Going To Test Slower Runs For a While And Possibly Modify Diet

Day 341

Yesterday was one of those days I was happy with in some ways despite the poor results. I gained .4 kg. But when putting it all together, it becomes clear that there is plenty to be happy about. Of course, I want to get better results, as this would be a long-term disaster. Nonetheless, I expect those results to come soon as long I maintain the right lifestyle.

I am going to recap why I am actually fine with yesterday’s weight gain of .4 kg. To be clear, I did run 90 minutes. So results would have been a meltdown if I had not exercised at all. And my diet really didn’t seem that bad. But the main problem is that I didn’t lose much weight at all overnight. In about 8 hours of sleep, I only lost .5 kg, which even includes peeing after waking up. That .5 follows 2 days in a row of losing only .4 kg.

Now, here is why I am happy. I ran for 90 minutes and only lost 1.0 kg, which is well below average. However, this was a slow run because I simply could not take another fast run yesterday. My heart rate was only about 120. So if I had had better overnight results, then a much slower run than usual would have been enough to lose weight or break even. It’s just that the overnight results were very poor, making it very hard to break even or lose weight with a slow run.

As far as how slow it was, I wanted to take and keep a pace that I could do virtually every day. Unlike most days, I hardly sped up at all in the last 30 or even 15 or 20 minutes. All I wanted to do was keep a pace that I could envision myself doing on a daily basis and only taking a break occasionally. So as long as I can see better results from diet, my feeling is that I should be able to maintain this lifestyle almost indefinitely. I need to be able to maintain with slower runs because these daily runs where the last 20 minutes are hard and often pushing a heart rate of 150 or even more have been wearing me down lately. Make no mistake. I have recently lost a lot of weight after a vacation. I started at 81 kg and weighed in this morning at 77.6 kg. That is a lot of weight and was burned off in less than 4 weeks. But I just can’t keep that pace because it physically but especially mentally starts to burn me out.

So what I am going to keep doing for now is testing slower runs and modifying my diet (if necessary) to at least be able to break even on average while doing these slower runs. And if I can no longer modify my diet, then I can at least have a hard run from time to time to lose weight if necessary. I am constantly working on this diet-exercise balance, as it is one of the keys to my Pentamize weight loss success.

If I can’t even break even with slower runs, then I may be forced to add a second session that is shorter, such as 30 or 45 minutes. This is what I often refer to as extreme measures, but it’s not time to do that yet.

My weight was higher today when I checked it close to bedtime. It was about 79.7, and I was 78.9 when waking up. So at least the weight dropped a little more overnight. The recent overnight drops are now .4, .4, .5, and .8. If the weight continues to drop before the run (it’s about 6 in the morning when I am writing this), then I will be in much better shape than yesterday. But there are no guarantees at this time.

A couple of hours after getting up, my weight had gone down to about 78.6 kg. Things are now moving in a much better direction than yesterday. It’s about 8 in the morning. So I have about 2 more hours before the run. And at this point, even a loss of only 1.0 kg during that run would give me a breakeven day. So I am likely to lose some weight today. It’ss not clear how much, though. But if my weight drops a little more naturally, it could be up to about .5 kg.

I kept a slow pace and ended nicely today. My final weight was 77.2 kg. That was a weight loss of .4 kg, which erased yesterday’s gain. My run was about the same, and my diet didn’t seem to be all that different. However, what seemed to help a lot was that I lost more weight overnight. In fact, if you compare yesterday’s overnight weight loss to today’s, it was .8 (today) and .5 (yesterday). So I lost .3 more overnight and .4 more overall. So a lot of the weight loss today appears to be attributable to that.

However, some other factors that are difficult to track must have also helped me. If it were only the overnight weight loss difference, then I still would have gained .1 kg. As I said, though, other factors, such as how much water weight you lose in a day, are difficult or impossible to track. The key is to track what you can so that you are successful on the average day, as these untrackable factors naturally average out. But you can do things with diet and exercise to control the trackable factors. So you need to focus on that and let the untrackable factors take care of themselves.

Need To Reduce Exercise Vs. Needs Of The Moment

Day 286

After hitting 75.9 kg yesterday, I felt it was time to consider running less today. However, the main idea was to look at the situation and do enough exercise to meet the “needs of the moment.” Read yesterday’s blog post for more on what “needs of the moment” refers to. But in this case, it basically means my plan today was to run as much as necessary to break even or maybe lose a little weight, as opposed to running 90 minutes even if I don’t need it.

Unfortunately, I often end up not following my diet properly, which destroys my idea of running less. We grilled today, and I ate a little too much. My weight was something like 79 by the time I went to bed. This was too high, and my weight lowered to about 77.8 and then finally 77.4 right before the run.

