Gained .2 KG But With No Exercise; Tomorrow Is First Day Of New Schedule

Day 422

This is actually a partial day because of the change in schedule mentioned above. I will be weighing in without having exercised for almost 2 days. So it will not be surprising if my weight goes up yet again from the 79.6 from Day 421.

At 4 in the afternoon, my weight was 80.5 kg. That is not too bad of a start, and I will be finishing the day off later with strawberry smoothies and about .1 kg of beef meatballs. This will hopefully keep me from gaining a large amount of weight for the morning official weigh-in. But under these circumstances, some weight gain is highly likely. Then, for Day 423, I will be running 90 minutes, which is hopefully enough to get me off to a good start on the new schedule.

Not much later, I had dropped to about 80.1. I am not really hungry now, so I won’t have any problems waiting a couple of hours and then having those smoothies and a little meat. Things are good so far. The main concern is adjusting to the new schedule, which is always a challenge. However, I have done this schedule of weighing in the first thing in the morning before. So it should not be too hard of an adjustment.

At 8 at night, I was at 80.2. The slight increase was from coffee only. This is very good shape. However, drinking smoothies has typically raised my weight by about .6 kg before. Add a little meat, and that’s about .7 kg. If we add all that up, it amounts to 1.3 kg when adding the current .6 and the expected .7. That is very good and would normally result in a huge weight loss when running. In this case, however, I will be weighing in before running as part of my new schedule. So I may still be above the starting point of 79.6 kg. However, this situation should correct itself in just one day, meaning Day 423 of this blog.

I checked my weight right before going to bed and after having the smoothies and a little more meat than I was expecting. However, going to the bathroom lowered it a little, and my weight was 80.6 kg. So at that point, I was only 1.0 kg over the starting weight for today, keeping in mind that I am weighing in early today. It does not have to be the very first thing in the morning. I can take time and go to the bathroom a couple of times. The important thing with the new system is to weigh in at approximately 8 in the morning. So if I get up early, there is a little time.

This morning, I woke up and was 79.8 kg, which was an overnight loss of .8 kg. That is not an especially big loss. Nonetheless, because I ate so little yesterday, it is only .2 kg above the starting weight. Also, I need to use the bathroom again. So I might actually get down to the breakeven point by 8 or so in the morning. At any rate, it will be very close to the breakeven point.

Despite going to the bathroom, I was still 79.8 at 8 in the morning. That is my final weight for this partial day. Even without exercise, I was only .2 kg over this period. I wish this were possible all the time. Losing weight would be super easy. But once I start exercising, then I eat more. That seems to be what makes it hard to just exercise and expect to lose weight. You have to get the right balance of food and exercise to lose or maintain weight.

Large Weight Gain From Break Day And Decided To Modify Exercise And Tracking Schedule

Day 421

Today has turned into a partial cheat day. I ate 1 1/2 cheeseburgers, a bunch of fries, and 2 1/2 cans of coke. That put me up to 80.3 after that large lunch and some ice cream. The start today was 78.0, so that was already an increase of 2.3 kg. As I said, though, this is a partial cheat day. So higher numbers are expected.

I’m coming off a great first recovery day, but today is likely to be a hiccup because my first meal was way too big. This is fine, though. I pretty much skipped what would have been the second meal. However, it’s likely too late to have a good day even though the plan is to do a 90-minute run. Since I already increased 2.3 kg, even a long run is not likely to help produce a weight loss.

I am not too upset at the moment. In fact, it’s relieving to know that I don’t have to almost starve every day, which is what was happening with those slow one-hour runs. I used to think running an hour a day, even if a pretty slow pace, would be enough to lose or at least maintain weight. That’s a negative in my personal situation. However, I can hopefully run 60 minutes at a slow pace about half the time or maybe even more than half the time. Today will not be one of those days, as I am going to go for 90 minutes every day until getting down to at least 77.0. I am then going to start a 100-day test of flexible exercise routines. More on this when the time comes to start it.

Things got even worse. After the last meal, I was up to 81.1 kg, which is an increase of 3.1 kg over the 78.0 starting weight. Oh, well. I have time to recover, and there will be no more cheat days or even partial cheat days for a while.

Going into the morning and drinking one cup of tea, I found myself at 79.8 kg right before the run. That was a pretty poor overnight weight loss of 1.3 kg, but with the understanding that the cup of tea may have increased that a little.

