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graindart - Saturday Apr 21, 2018
(Low Carb High Fat - One Meal A Day)
Weight: 177.9

Day 6 down, starting day 7.

Eating is going ok.  Not obsessing over food, although I'd prefer to eat throughout the day.

Ketosis - the magic behind LCHF.  I've never made it past 2 or 3 days on extremely low carb before, but am doing ok on it this time after better initial planning and research.  Bought some ketosis testing strips on a whim (inexpensive).  Figured after being on LCHF for a couple days I'd be into ketosis.  Well according to the test strips, that's not so.  In fact, after 6 days the test strips were still indicating negative.  I'm not obsessed with it and have only tested 3 times over the past week.  It's more just a gee-whiz type thing or wanting to see some reaction from my body to the changes in diet.  From online research, most people test positive for ketosis inside a week, but I've also seen stats that show it taking anywhere from 2 -10 days.  I've also read that some people are keto-resistant and sometimes need a couple of days of almost all fat intake to get pushed over the edge into ketosis.  Figure I'll give it up to 10 days in before trying a couple days of mostly fat intake.

Down day today for the whole family with no real plans to speak of.  Wife is sleeping-in, oldest daughter also.  Younger daughter did her couple chores and is now watching some cartoons while laying on the couch.  I'm in the garage working on some projects.  Need to tear my dirt bike apart and adjust the carburetor, but just don't feel overly motivated to do it right now.  Also need to go through my riding gear and get stuff ready for Tuesday.  Feeling lazy, so might put them both off until tomorrow.

Progress as of today: 105.1 lbs lost so far, only 18.9 lbs to go!

bearcountrygg on 04/21/2018:
Sounds like you are adjusting to it.

Donkey on 04/21/2018:
So if the strips indicate that you are in ketosis, does that mean you're in the fat-burning phase?

graindart on 04/21/2018:
Supposedly. Of course, it all depends on what you read and who you believe. With all of the diet plans out there, each claims it's the best and the others are scams or dangerous.

happy-1 on 04/21/2018:
Dirt bikes! Fun!!!!

graindart - Friday Apr 20, 2018
(Low Carb High Fat - One Meal A Day)
Weight: 178.0

Day 5 down, starting on day 6.

Did my new exercise plan yesterday after taking a 10 day rest from exercising. Changed stuff up and am going for less reps on each exercise, but with less assistance on the bodyweight stuff. (my goal isn't endurance, but rather muscle size / strength)

I pushed it harder than usual, started feeling a good "soreness" developing in the muscles, and actually started to sweat.

I think doing the exercises before my one meal a day was the smart move. I may have been down a little on energy, but I wasn't feeling full and sluggish like after I've just consumed 1800+ calories at once. Ideally in the future, I think I'd like to do the exercises right before dinner (yesterday that wasn't an option).

Felt good afterwards and was fully expecting to be extremely sore today.  But woke up and am barely sore at all.  Normally I'd be happy about not being sore, but when trying to build muscle I read that you need to really shock the muscles to get them to grow.  So I probably would've been happier to wake up to extremely sore muscles today.  Guess I'll have to try pushing it even harder on Sunday.......

Food intake has been going ok.  Think I'm starting to adjust to the higher fat, lower carb intake.  Actually seemed to enjoy last night's meal.  The one meal a day hasn't seemed to be that difficult to adjust to so far and I expect it to just get easier as it becomes the new normal for at least the next few weeks.

Progress as of today: 105 lbs lost so far, only 19 lbs to go!

bearcountrygg on 04/20/2018:
higher fat foods just are more satisfying and really do help a lot.....if you have ever watched the program called MY 600 Pound Life.....before and after the weight loss surgery...the dr always has them go on a 1,200 calorie protein diet....

Donkey on 04/20/2018:
For me, protein seems to be key, not necessarily fat, but I agree that a higher fat diet will sustain you longer.

I hear you on the muscle soreness - or lack thereof. IDK -- I know soreness means you've broken down muscle tissue and it's rebuilding to be stronger. On the other hand, I can't accept that no soreness means your workout was wasted.

graindart on 04/20/2018:
I'll know better in a few weeks if the new workout plan is enough to build added muscle or not. The prior 4 week plan didn't seem to add much, but rather appears to have been enough to basically maintain what I already had.

I definitely prefer protein, but am giving this low carb, high fat diet a chance for a few weeks. I'm not overly hungry at any time eating this way for the past 6 days. I do get some very minor hunger pangs in the afternoon, but they go away pretty quick without having to do anything about them.

Horn_of_plenty on 04/21/2018:
your approach sounds good! Keep us updated on your new regimen...

soreness i find is from using totally different mucles....i don't get sore unless i change my workout. i still get a little sore from squats bc they are new still to me...but the rest, no.

graindart on 04/21/2018:
Haven't been interested in weight training with my legs. In the past, my legs have always been strong and my upper body has always been lacking. However I've been considering adding squats or deadlifts into the mix. After research, I'm thinking deadlifts with a trap / hex bar is what will be easiest on my back or maybe dumbbells to start.

graindart - Thursday Apr 19, 2018
(Low Carb High Fat - One Meal A Day)
Weight: 178.9

Day 4 down, starting on day 5.....

