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Sunday, 29 March 2020


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Mike wrote, " … it's very consistent that I weigh two to four pounds more in the evenings than I do in the mornings."

It's likely water -- do you micturate before or after your morning weighing? Some people also lose a lot of water (water vapor actually) through respiration and perspiration.

I was once involved in a medical study that required that I collect all my urine for a few weeks. It was enlightening.

"Turns out one of the characteristics of plant-based eating is that you have a higher metabolism when you sleep."

Various sources say that a pound of fat contains 3,500 calories and a pound of muscle 2,500 calories. It is very unlikely that you are able to burn a pound or two of fat or muscle in your sleep. On the other hand, many fruits and vegetables are, by weight, mostly water.

The weight fluctuation is just fluid Mike. You have to consume four times as much potassium as sodium every day: approximately 4000mgs to 1000mgs. Most people consume way more sodium than potassium so they retain fluid after their eating window closes, before going to bed. If you get the sodium/ potassium ratio correct you won't retain so much fluid.

[Well, maybe, but that doesn't sound right, unless you're saying I must have peed 55 fluid ounces last night. Sometimes I don't pee at all. And my eating window closes at 3 pm, sometimes as late as 4 pm, so it seems unlikely that I'm still retaining fluid when I go to bed 7-8 hours later.

But maybe. I don't know. --Mike]

You lose fluid through urination, sweating, and evaporation.

It would require a caloric surplus of 3500 calories to gain one pound of fat, so clearly that's not happening.

I'm what I call a chickaterian, in that I don't eat any meat at all except, on occasion, usually at a restaurant that has no good vegetarian options, I have chicken. (I do eat dairy.) Oddly enough, the best place for a vegetarian to eat is often a steakhouse, because they almost always have a wide range of salads and "sides" -- and a large salad and a baked potato make a not bad meal. Indian restaurants usually have good veggie options. I have, in my life, eaten at two vegetarian restaurants that I thought served decent food, one in New York City, and one in LA. And I've tried many, and they usually suck. I don't know why. And vegan restaurants are, with no exception I've found, really bad. Like the choice of being a vegan should make you accept really bad cooking, which simply isn't right.

For somebody who wants to lose weight without too much pressure or wasted time, here's a diet. In the morning, drink one of the protein-enhanced smoothies you can buy at most supermarkets, calories around 340. For lunch, go to a Subway store and buy a foot-long Veggie Delight. It'll fill you up for ~400 calories if you stay away from the dressings. For dinner, whatever you want, but keep the calories down to 600 or so. And have a dessert later in the evening -- I have saltine crackers with raspberry jam, or a scoop of ice cream. I usually total around 1700 calories.

Then, six days a week, ride an exercise bike for 30 minutes, hard. That'll take off about 300 calories and boost your metabolism as well.

All in all, for a guy Mike's size, you'd lose two pounds a week, and not be too hungry. A little hungry, sometimes.

Since I have been trying plant based my gas production rivals that of the Permian Basin. Not as sour though. YMMV.

It is water loss that's responsible. It's lost through normal respiration and transpiration. Marilyn vos Savant had a column about it recently. Peeing is not required!

Many people cook beans with kombu (seaweed) to make them easier to digest. (That's after the usual soaking or boiling to prep them for cooking.)

I like to steam them along with the rice, and stir together when it's done. This would be a simple way to gradually introduce beans into one's diet. I use a 1:4 rice-to-bean ratio, and maybe a splash more water than I would for rice alone.

Adzuki beans are my favorite for this, and what I grew up with. Gives the rice a mauve tint.

I'm guessing that at least some, if not most, of that overnight weight loss is water loss via evaporation, respiration and perspiration; some of it possibly originating from those extra-active metabolic processes. It's a long time to go without a drink.

Either that or vampires.

I have a fitbit IoT scale so every day after dragging my vertical smile out of bed. Too much data is not my issue.

The routine I follow is to take my weight at the same time every morning during the first week of the month, average out the number, and then wait until the next month to repeat the measurement process. This has proved to be a reliable way to track weight loss, and whether I have lost a meaningful quantity of fat, from one month to the next.

My principal expertise, though, is in gaining weight, built up over many decades!


Not to burst your bubble, when I still was paying for the satellite radio in my car, I sometimes listened to Dr. Radio, which is a production of the NYU med school. They reported this last spring that recent research shows that people always burned more calories while asleep that when awake. I would believe it, I'm certain my body temp goes up in my sleep. and I'm as far from a plant based diet that's possible.


For two or three years whilst dieting I weighed myself every morning and recorded it in a spreadsheet. On average I lost 2lbs a week but it could vary alarmingly. I often though that if I was weighing myself once a week and my weigh-in happened on a high day it would prove too discouraging. Trouble was I'd lose a bit and then go off the diet so it was a constant struggle
Last year I made a determined effort and lost 51 lbs. I feel so much better and no longer have to go to the end of the rack to buy a pair of trousers, in fact I had to renew my entire wardrobe.
I recently bough a set of scales with a phone app which automatically records my weight and graphs it.
My diet is simple. No breakfast. One orange for lunch, Dinner is whatever everyone else is eating but only one small potato or small amount of rice/pasta. lent of salad or greens. I gave up alcohol years ago, Its a young mans occupation.Thats it, except I allow myself one treat of one biscuit on going to bed, Anticipation of that one biscuit keeps me on the straight and narrow

Nice blog Mike, although I can't visualise becoming quite so obsessed that I need two weighings per day. I tend to jump on my analogue, but nevertheless quite good scale, every other day or so, before I walk into the shower,(whether or not it is my birthday!).

