My New Year's Weight Loss Resolution

Weighed in this morning at 156 pounds.

Since my last post, I went through a Christmas weekend (Thursday through Sunday) of eating, drinking and partying. I saw my weight shoot up to a high of 161 pounds on Saturday morning. Sorry, I didn't manage to update my weight loss chart.

But I was able to spend the rest of the day Saturday and then Sunday controlling my food intake. And on Sunday night, I managed to do some light weightlifting for the arms and shoulders. I was able to bring myself down to the 156 for this morning.

My New Year's Weight Loss Resolution

Diet-wise, I'm glad Christmas is over. I still have News Years Eve, but I'm not sure if I'm going to do any partying then. I may just stay at home and try to keep my intake light.

I'm going through this cycle of spending 3-4 days on my normal "beef jerky diet", and then the next 3-4 days of eating and drinking mass-quantities. As a result, I've got this 10-pound roller-coaster swing where I lose 10 pounds and then gain 10 pounds, all in about a 7-day span.

That's obviously not good.

That's not really the "lifestyle change", I'm hoping to achieve. On those days where I do a lot of eating, I need to do a better job of choosing what I eat. I'm still eating high-fat, high-salt, high-carbs, high-everything foods on those days. I gotta train myself to eat heathier stuff all throughout the week.

So how am I going to do that?

Well on those days, I often spend time with my friends, riding motorcycles, and then hanging out at a bar over some beers and chow. The beer is actually not that bad, in that it's zero fat, low-sodium, and fairly low-carb compared to other soft-drinks and juices. It's the burgers, pizzas, tacos that do me in. I need to focus on salads, and cut back on the breads, potatoes, and cheese.

So that's my new year's weight loss resolution for next year. Get myself to a point where when I'm hanging out with friends, I can eat low-fat, or even zero-fat foods, and kick the habit of eating high-calorie foods.

My Last Diet Day of the Week

Weighed in this morning at 152 pounds, down one pound from yesterday.

Yesterday I stuck to the diet, here's what I ate...

Morning: 1 cup of kefir (110 calories)
Morning: 1 Thomas' English Muffin, Multi-Grain (100 calories)
Afternoon: 4oz of beef jerky (320 calories)
Afternoon: 2 bottles of water (0 calories)
Early evening: 1 package, 170g, of blackberries (73 calories)
Late evening: 1 package, 297g, of cherry tomatoes with hot sauce (75 calories)

Total Calories: 678

I did no exercise yesterday.

Today is my last diet day of the week. Tomorrow we're having a Christmas Eve dinner, and then Friday is Christmas dinner. And then it's the weekend after that. So, I'm planning to do some more exercises, maybe another long walk. I want to get myself down to 150 pounds, and then spend the next four days putting on another 10 pounds again.

This is why I dread holidays, too much feasting.

Lately I've received a lot of beef jerky from jerky manufacturers wanting me to write reviews. Which is good, because it saves me money from having to buy it myself. So, I'm trying to get myself back into the swing of writing reviews every day.

Dieting Over the Holidays

Weighed in this morning at 153 pounds.

Since my last posting six days ago, my weight went up to 158 pounds, and then down to 153. I had spent most of those days going out and hanging with friends. But I managed to mix in exercise, which I think helped keep the weight gain minimal. It wasn't until yesterday, Monday, that I managed to keep myself home, sticking to the diet.

So here's what I ate yesterday, which got me from 156 pounds to 153...

Morning: 1 cup of kefir (110 calories)
Morning: 1 medium sized tortilla (120 calories)
Afternoon: 4oz of beef jerky (320 calories)
Afternoon: 1 bottle of water (0 calories)
Evening: 10 medium sized stalks of celery with hot sauce (100 calories)
Evening: 1 can of V8 Juice (70 calories)
Late Evening: 1 bottle (11.2 oz) Guinness Draught (100 calories)

Total: 820 calories

For exercise, I walked 2.6 miles for 1 hour, including a hike up a hill, about 425 calories burned.

This coming weekend provides no relieve for my rollercoaster dieting, with family coming over on Christmas Eve, and more family coming over on Christmas day. Then comes Saturday & Sunday which will see more going out and eating and drinking.

It probably won't be until after New Years Day that I can get back to some sense of normalcy.

