kingkeld's Journal, 11 April 2012

Good morning!

It's a good morning here in Denmark. I slept great, and I feel rested. It's 5:45 am, and in about an hour I will be going to work. I'll try to be there an hour early and save up more comp time. Wife is on vacation all of next week, and I hope I can clear my calender to have a day or two off with her again, maybe at least the Friday. It'd be nice.

I had no weight loss today, so I am still sitting a little high. That's okay. We had pasta for dinner yesterday, and it was great on the calories, but tends to really weigh me down. It'll come - I'm not in a hurry any longer, other than that I want to get down under the 80 kgs, and preferably eventually stick under the magical 77.

Sometimes I wonder if that 77 is too much of a fix point, as I seem to never be there. It would have been a lot easier for me if my target had been 80!
However, 77 is what I set out to do, and 77 is where I will end up being. Upping it to 80 would be cheating, I feel. However, it does seem like my body really likes to be around 80.

I can tell a difference in my weight though. I can tell that I am heavier than I was a week ago. The 5 kgs difference is clear, and that is kinda scary. I mean, I used to be 75 kgs heavier than I am today, and it is a really scary thing when I realize that 5 kgs makes such a difference.

My body feels much happier around 76-77 kgs than it does around 80, that's for sure.

Tomorrow, I'm not expecting too much of a weight loss either. Dinner tonight will be leftovers from yesterday, so it'll be more pasta with meat less tomato sauce. Yum! However, it does weigh me down. In a way, I'd rather have something else for dinner, but there is simply too much food to toss it away. I'm not gonna waste like that. So pasta for dinner again it is. That's okay - it tastes great and overall I still feel so much better than I have all my life - so a day or two more is no biggie.

I was going over my planned calories for today - I am gonna be LOW! Even without me getting on the bike this morning, I will still have a SIGNIFICANT calorie deficit - probably too much.

Nope - not getting on the bike today. I think I have over done it a little bit the last few days - my legs are aching today, and I think it's their way to ask me to calm down and take the day off. :) So I am skipping the bike for now. Maybe, if I feel up to it in the afternoon, I'll take 30 or 60 minutes.

The calorie deficit thing still puzzles me a little.

Since I am in maintenance mode now, I should be doing the same in as I have out, right? Eat what I burn, basically.

When I stuff my face one or two days, I should compensate for those calories, but nothing more. That would be my theory. However, I can't help thinking that I need a deficit, and many times it's a pretty big one. Often over 1000 - and there is just not a whole lot I feel that I can do about it.

If I eat more, to have more calories, then the food will weigh me down (more the actual food weight than a fat gain from calories), and I will gain weight. This is what I see happening right now. Sure, I did bad over the easter, and I gained a LOT of weight. But there is absolutely no way it's a fat gain, so it has to be water fluctuation, and food being processed. It's gotta be as simple as that.

If I am right about this, then I should simply compensate for the extra calories through the slacker-days, and then go for maintenance level, right? The added weight should come off over a period regardless.

This will of course always fluctuate some, as I will never stop eating pasta (now and then) or other heavy foods. I do NOT want to never have a heavy meal "because it weighs me down", but I do want to stay within my calorie limits. Temporary gains are fine with me, as long as it's not a fat gain, and as long as I remain in control.

Now, here is the next thing that makes this difficult: The exercise calendar. I think there is general agreement that the calendar is a little too generous with its counts. It tells us that we've burned more than we've actually burned. This is of course a little dangerous. If I see that I have burned 3000 calories in a day (an unwritten goal for me on a daily basis), then how much have I actually burned? 2000? 2500? 2800? I need to know this, if I want to match my calorie intake with my calories burned.

I've tried several other calculators, and even though they come out with different numbers, they all come out very - VERY - different from each other too.

Writing this, I just realized that I may have found a workable approach to this.

