A while back I promised that I would give everyone a discount on my stuff if I was able to get to my goal weight of 195.8 pounds by today. The bad news is that I didn’t make it. Didn’t even get close. Sucks. My weight loss goal was pretty aggressive and spanned the holidays which is the worst time of the year to lose weight. Not an excuse; it’s 100% my fault, as is everything in my life.

On the minor bright side, I am down another 10 pounds. I was at 228.4 pounds earlier; here’s a pic of my scale from this morning:

I try to stay positive when I badly miss goals like this, since my natural tendency is to beat myself up. So on the bright side:

– I did lose about 10 pounds. That’s something.

– 218 is the lowest weight I’ve been this entire year.

– I lost weight and maintained a net weight loss through two trips, Pink Firefly’s birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, which is something I’ve never done in my entire life and something most Americans will never accomplish.

– I’ve maintained my intense workout regimen without missing a single day (other than predesignated rest days). Though frankly, lack of exercise has never been my issue. (I love to exercise; weight lifting, cardio, stretching, fucking, I love it all. Food has been my problem, not exercise.)

– I’ve gained a little muscle mass based on some of the measurements I’ve been taking. (Thank goodness for TRT!)

– As I’ve discussed in the last post about this and at my other blog, after eight years of trying to lose weight I’ve finally found a system that works consistently for me. That’s big.

This whole thing illustrates the concept I’ve talked before, in that of the triad of money, women, and fitness…

  1. There will be certain areas where you are naturally gifted and skilled. They will come somewhat easily to you and you will be confused when others can’t get the same quality results you can.
  2. There will be areas at which you really suck, but, if you put in some real time and effort into it, you will eventually get good at it.
  3. There will be areas at which you really suck and where you will struggle a lot, for a long time, even if you do everything right. (You just gotta hang in there and keep at it. And yeah. It sucks.)

For me, business was category 1, women was category 2, overall health and fitness has been category 2 but losing body fat specifically has been a huge category 3. Every man is different so for you this triad may look very different from mine.

I’ll keep at it and keep you all updated. Go Time is just about to start which is the best time to lose weight. Onward!

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35 Comments on “Update On The Weight Loss Thing

  1. I used to weigh 300+, and I got down to 225 post divorce for a minute.  But it wasn’t sustainable unless you totally controlled your diet, which if you have to interact with clients and have a normal life, not gonna work.

    So, I took another crack at it and got down ten pounds since Halloween.

    The trick this time is I have a diet and exercise program that is sustainable for me.  My goal is to lose a pound a week for the next year.

    Weight loss is not one of those things that you can go make aggressive goals and knock out and then abandon.  It needs discipline and consistent effort and micromanaging.

    Stick with it, you’ll get there.

    Congratulations on your progress!

     

  2. Thank you Caleb. One of the characteristics I most like about you is that you’re accountable. I knew you’d post at the end of December. Respect.

  3. I used to weigh 300+

    Damn, you were big. It my lifetime heaviest back when I was 39 I was almost 250.

    That means you lost 75 pounds. Wow.

    Stick with it, you’ll get there.

    Congratulations on your progress!

    Thanks!

    Thank you Caleb. One of the characteristics I most like about you is that you’re accountable. I knew you’d post at the end of December. Respect.

    I’m not sure if accountable is the word, but I always do what I promise. Thank you.

  4. That means you lost 75 pounds. Wow.

    I’m 6’4 and I hid it well.  Being married was going to kill me.  In more than one ways.

    I’m glad you found Noom.  I got my weight off with a diet of 1300 calories a day plus whatever I burn up on the bike (I have a fancy power meter that measures actual work done).  Like you, I get to eat what I want.  I had to hire a cycling coach/nutritionist to get there but it was worth it.

    I have a goal to get to 210 and hold it in 2020.  Only because my cycling is better when I’m not dragging around an extra 40 pounds.

  5. @C Lo

    I’m 6’4 and I hid it well.  Being married was going to kill me.  In more than one ways.

    I’m glad you found Noom.  I got my weight off with a diet of 1300 calories a day plus whatever I burn up on the bike

     

    at 6’4  and 250ish lbs you should not be eating 1300 calories a day plus doing a bunch of intense cardio.  that’s not going to be sustainable at all and you’re going to destroy your metabolism and gain all the weight back and then some when you inevitably snap.  raise your calories to a sustainable level and lose the weight slower.

