When You're Young You Don't Need to Diet

Weighed in this morning at 154 pounds, down two pounds from yesterday.

And yesterday I was not really on the diet, however I was still able to limit in my intake to a reasonable level. Here's what I had...

Morning: Dannon Activia Yogurt, 4oz (110 calories)
Morning: Thomas' English Muffin, Multi-Grain (100 calories)
Mid-morning: Starbucks Grande Caramel Apple Spice (380 calories)
Lunch: Steak Ka-Bob & Gyro, salad and rice (1009 calories)
Lunch: Medium-sized cup of diet green tea (0 calories)
Evening: Half a bottle of water (0 calories)

Total: 1599 calories

And no exercise yesterday, unless you want to consider motorcycle riding an exercise.

I went out riding yesterday with some guys I hadn't seen in a long time. We ended up at this food court for lunch. After lunch, the guys wanted to call it day, but I didn't. I wanted to do a little bit more riding, and/or find some other friends to hang out with. I called up a couple of guys, but no answered. Otherwise, if they did I was going to drink some beers.

But as it was, I ended up riding home and didn't eat or drink anything after that.

One of the guys riding with us was this 20-something year old skinny guy. I'd say he was the same height as I, about 5'8", but probably weighed around 140. At lunch, he had the same thing I had, except he didn't finish the steak ka-bobs, and part of the rice.

What that said to me was that he's skinny because he's able to stop when he feels like he's had enough. I'm sure he didn't feel full, but it wasn't really a big meal. He simply has better control of his urge to eat.

But he's also quite young, which means his metabolism is working strong, and he seems like he's always busy with something, which means he never finds himself snacking out of boredom.

I wish I could be that way!

Keep a Stock of Diet Food on Hand

Weighed in at 156 pounds this morning. Down two pounds from my last report on Friday.

Friday I drank a lot of beer and ate a lot of food, and saw my weight go up to 160. But yesterday I managed to put myself on a diet, and brought it back down to 156. But I think most of that four pound loss was just pissing out much of the beer. Here's what I ate yesterday...

Morning: 1 cup (4oz) Dannon Activia Yogurt (110 calories)
Morning: 1 Thomas' English Muffin, Multi-Grain (100 calories)
Afternoon: 1 can (6oz) Polar albacore tuna in water (210 calories)
Late Afternoon: 3 calcium carbonate tablets (15 calories)
Early Evening: 5 small sticks of celery with hot sauce (10 calories)
Evening: 1 can of V8 Juice (70 calories)
Evening: 1 package (170g) of blackberries (73 calories)

Total: 588 calories

No exercise yesterday.

What really helps to stick to a diet is to make sure you have plenty of diet food to eat. I found in the past week that I was snacking on chips, cookies, and ice cream because I didn't have any low-calorie fresh fruit, fresh vegetables on hand. Had I kept a stock of tomatoes, blackberries, celery, or strawberries, I would have snacked on those. All of those are very low-calorie.

Obviously, we all get into a snacking mood, so it helps to keep the good stuff on hand just to encourage you to stick to the diet.

Today I'm heading out on a motorcycle ride with some guys. We're supposed to finish the day at a food court inside a strip mall. Food courts don't sound all that conducive dieting, but I'll see what I make out of it.

Dieting After Thanksgiving

Weighed in this morning at 158 pounds.

Thanksgiving did a number on my weight. But since my last blog post, when I reported I reached my goal of 150 pounds, I've since gained on that. I actually only gained a few pounds yesterday.

They say that losing weight is easy, but maintaining is tough. I'd have to agree. You get into this state of elation for having reached your goal, and then you want to relax.

Losing weight actually requires a lot of focus. You have to be relentless, because the old demons of gluttony keep working on you, tempting you. So it's like going full steam ahead on burning calories. But once you reach your goal, it's now about finding the right balance between diet, exercise, and indulgence. In that sense, you have hold back a little on burning calories, increase some higher calorie foods, but keep exercising.

I haven't learned that balance. I only know how to lose weight.

And as far as exercising goes, I don't want to look like a body builder, so I don't just want to keep weight lifting all the time. I'm going to do more cardio, so I'm planning to do more walking with some jogging mixed in. I've plotted out some routes through my neighborhood of 3 miles and 5 miles, which should burn about 300-600 calories if just walking, or about double if I mix in some jogging.

So, I'm going through a new period of learning how much to exercise, how much to diet, and how much junk food I can sneak away with.

