Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Progress resumed

with 4 comments

I got down to 180.9 shortly after reaching the end of my contract with Healthy Way, when I was on my maintenance. Then I started keeping my food log in my mind, instead of writing it down. Five days after 180.9, I was at 184.6. Four days after that, 183.2. Then, on successive days: 184.7, 186.4, 188.2. This got my attention, you can be sure. I knew that rapid gains usually can be offset by rapid losses, provided I was eating right—and I thought I was. But the scale doesn’t lie.

I started using FatSecret, one of many on-line weight-loss sites—as I noted, they all seem to use the USDA Nutrition Database, so the differences are in the interface, and FatSecret’s is rather nice. My weight since starting, beginning the day after the 188.2 morning weigh-in: 186.7, 184.7, and (this morning) 184.1.

Obviously, I have to record my food intake. If I rely on body cues and eating what I feel like, I pack on the pounds quickly. But by recording my foods, I’m losing just as quickly. The quick loss will undoubtedly slow as I get closer to the 180 I was at before—indeed, it has already slowed. But by keeping track, I stay on track.

Written by LeisureGuy

27 April 2011 at 8:27 am

4 Responses

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  1. Your experience is very enlightening (no pun intended) 🙂

    It supports one of the major findings of the last Clinical Guidelines on Obesity (NIH), which after reviewing 10,000 studies published on Medline, concluded that almost all weight-loss interventions work, and all fail as soon as you stop the intervention.

    It’s fascinating how the body wants to get back to it’s heavier state. Most people who lose large amounts of weight then take their eye off the scale and are freaked by the weight gain when they re-measure a few weeks later. They often get too depressed to get back on the wagon.

    Like the guidelines say, whatever you did to get there, you need to keep doing forever. You have the luxury of time to concentrate your efforts on it; for many people, they get overwhelmed by work and household demands and before they know it, have regained a ton.

    Steve

    28 April 2011 at 6:27 am

  2. Well, I don’t want to exaggerate my focus and concentration. The detailed daily weight record is all automatic: I use a Withings scale, which is Wi-fi enabled. So just by weighing myself each morning, which takes essentially no time and I’m curious anyway, I create a daily record of weights that I can review and view in graphical form. And graphs seem interesting, so I look at it regularly. Hard to miss the upswing.

    And once the upswing was evident, I know of course exactly what to do at this point.

    I think the real breakthrough came after six months of keeping track of my food intake (easily done nowadays by anyone with a smartphone), my weight (the scale does it for me), and my exercise, and then reflecting on it in a journal. Only the last takes any time at all, and not much at that.

    So it seems that simple persistence might be enough: after a period of time—6.5 months for me—one can discern the signal through the noise and grasp the essential pattern. Then it seems much easier to get on with it.

    I do strongly suspect that the Pilates is more helpful than I realize.

    Daily weighing does not let one regain weight without realizing it. I knew at once I was in trouble at 184, and when I hit 188, I more or less panicked. That’s when I started FatSecret.com.

    LeisureGuy

    28 April 2011 at 7:18 am

  3. You’re right and the Clinical Guidelines support your observations; the only people who keep it off make fitness and weight control a near-obsession or perhaps a daily passion. The key is to do it without becoming a high-maintenance social pariah…again easier when you control your time and social circle.

    Steve

    28 April 2011 at 12:00 pm

  4. Gee, it doesn’t feel like an obsession. Well, food: I’ve always been intensely interested in food (not unlike yourself), but I’d categorize that as interest rather than obsession. And so far as the fitness: I like to get by with as little exercise as possible. The 30-minute walk on days I don’t do Pilates is pleasant and short, though in the winter I’ll probably explore other avenues—perhaps back to the Nordic Track. And I’m already a recluse, more or less, so I don’t have to worry about my social circle.

    LeisureGuy

    28 April 2011 at 3:36 pm


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