How To Reduce Exercise Instead of Taking a Full Break Day

Day 390

Here, we have yet another 60-minute day. I’d like to do an even shorter run soon. But the idea is to play it by ear by recording my weight before all exercise sessions and then seeing if a shorter run may be enough for me to at least break even.

My Pentamize book discusses this method in more detail. It’s just a hardcore way of tracking your weight and exercise that allows you to reduce the severity or duration of a session instead of taking an actual break day. So if you know that you need to lose .5 kg to break even, and your average session lets you lose about .7 or .8 kg, then you can estimate how much less you need to run or whatever kind of exercise you do to at least break even.

If your metabolism or diet is better than mine, then you can also use this method to determine when to take a break day. However, in my case, I can almost never break even without exercise. The reason is simple – I have tested this over and over and almost always gain weight absent exercise. There are exceptions, but that exception is actually bad for me overall. For example, if I grossly overeat on a Tuesday, then I will sometimes lose weight on Wednesday. But that’s because all the excess weight from the day before is coming off due to the normal process of digestion and calorie burn. But this situation is actually harmful to weight loss because the amount lost without exercise on Wednesday is generally less than the amount you gained on Tuesday. Thus, while that Wednesday looks good in a vacuum, the problem is the combined result on Tuesday and Wednesday is still a disaster. This is no way to lose weight.

Absent these kinds of odd situations, I must exercise on most days. So instead of going for a full break day, it is at least possible to do some hardcore Pentamize weight tracking and reduce the amount of exercise when possible.

Another thing you can do if break days hurt you as bad as they hurt me is to reduce your amount of exercise even if it results in some degree of weight gain on that particular day. To do this, you want to go some days where you lose weight overall, tally up those results, and then determine how much you can give back by reducing exercise on a particular day. Here’s an example:

1. You start at 100.0 kg.
2. Over several days, you lose .5 kg. So you are now 99.5 kg.
3. You can now give back .5 kg. And while you will gain that, at least you are back to 100.0 kg. So it’s like a reset, but you get a partial break in the process.
4. Let’s say you usually run an hour and lose .7 kg during that exercise and average a very small daily average weight loss of less than .1 kg.
5. You wake up one morning to go running and weigh 100.2 kg (this always happens before you exercise for the day, and then the weight comes off before the final weigh-in due to exercise).
6. If you lose the normal .7, you would be right back at 99.5.
7. You feel you need a little bit of a break. So you run for 30 minutes and lose .4 kg.
8. In this case, you are now at 99.8 kg. So while you did gain some weight on this day (.3 kg), you are still below the 100.0 kg mark. This gives you a semi-break day without causing too much weight gain.

I am now switching to my daily summary. Keep reading for that.

Today, I got off to a very good start on my diet. I began at 76.1 kg and then rose to 76.9 after the first 2 small meals. It was about 1:30 in the afternoon. So while I have a long day ahead of me, my weight is looking great so far.

I had about .1 kg of meat and strawberry smoothies at about 4 in the afternoon. That raised me up to 77.6 kg, or 1.5 kg over the starting weight. I guess one more smallish meal will be enough to get through the rest of the day.

After one more meal and some lemonade, I rose to about 77.9 kg, which means my max today is about the same as yesterday.

My overnight weight drop was poor this time. I woke up and weighed in at about 9 in the morning and was still sitting at 77.2 kg. This amount is roughly .3 kg more than yesterday at the same time. I am a bit constipated today, and that could be the reason. But who really knows the exact biological reasons? It’s impossible to say, but I am probably in the ballpark of being able to break even. Besides, I have lost so much weight lately that my body may be due for a slight weight gain.

Even though I had a pretty hard run, the scale showed that I only went down .7 kg, which was a drop from 76.9 to 76.2. I figured that my weight would drop at least .8 kg because I finished at a heart rate of 144. But for whatever reason, the results just were not that good. Since I was weighing in a little bit later than yesterday, I decided to call it a day at 76.2 and record a slight weight gain. I was kind of expecting that, anyway. There is just no safe and healthy way to keep losing every day, especially when I am actually in weight maintenance phase. Besides, a gain of only .1 kg is not exactly a tailspin. You just want to avoid seeing that on multiple days in a row or a few times a week. That coudl suggest a problem with your plan.