  6. You can do it, BD. I went from 195 to 165 in a month doing–get this–hot yoga! I did it daily for 30 days and basically ate reasonable food. It’s worth a shot and you will meet some sexy broads in yoga class. I appreciate everything you’ve done for me. The knowledge that you’ve shared has helped my confidence tremendously.

  7. You can do it, BD.

    I know. 🙂

    I went from 195 to 165 in a month doing–get this–hot yoga! I did it daily for 30 days and basically ate reasonable food. It’s worth a shot and you will meet some sexy broads in yoga class.

    Love it.

    I appreciate everything you’ve done for me. The knowledge that you’ve shared has helped my confidence tremendously.

    You’re very welcome.

    You can do it, but I already knew you could.

    Yup.

    What system did you end up using?

    I have a regular series at my other blog about it. First installment is here with more to come (since it’s already changed a little since I posted that).

  8. Food has been my problem, not exercise.

    lol its my problem too. Fortunately, I’ve been at 205 lbs for most of this year, and its the lightest I’ve been for nearly 15 years. I can thank intermittent fasting for that as well as eating waaaaaay less than I ever did. I literally just have an omelet 5 hours after waking up then a small steak 3 or so hours before going to bed and I’m good.

    That’s something that overweight peeps NEED to do: Consume 1000 calories a day max. AND be active at least 6 times a week.

    my natural tendency is to beat myself up.

    This is my natural tendency as well whenever I don’t do as good at something as I wanted. How do you deal with it, Caleb?

  9. at 6’4  and 250ish lbs you should not be eating 1300 calories a day plus doing a bunch of intense cardio.

    Then goody for me, since I’m not doing that.  I’m  assuming you misread what I wrote:

    plus whatever I burn up on the bike

    My BRM is about 1600, so 300 puts me at a -300 calories a day.  The bike has a power meter that tracks how much actual work is getting done, in watts and kilojoules.  The last part is important.  1 kilojoule is almost 1 calorie.

    If I put in an hour of intervals in the stationary trainer, that might be 800 KJ.  So I need to fuel most of that either during activity or over the course of the day.  My post indoor ride recovery meal is about 300 calories every time.  I’ll catch the rest in normal meals.  If I do more work, I eat more.

    Riding outdoors poses a different problem, where a 35 mile ride will use about 2500 kJ, or 2500 calories.  I can eat about 400 an hour on the bike and not stop.  You catch the rest of it later, in my case, it’s eating during the week with clients.

    I’m never hungry and I’m never under fueled.  I can’t do an hour of over/under VO2 max intervals if I was underfueled (being bonked sucks).  I spent substantial time and money working with a former pro cyclist who has a PHD in sports nutrition getting a program that works for me, although I am confident it will work for everyone.

    Caleb talks about “The Seven Life Areas” in his book.  I only care about three at this juncture post divorce: Financial, Health, and Recreation.  Luckily for me, riding 200 miles in a day is a cheap hobby and tags all three.

    Thats my 2020 plan.  Hit those marks and reevaluate 11/1/2021.

     

     

  10. Swim a fast mile four times a week + low carb diet + yoga + body weight exercises + TRT = lean and wiry (67kg, 5′ 10″) at 56 years old. Simple!

  11. Thats a good anecdote about the talents and weaknesses we all have.  I can patiently master languages, instruments, software systems and technical jargon while most people give up.  Others seem to be much quicker at execution and comfortable with leadership than me.  Many if these personality traits are proving to be genetic.  Still tameable though.

     

    Theres a lot of benefits to being thin, from heart health, mental focus, avoiding alzheimers, cancer propensity, and of course, finally seeing those chiseled facial features again!  I experienced that about 8 years ago.

  12. The cold hard truth to weight loss is to really hit the treadmill hard and temporarily force yourself to cut down your calories. When I was went from 170 down to 140, I forced myself to do some things other guys would do: cut out the sugary Starbucks drinks, minimize portion sizes as much as possible, get more vegetables in my diet, ignore my hunger cravings outside of breakfast/lunch/dinner, and swtich to a diet consisting mainly of micronutrients/protein with moderate fat and minimal carbs. To do this, I had to make drastic shifts to my personality in terms of how I prioritized eating yummy food vs getting the weight off – and that’s the hard part. I think this part gets harder to pull off as you get older due to your brain’s fluid intelligence decreasing.

  13. hey Caleb,

    i think 10 lbs May be better even if you can consistently have that kept off long term or even rest of your life or something.

    big thing for fitness nutrition and training is really really getting to know your own body figuring out works for you diet wise and nutrition wise and sticking to those things.

