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Countdown to 165: Week 3 – 25 Pounds Gone, 60 To Go

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I have lost 10% of my body weight. I started with 143 days to lose 85 pounds, trying to get from 250 down to 165. I've lost 25 lbs in three weeks, so I need to lose 60 lbs in the next 122 days.

If you had told me three weeks ago that I would be 25 lbs lighter by now, I wouldn't have believed you. Here I am, though, 225 lbs, healthier, exercising, happier — even my severe allergies probably have disappeared! Of course, I'm not a doctor, so I'm only guessing that I'm healthier because I feel healthier. I'm only guessing that the severe allergy symptoms which recently developed as I gained more weight and then disappeared as I lost it were related. It could be a total coincidence, but I don't think so.

I was chatting with my mother, an experienced low-carb dieter (87 lbs lost), and she mentioned that most people see a "plateau" around day ten, and that the third week is the slowest of all. This checks out perfectly with my own experience — day ten was my first no-progress day, with two more in week three — and it sure would have been nice to know before I encountered them. As a result of this, and just for my own sanity, I've decided to end my daily weigh-ins. I'll only be checking my weight on Tuesdays, which will give me room to include my weekly menu.

Word Is Spreading

One doesn't lose 10% in three weeks without people noticing. I've had a number of people ask me what I've been doing, and some express skepticism that a diet could have such dramatic results. Surely I must have taken up crystal methamphetamines, they suggest when I'm not around, or I had some sort of surgery. They know better, because they see me at least weekly, but they struggle to explain how some people can spend their entire lives dieting and make little or no progress, while I can drop so much weight so quickly. I've thought some of the same thoughts, as I've been on diets before, but never one like this.

Some of it is the time limit. A person who is just a few pounds overweight can simply adjust their diet and physical activity levels to lose those pounds, but when you're 85 pounds overweight, the idea of losing one or two pounds a week is unappealing. It would take over a year, assuming no slip-ups! It's essentially an open-ended commitment, which I'm just not strong enough to make. By setting a short time period, I've got something on which to focus. If I don't reach my goal by November 2, I'll wait a bit, and then set another start date and stop date. Even if I do, I expect I'll gain a bit of weight on my trip to Central Asia, and perhaps over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays (though I'm going to work very hard on sensible portions and physical activity), so one way or another, I plan to restart the special diet on January 1, 2008, which is another Tuesday, and with a deadline fewer than 143 days away that time. If I had more weight to lose, and no international travel to act as a natural deadline, I would still split things up into roughly six-month blocks, though I might stack them pretty close together. Instead of waiting until January 1 to restart, I'd restart one week after finishing the first block.

Some of it is sheer force of will. My wife is continuing with the eat-less-move-more plan, and it's working for her, but I don't think it could work for me. My will is too weak to handle the daily temptations of eating just a bite or two of the peach cobbler, or cake, or just one piece of pizza, or just a few tortilla chips. I would have snacked all day on Independence Day and tried to convince myself I was still being restrained. I'd convince myself that an occasional Dr. Pepper wasn't too bad. And then I'd be back gaining weight again. Instead, I had to lock down tight, eating even more austerely than the diet calls for, at least for the first week. I called it "showing my body who's the boss." I combated my weak will by being strong-willed. I may have a struggle in November when I switch to the eat-less-move-more plan for maintenance, but I think I'll be ahead of the game, because my appetite has diminished dramatically.

Most of it is ketosis. Carbohydrates are the first thing your body consumes, so even with fewer calories, if they come from carbohydrates, it's going to take a lot of physical activity to lose weight. And even then, the weight will come from both stored fat and muscle, which won't have the same effect. Ketosis causes your body to literally consume stored fat cells for fuel, which makes for a dramatic physical difference right away. With that physical change, as the fat melts away, comes more confidence and makes commitment to continuing the diet easier. It makes exercise easier, too, because the fat doesn't get in your way quite as much. (For more details on ketosis, check the Countdown to 165 archives.)


I spent the first week just dieting, with no change in physical activity at all. Near the end of the second week, I bought a pedometer to track the number of steps I took each day, and aimed for 10,000. I didn't hit the goal at all that week. In week three, I've hit it twice, though once I took a walk at about midnight to get there. The lighter I get, the easier it is to walk, and to contemplate joining a gym. I've got an elliptical machine in my house; I may queue up some television episodes on my computer and watch them as I work out at home, but I haven't tried that yet. The machine creaks when there is too much weight on it, and I think I may still be in the creak zone, which is discouraging.

