Week Five Recap

Sun 12 August 2018

It looks like I hit that plateau I mentioned back in week three, sort of. This week, I “only” lost half a pound. Despite not technically being on pace, I still consider the week a success because I dropped any weight at all.

Analysis

First of all, the problem was not the Wagyu. The problem, from a weight-loss perspective, was that we had multiple unplanned social gatherings take place this week.

Because I had front-loaded my eating and planned to do the weight-dropping in the latter part of the week, the surprises made it a little hard to execute. If I had done as I did during the Vegas week and dropped the weight early, then I probably would have been able to get the full pound in as planned. Okay, so maybe it was the Wagyu.

Regardless, balance is important. And I choose to balance my physical health with my social health. So every once in a while, I'll sacrifice my weight loss goals in order to spend some quality time with friends or family. Even so, I still managed to book a loss for the week.

Although my projected end date is now two weeks out, I still expect to hit my original target date. I expect the pace to vary as the months go by. Sometimes, I'll come out ahead as I did in week one. Other times, I'll be a little behind like today. In the long run (ten more weeks), it will even out.

Metrics:

Targeting a fifteen pound loss at one pound per week:

Week 5
======
Current     : -4.4 lbs
Weekly Rate : -0.88 lbs / wk
Projected   : 04-Nov
Original    : 21-Oct

Wagyu

Fri 10 August 2018

I'm about a pound and a half to my goal for the week, with two days left before the weigh-in. But before we get into that, let's talk about Wagyu beef.

Wagyu beef is “arguably the best and most expensive beef money can buy”. I'm not going to argue either point. I started buying beef from a (relatively) new food startup a couple of months ago, CrowdCow. It's basically a crowd-sourced beef service — ranches sell off portions of specific cows to people who pre-order them online. I ordered a share of Wagyu through them a couple of weeks ago. It was really expensive, but I happened to have a bunch of credit with the them due to a couple of innocuous incidents (missed shipping date on another order, etc.), so I used that credit to help pay for a share.

Well now I don't know if I should be thankful or remorseful because after eating one of the ribeyes, I can't stop thinking about the steak. I tasted just a little bit of the fat that came off the steak while it was resting. (I usually use the fat from the steak to cook some veggies as a side dish.) One bite and I could already tell that the steak was going to be really good.

Even then, I still wasn't prepared for the steak itself. Oh my goodness, that was so good. I'm salivating right now, just thinking about it. I won't even try to describe it. If you've ever enjoyed a steak, just imagine that, times a hundred.

I didn't even get what could be considered top of the line Wagyu. My share was from an American ranch doing their first attempt at it. And yet it was by far the best piece of steak I've ever had in my entire life. I'm seriously considering going full starvation mode for two weeks at a time so I can afford a ribeye twice a month. Really — I have no idea what I'm going to do. I still have two denver steaks and one ribeye in the freezer. I'm going to portion those out over the next couple of weeks, then figure out (and convince my wife) to spring for another share next time it comes up.

Anyway, about my weight. Yes, I'm a pound and a half over my target with two days to go. One reason for being a little behind this week is that after the Wagyu Sunday night, we had some company over for dinner on Wednesday. I decided to cook up some of the Wagyu ground beef that came with my share. We put that over some brown rice and served it with a little corn. It was a pretty good meal. It wasn't the experience the ribeye was, however.

I'll be eating a lot of cheerios, granola, and plain bread today and tomorrow to get me to my target. You can guess what will be defrosting in the refrigerator Saturday night.

Week Four Recap

Sun 05 August 2018

This past week went better than I expected. I booked my weight loss on Thursday, the day of my annual physical. After that, I relaxed a little. I watched my intake slightly in preparation for the big party on Saturday, but nothing too extreme. At the party, I had some beer and tacos — really tasty stuff. I even had a donut just to round things out.

But even after all that partying, I only regressed a little bit by this morning. So here I am, at exactly found pounds down, four weeks into the program.

This next week will prove to be a bit of a test. I will see if this regimen actually works with very little exercise for over a month. (The conventional theory is that my metabolism will catch up to my reduced caloric intake and fatten me up again. More on that in a future post.)