Yesterday afternoon I felt hungry, but held off until dinner time.  Wednesday nights have a different schedule, so my eating on Wednesdays won't be contained to 1 hour, but rather about a 4 hour window.  Usually eat dinner early around 5pm-5:30pm, then church with the wife and girls, then "date night" with the wife afterwards.  So I just split my food intake between the 5pm dinner and 8pm date night.  Planned ahead for what to order at the restaurant, so was still able to stay within calories and pretty close to the intended macros (fat/protein/carbs).

It's been a week and a half since I've exercised and one of my 2 planned exercise days is tonight.  Not looking forward to it and feel that I'm going to be disappointed in my current strength and motivation.  Thought that taking a little time off exercising would be a nice break and I'd come back re-energized.  Now thinking that the break coupled with the change in food diet has left me feeling weaker.  

The weight on the scale appears to be dropping back to my "new normal".  It'll be interesting to see what happens over the next 3-1/2 weeks with starting back up with the exercise while doing the new food plan.

Don't know if I've mentioned it before, but I now need to watch how I sit on certain surfaces.  Otherwise my tail bone hurts.  I broke it a few years ago skiing and it took about 6 months to stop hurting at that time.  Since then it really didn't bother me for the past several years.  But since losing 100 lbs, it now has much less padding back there.

Progress as of today: 104.1 lbs lost so far, only 19.9 lbs to go!

bearcountrygg on 04/19/2018:
Maybe a seat cushion would help...they have some nice ones.

horn_of_plenty on 04/20/2018:
yes, try to find a cushion, or a good chair for the time you are at work at home...for the longest period that you sit.

great plan and great way to stick to it tonight. yes, i'd agree that exercising before eating is the best way.

Donkey on 04/20/2018:
I usually do my exercising before I eat anything -- although I do drink coffee while I'm on the exercise bike, and that has creamer in it. Still, I count that as fasting exercise. I've read it's more effective in burning fat.

Re: tailbone: Yes, you have a new body, pretty much. While I don't have too many problems sitting, this winter, I really noticed how much colder I felt than in previous years. That's when the change in body really hit.

graindart on 04/20/2018:
Body temperature was a huge change this winter for me too. I went from walking around in shirt and sometimes shorts in previous years, to layering up with a shirt, long sleeve shirt, hoody, coat, long pants......and still being cold.

graindart - Wednesday Apr 18, 2018
(Low Carb High Fat - One Meal A Day)
Weight: 180.6

LCHF OMAD - 3 days down, starting on day 4......

Yesterday afternoon I started to become noticeably hungry around 2pm.  Not that I "needed" to eat, but that I would've liked to eat.  I didn't until my regular scheduled 6pm-ish meal.

It was only day 3 and I'm already getting bored with food choices.  Changed salad dressing last night.  After all of the talk about eggs on HOP's entry, I hard boiled some and ate some devilled eggs with dinner, instead of scrambling them.  Food choices on a high fat diet seem pretty limited, especially at the beginning when trying to be real restrictive on carb counts.  Did some internet research and came up with a few different options for things.

Down to within a couple pounds of what I consider my new normal weight.  Hoping to be back to 178 by the end of the week.  Then I'll be back at my baseline and can judge the effectiveness of this LCHF OMAD approach over the following 3 weeks.

Progress as of today: 102.4 lbs lost so far, only 21.6 lbs to go!

horn_of_plenty on 04/18/2018:
lots of meat options with this plan...if you are on facebook, i know a good page with cool posts by people of their food and choices...

lots of cooking with bacon, meat in general...

meat and cheese...think about what you can do with cheese also ?

like, cauliflower roasted and melted cheese on top !?

hmmm, i know i'm not giving huge suggestions as i'm having my own troubles thinking so early this AM!

oh, maybe sausages? sausage and peppers and then a dessert?

spaghetti squash and load it with ground beef

cook ground beef and cover it with veggies and cheese.

some kinda meat pie.

this is recently what i crave.

bearcountrygg on 04/18/2018:
You are having good losses with this......

graindart on 04/18/2018:
Not yet. Just "losing" the 16 lbs I was up last week due to severe off-plan week. Once I get back to my 178, we'll see if there's any real losses over the next 3+ weeks.

Donkey on 04/18/2018:
I like that plan to get back to 178 and THEN see how LCHF works. Good approach to gage the real effects.

graindart - Tuesday Apr 17, 2018
(low carb - one meal a day)
Weight: 183.0

Two days down with the new eating plan - low carb one meal a day.


Eat approximately 1800-2000 calories all at one time around 6pm-7pm nightly.  Following low carb starting parameters trying to keep calories from food to 70% fat, 20% protein, 10% carb.  Drink only water.