Notwithstanding my less regular checks there is a notable observable variation, a few pounds either side of 147lbs (10st 7lb). Which is quite light, emaciated even, considering my length of 6' 2", but put that down to the inquisitiveness of an old fashioned surgeon (God bless 'im), who seemed to routinely regard my torso as some sort of clutch bag.

Anyway, I have noticed, and it is a matter of record on my medical file, that my weight tends to increase a tad during the summer months.

A good ready reckoner (sunny 16) being the number of times I can fold my legs around each other when sitting, and of course the vast array of winter and increased girth, summer trousers.


Once a day works fine. I also heard the advice that you should not weigh yourself more than once a week, but after many years with limited success I started to turn every stone.

The problem is of course nothing to do with low metabolism, only eating too much high calorie food.

So I started to record everything. Weighing myself each morning, and writing a diet log. And what did I discover? If you eat less, you lose weight. If you reach a platou, you are probably fooling yourself, and have gradually started to eat more. At least that was my experience.

So, a close watch on weight and food intake each day made it easier to do the right thing. And one slip is just that, no need to keep on slipping.

Plant based diet is good. I am a Top Vegetarian. I only eat meat from animals whose diet includes plants... or eat other animals that eat plants. :)

Hello. You should NOT weigh yourself at all until at least a month after this lockdown ends. Take care everyone!

Its called insensible weight loss, mostly by breathing One stated average is 30mL/Kg/day
I routinely lose 2 or 3 lbs/night simply by breathing our very dry air. [170 lb omnivore]

I lost 25 lbs over the course of a year by moderately reducing starch and sugar intake. This to reduce my A1C. That worked. Weight loss was an unplanned consequence. If I had to lose weight by eating kale I'd say no thanks and still be at 195lbs.

[I've found kale palatable two ways: by throwing it in the Vitamix with berries and mango for a smoothie, and by shredding it and adding it to soups made in the Instant pot. My ex would probably crow if she knew I was eating kale every day, because I felt the same as you when she knew me. --Mike]

Ask yourself how any weight is lost? Where does it go? CO2 and H2O are the byproducts of burning fuel in your body. The majority of "lost weight" is exhaled in CO2.

There's no ideal frequency with which to weigh oneself.

If weighing yourself more often helps motivate you to eat better and care for yourself then great, do that.

But if doing this generates negative thoughts and moods then you should stop; instead think about what is prompting those thoughts and examine how rational they are (or otherwise).

I am an active 53 y/o male, I eat no meat and very little dairy and weigh myself once a week before bed on a Friday night using a cheap digital scales. My weight fluctuates by up to a kilo, sometimes without an obvious cause and sometimes, I believe, because I lacked discipline in my eating that week.

The current enforced restrictions due to Covid-19 have prompted people to find ways to exercise at home. One chap ran a marathon on his balcony; others are riding static bicycles. A UK personal trainer called Joe Wicks has become a Youtube sensation by providing P.E. classes intended for kids but hugely popular with adults too.

One video that had a significant effect on me a few years ago is a youtube video called 'Never Stop Playing' (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycJwrwrYgGM and http://neverleavetheplayground.com/). It shows that you really must "use it or lose it" and research has shown that, even if you have lost 'it' then you can to some extent regain skills such as balance, memory and speech by stimulation. It's never too late.

I had a girlfriend who decided she wanted to lose weight. I suggested that she take a calender and fill in her target weight for each day, then put the calendar and a scale in the kitchen and not open the refrigerator if above the target weight. This was not received well.

I thought it was sort of like what Milo of Croton would do if he were going to try to lose weight.

He of course was the Greek who trained by lifting and carrying a newborn calf and repeating the feat daily as it grew to maturity. On the other hand Milo of Croton's actual daily diet allegedly consisted of 9 kg (20 lbs) of meat, 9 kg (20 lbs) of bread, and 10 litres (18 pt) of wine. Supposedly he carried a 4 year old bull on his shoulders before slaughtering it, roasting it whole and eating it all in one day.

I grew up on a farm and if my memory of my childhood is correct, the only time we ever cooked a whole bull it served more than 400 people, and took at least overnight to cook.

Maybe bulls were smaller then.

Aside from being fallacious, "crisis = danger + opportunity" also doesn't make much sense to me. I would think that "crisis + danger = opportunity" makes better sense.

On an unrelated note, weren't you ill from some kind of unknown virus recently? Could it have been an early case of COVID-19? But whatever it was, it's good to know that you have recovered and gone back to your old (young) self.

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