Doug Lerner reports from Tokyo and St. Louis, and points beyond…

Doug’s Diet – Phase II

After 700 days I have decided, this Friday morning, to make the first actual tweaks to my diet!

After all, being on a plateau (or weight creeping up) for about 6 months now should be an indication to anybody (except maybe George Bush) that the current strategy isn’t working anymore. 🙂

I’ve got to get rid of these last 10-20 lbs!

After 700 days of not of not going off my diet even one time I have been hesitant about making adjustments. But I have given this a great deal of thought and think I found an adjustment I can be confident of sticking with. And I really should be more confident of my ability to deal with minor changes at this point!

Here is what I decided to do starting today – the usual “weigh-in” day of my diet week:

Daily Net Calorie Limit (after exercise calories are deducted)
————————————————————–
Old Daily Limit: 1700 calories
New Daily Limit: 1500 calories

Reasoning: My current daily limit was fine when I first started my diet. But when I first started it didn’t matter if I was a bit off when calculating my BMR because I had so much to lose. It is clear that I am now eating too much to lose any more so I must reduce my daily net calorie limit. Duh.

Note: This happens to also be closer to what Weight Watchers recommends I set as my daily target caloric limit: 28 points x 50 calories/point = 1400 calories.

Weekly Bonus Calories
———————
Old Bonus: 1000 calories
New Bonus: 1700 calories

Reasoning: Instead of reducing my daily calories by just 100 calories I reduced it by 200 calories. But I’m really only losing 100 calories (a very minor tweak!) because I’m taking the other 7 x 100 = 700 calories and adding it to the bonus. So I’m just spreading it around differently. There are two reasons for this: (1) Having the slightly lower daily limit is more of a reasonable target and should result in generally lower weekly caloric averages because I tend not go so much into bonus and (2) having the higher bonus there is very reassuring. Like “Mamas Bank Account”.

As with all these strategies, good dieting rules are a bag of psychological tricks designed to make it easy to stick with. Starting the week with a higher bonus will help a lot counter-balancing the lower daily target limit.

Note: This also happens to be almost the same as the Weight Watchers free points for the week, which comes to 35 points x 50 calories/point = 1750 points.

Exercise Calories
—————–
Old Way: 100% credit for all countable exercise calories expended (walking, cycling, etc.)
New Way: 50% credit for all countable exercise calories expended

Reasoning: This one I gave a LOT of thought to. By deducting just 50% of my exercise calories from what I’ve eaten each day (instead of 100%) I accomplish various positive things: (1) The obvious one is that exercise will tend to drive weight LOSS more, rather than just being a counter-balance to what I’ve eaten. The more I exercise, the more POSITIVE weight loss effect there should be. (2) Because I’m getting less “credit” for exercise there should be positive incentive to exercise MORE – so I can eat more. 🙂 and (3) Doing it this way provides a “margin of error” for calorie (eating and exercise) calculation/estimation errors that might creep into the diet.

Note: This too is closer to the way that Weight Watchers calculates “activity points”.

It is interesting to note that my own independent conclusions about daily caloric intake, weekly bonus calories and exercise calories all result in my personal diet moving closer to the Weight Watcher’s plan.

Anyway, I’ve begun my “Diet Phase II” as of today. I’ll let you know how it goes!

doug

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