How to Lose 10 Pounds in 4 Days

Weighed in this morning at 150 pounds, down three pounds from yesterday.

I stuck to the diet plan yesterday, and here's what I ate...

Morning: 1 cup of kefir (110 calories)
Morning: 1 medium sized tortilla (120 calories)
Afternoon: 4oz of beef jerky (360 calories)
Afternoon: 1 bottle of water (0 calories)
Afternoon: 1 bottle of Fruit2O (0 calories)
Evening: 1 package, 6oz, blackberries (73 calories)

Total Calories: 663

No exercise yesterday.

How to Lose 10 Pounds in 4 Days

So with the above, I lost 10 Pounds in 4 Days. But the other thing is that I had actually gained 10 pounds in 4 days.

I started Wednesday, December 9 at 150 pounds. Then on Saturday, December 12 I weighed 160 pounds from eating and drinking like a pig. Then this morning I'm back to 150 pounds again.

So how did I do it?

Well, much of that weight gain was actually water gain, from drinking lots of beer and wine. So, I simply limited my daily water intake to effectively 1 litre a day. That's about two of those small water bottles. But it wasn't just water I drank, I would drink V8 Juice for the potassium and vitamins.

I ate breakfast as soon as I woke up. Eating immediately after waking is important, because it gets your metabolism running again. All I ate for breakfast over those days is just a cup of kefir (drinkable yogurt), and a medium sized tortilla, with nothing on it.

I ate a little bit all throughout the day. It's important never to let your digestive system sit idle. Starving yourself causes your body to burn less calories. So you want to keep your digestive system working to keep your metabolism running.

I limited my total calorie intake to between 500 and 800 a day. To keep it down that low, but still keep my digestive system working, I had to find low calorie foods. I didn't so much care about low fat, or low carb, just low calorie. I picked out fresh fruits and vegetables. I always keep them stocked up in my refrigerator so that when I get the munchies I don't reach for something else.

I ate things like blackberries, tomatoes, celery, beef jerky, canned fish. Blackberries are perhaps the lowest calorie fruit, yet some of the highest in antioxidants. It's also one of the higher fiber fruits. Tomatoes are also very low calorie, but high in potassium which you will need lots of when you're dieting like this. Celery is great because it's ultra-low calorie. One stalk is only like 5 calories. I put hot sauce on celery because hot sauce is almost zero calorie.

Beef jerky and canned fish (tuna or salmon) are all low calorie meat products, but still offer the high protein you'll need to maintain or build muscle mass.

Maintain light exercise. Just walking is plenty. You don't have to exhaust yourself at the gym. Do a one mile walk around the neighborhood every day, or a walk around your work. Exercise provides a double benefit, it burns calories directly, but it also raises your metabolism and keeps it up well after you've stopped exercising. The latter is the most important part, and walking is all it takes to boost the metabolism.

Take a multivitamin. I take them everyday to supplement what nutrients I'm not getting in the diet. Make sure you get one that includes the full RDI of Iodine and Vitamin D, and then from there pick the one that has the highest Magnesium. Those three are hard to find in a multivitamin together, yet are still vital to your health.

Stay away from alcohol, it shuts down your metabolism. I love beer, I drink lots when I'm out with friends. Even though beer is actually lower calorie than sodas and fruit juices, the alcohol forces your body to restrict calorie burn to minimum level.

Stay away from friends while you're losing weight. That sounds a little sad, but the fact is that when you're out with friends, it's even more tough to control your calorie intake. When I'm losing weight, I simply stay at home, and don't call any of my friends. I wait until I've reached my weight window of between 145-155 pounds, and then I go out with friends.

It's tough to limit your calorie intake like this if you're so used to eating like a pig. I had the same problem years ago. But if you keep your refrigerator stocked with low calorie, fresh fruits and vegetables, particular ones you like, you'll find it easier to resist the chips, ice cream, and canned chili.

Losing 10 pounds in 4 days is hardcore crash dieting, and it requires a lot of discipline. But I've shown it's possible, and still reasonable from a nutrition standpoint.

Controlling Your Urge to Eat

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

Yesterday I stuck to my diet regimen, perhaps a little more conservative than usual. Here's what I did to lose those three pounds...