As I continue to lose weight, I'll need to continually exercise more to try to keep the rate up, because I burn fewer calories carrying my 225-pound body around for 1000 steps than I did carrying my 250-pound body around for 1000 steps. It feels easier because it is easier, which means it benefits me less, which means I need to do more. I doubt I'll be able to increase my activity steadily enough to compensate for my weight loss, so the rate of loss will decrease, but I'll try.

Personal Update

I lost six pounds this week. I doubt I'll lose this much in one week again. After the first three weeks, I expect my body to settle into a slower pace, slowing over time. To help me focus on the big picture, I've decided to stop recording my daily weight, so this will be my last daily breakdown. All weights come from an early-morning weigh-in on an analog scale.

2007-06-26: 231, starting point for the week, 19 pounds lost total
2007-06-27: 230.5, -.5 pounds today, 19.5 pounds lost total
2007-06-28: 230.5, no change today, 19.5 pounds lost total
2007-06-29: 229, -1.5 pounds today, 21 pounds lost total
2007-06-30: 228.5, -.5 pounds today, 21.5 pounds lost total
2007-07-01: 228.5, no change today, 21.5 pounds lost total
2007-07-02: 227, -1.5 pounds today, 23 pounds lost total
2007-07-03: 225, -2 pounds today, 25 pounds lost total

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About pwinn

  • Phillip – this is incredible man, congratulations! I’m sure that a great many people have cautioned about losing weight too quickly so I won’t pile on, just hope that you’re cognizent.

    Have you checked out the whole “fat blogging” meme floating around the blogosphere? I think the deal is that you tag your posts “fat blogging” (or maybe “fatblogging,” not sure) and then basically post your weight and activity/progress. It’s actually pretty inspiring to see people talking about their weight and activity.

    And guess who needs to exercise tonight after falling off the wagon mid-week? (That would be roughly me!) I usually start the week well and then fall off a cliff in the Wednesday-Thursday region.

  • bliffle

    Great! Keep it up!

  • Thanks, guys! Yes, Eric, a few people have mentioned that. None of them can explain why, just that “it can’t be healthy.” A nurse friend of mine was surprised, but didn’t offer the same advice. She was only concerned that I should know this pace wouldn’t keep up, which obviously I do.

    I took a three-mile walk last night to get to 10,000 steps, and I still haven’t hit it every week, but I’m doing a lot better with exercise. I avoided over-eating on the 4th, which was somewhat of a personal triumph for me.

  • Nathaniel Winn

    The Hacker’s Diet has some cool Excel charts where you enter a daily figure and it calculates a trend, smoothing out the curve of daily fluctuations. It’s pretty cool.

  • Di Heap

    Hi Phillip

    Remember me from the Vibration Training blogs?
    All the best on your weight loss program. You weren’t huge at the start, compared with many other people, and you know what? Vibration Training would have and still can help you!

    Your blogs say you are starting some gentle exercise so I’ll suggest walking, which you have mentioned plus Whole Body Vibration. As previously stated, Vibration Training alone wont give weightloss but together with some cardio (that’s the walking of course) and balanced diet, it works. Of course if you prefer to lift weights or some other sort of resistance training, then go for it but please don’t let your prejudice get in the way of anything that can help.

    Personally, I think extra low carb diets are scary and dangerous. I know you will reintroduce carbs later but while they are basically all but removed from your diet, you are burning large amounts of ketones and this can give headaches, muscle breakdown, kidney problems, brain function disorders, and even risks for your arteries and heart if you ingest large quantities of fats, which I have noted that your current diet is not doing. Please make sure you drink lots of fresh water to help your liver and kidneys!

  • Di Heap

    I forgot to say

    The reason your weightloss slows after 10days is because you gave broken down muscle(muscle atrophy) and so your BMR is less..that means you’ll burn fewer calories each day. Do you have to reduce your special diet even more to account for this or is this the stage at which you start exercising?

    Beware reducing carbs too much and so reducing your insulin levels.. activity is better for this. Make sure you arenow eating fruit and veges a 10-12 per day. Can I suggest you google DASH Eating Plan (American Heart Fdn) as an alternative or replacement to your severe diet.

  • Philip is embarking on a new a new diet , which is good. But is important to note it is based on “engineering and management principles’ not long term scientific studies of its effects.

    The reason I bring this up is Phillip Winn stated without exeption earlier in another blog about Vibration Training ( at which I am a designer ) he would never try something “new” without such long term evidence.

