Planning a Weigh-In Routine For Snacks-Only Dieting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Day 21 – lost .3 kg
Day 22 – gained .2 kg
Day 23 – gained .1 kg
Day 24 – broke even
Day 25 – broke even
Day 26 – lost .2 kg
Overall Result: lost 2.5 kg

“No Exercise” Days: lost 1.2 kg – 24 days
Simultaneous “No Exercise” Portion: lost .2 kg – 2 days
All “No Exercise” Stats: lost 1.4 kg in 26 days
Exercise Days: lost 1.3 kg – 2 days
30-min Days: lost .3 kg – 1 day
90-min Days: lost 1.0 kg – 1 day
Day After Exercising: gained .5 kg – 2 days
Average of Day Of Exercise And Day After: lost .8 kg – 2 sets of 2 days

First Day Of Correct Pentamize Tracking In a While

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Day 19 – gained .1 kg
Day 20 – gained .3 kg
Day 21 – lost .3 kg
Day 22 – gained .2 kg
Day 23 – gained .1 kg
Day 24 – broke even
Day 25 – broke even
Overall Result: lost 2.3 kg

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

Broke Even On a Risky Day With No Tracking

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

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

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

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

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

Day 19 – gained .1 kg
Day 20 – gained .3 kg
Day 21 – lost .3 kg
Day 22 – gained .2 kg
Day 23 – gained .1 kg
Day 24 – broke even
Overall Result: lost 2.3 kg

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

2 Semi Cheat Days And Then Plan To Add Some Exercise To Recover

This blog post covers 2 partial cheat days, on Sunday, March 11, 2018, and Monday, March 12. Neither is a full cheat day. The only reason for doing this is a trip that I have to take. After these 2 days, I will step up my testing by adding a few days with exercise.

The reason for these semi-cheat days is not because of not wanting to do the snacks-only diet. I am happy doing that diet so far and believe that I can do it on a permanent basis with the occasional cheat day only. I am taking a short trip, and it is kind of hard to follow a snacks-only diet in this situation without more preparation. If I were to travel all the time, then I would need to come up with a travel plan that does allow for this diet. But for the occasional trip, I am not going to bother.

At any rate, this is a good time to add some exercise after these 2 days, as I only have 2 days of testing so far with exercise. The other days have all been with no running at all.

This will be a good time to see how quickly I can recover from a cheat day when combining the snacks-only diet with exercise. I plan on running 90 minutes to get the full effect the first day. After that, I will need to play it by ear due to my poor ankle condition. It is feeling better now, but it got way worse the last time I ran for 90 minutes. There has hopefully been enough rest for the ankle that a 90-minute run on Tuesday doesn’t bring back the pain.

Although the next 2 days are likely to be a mess, they started out very well because I was still at home and was sticking to small snacks only. I was still only 78.4, or only .1 kg over, after the first 3 snacks. This did include going to the bathroom several times. After the 4th snack, I did rise to 78.8. Then, shortly before leaving on my overnight trip, I was still at 78.8. That was very good at that point in the day, but things are going to start going downhill from here. I also will not be able to weigh in until Monday evening. The rest of this time will not be a full cheat day, but I won’t stick to the snacks-only diet. It’s just not worth the time it would take right now to plan out snacks on a trip. Again, though, if you travel frequently, you should have a travel diet plan.

I should say that, if you know in advance that you can’t exercise for physical reasons, then it naturally becomes more important for you to not cheat. Unless a snacks-only diet allows you to actually lose weight over time and not just break even, then you are going to be in big trouble if you never exercise unless you literally never cheat. This is why, if at all possible, you should have exercise as a possible option to help you recover from cheat days or days where you stray a little too far and gain some.

At the end of these 2 days, I was somewhat surprised to have gained only .4 kg, to finish at 78.7. That was only a gain of .2 kg per day on average. As I said, though, these were more like partial cheat days. I did eat some fast food (one of those value meals) for one meal and had a number of snack foods. But overall, I still tried to keep the meals small. And this kept me from gaining a large amount of weight. I am happy with this result. It was always going to be a gain but was a lower one than expected.

Hoping To Get Diet Back On Course Today

Yesterday was my 22nd day testing the snacks-only diet. It was largely a disappointment because my weight seemed to keep rising without as much of the large drops between snacks that I typically observe. I rose to an increase of 1.6 kg, causing great risk of daily weight gain.

After the large increase, things did get better for the sleep portion of the day and the 3 hours between getting up and having my final weigh-in. I lost 1.0 kg overnight and then .4 kg in the final 3 hours. This was a good recovery, and it allowed me to have a daily weight gain of .2, which could have been a whole lot worse.

