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My primary goal right now is to lose some fat by improving the quality and decreasing the quantity of what I eat. To that end, I need to do some general food logging right now, to establish a baseline for what a "normal" amount of food is. I've calculated that my maintenance calories are about 1700/day right now. That's my goal for the next week or two, to get used to the amount.


Previously, I'd assumed that maintenance was about 2000, but I've been doing a very slapdash sort of calculation for the last few weeks to keep myself around 2000 cals, and not seen any weight loss - in fact, a slight gain. If 1700 is correct, that would make sense.


I also need to increase my water intake, as I'm perpetually thirsty, and it gives me a headache. Living in the Los Angeles heat, it's important to stay hydrated...

ETA: I didn't weigh myself right away, but I'm taking a guess that my starting weight is about 244 lbs. (Averaging the weighing I did a few weeks ago with the one from a few days after I started logging, which was actually about 4 lbs lighter.)
Goal for this week: 1700/day


almond butter cookie (190 cal)
cup of coffee w/creamer and splenda (~50 cal)
~4 cups of kimchee rice with egg (600 cal?)
Tangerine La Croix
Diet Coke
snack crackers (150 cal)
salmon + bok choi + rice (~650 cal)
total: 1640
water: ~30oz
(total liquid intake: ~58oz)
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Yesterday, I went to IHOP for brunch, and made poor decisions about what I ordered. Ended up going 500 calories over! :(

I also didn't track my liquids...


Cup of cashew milk: 100 cals
cup of coffee w/creamer and splenda (~50 cal) 
Ihop breakfast: 1200 cals
Chips: 140 cals
Pretzels: 100 cals
Pork chops, broccoli and potatoes: 610 cals
Total: 2200!!
Water: didn't track 
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Today didn't really feel like a "win", but I think it was. I had a very late lunch after going with my wife to a doctor's appointment, and we were too hungry to go home and get the food we'd prepped. So we got sandwiches at Quiznos, which isn't the worst thing, but we also got tater tots on the side, which were a lot more calories than I expected!


We ended up changing our dinner plans for something lower cal so that we wouldn't go over our calorie goals, which is where the "win" comes into play.


leftover fajita filling: ~200 cal?
dipped pretzels: 100 cal
glass of iced tea x2
tangerine La Croix
Quiznos sandwich: 660 cal
15 tater tots: 240 cal
Diet Pepsi
onion omelettes: 300 cal
bacon: 200 cal
total: 1700
water: 20 oz
(total fluids: ~70oz)
I'm definitely noticing that I lose a lot of my rather skimpy calorie allowance to snacking. So my next step is probably to try to focus on more satiating foods for breakfast and lunch, and reducing snacking as much as possible.
I'm also doing something a bit different from past diets, which is to take a sort of "KonMari" approach to food. If you don't know about the KonMari method of minimizing your space, it's where you go through your stuff, and decide whether or not to keep an item based on whether it's useful, necessary, and - most importantly - something that brings you joy. I didn't set out to do this, but I find that with so few calories available to me each day, I don't want to waste any of them eating things I don't enjoy. Especially not mediocre snacks that take up calories and don't do anything for me. If I'm going to eat a snack, it's going to be one of my favorite foods, the things I find most delicious. The quantity eaten will depend on how many calories I have available at the time. Honestly, I'd rather eat a small piece of decadent chocolate than a whole bag of half-stale pretzels.
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Been thinkin' a bit, and I've decided to commit to two things for next week/the rest of this week:


1. No more creamer in my coffee. That's an extra 30-odd calories I don't need, plus I can't really eat dairy much anymore, and it's a pain to try to find the one non-dairy creamer in the office creamer jar.


2. Before snacking, I will ask myself, "Will I truly enjoy this snack?" I will practice mindfulness while eating any snacks (and other food too, ideally, but let's start small).

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iced coffee with splenda (0 cal)
tangerine la croix
fruit cup (~115 cal)
chicken & veggie wrap (~300 cal)

almond chocolate bar (140 cal)
Chicken quesorito (620 cal)
Chicken burrito (400 cal)
almond butter cookie (190 cal)
Total: 1765
water: 25oz


Iced coffee with syrup (50 cal?)
tangerine la croix
Iced tea x2
Rice with sauce (300 Cal)
Snack crackers (140 Cal)
Jerky (80 Cal)
Steak & mashed potatoes & green beans (1000 cal)
Creamsicle (80 Cal)
Total: 1650
Water: 10 oz
Liquid: 48 oz


