I’ve Recovered From My Vacation (4 KG); Trying For 11th Day Without Gaining Weight And To Hit 76 Range

Day 336

Yesterday was a much better day than expected, with a weight loss of .5 kg. After a wild 3 1/2 weeks, I have now completely recovered from my London vacation.

Over this period, I lost 4 kg, which is about 9 pounds. That is an average of almost 3 pounds a week. My starting weight before the vacation started was right at 77.0 kg, and my weight the morning after coming back was 81.0. That is where I get the 4 kg. Actually, I was a little over 83 on the evening that I came back. However, even without exercising that night, it dropped to 81.0 by morning. That is the largest drop I remember seeing without any exercise. However, I officially started the recovery at 81.0 because the 83 was mostly due to a large meal an hour or so before weighing in the evening of my return flight. So to avoid being misleading (although technically true), I felt that the 81.0 mark was the reasonable starting point, which left me with 4.0 kg to lose.

A loss of about 3 pounds a week is close to what I achieved in Pentamize full weight loss mode. When I had a lot of weight to lose (more than 50 pounds), my average per week was about 2.7 pounds. So the approximate 3 pounds over this period is not that surprising since I have worked out virtually every day. I did have 3 cheat days, as well. Without the cheat days, I presume that even more pounds would have been shed over this recovery period. At any rate, it’s all good because I ran 90 minutes almost every day to make up for those cheat day. And about 3 pounds a week for about 3 1/2 weeks is definitely about as much as can be expected, at least when comparing to my full Pentamize full weight loss mode.

During that full mode, I literally worked out every day for about 6 months. However, some were very slow days of only 30 minutes on an elliptical trainer or some other fairly low-intensity exercise. Over this period, I worked out even harder than full weight-loss mode when you consider that there no 30-minute workouts, all of them were about 65 minutes or more, and all of them were in the medium-intensity range (pushing towards high intensity at the end of a few of these runs).

One thing is for sure. When running yesterday, I almost hit a brick wall. I am going to keep going for now with 90-minute sessions only because I have a 10-day streak going. Otherwise, I would immediately drop to 60 or 70 minutes for tomorrow morning’s run. But this kind of streak doesn’t happen much. So I am not going to give up on it until it runs its course.

My streak may be in trouble today simply because the results were a little too good yesterday. In fact, over the last 2 days, I have lost a very large .8 kg. That is certainly not the kind of pace that can be maintained much longer. There is going to be a day soon where, no matter what I do (short of starving), I will see at least a small weight gain.

Today, I got up to about 79.3 kg at 5 in the afternoon. To have any chance of getting back down to 77.0 after tomorrow morning’s run, I must start to sacrifice now. This probably not eating the rest of the day or eating a small snack of maybe .1 or .2 kg. Even that is going to be pushing my luck because my body feels like it needs a slower run in the morning. I’ll still be happy if the streak ends as long as I don’t gain .1 or .2 kg. And I will not kill myself during the run. Rather, it’s more important to reasonably sacrifice on diet the rest of the night.

I did have to eat a little more food, as my energy level was getting a bit too low. After that and going to the bathroom a couple of times, I went to bed weighing about 79.2 kg. So despite eating, it was a sufficiently small amount that I actually lost a little weight between 5 and bedtime.

My weight loss overnight was not great but not terrible. I weighed in at 78.5 kg right after hitting the bathroom. But that was at about 6 in the morning, leaving me some time to lose more before the run. I’ll probably need to lose a little more to keep the streak going because my run is expected to be slower this morning. Maybe I can manage to push it a little towards the end. But I don’t feel as if I can match the somewhat higher intensity of the runs I did the past 2 days.

Before the run, things went well, and the session also worked out great. My body is really feeling some pressure now of running 90 minutes every day. But at least the hard work is showing in the results. I started the run at 78.1 kg, ran a little slower for most of this session, but still managed to lose 1.5 kg. So I got way down to 76.6 kg, which was a weight loss of .4 kg today.