Last couple nights, I've eaten the following:  7 cups of salad greens (iceberg mix), 4oz blue cheese dressing, 1 tomato, 2oz bacon bits, single serving prepackaged guacamole packet, 4oz mushrooms, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 slice velveeta cheese, 4oz steak, 1 high protein Slimfast chocolate, 2 tablespoon lemon juice, various vitamins.

Basically one giant salad with various toppings and one omelette / scramble.  Followed by a chocolate Slimfast for "dessert".  I've also decided to brush my teeth directly after eating my one meal now.  Have read where it's helped other people to stop thinking about food by getting the taste of food out of their mouths.


I have more time in my day, since I'm not stopping to eat something every couple hours.  I haven't been more productive with the extra time, but rather have just kind of wandered past the kitchen several times trying to figure out what to do.

I haven't been overly hungry during the day, but yesterday did notice that my tummy started grumbling mid-afternoon.

Switching to only water means I've stopped my diet pop habit cold turkey.  I think this is probably the hardest change.  Don't know what I miss more..... the caffeine, the carbonation, or just the sweet / sour / acidic tastes.

Yesterday I was in a bad mood.  Don't know that it was any one thing.  Probably a combination of everything changing all at once.  Much higher fat intake, much lower carb intake, only eating once per day, no pop, just water, and finishing up the taxes for the year.  I'm sure I'll adapt.

On the bright side, of the 16 lbs I "gained" during my off week, 11 of them have already gone and I'm now just 5 lbs over what I consider my new normal weight of 178.


Progress as of today: 100 lbs lost so far, only 24 lbs to go!

horn_of_plenty on 04/17/2018:
Hi Gains! Do you like this nickname!?

Oh, so you are doing a low carb, high fat “LCHF” plan! I am interested in how your menu will go from this point forward…I guess I will see based on your entries. The one thing I have always wanted to do was to get into the baking side of LCHF DESSERTS. A lot of high fat cream is used and also sf substitutes like stevia, xylitol, and erythritol. I see people make their own chocolate pudding, mousses, donuts, breads, etc., that are all made out of other ingredients rather than the typical so that they are low carb, high fat. There’s something called cloud bread, I believe. Also an ingredient used often I believe is cheeses and cream cheese. Hope I didn’t spark your appetite too much. Bc I’m not a great cook and it takes me a LONG time to try out preparing any new food prep, I still haven’t got around to baking low carb. I’d love to – because then I feel like I could actually eat something sweet but at least be getting protein and fat from it – particularly for breakfasts and late night meals.

Re your diet soda and energy drink habit that you are quitting cold turkey, one reason I quit a lot of my diet soda / caffeine drinking is simple – my face was a complete mess from drinking it. I’d get a lot of acne especially if I was drinking energy drinks (sugar free Monster brand flavors). I think I still love the taste of them…but I know that my face breaks out…so it’s easy to change my mind and not buy one!

That’s amazing you’ve lost so much weight so fast…some must be water weight.

I find that eating low carb gets me depressed which is why I do not fully do it anymore. I used to be hardcore more…having only veggies and proteins for lunch with an energy drink to provide me with energy since I only got full from the meal, but no instant energy. But my face was horrible and it didn’t work for me in my moods.

But all because it doesn’t work for me (and in general fasting I’ve read works better for men than women), it can work for you.

graindart on 04/17/2018:
In the past I've enjoyed making meals, baking, etc. But on a restrictive diet, I kind of turn into a robot and see food prep as much more of a job instead of a fun activity. I still look forward to eating, but don't really want to put any extra effort into it.

I've done some research into "fat bombs", which are usually LCHF desserts. They look good, but I don't know if I'd have the self control to only eat 1 or 2. With salad it's easy.....after eating 7 cups of it I have NO desire to eat another bite of salad.

I knew the weight on the scale would drop quickly, since I shot up so quickly. One of the days during the off week, the scale actually jumped 9 lbs in 24 hours. So the scale is obviously not recording a huge fat buildup in 24 hours. My best guess on why the scale fluctuates so much is probably due to the amount of food in my digestive tract at one time and the corresponding amount of water that the types of food absorb. Just a guess, assuming mostly water weight which is why it shoots up so quickly and comes back down almost as quickly at times. At the end of this week I wouldn't be surprised to see myself back down around 178 again, totally negating the effects of my one week break from the diet. At least I'm hoping I'm back down to 178, so I can start to judge whether the new diet plan is any more effective over the next several weeks.

graindart on 04/17/2018:
Oh, and the nickname is great. (As long as I remember "Gains" should refer to building muscle, not fat.)

horn_of_plenty on 04/17/2018:
i was just reading, now, about how important it is to not eat lean proteins, but to include a lot of fat with them. so you seem to be on a roll with your percentages..i'm also looking to seriously work on my diet..I think overall i need a shift to eat more fats.

graindart on 04/17/2018:
I have no clue how LCHF will affect me. I've attempted low carb several times before, but don't think I've ever made it past day 3 or 4.

