This is not new that I keep posting about weight loss, as it’s something I’m working at – constantly. I recently completed a review of my weight data from 2013 to current day, and it disappoints me to learn that while I lost 40+ pounds by the end of 2014, I gained it all back by 2018.
At my lowest I hit 228 pounds (November 2014); that was from a starting number of 272 (February 2013). Today, August 6 2019, I’m still at 272. I knew that I was climbing back up on the scale over the past 3 years, but seeing it laid out in a spreadsheet made it pretty painfully obvious.
Clearly, I’ve talked a lot about my strategies for weight loss on this blog. Just as clearly, my strategies have not worked. I can’t remember exactly what I did when I lost the weight 5 years ago, but I at least know that it was a combination of diet (via MyFitnessPal) and going to the gym. I still have a gym membership, I just haven’t gone in several months – but it’s not like I’m inactive, it’s just not practical to go to the gym in Summer months when there’s so much to do outdoors.
5 years ago I wasn’t armed with the knowledge of CICO, though, so I feel like this time around it should be a bit simpler to approach. Of course that’s the thinking that I’ve been trapped in for a while, now. But since giving myself this kick in the pants, I’ve outlined a new plan.
Reduce daily calorie goal to aim for a 2 lb / week loss (so for right now, ~1555 calories per day)
Get back to the gym, 3 times a week. Doesn’t matter which days, and need to be there at least 30 minutes per session (if it’s a short session, it has to be all cardio).
I’ll allow myself to eat back maximum 50% of my exercise calories – since they are not accurately tracked, anyway.
Given this plan, I should be at 232 pounds by January 2020 at the latest. I anticipate setbacks, that’s a given. So buffer zone…end of January 2020 to shed 40 pounds. But my “real” goal is to try to hit that number by December 22 2019.
I’m not going to finish at 40 pounds, though. According to most sources, a healthy weight for me should be 148-153 pounds. That seems a bit extreme so probably my next goal after 40 pounds is to get down to 200. That was the original goal, back in 2014. I just never got there.
I’ve seen plenty of things said about breakfast; the most popular is that it’s “the most important meal of the day“. In my experience, this is simply not true. I rarely eat breakfast, and I don’t suffer for it. Unfortunately, I do not have empirical evidence; I can’t tell you whether I’ve been negatively affected by it (are my insides rotting because I’m not eating breakfast?), and I also can’t tell you that my positive weight loss results can be directly attributed to not eating breakfast (it’s not – it’s tied to my calorie deficit that I try my best to maintain).
I thought I would do a bit of research for this instead. I performed two different searches:
“Is breakfast really necessary?”
“Why should you eat breakfast?”
I wanted to word each search to try to get a tailored result; with the first search term, I expected to see articles that either support skipping breakfast or at least tell you that it’s a personal decision about whether or not you need to eat breakfast.
The second I purposefully worded it “pro” breakfast, to see if I would get something that supported the idea of eating breakfast. I was also curious with this search term to see if the articles I got were backed by anyone with an agenda (i.e. food companies). So here’s what I found out.
What they found was that it wasn’t breakfast itself that caused the participants to lose weight: it was changing their normal routine. The women who said before the study that they usually ate breakfast lost 8.9kg when they stopped having breakfast, compared to 6.2kg in the breakfast group. Meanwhile, those who usually skipped breakfast lost 7.7kg when they started eating it – and 6kg when they continued to skip it.
Jessica Brown – Nov 28 2018
And, of course, this line here:
A 2016 review of 10 studies looking into the relationship between breakfast and weight management concluded there is “limited evidence” supporting or refuting the argument that breakfast influences weight or food intake, and more evidence is required before breakfast recommendations can be used to help prevent obesity.
Jessica Brown – Nov 28 2018
The entire article goes back and forth between whether or not breakfast is good or bad. One study says yes, another says no. One scientist says simply “don’t have a late dinner if you skip breakfast”. It goes on.
The final conclusion seems to be: nobody agrees, so just pay attention to your body (in other words, eat when you’re hungry). OK, let me circle back to this after the next section.
Once again, first impressions: what the search result doesn’t tell you is that this is a sponsored post. From the article: “This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of belVita for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.” OK, so immediately I know that this is supported by the food industry; but perhaps there’s more substance here.
