracking
Day 6: 77.1 to 76.9 (lost .2 kg); no other tracking today
Day 7: 76.9 to 77.0 (gained .1 kg); no non-exercise tracking
Day 8: 77.0 to 76.8 (lost .2 kg); no non-exercise tracking
Day 9: 76.8 to 76.3 (lost .5 kg); no further tracking
Day 10: 76.3 to 77.0 (gained .7 kg, but no exercise at all); non-exercise portion – gained .7
Day 11: 77.0 to 77.4 break day and also not a snacks-only day; not included in averages below
Day 12: 77.4 to 76.7 (lost .7 kg); no other tracking
average: about .34 kg of weight loss on exercise days; non-exercise average – gained .57 kg

Day 41: lost .7 kg including run
Day 42: lost .2 kg including run
Day 43: gained .1 kg including run
Day 44: lost .2 kg (90-minute run)
Day 45: lost .5 kg (90-minute run and focus on less water)
Day 46: gained .7 kg (no exercise)
Day 47: lost .7 kg including run (did not exercise the day before)

“No Exercise Days” (or non-exercise portion before running) when no exercise the day before – lost .1 kg – 34 days
Exercise Days: lost 5.8 kg – 13 days
30-min Days: lost .3 kg – 1 day
90-min Days: lost 5.5 kg – 12 days
Non-Exercise Portion On Days After Exercise: gained 2.2 kg – 5 days

Ended Up With Another Break Day And .4 KG Weight Gain

Today did not qualify as a snacks-only diet because I was not able to follow. So it will not count as Day 47 on my longer list because that list is for the snacks-only diet. However, it is included as Day 11 below because all days count in my short-term quest to reach 75.0 kg.

I also did not exercise today and ended up gaining .4 kg. This is certainly a rough day and the kind of day that I frequently had when gaining weight and ballooning up to 233 pounds at the max. Heck, even though I didn’t even eat that much, one larger meal is sometimes enough to put me over for the day. This is why I am happy to have stumbled onto the concept of never eating a full meal. If I can do snacks only the majority of the time, that is going to make it a lot easier to maintain my weight.

This was actually the second day in a row with no exercise. It shows that even a little exercise can go a long ways. In this case, a moderate-intensity run of approximately 40 minutes would have allowed me to burn off the excess .4 kg and allowed me to break even. In a period of active weight loss, the idea would be to do a little extra. Running one hour, for example, would easily allow me to burn off more than .4 kg.

In the examples above, though, keep in mind that you may have to do a little extra the next day if you increase your water intake because of the exercise. I have recently blogged on water intake a lot and tossed around various ideas. At the end of the day, I feel that giving your body the amount of water that you actually feel it needs is going to be my approach. This might or might not work for everybody just due to the simple fact that some people may not drink enough water because they don’t physically feel thirsty. So I am definitely not saying to get less than the general recommended minimum amount, which is a pretty large 64 ounces.

As far as why I did not exercise today, I did have time and did need it after a large .7 kg gain yesterday. But there are times when you just don’t have the mental energy to run. Before yesterday, I had run 9 days in a row – all 90-minute sessions. That is a lot of jogging. And while I have done a lot more, running 20 and 30 days in a row was never a good idea. I don’t feel the need to do that anymore since developing the snacks-only diet. It is easier to recover now since my diet gets better results.

Day 1: 79.1 to 78.6 (lost .5 kg); non-exercise portion – gained .6
Day 2: 78.6 to 78.0 (lost .6 kg); non-exercise portion – gained .4
Day 3: 78.0 to 77.7 (lost .3 kg); non-exercise portion – gained .6
Day 4: 77.7 to 77.8 (gained .1 kg); could not measure non-exercise portion
Day 5: 77.8 to 77.1 (lost .7 kg); no non-exercise tracking
Day 6: 77.1 to 76.9 (lost .2 kg); no other tracking today
Day 7: 76.9 to 77.0 (gained .1 kg); no non-exercise tracking
Day 8: 77.0 to 76.8 (lost .2 kg); no non-exercise tracking
Day 9: 76.8 to 76.3 (lost .5 kg); no further tracking
Day 10: 76.3 to 77.0 (gained .7 kg, but no exercise at all); non-exercise portion – gained .7
Day 11: 77.0 to 77.4 break day and also not a snacks-only day; not included in averages below
average: about .3 kg of weight loss on exercise days; non-exercise average – gained .57 kg

Second Day Trying to Reduce Water Intake

For my 2nd day in trying to avoid large amounts of water intake, I actually drank quite a bit of water to start the day. I was up from 76.3 to 77.1 after the first meal, and that included waiting about an hour to go to the bathroom.

