Applied Nate Silver – slow recovery from vacation

It’s been a month since my last weight post so it’s time for some more statistics and analysis. As you may remember I had 24 weeks of steady 2.4lbs/week weight loss, actually (now in hindsight) a fairly remarkable accomplishment. Then I took my April vacation and thus blew four weeks before I got back on track on weight loss. But my pace was much slower after that. Now I’ve had my second vacation, another gain, and very slow return to even my previous low. Here’s that entire history in graphical form:


Now let’s zoom in a little to more recent history, the area covered by the green triangles (my “steady-state” loss after recovering from the first vacation bloat) and what’s happened since returning from Wyoming.


After hitting a daily and then (though higher) weekly low the pink highlighted values show I started my vacation even before leaving town (two consecutive big meals) and bloated up by six pounds. In Wyoming I didn’t (very much) restrain my eating but unlike my April vacation I did get a lot of exercise, even some vigorous hikes, so I returned for my first weigh-in almost exactly where I left. Then the green outlined points show the “fast” drop after vacation. But this whole cycle, gain, then re-loss, then back on steady loss was not anywhere near as dramatic as April vacation nor have I really recovered yet (so slower to shed weight gained during vacation). Here’s the first vacation’s data:


So this shows the remarkable 22lb gain in just two weeks and the even more remarkable loss of all that is just two weeks, followed by the now much slower rate of steady-state loss. During that vacation I probably ate more (than Wyoming) in that I was definitely having three meals a day plus some snacks in car, but the main difference was almost no exercise.

So here’s the contrast of the Wyoming vacation (excluding highly anomalous points):


Now any of those days (just before, just after vacation) with huge daily changes are really so strange “water weight” effect, so let’s discard those as outliers and attempt to determine what really happened on my Wyoming vacation:


So I think I had a real gain of 2.66lbs (mainly due to increased intake and somewhat reduced burn rate) and so that’s what I’m having to work off again (IOW, not a “water weight” gain, but real fat that has to be worked off). Given my previous weight loss rate (under 1lb/week) that means about three weeks (one still to go) plus the one week of rapid loss. So, IOW, Wyoming has set back my plan by five weeks (vs just four weeks for April trip), but altogether that does mean vacations have cost me a total of nine weeks (out of 39, or 23% of the time I’ve been on this weight loss kick).

So let’s look at that on the “money graph” (my weekly “official” weigh-ins):


So even though both vacations have significantly altered the trendline over the entire weight loss program nonetheless the trendline itself predicts I should have reached my target weight (180) a few weeks ago. If I could re-establish my earlier weekly loss I’d still be about four weeks away from my target, but I think that’s unrealistic so I suspect it’s more like 6-7 weeks.

My target (180lbs) has taken some thought to determine. First, when I actually reach it I will be fully dehydrated (from fasting) and so I expect to gain 5lbs or so switching to “maintenance” diet level, so 180lbs is really just 185lbs. And for the moment I’ve dropped strength training so once I resume that I hope to gain some muscle. IOW, hitting 180 as a minimum probably means holding around 190lbs as my fit maintenance weight. I would suspect that milestone (true maintenance steady-state) is probably 10-15 weeks away. IOW, this whole loss process will have taken a full year before I get to maintenance.

Which is, WOW, a long time.

See here are predictions (really goals):


next week, only 0.8lbs loss, but at least a new low.



by 4August (I hope to beat this, but based on recent results this is still ambitious) and so (really best case)


by my birthday (in August, but I won’t publish when as it reveals identity data to identity thieves)

So, Nate Silver has escorted me on this entire journey. Without all this data and graphs and analysis I don’t believe I would have done as well as I have, so boring though these posts might be, they are essential to my progress. Thanks for tuning in.




About dmill96

old fat (but now getting trim and fit) guy, who used to create software in Silicon Valley (almost before it was called that), who used to go backpacking and bicycling and cross-country skiing and now geodashes, drives AWD in Wyoming, takes pictures, and writes long blog posts and does xizquvjyk.
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One Response to Applied Nate Silver – slow recovery from vacation

  1. Pingback: Applied Nate Silver – fell off the wagon | dailydouq

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