I need to find a "system" where I know what I have eaten exactly over a week - set a goal to have a specific calorie intake over the week. For example, start with an average of 2000 calories per day. This is 14000 calories in one week. It's rare that I get to 2000 in one day, but if I want to be at maintenance level, then I need to have those calories.

So, what I think could work is to simply take a look at the intake over the last week when I get to the last day - typically my Saturday Indulgence Day - and what ever I'm missing, I'll add on that day. So if I have had 1800 calories the last 6 days, then I'll have to add 1200 calories to my Indulgence Day, making it 3200 calories. That way I will KNOW that I have had something very close to a 2000 calorie average over the week.

If I still lose weight, then the following week I can up it to 2100 per day. If I have gained weight, I can lower it to 1900 - and so on. This I can do until I see that there is no change.

Mind you, the change these days is not very big, though I do see a new low now and then. The new lows should be very rare by now, and they are. I did one for last Tuesday's doctor's visit, but that was more of a principle thing. I had to push hard to get it, but I managed - and that was just to prove a point to myself. I'm not sure I'll get all the way down to 75.8 kgs again anytime soon.

I dunno, maybe I'm simply over thinking this part.

Anyways, back to the topic.

When I recalculate my calorie intake, I set my age, height, gender and weight. I set my activity level to "Low active". I don't see myself as more than that, as I am not the type who does a LOT of exercise, or have a job that makes me move constantly. However, I am in no way sedentary, as I do get on the bike almost every day, I stand up at work ALL day, and I try to get my butt out of the chair and get things when I need 'em. This last thing is actually a real change. Back in the day, I would make a mental note of things I needed when I get up, and get it all at once. Now, I get out of the chair all the time to get a pen, find a remote, get my phone, get water, refill coffee, etc. It's nice to NOT have that challenge. I just do it. Compared to two years ago, I feel like I'm Jackie Chan! LOL.

So, Low Active is what I choose as my activity level.

Fatsecret suggests that for maintenance level calorie intake I should be doing 2700 calories per day. That is a LOT of food on a daily basis. However, it seems to go fine hand-in-hand with my approx. 3000 calorie burn daily. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but usually just around there.

Eating 2700 every day is terrifying though. Will this really be good?

I see two sides of this.

1. Eating 2700 will make me eat OVER 700 MORE CALORIES per day, 5000 calories per week! In my mind, that's a LOT of extra calories.

2. Practice what I preach. I tell so many people that they're not losing weight simply because they don't eat enough. Is my body holding on to the last weight because I don't eat enough? Is 1800, which I normally stick to along with Indulgence Day, really enough? Should I UP it instead of restricting? This really could be the answer, but it's scary to start messing with. I know this from myself, and from the terror I see in the eyes of the people I tell to eat more. 90% of the time I'm right about this, though.

So, I think the game plan will have to be what I have deducted.

I will set out for a 2000 calorie plan this week. What I haven't consumed over the week, I will move to Saturday, and try hard to hit it dead on. I will then compare it with the exercise calories that FatSecret tells me that I've done, and see where it takes me.

By me comparing a fairly precise calorie intake over the week with my exercise calendar, I should over some time be able to see a pattern. How high will my intake have to me in relation to the burn? Will I have to match it? Will I have to be slightly under? Will I have to be 500-1000 under? As long as I can see a pattern, a place to be in relation to the calorie burn, then it really doesn't matter if it matches, right?

Wow, this got VERY analytical. I wonder if anyone actually will read though this and not just give up along the way. LOL. However, I got some things cleared up in my mind, I think. This will be my approach.

To summon up:

Record all food and exercise.
Set an average calorie intake per day over a week's time.
On the last day of that week (Saturday), compensate to reach that average - by eating more or less.
Compare with my average exercise over that week.
Conclude.

That's it. I can do this. Actually, I think I have done it more or less, just without that focus. This will probably still be a kind of Indulgence Day system, just slightly different focus. I can't wait to see if it works. Being in maintenance mode gives Indulgence Day another mission, I think. I no longer need it to keep my metabolism going. It should do that without any help, simply because I eat more. However, it will be a good "tool" to reach the right amount of calories over the week.

