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Twelve Percent

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  • #46
    I measured my waist at my belly button again today. After several attempts, I arrived at 37 inches as a decent average. I plan to this at every first-of-the-month.

    It seems to be very difficult to get a consistent measurement. My "jelly roll" creates a inward slope that starts at my belly button and stops at my rib cage. If the tape is in a slightly different vertical location, my measurement is drastically different. Plus I'm so soft in that region, it's hard to avoid shrinking the measurement by applying a tiny amount of tension to the tape.

    This month was not a great month for me with regard to my dietary choices. I had 3 birthdays, and while I didn't eat anything horribly un-primal, there were two nut bread birthday cakes. I didn't exactly limit my intake.

    But a net result of -1.5 inches is terrific!

    This month my goals are:

    1. Only eat when I'm hungry. This is going to be especially difficult when I'm home on the weekends. I tend to grab cheese and nuts often, mostly out of boredom.

    2. On days that I'm not doing Lift Heavy Things, I will walk the dog. She loves and needs it. It's a huge part of what will get me to my goal.

    3. Begin doing sprints on Sundays again. I'm supposed to be taking that day off, but I don't have any other days where I'm not busy all day. Besides, sprinting is fun!
    Last edited by Redguy; 02-01-2013, 09:59 AM.


    • #47
      Today my waist measurement was 37.75. I didn't have a great month.

      1. I wasn't able to keep myself from eating when I wasn't hungry. Last night I asked my wife to help keep me accountable in this.

      2. I did walk the dog some, but I wasn't consistent. I was fighting getting sick and chose to rest more.

      3. I didn't start sprinting again, mostly due to wanting to help with the fight against being sick.

      As of today, I'm not feeling sick and I'm starting normal activity again. However, the biggest failure this month was my eating. I ate like there was no tomorrow. Tomorrow is here and I've lost ground.


      • #48
        I gained inches again this month. I measured at 38.5.

        I'm still trying to figure out my eating issue. Weekends are really tough. I can't seem to drum up the ability to not eat when I'm not hungry. During the week, I feel successful, however. 18 hour fast everyday, with a 24 hour fast one day a week.

        My take is I need to learn how respond properly to hunger. This starts by recognizing what real hunger feels like. Fasting helps me to do that. Then I need to recognize what satiety feels like. This is where I am stuck. I am making progress though. I started (once in a while) taking just a small handful of almonds to work with me for "lunch". My challenge to myself was to wait until I felt "real" hunger. Then eat 1/2 of the almonds I bought and wait 10 minutes or so to see if I still felt that hunger. I want this excersize to teach me what satiety is and how much food it takes to get me there.

        In this case, I didn't feel hungry. In fact, I didn't feel hungry for hours. At no time was I "full" however, and I know that's not the goal. For me, it what I erroneously want, however. I wanted to eat the rest on the almonds. If I were home, I would have probably gotten some other food as well. But while at work, I seem to be able to control myself more easily.

        I am making some changes on the exersize front. My son is four. He is really starting to want to play with me when I get home. Instead of taking 45 minutes of the time that I have with either him or my wife, I'm going to go to a private room at work and do all of my work out there, except the pull ups, which I can only do at home. They're quick though.

        My move-slowly stuff is going to be centered around playing with my son. It seems much more realistic and healthy, and a lot less like a chore.


        • #49
          Redguy - This is the first time I've seen your postings. This is an awesome journal that pretty much describes what a lot of us are going through: Finding we can maintain, but don't have what it takes to cut more and maintain at that lower level.

          I'm a 48 yo, 5'10 guy. After an initial weightloss of 80lbs over 2 years, I've maintained around 165-175 for a solid year. I would love to be able to maintain between 155-165, but my forays below 165 were all short-lived. I'm presently at 170, on a downward trend from 175. The trouble always is, when I hit a new low, I stop the hardcore stuff that got me there, and put a bit back on--I keep close tabs, and never let myself go, but I can see how easy it would be to balloon back up to an overweight status, even just eating primal foods.

          For me, weightloss means getting way out of my comfort zone. No breakfast, no snacks, lunch at 11 of 1 can sardines/dry salad, dinner at 6 of lean meat and veggies.

