Something Other Than Theatre: Talking About My Diet

On a non-theater note (and I’ll post about my present activities in a little bit), I came home from Christmas break with my family in Las Vegas having eaten a substantial amount of home cooked food, and weighing as much as 186 pounds before settling back around 184.

Both those numbers are higher than my 5 foot maybe 10 inch frame should be holding, and my weight over the last 15 or so years has been higher than needed.

I came home feeling not so great, recognized that I spent much of 2015 not feeling so great, and recognized that my diet and extra weight plays a substantial part in that.

– I didn’t feel great after meals
– I needed too much coffee to maintain a reasonable amount of energy
– I felt hungry too often for someone who was eating more than he should
– I kept feeling various states of ill during the year
– I snored more than ever before, and began worrying that I may be heading towards sleep apnea
– I don’t exactly have a great figure: There was more fat in more places than I cared for

Plus, I was paying more for food and eating restaurant food more than I wanted to. I came home shortly before the end of 2015 and decided to:

– Lose 20-25 pounds this next year
– Log all my food, calories, macros, on a spreadsheet
– Consciously buy as much food at the supermarket as possible
– Cut my food spending by 25-50%
– Do intermittent fasting full time (16 hours between meals, and eat all your day’s food within an 8 hour window)
– Adopt a regular bodyweight exercise program
– Get my body fat closer to 10-15% than the 20-25% it spent most of 2015 in.
– Get my blood pressure, which has always been high, down to a reasonable 130/80ish level
– Sleep more. I had been sleeping 6-7 hours a day. Sleep closer to 8 hours.

I started with a personal goal of 1800-2200 calories a day. After about a week and some research, I set more specific goals:

– One gram of protein for every pound of lean body mass (140-142 for me).
– No more than 200 grams of carbohydrates a day (most people consume 300-500+).
– Making sure to get the RDA of 4500mg of potassium each day.

SO WHAT HAPPENED?

I weighed 182 pounds on January 1st (I admit I took a bit of a head start before the New Year). I was only hoping to lose about a pound per week, which would have left me around 177-178 at month’s end. But I’m pleasantly surprised to find myself at 175.8 pounds as of this final day of January, a six pound loss.

I crafted a somewhat complex spreadsheet on Google Docs to track my meals and progress, as well as calculate how many weight I can expect to lose based on my average consumption over the past week. This helps estimate if and when I can reach my goal weight of 160 pounds.

In January I averaged 2284 calories a day, which indicates either I had a lot of water weight on me, that I perhaps overestimated calories on some foods, or my Basal Metabolic Rate is somewhere close to 3000 calories. In any case, I consciously ate enough less to lose about 6 pounds.

I intermittent-fasted by skipping breakfast and eating my first meal around 2-4pm. I’m hungry a lot during mornings at work, but I drink coffee and just got used to feeling that way there. When I’m off work those cravings don’t bother me nearly as much.

There were a couple mornings where for incidental reasons I decided to break the 12-16 hour fast and eat breakfast. There were a few days where I didn’t get
in a full fasting window.

Days with a full 16+ hour fast: 17
Days with a partial 14-16 hour fast: 4
Days with at least a 12 hour window (where fat burning kicks in): 2
Days with no fast window: 8

For a cold turkey adoption of the program, a 55% success rate is not too bad, especially with another 19% of kind of sort of successes. I only failed to fast about a quarter of the time. In many of these cases there was an incidental (usually scheduling and meal timing) reason that made fasting impractical.

I adopted the 5BX exercise program, a simple and old daily exercise program created by the Royal Canadian Air Force that is similar to the Hacker’s Diet Workout, and have made it to the C level on chart one.

The spreadsheet does factor in changes to my BMR based on the weight loss, changes to my lean body mass and my slowly advancing age. Yet, at my current rate of consumption, I am projected to reach 160 pounds sometime in June.

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3 thoughts on “Something Other Than Theatre: Talking About My Diet

  1. […] talked about my experience and success with intermittent fasting. The idea is a variation on the concept of timeboxing: Taking a task and giving yourself a specific […]

  2. Diwant says:

    This is well thought out and I’m happy for your progress! Keep it up!

    • Steven Gomez says:

      Diwant! Thanks, man! This was posted back in January 2016, and over the year since I managed to get down to 170, and definitely do feel a lot better these days! The whole running thing sure helps, of course 😉 but changing my diet made a huge difference.

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