Morning: 1 cup of kefir (110 calories)
Morning: 1 medium sized tortilla (120 calories)
Mid-afternoon: 2 medium sized tomatoes (80 calories)
Mid-afternoon: 1 can of V8 Juice (70 calories)
Evening: 1 can (7oz) smoked salmon (208 calories)

Total Calories: 588

Exercise, I walked to the bank, and then to the grocery store, and carried groceries back home. A distance of 6.4 miles. About 750 calories burned.

Controlling Your Urge to Eat

Was thinking about some of the people I've met who have gone on a diet, only to dump it shortly afterwards and gain back what little weight they lost. It's hard.

You read above what little I ate yesterday, and how much I walked, and realize that people don't just do that kind of stuff cold turkey. The first thing you have to do is control the urge to eat. That's something that takes a while to do. Once you have control over your urges, then just about any diet will work.

I actually started this diet about five years ago, but spent the first three years training myself to control the urge to eat. I got to a point where then I felt like I could try the beef jerky diet.

I started by making easy substitutions. Instead of french fries, I ate onion rings. Onion rings are not any less in calories, they are the same or even higher. But, they got me in the habit of making substitutions.

I drank diet soda for regular soda. Eventually I drank diet sodas so religiously, that I learned to love the taste, and found regular sodas way too sweet for my liking. Now I don't drink sodas at all.

I replaced salad dressings with salsa. Salsa works well as a salad dressing because it has all the salt and seasonings that salad dressing has, but none of the fat. Ask your waitress for salsa when she asks what salad dressing you want. You can also use hot sauce, I found that Cholula or Pico Pica goes well on salads.

I bought fresh fruits and vegetables as snacks to keep on hand. Things like strawberries, tomatoes, celery, grapes, blackberries. You might not like tomatoes and celery, but I happen to love them. So whenever I got the munchies, I grabbed those instead. Always keep a stash of these in the fridge to prevent you from eating ice cream or chips.

When I went to the buffet, which my wife and I do all the time. I started bringing a newspaper or magazine with me. I'd start with one full plate of food. After finishing, I'd read for about 20 minutes. After which, my urge to keep eating subsided and I'd only get maybe a half-plate of dessert items. In all, I'd only eat about 1 1/2 plates of food, whereas before I'd get three plates.

So I did this for three years, and in that time I lost only 20 pounds, which is not much at all. But I gained a lot more control of my urge to eat. So now, going on a full blown diet is more easy to tolerate.

Trying to Maintain 150 Pounds

Weighed in this morning at 156 pounds.

Since my last report of December 9, my weight went up from 150 to 160 pounds. I'd spent those days enjoying the company of my wife and/or friends, eating out and drinking, and no exercise.

It all culminated on Saturday evening, with a Christmas party, where the eating and drinking hit new heights.

Contrast that to the next day, Sunday, where I felt a hangover and ate very little. I dropped four pounds on Sunday, mostly peeing out the beer and wine I drank the night before. In fact, much of Sunday was spent lying in bed, except for a few hours when I rode my motorcycle.

So I'm planning to spend the next few days on my diet regimen, with the goal of getting back to 150 pounds. If you look at my weight loss chart (on the far right), it's starting to look erratic with huge jumps and dips.

I've got this feeling that this will be my story from here on out, as I try to maintain my weight while still enjoying good food and drink.

Maintaining a Weight Window

Weighed in this morning at 150 pounds, down two pounds from yesterday.

Yesterday, I stuck to my diet plan. Here's what I did to lose those pounds...

Morning: 1 cup, 4oz, Dannon Activia Yogurt (110 calories)
Morning: 1 Thomas' English Muffin, Multi-Grain (100 calories)
Late Morning: 1 bag, 3.75oz, beef jerky (320 calories)
Late Morning: 1 bottle of water (0 calories)
Afternoon: 1 bottle of Fruit2O (0 calories)
Late afternoon: 24 almonds, 1oz, (160 calories)
Evening: 10 celery sticks with chile pepper cheese dip (75 calories)

Total calories: 765

The only exercise I got was pushing one of my motorcycles uphill at the end of the block. I was trying to push-start it, hoping to get it started so that I could ride to the dealer to get the starter fixed. I couldn't get it push-started.

So I'm trying to maintain a weight window between 145 pounds and 155 pounds. Ideally, I'd remain at 150 pounds. So if I get above 150 pounds, I'll try to trim my weight down, and if I go below 150, I'll try to raise it up.

It's actually a 5 pound buffer each way.