    And gradually I’ve long term is often a lot better. Lot of people can’t do that and that is harder to do in my opinion. Vs many people that lose 30+ lbs in a month or two … but can’t keep that going for years or longer because they did it too aggressively and other reasons. Good luck all the best!

     

  14. There will be certain areas where you are naturally gifted and skilled. They will come somewhat easily to you and you will be confused when others can’t get the same quality results you can.

    There will be areas at which you really suck, but, if you put in some real time and effort into it, you will eventually get good at it.

    There will be areas at which you really suck and where you will struggle a lot, for a long time, even if you do everything right. (You just gotta hang in there and keep at it. And yeah. It sucks.)

    I think chicks are the first category for me, even though I’m really lazy and overconfident about it.

    Fitness and weight loss are in category 2 for me. I’ve always been overweight but if I put effort into losing weight and gaining muscle I’ll do both.

    with money being decisively in category 3 to the point where I pretty much gave up in my 20s, convinced that I’ll just stay in debt and making poverty wages until I die because I always felt like I wasn’t capable of improving my income. Of course this isn’t true but its been a reality for me for a long time which sucks 🙁

  15. Thanks for sharing. I thought for sure you’d hit your goal regardless of the target.

    I’m on a similar quest on the otherside of the spectrum of finding a smarter system that lasts beyond 60 days free from injury etc.

  16. I’ve spent the last several weeks reading many books about nutrition, exercise and health. Most people who struggle with their weight are insulin resistant. Exercise can help, but only a little – you can’t outrun your mouth. It takes hours of running just to burn off that pizza you ate.

    The answer is a low carb diet. I would recommend reading The Obesity Code by Dr Jason Fung and/or look for Dr Ted Naiman on YouTube. Also, an engineer who has done a lot of work on nutrient dense foods is Marty Kendall. Hope that helps.

  17. Exercise can help, but only a little – you can’t outrun your mouth.

    You should do exercise for a different reason than just burning calories.  Joint mobility, muscle atrophy, and cardiovascular health being three that come to mind.

    But to that point, any sustainable weight loss program is 80% in the kitchen.  Maybe 90% if you don’t really love high volume exercise.

    It takes hours of running just to burn off that pizza you ate.

    A medium pizza is 2600 calories.  You can burn off 100 calories a mile running or walking, it’s math.

    The answer is a low carb diet.

    This is marketing bullshit sold by somebody who needs something to sell.  There, I said it.

    The human body is kinda rad as it’s really good at keeping you alive on whatever you feed it.  Will it do it optimally?  Will you be happy eating that diet?  Will you be full?  What do you do if you need to go to an important client meeting and it’s all pasta?

    Any calorie limited diet below your BMR will lose weight.  It’s the first law of thermodynamics.  If you consume less calories than your BMR, you will lose weight.  Biggest problem is the calorie counters assume people are more active than they actually are.  At 6’4″, my BMR is 1600.

    If you try to accurately measure your calories (that means every stinking thing you put in your mouth) and your weight every day for a month, you will have a good idea of what your BMR looks like.  If you use a program like Noom (which is what Caleb is using) it’ll do that for you.  And it’ll work.

    The trick is keeping the weight off.  And that’s accomplished by staying on the diet.  Getting it off is the easy part.

  18. The cold hard truth to weight loss is to really hit the treadmill hard and temporarily force yourself to cut down your calories.

    You burn 100 calories a mile moved.  Temporarily cutting down on calories will temporarily reduce your weight, but if you go back to your old tricks the weight will come right back.  Sustained weight loss requires a sustained commitment to stick with it.  Assuming that someone’s diet is at BMR, and they wanted to lose 20 pounds, a pound of fat is 3500 calories.  So the math works out like this: 20 pounds of fat = 70,000 calories.

    How do you ditch 70,000 calories and keep your existing diet?

    35 miles of treadmill work PER WEEK for 20 weeks (100 calories per mile x 35 miles x 20 weeks = 70,000 calories)

    Which isn’t reasonable for most trained athletes, and absolutely not reasonable for somebody off the couch.  You’ll get injured and have to quit unless you take extreme care.  That’s how I stumbled and put some of the weight back on (I crashed my bike and broke my elbow but you catch the drift).

    It’s just math, and that brings me to this comment:

    I went from 195 to 165 in a month doing–get this–hot yoga! I did it daily for 30 days and basically ate reasonable food.

    I have no doubt he lost that much weight.  But based on how he did it (hot yoga) and how fast he did it (a month) and how much he lost (3500 calories x 30 pounds = 105,000 calories or roughly 188 Big Macs)….I suspect that the majority of it was water weight and he might be very dehydrated.  He didn’t do it with diet, and he didn’t do it with cardio – not over that short time span, anyway.

