Posts Tagged ‘Weight Loss’

The following is the monthly update on my attempt to lose weight and get healthier.  It’s a longer post than my “normal” daily post, so if your not “into” reading about “another person’s” diet (again!), I’ll understand if you stop here and come back another day.  You’ve been warned!!  Here goes…
(As in previous posts:) On September 16, 2019, I switched from my 18 days of “juice / blend” fasting / diet to an Intermittent Time Fasting (ITF) “Diet / Lifestyle”.  My starting weight on 29 August, for the juice / blending fast was: 373lbs.  My starting weight for the ITF was: 356lbs.  My current weight (this morning) was: 329lbs.  Basically, I’ve lost 44lbs from the end of August, 27lbs from the start of the ITF and 11lbs in the last 30 days.

Calories Chart from last 30 days (Nov / Dec) of ITF

The observant among you may (again) notice in the above chart I had three(3) days where my calories-in exceeded my calories-out…  This is one less (per month) than I did in the first two months, so slightly better.  Still, essentially it’s demonstrating that about every other “all-you-can-eat / anything-you-want” day, I blow my caloric allowance.  I’m on a three day cycle, so this means about once a week I lose it.  Interestingly, it’s not necessarily on the OMAD that I blow the calorie balance.  It seems, sometimes “life” just happens and I go with it.
As mentioned in my prior monthly updates, when I switched to the ITF, I also began using my FitBit (FB) to begin tracking my food and gauging my calories-in versus my calories-out.  I’m not sure why, but the FB has set my calories-out “objective” at 3,800.  The on-line BMR calculator I use said my initial BMR was roughly 2,370 calories.  At my current weight (329lbs), my BMR is 2,289 – (again) about 40 fewer calories lower / less than the prior month and 80 from the starting calories.  This means I have to burn an additional measure of 1,510 calories during my waking hours to reach the FB objective.  In any case, FB is showing my daily calories out for the last 30 days at 4,167 (about 200 calories less than prior month).  By this reckoning, I am exceeding the FB calories (3,800) by 367 per day and my BMR by almost 1,800.  Multiply this by 7 days in a week and we get 12,579 – which works out to about 3.5lbs per week of weight loss.  My actual weight loss for the last 30 days is about 11lbs.  Divided by 30 days and multiplied by 7 days is 2.57lbs per week of “actual” loss.  So, the FitBit is either scoring my calories-out to high or I’m not inputting the calories-in correctly.  I am diligent about the input, but I may be underestimating the portions and therefore the difference isn’t as great as the charts suggest.  It is also possible the difference is in both cals-in and cals-out.  Finally, it may just be my body is not burning the calories at the “normal” rate (meaning my calories burned is lower than the heart beat is suggesting it should be because of my AFib).

BMR on 16 Dec 2019 at 329lbs

Anyway, the chart below shows I still have a calorie deficit of about 1,000 calories per day (for the last 2 weeks in Dec.).  That times seven(7) days is 7,000 calories.  Divided by 3,500 calories (1 pound of human body fat) equals to 2 pounds of loss per week.  My actual weight loss over the last eight weeks is 18lbs.  Divided by eight(8) is 2.25lbs per week.  This is roughly the same average weight loss per week as recorded at the end of four weeks.  Over the last 2 weeks I’ve lost 3lbs (1.5lbs per week) and over the last month (as mentioned above) 11lbs (2.75lbs per week).

Calories Chart for Year

The goal of my long-term weight loss is (remains) to drop 1.5 to 2 pounds per week.  In theory, this will prevent the two worst parts of extreme weight loss: a permanent (and excessive) drop in BMR (which makes it easier to regain lost weight) and a large amount of floppy / saggy skin (pure vanity).  It looks like I’m continuing my promising start from the first two months.

