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Tuesday, 19 June 2007

90% Compliance

Weight loss and maintenance success has a lot to do with compliance. I admit that I am not so good at compliance generally -- I start out following the rules and then I think I have a better, faster, sexier way to achieve the same goal by adjusting the rules. In my work life, this is normally successful because I am creative and confident and enjoy finding better ways of doing things.

In the dieting world, I am not so clever and creative, and my plans normally don't work [imagine that!!]

So there are two choices -- stick with the diet and exercise plan for as long as I can, then get fed up and say f^ck it and eat everything in sight until I can't get off my fat @rse for a couple of days and don't exercise.

Or ... subscribe to the 90% theory.

The theory is that if you stick to your healthy diet and exercise plan 90% of the time, deviating 10% of the time will not hurt and may even help.

Let me provide some anecdotal personal experience to back up this theory.

Back in the "day" [code for when I first started losing weight and it fell off with little or no effort] I used to go out to dinner at least once a week with my husband. I didn't eat deep fried mars bars but I had a filling restaurant meal of whatever I wanted - normally high fat as I was on a self imposed low fat plan. As mentioned -- weight fell off.

When I was on WW I did the same thing. Curiously, the weeks I deviated for one or more meals were the weeks I lost weight. The weeks I was 'on plan' all week were always disappointing on the scale.

This carb re-feed thing I am doing at the moment -- although it hasn't resulted in weight loss, it hasn't made me gain any weight. This past Saturday I ate over 3,000 calories and by tomorrow I will be back to pre re-feed weight.

When I work it out - one day off out of seven is more than 10% ... it's ... bugger I don't know I'm creative not mathematical!

So I should work it out properly.

I eat 4 meals a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner, evening snack) obviously 7 days a week which equals 28 meals a week.

10% of that is 2.8 meals a week -- round it down to 2 meals because 3 is too much and I don't think I can eat 0.8 of a free meal!

So I should eat 2 meals a week off plan. Because those meals will, by simple deduction, be high carb, I should probably eat them together or on different days. I don't think high carb breakfast, low carb lunch and high carb dinner will do me much good. So I can have two high carb dinners a week [mmmm ... sounds like a low-med-high carb cycle] or a high carb lunch/dinner as long as I have my healthy snack earlier in the day, or a high carb dinner and dessert. I can't just skip the two other scheduled meals that day because skipping a meal is considered non-compliance or off plan. And guess what this approach sounds like - a 5 hour refeed ...

So this Saturday I plan to eat:
0900 low carb breakfast
Martial arts training
1330 low carb snack
1500 high carb lunch
2000 high carb dinner

0900 low carb breakfast
Martial arts training
1330 low carb lunch
1800 high carb dinner
2000 high carb snack

It depends on what hubby is doing - if he wants to go out for lunch I'll take the second option. If he is not too fussed, I'll go the dinner/dessert option.

I'm not sure how I accomplish 90% compliance with exercise so I will stick to my "farting around" approach and try to move some part of me everyday [weights, walking, yoga, martial arts].

Whatever happens, 90% compliance has got to be an improvement on the all or nothing vortex I find myself flailing in these days.

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