The streak is now at 11 days after today’s results. And I have lost 2.8 kg, which is between 5.5 and 6 pounds. This is one of the craziest streaks that I have ever had now. It probably won’t last much longer. Not sure if my body can keep going for 90 minutes every day. We’ll see how I feel in the morning. It is helping that my left ankle continues to hurt less than before.

Trying For 10th Day In a Row With No Weight Gain; Thoughts On Mental Burnout

I have now achieved 9 days in a row without gaining weight on any of those days. I did break even on one, but the other 8 have resulted in weight loss. This streak is so good that it is motivating to keep maximizing my exercise sessions to keep alive as long as it can naturally keep going.

There is one thing I do not want to do, and that is to push the intensity of my workouts past the level of slight discomfort. I can certainly keep running the same duration of 90 minutes until the streak is over. But pushing the intensity is something that has its limits. For example, my speed stayed fairly low yesterday the whole way through. I got up to a heart rate of about 128 at the end. However, there were some “spurts” during the session where I picked up speed in an attempt to have enough weight loss to keep things going. The point is that my life doesn’t depend on this streak. Running 90 minutes at a “slightly uncomfortable” intensity is something I can do for days and days. But pushing it to a heart rate of 160 every day is a no-go for me. It will totally burn me out on a mental level. No streak is important enough that a mental burnout is acceptable.

For me, consciously avoiding mental burnout is my norm and is different than a weight loss challenge like you see on TV or challenging yourself to lose 5 pounds in a week to fit in a dress or something. Those are comparatively bad in my opinion because I want a permanent lifestyle change, not possible but aggressive short-term results that simply can’t be achieved for a long period of time due to the required intensity level.

Every time in the past that I have stopped working out has been due to mental burnout except one time where I recently took a break due to a physical neck injury. That was actually when I got up to my max weight of 106 kg (233 pounds). That was so high for me that I made the decision to never go there again. And if I am never going to go there again, it’s also important to try to avoid necessary injuries that might come from high-intensity workouts. While it’s sometimes possible to keep on exercising despite injury, any additional pain also brings an increased risk of mental burnout. So the two are very related, depending on your personal situation.

If you are prone to injury, do you really want to push yourself physically beyond a reasonable level just for short-term results? Are short-term results really going to make you happy if the results don’t end up being permanent? Think about these things and the risk of mental burnout when planning your exercise duration and intensity. If you agree with my approach, then you may have to increase the duration of your exercise session to burn enough calories. That is one thing that Pentamize tracking techniques help you develop – the right combination of intensity and duration for your own exercise regimen.

I woke up a bit late today (8:30) after sleeping late (2:30 in the morning). When going to bed at 8:30, my weight was around 79.3 kg. I had finished eating at approximately 79.8 kg. At 8:30, my weight was 78.8 kg, which is just about what it was yesterday. If I can manage to lose .3 kg before running, then I will easily lose weight today. Otherwise, this could be close. Of course, the only thing I can do before running is go to the bathroom and also avoid eating and drinking. So there is nothing special to do now until wait. I will run at about 10:30 in the morning.

Despite running at 11, my weight didn’t seem to want to drop after waking up. I was still a 78.7. But the run result was great. I knocked off 1.6 kg during a run that was not so fast at the end (about 136 kg). However, my average speed seemed to be above average. I didn’t measure my exact speed and don’t usually do that. But I kept up a good pace during this session, just estimating from my breathing and the overall feeling of intensity.

After hitting the bathroom, I ended up suddenly getting down to 77.0 kg. That is a large daily loss of .5 kg. I didn’t really expect that result. It means I have also recovered completely from the London vacation. It took about 3 1/2 weeks to recover. I’ll talk more about this successful recovery period in my next blog post.

Another “Reasonable Sacrifice” Day Helps Achieve Big Results

After 8 days in a row of not losing weight (7 losing and one breaking even), I had a risky diet today. We grilled (not my idea, but you know how these things go sometimes), but I tried not to go too crazy.