Weight Loss Chart (Sept – Dec)

Equally important: how does it feel?  Today I am almost done with 5 weeks (out of 6) of “slogging” (VERY slow jogging).  My goal is to get to 3.2 miles per day and then begin dropping the time (slowly).  I’ve been “pretty” consistent although I’ve been slipping lately (hence the “5 out of 6”).  I’m mostly sticking to my goal of 3.2 miles per day, but yesterday I jogged 4.12 miles (one “extra” mile) and for the first time my overall pace was under 18 minutes at 17:59.  Yes, just barely, but still under AND with the extra mile – so I’m pleased.  I am planning to keep it to 3.2-ish miles per jog.  This is just over 5K (3.11 miles), and now that I’m good with the distance, I still need to start to drop the times.  When I (finally) get below 300lbs, I intend to add in some body weight exercises to improve my flexibility and strength.
As per my last two monthly reports: I am still working on my secondary goals going forward – smoothing out the “calories-in” numbers and to eat more healthy on my one-meal-a-day / all-you-can-eat day.  I am still “abusing” the OMAD opportunity, but… during the last month, even though I was over my calories limit (“in” vs “out”) three times, I didn’t eat beyond feeling stuffed to the point of feeling sick on any of the three “overs”.  So, I am improving there, too.  Slowly, slowly…
A final observation: although it is theoretically “impossible” to spot lose weight (or spot gain weight), I seem to be losing “size” in areas which correspond to my activity.  My waist is not shrinking much, but my legs, ankles, shoulders and forearms “feel” like they are getting smaller to me.  At least my clothes feel more comfortable in those spots.  As all I am doing for exercise is walking my dog and going for jogs, this makes sense, even though it contradicts all the “theory” of fat loss distribution I’ve ever read about (i.e. fat loss is supposed to be proportional across the entire body).  It’s not that big a deal, except it would be nice to imagine I was losing fat around my internal organs and not just legs and shoulders.  Oh, well, time will tell…
On This Day In:
2018 And Some Never Do
2017 When We Know We Are Loved
2016 Good Acts
2015 Will You Be Leaving Soon?
2014 Just Long Enough
2013 R.I.P. – Tom Laughlin
Seeking Success?
2012 All Aboard
2011 Sail On, Sailor

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[The following are two excerpts from an article I recently read on the benefits / effectiveness of increasing exercise on long-term weight loss.  I highly recommend clicking on the links to read the original article(s).  —  KMAB]
University of Alabama obesity researcher David Allison sums up the research this way:  Adding physical activity has a very modest effect on weight loss — “a lesser effect than you’d mathematically predict,” he said.
We’ve long thought of weight loss in simple “calories in, calories out” terms.  In a much-cited 1958 study, researcher Max Wishnofsky outlined a rule that many organizations — from the Mayo Clinic to Livestrong — still use to predict weight loss:  A pound of human fat represents about 3,500 calories; therefore, cutting 500 calories per day, through diet or physical activity, results in about a pound of weight loss per week.  Similarly, adding 500 calories a day results in a weight gain of about the same.
Today, researchers view this rule as overly simplistic.  They now think of human energy balance as “a dynamic and adaptable system,” as one study describes.  When you alter one component — cutting the number of calories you eat in a day to lose weight, doing more exercise than usual — this sets off a cascade of changes in the body that affect how many calories you use up and, in turn, your bodyweight.
There are three main components to energy expenditure, (Alexxai) Kravitz explained: 1) basal metabolic rate, or the energy used for basic functioning when the body is at rest; 2) the energy used to break down food; and 3) the energy used in physical activity.
We have very little control over our basal metabolic rate, but it’s our biggest energy hog.  “It’s generally accepted that for most people, the basal metabolic rate accounts for 60 to 80 percent of total energy expenditure,” Kravitz said.  Digesting food accounts for about 10 percent.
That leaves only 10 to 30 percent for physical activity, of which exercise is only a subset.  (You can read more about this concept here and here.)
“It’s not nothing, but it’s not nearly equal to food intake — which accounts for 100 percent of the energy intake of the body,” Kravitz said. “This is why it’s not so surprising that exercise leads to [statistically] significant, but small, changes in weight.”
  —  Julia Belluz and Javier Zarracina
From the article: “Why You Shouldn’t Exercise to Lose Weight, Explained With 60+ Studies
The article appeared in (on): “www.vox.com
I found the article at: https://getpocket.com/explore/item/why-you-shouldn-t-exercise-to-lose-weight-explained-with-60-studies
The original article appears at: https://www.vox.com/2016/4/28/11518804/weight-loss-exercise-myth-burn-calories
On This Day In:
2018 Speak Your Mind
2017 And I Thought It Was Just Me Getting Old
2016 One For Whole
2015 A Good Present
2014 And Your Point Is?
2013 Our Never-Ending Task
2012 More Mature Than I Thought
2011 Outlaw’s Music
Can Do!