Another Day of Weight Loss As One-Hour Sessions Continue To Deliver

Day 389

I have now almost completely recovered from my recent high of 78.4 kg after a break day. Yesterday’s final weight and today’s starting weight is 76.2 kg. So it’s possible that my weight could get down into the 75 range again. My lowest mark since starting 60-minute runs was 75.9 kg. Then, things went bad for a while due to break and cheat days, which is what caused me to swell up to 78.4.

From a start of 76.2 kg today, I initially rose to 77.4 after the first meal. That was a good starting amount. However, I crept up to 77.9 after the next meal, which was in increase of 1.7 kg. With 2.0 being the max guideline, I could see it was time to slow down a little.

In this case, it’s nice if you can abstain from eating anything for at least 3 hours. This gives you time to hopefully go to the bathroom and naturally lose a little weight, keeping in mind that you do naturally lose weight throughout the day even when not exercising. As long as yo aren’t eating, then you are going to slowly lose weight. The issue is that the amount you lose is often not enough to make up for overeating or lack of exercise. But I am not talking about that. I am saying that waiting until you lose .2 or .3 kg and then eating a little more can help keep you at or below your daily max guideline.

In this case, I did stop eating for a while and dropped to 77.7 kg. That was a 1.5 kg increase, and this method was achieved perfectly this time. It allowed me to eat a little more yogurt and finish eating for the day at about 77.95 kg (this is an estimate, but it was well below the 2.0 guideline).

Having met my diet goal for the day, the only thing left to do is hope to lose quite a bit overnight and then have a decent 60-minute run in the morning. In this case, I got down to 77.0 when waking up – an excellent mark when considering my relatively light diet today. I don’t know exactly how much of that was during sleep. However, it was a loss of close to 1.0 kg in about 13 hours, which included sleep time.

With my weight being 77.0, I needed to lose at least .8 kg more to break even or more to actually lose weight today. The run felt slightly slower than yesterday, but I still finished up at a heart rate of about 140. That was enough to lose .9 kg during the run. So I had already gotten down to 76.1 and lost .1 kg on the day with about 2 hours before the final weigh-in.

After the run, my weight seemed to be stuck at 76.1, and that’s where the day ended. This can and does happen often. You will sometimes go 3 hours and not lose one bit of weight even when not eating or drinking anything. Then, in the next 3 hours, you might lose .5 kg. However, my Pentamize tracking does not cover that sort of thing because I eat multiple small meals per day. It is rare for me to go 6 hours while awake without eating anything. That only happens during sleep time.

Big Weight Loss On a Strawberry Smoothie Day

Day 388

Yesterday, I finally completed 3 straight weeks of 60-minute sessions. And with a starting mark of 77.4, I lost .9 kg over that time. This included one break day, one really big cheat day, and then a smaller cheat day. I also had some snacks on several days, but not so much that those would be considered cheat days. At any rate, this is a very good weight loss, mostly because of a much more disciplined diet than I had when running 90 minutes per day. I really needed to run less because 90 minutes all the time was getting to me. In short, I have a lot more confidence going forward that this exercise routine (one hour of jogging) can be sustained for a lifetime. The 90-minute runs were iffy because they are just a little too much on my knees and ankles.

My diet is off to a great start today. I was up to 77.6 kg at 4 in the afternoon. That is only 1.1 kg over the starting weight of 76.5.

It’s good to finish eating early, but that isn’t going to work this time. I will drink smoothies at about 8:30 at night. However, to make up for that, the plan is to abstain from eating and drink water and coffee only until that time. So the 77.6 plus water and smoothies and some very small snack of meat should keep me well below 2.0 kg. I’m not sure about that, but it sounds like a good plan.

While I did very well up until 8 and stayed even at 77.6 kg, I had a little more than expected for that last meal. The smoothies and about .2 kg rose me to 78.3 kg, or 1.8 kg over the starting point. That could hurt me, but it will hopefully be fine since the smoothies are a pretty good diet choice.

