Saturday, 28 January 2012

Diet Report 3: Trender Bender

This week I have discovered, the stubborn pound, how far a monkey can walk in an hour and the nature of milestones. But first...

Weekly Goals

Well, we're going to have to see about some of these, specifically the weight loss part. I did manage two walks this week. I didn't have an opportunity to just meet my nutritional needs and stop there but I stayed south of the dreaded red line on my Cronometer sometimes by a narrow margin but always acceptably... I blame the corned beef.

Trend Setter

Of all the pounds I've encountered so far, there's one that's giving me some trouble. It's in between 24 stones bang on and 23 stones 13. That bugger just doesn't want to shift. This is, of course, one of the features famous in the dieting process the "plateau".

It seems like a bit of an imponderable at first glance. I'm very much enjoying my diet and watching what I eat as intensely as I am is fun, well, fun for me anyway. I am regarding food in a completely different way than I have before and not just as a bunch of scores to be tabulated and organised. Balance in a diet is reflected in balance in a meal, balanced meals, I believe, taste better.

The Burger Digression

Thursday night we enjoyed a home made cheeseburger each with 100g of oven fries and a healthy side salad. Healthy in all senses. Pre-diet a side salad would have been, probably, lettuce, maybe with some red cabbage and a smattering of grated carrot. Thursday's effort was lettuce, half a red pepper each, half a grated carrot each, quarter of a sliced cucumber each and a tablespoon of caramelised onion salad cream each. The cheeseburger also came garnished with tomato relish. Oh, and they were Aberdeen Angus burgers, and mature sliced cheddar on the base of a granary bun. I could totally eat the whole thing again now.

The thing was the salad alone took up a third of a plate, the third of the plate usually reserved for the other burger I would usually have included because "one never seems like enough".

Well, on this occasion one was perfectly fine, also the salad made a delicious compliment to both the fries and the burger. Note the total lack of anything in the meal being "diet by design" the salad cream and relish were all filled with the usual refinements due to us both needing our daily allotment of pure fat. (Actually in the case of the fairly sugary tomato relish it was more because it wouldn't kill us and it tasted nice but hey.) The balance of the meal made all of it IMO taste better.

Also the meal was completely within my calorie control parameters. So everything's going brilliantly. Except for that one pound.

And Back On Topic

There seems to be no way around it. Day after day the scales my go up one pound or down one pound but never down that particular one pound you would like to see. It's the point most dieters have difficulty with and I must admit it is a little disheartening.

But it's not a dead loss, because of maths.

You see my point by point weight at 1800 every evening may seem to be circling round and round but one thing isn't. The trend.

For those of you not versed in the black arts of statistics I will offer an explanation by way of Wikipedia:
"[Trend measurement] may be useful to determine if measurements [recorded over time] exhibit an increasing or decreasing trend which is statistically distinguished from random behaviour."
Not only does my weight loss consist of a wobbling series of single points of data it also exhibits a trend. Here is the trend of my diet represented as a graph:

See a beautiful smooth line from left to right, always decreasing. My trend weight is always above my actual current weight e.g. when I first started to calorie restrict I lost four pounds in two days so my actual weight went from 24 12 to 24 10 to 24 8 but this trend only represented a weight change over the time from 24 12 to 24 11.8 to 24 11.4.

Whereas the actual weight that I am has always yo-yoed around a bit as you can see from the data points (the   little white blobs on the end of the green lines) the trend has remained reasonably steady even when the weight has seemed to fluctuate dramatically.

My current trend weight is 24 3.5, yesterday 24 3.8 the day before 24 4.3 even when my weight readings have bounced around more dramatically. Every day's trend number is lower than the reading of the previous day. Eventually the trend will fall low enough that the data point I record will have to be below 24 stones. Maybe that day will be today, I suppose, were I not using the Hacker's Diet Online to do all the heavy lifting for me I could reverse engineer what trend point would indicate that my weight would have to be below the 24 stone bar. But I am cheating, so I can't.

Regardless, mathematically my weight is decreasing daily and on a steady basis, even if on the surface it appears that I am stuck. I guess that's just the way it has to be so it sucks less because I get that little bit of good news from the trend even when the actual news from the data points isn't so newsworthy.

This Monkey's Made For Walkin'

Last Sunday Mrs Monkey and I both availed ourselves of cheap digital pedometers from a popular catalogue store. The reason is so we can have something on which to measure our distance walking. I would just like to be able to time my walks more accurately, Weightwatchers have told Mrs Monkey she needs to walk 10000 steps in a day before further activity earns her the hallowed "Exercise Points" she can use to turn back into eating points.

At the moment she really doesn't actually need any more eating points because she's got enough but when she's lost enough weight those exercise points will really be worth having.

As it's still early days on the exercise regime there's not much more to report except that a monkey like me can, apparently, walk around 9000 steps in an hour. That's walking. So 10000 steps would probably be a 40 minute jog or a 20 minute run. Not that I'm really contemplating jogging or running at the current time but I'll keep you posted.

The Peanut Butter Milestone

This week the KitKat chocolate bar brand has dealt a powerful blow for chocolatey foods in the form of reinstating the Peanut Butter KitKat, one of my all time favourite chocolate bars ever. At 250 useless kcal per bar, however, the consumption of such a treat is somewhat beyond my dietary means at the moment.

However, the chocolate devil has provided me with one more weapon in the arsenal of my motivation i.e. the promise of reward for work done. My eye is on the prize and the goal of the first milestone is 23 stones and 7lbs. Once I have recorded a single data point at that weight I will be consuming a Peanut Butter KitKat and moving my gaze onto the next goal, whatever that may be. It seems achievable at some point in the next 4 weeks or so and it keeps me motivated to keep up diarising, tracking and generally working towards the hallowed city of the midpoint between 15 and 16 stones.

As usual the weekly weigh in will be about 6ish until then, don't buck the trend!

1 comment:

  1. I love Peanut Butter KitKats too - well worth working towards!