    There is in contrast plenty of evidence to suggest dropping large amounts of weight in a short period of time can actually be bad for your BMR.

    This man called me a “Liar” and Di Heap that also wrote into the blog ” Simple Minded ” because of our persistance that the technology I develop can help people without such dramatic changes to diet or lifestyle .

    His veiw was peoples experiences amounted to nothing , so following his own rule his and his mothers experience surrounding this diet should be taken in the same vain.

    Just hearsay.

  • Hey Di, Lloyd? Go away. Your continued pushing of magic jiggly machines is not welcome here. Your characterizations of me are wrong, as you’d know if you’d read these articles with any eye to understanding rather than looking for a way to attack me and push your nonsense.

    I’d say a 25-year history of low-carb dieting, combined with stacks of research on the effect of ketosis, is more than you’ve described it to be. Your understanding of the process is inadequate, as demonstrated by your assertion that I’ve lost muscle. I can see my body, and I assure you that, in line with the research and the predictions, I haven’t lost muscle. I have more muscle in my legs, and no change anywhere else.

    Keep your jiggle-boards, and leave me alone.

  • Maybe if you practiced what you preached we could take you more seriously.

    But the fact is you are on a “fad diet”.

    Very laughable considering your past behaviour.

  • You called me a liar and Di simple minded. I dont care if you mother didn’t teach you some manners along with her diets , there is no excuse for that type of behaviour.

    So we will be back.

  • REMF

    “…understanding rather than looking for a way to attack me and push your…”

    Did I miss something? How is Di Heap attacking you?

  • REMF, you share an IP address with a well-known commenter on this site. Own up or be ignored. You already post anonymously, the double-layer of anonymity is unnecessary.

  • troll

    (Phillip – MCH was outfront about bringing a new character onto the boards over on some politics thread a while back)

  • Phillip, I can verify that MCH has indeed decided to call himself REMF. He’s also explained the acronym, although I have a different one!

  • REMF

    “Own up or be ignored.”

    No reason to “own up,” since I was up-front when I made the chops change over two weeks ago, and have since posted over 60 comments with my new handle. You had less of a reaction when Dave Nalle was having a conversation with HIMSELF as Vox Populi.

    And I still don’t see where Di “attacked” you.

  • Maybe I’ll go back to calling myself Noesis?

  • Di Heap

    Prejudice: Noun – a partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation.

    Phillip, All I did was point our your refusal to accept that a method of exercise (Vibration Training) along with some Cardio (Walking) and sensible diet, gives the same end result as the strict diet you have embarked apon. I never said one way was better than the other. I never criticized your diet plan but said I thought it was scary and dangerous, in the hope that you would find out as much as you can about the possible side-effects and be able to deal with them if necessary.

    It’s highly unlikely that any of the contributors to this blog read the one where you completely slammed the product that has helped me so much and called me “simple minded” and that you weren’t sure if I was a liar or not. So, yes, there was a touch of sarcasm in my post but not enough that readers would notice. I stand by my comments, in this thread and in the other one. Whole Body Vibration works for health and fitness benefits and as an aid to weightloss, because it is a type of resistance exercise and because of it’s specialty at that (it’s like lifting weights at 40-50reps a second and so having your body respond to that in a controlled safe manner) it increases BMR (your basal metabolic rate of expending energy while at rest in a temperate environment and a far better indicator of than the previously used BMI).

    It’s worked so well for me that I contributed to a previous thread that was against it and you replied with comments about regular exercise being the only way to go and more! My comments and the touch of sarcasm are 110% fair considering the slamming you’ve given me. Like you, I’m not selling anything just promoting what’s working for me. Congratulations on your weightloss and I hope it will continue. You’ll get to your goal weight a lot faster than I will and that’s the choices we make. I will be watching and I do wish you all the best. Please do look up DASH eating plan. I worded my comments about that poorly. It would be a good continuation after you’ve “starved” yourself thin or if you find you can’t continue the plan you’re on. It’s an anti-high bp eating plan but also works well as a sensible weight reduction plan.(and it’s all American too, not promoting something from my own country or others such as a high force giggle board 😉 )

    I definitely understand ketosis. We have hospital grade machines that measure your body fat % along with lean muscle mass, bone mass, weight etc so there’s no guessing by simply looking at your leg muscles. My own muscle mass is 110% of normal even though I racewalk and run. My bodyfat% is too high though. I know exactly what needs attention.