But since I am on pace today, I can afford to hold off on the weight drop for a couple of days. I have a prime Wagyu ribeye waiting for me in the refrigerator for tonight. Tomorrow, I am planning to have a belated birthday dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant.

We'll see what the damage is on Wednesday morning, then I'll have to buckle down until the weekend is over.

Metrics:

Targeting a fifteen pound loss at one pound per week:

Week 4
======
Current      : -4.0 lbs
Weekly Rate  : -1.00 lbs / wk
Projected by : 21-Oct
Original     : 21-Oct

Week Three Recap

Wed 01 August 2018

The end-of-week numbers didn't look good (see below), but the week was still a success.

Knowing I had a big weekend coming up, I front-loaded my weight loss for the week. Hence, by day nineteen, I had already made pace on my weekly goal. Since I had booked the requisite weight loss for the week, I could feel okay about temporarily going over after the trip to Las Vegas. And go over was exactly what I did. I returned from the trip with a three-pound gain, putting me right back at the starting point of my schedule.

There was just a little bit of work required to make sure that the setback was indeed temporary, but by this morning, I was back on track. My annual physical examination is scheduled for tomorrow, so that has been a helpful, additional motivating factor. (I'm also trying to book some weight loss there, as compared to my last visit to the doctor last December.)

These past couple of days haven't really been too difficult — I just paid a little more attention to my food intake in the afternoons and evenings. I'm planning on one more day of watching what I eat, then I can relax a little bit. I'll be having some beer and delicious street tacos at a friend's party this coming weekend.

Fluctuations

These types of fluctuations are inevitable, especially if I want to maintain a reasonable social schedule. This is one reason why I target an average weight loss by the week. It allows me to maintain some flexibility, as long as I am able to plan ahead.

The next week will be interesting as I will be close to hitting the five-pound mark soon. That can typically be a point where weight-loss plateaus for a while. I will have to prove out that my technique works through this.

Metrics:

Targeting a fifteen pound loss at one pound per week:

Week 3
======
Current      : -3.2 lbs
Weekly Rate  : -1.06 lbs / wk
Projected by : 21-Oct
Original     : 21-Oct

Vegas Baby

Mon 30 July 2018

By Friday of last week, I was ahead of pace at three and a quarter pounds down. I needed that legroom because the weekend would not be kind to my goal.

Some last minute finagling and schedule adjustments allowed me to take a quick, overnight trip to Las Vegas to help celebrate a friend’s pending marriage. Needless to say, I left my self control at home. By the time I got back on Sunday morning, I was back over my starting weight — four pounds heavier then my Friday weigh-in.

This kind of thing is expected, really. And planning for them is necessary for success. As I mentioned in last week’s recap, I was front-loading my weight loss in order to make room for the weekend.

Now, the weekend has come and gone. I’ve been taking the past couple of days easy to recover from the trip. But now, I’m ready to push through for another pound this week. I’ve got five days left, I should be able to make it unless something unexpected comes up.

Week Two Recap

Sun 22 July 2018

Another week, another pound lost. Week two was a little different from the first in that I dropped the weight almost immediately, on day one. The next few days involved a lot of eating out with family, resulting in my gaining back most of the weight I had lost. As a result, I had to cram in the weight loss the last few days.

In the end, I managed to make weight, with room to spare. I'm expecting to make more progress early this week since I don't have any planned outings until the weekend.

We'll see how it goes.

Metrics:

Targeting a fifteen pound loss at one pound per week:

Week 2
======
Current      : -2.4 lbs
Since Last   : -1.4 lbs
Weekly Rate  : -1.2 lbs / wk
Projected by : 29-Sep
Original     : 21-Oct

What About Exercise?

Sat 21 July 2018

The bottom line: exercise doesn't work.

Exercise is important for your health, but it does very little to help you lose weight. Don't just take my word for it. The National Institute of Health straight up says:

“It's not a weight loss tool.”

Kevin Hall, NIH


The Science is In...

“I read more than sixty studies on this. And it turns out that exercise is pretty useless when it comes to weight loss.”

