On Any Given Day …

The previous post in this series is:

Nickels and Dimes

The first post in this series about dieting is: Losing Weight Via the Change Diet

I’ve noticed a problem, or opportunity as one of my old managers used to say. The issue is that most days, I don’t use up all my pennies1.

Now, that sounds like a good problem, but as usual, my body doesn’t agree. I eventually get tired of eating so little, and binge out.

But, I’ve been thinking: is that a bad thing?

Back to science for the answer. Our calorie intake doesn’t change our weight on the day we reduce or overeat. It takes a while to settle in. I’m not a nutritionist or doctor, but it seems to me that it takes a few days to a week or two for changes to actually be reflected in our weight. (This is one of the reasons plateaus are so important.)

Anyhow, if that’s the case, then does it really make any difference if I eat a few pennies extra one day and a few less the next day?

Unlike sleep deprivation, calorie intake is something you can make up for. But, there’s a risk: do too much overeating or undereating, and our bodies might grow used to it.

So, here’s my solution: on any day when I eat less than my allotment, I allow myself to carry over half of the overage into the next day. I allow myself to do this for up to three days in a row, but yesterday’s leftovers are included in the allotment.

For days when I overeat, I take the whole count and apply it to the next day.

For example, let’s say I’m targeting two hundred pennies a day. One day, I only eat 180, leaving me with twenty leftovers. I take half that and hold onto it for the next day.

The next day, I eat the same 180 calories. But, my allotment was 210 for the second day, not two hundred. So, my underage is thirty, and I keep half of that, or fifteen.

So, for day three, I have 215 available. But, I eat 225. That’s an overage of ten pennies. Those ten pennies get subtracted off my total for day four, leaving me only have 190 for the fourth day.

If, instead of overeating on day three, I under-ate by the same twenty pennies, then day four would have an allotment of seventeen extra pennies (215-180 is 35, but we cut that in half to 17.)

It seems to me this is a good type of compromise. It keeps me from pigging out at midnight just to use up my coins. And, it also keeps me from getting all bent out of shame when I eat too much.

The next post in this series is:

“I’m Full” Signal

  1. This actually came up during my writing of an earlier post, Nickels and Dimes.

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