Just a bit more to add to yesterday’s post about weight analysis.
This shows most of my six months of attempt at maintenance (earliest data is a truncated set). The blue markers were where I was add just prior to my camping vacation; in fact the couple of upticks were just some unrestrained eating before leaving.
The red markers, after the gap (no data) for vacation was my return where I didn’t exercise much consumption restraint, but did keep up exercise. That led to the upward drift that got my attention as of post -2 of this series and I began to try to push weight back down. The parabolic curve fit shows this up and down cycle. Note the high volatility of weights toward the end of the red dataset; this is literally salt. A few days in there (since it was tomato harvesting time) it was homemade salsa time, and naturally salty chips and of course also margaritas – booze and salt, one day of that can create a 4lb upward swing, then easily reversed with a day of abstinence.
The green markers (after another data gap for two vacations) represent my attempt to return to “normal”, reduced eating, steady exercise. The slope of the regression line is artificial and silly since the first couple of days of weight loss were the same thing, sweating off the gain from chips and salsa and margaritas in Santa Fe. Now I’m looking at a more steady (and real, but insufficient day yet to get very accurate rate of drop) reduction, hopefully heading back down to my target (just a bit lower than the blue data points).
The total six months or so “trend” is shown by the slightly upward linear trendline all the way across the graph. This has numerous statistical problems due to the gaps in data plus irregular reporting during the middle section, but nonetheless does represent the “truth” of my last six months and probably even roughly the correct magnitude (e.g. slope of trendline, 0.25lb/week, without any restraint it would probably be more liks 0.5lb/week).
And that’s the classic problem with maintenance. There probably will be a steady drift upward with a lot of noisy changes day-to-day (thus making it hard to detect real gain over time without these simple statistical analyses). So you’re doing OK, but actually at a very slow rate (well below accuracy of any scale) you’re creeping up. By the time you really notice it (letting out a belt notch or going up a dress size) you’ve already had enough gain it will take a real and focused repeat of the initial weight loss regime.
Now I understand completely why the nutrition scolds advocate a change in lifestyle, not just a diet. Your over-eating and under-exercising that led to the weight gain you reversed with diet discipline is going to just come back and sabotage you. Your body wants to be fat and you’re letting it get its way.
So it would be great if it were as simple as changing your lifestyle, basically go mostly vegan and increase exercise. But come on, why is that any easier (or likely to succeed) than dieting? Do you really believe if I eat kale and quinoa for a year I’m going to like them instead of burgers and shakes – get real! The only people who believe this is these naturally slim scolds who feel so superior to everyone else but freely hand out useless advice. Most people, because that’s what evolution did to us (the fat ones survive in bad times and make more babies than skinny ones), have trouble with weight and a lot of useless, impossible to follow advice is stupid.
Now the place where some advice can be useful is getting people to just pay attention. It’s easy to every now and then think before putting something in your mouth (you may not even be hungry, you just want it) or think before skipping exercise. And calorie labeling (forget the other ever larger and confusing (or politically correct) labeling the scolds, even Michelle, are pushing for) can help. Just check what the difference between crispy and grilled chicken is. Little changes due to knowledge are easy to make. Most people have no idea how bad alcohol is, so a little wine won’t hurt, will it (might as well head to donut shop). So raising awareness, getting more information out there, encouraging moderation – terrific!
But the scolds can’t leave it at that. They have to sell you their politics, vegan is the only way, omega-3 is the only fat, anything white is poison – all this extreme stuff not based on science and just someone’s own agenda (looking at you, Bittman). People knew real and useful help, not pet theories or ideas dripping with moral superiority.
And the answer is simple: a) calories in must be ≤ calories burned, b) if you’ve been fat you’re going to be hungry to stay fit, get over it (hey hungry is better than kale and quinoa), and, c) there are no “superfoods” which provide silver bullets to make it easy.
So now let’s just see if I can manage to follow my own claims and see where I’m at a year from now. One fun thing of blogging, making indelible records either forces you to do what you say you’re going to do and you end up with a lot of egg on your face (didn’t bother the neocons, they just denied saying (as I saw Cheney) do, what the video recording showing they said). If I drift back up in weight, given I’m totally skeptical of nutrition scold nonsense, then it’s on me – can’t blame the fad diet book I didn’t follow.