I think this time will be different because I already drastically lowered my intake of sugar and processed foods over the past few months.

I'll give the LCHF a solid try for 4-weeks and at the end will assess whether or not I think it helped me progress towards any of my goals.

horn_of_plenty on 04/17/2018:
you can even do lchf without fasting...but anyways, i also plan to implement some aspects of it into my own lifestyle - even though i still do enjoy my carbs...

when i did my first low carb..it was also very low fat and i had no energy...i'm def just trying to increase my fats in general...as i think my skin and hair will improve even more..less dry skin / dandruff, dry toe nails, etc.

i can't wait to see how it goes for you.

graindart on 04/17/2018:
I considered trying LCHF without cramming it all into one meal. The reason I decided to go with one meal a day was due to my having good self control up until I start eating. Once I start eating, I don't want to stop. So my thought process is that if I only eat once per day, the meal is huge and I hopefully won't have as much of an issue stopping eating since I'm already stuffed.

I'd prefer to eat throughout the day, but I'm willing to give this a shot for 4 weeks.

horn_of_plenty on 04/17/2018:
being that i've never been a high fat eater, it's a hard habit to break of not eating enough fat...especially since i'm not ready to drop the carbs right now..anyways, it worked pretty well with lunch yesterday...i stayed fuller much longer with more protein and fat.

graindart on 04/17/2018:
I've never consumed such a high percentage of my food intake as fat before and part of it is mental for me. I love all types of food, but carbs are usually my downfall. There's only so much fatty rich food I want to eat at once. There's only so much steak / chicken / pork I want to eat at once. But set a bowl of spaghetti, loaf of fresh baked bread, and box of cookies for dessert in front of me and I'll eat them all and probably want seconds or thirds......

Donkey on 04/17/2018:
Excellent idea to brush your teeth after eating -- this is something that I need to start doing.

bearcountrygg on 04/18/2018:
Yes brushing teeth ruins food...LOL

graindart - Sunday Apr 15, 2018
(low carb - one meal a day)
Weight: 194.8

Took the week off and gained 16 lbs on the scale (should drop back off quickly). 

Started a new 4-week plan today.  Eating plan is to drink water and eat one huge low-carb meal per day around dinner time (approximately 2000 calories).  Today went fine.  I wasn't hungry during the day, but really missed snacking and diet drinks.

Workouts will be on Thursday and Sunday nights, mostly upper body strength stuff.  Tuesdays are for dirt biking and if I don't go, I'll substitute some time on the treadmill.

Started the food portion of the 4-week plan today.  Will start the exercise on Thursday.

Progress as of today: 88.2 lbs lost so far, only 35.8 lbs to go!

happy-1 on 04/15/2018:
16lbs? You must be pregnant with the world 's biggest food baby, lol.

bearcountrygg on 04/16/2018:
OMAD for the win!!!!

horn_of_plenty on 04/16/2018:
What kinda meal will you eat...or are you open to eating most anything that is low carb?

keep us updated and workouts sound great...! dirt bike sounds fun :)

Why did you choose thursday and sunday nights?

I do love my Thursday eve workouts...but Sundays are difficult for me...although i did go last night...and it went well :) One good thing about sunday night is you can be with the family all day :) on Sunday!

graindart on 04/16/2018:
Thursdays and Sundays were chosen because they just fit into the right spaces. I'd rather not exercise Sunday night, but wanted recovery days in between exercise days. Tuesdays are dirt biking, which is exercise, but doesn't really kill my upper body. So figured Thursday night would be good to work my upper body hard. Followed by almost 72 hours of rest leads to Sunday night exercise to again work my upper body. If something happens to Tuesday dirt biking, I'll replace it with a lower body workout.

As for what I'm planning on eating each night, I'll probably post something later tonight or tomorrow with a breakdown of this 4-week food plan.

horn_of_plenty on 04/16/2018:
the reason i don't love sunday night is that i cannot sleep in after my workout! that's the reason i don't love them...and try to go a little earlier to the gym sundays...but...yeah it's def a good "down time" to choose to get it in!

horn_of_plenty on 04/16/2018:
It's so cool to have a man here on DD...we always do, actually, but it's usually not more than 2 and usually 1 at a time...I miss our old male member, his name was OhioRaven. :)

He was an interesting and cool fellow, he worked in a warehouse, would exercise there at times, as well as walking around the warehouse, and he also played in a band on the side!

Donkey on 04/16/2018:
I'm impressed that you're trying the OMAD (one-meal-a-day). Can't wait to see how that works for you. There was a show on PBS some time ago that it's really most healthy and effective for losing weight. I think I love exercise too much to only do it 3x a week. However, if I was having only one meal a day, then that might make me rethink things.

My problem is that my job is too stressful to do OMAD and stay sane, and as a stress-eater, I couldn't do it.

horn_of_plenty on 04/17/2018:
I do that also with my exercise: i fit it in when i can...just like you, it needs to fit in the right spaces :)

graindart - Friday Apr 13, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 182.0

Been taking a break from exercise the past few days, will startup with a new 4-week plan of attack on Monday. 