I had some coke and a little ice cream. But I tried to eat less meat than on last week’s cheat days and definitely consciously chose to eat less rice (carbs are the death of me when it comes to diet). All in all, I rose from 77.8 to about 80.3 by 6 in the evening. Although still a little bit hungry, it was time to sacrifice the rest of the day. At that point, I decided the best thing to do was to only drink more water (includes straight black coffee in my case) the rest of the evening. This is the only way I can ensure a decent chance of losing weight again today. If I were to eat even .2 or .3 kg more, the odds of not gaining weight would be slim. So I must sacrifice the rest of the day to give myself a chance to keep the streak alive. As always, I am talking about a reasonable sacrifice, not starving.

Jumping from 77.8 to 80.3 is 2.5 kg. That is definitely too much with no exercise but not so bad with a 90-minute run scheduled for morning. The difficulty is that I have not dropped much overnight the past few days. It’s not clear why this change has occurred, but I have to be even more careful about dieting now, track throughout the day, and then stop when I reach the weight where I think a breakeven or weight loss is probable by morning. That is not feasible on a break day, as I almost always gain weight on a break day. But when a good workout is scheduled, I have a good chance of losing weight well more than 50 percent of days (clearly, something would be wrong if I were working out and still not losing weight even 50 percent of the time). It’s mostly a matter of diet tracking. Of course, a lot of people do this with calorie counting. But that’s too complicated for me. So I use my own Pentamize tracking techniques, which you can learn in my book.

My weight started dropping quite nicely after I decided to stop at 80.3. I was about 79.8 when going to bed, which was a nice drop and the lowest bedtime mark in a while. Then, after sleeping about 7 hours, I went down to 79.0 kg. While this was not a huge drop overnight, I had gotten up at about 5:30 in the morning. So this is very early. If my weight keeps dropping, that .8 could get a lot bigger. More importantly, though, the 79.0 is way better than any mark I have hit when waking up in a long time. This is looking similar to that day a few days ago when I lost .7 kg. At any rate, my streak of not gaining weight on any single day is about to jump to 9 days in a row. And with a great start like this, I’ll be running 90 minutes to maximize this opportunity. I might even hit 77.0, which would be a complete recovery from the London vacation. However, I am not counting those chickens yet because that would require a daily weight loss of .8 kg. That is not going to happen unless my weight drops quite a bit more before running time, which is about 4 hours away.

My weight just wouldn’t hardly drop after getting up. I was still at 78.9 kg when starting my 90-minute run. What saved me was sacrificing last night. If not for that, I probably would have been in big trouble. Although I ran pretty hard, the result was not as good as yesterday. I lost 1.4 kg, getting down to 77.5 kg. So while I didn’t lose as much during the run, my overall weight loss today was .3 kg. That is better than yesterday’s .1 kg and also secures 9 days in a row of not gaining weight. 8 of them showed an actual loss, and one was a breakeven day. And over this period of 9 days, I have lost 1.9 kg, which is about 4 pounds.

I am going to keep working out until this streak ends. If I can do it again tomorrow, that will make 10 days in a row.

Issues With Tracking Your Overnight Weight Loss And How To Integrate That Tracking With An Exercise Plan

Day 333

I am continuing my recovery from vacation today and am on a hot streak. Today is a chance to avoid losing weight every single day for 8 days in a row. For the last 7 days, I have lost weight on 6 days and broke even on one.

Over the course of 7 days, I have lost .1 kg 3 times, .2 kg once, .3 kg once, and .7 kg on my best day. Then, there was the one breakeven day.

I am writing this at 7:30 in the evening, and today is not going very well. Along with quite a bit of water and mostly meat, I have risen to about 80.5 kg. The idea is to go to bed at 80.1 or less since that was yesterday’s number. The 80.1 is like a breakeven point in my Pentamize tracking system (not always, as this number changes every day). It is only an estimate because I can’t predict accurately how much I will lose overnight. Tracking cannot be that accurate because the body simply doesn’t lose the same amount every night. It varies wildly, but you can start to see a typical result over time. It’s very hard to have 8 days in a row of not gaining weight. So it may be time to dig really hard to keep this going. I decided to just stop eating and drinking anything the rest of the night. This is probably the only way to have any chance of losing weight or at least breaking even in the morning.

