diet, weight loss

Lessons Learned

Well, the hits keep on coming. Down a pound, up two, down two, bounce up a half… I’m all over the map with my weight, but maybe —  maybe — I’ve figured out why. In part.


So, I took all the data from the website my wife and I are using to track our food and dietary consumption, and decided I didn’t really like their reporting capabilities for a few reasons. One, I can only see one report at a time. I can’t, for instance, overlay my macro-nutrient graph with my current weight, which is what I really wanted to do. I can’t see a different type of graph — it’s a pie chart or bust. And while those are big deals, they’re problematic for me because I want to see what’s happening in my weight-to-nutrient relationship.

I took all that data, and stuffed it — at some personal cost, may I add — into Excel. I made everything numbers instead of text — no mean feat, may I add — and then created a chart for it. I found out how to add a secondary axis to that chart, and have a completely different set of data plotted against it over the same time period. So now, I have a chart which shows each of my macro-nutrient quantities as lines with markers as a graph against a time-based grid. Every day I have a marker and there’s a lovely little line connecting the markers, so I see where I climbed or dropped with each aspect. Keen.

I added my weight. Now, I don’t have daily information for weight, so I have to interpolate the data, and I had to figure out how to tell Excel to do that. Once I did, I had a second line chart showing my weight progression against the backdrop of the nutrient lines. Very eye-opening!

I also learned, vicariously from Phinney and Volek through another blogger’s post, too much fat will add to your weight. So, while I initially had the understanding fat wouldn’t make you fat, it will if you have too much. Your body will keto-adapt and use ketones for energy. But if it gets all the fat it needs — or worse yet, more than it needs — from your diet, it never has to reach for your fat stores. (Intermittent fasting, anyone?) The excess fat is either flushed from your system or stored when there’s too much.

So! That explains my spikes in weight, because they coincide with spikes in fat intake! When I went nuts on the fat, I gained weight, simple as that. But when i hold the fat to about 160-200g of fat daily, keep my protein in that 75-80g range each day, and keep my carb count in control, voila! Weight loss!

As a way of verifying I had this figured out, I anticipated a spike in my weight because of the amount of fat I consumed. And guess what? This morning I’m 1.4lbs heavier. Is this good news?

Well, the data is collating, and it’s an ongoing collation. I can’t say for sure that’s what happened. My wife noticed a tiny spike in protein a couple of days ahead of each weight spike too, and because the data wasn’t complete for my weight history, I couldn’t see if things flowed the way she thought. At least, not for certain. But we’ll see. I have a goal, a target to aim at, and I have high hopes I can hit it.

I just hope I don’t have hunger problems again when I do.


One thought on “Lessons Learned

  1. the potato wife says:

    Very, Very interesting. I have to say I have always been wary of this concept of eat all you want with anything. Atkins in his first book say to eat as much as you want of certain foods, but noted that SOON one would not feel as hungry. That’s always been the premise for ketogenic low carb, that appetite suppression kicking in. But when it does, is it enough for a person that has to lose a lot a weight compared to someone who doesn’t need to lose anything? There has to be another component, that of having enough to eat vs not enough. I have been keeping diet records for over 30 years, whenever I eat less than I want to, I lose weight NO MATTER what the food ratios are.

    I’m afraid I’m coming the same conclusion. If I’d been able to do things the right way, not have been raised under the commodities-traded grain-selling scam of “Nutritional Science” being propagated for the last 40-50 years, I might not have this problem. Had I been able to keep a job over the last ten years, maybe I’d be thin now. But because I can’t undo policy which was in place long before I had any say, and because my fortunes haven’t always run in my favor, I am where I am. Obese, unhappy, and sacrifices have to be made. One of those sacrifices is going to have to be “eat all you want” — how could there NOT be a penalty for such hedonism?

    Nevertheless, one of the best aspects of ketogenic dieting is supposed to be lack of hunger, so I’m worried about that. If I can’t get there, what am I doing wrong? And what am I going to do about it, if anything can BE done about it?

    I wonder though, do you think that you will have to adjust the numbers as you lose weight? Would they be the same ratios if you were, say, 80 pounds thinner? I am rooting for you, hoping this is the answer you need to get to your goals!

    I’m using a protein range which is based on my IDEAL weight, so I shouldn’t have to lower that (if I use the number based on my “lean muscle mass” — however THAT’s supposed to be calculated — I get a number which seems too high for me). So, I don’t have to adjust the amount of protein. If I want to maintain that weight, I assume I have to find the right amount of fat intake to keep my body burning efficiently when only very stubborn fat stores remain, which will burn off my visceral fat (I hope) and make me leaner overall. I’ve never been below 12% body fat (to my knowledge), so it’s interesting to see if that’s even possible for me. My goal right now is something like 6, but we’ll see. Right now, I’d be content just to LOSE weight consistently, never mind reach a far-off goal! 🙂

    Thanks for the encouragement, it means a great deal. 🙂

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