Something interesting to look at, though, will be to see how this breaks down with an increase of 3.1 kg and a slow 90-minute run. It looks like it’s going to be really bad, though. I may gain as much as 1.0 kg today. However, I don’t want to be too upset because it did end up being a partial cheat day, including a late last meal that may involve a fair amount of digestion that has not been completed yet. I can certainly recover from the high 78 or even low 79 range. It’s just a matter of staying busy and doing what is necessary. And I know from close to 2 years now of Pentamize tracking that sustained 90-minute runs at a slow pace have always worked for me as long as I watch my diet. After recovering to 77.0 or better, I will then revert to the 100-day “Flexible Exercise Routine” test and shorter runs when the opportunity presents itself.

As I do at times, I decided to take a break today to change up my schedule and daily official weigh-in routine. It seems that abstaining from drinking water before running is an unhealthy practice. My schedule lately has been to wake up, abstain from drinking or eating anything, go for a run, and then do a final weigh-in after the run for that 24-hour period. Unfortunately, though, this forces me to not drink anything before exercising to avoid gaining additional weight. This has always seemed like a bad idea, and I don’t want to do it anymore.

Instead, I am going to do my official weigh-ins in the mornings when getting up. This will be before running. Thus, when I do have time to wait before exercising, I can abstain from eating during that period if I want. But I won’t have to worry about not drinking water because the official weigh-in will already be completed. This is the way I used to do it in Pentamize full weight-loss mode. For some reason, I stopped doing it that way. It’s time to go back now.

Because of the exercise break, I have a large weight gain today over this 24-hour period. Then, I will do my first official weigh-in under the new schedule when waking up in the morning. It doesn’t really matter what that weight is. I already know that there are plenty of 90-minute runs ahead for me, so it will just take a little longer to recover. Eating less today because of no exercise session will help a little, though.

I dropped rather slowly to 79.6 kg by about 1 in the afternoon. This is a little more than 24 hours before yesterday’s final weigh-in. This amounts to a weight gain of 1.6 kg on a combined partial cheat day and break day since my weight was 78.0 yesterday. Considering everything, a 1.6 kg is not surprising. It still would have been somewhat of a weight gain if I had exercised. But it certainly would have been a lot less.

Final Analysis of Testing On Slow 60-Minute Runs

Day 420

Yesterday, I made the final decision to end my test of 60-minute running sessions early. I have seen plenty enough to know that this routine is not sufficient for me to maintain my weight. While it’s technically not impossible, the swings are just too much for me to handle on an emotional level. Additionally, I would probably never be able to take a break.

At first glance, this test sounds like a failure. It most certainly is not, though. First, the test was to determine WHETHER I could maintain my weight doing only 60-minute runs. In fact, I had my doubts that it would even work. And while certain portions of the test looked promising, there was always a bad day where I got too hungry and could not stay out of the Danger Zone. I am referring to the 2.0 KG Danger Zone that I set during this experiment. It quickly became clear that I would need to limit my max weight to about 2.0 kg throughout the day to have any decent chance of either breaking even or losing a little weight with a 60-minute slow run.

Although some days saw a max increase of only about 1.4 to 1.6 kg, that was very difficult to accomplish on most days. I think I can average a little less than 2.0, but the real problem is I would never be able to take a break day. So even if I come in averaging less than 2.0, the occasional break day risks the entire routine. Ultimately, I see no reason to continue this test, as there is virtually no chance of succeeding. However, that’s not the end of the story.

The good part about this test is that I have determined that doing a slow one-hour run on SOME BUT NOT ALL DAYS is sufficient to maintain weight. Instead of trying to do this every day, I can do it when I stay below the 2.0 kg Danger Zone. In fact, I lost weight on many days during this test. It’s the bad days that always end up hurting me, though.

To put it another way, I need a more flexible approach to exercise session intensity and duration. Some days, a slow run of 60 minutes will work. Other days, a slower 75-minute or 90-minute run or a faster 60-minute run may be enough.

A related issue is recovery periods after the occasional cheat or break day. Instead of intentionally holding myself back, I’d like to do more when in a recovery period so that I can recover faster. Although the last recovery period was actually quite good with slower runs only, that won’t necessarily always be the case.

