Saw Tooth graph
Daily weighing usually shows a roller coaster affect in weight values. A graph of dailies will look like a saw tooth while a graph of weekly weigh-ins will show a gradual slope down. Since emotions often follow the weight curve of which we are aware, it is best to not weigh daily.
Professional weight loss consultants and authors from Suzanne Summers to Bill Phillips strongly suggest not weighing daily, but setting and striving to meet weekly goals. Be blind to the daily fluctuations and look forward to that lower number on Sunday morning.
Why is this?
Mostly, it’s part of a comprehensive motivational support system. Which is fanshy shmanshy speak for not wanting to get you all depressed every time you see something you didn’t expect which sends you into a feeding frenzy which empties your house of all food. Even the cat runs and hides when you start ripping open boxes of taco shells and eating that last, rusty can of sauerkraut hidden back behind the coffee filters over the fridge.
Here’s why the body fluctuates so much.
There are four types of substances in our bodies that are constantly gaining and losing volume. The blood, soft tissues and organs, disposable tissues, and waste. Disposable tissues are growth based like hair and nails but don’t amount to measurable amounts, unless you are the Count of Monte Cristo and really need a cut and a trim. But then, you probably wouldn’t have an excess weight issue.
But, water in the blood and soft tissues, and the waste in your digestive tract can’t ever really be completely and precisely analyzed for weight (and who would want to?!). Therefore, even thin folks who have weighed the same for years experience fluctuating weight values and sometimes even differing linear measurements in waist, thighs, etc.
“Be blind to the daily fluctuations and look forward to that lower number on Sunday morning.”
Mostly though, we are talking about waste matter. You’ll find many sources that underscore the importance of keeping your food undercarriage assembly clean as a whistle. One of the more famous (infamous) anecdotes is that of John Wayne. At his death, they supposedly removed around 70 pounds of matter that didn’t belong there. Most average healthy folks carry around 5 pounds of cycling fecal matter. Very average people (those less healthy/the majority of us) carry around up to 15 extra average pounds of sludge down there. So, 70 pounds was a lot of trail food for the old cowboy. That’s a lot of beans.
For Elvis it was around 50 pounds. Lots of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. His business end wasn’t taking care of business. It was storing it up instead.
So, even after you start eating healthiER, your body is constantly cycling the last couple of meals that went down the pie hole. Red meats take longer than other foods; fruit slides right through as does masticated lettuce and most other vegetables.
What really builds up are the white breads. If you eat a lot of pizza with conventional white flour crust (the best tasting kind), you’ll have a lot of Elvis and John goin’ on down there. Add to that all of the fast food burgers and fries, hot dogs; whatever comes on bread… you can see where I’m going with this. White flour products are everywhere and they produce the most sticky, sludgy, pasty, glue like matter that coats the walls of our fecal factory. Fig Newtons might be a healthier snack because of the figs (very healthy!) but the sticky, “fortified” white flour the figs are wrapped in do us no good at all.
Bones don’t lose or gain much mass after adulthood is reached. Muscle mass can move up and down the scale quite a bit depending on our activity scale. Blood and water content in the soft tissues also fluctuate a lot depending on the current rate at which our bodies are retaining or expelling water due to hormones and potassium levels, etc.
But, waste products are the largest contributor to fluctuating weight.
If you are one of those average Americans (like I was) and are used to eating whatever you want that pop culture is promoting at any given moment, then when you start eating healthiER, you’ll lose weight whether you planned to or not. In the summer of 2004, right before I finished my degree from art school, my wife wanted to reward me for squeezing a four year degree into three years by taking me to The Bahamas. I didn’t want to go there all fat and bloated, so I spent several months eating just salads and we went on vacation with me just fat, (about 315 pounds) and not also bloated.
McDonald's Fish Sandwich.