But I had to think about what it means to raise my weight. Obviously for me, that would be fun. I could drink a few glasses of beer, but then that would only have me gaining water, which is not really real weight gain.

I could also eat my favorite foods, like burgers, pizzas, tacos, or anything junky. But that too isn't real weight gain, that's just adding more fat to my body.

I suppose real weight gain is when I gain muscle, and that just means exercising more, and eating lean protein.

That's fine, but I don't necessarily want to be muscle-bound. I just want enough muscle-mass to look fit. Thin is what I grew up as a kid and continued into my early 20s. That's how I see myself.

I still wonder if 150 pounds is where I'm supposed to be. If I still have more body fat to lose, then perhaps I should lose it. I look at myself in the mirror and notice that I still have a few places with fat. But for the most part, I look lean. So, I think this is my "window", between 145 and 155.

Sticking to a Low Calorie Diet

Weighed in this morning at 152 pounds, down a pound from my last post on Friday.

Since then, my weight went to as high as 155. That's not too bad as I'm trying to maintain a "window" of between 145 and 155.

Yesterday I stuck to the diet regimen,

Morning: 1 cup, 4oz, Dannon Activia Yogurt (110 calories)
Morning: 1 Thomas' English Muffin, Multi-Grain (100 calories)
Afternoon: 1 bag, 2oz, of beef jerky (180 calories)
Late afternoon: 1 package, 170g, of blackberries (73 calories)
Late afternoon: 1 can of V8 Juice (70 calories)
Evening: 4 medium sized tomatoes (140 calories)

Total calories: 673 calories

I did no exercise yesterday.

I got a call from my brother yesterday also. He's been skinny all his life, whereas I was skinny up until my mid-20s. But he got into eating healthy early on in life, whereas I'm just now starting to explore it.

For him, eating healthy, and eating a low calorie meal is not that difficult to do. For me, it was tough, but I'm getting more used to it. I went through a few years of training myself to make food substitutions, eating fewer plates of food at the buffet, or even avoiding the buffet. It was only until after those few years, that I was able to control the urge to eat and really start losing pounds.

Once you start losing the weight, you feel more encouraged to keep going.

Boredom is a big killer of diets. When we're bored, we tend to seek food. So combat that, I try to maintain a list of things to do. The irony, of course, is that if you had a list of things to do you wouldn't be bored. Or, the stuff you have listed on your "to do" list is boring.

Whatever it takes, you gotta find something to relieve the boredom that keeps you away from food.

People Can't Believe How Thin I Am

Weighed in this morning at 153 pounds, up one pound from yesterday.

Yesterday I started out on my diet plan, but ultimately dashed it with an evening beer run. A friend of mine got back into town from a business trip, and the local tavern we like to hang out at had a special going on. I added a small pizza, and we munched on some fried pickles and cheese bites.

Today being Friday, the wife usually wants to go out for lunch.

Then the weekend comes up and that's usually when I go crazy on eating. I fully expect to raise my weight up to around 158 by Monday's weigh in.

I continue to hear from people who can't believe how much more thin I've become. I'm not really that thin actually, but it's just that they're used to seeing me at my heaviest. I tell them that when I was in college and in my early 20's, this is how I looked.

I continue to make new friends through motorcycling, and those people only know me at this current weight. Then they hear the stories of how fat I used to be, and they can't believe it either. It's like there are two versions of me going around.

How Many Calories Do You Burn in a Day?

Weighed in this morning at 152 pounds, no change from yesterday.

Yesterday, I stuck to the diet plan, though I'm guessing the two cans of V8 Juice and two bottles of water, along with the four tomatoes, perhaps added enough water to my system that it negated any weight loss. 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: 24 almonds, 1oz, (160 calories)
Afternoon: 1 can of V8 Juice (70 calories)
Mid-Afternoon: 7 small celery sticks with hot sauce (10 calories)
Mid-Afternoon: 1 bottle of water (0 calories)
Early-Evening: 2 medium sized tomatoes (70 calories)
Early-Evening: 1 can of V8 Juice (70 calories)
Mid-Evening: 2 medium sized tomatoes (70 calories)
Late Evening: 1 bottle of water (0 calories)

Total Calories: 660

For my exercise yesterday, I only did some gardening for about 45 minutes, which I estimate a burn of about 200 calories.