Can You Believe I Lost Eight Pounds in One Day?

Weighed in at 150 pounds this morning, down 4 pounds from my last post on Wednesday.

So hey! I finally reached my weight loss goal of 150!

Well, it's sort of anti-climactic. Believe it or not, I had gained weight earlier this week, going up as high as 158 yesterday morning. So technically, I lost 8 pounds in a day? Is that even possible?

Well here's what happened. Wednesday, I went out with some friends to a tavern in the evening, and I had two 22oz bottles of beer. Afterwards, we hit up a mexican restaurant and I had a large margarita. The next morning I had gained weight to 156 pounds.

Then Thursday, I took a motorcycle ride with another friend, and ended up at a bar where I had one 22oz bottle of beer. After that, I picked up the wife and we went out to a Oggi's Pizza Brewery, and I had two 16oz glasses of beer, and a pizza.

So Friday morning, I weighed in at 158 pounds. I figured I still had a lot of water in me. So I limited my water intake. In fact, I didn't drink much of anything. The only liquid I had was 1/2 cup of kefir in the morning, which is basically a drinkable yogurt. Then in the evening I had a pint of frozen yogurt. Otherwise, I spent that whole day pissing all the water out of me.

But the frozen yogurt was a bad call. I guess it didn't mix well with the 4oz of beef jerky I had in the afternoon. It gave me the runs that night. So all in all, I pissed out the beer I drank the past two days, and then lost a bunch more water from the diarrhea.

That's how I lost 8 pounds in one day.

So this weight loss is actually about a loss of 6-7 pounds of water, and then another 1-2 pounds of fat, just by keeping my calories below 800.

I'm not sure if that really counts as true weight loss, since much of it was losing water.

Foiled Again by the Sushi!

Weighed in this morning at 154 pounds, no change from yesterday.

Yesterday, I ended up ditching the diet plan. Instead, the wife and I went out for some sushi. The place we went to is actually a japanese buffet, so I also had some fried stuff like teriyaki chicken and beef, wonton, and fried noodles.

And then when I came home, I ate a pint of acai berry sorbet.

No exercise yesterday either.

In fact, I'm getting lazy lately. I know I ought to exercise, but I can't seem to inspire myself to do anything. I go through this roller-coaster of exercise, where for a while I'm all gung-ho on exercising, and then I go through a period of laziness. I guess we all have that.

Tonight, I'm supposed to get together with some friends at the local tavern. So, I'm seeing beers in my future. This place does have a pretty good grilled chicken salad, and I can already taste it!

Back to Losing Weight Again

Weighed in this morning at 154 pounds, down one from yesterday.

Yesterday, I stuck to the diet plan. Here's what I had to eat...

Morning: 1 regular english muffin (130 calories)
Late morning: 3oz of peppered beef jerky (150 calories)
Late morning: 1 cup of kefir (160 calories)
Afternoon: 1 bottle of Fruit2O (0 calories)
Early evening: 10 small celery sticks (10 calories)
Early evening: 2 baby carrots (they were old), (2 calories)
Early evening: 1 can of V8 (70 calories)
Late evening: 3oz of peppered beef jerky (150 calories)
Late evening: 1 can of V8 (70 calories)
Late evening: 1 bottle of Fruit2O (0 calories)

Total calories: 742

No exercise, but I did mow the front lawn. And I use one of those old fashioned push mowers, so I do get a little bit of a work out.

Also went to my doctor yesterday, to get a mole shaved off the side of my face. I've had this for several years, and finally got something done about it. It's not a huge thing, but small. Yet, it's not flush with the skin like most moles or sun spots, it's kinda raised. The doctor didn't think it was melanoma, but shaved it off and sent it out to a lab. We'll find out later.

But anyways, the blood pressure is still excellent, 114/78.

Can't Diet in Death Valley

camping in death valleyWeighed in this morning at 155 pounds. No change from last Friday's post.

And that's a good thing because I ate and drank, ate and drank, all weekend long.

Some friends and I did a overnight camping trip to Death Valley on our motorcycles. You can see my photos posted here.

The only photo of me is the last one in the album, taken by friend, which came out blurry.

Omelette, potatoes, and biscuit and gravy. Cookies, trail mix, beef jerky, and beer for lunch. Pork Loin, four Louisiana Hot Links, six slices of roasted bacon for dinner. About four bottles of beer, a cup of whiskey & Coke, and a glass of wine for dessert. And that was just Saturday.