Yesterday we had friends over for dinner and they brought dessert.  I over-ate for dinner and kept snacking for the rest of the night.  Sugar is addicting.  We've pretty much banished sugary stuff from the house over the past month or two and that's made it a lot easier to avoid.  Now we just have an occasional ice cream run, when my calorie allotment allowed it.  However with the friends bringing pie and candy last night, once I started eating it, I really didn't want to stop.  Now that it's a new day and the stuff is gone from the house, I feel much more in control again.

The new 4-week plan is taking shape.  I've got the exercise days planned out, but just need to decide on individual exercises that I'm going to focus on.  Some that I know will be included are:  pullups, chinups, dips, pushups, planking.  Have decided I need some free-weights to incorporate for overhead press and / or bench press.  Can't decide which way to go.  One option is to join a local gym, which would obviously have everything ready to go.  The thing I don't like about that is the added time commitment of driving to/from.  The other option is to buy some pieces.  That would be convenient, but takes up space, initially costs more, and would be very limited on number / type of pieces.  I've been watching Craigslist / FB, but haven't found any good deals on used equipment yet.  I'm kind of surprised, since I figure by this time of year a bunch of people that purchased new equipment at the start of the new year should be giving up and looking to sell lightly used stuff.......

Food plans I haven't made a final decision yet, but am leaning towards eating one meal per day, but still consuming 2000 calories per day.  Also leaning towards low-carb.  Carbs just really seem to make me crave more and more carbs.  Although the same can be said for eating cheese and that's mostly fat / protein.  It's just another 4-week experiment, so won't really matter too much in the grand scheme of things.  In the past I've given half-hearted attempts to low-carb / high-fat diets, but have never stuck with them for more than a few days.  This has been mainly due to lack of planning on my account.  Without pre-planning I'd just end up eating meat, cheese, some vegetables and would feel like crap.  If I decide to go the low-carb route for this round, I'll need to plan out a menu ahead of time to follow.

Progress as of today: 101 lbs lost so far, only 23 lbs to go!

bearcountrygg on 04/13/2018:
Check out this lady on youtube....Pearls Of Wisdom and Food and Keto.........she was on weight watchers...and then after trying a couple other things...she settled on OMAD and keto ( one meal a day).......I think she posts a video daily....and she is extremely dedicated to it....loads of info on her channel.

graindart on 04/13/2018:
Thanks. Youtube has been a bunch of my "research" of figuring out what to try for the next 4-week stint.

Donkey on 04/14/2018:
About the gym versus home, my 2 cents:

I don't have a clear answer. I love going to the gym because they have better equipment that is maintained, and I like being with other people who are working out too, even if I never speak to them. It's like tacit encouragement to see other people working on themselves too. Plus, when there's someone there in really good shape, it motivates me to want to keep trying too.

But mostly it's having access to the high-end fitness equipment (again, that is maintained) and a variety of equipment.

Having said that, this recent round of success (remember, I've lost this weight 4-5 times before) of mine was done completely out of home. I've had expensive equipment before - Precor elliptical, Powerflex weight machine, that I've eventually sold because it took up too much room or I wasn't using any more.

Most of what I have now was bought used: weight bench, old stationary bike, pair of 8lb dumbbells. The only "new" things I have are the new stationary bike - bought for my husband but as I predicted, I'm the only one using -- and the 5, 10, 15 lbs dumbbells that I got YEARS ago new.

A huge thing with joining a gym is money. First of all, I don't like having to pay a membership fee in addition to the monthly fee. Also, I tend to fall into a compulsive mind-set that if I'm paying for a gym membership, I'd better damn well be using it every day, because if I don't, I'm wasting/losing money for nothing. This can be a good motivator in a way, but for someone who tends to be compulsive, it can lead to self-defeating behaviors (over-exercising, distortion of priorities, etc.).

Again, not any answers or recommendations, but I hope you find my insights into both sides to be helpful to you in your decision making process.

OK ONE recommendation - if you do decide to join a gym, it MUST be VERY accessible to you or you will find reasons not to use it. So distance, location, parking, convenience, hours, etc. -- must work for you.

graindart on 04/14/2018:
All good points. I think I'm going to do the first exercise day at home and see if I think it'll be effective for what I want to accomplish during this 4 weeks.

The upfront fees for the closest gym leave a bad taste in my mouth. The large signs & website profess "no contracts" and "only $29.95 per month", with the "first month free". I'd sign up today if all it involved was driving up and plunking down a credit card number for this month & future monthly charges. Of course when you read the small print, there is a $75 application fee, a $30 access card programming fee, and I'm sure some other "fee" that I probably didn't notice.

Instead of playing games with small print and additional upfront fees that leave a bad taste in peoples mouths, why not make it as easy as possible for people to get in the door and signed up for a normal monthly recurring fee?????