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Yesterday I completed Day 1 of my Veggie-Fruits Juice / Blend fast.  It’s pretty much the same as last years effort, but this year, for the first few days anyway, I’m skipping the straight-up “juice” and going right to the “blend”.  In a nutshell, this means I’m dicing up my fruit and veggies and just blending them with water and additional fruit / veggie “juice”.  Yes, the additional stuff is processed and not terrible healthy, but it’s a sacrifice I’m making to save time and expense.
My starting weight yesterday was 373lbs and this morning I was already down 2lbs.  So, I’m at 371lbs.  That’s pretty normal as the blend tends to flush out most of the solid material from your (my) digestive tract.  From experience, I normally drop 10lbs in the first 5 to 7 days.  We’ll see…
From experience, the first three or four days are the worst part physically as I will be grumpy, tired and missing the simple act of chewing.  “My” style of fasting is not particularly restricting on calories.  Yes, processed fruit juices have a high amount of sugar (fructose) content, but absorption is slowed by the roughage of the blended veggies (onions, celery, cucumber, carrots) and fruit (apples, berries, bananas, pineapple).  I also blend in about two cups of beans.  I vary them between weeks (pinto, black and kidney).  In all, I probably have close to a gallon of “blend” per day.  It actually ends up being more than that consumed as I continually add ice to keep the drink cool.
Yesterday, I went for my normal 30 minute dog walk and an additional 60 minutes of treading water at my local swimming pool.  I’ve been trying to swim as often as possible this year, but I am only averaging about every other or every third day  (mostly third).  I seem to go on streaks and then my built up list of things to do gets too long and I have to spend a couple of days whittling the list down.  (That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it…)
The good news is that as I’m ending my second day, my fingers, hands, wrists, feet and ankles are already feeling considerably less bloated.  The flip side (the bad news) is that passing all the solids and acidic fluids leaves one with a bit of a  burning bum.  This too shall pass…  (Yes, mild poop humor.)
The key (again, from my experience) is to never get so hungry (either real hunger or empty stomach) that you start to obsess about food.  This means drinking the blend regularly (to maintain your blood-sugar level) and supplementing it with regular water (or herbal tea) which acts to keep your stomach full (physically) which tricks your mind into not being hungry.  By this means, I can increase activity and (over time) modify (decrease) caloric input to lose weight.  Weight loss always comes down to three things: 1) move more; 2) eat less; and, 3) eat better (healthier & more natural).
So, the journey begins again.  The current plan is to juice for a week and then switch to the Modified Alternate Day Fasting (MADF), which I have been unsuccessfully trying since February of this year.  Over the course of the next few days / weeks, I’ll discuss some of my views on why the MADF has not been successful for me and why I’m fairly confident this jump start will help in this next go around.  While on this path, I will try to post every day on how I’m doing.  These posts will tend to be longer than my normal (quotes) posts, so if you are not interested in my dieting process, just skip the long post and enjoy my other shorter post(s).  Stay tuned…
Oh, yeah…  Before I forget:  I am NOT a health professional NOR have I been trained in medicine or psychology.  Take EVERYTHING you read on my blog about dieting / fasting with a grain of salt and a heaping dose of skepticism.  I have read lots of books and watched hundreds of hours of YouTube & TED videos about health, sleeping, dieting, working out, etc and most of them contradict each other in detail while agreeing on generalities.  ALWAYS consult with your personal healthcare provider before engaging in any of my crazy ideas / practices or beginning any change in diet or fitness program. 
On This Day In:
2018 I Put It Down To Bad Teachers
Day 34: In And Out
2017 And The Future Is Now
2016 I Am
2015 Positively Aiming Higher
2014 Suspicious Minds
2013 We Are Not Alone
2012 Lawyer, n.
2011 Each Day Remember…
2010 Impossible Dreams of Camelot