Unfortunately, I have never been able to come up with a solid average for overnight weight loss because it seems to vary based on a number of factors. But one of the main factors is how much water you drink. So when it’s cold here in the winter, I don’t drink as much water. This seems to drop the average amount that I lose overnight while sleeping. As it warms up, I drink more water. And that tends to raise the amount that I lose overnight. This makes it quite difficult to predict the overnight weight loss, particularly because my water consumption varies a lot even during the same season. So how do I handle this? I’ll give an idea on how to do this in the rest of this blog post.

This idea applies when you will be exercising after sleeping and then doing your official weigh-in after your exercise session. What I do is look at my tracking from the day before to determine about when I need to stop eating for the day. And the next step is to modify my amount or intensity of exercise as needed. Because it’s hard to predict how much you will lose overnight, your exercise session can be modified in order to compensate for either good or bad overnight results. So it’s basically a “take things one day at a time” approach. Let me give you an example:

Day 1 weight at bedtime: 75.8 kg
Day 1 weight when waking up: 75.0 kg
Day 1 weight after exercising (and official weigh-in): 73.5 kg

Day 2 approximate weight when I should stop eating: 75.8 kg

That’s all you can do at night. So at night, you attempt to control your diet as needed. Then, in the morning, wait for the results and then modify your exercise as necessary. I’ll give you two scenarios here:

Day 2 weight when waking up: 75.3 kg

In this situation, you only lost .5 kg overnight. This is very low and .3 kg less than Day 1. In this case, you will need to modify your exercise to make up for that .3 kg deficit.

Day 2 weight when waking up: 74.6 kg

In this scenario, you have great results. You lost 1.2 kg overnight, which is .4 kg better than Day 1. Now, you can actually exercise less if you want to and are just trying to break even on the day. But to lose weight on the day, you can do about the same amount of exercise as Day 1.

To use this method for the first time, just start tracking every day for 3 days. Then, start modifying as necessary from the Day 4 overnight results. The first 3 days will let you get used to tracking and give you a rough idea of the kind of results you can expect on a daily basis. Remember that, if you stop tracking for some time, then you need to do it again for 3 days to get the current tendency. For example, as explained above, you may find that you are losing more overnight because it has gotten hotter outside. This depends, though, on the person’s weather, normal behavior, and perhaps various physical or medical factors. Never assume you will get the same results as someone else.

I was 80.2 when going to bed after sacrificing when hitting about 80.6. That was about 4 to 5 hours without eating or drinking anything. And then something even more ridiculous happened. My weight was still freaking 79.8 when I woke up after sleeping about 8 hours. This is freaking ridiculous. That’s literally only .4 kg overnight. But under these circumstances, I have to keep in mind that I have not gained weight a single day for 7 straight days in a row. It’s impossible and might not even be healthy to continue such a streak on an indefinite basis. I lost about 3 pounds over this weekly period. So it’s best to look at the Big Picture and see that I may have to give a little back before moving forward again. Still, it’s been months and months since losing only .4 kg overnight, and I track this virtually every single day. So something weird is going on with my body. But at least I feel healthy, and my left ankle seems to be slowly getting better.

It’s a couple of hours after getting up, and I have dropped to 79.5 kg. At least this is getting a little better. A drop of .7 is obviously way better than .4. But that .4 is just so low that there’s almost no way to lose weight now. I must lose a total of 1.6 kg just to break even. And a 90-minute run is usually not enough to do that. However, maybe that’s just the way this streak is meant to end. It’s all going to work out in the long urn. Although it can be discouraging to do almost everything right and still fail on a single day, these failures are all part of the process of overall success.