Diet Pepsi x3

Chef sampler platter from Norm's: 1200

Burritos x2: 600 Cal

Crackers: 140 Cal

Iced tea

Salad with italian dressing

Creamsicle: 80 Cal


total: ~2000

Water: 20oz

Coffee with soy milk (25 cal)
Muffin (380) x2
Almonds (260)
Mango la croix
Salad with light Italian dressing (25 cal)
Turkey burger (300 cal)
small pho (300 cal?)
total: 1670
water: ? (not a lot)
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Looks like my maintenance may actually be a bit higher than 1700, as Thursday I weighed in at 241, a few pounds lighter than when I started. (It's back to 244 today, though, so it's hard to be sure.) I'm struggling a bit with feeling hungry/not being satiated, but if I can keep this calorie restriction going, and see the same kind of drop in weight (~1 lb per week), I'll be satisfied with my rate of weight loss. Once I drop to 230, it will probably be time to get serious about weight training, which means eating at or slightly above a "maintenance" level that takes activity into account. Once I notice a certain amount of new muscle, I will be well positioned to go back to a "cutting" cycle to lose more fat. Hopefully, cycling like this will avoid the diminishing returns of a slowed metabolism that ultimately sabotaged me last time.

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Weighed myself yesterday (can' t believe a week passed that quickly!) and I'm back at 240. So I'm thinking the fluctuation back up was temporary - probably water bloating based on a hormone shift. I'm pleased to see that the overall average is still trending down, slowly. I do seem to be holding the rate of about a pound lost per week.


This week, my goal was 1650, rather than 1700.


Coffee with nondairy creamer (140 cal) - my wife made it for me, so I had to drink it! :P
Muffin (380 cal)
ice tea
mango la croix
fried rice with extra meat (2.5 cups) - 700 cal
grapes (30)
cinnamon rolls x4 (640 cals)
jerky (100 cal)
popcorn (200 cal?!)


total: ~2200 :(
water: 24oz

coffee with splenda
almonds (100 cal)
jerky (100 cal)
fried rice with extra meat (2.5 cups) - 700 cal
cherries (30 cal)
mango la croix
creamsiclex2 (160 cal)
italian sausage & pasta (with veg) (460 cal)
iced tea (lots)


total: 1650
water/liquid: lots



Sausage sandwich (930)
Grapes (60)
Italian sausage pasta (460)
Diet soda
Iced tea
jello (200)


Water: (didn't track)
Total: 1640

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I'm finally sharing my 'why' and my plan of action, so I can get those sweet sweet academy XPs :P


In the future, I am a person who...


1. Has a lot of strength, especially in my upper body.

  • I will measure this by being able to do a pullup, plank for 1 minute, and deadlift a moderate amount (tbd).
  • I will get to this point by strength training towards these goals at least 2x per week.

2. Is active.

  • I will measure this by being able to hike 3+ miles, swim/surf for 30 min at a time, and take 5+ mile bike rides.
  • I will make a point of doing an activity like those described above at least 2x per month.

3. Is slim and muscular (as much as my biology will allow).

  • I will measure this by body fat, with a goal of >= 25%
  • I will accomplish this through dieting (bulk/cut cycling) and the exercising described above.

4. Has healthy sleep.

  • I will consider success to be the ability to get to bed at a reasonable time (based on when I need to get up) and wake up feeling refreshed and not snoozing.
  • I will accomplish this through good sleep hygiene, and making sure I get enough sleep.


Why go out of my way to make these changes to future me? To put it simply, I want to become the kind of person I looked up to as a kid. In a sense, I won't consider myself a "real" adult until I can do these things that I have always considered part of being a healthy adult. My parents never trained me to be an active person who ate well (although they did somewhat lead by example). As a teenager and young adult, I wasn't interested in putting in the effort to build healthy habits. But now, I feel like it's time to grow up and more fully meet my potential.

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I haven't been tracking my water as much, but haven't really needed to. Doing better about hydration.
Also, I found a way to put "cream" in my coffee with minimal caloric effects: unsweetened almond milk. I won't have access to this at work (I mean, I guess I could bring some and put it in the office fridge, but I don't really want to do that), so at work I'll just have it black. But it's nice to have that option if I want it. :)
coffee with almond milk and truvia: 10 cal
soup: 240 cal
cherries: 10 cal
chocolate: 110 cal
mango la croix x3
popcorn: 150cal
chick fil a sandwich + 1 sauce: 550
taro milk tea with boba: 400?
total:1480 (lowball estimate)
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The tap water has developed a rather heavy chlorine taste in the last few days, I've run out of La Croix, and I also ran out of zero-cal sweetener to make iced tea. The end result is that I'm drinking far too much diet soda and iced coffee, and not nearly enough water or other clear beverages. I guess it's time to go shopping...


I also didn't track my calories for the last 3 days. I've been taking care of my wife after her surgery, and the stress mounted up until I had a small breakdown yesterday. Because of this, I'm not going to be too hard on myself about not tracking. Unfortunately, I'm quite sure I went well over my calories yesterday (couldn't bring myself to cook anything, so I ordered pizza). Still, I'm starting over today, and not worrying too much about the days that I slipped up.