Horn_of_plenty on 04/15/2018:
yes, there are also things i don't keep at home so i'm not tempted to eat them :) makes my home food choices easier.

with my "new" routine i've been doing at the gym since december / january, i hardly use most of the equipment there, and most is done using a bench. they also sell those large pieces of gym equipment that have quite a few exercises you can do on them...like an all in one feature. i forget what they are called. it's like a small home gym. where you can do multiple weights exercises for upper body. even if you just at first by dumbells and a bench if you don't wanna go to the gym, you can do quite a lot of exercises with that.

if you'd like a change of scenery from your home, then a gym would be helpful.

in reference to your low carb leans, it has helped me greatly reduce cravings...and what is helping me lately is having more fat. for some reason, i've been craving it a lot lately.

graindart - Wednesday Apr 11, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 182.0

I'm not seeing the progress I'd like to, so it's time to change things up again.

I just finished 4 weeks straight of staying below 2000 calories daily and exercising 6 days per week.  I measured and recorded all food intake daily.  I never went over my calorie limit and never skipped a single scheduled exercise day.  I was eating cleaner than I've ever eaten before.  I switched to eating more protein, healthy mix of good fats, and less carbs.  I switched away from processed foods and most of my carbs were from fruit and low-cal popcorn.  I know technically I could've gotten rid of the popcorn, but it kept me sane after getting rid of white bread / pasta / etc.  During that 4 weeks I did approximately the following exercise totals:

72 miles walked with some jogging
600 assisted pullups
600 assisted chinups
600 assisted dips
600 pushups
66 minutes of planking
400 flights of stairs

I saw some positive weight and body fat % change in the first week, but that's normal for me any time I change from a lazy pace to a fully committed phase.  And the last 3 weeks of being 100% "on plan" has resulted in pretty much no measureable progress that I can see.  Weight remained almost exactly the same.  Body fat % remained almost exactly the same.  Clothes fit the same.  Belt in the same exact loop.  No appreciable increase in lifting strength.  Look the same when I see myself in the mirror.  Basically all of that work and healthier measured eating.........with no noticeable positive results.  

Yesterday was the last day of the 4 weeks and my morning weigh-in was actually up 1 lb on the scale.  The scale showed a body fat % actually up 1%.  I tested number of unassisted pullups and could get 3-1/2, where I was able to do 4 the week prior.  I know that all of these things fluctuate on a daily / weekly basis, but they all happened on the same day which put me into a less than happy mood.  I ended up on the phone with my sister and best friend throughout the day complaining about the diet / exercise I was doing with no results.  (They're both working on diet / exercise themselves presently.) 

I also spent a decent amount of time on the internet researching alternate plans that I was willing to attempt.  Of course the internet has millions of different points of view and you can always find someone touting some new plan that seems to contridict most others plans.  There are probably 10-15 different major types of diet paths and another 10-15 major types of exercise philosophies.  Each claims to be the best and says the others are ineffective.  In my research, my mood and thought process swung throughout a wide range of emotions / thoughts.  For a little bit, I decided that I was exercising too much and not allowing enough recovery time.  Twenty minutes later, I decided that I wasn't pushing myself enough during my exercise times and that was the reason the muscles weren't growing.  Twenty minutes later, I decided that 6 days of cardio (walking) was the reason for not seeing muscle growth.  Twenty minutes after that, I decided that I should just stop eating until I was at goal body fat %.  Twenty minutes later, I decided that I was going to have a cheat night and ordered a pizza.

After eating pizza for the first time in approximately 6 weeks (ate the whole small pizza myself), I decided to have a full cheat night.  So I went and bought everything I was craving and continued to eat for the rest of the night.  I did actually log it all in my calorie counting app to see what type of totals I'd end up with.  After staying below 2000 calories daily for the past 4 weeks, yesterday ended at 4700 calories.  I felt like crap at the end and most of the food didn't taste all that good.  Except for the pizza.....it tasted great.  The only positives to the binge-fest, were that I shared half of the small box of cookies and only ate 2 of the 3 zingers in the package.  I was in a frame of mind where I considered throwing much of the other food away after taking a couple bites and realizing that it didn't taste all that wonderful.  I decided not to because I knew that I was going to be back on plan today and just figured I'd try to get the desires out of my system.

So last night I sat down and penned out a new 4-week plan of attack.  The remainder of this week is just going to be a bit more relaxed, while staying under my daily 2000 calorie limit.  I'll start the new 4-week plan on Monday.  The plan may change before then, but tentatively it's going to involve intermittent fasting and only 3 days of exercise.  The intermittent fasting portion is going to be eating all of my calories for the day at one time.  I'll still be eating somewhere around 2000 calories, but it will be in a couple hour window on most days.  Planning on it being dinner time, so that I continue to eat with the family.  Skipping breakfast has never been an issue for me and skipping lunch shouldn't pose a huge deal since I'm just home working on stuff by myself anyway.  Skipping snacks will probably be the toughest change, as I've grown accustomed to eating bags of 100 calorie popcorn at different times throughout the day.  I'm also thinking about going even lower-carb in the meals.  Thinking about dropping all of the diet pop I drink and just go to regular tap water for the 4 weeks.