I won't go into Sunday because I'll just bore you with all the particulars.

But I didn't do any exercise the whole time. It was all motorcycle riding. If anything, exercise was setting up camp, and tearing down camp.

So how do I eat so much, exercise so little, but yet not gain any weight?

For one, there's the "mystery of motorcycle riding", where months ago I wrote that it magically burns calories. How does sitting on a motorcycle burn calories? All I know is that after a day of riding, I am in fact, tired. Both mentally and physically. It'd be nice if some motorcycle organization granted some money for scientists to conduct a study.

But second, I think my body is healthier, and therefore better capable of dropping weight. In the past few months, I've put more focus on eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and eating whole grains.

I've come to believe that all the pollutants we consume, in the form of food additives, artificial preservatives, and other man-made agents, fouls up the natural processes of our bodies, that our bodies have such a hard time maintaining themselves. Once we eat more fresh foods, natural foods, or foods made from fresh, organic ingredients, the body can eliminate better, manage itself better, and metabolise better.

Well so a new week starts. I'm shooting for dropping five pounds and getting myself to 150 by Saturday's weigh in.

Gained Four Pounds on Five Beers

Weighed in this morning at 155 pounds, up 4 pounds from yesterday.

True to my word in yesterday's blog entry, I did a motorcycle ride with some friends and ended up at Pizza Port in Carlsbad. I had a small pizza and two beers there. After doing some more riding, I ended the day at the local tavern, and took down three more beers. Aside from the english muffin I had in the morning, that was all I ate that day.

So, I suspect the 4 pounds I gained is largely water from the five beers. Four of the beers were in 16oz glasses, the other was a 22oz glass.

Well, not much to say today. Today I'll probably take the wife out for lunch. But I need to do some cleaning up in the backyard, so that'll be my exercise.

My Clothes Are Still Getting Too Big

Weighed in this morning at 151 pounds, down 2 pounds from yesterday.

Stuck to the diet plan yesterday. Here's what I ate...

Morning: one whole wheat english muffin (100 calories)
Afternoon: 3.2 oz bag of beef jerky (250 calories)
Afternoon: 1 bottle of water (0 calories)
Late Afternoon: 14 almonds (100 calories)
Late Afternoon: 1 bottle of water (0 calories)
Evening: 4 medium sized tomatoes (150 calories)
Evening: 1 can of V8 Juice (70 calories)

Total calories: 670

As for exercise, I only did some light weight lifting for the arms and chest.

I'm still getting smaller for my clothes. I'm already down to wearing a size small shirt, but the pants I'm wearing are waist size 32. They're loose enough that I could use a size 31. But I think size 31 is going to be my limit. I already have a pair of size 31 denim shorts, and those feel perfect right now. I'd have to lose another 10 pounds off my waist to get to a size 30, and I don't really want to get that thin.

BTW, I remember wearing a waist size 28 jeans in college, and I was the same height back then (5'8"), but weighed about 130 pounds.

As for today, I'm making it a non-diet day. I'm going to jump on the motorcycle and take it out for a spin, and maybe head over to the coast, around Carlsbad or so, and either go for a pizza and beer, or maybe mexican and a margarita.

How to Lose Weight Without Exercise

Weighed in this morning at 153 pounds, no change from yesterday.

I started yesterday with my whole wheat bagel. But soon after the wife wanted to get out of the house, and suggested we go to the San Diego Zoo. So off we went. We spent about 3 hours there, walking around the place, though we never walked the whole zoo, it's too big of a zoo. For lunch, we ate Albert's (inside the zoo), and I had a salmon salad with italian dressing, two bread rolls with butter, and two beers. I also had a Diet Coke later on.

But can you lose weight without exercise? Well, the answer is yes. However, it's more tough to do, and in the end you'll lose muscle mass, and end up becoming rather skinny.

I've gone through spurts where I'm dieting but felt too lazy to exercise. I was able to lose weight, still.

As I've lost some 70 pounds over the past 18 months, the one thing that I notice is that I've lost more weight in certain areas of my body than the others. My legs are noticeably skinnier, my face is noticeably skinnier. My belly is quite flatter than before. But if you look at me overall, I'm skinny, I'm not necessarily physically fit, and it's largely because I've limited my exercise to mostly cardio, some calisthenics, and light weight lifting. I haven't gone to the gym to do some serious workouts.