Julia Belluz, Vox


There's more detail in the Vox video above. But I think we all already know this intuitively. Exercising makes us hungry. And the number of calories you lose from exercise is very easily offset by a small amount of food. From that same video, here are some comparisons:

  • one hour of running = a Big Mac + fries
  • one hour of dancing = three glasses of red wine
  • one donut = a half hour of cycling

Are you really going to exercise for two hours just to offset some McDonalds and a couple of donuts? Keep in mind — this is just to maintain pace. You'll need to hit it even harder to actually lose any weight.

I know I don't have time for that.

If I actually want to drop weight, I know that I can just follow one, simple rule: eat less. It's not easy, but it works.

Week One Recap

Fri 20 July 2018

The first week was pretty typical, as far as my weight loss weeks go. Any time I need to drop a few pounds, I use this strategy.

The goal is simply to lose weight at the end of each week. Since an accepted, healthy rate of weight loss is approximately one pound per week, that's what I shoot for.

In this instance, I took it easy the first few days of the week and basically ate whatever I wanted. I was careful not to gorge, but I didn't try too hard either. Near the end of the week, with the deadline in sight, I buckled down, ate a lot less, and dropped the weight.

Other weeks may unfurl differently, but hopefully with similar results. This week, my weight bounced back up hard after a couple of unanticipated social dinners Monday and Wednesday. At least I got to eat some insanely delicious Napolitano pizza and a couple of amazingly tasty deli sandwiches, not to mention some flan that magically appeared in my fridge the other day. Oh, and let's not forget the ice cream either.

I'm paying back all that good eating today and tomorrow, working to get back on track for Monday morning's weigh-in. In the morning, we'll see how I did today and how much work I'll have to put in tomorrow. But for now, my week two score is over a pound in the wrong direction.

Metrics:

Targeting a fifteen pound loss at one pound per week:

Week 1
======
Current Weight  : -0.2 lbs
Since Last      : +1.2 lbs
Weekly Rate     : -1.4 lbs / week

Success

Sun 15 July 2018

Success! It's just the first week, but I'm glad to get off to a good start. Net loss so far is about one and a half pounds for the week. I'm ahead of schedule, but I don't expect to maintain this pace at all.

I had to get around a little roadblock last night in order to make weight this week. I have family in town for the party later today. So after picking them up, we got together for dinner at the house. We brought home some delicious Korean tofu combos from a local place. There was a lot of tasty, uber weight gaining stuff in that meal. However, I managed to stay on target. I sat with the group, but just ate a few pieces of meat to kill my hunger. Because of this, I managed to drop an additional 3/4 of a pound for the week.

Now today is the big party day, so I'm going to slack off a little bit (not too much). I'm also planning to take care of some of those leftovers from last night today. The good thing is, I have a bit of leeway (that extra 0.4 pounds). Also, since I'm at the beginning of the week, I have enough time to get back on track and lose pound number two by next Monday.

Anyway, now I've proven out my technique (or strategy?). Just rinse and repeat about a dozen more times, right? Not really. Keeping on track is the hard part, as most probably know. Again: this is simple, but not easy.

Metrics:

Current Weight  : -1.4 lbs
Rate            : -1.4 lbs / week

First Week Home Stretch

Sat 14 July 2018

I lost another quarter of a pound yesterday morning. I don't remember what I ate Thursday, but I know I paid attention. Yesterday, I finished off my leftovers from earlier in the week. The leftover kielbasa scramble was my breakfast. Then last night, after avoiding any big meals all day, I killed off that delicious meat sauce I made on Tuesday (no brown rice this time). As a result, this morning I weighed the same as the day before.

So with attendance at a party planned for tomorrow, today is the day I cram in as much weight loss as possible for the week. If I hit one pound of loss today (i.e. tomorrow morning's weigh-in), then even if I gain a little of the weight back on Monday morning, I will consider the week's goal achieved.

Again, the key is to eat less. And today, I'm just going to watch what I eat and eat as little as possible.

This is almost like doing reps while working out. When I get a little hungry, I will test myself to see how long I can hold out. If I find I can't stand it, I'll just eat a little whole grain bread and then some water to keep me full.

“Sleep is the poor man's dinner.”Alexandre Dumas

Going to bed a little hungry does wonders.

Current Weight: -0.6 pounds

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