The plans for the 3 day per week exercise will probably be some cardio on Tuesdays.  That's the day we normally ride dirt bikes for a few hours, but the snow has shut us down for the past 5 or 6 months.  Thinking we'll be able to get out starting next week.  On the Tuesdays I don't ride, I'll go walk/jog on the treadmill.  Thursdays and Sundays will be mostly upper body workouts, but I'm planning on stepping up the intensity.  My current exercising hasn't been leaving me sore much at all.  Sometimes I can feel a little stiff the next day, but not much at all.  I've decided that I'm going to try pushing myself to failure on more of the exercises to try to stimulate muscle growth.

Basically the last 4 week plan appears to have been good for maintaining.  That's not my present goal, so the plan needs to change.  Yesterday I was feeling discouraged, frustrated, and didn't know what way to go.  Today I have a fresh new plan to look forward to and am feeling optimistic that it will produce positive results.  At the end of that 4 week plan, I'll stop and re-evaluate how effective it was.  I think I'll also just plan on having another cheat night after that 4 weeks as long as I stick to the plan successfully. 

Progress as of today: 101 lbs lost so far, only 23 lbs to go!

bearcountrygg on 04/11/2018:
The thought of giving up a favorite food for the rest of my life sounds impossible....I can imagine it's the same for you...I don't think we were meant to punish ourselves...just learn some moderation...besides...sometimes you just have to shake things up on a weight loss plan and doing something different can get things going again....there are a lot of plans out there...and no reason not to try a different type of diet.

graindart on 04/11/2018:
I do love pizza, but have had very little of it in the past year. Since I used to eat it once or twice per week, it was difficult at first to give up. Fast forward to a year later and I rarely think about it. I now eat pizza once every month or two, which is actually OK with me now. It tasted good yesterday and I look forward to eating it again on the next cheat night in 4 weeks......

bearcountrygg on 04/11/2018:
As long as you manage it....and it just remains a treat...then you are still in control....GOOD!

happy-1 on 04/11/2018:
Do you have a fitbit, garmin or LVL? Something that tracks your calories and activity and increases the count accordingly? The challenge I am on goes by percentage, not calorie limits... Like I'm supposed to be at -10% on average over a week to burn fat not muscle. Sometimes that's a lot more than 2000 a day... more like 2800... and I'm a chick... Maybe you're accidentally throwing your body into "survivor mode", raising your cortisol and working against yourself. Not a trainer or a doc though. They can do tests for cortisol levels.

graindart on 04/11/2018:
Have all sorts of gadgets and track everything every day. All food is weighed, all exercise, weight, bodyfat %, etc gets tracked and recorded daily. I've varied calorie allotment high, low, and in between over the past few months. Various combinations have worked at various times (obviously since I'm down 100 lbs over the past year). But the most recent 4 week plan just didn't appear to do much, other than help me maintain where I was at. According to my calculations and online calculators, a 2000 calorie per day food intake for me results in approximately 500 calorie deficit per day, which equates to potential loss of 1 lb per week. On paper the 4 week plan I just finished looked good, but in real life just didn't do much of anything for me. The 2000 calorie limit was just for the past 4 weeks. When I was much heavier (started at 283), the daily calorie allowance was much higher.

Donkey on 04/11/2018:
The new 4-week plan sounds good to me. While you're still trying to lose, it's good to mix it up after a while.

horn_of_plenty on 04/12/2018:
Hi Gains!

It’s true, that to maintain progress, things have to be changed time to time. This, I 100% agree with. The closer you get to your goal weight, the harder it is to see progress. It’s always tons of progress at the beginning, compared to once you are already exercising and lost the initial weight. That’s cool you actually have exercise totals.!!! I wish I could know how many pushups I’ve done in my lifetime ;) It would be a TON!

Why do you say that your weight remained almost the same and that you had pretty much no measurable progress? Perhaps you just didn’t like the slow pace of the progress but were still headed in the right direction..I understand you wanting a change though.

With the scale, it does fluctuate and so does the body…so although it did say up on your morning weigh-in…who knows, maybe it would have all gone down the next week? I’m just arguing the other side of the story lol…I have some time to fill right now…at work.

There are def a ton of plans. I have come across the IF plan. There’s also a low carb, high fat IF that some people do…I haven’t tried them or considered them long term for myself bc when I do not eat, I don’t feel energized. I’m affected quite a bit by blood sugar changes, and I’m partially unwilling to give up my ability to eat whenever I feel like it. I do give you credit though and applaud you in doing IF. I do know people who use it and it seems to suit them. Even someone at my job! He says at work he fasts till noon and eats just 2 meals a day – one at lunch and one at dinner of 1000 or so calories each. He doesn’t get bored and says he mostly eats the same breakfast (I’m guessing coffee) and lunch everyday…he takes them from home. He said he goes out to dinner a lot and that’s when he changes things up. He said he’s been doing IF for 5 years. On weekends, he says he doesn’t eat till 1 or 2.