However, I didn't necessarily have a lot of muscle when I was overweight either. Just a lot of fat.

My advice on losing weight without exercise...

  1. You have to reduce your calories by a lot (read my series on Losing 5 Pounds in 5 Days). Shoot for 800 calories in a day, or less.

  2. Make sure to get the full recommended daily intake of potassium (4,700mg for men, 3,500 for women). This is important because when you drastically cut down your food intake, you'll naturally consume less potassium. Potassium is needed to keep cells alive, without it, your body will strip potassium out of your muscle cells, causing you to lose muscle mass (ketosis).

  3. Drink V8 vegetable juice, which is very high in potassium, and low in carbs (2 cans a day, with other fresh fruits and vegetables).

  4. Eat high fiber foods, and take fiber supplements. The fiber will bind up some of the fat and carbs you've consumed, and pass it out before being digested.

  5. Eat chile peppers, the hotter the better. Capsaicin is the chemical in chiles that makes them hot. This chemical causes your body to raise its temperature, hence the sweating and flush face that people get when eating them. That of course, requires burning more calories. Use hot sauces, chile seasoning, salsa, these things have no fat, and sometimes no calories at all. Or just fresh raw chiles if you can tolerate them.

  6. Take hot baths. Soaking in a tub of hot water for 30 minutes (or hot enough for you to tolerate), will increase your heart rate, and that will burn some extra calories.

  7. Eat fresh, natural foods. Eat fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh meat, or foods with all natural or organic ingredients. That includes drinking water only, and no sodas, diet drinks, or anything with artificial sweeteners. If you can't handle drinking plain water all the time, buy a bottle of lemon or lime concentrate, and squirt some in a bottle of water. I've found that when you eliminate all the man-made chemicals from your diet, your body tends to lose weight more easily. I think those chemicals throws your metabolism off, or causes your body to do weird things with its hormones.

  8. Go to bed early and get 8 hours of sleep. A 200 pound man can lose about 600-700 calories just sleeping a full 8 hours. Sleep is when the body generates new cells, repairs the body, and restores energy. This all requires burning calories. If you can achieve that deep "REM sleep", then you're getting the maximum calorie burn from sleeping.

  9. Eat all throughout the day, don't starve yourself. When you go hungry, your body slows down the metabolism and tries to conserve calories. So the trick is to eat all throughout the day, but eat a little bit at a time, and eat foods low in fat. Start with something small as soon as you wake up, like a whole wheat english muffin with nothing on it. Then eat something small about once every few hours. Again, take a look at what I did with my "Lose 5 Pounds in 5 Days" series.

  10. Stay away from alcohol, including beer and wine. Alcohol slows down the metabolism.

Try to stick with these tips Monday through Thursday of each week, and then allow yourself to "cheat" on Friday through Sunday. But even on Friday through Sunday, try to stick to some of those tips, particularly eating something small as soon as you wake up.

Lost Four Pounds in One Day

Weighed in this morning at 153 pounds, down 4 pounds from yesterday.

I guess I couldn't believe it when I saw the 4 pound loss, but after thinking about it, much of it was water. That is, I did a lot of beer drinking over Saturday and Sunday. And Sunday I drank a lot of iced tea, as well as beer. So yesterday (Monday), when I said I had gained 5 pounds, it was a lot of water apparently.

But yesterday, I went back on my diet plan. Here's what I ate...

Morning: 1 whole wheat english muffin (100 calories)
Mid-morning: 1 cup of kefir (160 calories)
Afternoon: 1 can of tuna in water (210 calories)
Afternoon: 1 bottle of water (0 calories)
Evening: 1 pound of strawberries (150 calories)

Total calories: 620

I did no exercise.

So, aside from the food, I consumed little water as well. Basically, the bottle of water and the strawberries provided what water I consumed. But otherwise, much of the weight loss was due to pissing out all the beer and water I had drank over the weekend.

Keeping Focus on Losing Weight

Weighed in at 157 pounds this morning, up 5 pounds from my last post on Nov 4.

It's been a challenging five days.

That Wednesday, it was the 22nd anniversary of my wife and I's first date, and my wife always wants to celebrate, so we went to the buffet at Pala Casino, which is one of her favorites. And yes, I splurged because they upgraded their buffet, and everything was so good.

On Thursday I had my follow-up doctor's appointment. He said my cholesterol was perfect. And that was a relief. Remember that I had been on the beef jerky diet for a year and a half, and in some stretches all I ate was beef jerky. And my cholesterol was borderline high when I started the diet. So if you think that eating lots of beef jerky is going to raise your cholesterol, apparently not.

