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Trends … Trends … Trends

October 26th, 2010

Alternative title, garbage in – garbage out.  Or — Hey lookie, I think this might need to be adjusted.

Using LoseIt.com the over the last three months has enabled me to start spotting trends.  In my last diet number geek post, I lamented that might weight loss had hit a plateau and while still losing I wasn’t losing as quickly as I had.  I had changed systems from WeightWatchers to LoseIt, and had gone astray. The next three charts (from loseit.com) makes my point.

exercisecaloriestrend3mos

Exercise Calorie Trends - last 3 months

First, I was frustrated, because I had upped my exercise frequency and intensity, yet weight loss had slowed.  I’d considered muscle increase, and just a normal plateau as my body adjusted to a drastic change in activity, but it seemed to be lasting too long.  Still, I was and am proud of adding more exercise to my weeks.  Thanks to the motivation I get from  Runkeeper and Daily Mile, I’m still motivated to exercise regularly.  I do need to set a new exercise goal, either another 5k run, or something different (maybe a simple gym triathlon simulation thing.)  Suggestions are welcome!

foodcaloriestrend3mos

Food Calories Trend - last 3 months

The next chart reveals the issue.  I was cheating myself, and the system.  I’d allowed myself to consume extra calories because I was exercising more often.  Which is allowed in the LoseIt application because it computes a daily net calorie allowance, and so long as I exercised, I could eat more.  There is also the food choices that factor into that equation, because quality food versus convenience food does make a difference.  That hump in the start of that graph is extra calories, and poor food choices.  The peak was in the middle of business travel too, which brings its own set of issues (the allure of In-N-Out burger, for instance).

weighttrend3mos

Weight Trend - last 3 months

The final chart shows the results of being more careful with food choices, and the changes I’d made to the way I controlled for exercise and appetite and how many calories I consume daily.  A bit more acceleration in losing the weight (actually more than the end of the graph shows, since I’m under 305 today.)  The graph also reveals a spike that coincided with the spike on the calorie graph, which should be a bit of an a-ha! moment for me.

What’s going on now? I’m embarking on a new experiment where I’m weighing myself every morning first thing, instead of a weekly weigh in at the gym.  We bought a new scale that records body-weight, BMI, water and bone percentage. One frustration for me, was a good week of eating and exercise and it didn’t coincide with the number I got on the scale.  Part of the reason, I believe, was that my weigh-ins weren’t consistent with time of week, time of day, and/or attire. By doing a month long experiment that controls the variables a bit more, I can get a better idea of normal weight fluctuations throughout the week.  To save on social network irritations, I’ve turned off LoseIt notifications for the time being, but I’ll post a weekly update to DailyMile, because I like to brag.

Oh, and just to make sure I keep it all in perspective.  I’m absolutely THRILLED at this chart.

Weight Trend - 1 year

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  1. October 26th, 2010 at 14:05 | #1

    Love the final chart. 🙂 Yay for you!

    And I do weigh myself every day. I know it can be frustrating – particularly as we wimmin are known for being up 5 lb. one day and down 5 lb. the next, but I find that doing so really allows me to keep track of where my choices are leading me. I might not notice the change after one day of bad habits, but those bad habits keep up for a day or two…and then I see the numbers changing in a direction I most definitely don’t want them to go. That pulls me back on course.

    It also has the added advantage of keeping me motivated on my workouts, particularly on those days when I’m just not “feeling it.”

    And then some days, I just need the affirmation. It’s on those days that I’m most acutely aware of and grateful for grace. 🙂

  2. November 4th, 2010 at 18:33 | #2

    Damn John, pretty soon you will be down to my weight. I may have to get back on South Beach to stay ahead of you! Congrats!

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