I had a pretty big surprise from my 90-minute run. My weight somehow dropped from 79.5 to 77.9, for a 1.6 kg loss. That used to be pretty normal, so it’s not shocking. At any rate, that guaranteed at least a breakeven day. And after going to the bathroom, I managed a weight loss of .1 kg after getting down to 77.8 kg. This is now 8 days in a row without losing weight on any of those days (one breakeven day and 7 with weight loss).

A Little More Than a Month To Go Until Hitting One Year For This Blog

Day 332

In 3 days, I will have one month left (30 days) until hitting one year for this blog. That is a whole year of Pentamize weight maintenance. Although I am not exactly at my target maintenance weight of 75.0, a 78.1 (as measured yesterday) is within about 7 pounds. Since I was 106 kg at my max, this is certainly a weight maintenance success in my book. But I want to move back closer to 75.0 before hitting that one-year mark. It’s not necessary to hit that exactly. But 78 to 79 feels slightly short of success at the one-year mark. So I need to keep up the good work. Then, if I feel like it, a celebration may be in order on Day 366. But I am not going to do that unless getting around 76.0 or better.

I am currently in a recovery mode for two reasons. The first is a short vacation to London, but one with way too much food and drink. I rose from 77.0 to 81.0 kg, which is nearly 9 pounds. That was in about a week’s time. Then, I got back down to 78.0 and had two cheat days in a row. The cheat days put me back up to 79.4 kg. Since then, I have lost weight or broken even every day, as follows:

1. lost .3 kg
2. lost .1 kg
3. lost .7 kg
4. lost .1 kg
5. broke even
6. lost .1 kg

Because going a full week without gaining weight on any single day is a great accomplishment, I intend on running for 90 minutes again in the morning. This will be the plan unless I somehow weigh a lot less than expected in the morning (before exercise time). That is not very likely because I rose quickly to about 80.1 kg after the run. Although a lot of this was water, it also included quite a bit of food. My diet is not going great so far today. So I need to be careful and avoid gaining so much that even a 90-minute jog might not be enough to break even or lose weight.

At 9 at night, I finished up eating and was about 80.2 kg. This is a little better than yesterday, which saw me at around 80.4 at bedtime. I could eat more but am not really hungry. So today is more like a small sacrifice and even less than the “reasonable sacrifice” of the past 2 days (read the blog posts for more details on that).

I had toyed with the idea of taking a break today. But I ate too much for that. So it’s back to a 90-minute run, especially because I will likely hit at least hit 78.0 and recover from the 2 cheat days a week ago. Plus, when I am on a hot streak, it’s not good to kill it with a break day. I like to keep that streak alive if possible.

I had the same somewhat poor results overnight. In terms of diet, my results were great. I went to bed at 80.1 but woke up at 79.4, which was another disappointment. I had hoped to be at about 80.0. But for some reason, the past few days have shown a clear change. At night, I haven’t been losing much weight. So while I am doing pretty much everything right the past few days in both diet and exercise, it is a struggle to lose weight on most days.

I had a pretty fast run and finished with a heart rate of about 148. Despite that, the result was just okay. I lost 1.2 kg, weighing in at 78.2 kg. At that point, I was actually .1 kg over, but my run was early this morning. So I still had some time before weighing in. Incidentally, my run was over about 6 minutes early. But at most, that is probably only a difference of about .1 kg.

I weighed in about 2 hours early, but that was still good enough to show a weight loss of .2 kg. My official daily ending weight was 77.9 kg.

77.9 achieves 2 things. First, it means I have recovered from the 2 cheat days a week ago. So it took me 7 days to completely recover from those 2 cheat days. This is why it is advisable to have only 1 or 2 cheat days a month. Otherwise, you are going to be in recovery mode all the time instead of just being in regular maintenance mode. The second thing this has achieved is that it is my lowest mark since returning from vacation. The previous lowest mark was 78.0. And today just edged that out by .1 kg. So my vacation recovery is back on track and looking the best yet at this point. However, my pre-vacation weight was 77.0. So I still have some more work to do to declare victory on this post-vacation recovery.