4.4 lbs lost this week! This takes the total loss to 16.2 lbs since I started on May 11. My fat loss calculations predicted a reduction in weight of just under 3 lbs per week, so I am quite happy to see better than expected results. I am not a very patient person by nature so I welcome this development. Though, I am not going to go out of my way to purposely mess with my healthy, sustainable long-term eating plan for the sake of faster weight loss rate. All that will do is cause me slip and fall back into bad eating habits. Been there, done that.
All in all, I lost 16.2 lbs since I started 17 days ago. I expect to hit the 20 lb weight loss mark by the end of week 3. This is all by just eating healthy and delicious meals, without starving, and having three 30-minute full body workouts per week.
It’s fascinating how many lose-weight-quick crash diets promise similar results to what you can achieve by just eating natural food and eating just enough for your lean weight maintenance. And guess what, most of my weight loss was fat loss as I will show later in this post. All the while most of weight loss on crash diets comes form loss of water and muscles.
Steady weight loss continued into week 2, exhibiting a similar pattern and comparable daily weight loss values.
Note the weight gain of 0.2 lbs on Friday May 26. The weight gain did not come as a surprise to me, it was a result of my lack discipline, but more on that a little later.
The great news and a takeaway here is that my plan works for me I am moving in the right direction. I may have to make changes further on, but so far so good.
While on the topic of weight tracking, I’d like to say a few words in favor of daily weigh-ins. I find them extremely helpful. They motivate me. A lot. When I see a gradual daily reduction in weight I know I am on the right track. They help me stick to my plan, serving as a daily reminder of what this is all about and what I have achieved.
Now, some of you will argue that this is exactly the problem with daily weigh-ins. That daily weight fluctuates and that a slight increase in water weight or whatever will cause the weight to go up, which would be demotivating without a good reason behind it. That the way to deal with that is exactly not to weigh yourself daily, but do it weekly or monthly instead.
That can be true in some situations. When that can be true:
- You had a big meal late at night and most of that food is still in the body
- You drank a lot of water the night before
- You had a lot of salty food the day before which caused increased water retention
- Whatever else
However, if you eat healthy and control sodium intake, which you should when losing weight, water retention levels should be very consistent day to day. Eating late at night is not a good idea when losing weight. I personally have my last meal not later than 6 pm and my last snack at around 8-9 pm, given 10:30 – 11 pm bed time. Drinking lots of water before going to bed is also a bad idea, unless you like having your bladder waking you up several times at night.
Finally, if your body needs 3,000 calories and you feed it 2,500, it will mostly likely use all of them for energy and not store them as fat. That is, of course, if you have a healthy, balanced diet and eat regularly. My results so far support this theory and I see steady weight decreases day after day, with just one exception so far, which I explained.
Here is what I do to avoid weight fluctuations from morning to morning:
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water and have plenty of fruit and veggies throughout the day (check out my meal plans) to have regular stools in the morning before weigh-ins
- Have a glass of water with two teaspoons of metamusil around 8-9 pm to help have regular bowel movements in the morning
- Last meal 4-5 hours before bed
- Last snack 2-3 hours before bed
- Stop drinking water after 7 pm (with the exception of a glass of metamusil)
You regimen doesn’t have to be same, you can weigh yourself in the evening if you want. Yes, your weight will be over-reported if you do, but the changes won’t be. The most important thing is consistency from one day to the next.
I’ll be taking 13 point body measurements every 4 weeks, while every Sunday I take 2 point measurements necessary for body fat calculations using the US Navy formula.
There were no changes to the neck size, it stayed at 19 1/4″. The abdomen, though, shrank by a cool 1 1/2 inches to 56″.
After week 1 I barely noticed any difference in how my clothes fit, even after losing 1 1/4″ off my abdomen. Today, Monday 29th, when I put my work pants and a shirt on I immediately noticed how loose they started to feel.
This gave a huge boost to my motivation!
According to my body fat calculator, I lost 6.8 pounds of fat or 1.49% of body fat and gained 2.4 lbs of lean mass! I could not be happier with my results. My body fat percentage now sits at 43.72%, down from 46.29% initially.
Wow! 2.4 lbs of lean mass gain is really good. I am glad to see that full body exercises are helping me retain and even gain muscles. At least initially.
I have been lifting weights on and off since I was 19. I noticed that every time I start lifting after an extended period of time of no lifting, my muscles get bigger and fuller pretty quickly. But that only happens to a point after which muscle weight gains pretty much stop unless I eat more than maintenance requirements and hit the weights hard enough.
Last time I lifted weights was in the winter of 2014, my muscles are definitely not as big as they used to be, so I expect to see some noticeable muscle weight gains over the next month or two. I believe this phenomenon is called muscle memory.
Regardless, my goal is not to gain muscle. The goal is to retain, maybe even gain strength, retain as much muscle as possible and bring the weight down to 12-15% body fat level.
Ok, let’s go back to that weight gain of 0.2 lbs on Friday May 26. Like I said before, I am not surprise to see it. I ran out of roasted almonds on Thursday and I decided to roast a tray-full of them in the evening. I don’t need to tell you how good freshly roasted almonds smell and taste. I tasted a couple, then another couple… followed by a small handful… followed by another one… I lost count but I know I must have had 5-6 handfuls in total.
I am still trying to figure out how I let myself slip like that and what triggered it. I wasn’t really hungry. I did not feel any emotional void to fill with food. Yet, it happened. Needless to say, it all showed on the scale the next morning.
My hunger has gone done substantially compared to week 1. I even skipped my snacks twice. One day I ran out of bananas but did not feel like having a substitution. I love bananas.
Another day I skipped my usual evening grapefruit snack and had a cup of Americano instead – I just did not feel like eating food, especially sweet one. My body is adjusting to a lower amount of calories and I mostly get truly hungry around the times when I am supposed to have my regular meals.
No major deviations except on one day I substituted chicken for baked salmon. That salmon tasted fantastic and my body thanked me for it by making me feel very good and satisfied. I suspect that it lacked omega–3 fatty acids. I have not been eating seafood regularly enough and that may be the reason why. I’ve decided to have at least two servings of salmon per week from now on.
I’ve also introduced more foods and my meals include a wider variety of foods. This really helped curb cravings for other foods.
It’s like everyone was just waiting for me to start eating healthy so they can do it too. My entire family now follows my plan, they love eating healthy food and in moderation, and have also experienced weight reduction.
- The plan still works! No need to make any adjustments.
- Introducing some more variety really helped with cravings and cheats.
- As you body get adjusted to lower calorie intake hunger becomes a non-issue on this plan.
- Identify and incorporate stress management techniques (this is still to do).