I went from eating almost exclusively McDonald’s fish and chicken sandwiches before, during and after
classes at school (for almost three years), to only eating at home and that being salads. Caesar, cob, chef, Heinz 57, whatever. The weight fell off for about three weeks even though I increased the amount of food I was eating. Also, my bad knees cleared up quite a bit and my hay fever/asthma/bronchitis completely stopped for the first time in years. I went from 348 to about 315 and stayed there until school started again; when I went back to eating fish and chicken sandwiches at McDonald’s.
The salad diet lasted for months, like I said, but the weight loss only lasted for about three weeks. I theorize that I lost almost 35 pounds of sludge that I had been collecting when I went from ingesting 3 McWhiteFlour sandwiches daily to 2 giant rabbit food salads daily.
The same sort of scenario occurred this year when I decided to start this blog and eat healthiER for the rest of my life. I lost easy pounds every week for over a month. I went from about 350 down to 300 in just a few weeks; losing over a pound a day on an average. Now, my weight just trickles off. I lose as much in two weeks as I did in a single day. I am very happy with this.
All though I’d rather get down to 200 pounds tomorrow, I’m very happy with slow and steady.
Here are some other things I learned while only eating salads for several months back in 2004.
- Don’t eat a lot of dried fruits all at once, especially cranberries and raisins. Upset stomach, messed up bowels, and the loss of human companionship for a day or two, or longer. Raisins are so dangerous and potentially explosive that I even read in a pet care article that feeding a lot of raisins to dogs can kill them. This might explain the smells emanating from my poor raisin impacted body because it did smell like something had died down there. Maybe not an entire canine, but you get my point.
- Don’t eat the same salad for every meal, every day. Besides getting bored with salads and the danger of reverting back to fast food or whatever being a real possibility, our bodies need variety and protein and many salads just don’t deliver. If you are going to be salad heavy in your meal line-up, add albacore tuna, chicken, sliced pork or beef, lots of beans, anchovies, nuts, quinoa, etc. If you are vegan… … … you’re on your own. I understand the draw, but I am too much of a foodie in all areas to limit myself and stay on a healthy diet. I will say this about vegans; given a choice between living on a vegan world and living on an all meat buffet world, the vegan world would reach population explosion parody much quicker than the other just from longevity standards. An all meat diet is very, very un healthy for the human body, excluding some sort of all fish diet. But, an all veggie and fruit menu wouldn’t hurt the human creature much at all. But, since God gave us animals to eat, and they taste really, really good, I eat them. Not a lot; not as much as I used to by a long way. But I enjoy them and sleep just fine at night.
- If you are going to try replacing red meat with other meats, be careful of the “doubling up” syndrome. Many guys stop eating hamburgers, hot dogs and steaks only to find that they are gaining weight because they are eating more pork and chicken. Go back to my article titled Help for This Moment Right Now. I mention the fact that our bodies don’t need very much food in order to operate on a normal, daily basis. If we eat too much and do that for decades, we will only live for a few decades instead of many decades.
- Watch out for the liquid sugar trap. For some reason, many guys think that they can eat a little more healthy but drink all of the Coke, Pepsi and Mountain Dew they want. Most soft drinks are not fit for human consumption. The same things we may drink all day long, year after year can be used to clean off car battery terminals. If you pour iced tea on top of an old corroded 12-volt battery, nothing happens. But, if you poor a can of Coke on the same battery, you’ll see bubbling and hear hissing as the acid in the Coke eats away and neutralizes the heavy alkaline deposits that caused all of that white powder to build up. Pouring that stuff down your thirsty gullet for years can’t be a good thing. And, I haven’t even mentioned that one can of Coke has enough sugar for several meals in it.
See you after that next scale date.
– Help for This Moment Right Now
Weekly Grilling Tips: Grilling is healthiER than frying and it’s summer, I’m just sayin’…
Keep your grill hot, clean and well oiled.
Start with a hot grill grate. Clean it with a stiff wire brush, then using long tongs and a folded paper towel, oil it. Olive oil is healthier than many others and is a little less flammable.