So what do you guys think? Does it make sense? I will NOT be using this as an excuse to eat more, I will be adding calories nice and slow, to find my "sweet spot".

Okay, Keld. Enough of that. :)

So, anyways, it's time for me to get ready to go to work soon. Gotta pack a little lunch, some of Wife's AMAZING home made salsa too. She made an awesome Habanero/carrot salsa just for me. It's hotter than hell and oh, so tasty! I love it!

Today, I am thankful for:
- Figuring out a way to approach maintenance mode that just might work for me.
- Salsa! Yum!
- Kitty Cat spending the morning with me. She does NOT mind that I didn't get on the bike! :)
- A fairly easy day at work today (I think).

It's hump day, folks! Life is good!



177.7 lb Lost so far: 164.0 lb.    Still to go: 0 lb.    Diet followed 100%.

Diet Calendar Entries for 11 April 2012:
1091 kcal Fat: 30.19g | Prot: 58.58g | Carb: 152.90g.   Breakfast: Egg, Rye Bread (Reduced Calorie), Sliced Ham (Extra Lean). Lunch: Cooked Mixed Vegetables (Corn, Lima Beans, Peas, Green Beans and Carrots, from Canned, Fat Not Added in Cooking), Frikadelle. Dinner: Tomato Sauce, Whole Wheat Spaghetti. Snacks/Other: banana. more...
3007 kcal Activities & Exercise: Standing - 8 hours and 30 minutes, Walking (moderate) - 3/mph - 20 minutes, Sleeping - 8 hours, Sitting - 5 hours and 10 minutes, Desk Work - 2 hours. more...
on diet kingkeld's own diet   steady weight