    To others reading this: I’ve slightly explained a product in this blog, not to promote and I haven’t mentioned brand names but simply that readers understand my previous post. In my country as in U.S. obesity is a major contributor to poor health and early, preventable death. Any diet or exercise /fitness equipment that addresses this problem and helps reverse the trend towards killing ourselves with food and inactivity is worth discussing!

  • Di Heap

    Are there moderators on here that remove unwanted posts??? I guess that’s one way to kill off opponents and I shouldn’t be surprised!

  • Phillip…

    For someone who has spent the best part of 10yrs behind a computer contributing to chat rooms your netiquette is almost non existant.

    Two points.

    (1) Calling people childish names and threatening people with being ignored on a public forum ?

    (2) Repeatedly blogging on subjects you have admited to having no personal experience with or interest in. In effect wasting readers time.

    I call for something new. A boycott of every Phillip Winn post we come across. If you agree just put up your name with the sentence…

    Phillip Winn post boycott due to bad Netiquette

  • zingzing

    lloyd, you’re a silly man.

  • Phillip Winn post boycott due to bad Netiquette

    Lloyd’s right on this!!!

    After seeing a post REMOVED when all the poster (REMF) said was

    quoting from my post above:
    “It’s highly unlikely that any of the contributors to this blog read the one where you completely slammed the product that has helped me so much and called me “simple minded” and that you weren’t sure if I was a liar or not.”

    Then said, they hadn’t seen that blog but that they weren’t surprised at the response to me.

    I’ve even read the other blog you take part in Phillip, “theboarsheadtavern”. You see we have spiritual beliefs in common BUT I just can’t be bothered with you anymore. You attack based on prejudice that comes from ignorance and no knowledge or experience of what you are attacking yet you want people to follow your starvation diet blog and encourage you.. Nope, no way! I started off nicely but removing an inoffensive post from this blog has left me angry.

  • I don’t feed trolls, even when they post misinformation about me, but I will state this: I’ve removed no comments. We do have a comments editor who edits personal attacks, but anyone thinking I’ve removed comments critical of me is leaping to a false conclusion. I think my statements speak for themselves and stand up to scrutiny.

  • I am the Comments Editor for the site and removed the comment posted by REMF as it added nothing to the debate. I have also deleted a comment from Lloyd Shaw that was similarly irrelevant.

    I’ mot willing to accept having a bunch of people making insulting remarks to or trading childishness with each other. You can all debate the topic under debate as much as you like but pointless squabbling will be deleted.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem


    I wish you the very best of luck with your project of losing weight. The real test will come when you have reached that target and must maintain your goal, so for your sake, I hope you lose as little weight as possible at a time, shrinking your stomach (and hopefully your appetite as well) as you do… This method worked for my sister many years ago, and she has maintained her weight (or had until 1996, when I saw her last).

    I have not been a lucky or as disciplined as either you or her, and I have reason to lose weight… I’m around 95 kilos now (about 210 lbs.) which is far too heavy for a guy with a heart condition…

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I’m really in bad shape. My comments should be addressed to Phillip Winn, not Temple Stark… My apologies, both of you…

  • Christopher Rose

    Your bias is uneven so is unethical. If not please explain where you were when Phillip was adding nothing to our debate on Vibration Training , admitting he had never tried it or knew anything about it so had no basis for a review. When asked questions about the human body he simply resorted to openly abusing people and calling them liars and simple minded ?

  • This time abide by your own rules and not delete my post. It was a straight question and it deserves a straight answer.

  • lol..Lloyd..you do realize that Phillip is one of the owners of BC?

    it’s his “house” and his rules, and as he has stated, the Comments Editor does his thing

    i may disagree with Phillip sometimes over some issues, but his Integrity is not something that can be reasonably question

    nuff said?


  • Yes I know he is in Admin. but that the point , he should be better than others , not worse.

    And sorry missed where the integrity is in calling people names.

  • not having seen what offended you so much..i can’t talk about it in an informed manner

    but after witnessing your previous hissy fit spanning multiple threads rather than taking your difficulties directly to the source via the e-mail link on the main page

    well, i guess i find it indicative of the actuality

    i could be mistaken..it’s happened once or twice before…

    but i doubt it


  • gonzo

    Having read other forums where Phillip Winn has contributed and also just because I believe that people that take part in these debates are basically well intentioned, I would have agreed with you BUT..

    I was called “simple minded” because I stated that a form of exercise that is less known but growing in popularity, has been beneficial to me. I have proofs of the benefits even from my Physical Therapist. Benefits are in fitness and health including some weightloss.
    Also Phillip said that I might be a “liar”. I had no idea that Phillip needed these same gains when debating with him as he always spoke of recommending exercise to others more than of doing it himself.