How many calories does a typical person burn in a day?

I'm figuring about 2,000 calories for myself, a man in my 40s, at a height of 5'8", and weighing 150 pounds. That's if I did no exercise, except for some housework, but otherwise spent an entire 24 hour period in a sedentary state.

That information was based on a calculator I used at HealthStatus.com. It actually computed total calories burned at 2,046, but I rounded it down to 2,000 for conservative reasons. Here's what I came up with...

Sitting/resting, 720 minutes - 864 calories
Sleeping, 480 minutes - 504
Brush teeth, 3 minutes - 8
Reading, 17 minutes - 20
Sex, foreplay, 15 minutes - 24
Sex, intercourse, 15 minutes - 72
Talking on phone, 30 minutes - 36
Standing, 30 minutes - 40
Cooking, 15 minutes - 45
Driving, 30 minutes - 72
Showering, 15 minutes - 72
Walking, up stairs, 10 minutes - 91
Housework, 60 minutes - 198

Total Minutes - 1,440 (24 hours)
Total Calories Burned 2,046

Notice the "Housework, 60 minutes". That's effectively exercise, but it could be mean taking out the trash, doing dishes, doing laundry, vaccum the floor.

For comparison purposes, I also used a calculator at NutritionData.com, which showed that a sedentary man of the same description, who did no exercise, burned about 2,300 calories per day.

The heavier the person, the more calories burned.

If you exercise, your metabolism increases, but it also remains at an increased rate well after you've stopped exercising. Hence, you're burning more calories during a rest period, than if you hadn't exercised at all.

I'm trying to exercise everyday, either walking/jogging, weight lifting, or doing housework and chores.

So like today, I did some yard work for 45 minutes, which I computed a burn of 200 calories. But in the one hour of rest afterwards, I probably burned another 200 calories, instead of the typical 70 calories I would have burned resting without exercise.

Which means exercise not only burns calories directly, but also metabolically in the resting afterwards.

Launching a New Weight Loss Blog

Weighed in this morning at 152 pounds, down two from yesterday.

Yesterday I stuck to my diet plan. Here's what I did to help me lose those two pounds...

Morning: 1 container, 4oz, of Dannon Activia Yogurt (110 calories)
Morning: 1 Thomas' English Muffin, multi-grain (100 calories)
Afternoon: Beef Jerky, 6oz, spicy hot, (480 calories)
Afternoon: 2 bottles of water (0 calories)
Afternoon: 1 can of V8 Juice (70 calories)
Evening: 1 package, 170g, blackberries (73 calories)

Total calories: 833

I also exercised a little, I did some light weightlifting for the arms, chest, and shoulders.

So I've been thinking of launching an entirely new blog on weight loss, one that share some tips each day about losing weight and dieting. I'll still keep Beef Jerky Diet to chronicle my own dieting and fitness regimen, but use the new blog to share my general observations on weight loss.

I haven't built anything yet, it's still in the thinking stage. But since I'm a blogger and affiliate marketer by trade, I'm always thinking of new websites to build. And the subject of weight loss is a highly profitable one, and I think I could carve up a small niche for myself and generate some income on Google ads, or even some affiliate programs.

But over the months of being on this diet, I certainly have made some key observations on what seems to work well on dieting and losing weight.

So for those of you who actually follow this blog, I'll keep you informed.

The Pumpkin Pie Did Me In

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

Yesterday, the wife wanted to go out for lunch, claiming that she spent too much time here at home over the Thanksgiving holiday. So I asked her where she'd like to go, and wouldn't you know it? "Sizzler's" she replied. She loves that place.

So I stuck with the salad bar as usual. And I had my normal spinach-tomato-cumcumber-salsa salad. But instead of munching on chicken soft tacos afterwards, I opted to go with some cottage cheese and a couple slices of pineapple. I actually ate rather light.

I would've ended up losing weight for the day, except later on in the evening I chose to eat two generous slices of my wife's homemade pumpkin pie. She actually whipped up several other pies, cookies, and brownies. There's no way I could eat it all and still maintain my weight.

But I simply couldn't allow the pumpkin pie to go to waste.

However, I was able to offset that calorie intake by doing a little exercise. I did some combo jogging and walking.

So today I'm shooting for that diet day, limiting myself to about 700 calories or less, and see if I can knock out another pound or two.