    When I had a pro coach, one of the perks was this scale that measured your weight, body fat %, bone density, muscle %, and most important to me was hydration.  At the time, the scale was like $7000, but there are consumer grade ones for a couple of hundred bucks now that do the same thing.

    Between that scale, the power meter on my bike, the bike computer, my wearable and the software that aggregates all of it I don’t have to data log anything any more.  I just do the work and follow the plan.  It’s kinda cool.

  19. C Lo: What do you have to buy to follow a low carb diet? No specialist products at all. Just eat much less carbs, a moderate, not high, amount of protein, and plenty of fat (saturated and monounsaturated, NOT polyunsaturated vegetable oils). The idea that eating fat makes you fat and gives you CVD is simplistic and antiquated. Read Superfuel by James diNicolantonio, or The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Phinney and Volek. They present complex yet powerful arguments, backed up by literally hundreds of references to published papers.

    Look around you. How has the ‘fat bad, carbs good’ thing worked out for western societies over the last 60 years? Record levels of obesity and T2 diabetes, that’s the result.

    And by the way, it’s not just a simple question of calories in, calories out, because you have a gut microbiota. The bugs in your gut can extract energy from fibre that would be shown as insoluble on an ingredients list and be disregarded by most calorie counters. Also, if you go ketogenic, you pee out some ketones, which would not appear in your calories-burned-by-exercise calculations (admittedly a small error).

    What food is most satiating? Protein. Followed by fat. Simple carbs just give you a huge insulin spike, followed by rebound hypoglycemia and the urge to eat more. The bodily requirement for carbohydrates is a big fat zero. They are totally non-essential. Sugar is the enemy, and refined carbs are just as bad as sugar.

    Think about this: The body has two main sources of fuel, glycogen and fatty acids. As long as your glycogen level is kept topped up, it will burn that and ignore the fat. In order to burn substantial adipose fat, you have to be in a calorie deficit, yes, but you also have to be almost empty of glycogen. You have a huge tank of fat for potential use as fuel, but you keep topping up the tiny tank of glcogen, so the fat never gets burned. Is that a rational approach? Low carb depletes glycogen and brings insulin down, which allows your adipose tissue to mobilise fatty acids to fuel your body (and brain – ketones can provide up to 60% of the brain’s energy).

    Just check out Dr Ted Naiman on YT (and no, he’s not selling supplements or plans) – 20 minutes of your viewing time could save you running marathon after marathon (26 miles for 2600 calories, you say) to burn off those pizzas.

     

  20. You’ll get there Caleb. You looked very healthy in London so if you keep at it, 2020 will be great 💪. You have found a system working for you which is probably the hardest. 2019 was to systemize my women life. Done 😉 Merci Caleb.

    2020 systemize my business life. It will probably take me between three and five years but exciting.

  21. 1 kilojoule is almost 1 calorie.

    1 kcal (confusingly, the term “calorie” often refers to a kilocalorie) is exactly 4.184 kJ by definition.

    [The low carb diet] is marketing bullshit sold by somebody who needs something to sell.

    My understanding has been that it’s primarily a psychological thing, where sweet things make you crave more sweet things. If someone eats 1700 kcal worth of carbs, he’s going to be fine, except it’s going to be harder to avoid overindulging as opposed to a diet low in carbs where you have less of a desire to overeat.

  22. What do you have to buy to follow a low carb diet?

    other than it’s simply a calorie limited diet by another name?  There’s a ton of peer reviewed studies that show macros have no effect on weight loss.  Or health, otherwise vegans or keto heads would be the healthiest people on earth.

    I was on keto for six months or so. I plateaued at -40 pounds, kept falling apart on any ride longer than an hour, and smelled like ammonia all the time because of the ketosis.  I was miserable and bored and smelled bad.

    Also, my blood work was scary.  Especially my uric acid.

    I lost weight (you can only eat so much meat) but it wasn’t sustainable, or even healthy.

     

  23. 1 kcal (confusingly, the term “calorie” often refers to a kilocalorie) is exactly 4.184 kJ by definition.

    This is true, except it leaves out the conversion rate.  Our bodies are only about 20% efficient converting calories to work, the other 80% getting converted into heat.

     

    I think your reasoning is sound on the psychological angle, but often people malign carbohydrates when what they wanna be critical of is refined carbohydrates.  The problem being you can eat a bunch of them because they are so dense.