My weight came down to 77.4 by morning. That was .9 kg in about 11 hours, which is pretty typical. I will be running a little early now and will have to abstain from eating for about 3 hours after the session.

The weather is cooler now, so I don’t expect to lose quite as much when running. But I still lost .8 kg today during a steady and fairly fast session that ended with a heart rate of about 144. This is a pretty good estimate of what my heart rate was throughout the session, so it’s definitely an above-average pace. So as the weather gets cooler, I am not expecting many one-hour runs that are going to exceed .8 kg of weight loss. Today, that got me down to 76.6 kg, or just .1 kg over the starting weight. However, that was very good because I still had 2 or 3 more hours before the weigh-in.

Despite weighing in more than an hour early, I had a big weight loss of .3 kg when finishing at 76.2. I had gone to the bathroom twice during that time. It’s interesting when considering that I had those smoothies really late at night. But these results show that those smoothies digested really fast. I may consider doing smoothies more. Last nigt, they were made only of strawberries, milk, and a pretty small amount of sugar. Of course, I would have to watch the sugar if deciding to drink more smoothies.

Review Of 60-Minute Running Days So Far (Clear Success In Weight Maintenance)

Day 387

After a weird day where I broke even, my energy will hopefully be at a little bit higher by the time of the morning run. It will be another 60-minute session, and I’d like it to be slightly faster than Day 368’s jaunt.

My starting weight today was 76.7 kg. And that was also my starting weight yesterday, which was after dropping from 76.9 the day before that.

Running for 60 minutes has proven to be very successful so far. I lost weight during the initial 7-day test and decided to just keep on going with one-hour sessions. In fact, despite having one break day, I have still lost weight over this period without a single 90-minute run. And to be clear, most of these days have actually been between 55 and 60 minutes. I have stopped up to 5 minutes early on probably the majority of days.

The initial 7-day test was not long enough to confidently draw a conclusion on whether one-hour running sessions are enough for me to lose weight. But as time goes on, it’s looking like one hour is enough as long as I maintain the proper diet. Without diet control, I would be totally screwed. But this is not surprising, as diet is crucial to weight loss and maintenance unless your metabolism is such that you just don’t gain weight, anyway.

Counting up the days with 60-minute runs so far, Day 386 (does not include today) was the 20th day. That includes one break day, one cheat day, and one semi-cheat day. Including these days is actually good for this update because it allows me to see if I can recover from the cheat and break days.

My starting weight was 77.4 kg, and I was 76.7 kg at the end of Day 386. While that is only roughly .035 kg per day of weight loss, it’s a huge success because the only goal was to see if I can maintain my current weight with 60-minute running sessions. So any actual weight loss is a bonus. And .7 kg of weight loss over this 20-day period is a nice overall achievement.

What is even better is that I actually rose sharply from 77.0 to 78.4 on my one break day. So I started at 77.4, got down to 75.9 at one point, went back to 77.0 due to a cheat day, skyrocketed to 78.4 overnight, and then started losing again. And by the end of the 20th day, I was back down to 76.7 kg.

Just as with 90-minute sessions, I do have some days with weight gain. But the overall result is what counts. And 20 days of results is enough to say that I probably have a winning formula here.

There is something else to note, though. I previously tested 60-minute days and did not have much success. But the breakthrough I have made and what is probabl indispensable for me is the 2.0 kg maximum weight increase guideline. This means that, whatever my weight is at the beginning of the day, it should never go more than 2.0 kg over that. For example, if I were to have an average increase of 2.5 kg, I would likely gain weight. So I must maintain a lighter diet than when running 90 minutes a day. When running 90 minutes on a regular basis, I very frequently increased to 2.5 and even 3.0 kg. That just isn’t going to work for me if I want to stick to 60-minute exercise sessions.

At 6:45 in the evening, my weight was around 78.5 kg, or 1.8 kg over today’s starting mark. I am going to attempt to stop eating for the rest of the night. However, I will be drinking some coffee. Yesterday’s max increase was 2.0. Drinking coffee could potentially get me up to that amount.