During this test, my body seemed to be able to stay below the 2.0 kg Danger Zone for a few days. Then, my body started screaming for more food. I could only stay under that mark for a few days at a time. Ultimately, this is why the slow 60-minute runs won’t work as a permanent routine. I simply can’t get enough to eat every day with that Danger Zone level. This happened several times even though the test is ending in less than 3 weeks. Honestly, I just cannot do it. It’s not enough food on some days for me to survive on. Sure, if I were in the middle of the desert and scavenging for food, I would survive. But it’s not a comfortable level of food in a modern environment. Yes, I am trying not to overeat. But starving is not good, either. That balance allows me to stay below the Danger Zone on some days, but certainly not all of them.

Total 60-Minute Days: 53
Result: gained 1.2 kg (77.4 to 78.6)

Total Hard Runs: 34
Result: lost .3 kg (77.4 to 77.1 kg)
includes one break day, one cheat day, and one semi-cheat day

Total Slow Runs: 19
Result: gained 1.5 kg (77.1 to 78.6)
includes one cheat day and one break day

The numbers above are worse than they should be because I decided to end the test on a break day. So the “total 60-minute day” results and the slow results probably would be a little better if I had continued on a few more days. The good part about these numbers is that the hard runs resulted in a slight weight loss. In the event that my body is in condition to run faster, I will do that in the future. But if my body is not feeling too good, I can still just run slow for longer than 60 minutes. It doesn’t matter which way I go with that. But particularly when exceeding the 2.0 kg Danger Zone, a slow 60-minute run is not going to work.

I am now going to talk about Day 420 only. The test is now over, and I will immediately be in a recovery period because I am a little overweight now. My starting weight today was 78.6 (coming off a break day). I may end up gaining a little weight again today. But that is fine because things will get back to normal.

I didn’t really feel like tracking closely that much. But today’s pre-workout results were actually very good. I woke up and went to the bathroom and then weighed in at 79.2 kg. That is only .6 kg above the starting weight. Even if I were to do a slow run, I would be losing plenty of weight today. However, since I have ended the test and am in recovery mode, I am going to do a slow 90-minute run. It’s time to go for a big recovery because the last 2 days were highly destructive (from 76.8 all the way up to 78.6). I don’t even want to think about how bad that is. This is what convinced me for good that slow 60-minute runs are only for days when that’s enough. It’s not always enough, and there are times when a more aggressive approach is necessary.

I was at 79.0 before starting the run and finished my 90-minute session at 78.0. That was a weight loss of 1.0 kg for a slow 90-minute run. At no time did I push it, and my heart rate was approximately 124 when finishing the session. So the pace was similar to my slow one-hour affairs.

I am doing a final weigh-in a little early, but it’s still a weight loss of .6 kg today. That is a pretty good cut off the 1.8 kg gained over the past 2 days (including yesterday’s break day, which showed a large increase of 1.1 kg).

78.0 is still way too high because it’s 3.0 kg over my target maintenance weight. As a result, I plan on having another 90-minute slow run tomorrow and continuing these until getting back down to at least 77.0. That could be tomorrow or could be a week from now. This is very hard to predict, so this schedule is not set in stone since it depends on fluctuating results. But after reaching at least 77.0, I can then focus on a more flexible approach to exercise, meaning doing what I need to do that day instead of sticking to a rigid schedule. This concept is discussed in further detail above.

Ending Slow 60-Minute Running Sessions Test Early

Day 419

Today, my first meal was a little bigger than usual and included a lot of water. Nonetheless, at 4:30 in the afternoon, my weight was 78.6, which was 1.2 above the 77.4 starting weight. If I am careful, I have a good chance of staying below my Danger Zone mark of 2.0 kg.

However, I am drinking some coke today. If I overdo it, this could be a problem. Certainly, a liter of coke would be bad. LOL. I’ll try to drink it in moderation even though there is a liter bottle in the fridge.

That last meal was really bad, although a lot of it was from coke. It remains to be seen how harmful that will be since a lot of that is going to digest quickly. But I rose to 79.8 or so for the last meal, and that was an increase of 2.4 kg overall. That 2.4 is .1 kg more than yesterday’s max increase. I am now in danger of gaining substantial weight 2 days in a row.

