Diet revisited (ver 1,354.75)

My diet still isn’t going well. The only thing I’m grateful of is that I’ve managed to avoid a complete rebound, for the first time in my life. 

Today is technically diet day 1045. That’s how many consecutive days I’ve been logging at MyFitnessPal. 

From May 2012, when I started, I began a rapid weight descent. At my lowest point this time around I had lost a total of 40 kg. 

But, as has always happened in the past, after 700 days something changes and my diet starts falling apart. In mid 2014 I regained about 5-8 kg. Yet still, somehow, I managed to keep my weight in a range of 3-4 kg. 

Last September, things started getting much worse. At this point I’ve regained half the weight I lost. Everybody can tell. And I feel a lot less comfortable. Worst of all, my blood sugar has risen as a result of weight gain. 

I’ve tried lots of different ways to start losing again. And yes, this includes regular exercise, which I continue to do. 

But the most I’ve been able to accomplish is avoiding a complete rebound. I’m grateful for that, but I have to lose weight. 

For me it is all about weight. If I lose weight – no matter what kinds of food I eat – my blood sugar always returns to normal. If I gain weight my blood sugar goes up. It’s that simple. 

I have no other clinical problems. My cholesterol, blood pressure, lipids, etc. are all normal. My heart tests, at least so far, are all normal. 

But high blood sugar is dangerous for lots of reasons, including injury to arteries. 

So the absolute bottom line to me is that I must, absolutely must, start losing weight again. I’m convinced that is really all there is to it – at least for my body. 

What I believe from personal experience:

1. The main cause of gaining weight is eating too many calories. The only way to lose weight is to reduce calories. Calories are, whether we like it or not, the begin all and end all of weight control. 

2. Exercise plays some role, but not a major role. If you burn a lot of calories then yes, you can eat more and still lose weight. But if you are doing 30-45 minutes of exercise per day like I am, it’s only a couple of hundred calories. And you can easily overestimate calories burned if you are not careful. Exercise is probably good for overall health, but it’s a minor factor in weight lose for most people. The main factor is how much you eat. 

3. I don’t think it matters what kinds of food you eat. What matters most is eating foods that satisfy while keeping calories under control. For me that generally means higher protein foods. 

4. Recent research has shown that there really is no connection between what you eat and your cholesterol values. After I went vegan + no oil in 2012 my cholesterol did not drop. It wasn’t until I started taking one statin a day that my cholesterol came way down. Even now, after regaining so much weight, my total cholesterol and LDL values are very low. 

5. While mostly satisfying, the vegan diet did have some problems. My weight lose basically halted after a point, even though I was still borderline overweight/obese according to my BMI values. I attribute this to trying to avoid hunger by eating too much rice or oatmeal. These are not helpful for a diet. 

6. Grains are high in calories, low in protein, have a high glycemic index, and trigger hunger. They ultimately don’t satisfy. Brown rice is no better than white rice for this. I don’t believe whole grains are better for weight lose than processed grains. 

7. Diets which forbid or highly restrict a particular variety of food cause you to crave that food. 

Anyway, what I’m going to try starting this morning is the only reliable way I know to actually lose weight. I still don’t know how to solve the problem of keeping it off later. Maybe I’ll try meditation. Or yoga. Something I haven’t tried before. But first things first. 

So as of today I’m officially no longer vegan (which I haven’t completely been for a while anyway). 

I’m going to rigorously log all calories. 

I’m not going to eat anything unless I truly have an honest knowledge of how many calories there are. 

I’m going to eat any kind of food – so long as it is within my calorie limit. 

I’m not going to exceed my calorie limit, no matter the occasion. 

To keep hunger under control I’m going to concentrate on foods I know are filling and have lower calories, including eggs, fish, chicken, sweet potatoes, edamame – anything that fits into my calorie limit. I will not forbid any particular kind of food. 

I will tend to avoid grains, including whole grains, because they are not filling, have little nutritional value and have too many calories. 

I’ll continue exercising. 

And that’s it. 