Today, I hope the results get back to what I usually see, which is a combination of small gains from snacks and pretty big decreases between those snacks. The decreases are a little smaller than the increases, though. Otherwise, I would go to bed already at the daily breakeven point. That virtually never happens and would typically occur only if you were to almost starve yourself. But during testing, my good days have typically shown an increase from 1.0 kg on the low end to about 1.4 kg on the high end.

Sometimes, a daily increase of 1.4 or thereabouts will still result in a small weight gain. But overall, 1.4 ends up being close to breakeven overall. So far, then, anything over 1.4 is risky, and anything below has a decent chance of producing a daily weight loss. There is no way to get an exact breakeven point because the body can change over time and your diet choices can also affect your breakeven point (a pound of sugar is likely to cause weight gain, but a pound of broccoli is unlikely to cause weight gain). But 1.4 is a reasonable estimate for me now as long as I don’t make any wild diet changes. I already keep the sugar content low and don’t overdo it on the carbs. So no major diet changes are expected at this time.

Note: When I say 1.4, do not confuse that with the total increase, which would require tracking literally everything and adding it all up. Even I don’t do this. Instead, I look at the maximum weight that I have increased at any point of the day. Using yesterday as an example, I started at 78.0 and ended at 79.6 near bedtime. That is a max increase of 1.6 kg.

Today, I am doing good after the first snack and using the bathroom. I was still at 78.3, up from a start of 78.2. After the second snack, which was probably .2 kg of chicken, only a mouthful or two of rice, and a very small piece of cake, I was still at 78.5 kg. This is a great start and only .3 kg over at 1:30 in the afternoon.

The 3rd snack was more french fries, and the news is getting even better now. I am 78.7, or only .5 kg over at 3:30 in the afternoon. This is exactly how the snacks-only diet has worked when I have had good days with it. There is a slight increase throughout the day, but it never gets above about 1.4 or so on good days. 1.4 does not guarantee a good day. With half of my snacks done, I am not even halfway there. That is when you know things are going well. It’s just a matter of tracking enough results until you have determined your approximate ideal max increase.

After a couple of bowls of stew for the 4th snack and plenty of water, my weight finally went up faster. Perhaps I ate a little too much, and I was 79.2 even after peeing. Now, I have to be a little more careful for the last 2 snacks to hopefully stay below a 1.4 increase.

I was back down to 79.0 before the 5th snack, which was only one roll and some cheese spread. It was quite small, and I was actually down to 78.9 a little after this snack. With one more snack to go, I am only .7 kg over for the day and have a chance for a huge weight loss by 10 in the morning. All I need to do is to have the typical small snack before bedtime.

I didn’t weigh in after the above but had the typical small snack and one cup of water. Then, one of the strangest things I have seen yet occurred. I was shocked to be at 78.6 right after waking up and peeing. However, this is far from impossible. I have tracked overnight weigh loss of only .3 or .4 kg before. It hasn’t happened in a while, but it does happen. I do still have a couple of hours to go, so the tracking day is not over yet.

Whatever happens, I am not going to complain about my performance or second-guess it because my diet choices were perfectly fine today. If my body wants to retain water, I don’t want to do anything to artificially interfere with that. It’s an odd day but not something that should get me down because the typical day like this would show a weight loss.

Besides all this, I don’t think the main goal of a diet should be to lose a bunch of weight solely from the diet unless you are someone who LEGITIMATELY CANNOT exercise AT ALL for medical reasons. It should be to maintain weight, perhaps lose some excess weight along the way, and then lose any excess by incorporating an exercise lifestyle into the mix. Does it even sound like a good idea to not exercise? Do you really expect to never have a cheat day that needs some exercise to aid in recovering from those cheat days?

This strange day ended at 78.3, for a gain of .1 kg. So strange. The only thing I can think of is that I have a bit of constipation. I tried to go, but nothing came out. If this is the reason, it does make sense and will correct itself naturally.

Day 19 – gained .1 kg
Day 20 – gained .3 kg
Day 21 – lost .3 kg
Day 22 – gained .2 kg
Day 23 – gained .1 kg
Overall Result: lost 2.3 kg

“No Exercise” Days: lost 1.0 kg – 21 days

If you look at only the past 5 days, the results do look bad. But this is a normal streak. I had an awesome streak in the days right before this and lost a lot of weight. The “no exercise” days on the snacks-only diet are still showing an overall weight loss of 1.0 kg.