Breakfast is a must for all of us. It is the most important meal of the day. A nutritious breakfast is very important for our health and weight management, but not having it at all is the worst option. 5 Reasons why you should eat breakfast: burns fat, keeps blood sugar even through the day, helps to fight daytime cravings, lower incident of heart disease, keeps our brains sharp, helps with concentration and productivity.
Amy, A Healthy Life For Me
This is the opening paragraph. It goes on, but I’ll reflect a bit here. First, there are no indications that there’s any sourcing for these claims. The author just states them as fact. I just finished reading in the BBC article that many of these reasons provided are contentious and studies both prove and disprove them. I’m a little disappointed in the effort here.
But the article does go on, as I said; it provides some basic information about protein and fiber – still not sourcing anything – and repeats the 5 basic reasons from the opening paragraph.
In general this article is not very helpful and even though it is sponsored content, I think more care should have been given to find sources for the information given.
So, what about breakfast?
As I mentioned at the start of this post, and found out from the BBC article, it ultimately depends on your own body and your needs. But what I think you should pull from this article is more about how careful you should be when searching for answers about something.
The positive or negative spin you put on a search term will definitely influence your results, and you need to be careful about what you’re reading. There are a lot more sponsored content pieces out there these days, so it can be difficult to determine what’s fact and what’s not.
Either way, this was a fun little exercise that supported my own personal viewpoint.
Back in March, I got a Samsung Gear S3 smart watch to replace my FitBit Charge 2. I’ve been doing a lot more tracking, etc. with it than I ever did with my FitBit. But until now, I haven’t really looked at the data. Well, now’s my chance. Here’s all of the health data I’ve recorded.
My data actually goes back to January – I assume that some data got imported when I did some syncs with different apps. Here are my average sleep times for each month:
January – 7 hrs 26 mins
February – 7 hrs 47 mins
March – 7 hrs 56 mins
April – 7 hrs 0 mins
May (to date) – 7 hrs 2 mins
My average sleep efficiency recorded for April/May was 90%. I’m not actually quite sure what “sleep efficiency” is, and whether or not that was a metric that Samsung came up with. It turns out, it’s an actual number you can figure out yourself. Here’s how verywellhealth.com defines it:
Sleep efficiency is the ratio of the total time spent asleep (total sleep time) in a night compared to the total amount of time spent in bed. For example, if a man spends 8 hours in bed on a given night, but only actually sleeps for four of those hours, his sleep efficiency for that evening would be 50% (four divided by eight multiplied by 100 percent).
So it looks like I’ve been sleeping pretty well, on average.
March – 8112 average daily steps; average distance 6.07km
April – 8247 average daily steps; average distance 5.63km
May (to date) – 8813 average daily steps; average distance 5.92km
I seem to be fairly consistent with the average daily steps. My goal is 10,200 currently, and I’ve hit that 18 times (according to my ‘badge’ list – the last time I hit it was this past Monday). The most steps I’ve walked to date was March 14th, when I hit 16,838 steps. The previous record before that was 13,392.
March – 99 average active minutes
April – 103 average active minutes
May (to date) – 115 average active minutes
You can tell that I’ve been more active as the weather gets better.
March – 46 bpm Minimum | 68 bpm Average | 200 bpm Maximum
April – 45 bpm Minimum | 67 bpm Average | 171 bpm Maximum
May (to date) – 49 bpm Minimum | 69 bpm Average | 177 bpm Maximum
I’m not sure how to analyze this data, to be honest. Is that good? Bad? Looking at the average, specifically; I figure that the minimums/maximums will probably be outliers anyway (and the max would be recorded during exercise).
I did some brief research, and found a formula for figuring out targets for training at least. Using that formula, my max heart rate should be 186-188. So it looks like except for March, I’m well within that range and have some room to work harder. I found a Livestrong article that suggests 60 to 100 bpm is “normal” for ages 10 and up.
So there you have it. I’m interested to see how my numbers compare for June/July/August. I anticipate that my steps / exercise will probably increase vs the comparable numbers for March/April/May. I think that it would be realistic to shoot for a 65 bpm average as well.
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