I am at a low point on motivation only 2 days after feeling great about these slow 60-minute runs. The interesting thing about that, though, is that I have said for a while that any experiment using Pentamize tracking should include at least about 3 weeks of tracking. Even a week or two weeks could be substantially off the average due to short-term factors. At the end of 2 weeks, I was looking pretty good with these slow runs. Even though my weight was up overall, I was making a nice recovery from a cheat day. That recovery has been the best thing about this test. But yesterday was definitively the worst day, as a max increase of 2.3 (moderately bad) produced results even worse than expected. I was expecting a gain of up to .4 kg or so. But the .7 is not something that I was expecting, and it calls into question this whole test. I will have more on this and make some decisions after tracking slow runs for 21 days. That is 3 more days if counting today.

I have gone off the rails now, eating again. The slow 60-minute runs are probably over now. I don’t think I can do this anymore. Read tomorrow’s blog to see how I am going to proceed. I will still be doing some slow runs, but only when it’s appropriate. When it’s not appropriate, I am going to be forced to do a little more. In most cases, that will probably mean running a little longer because running hard is not something my body can handle on a regular basis. In short, it’s time to get back to modifying my exercise based on the needs at that time instead of rigidly sticking to a specific routine. I gave it a good try, but I can see this isn’t going to work.

My weight had an average drop overnight to 78.9. The meltdown is almost complete now. There is absolutely no way I can recover from this, and I don’t see any path forward doing slow 60-minute runs only. So I am almost definitely going to suspend the test and call it a partial success and partial failure. This will be explained in more detail in the next blog post. However, I will do my last slow run of this experiment today and then do my AAR (After-Action Review) in tomorrow’s blog entry.

A Little Later

I changed my mind yet again and decided to take a break day and end this slow 60-minute run test. It’s just pointless to continue. I’ll wrap it all up in tomorrow’s blog. But there is no reason to beat a dead horse. I am not going to be successful at weight maintenance with nothing but these slow runs unless they are longer than an hour. I tried, but the amount of diet discipline required is too much for me to handle.

I ended today at 78.6 kg, which is an increase of .9 kg. However, that was without any exercise session at all. So the increase was expected. Final numbers for this test are in tomorrow’s blog (Day 420).

Suddenly Gained .6 KG In One Day And Have Gained a Little Weight With Slow Running Sessions

Day 418

Yesterday was one of the best days ever during my whole Pentamize tracking history. It was not because of total weight loss, which was a decent but not phenomenal .3 kg. Rather, I am now in the positive on all types of one-hour running sessions, meaning net weight loss on overall 60-minute runs, on fast runs, and even on slow runs. After 17 days of slow runs, including one cheat day, I have lost weight. It has now been 51 days without a single 90-minute run. Despite that, I have achieved weight maintenance and have an overall weight loss of .6, including a loss of .3 with the slow sessions.

I was up from 76.8 to 77.9 after the first meal and rehydration. This is a somewhat typical increase of 1.1 kg from the first meal. It’s not a great but not a bad start.

The second meal resulted in an increase to 78.2 kg. As usual, the second and subsequent meals are smaller than the first. Some people will have a good breakfast and then smaller meals the rest of the day. I am not going to try to say what is best for you because everyone has his or her own preference and results. But you might want to try this if you haven’t done it yet and would like to see if it is even an even better plan than what you have tried so far.

Having a larger first meal and smaller meals the rest of the day has given me the following two main benefits:

1. Eating the biggest meal first allows plenty of time for the food to digest (keeping in mind that it sometimes takes more than 24 hours for food to digest); and

2. Having smaller meals the rest of the day after the bigger meal is a better opportunity for diet control. Getting into a habit of smaller meals later in the day makes it less likely that you will accidentally overeat.

Today is proving to be difficult. I have managed to get to what should be only one more meal left. However, I am already up 1.6 kg, or 78.4 kg. This would be great if it were the end of the day and time to sleep. But it’s not because I still another meal to go and am not sure what to eat. I have run out of yogurt, and smoothies weigh too much. If I were to have smoothies, I would likely jump to about 79.0, which would be more than yesterday and into the Danger Zone. So I am kind of stuck at the moment and will just wait an hour or so and make a decision on my last meal.