    I roasted and tried to eat a pound of roasted Brussel sprouts the other day.  160 calories, 60% (32g) carbohydrates.  I almost made it but I filled up.

    I was hungry enough I probably could have ate a pound of anything, a pound of pasta or potatoes or meat or something else  real easy.

     

    Frankly, this is why people who “eat clean” are usually fit and healthy.  Their macros are usually right, they are full, and it’s really hard to pork up eating a vegetable based diet.  It’s not calorie dense enough.

  24. Where is the pain? You should do it the other way round, sell everything with a discount as long as you are above a certain weight. That’s pain! Seeing your income going down every month. You’re not serious about the whole weight loss thing.

  25. Where is the pain? You should do it the other way round, sell everything with a discount as long as you are above a certain weight. That’s pain! Seeing your income going down every month.

    I explained that last time. If suddenly dropped my process and announced it to the world, my overall income would surge upwards, not go down, and for quite a while. Business 101.

    On an unrelated point, we are going to revamp my entire product line in January and change around pricing on pretty much everything (some increases but a lot of decreases). And watch, when I announce that, my income will surge upwards.

    You’re not serious about the whole weight loss thing.

    Yes clearly I’m not serious about it at all.

  26. My boyfriend lost 40 lbs over the last couple of months. He is a big man, 6’3” and weighs well over 300 lbs (I think he’s down to 340 or something like that now). He’s muscular but still wanted to lose weight.

    In any case, what has been working for him is cutting out bread, pasta and carbs plus working out and doing Krav Maga. He doesn’t eat sugar anyway. He says he feels much much better when he doesn’t eat the carbs. It takes away all the bloating feelings and he just feels much healthier. I cut back (but didn’t do away with) bread and carbs and lost about 7 lbs. Not a ton but it’s something.

     

  27. My boyfriend lost 40 lbs over the last couple of months. He is a big man, 6’3” and weighs well over 300 lbs

    I shudder to think about what his body fat % looks like.  Mine’s north of 30% and I’m fifty pounds lighter than him.

    Your boyfriend is losing weight because he’s in calorie deficit.  He could have cut out anything and got there.  There’s no magic bullet.  Problem is, he needs to stay there, which is the hard part.  He’s way too heavy.  I don’t care how yoked he is.

  28. C Lo- I don’t know what his body weight percentage is. Like I said, he is a big man. He’s got very wide, broad shoulders and he works out so there is muscle but he also wanted to lose weight for a reason. If he were too skinny it could probably affect his job even though it’s not really about muscle. (He does bodyguard work). In any case he’s doing great with the weight loss.

  29. Hey, Caleb, I wonder if you’re aware of what seems like an important recent advance in understanding weight gain and weight loss. It seems that long-chain saturated fats can be quite effective for weight loss, and at the other extreme, polyunsaturated fats seem to cause weight gain. The dots were initially connected by Peter Dobromylskyj on his (excellent but highly technical) blog Hyperlipid, then summarized (just last month) for normal people by Brad Marshall on his blog Fire in a Bottle. Marshall’s tongue-in-cheek “croissant diet” is based on long-chain saturated fats like butterfat, cocoa butter, and for hardcases, added stearic acid, plus avoiding polyunsaturates, but it doesn’t require you to go low-carb. Intro and main points here:

    https://fireinabottle.net/introducing-the-croissant-diet/

    https://fireinabottle.net/the-croissant-diet-specification/

    https://fireinabottle.net/the-croissant-diet-faq/

    A great video by Dr. Michael Eades on the ideas here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIRurLnQ8oo

    (I know, videos are ineffeicient, but the second half is really information-dense.)

     

  30. Congrats, you just got under 100kg. You didn’t notice bc you’re using local measurement units, but you’re in the symbolic 2-digit range now.

  31. It’s not that fucking difficult.

    1-Eat ONLY nutrient dense foods.

    2-fast or intermittent fast. You can do it.

    3-Build muscle. Having muscle helps with avoiding weight gain. In an article you wrote that you lifted 2 days a week and you were not going to listen to know-everythings! I have to tell you 2 days a week is far from enough. Try 4 days a week. Just two exercises per day is enough. Thank me later.  Another option is to do calisthenics 5 days a week.

  32. Caleb, something that works for me is doing a meal delivery service. Portion control is my biggest problem when eating out. I order enough where every 2 days the meal delivery is 5 out of my 6 meals. In the past 6 months I have gone from 185 to 160. I started at around 28% BF and now down to 15% since june, thats with a dexascan.

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