Support from friends is welcome as I try to get weight under control. But no diet advice please. Seriously – I’ve heard it all. Everybody is different and what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. And I don’t want to argue with people about it. 

Writing this on my iPhone took me almost all the way to Hachioji this morning!


Diet revisited (ver 1,354.75) — 8 Comments

  1. Good luck! Even though it’s a struggle, you’re not ignoring it, which is my biggest problem.

    You don’t mention hydration much when you talk about your diet. I can always tell by how hungry I am and how many cravings I get whether I’m drinking enough water. I have to remind myself frequently and I hope it becomes a habit someday but I’m not there yet.

  2. Oh, about 99.99% of all I drink is water, and lots of it. At least 2-3 liters per day. I drink water all the time.


  3. 2-3 liters is great! I only manage 2-3 IF I’m actively conscious of it. Otherwise I’ll do things like bring a 1 liter tumbler of water to work with me and bring it home 3/4 full. I’ll finish it with dinner but by then most of the day is gone and I’ve only had 1 liter.

    I enjoyed the pictures you posted of your lunch. Maybe doing that is a good motivational technique? I know in the past I’ve set up a Flickr account and took pictures of everything I ate. It was a way to “keep me honest” but it was also fun to look back and visually see what I was eating, how varied it was, etc, which was something the log in MyFitnessPal wasn’t giving me.

    Of course it’s entirely possible I just like seeing what kind of fun Japanese food you eat. Good luck!

  4. Don’t you feel dehydrated? Or do you drink other things in addition to water? I sort of lucked out in the beverage department in that my favorite drink just happens to be plain water, and I don’t like alcohol, or coffee. I might sometimes have some green tea or unsweetened black tea.


  5. I’m sorry you are having so much trouble.
    I agree with the other responders. All I drink is water. That’s it. Except if we go out for dinner then I drink only fresh-brewed iced tea. If they don’t have that, I drink water. I just came down 3 lbs and I’m excited! I’ve been stuck at 180 lbs for a month and I was just beside myself! That was after I reduced my caloric count! Now I think I may lose 1 lb a week.

    Maybe you should go to your Dr. For a Physical of sort. Look for lumps and bumps, ck your Thyroid and what ever he sees fit. I don’t think exercise plays that big a part of weight loss. I’m basically sedentary. Just walk the dog because of my back pain.

    I wish you luck and get fierce about your diet! You know you have to be in the right mind to get results!!

    Oh! happy Easter!

  6. Oh, I’ve been checked lots of times. My lack of weight loss is no mystery. I’ve just been eating too much.

    Happy Easter to you too.

  7. Per #2, the connection between exercise and weight loss is a real puzzlement to me. About five years ago, on a previous Weight Watchers adventure, I started running. Even after I fell off the WW wagon I kept running simply because I enjoy it and I like the way I feel when I’m running regularly. Now I’m back with WW again and typically earning about 50 or 60 activity points per week (as measured by my Fitbit) just from running and walking, which would be in the neighborhood of 2500 calories.

    Yet all this activity has little impact on my weight loss. I do very well on staying within my WW points budget, and on top of that I have all these activity points which I never consume – yet I often have weeks where I lose nothing or even gain a little.

    It SEEMS obvious that CaloriesConsumed – CaloriesBurned == NetWeightChange but my experience is it’s not the case at least over any apparent time frame. But if I’m not burning fat calories when I run, where is that energy coming from? The whole thing is really puzzling.

    I wish I could tell you why so many of us eventually fall off the wagon, because then I could stop doing it myself. This is my third time on the WW program, and the vast majority of people in my particular group (including my wife) are in the same circumstance. Getting the weight off is difficult but doable. Keeping it off is apparently quite a lot harder.

  8. I don’t remember the exact numbers, but I believe it is something like 90% of people who rebound. On any diet.

    It’s easy to feel enthusiastic about a diet when you first go on it and feel it’s working. The question that needs to be asked though is what percentage of people keep their weight off after, say, two years. Two years is always the tipping point for me.

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