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pizza - 480
soup - 240
watermelon - 30
coffee with almond milk and truvia: 10 cal
Chocolate - 165
Burrito - 775
1700 total
Taro bubble tea - 480
Coffee with almond milk - 10 Cal
Chow mein - 200 Cal
Burrito - 700
Panda cookies - 320
1710 total
Haven't been as careful about counting calories this week, but still managed not to go too far over my goal. Finally went grocery shopping and got some La Croix and some zero call sweetener for iced tea, so I can stay hydrated despite the gross tap water. Not sure what the deal is with that; it was fine until last week. Hopefully it'll clear up soon.
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triple espresso - 150
one half protein "cookie" - 155
sandwich - 500?
pasta salad - 200?
diet soda x 4
Steak - 650
hash browns - 115
total: 1770
1/2 giant burrito + rice & beans - 900
Chow mein - 1200
Gummi bears - 115
Soda - 100
Panda cookies - 270
Total: 2585 :(
1/2 giant burrito + rice - 800
Pudding - 100
Caffeinated pb - 90
Apple - 80
Chicken and green beans - 450
Hot chocolate - 120
Total: 1650
I haven't been keeping up my tracking during the day, so it's easy to overeat - especially when I'm eating out a lot, which I have been lately. Should be having all home-cooked dinners this week (although I may eat out for lunch once or twice), so I think that will help. Also struggling to remain consistent with my liquid intake, so I need to start tracking it again. I'm noticing a pattern of doing well when tracking, so feeling that I can stop tracking because I've built a good habit, only to find that it wasn't really a habit, just me paying more attention. So I'll be making as-I-go food and water tracking a part of this upcoming 4-week challenge so that I can adjust due to immediate feedback and keep pointed at my goals.
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PB & Banana in Tortilla - 650
jerky - 230
Lascaris (sub and wings) - 750
total: 1670
coffee (12oz)
water (17oz)
la croix (12oz)
total: 41oz
Walked? YES
Bed time: 12:45am
Jerky - 200
Party mix - 375
Fried rice - 1050
Soda - 90
Pie - 425
Beer - 170
Total: 2310 :(
Didn't track
Walked? No
Bed time: 2am
Cookies - 200
Hot dogs - 750
Pie - 850
Fried rice - 300
Total: 2100 :(
1/2 soda (6oz)
24 oz water
12 oz tea
La croix x2 (24 oz)
Total: 66oz
Walked? Yes
Bed time: 3am


Eggs - 230

Bacon - 120

Irish Coffee - 60

Hash browns - 230

Burger - 690

Fries - 100

Pie - 425

Total: 1855



La Croix x2 - 24oz

Coffee - 12oz

Tea - 40oz

Total: 76oz


Walked: no

Bed time: midnight?

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Raspberries - 90
pork chop - 240 cal
fries - 320 cal
bbq sauce - 90
Jerky - 100
Crackers - 150
popcorn - 100
Mac n cheese - 250
Beer - 160
Orange tic tacs x19 - 40
Oatmeal cookies - 170
Total: 1650
Coffee with stevia (12oz)
Water (17 oz)
Tea (18oz)
Total: 47oz
Walked? yes
Bed time: 2 am
Oatmeal cookies - 400
Carl's Jr chicken club - 580
Medium fries - 300
Costco pizza - 700
Dressing - 30 Cal
Goldfish crackers x15 - 50
Total: 2160 :(
Water (65)
Diet soda (20)
total: 85oz
Walked? No
Bed time: 1am
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I realized that my "bed time" tracking isn't really recording what I want. I've been estimating when I fell asleep, but what I actually want to know is when did I start getting read for bed, and when did I start trying to fall asleep. (Estimated actual asleep and wake times are also useful.)


So future records will be:


Shower time/bed time/asleep time; estimated hours of sleep.

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Bread Pudding - 670
coffee creamer - 30
jerky - 200
cookies - 100
chocolate - 100
Tacos - ??? (maybe 700?)
total: 1800?
water (22oz)
coffe with stevia and creamer (18oz)
la croix (12oz)
total: 42oz
Walked? yes
Worked out? no
Data is missing for the weekend and Monday due to medical difficulties. (Does not count against my tracking record.)
Soup and sandwich - 570
chips - 150
oatmeal cookies - 160
puchao candy x2 - 40
ramune candy - 15
cheese puff -  35
burger - 680
Total: 1650 :)
coffee - 12oz
la croix - 12oz
diet coke -12oz
water - 27oz
total: 63oz
Walked? yes!
Shower: 12am
Bed: 1am
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