          If I run a calorie calculator, they all say I should be taking in 1800-2500 calories to maintain. But I found I was maintaining on closer to 1500 calories, and gaining on 2000. It takes me under 1200/day to lose.

          So, If I make it down to 160, that means my new maintenance level will be around 1300/day--that's not a lot of chow for a guy who walks 3-5 miles a day and exercises 3-5 days a week.

          Here's what i'm trying to tell myself: I must be - A. Counting calories wrong; B. Need a lot fewer calories than most other people; C. Am genetically programmed to gain easily; D. A combo of those 3 factors.

          I recently read this exchange in this article: Why one calorie for her is half a calorie for him

          April 1, 2013 at 3:47 pm

          Q: Looks like I’m in the minority here, but I have a ‘guy’ question for you:

          I’m 48, 5’10, 170lbs. 3 years ago, I was 250lbs. I lost it all through low carb, whole foods. I’ve added in quite a few carbs lately from potatoes, rice, sweet potatoes, etc…. and have been keeping my macros around 30% carb, 30% protein, and 60% fat. I have maintained my weight around 170 for over a year now.

          I would like to lose another 10 pounds and maintain closer to 160. I have the flab to spare, I’m currently at about 18% body fat, I think 12% would be best. I can get down to 160 with some serious calorie restriction, but it never ‘sticks’. The trouble is, my maintenance level of calories is about 1500kcal/day. I exercise regularly, lifting several times a week, sprint weekly, and walk 3-5mi/day. I have an active job, not sedentary by any means.

          If I overeat for several weeks, I regain weight easily–and on all good WAPF foods–no sugar, flour, or veg oil. 2000kcal/day will lead to several pounds added per month.

          It is very depressing for me to think I will always be required to eat so little to maintain my weight. The advice to eat more, or eat more fat/less carbs etc… hasn’t worked. Adding in more carbs has made it easier to maintain my weight without wild fluctuations, but in order to get leaner, I will have to cut to 1000-1200/day and probably stay around 1200-1300 to maintain it. Does that seem reasonable to you or am I doing something wrong?


          Konstantin Monastyrsky April 1, 2013 at 3:58 pm


          I am in a similar situation, although not as active as you are. To stick to my normal weight of 68 kg (150 lbs.), I am on a steady diet if 1400-1500 kk per day. To still enjoy life, I don’t eat breakfast, have a tiny lunch as late as possible, usually around 1 pm (@ 300 k), and enjoy a moderately “rich” dinner (@ 1100-1300 k). In your particular case I would also decrease fat to 40%, and increase carbs and proteins respectively. Fat is by far the most dense product, calorie-wise, so you’ll still be well lubed with 40%, while a great deal of satiety and satisfaction comes from chewing. Proteins are best for that.

          Also, I usually let myself go a bit on the weekend, and enjoy a bit more variety. But I still stick to the rule of 2 meals a day with late lunch, 6-7 pm dinner, and no snacks. Hope you’ll find this information helpful.


          Tim April 1, 2013 at 4:46 pm

          Nature is indeed cruel!

          Sounds like we are eating similarly. I normally have no breakfast or snacks, lunch at 11 of 1 can of sardines and 1/2 to 1 pound of a variety of raw veggies, then dinner at 6 of 1/2 to 1 pound of meat, cheese, almonds, fruit, dark chocolate, and a starch to equal about 1200kcal.

          3 years ago, i was very obese and couldn’t do a single chinup or pushup, now regularly doing 20+ chinups and 30+ pushups in a set plus weighted squats. I would have thought with all these strength gains, my capacity to eat would have went up to close to where I was eating prior. Adding starch to my diet allowed me to increase my workouts and build some new muscle, but also led to a few extra pounds of padding around the middle.

          My motivation to be at low body fat it not vanity, but rather I have obstructive sleep apnea which appeared 12 years ago when I started gaining weight and all but disappears when my weight is below 170.

          Thanks for this series, hopefully more men will catch on and follow.


          Konstantin Monastyrsky April 1, 2013 at 5:07 pm


          I am not sure if nature is cruel — it is what it is. If not for your ancestors’ amazing ability to rapidly gain weight, you would probably not be around today. I’ll talk about it more in the next post. (I was planning to discuss ketosis, but this subject is by far more important, so ketosis can wait.)