Years ago, I would try to fast and then overindulge which is why I do not do the fasting myself.

The guy at work who does IF, he appears to be a lean guy. He says he was never fat, but that he found IF useful to maintain his weight better… He doesn’t appear muscular, but he’s sorta tall and not a weak guy, just not hugely muscular. He appears thin with no extra fat really…and he is ok eating the same thing everyday for lunch. And like I was saying, he eats assorted different dinners and he says he goes out to eat a bit for dinner.

horn_of_plenty on 04/13/2018:
also, you have motivated me to be MORE ACCOUNTABLE. i want to get better at pushups and situps so i realized that i need to put more effort into those things.

graindart - Monday Apr 09, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 177.8

Yesterday was successful.  26 day streak without a screwup.  60 days until the cruise.

Every morning I hop on the scale hoping to see some drop in weight or some drop in bodyfat %.  Because I want to be that one magic person that can gain muscle, gain strength, have tons of energy, eat whatever I want, lose bodyfat, and lose weight all at the same time.  Is that too much to ask?  Apparently so.....

Took my daughters to a church youth group party on Saturday night which I helped with.  Played a lot of four-square, which I don't think I've played since I was in elementary school.  Woke up the next morning and had sore muscles.  I don't usually wakeup sore from my regular exercises or walking, but playing 4-square must've made me use muscles that I don't normally use or in a way that I don't normally use them.  It was a fun night and my younger daughter enjoyed knocking me out of the game numerous times.

Progress as of today: 105.2 lbs lost so far, only 18.8 lbs to go!

horn_of_plenty on 04/09/2018:
Gains, you sound great!

You are doing really well and focused!

It's amazing how the littlest things can make you sore, especially if you repeat the move enough.

Weirdest thing ever - i went rafting with family a few summers ago & DID NOT get sore at all from paddling. We were rafting for like 3 hours or more...no soreness.!!!!!!!

innerpeace on 04/09/2018:
Anyone can dream!

Sounds like you had a great weekend. I don't remember playing four square.

bearcountrygg on 04/09/2018:
Sounds like a good time with your kids.

Donkey on 04/10/2018:
I love that sore muscle feeling...

Meant to comment on Sunday's entry about what a relief it is when the kids' activites are over. When it's warm enough, I walk by the soccer and baseball fields at our nearby park. Watching the parents, I'm so glad that phase is done... kids stopped playing at 11 and 9.

graindart - Sunday Apr 08, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 177.9

Sunday, church, no exercise, but still on 1 gallon of water / 2000 calorie max for the day.

After finishing yesterday's entry, I put off the walk by doing some other tasks.  Finally started my 3 mile walk for the day mid-morning.  Decided to try stepping it up a notch and jogged for the first couple minutes at a 10 minute mile pace, which is what it'd take to get my daily 3 miles down below 30 minutes per day.  Slowed down when side started to hurt.  Walked another couple minutes, then jogged until side started hurting again (about 30 seconds).  Continued that pattern throughout the rest of the 3 miles.  Completed the 3 miles in 40:52 today.  Prior to today I was averaging 3.7mph, so 3 miles was taking approximately 48-49 minutes.  Near the end the side pain wasn't coming back as quickly and I actually jogged for a minute or two straight near the end.  Felt good about myself for stepping it up some.  Decided to tape a table / chart to the treadmill so that I can record my daily times for the 3 miles in an attempt to motivate myself to progress.

Today I can finally take a deep breath again.  All of both daughters sports seasons are finally over.  Most other of their extended commitments have also ended.  Prom was yesterday.  Other than end of school year stuff, we should have some spare family time at a more relaxed pace.  It started last August with daily volleyball practice and games for the youngest.  September brought daily commitment for the older daughter in the form of Driver's Ed.  Those both led directly into daily basketball practice and games for the older daughter.  That bball season lasted a few months and just ended 1 month ago, but was directly followed by the younger daughter's basketball season.  Final tournaments ended Friday.  Next year will be easier without Driver's Ed and also because both girls will be on the same basketball team if they decide to play.

Progress as of today: 105.1 lbs lost so far, only 18.9 lbs to go!

bearcountrygg on 04/08/2018:
Fast weight loss can sometimes cause gall bladder problems...hopefully that's not what is causing your pain...hopefully your next days running will be more comfortable. I well remember the busy after school and weekend activities....and I was always relieved when they ended...but having a driving child will help a lot...of course then you will have a new worry...Parenting...is never easy.

Horn_of_plenty on 04/08/2018:
It's nice when the commitments die down a bit and give time for other activities and/or some much needed slower pace. ..

Good idea with the walk jog. never do anything if there's pain...and try to do some shin stretches if you can to prevent any shin splints. i only say that bc i get them fairly easily.

Donkey on 04/08/2018:
Tracking your treadmill time is a great motivation idea.

If you're getting side pains only when you are in running mode, it probably is that you're not getting enough oxygen. Try taking deeper breaths.

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