My doctor said that beef jerky won't really raise your cholesterol because it's so lean.

So, score another victory for the beef jerky diet.

However, he said I was definitely thin enough, and advised me not to lose anymore weight. He actually calculated by body mass index and found that I'm right in the perfect range. Technically, he said, I could actually lose more weight, but still recommended to maintain my current weight.

And so over Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I had this attitude that my weight loss plan was effectively over. I found myself changing my habits, and eating more, drinking more. I even found myself feeling too lazy to exercise.

So today on Monday, I'm changing that attitude by putting myself back on the diet, and keeping up the exercise.

Thomas' English Muffins: Better Start vs Hearty Grains

thomas english muffinsWeighed in this morning at 152 pounds, down two from yesterday.

I didn't eat much yesterday, as the appetite wasn't there. I was still paying for the bad food I ate over the weekend. However, by mid-afternoon my stomach seemed to have settled down.

So by evening, I felt hungry enough to eat something. I had two whole wheat english muffins, and then later on two packets of instant oatmeal, and then a bottle of water. It was a total of 500 calories.

No exercise.

Thomas' English Muffins has several different lines of muffins, two of those lines are called, "Better Start" and "Hearty Grains". I've tried both.

The odd thing is that the Hearty Grains uses the words "Double Fiber" on the package, which equates to 5g of fiber, and has 27g of carbs, for a total net carbs of 22g, and 120 calories.

But the Better Start has 8g of fiber, and 24g of carbs, for a total net carbs of 16g, and 100 calories.

The Hearty Grains is made with "Whole Grains", while the Better Start is made with "Multi-Grains".

However, the Better Start doesn't mention anything on the package about it's higher fiber content. It seems like Thomas' would put greater emphasis on the fiber content of this line, instead of doing so with the Hearty Grains line. If you were at a grocery store looking at english muffins, you'd think the Hearty Grains was more healthy just by looking at the words on the packaging.

Anyways, the Hearty Grains muffins taste better with its sweeter flavor, and is more nutritious for its whole grains, but the Better Start is obviously better for dieting with its higher fiber, and lower carbs.

Unfortunately, the grocery stores around my town seem to stock more of the Hearty Grains, while the Better Start is harder to find.

Diarrhea and Weight Loss

Weighed in this morning at 154 pounds, up three pounds from my last post Saturday morning.

I probably should have weighed in higher, but I got some kind of stomach virus over the weekend, and ended up with diarrhea.

Saturday I did fine, going out with some friends on a motorcycle ride, and having a grilled chicken salad, with salsa for dressing, and an iced tea. But that evening, the wife and I had dinner at a mexican restaurant, and I splurged on a plate of carnitas, rice and beans, guacamole and chips, and two margaritas.

It was Sunday that I caught a stomach bug. I went out on another motorcycle ride with some friends, and rode out to Brawley, and had a rib-eye steak at a place called "Brownie's". It came with a salad, roll, and potato, and I drank an iced-tea.

That evening my burps had that rotten egg flavor, that's how I knew I was in for trouble. But it didn't give me any problems just yet.

The next morning on Monday, I took a big dump and actually felt fine. It was if the stomach bug had no real effect. So I hopped on my motorcycle again, and hooked up with another friend and rode down to Stone Brewery in San Marcos. I had a few beers and ate lunch. Then we rode to a tavern for another beer.

And that's when it hit me.

That is, the pressure. I went to the restroom inside the tavern, and let go some serious runs. I actually felt good after that, very hungry in fact. So before riding home, I stopped at a chinese buffet.

Very bad decision! The food was bad. I had eaten there many times in the past, and always found it good, one of the better chinese buffets I had been to. But no more. It was very greasy, the rice was dried out, the noodles were mushy. It just had that bad quality to it.

But I was wrong thinking my diarrhea was over. As I rode back home, my stomach started feeling awful. I got home and rushed to the restroom, and unleashed another big run. And in fact, all night long I was suffering that all too painful, "burning-butt" diarrhea, and only was able to sleep for about a hour in between dumps.

I think the steak at Brownie's in Brawley made me sick, but I was able to tolerate it somewhat. But it was the chinese food last night that made it worse.

So as I write this on Tuesday morning, I still feel as if my guts have plenty of that runny material to release. It's going to be tough day today.