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Please do NOT take anything I say in this post (or the next few days) as medical advice.  I am NOT a physician or health specialist and have NO formal training in medicine, diet or nutrition.  I do have lots of personal experience dieting (and failing) and losing weight (and finding it again).  Please consult your doctor before you start a diet, work-out plan or any significant change in your physical lifestyle.  A word to the wise should suffice…
Okay…  I have just finished the first 24 hours of my latest cleansing fast.  What is a “cleansing” fast?  Basically, every so often, usually once a year, I go through several days of not “eating” – that is, masticating / chewing.  The longest fasts I’ve been on were 30 days.  I’ve done these four times in my life.  Once (each) in my 20s and 30s and twice in my 50s.  The two early one were veggie broth and herbal tea fasts.  The later (and latter) two were in the last 7 years (I’m currently 63 yrs old).  I’ve also done multiple cleanses of 10 to 21 days during this time frame.  These were not so much to diet as to try to initiate lifestyle changes.  Generally, they work for “a while” (a couple of months), before I slip back into my old ways / habits.  The two long ones were the results of watching the films “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” (1 and 2).
Procedure:  I run a bunch of veggies through a juicer and drink the results.  This normally results in about two 32oz bottles of “veggie” juice to drink.  It also results in a large amount of “waste” roughage which I sometimes use and sometimes dispose of.  I don’t have a composting area, so if I’m not intending to use the roughage for blending or brothing, I’m afraid I haven’t been able to think of much else to do with it.  When I am just intending to juice for a day or up to three, I toss it.  If I’m intending to go longer, I keep it.
My current plan is to go for a week and see how I feel.  As such, I’m holding onto the roughage to use in a blend.  As I mentioned, “my” cleanses tend to be both veggie juice and veggie / fruit blends.  I try to go about two and three days of each, alternating.  I do this because I’m not a big fan of enemas and after two days of just veggie juice, I don’t have anything solid to pass.  The alternating between juicing and blending seems to work for me to keep the plumbing working (to put it politely) comfortably.  So, no, I’m not doing “pure” fasting.
Dieting / Weight-Loss:  I personally do NOT believe juicing (the way I do it) is an effective form of dieting or of losing weight and keeping it off.  Why not?  Because the normal adult body holds about 5 to 7 pounds of food “in processing” at any time.  You eat.  It works it way through your system.  You poop.  That 5-7 pounds is the “in system” stuff.  When you (I) begin the juicing, the first couple of days is getting rid of all of this.  This means I normally drop 7 pounds in the first three to four days of a juice fast.  This is NOT true weight loss, because as soon as I eat an apple or salad coming off the fast, the weight is right back there in my stomach being processed.  Interestingly, this period also roughly corresponds with the snarky, tired, miserable mood period most people experience when they start a juice fast.  It is only after this initial period that I begin to lose real weight.
On my last 10 day fast (just juice), I lost 20 pounds.  Thirteen if you discount the stomach weight.  On my last 20 day fast (juice and blend), I lost 25.  On my last 30 day fast (juice and blend), I lost 30 pounds.  Again, you’d have to subtract 7 pounds to get the real weight (18 and 23, respectively).  There is a law of diminishing returns – for me anyway.  It starts to fall off more slowly once I get past the 15 day mark.  I’ve never averaged less than a pound per day over the course of a fast.  But, I’ve also never had a “really” long fast (over 30 days).
So, what’s the difference between “blending” and “brothing”?  Blending (for me) is using either water or purchased fruit juice in a blender with the roughage to make a “smoothie”, which I then drink.  Brothing is simply boiling water with the roughage to make broth.  You boil for a few minutes and then pour the mixture through a sieve to get the vegetable broth.  It’s pretty good on a cold winter day and vaguely stirs memories of eating stew (“scouse”) – but only VERY vaguely.  LOL.  A couple of points to mention: 1)  I try to use the roughage within two days (unless it’s been frozen); and, 2) brothing boils away a lot of the water soluble vitamins which were left after the juicing process and leaves very little soluble fiber.
And a few closing points, in addition to my regular heart meds (I suffer from irregular / non-symptomatic AFib), I also take a regular one-a-day type of multi-vitamin pill, a one-a-day D3 (specific) vitamin pill and three fish-oil pills.  I walk our family dog (almost) every day, for at least 1/2 hour (about 1 mile) and I try to do some other form of exercise.  In the summer (starting this year), it’s been treading water, which I do for an hour.  I’m currently averaging about three times per week on this.
Finally, long term weight loss (and keeping it off / maintenance) is about making a lifestyle change, not just getting through a cleansing fast.  Having said that, every thing you do to make yourself healthier – no matter how small – is a good step on the way to being just that – healthier.  So, I’m starting today and I’ll try to provide daily updates to let you know how it’s going.  Wish me luck…
On This Day In:
2017 Effective Stimuli
2016 Dave’s Not Here, Man
2015 Blink
2014 The Struggle To Educate America Continues…
2013 On Elections
2012 Warm Smiles
Pick Your Poison
2011 Straight Shooters

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