          As far as your diets go, just reduce non-essentials: almonds and dark chocolate. The latter may contribute to sleep apnea and will ALWAYS compromise the quality of you sleep, and the fats in almonds are abundant, and most likely rancid. And consume cheese in moderation.

          Congratulations on your tremendous weight loss! Keep it up!


          • #50
            I think some people are genetically programmed to put on muscle easily, some fat, some both, and some neither.


            • #51
              In my case, at this point, it's behavioral, not genetic. I know I am eating more than I need to eat. For example, today is a fasting day. I'm fine, from a hunger standpoint. But I'm also at work, so I don't have a stocked fridge sitting 10 feet away.

              Counting calories is not productive for me. Counting calories only ends up being an excuse to eat more so I can meet a mostly arbitrary baseline. My body will tell me when it needs food.

              If I'm not hungry, I should not be eating. Until that's true, I have nothing to blame but my own actions for my lack of progress. I know my metabolism is capable of dropping the inches from my waist. My first month of this was phenomenal. I did "everything" right, and lost 2 inches. Then regained them due to my inability to handle difficult circumstances.

              My circumstances are no longer difficult. My life is pretty damn easy. That won't always be the case, but for now, it is. I will figure out how to manage my desires and make the right choices. I'll learn it now, and learn it well. And when the next storm comes, I'll be ready to ride it out like a seasoned sailor.

              ...a sailor with six pack abs.


              • #52
                I think there is a subset of guys who really need to dig deep to lose weight. If I paid attention to the calorie calculators, I'd weigh 300lbs.

                It is sad to see how little I have to eat to maintain, especially when I see the menus posted by others. If I start eating desserts, breakfast, and/or snacks, it all goes to waist.


                • #53
                  My waist measurement is still on the rise. In fact, I gained about 10 pounds.

                  I've decided that what I'm doing isn't working, though I think it would work if I was able to maintain it perfectly. The problem is, I find myself overeating, which negates any caloric benefits that fasting is having.

                  Weight loss and body re-composition is largely a battle, not against your metabolism, but against your will, your character.

                  Are you the type of person that can moderate your food intake and eat reasonable meals in the midst of overwhelming abundance? The approach I've been trying to follow will probably work for you.

                  My problem is that I do not have the ability to consistently, or even frequently, avoid/stop eating when I'm not hungry. My natural tendency is to be "all in". I do most things with very little moderation. I knew this when I started losing weight so I adopted a no-tolerance policy for carby foods, despite the fact that my diet plan recommended adding carbs back in little by little in maintenance. I know that I don't have the self control to moderate that kind of freedom.

                  In IF, it is still important to avoid overeating, even after a fast. I need to find a way to make this easier for me to accomplish. I'm changing directions. My new goal is not to get to 12%. It is to find a way of eating that allows me to successfully stop eating when I'm not hungry. If I can do that, I'll go back to pursuing 12%.

                  I have decided to switch my IF routine to a daily all-day fast with an eating window at the end of the day. I'm hoping this does several things for me.

                  1. Greatly reduces (but does not eliminate) the amount of moderation I need to do.

                  I still need to stop when I'm satisfied, but I have a little more leeway if I feel the need to eat something extra. In the past few days of doing this, I've seen that this is much easier for me to manage.

                  2. Teaches me what real hunger and satiety feel like.

                  A 16 - 18 hour fast just meant that I was hungry for lunch. A 21 - 23 hour fast produces real hunger. I actually feel hollowness, not just transient hunger pangs. When I have my dinner, I feel relief from that hunger, not just the absence of pangs. It's a stark contrast that is really eye opening.

                  3. Reduces my caloric intake slightly

                  By avoiding all eating during the day, I miss my lunch while at work, plus I skip all the small snacking I did on the weekends. I won't be eating much more at night to make up for it, so the net result is fewer calories.

                  4. Forces me to do something else besides think about food.

                  There's no way I could be successful at this if I just sit here and think about food. I have to find something to do with my mind for the hours that I'm fasting. So far, it's making me more productive.

                  5. Helps me enjoy the food that I do eat.

                  I could not believe how great my food tasted over the last few days. I'm compelled to savor it. I don't find myself trying to hold back from diving head first into the fridge. Instead I can't wait to taste what is on the table.