About 2 1/2 hours later, my weight was still at 78.3. It’s like it’s just stuck in place, and I still need to eat something. I may have some smoothies, but it would be awfully risky at this point. I remember my weight going up about .6 kg the last time I had strawberry smoothies. But it just feels like the right thing to do even if I go over 2.0 kg (78.8 kg).

For my last meal, I had a number of different things and rose more than expected. I ended at 79.1 kg, which is a pretty ridiculous 2.3 kg daily max increase. But to be honest, I have not one regret. I needed that food. If it causes me to gain some weight, then it was meant to happen because my body was screaming for more sustenance. This would be a problem if it happened every day. Thankfully, it does not. So I am still good so far overall even with the slower 60-minute runs. At my current weight, the only real expectation is to break even with these slower sessions. So there are going to be ups and downs all the time.

I got very little sleep last night, but my weight did go down from 79.1 to 78.3 from about 9 at night to 7:30 in the morning. So that was almost .1 kg per hour, which is the desired amount in non-exercise periods (of course, it drops dramatically more during a good exercise session). Still, if you crunch those numbers and figure that I will be weighing in at about 12 noon, this is going to be one ugly day. I might gain more than .5 kg. Well, one day in the 76 range again (yesterday) is better than no days. It’s right back to struggling again after today.

About 2 1/2 hours after getting up, the situation was not really getting much better. I had had a nominal drop to 78.1 kg, or a little less than the desired .1 kg drop per hour. Things were already bad, and there seems to be no chance of a recovery today. In fact, I may now gain as much as .8 kg and am just hoping it is not more than .5.

This is my 18th day of doing short one-hour runs only. One persistent pattern is these huge swings. I go down for a while, and then I go up. Although I was legitimately hungrier yesterday, my max was still a 2.3 increase, which actually is not even all that bad.

I don’t know if I can personally get comfortable with these crazy swings. It just seems to be too much for me because mental stability is important in maintaining my diet and exercise lifestyle. I expect some swings and obviously know that cheat days require considerable recovery. But those cheat days are worth it. The problem for me is that I keep experiencing these wild swings even when not taking a cheat or break day.

Waht I am saying should not be misconstrued as my thinking about not maintaining my weight. In fact, the idea is to work out even harder, not to work out less. Over this test of slow runs, I have intentionally held back even when wanting to run faster at times. Maybe the slow runs aren’t enough for me. I already sacrifice a lot on diet. So far, I am maintaining my weight with this test or at least getting close. I will be back to a small overall weight gain after today’s inevitable large increase. I am going to keep doing the slow runs for 4 more days (including today) to give me 21 days. At that point, I am going to sit down and make a detailed assessment of everything. That includes the results and my psychological and mental condition when doing these slow runs. Ultimately, it looks like I will need to opt for a more flexible approach. If a day like today happens, the only way to at least partially avoid a huge disaster is to have the flexibility to do a longer or more intense exercise workout. Forcing myself to hold back every single time even when I need to exercise more or harder seems to be a potential recipe for failure.

The other thing to think about is that I have also not had a single break day yet during this period of 17 days (not counting today yet). I am at one cheat day and zero break days. I have my doubts that this can be sustained. I will talk more about this when completing 21 days of this test.

The last point today is to reiterate that this is not a serious negative in my weight loss and weight maintenance journey. I was always skeptical about slow 60-minute runs as a permanent solution. The idea was to see what would happen. At the very least, I have learned that they are an option on days when my diet discipline is good and my weight drops a reasonably good amount overnight. If those things don’t happen, forcing myself to stick to an unreasonably easy workout is proving to be a risky affair. The main goal was to somewhat reduce my exercise requirements. And that goal has been achieved.

The run had a typical result. Unfortunately, that is not enough on a day like this. I was 77.5 after the run and then had a 77.4 kg official weigh-in shortly thereafter. That is a huge weight gain today of .6 kg. I am now back to gaining .3 kg with slow 60-minute runs after getting into the weight-loss column yesterday. I expect a roller coaster, but this was ugly. It seems like I would have gained some weight even if staying under 2.0.

Total 60-Minute Days: 52
Result: breakeven (77.4 to 77.4)

Total Hard Runs: 34
Result: lost .3 kg (77.4 to 77.1 kg)
includes one break day, one cheat day, and one semi-cheat day

Total Slow Runs: 18
Result: gained .3 kg (77.1 to 77.4)
includes one cheat day but no breaks