That first part of the day is important for rehydration, though. I have been ending every day with a 90-minute run. This means the beginning of the next day is after running. I am naturally going to be thirstier at this point of the day because of that. Thus, the initial part of each day on this particular schedule naturally has more water intake than other parts of the day.

Before eating my 3rd snack, I was up to 77.3. This is not looking like a great day at the moment, but I will just try to stay the course. By the end of the 4th snack, I loaded up on water and was up to to 78.1. What the heck? I am taking a big step backwards today if this water weight does not come off. It is definitely not overeating.

I was not able to drink less water today. It’s simply not healthy to ignore the brain when it is telling you that you are thirsty. So instead of having less water every day, it’s probably better to handle this issue by modifying water intake on a daily basis instead of having a specific amount of water to consume each day. I can’t see making myself stay thirsty for short-term weight loss being a good idea and certainly not a permanent thing. I imagine that I will lose the same amount of weight in the long run, but perhaps at a slower pace.

I was all the way up at 78.0 at bedtime. Worse yet, I was still at 77.4 when getting up. That put me at 1.1 kg over for the day. With my older results of 90-minute runs, that would not be an issue. I would be looking at almost certain weight loss for the day. But based on recent results, I may be gaining weight today. It’s going to depend mainly on that exercise result, which is sometimes around 1.0 kg. So there is still a chance to have a good day.

The only thing that is certain from today is that trying to limit water intake is a poor idea. Instead, I’ll just be drinking what I feel my body needs. If it slows down the weight-loss process, so be it. However, I also don’t want to force myself to drink, either. That is about the extent of this 2-day experiment, which I am basically ending now. It just means that I will not try to force myself to uncomfortably drink less water than my body feels it needs.

What the bloody hell! I checked 2 hours later, and it said I was 77.6 kg. Maybe the earlier reading was wrong. But even if it was slightly off, I should have been losing a little more weight in the meantime. In no way did I overeat yesterday. From that perspective, this is one of the worst days I have ever had. I am still going to run, which means it will not be one of the worst when counting the run. The point is there is no way I should be 1.3 kg over when in no way did I overeat.

I suddenly had an unexpected change of plans and did not have time to run today. The results were a disaster. Despite weighing in about 4 hours late, I was still at 77.0 kg. I’ll mark this as a .7 kg weight gain even though it might have actually been a little more. However, tomorrow’s “day” will be less than 24 hours. So it basically evens out overall.

Day 1: 79.1 to 78.6 (lost .5 kg); non-exercise portion – gained .6
Day 2: 78.6 to 78.0 (lost .6 kg); non-exercise portion – gained .4
Day 3: 78.0 to 77.7 (lost .3 kg); non-exercise portion – gained .6
Day 4: 77.7 to 77.8 (gained .1 kg); could not measure non-exercise portion
Day 5: 77.8 to 77.1 (lost .7 kg); no non-exercise tracking
Day 6: 77.1 to 76.9 (lost .2 kg); no other tracking today
Day 7: 76.9 to 77.0 (gained .1 kg); no non-exercise tracking
Day 8: 77.0 to 76.8 (lost .2 kg); no non-exercise tracking
Day 9: 76.8 to 76.3 (lost .5 kg); no further tracking
Day 10: 76.3 to 77.0 (gained .7 kg, but no exercise at all); non-exercise portion – gained .7
average: about .3 kg of weight loss on exercise days; non-exercise average – gained .57 kg

Day 39: gained .6 before exercise; lost .3 kg including exercise
Day 40: gained .1 kg including run (could not track before exercise)
Day 41: lost .7 kg including run
Day 42: lost .2 kg including run
Day 43: gained .1 kg including run
Day 44: lost .2 kg (90-minute run)
Day 45: lost .5 kg (90-minute run and focus on less water)
Day 46: gained .7 kg (no exercise)

“No Exercise Days” (or non-exercise portion before running) when no exercise the day before – lost .1 kg – 34 days
Exercise Days: lost 5.1 kg – 12 days
30-min Days: lost .3 kg – 1 day
90-min Days: lost 4.8 kg – 11 days
Non-Exercise Portion On Days After Exercise: gained 2.2 kg – 5 days