                  • #54
                    Problems and Challenges

                    So far, I've been doing the all-days fasts for about 3 days. (Today is the fourth day). Here are the issues I'm running in to.

                    1. Hunger.

                    I read in many IF articles that hunger is not at issue. I can say that my morning hunger is not an issue, but by noon. I'm hungry. It does not go away. It just gets progressively stronger until I eat dinner. My hope is that my body will adjust to the new schedule and this will not be a problem.

                    2. Leg cramps.

                    I've had this problem before. I attribute it to low electrolytes caused by an increase in trips to the bathroom. I had a marked uptake in that area. I'm going to try to drink more and replace them with no-sugar electrolyte drinks.

                    3. Low energy.

                    Hunger is fine and bearable up to a point, but it's feeling tired that has a big impact on my life. I need energy to concentrate on work and to play with my kids. I'm not listlessly sitting around, but it can be hard to motivate myself to get moving. I've not tried to do any sprints or strength training yet. This is something that I hope will normalize over time. I'm giving myself two weeks to acclimate then I will reassess and see how I feel.


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Redguy View Post
                      Problems and Challenges

                      So far, I've been doing the all-days fasts for about 3 days. (Today is the fourth day). Here are the issues I'm running in to.
                      You need to ease your approach to one meal a day or you will give up very soon. It took me months to get to that meal timing. A good approach is to push breakfast by 30mn every week until it merges with lunch, then repeat with lunch until it merges with dinner.

                      Jumping straight in is increasing your chances to fail.


                      • #56

                        Thanks for the input. I'll keep that in mind. I'm not starting from scratch. I've been doing IF for a long time. Basically, I'm just lengthening my fast by about 5 hours. I understand your point and if I need to pull back a bit, I'll follow your advice.


                        • #57
                          It's been about a month. And I'm actually surprised it's been that long. I haven't take a measurement of my waist, but I'm confident it's moving in the right direction, based on how my pants fit.

                          My weight has dropped considerably. I went from 193ish to 182ish.

                          Here are the problems I mentioned previously and how I'm dealing with them.

                          1. Hunger.

                          I still feel a little hungry at times, but it's not nearly as bad. Drinking a lot of fluids helps. I'm surprised by how much. Any hunger pangs that aren't affected by drinking something only last 15 minutes or so and are not an every day thing. It's getting to be pretty manageable, but it's not easy yet.

                          2. Leg Cramps.

                          This issue is completely resolved by electrolytes. I drink a little Powerade Zero, but mostly I drink lemon-water with a little salt. It seems to help tremendously. This is not a problem anymore.

                          3. Low Energy.

                          This issue is mostly resolved. It's seems to be tied to my hunger, but only loosely. I feel normal most of the time. Sometimes, I even feel more energetic. Not being weighed down by a full belly is pretty nice. Sometimes I feel like I just want to sprint... and sometimes I actually do. Still, on occasion I get tired. It's becoming more and more rare.

                          I'm more optimistic than I have been in years, though I haven't lost any weight in about a week. I think this may be something that I can do forever, provided I get enough nourishment out of it. That's my only concern. The problem is, on a higher calorie regimen I wasn't losing weight. So I don't think I'm doing anything too extreme... yet.
                          Last edited by Redguy; 08-14-2013, 12:17 PM.


                          • #58
                            Cool... keep us updated!


                            • #59
                              I've been doing this eating window thing for about 14 weeks now. It's interesting how strongly people react to it. Even my wife, who has been a great supporter of my efforts thus far, wishes I would eat more often.

                              But I'm going to let my results speak for themselves. And there are good results. My waist is about 35 inches at my belly button now. My weight has fallen just below 180. I will get a current weight tomorrow morning. I'm starting to see abs in the right light.

                              I think I have met my main goal, which is to find a way of eating that effortlessly maintains my weight. I'm now just trying to get rid of my soggy middle.


                              • #60
                                What's the update on your condition. I see a lot of me in your notes and am wanting to get to where you're going so I am very interested in your progress.

                                I have planned to go the other way with my meal structure by eating more frequent smaller meals: four or five times per day and carefully planning what I'm eating. I have been keeping a journal for my progress and am enjoying easy results so far.
                                Let's get out there and make this a great day!