That extra .4 drop before running was pretty good. The problem is that that still puts me 1.5 kg above yesterday morning’s official weight. I don’t think I can lose 1.5 kg if running only 60 minutes, which was my preferred time today. I feel that I need to run a little farther. At the same time, I still don’t feel like running 90 minutes today.

I think I will run 70 minutes. It won’t be enough to lose 1.5 kg. However, I must accept that the level of cheating was just a little too much yesterday to expect to break even today. My plan is to accept whatever weight gain comes from this. Now, this is not a “needs of the moment” decision. I certainly need to run the full 90 minutes. But sometimes, the need to slow down a little (I’ll call this the “need to reduce exercise”) overrides the needs of the moment (meaning need to break even or lose a little). My body needs to reduce this run more than I need to avoid a small weight gain today. It will still be a fairly small weight gain, and I can recover tomorrow.

This balancing decision can be referred to as the need to reduce exercise vs. the needs of the moment. It just happens that the balance today weighs in favor of the need to reduce exercise. This is acceptable because it will still be a fairly small weight gain. An expected gain of 1.0 kg or something like that, though, would probably tip the balance in favor of meeting the needs of the moment and running for 90 minutes.

I dropped about 1.1 kg during the 70-minute run. That put me at an official weight of 76.3 kg. Although that is a pretty bad weight gain of .4 kg, it feels like it was worth it to me. My body needed the reduced workload, and some gain was already expected due to overeating.

How I Lost Weight Even With One Of My Slowest Runs Ever

Day 217

On Day 216, I had one of my slowest runs ever and still managed to lose a good deal of weight. I dropped .3 kg, which is over .6 pounds, on just this one day. And while I did jog for 90 minutes, it was one of the slowest I have ever tracked, at least in terms of heart rate.

In fact, my heart rate was only about 95 at the end of the session. I don’t recall ever being that low even one time after an actual jog. I have been much lower after using the elliptical trainer. But that’s precisely why I don’t use that elliptical trainer anymore. It was not a good workout for me. But for actual jogging, 95 is the lowest heart rate that I can recall ever measuring.

So you might be wondering how I lost weight with my slowest exercise workout. First, I still lost 1.0 kg. So it’s not like it was a bad workout. Rather, it was just slower than usual. But there was a much bigger factor that helped me. And that was an effective diet and tracking of that diet. This all goes back to the most crucial element in probably any weight loss plan – balancing your diet and exercise to achieve a winning formula.

Even before the run, I measured myself as being only 1.0 kg over my morning weigh-in. Further, I was running at night and knew that I was almost finished with the day. For some reason, I just didn’t eat that much yesterday. Or to put it another way, at least the weight of the food that I ate was not that much. Thus, I would not be able to get these results every day with a slow run. But because I was tracking so closely and knew I was on course for a big day, I made a strategic decision to run slow.

My body didn’t really feel like running, anyway. So in addition to that “body condition” consideration, I felt that running slowly would keep me from getting too hungry. So there were 2 purposes to this slower run: one was to give my body a partial break while still getting a workout, and the second was to limit the risk of getting really hungry because of a hard workout.

The plan worked almost perfectly yesterday. I ate just a little after the run and, as expected, lost quite a bit of weight by morning weigh-in time.

Why is all this important? Because it’s an example of how you can reduce your exercise intensity when your body really needs it. But you can’t do this every day. Yet another good reason to track everything is to determine when you can reduce your intensity. When you have tracked and know you can give your body a bit of a break without actually taking a break day, then go ahead and do that if you feel the need.

I need to do this sometimes because, unfortunately, my metabolism is just not good enough anymore to take frequent break days. Like I told someone the other day who was asking about my weight loss, most of my exercise break days are not actual break days. They are just slower workouts. I don’t pretend to like this, as more break days would probably actually be good for me. But my motivation to keep the weight off is higher than my desire to take break days.

Yesterday was a rare day because my net food consumption would usually be more than that before an evening run. So once again, I am obviously not saying that you can do this every day. Track using my Pentamize methods and then use this idea when the opportunity presents itself.

For Day 217, I was able to use this opportunity the second day in a row. My weight had gone up to 78.4, but it dropped to 78.0 for the evening run. However, the situation was even better because I felt there would be no need to eat anything at all after the jogging session. And as expected, I was able to avoid eating after a slow run. My weight dropped to only 77.1 after the session due to the slow pace. And after drinking a little water, I was up to about 77.3 kg.

My weight dropped down to 76.4 by morning, and this made for the second day in a row of running slow but still losing .3 kg.