When I woke up at 6:30 in the morning, I had achieved a pretty nice drop down to 77.6 kg. That was .9 kg in about 12 hours, with about half of that being sleep. This is somewhat better than yesterday at the same time. I’d like to take a break some day or even run less than an hour. But this will have to be based on results before the run, and it’s awfully difficult for me to come close to even without extreme dieting. I think I am going to have to be happy with reducing from 90 to 60 minutes. Reducing even more is probably not going to happen with my current diet. As I always say, the only other thing I could see doing is to go heavy on vegetables and reduce meat and other food types. That’s not something that is likely since my history with vegetables is not good. The amount I would have to eat to get full would be too expensive, anyway. This is a major problem with current food pricing in every country I have been to so far. For health reasons, vegetables should be as cheap as possible. But if you actually want to eat dirt cheap, you need to buy some pretty crappy food as filler – at least crappy when it comes to dieting (bread, rice, etc.).

I finished off the day dropping to 77.2 before the run and then 76.5 by the end of the run. So my official weight was 76.5 and a loss of .2 kg. I lost .7 kg today, which is not great but is a heck of a lot better than yesterday’s weird .5. Again, though, an extremely strong wind was a possible factor. Today, the wind was not very strong at all in any direction.

Including today, which makes 21 days, I have now lost .9 kg since starting the 60-minute sessions with the 2.0 kg guideline. As stated above, this is looking like a solid long-term approach. I am going to continue with these sessions for a while to get a little more testing in the books.

Broke Even Despite a Really Poor Weight Loss During Jogging Session

Day 386

My diet was not great but not terrible today. I rose to 78.5 by 7 in the evening after starting at 76.7. At that point, it was an increase of 1.8 kg.

I also drank more water than yesterday, which means the weight might fall off fast. However, I don’t seem to be going to the bathroom much, so my body may need this water for now.

Like yesterday, I just needed a little more to eat even after 7. So I had a fairly small meal and rose to around 78.7 kg. That put my daily max increase at 2.0 kg. Then, at about 10 at night, I dropped to approximately 78.6. So that put me 1.9 over for the day, which was pretty similar to yesterday. However, I will sleep soon tonight and get a lot more shut-eye than last night. This will hopefully help me lose plenty of weight overnight.

I weighed in a little late in the morning (about a couple of hours after getting up) and was 77.6 kg. However, that was before going to the bathroom. I was possibly 77.8 when getting up, so regardless of doing it late, I lost quite a bit overnight.

I finally went to the bathroom and weighed 77.3. That was only a few minutes before running, so that was also my starting weight for the one-hour running session.

Today, I just don’t feel like running hard. Yesterday, I felt the same way and still ultimately ran harder than usual. I had measured my heart rate halfway through, and it was at about 140. Then, I was actually surprised to measure at the end and see a heart rate of around 152. So my average heart rate must have been at least 140.

However, today is probably the time that I really will slow it down a little. If that causes a little bit of weight gain, I am not even going to worry about it. I do hope to lose at least .6 kg, though, which seems like what happens on 60-minute runs when my results are bad. Actually, though, .6 would break me even since I lost a lot in the bathroom. So I still might actually lose weight today even with a slower run.

Well, the run was very strange. I only lost .5 kg, which ties the lowest mark for in-exercise weight loss that I have ever recorded for a one-hour jogging session. The wind was blowing extremely hard, which possibly affected the amount. Despite the weird result, I still broke even today because my weight had already gotten down to 77.2 before the run started.

This is one of the strangest days I have seen so far. My diet was so-so, actually getting up to a 2.0 increase. Then, I had the really bad run result of .5. What allowed me to break even was the fact that I dropped 1.5 kg between going to sleep and running, which was a period of about 13 or 14 hours. It was that drop that made the difference. Unfortunately, you cannot plan on such a drop every day or do anything to make it happen (obviously, I am excluding really bad ideas like drugs or things that cause dehydration). So it’s best to just focus on the right diet and exercise and let the rest take care of itself.