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Comments 
Wow, that was a lot to digest right before bed.. Hmm.. lots to think about! I actually mentioned a similar (but far less analytical) struggle with the switch to maintenance mode earlier tonight (while you were sleeping, I suppose..) I'm interested to hear what others think! And I'll be back when I wake up with a fresh mind.. ;) 
10 Apr 12 by member: erika2633
Relax! Look at your weight history. You have been maintaining for å lon Relax! Look at your weight history. You are maintaining! I thought I needed a strict plan.I didn't, I had changed my view on food learned portion control and know how to adjust when needed. So calm down and don't over think  
11 Apr 12 by member: sunshine_girl
sunshine_girl: LOL! You might be right. I do tend to over-think things. Then again, over thinking strategies got me to this wonderful place. :) 
11 Apr 12 by member: kingkeld
Well King, you have done it again. It is good you communicate freely with us, and I have a lot of the same concerns as far as calories burned. I have considered those bug things, and other crap that you wear to figure it out. Also, a heart rate monitor stopwatch might also work that calculates your weight. I think the super duper way is to measure heart rate and oxygen consumption somehow, but that is not feasible 24 hours a day.  
11 Apr 12 by member: posterchild66
I haven't fully considered the fitbits and bodybuggs and all that, but it might be an idea. I do think it's essential for me to work out where I can comfortably find my level of intake - otherwise I will never really learn - whether it's with or without counting calories and making it a science is a whole different story. But fact is of course that if I am consistently in a deficit, then I'll start losing weight, and if I'm consistently in excess, then I will gain. I just don't want to realize that I've gained 10 kgs one day. I am 5 up as it is now, and hoping for them to budge any day now. But what's the point of fighting hard to lose them if I'm simply not eating enough for them to let go? That is my whole issue.  
11 Apr 12 by member: kingkeld
Poster child suggested exactly what I was going to suggest... The fitbit / budybug route. I haven't got one myself, but would love to get one - mind you, I am a gadget person LOL. Maybe you should do some research on them. If you don't go down that route.... Your theory sounds sensible to me, at least for the short term... The only comment I would make is, you don't want to be documenting your calorie intake, for the rest of your life. Having said that, I am still documenting mine - after over a year it is difficult to give up the habit..... I will be easing up on doing that soon - probably when I go on holiday will be a good time to start, as I won't be able to get access to FS. I will see.... I only enter calories AFTER I have eaten them, so I am part way there - often I find I am not eating enough..... 
11 Apr 12 by member: Sk1nnyfuture
SkInny, letting go is frickin' scary! :) I do know that I will have to do this, but I feel that I need to know my "level" first, what I can actually do. Then again, I suppose the scale will show regardless. If I do good on my food and exercise, my weight will stay the same on average, right? I could simply just weight in every morning, and see how I'm doing. Of course, I can still have things throw me off, like it is these days. I'm not very keen on weekly weigh-ins to compensate for this, but I am considering maybe just calculating an average weight over the course of a week or so. That way I can keep things in a short leash, and maybe later let go of this tool too. There I go again. Being analytical is hard work. :) 
11 Apr 12 by member: kingkeld
...and the idea to start entering food at the end of the day is maybe not too bad. Kinda gives one a "how did I do" look on the day. :) 
11 Apr 12 by member: kingkeld
KK careful if you do it all at the end of the day - eating amnesia! When I say I input "after" I have eaten, nearly always enter my breakfast after I have eaten it - sometimes I do this late morning, so I enter any mid-morning snack as well. For the rest of the day..... sometimes I enter my lunch after I have eaten it, sometimes i wait and enter any snack plus dinner, during the evening. Today I entered last nights dinner this morning.... And found I was heavier on calories than normal - that's ok with me. Doing it this way, gives me a "ball park" figure on how I am doing, sometimes I find I am not eating enough - so I make a mental note, to eat a little more. It also "educates" you to judge portion size and types of food you can reasonably eat. I have doing this for about 6 months. One thing I still do, is weigh my food... I know what is a "reasonable" portion size, in weight terms... And still keep to this. I think relying on "visual" judging can gradually mean, you are eating far more than you think. Eg... I occasionally have rustic oven chips... I weigh 100gms - which sometimes means 4 chips, sometimes 6/7 chips (they are pretty chunky). It's easy to pick the "bigger" ones and fool yourself you are keeping within the 100 gm allowance. 
11 Apr 12 by member: Sk1nnyfuture
Thanks, SkInny, I'm aware of that. I generally advice against doing this, since you tend to forget. I would probably go about it by jotting down in a notebook or something, to NOT forget. :) That, or simply take pictures. I too weigh pretty much all I eat, and I don't have any plans quitting that habit. I have a pretty good idea - like you - how much food I need to feel satisfied. :) 
11 Apr 12 by member: kingkeld
SO many good questions and ideas here. It can be so overwhelming at times. Had a friend yesterday ask me "how many calories should I eat?" as if I could just give her an answer right away. It can be so simple yet so complicated. Good luck, your current plan sounds like a great place to start. I'm sure you'll keep re-evaluating as you go along anyway so if something's not working, plenty of other ideas to go with! 
11 Apr 12 by member: Bkeller1023
I just bought a watch heart monitor. I wanted to know how many steps I took each day and how many calories I burned during my workouts. Problem is I haven't figured out how to use it yet. I like that you really think about weight loss/maintenance. It gets me thinking too. I think that the plan you've worked out is logical and sounds like it should work. I'm anxious to see your results. 
11 Apr 12 by member: davidsmom
It's kind of strange that the results I hope to see is no result at all. :) 
11 Apr 12 by member: kingkeld
Also keep in mind Keld, that you'll be (hopefully) undergoing surgery, which will affect your end result, too. Keep yourself in check so that you don't undo anything you don't want to, and continue to revel in the achievement you have made! Seeing your staying power and iron will in print is such a comfort and helps me from becoming too discouraged in any small daily setbacks. And it lets me know that what I have planned CAN be reached. You might check Amazon for any of those body monitor thingys. They sometimes have stuff really cheap! Rock on, dude!! 
11 Apr 12 by member: ZippyDani

     
 

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