Sunday, February 17, 2013

Diet Holiday – Or as most people call it, Saturday

As some who have read this blog over the last year may know, I lost a lot of weight last year. At its peak, the loss was 74 pounds … for one day. I then went through an interesting period from later November to late January in which I took a diet holiday and put on about 19 pounds – again measured by a peak of one day. Realistically, I was up about 15 actual pounds. Oops …

It took me about a week toward the end of January to stabilize my eating back to the system I used last year, and I was able to finally do it. I quickly dropped 10 pounds and then got completely stuck again. For the last week I have been stuck at basically the same weight, so when Karen invited me to join her at the Sugar Cabin out by a town called Pakenham – a place called Fulton’s Pancake House – I decided to take a diet holiday. And not just for the brunch we had of fabulous pancakes, I also decided to indulge a craving I had for Colonnade Pizza, a local establishment that makes about the best pizza you can get.

The theory is that the body gets very used to eating a certain way and no longer responds by using its resources. The metabolism stabilizes at a low point, especially since I have been working from morning until 2am for 6 straight days (including last Sunday), a repeat of the week before, to complete a project at the office.This is easy to do when writing software, as that’s how engaged I get when writing code.

Anyway, the last few weeks have looked like this on my “diet” …


The net cals is only +250 because I also logged the 45 minute walk we did through the bush on hilly snow, a difficult surface. That knocked about 475 cals off the total transgression, and might have been an overestimate, given that there is no exact match to the kind of walking we did. The total transgression, food-wise, was more like 725 on the wrong side of the leger.

The thing is … this was just a pancake brunch and three slices of pizza for dinner, along with a 160cal Atkins bar morning and evening and a few cups of coffee. Nothing else. That’s a normal Saturday for a lot of people and that’s why it is so difficult to control one’s weight in this society. Social gatherings are all about food and most of that food is comfort food.

I know that I’ll pay for this transgression at tomorrow’s weigh in, a combination of putting on about 4 ounces of real weight and of putting on a bunch of water weight based on all the salt I would have ingested today. But that’s a small price to pay to get rid of a craving or two and to try to kick my metabolism. This technique has worked in the past to get past a stalemate.

Here is how the diet has been going for about the last two and a half weeks, since reestablishing my discipline.


The process works … log every calorie and eat small meals. I still use my favorite strategy between meals … a small handful of Almonds (7 to 10 grams) and a diet Dr. Pepper :-) … and it still helps. Of course, without lifting weights, my metabolism is lower than it should be, so I really could use the adjunct. And I hope to be able to get that part of my brain functioning again at some point. But there is no legitimate source of weight loss information that does not attribute at least 80% or more of the weight issue to one’s food intake.

There are many excellent reasons to exercise, including that it raises your overall metabolism, but too many people use the “reward” system of motivation to get themselves to the gym, and they wipe out the gains they just made in the food bar afterwards. These gyms have those food bars for that specific reason … so you will come back and work even harder in a few days. It is a business, after all.

So the bottom line:

Your mouth can exceed in 30 seconds what it takes an hour of sweat to lose, calorie-wise. Which is why what you eat matters a whole lot more than how much you exercise where weight loss is concerned.