About the most that can be suggested from the past 2 days is that diet is often more important than exercise. And this is common knowledge. However, the statement that diet is more important than exercise is misleading and does not present an accurate picture of an effective weight loss system. Read tomorrow’s blog for more on this topic.

How To Work Out Even When Your Body Feels Tired

Day 162

Starting Weight: 81.5 kg
Weight Before Running: 82.4 kg
Weight After Running: 81.2 kg (81.0 after bathroom break)
Final Weight: 81.4 kg
Result: weight loss of .1 kg

After a really bad weight gain on Day 161 (yesterday), Day 162 saw a modest recovery. I did lose .1 kg, and my workout was the typical 90-minute nonstop run. While that is not as much as I thought I might pull off, it’s at least going back in the right direction again.

Today would have been a good day for a hard run, particularly since I gained a huge .8 kg yesterday. Often, I will run hard after a bad day to try to make up for the previous days’ weight gain. However, things didn’t work out that way. My intensity was much less than I had anticipated. But it still didn’t stop me from losing a small amount of weight.

I just felt tired today even though it was good timing to try to recover from a cheat day. When I was writing my Pentamize book during full weight-loss mode, I had many “tired” days like this and had to track everything to make sure my intensity level was high enough. I write in my book a lot that I am definitely a slow runner. However, I have tracked thoroughly to determine the intensity levels that allow me to lose weight, along with intensity levels that are simply too low to achieve results.

Ultimately, you really just have to measure how much weight you are losing during a workout to figure out whether it’s going to be enough to lose weight overall. Alternatively, you can do this with your heart rate. But what I discovered is that everyone has a pace that is a middle ground between totally killing yourself and working out at such a slow or light pace that you don’t get results. Only so many people like high-intensity workouts, and I am not one of them. So the key here is to work out hard enough to get results but not so hard that you have to take excessive break days to recover. And I do mean both physically and mentally.

To put it in a nutshell, you need to slow down if your body is tired. But you need to track using my Pentamize techniques or some other method to know when you are going too slow.

It’s easy to know when you are going too fast because your body will be forced to slow down due to the extreme intensity. But it’s harder to know if you are going too slow. That’s where your tracking comes in. Personally, I discovered that anything above about 4 to 4 1/2 miles per hour can get me some decent results. Even I don’t know the exact number, as that would be hard to determine. But I know if I run 3 miles per hour, I’ll probably not get good results and might even gain weight absent starvation.

What I am saying here is that you need to slow down on days when your body feels tired but you know you need to work out, anyway. However, you can take this so far that you end up wasting your time with a fruitless exercise session. Slow down when you have to. But in the meantime, start tracking your exercise and diet every day to determine what intensity level is too low. You don’t really have to track what intensity level is too high because your body is just going to naturally slow down from exhaustion on its own.

New Calisthenics Workout Includes Doing Pushups To Exhaustion – Day 80

I started today at a pretty high 75.3 kg after a day when I ran for an hour and still gained .4 kg. It’s not really clear why I suddenly gained that much, except that I was constipated. LOL. So maybe that had a big effect.

I had already decided to do a nonjogging workout today. And since results for these have not been good, I decided to make a change today to see if I could improve the results a little. Here are the changes:

1. I only did pushups and situps;

2. I did sets of 30 situps instead of 15;

3. I did pushups to exhaustion and finished each set with some negatives after reaching exhaustion. That is, I went at least to the point that I couldn’t push up anymore without hitting the ground and taking a break. I would then push myself back up and then come down slowly.

This time, I did not do situps to exhaustion. The reason for this is that I was afraid of getting cramps. It’s better to build up more slowly to “exhaustion” sets with situps to avoid cramps. But with pushups, cramps are not a problem. So you can do pushups to exhaustion from Day 1. You might not have a cramps problem with situps. But I do. So that’s why I didn’t go to exhaustion yet.

I lost only .2 kg after this good calisthenics workout. My hope was to lose a little more than that during the session. But not much more could be expected when no jogging at all is involved. My weight went from about 76.1 to 75.9 as a result of this workout.

One workout session is not enough to conclude anything. But by morning, I came in at 75.3 kg, which made for a breakeven day. That is not a bad start for this new approach to calisthenics (going to exhaustion on pushups and doing some negatives after reaching exhaustion).

I will definitely do this kind of workout again when doing calisthenics. I’ll continue to show the overall average of sessions with no jogging. But for a more complete picture of results, I will also separately show how much weight I am gaining or losing when I do sets to exhaustion.

Mixed Workouts With No Jogging (these are all 45 minutes)
-.1 kg
-.2 kg
+.1 kg
+.8 kg
-.2 kg
+.4 kg
-.1 kg
+.6 kg
breakeven (with exhaustion)
total +1.3 kg
average .14 kg of weight gain in 9 sessions