    Why would I lie. I don’t gain any financial or similar benefit from the company that provides the service I use. I pay $’s to do the sessions.

    I’m very surprised to see Phillip undertaking an even less proven (imho) health program. I came in here to encourage and to once again tell him that one of the exercise methods I use just might help him too, that he might reconsider it.

    Integrity would mean that I would be received in good favor even if my recommendation is unwanted or not suitable for whatever reason, even prejudice. Instead I have been told to go away because I am perceived to be a voice agreeing with Lloyd Shaw, whom Phillip called a “liar” because he believes in the benefits of the exercise/health machines he personally designed.

    It’s all funny really as there are times that Lloyd and I are “not even on the same team” such can be the differences of opinion we have, yet on the topic of Vibration Training for health and fitness and it’s use as an aid to weightloss, I definitely agree with Lloyd

    It’s working for me! If proclaiming my proven fitness gains from a specific program get me labeled “simple minded” then okay but wow, that the proclaimer is now doing the rather unknown, possibly fad, Kimkins diet… he really needs to apolgise to me

  • ok…so Loyd is one of the designers of this machine, thus his vested interest

    and i’ll gladly take what you have said into consideration, but still…no offense, you are a digital voice in the aether, could be anybody..an employee or investor or shill…but i’ll gladly give the benefit of the doubt

    someone giving their Opinion, you or Phillip is one thing…substantiating claims is another

    and Integrity has nothing to do with being polite, just internally consistent…

    1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
    2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.
    3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship’s hull.

    speaking one’s opinion openly is indeed a sign of Integrity by definition

    at any rate…i still don’t understand how someone can need to apologize …do you have a link to the article and discussion where all of this happened?

    that would help tremendously


  • Yes I could be an investor, a partner, employee but I’m not and as you said, that is unproven.

    The particular company is NOT YET in Phillip Winn’s part of the world so the company would not directly gain from his use of the form of exercise.

    The method is available though. Some other brands exist but more important than pushing a brand is just getting it known and the benefits known and which brands actually do what they proclaim… all rather similar to the actual name of the diet Phillip’s using being given in the first blog on this topic. The type of product gets exposure, is recommended by people who show positive, measurable results, so others want to try it too. If it’s something that gives health benefits then it needs to be told about.

    I think it best not to revisit the other forum but it is still active

  • Di..no offense, but i did just visit the URL next to your name…you DO appear to also have a vested interest…doesn’t disqualify you…but is a factor

    and what i asked for is a link to the offending bit you are speaking about…without the full context of the discussion, it’s impossible to make any kind of rational decision, or have an informed discussion

    for instance Phillip once quipped about me throwing a “tantrum”…i could easily be offended and demand an Apology..but in context it was what it was…and i can be much more harsh in my use of language than i have ever seen him demonstrate..so, no harm, no foul in that instance

    as an aside, my Apologies for derailing the thread…good luck with the diet, Phillip


  • Phillip Winns comments…

    To Lloyd… “I believe that you are a liar”

    To Di Heap…”and you’re lying to state otherwise.” and

    “You could be simple-minded, or lying”

    If this is the standard of comments your staff are allowed to use. Shame on you. I help run and write articles for forums and I would never condone such behaviour.

    Let alone delete comments reporting it.

  • The only vested interest I have is in sharing with others, what has worked for me. And it does work! Not just in the ways it has benefited me but in other ways for other people. I’ve never linked before. It seemed better to link than to push a type of product and if you do read some of the linked page you’ll see that I ask many questions and answer a few. I needed to be sure the equipment I was going to use was effective and safe so I set out to learn all I could about it and now I have some knowledge I can share with others and I’m still learning the how, what, where, …along with doing the program.
    See, I’m like that. I don’t go along with the crowd, I need to know about things so “simple minded” is a rather odd comment. I’ve been called “annoying”.

    I’m looking forward to Phillip’s next blog in this series. While eating my “two eggs, green salad, tomato, cream cheese, and bun for lunch I stopped to wonder how I’d cope with the small quantity of food that some low carb diets contain. It will require a very strong will to keep it up for more than a few weeks and then to maintain an eating plan that prevents regaining weight, while staying healthy.

  • How did your diet go , did you reach your goal weight ?

  • How did your diet go , did you reach your goal weight ?

  • Sorry I missed this the first time you asked, Lloyd.

    Close! I lost 70 pounds in 20 weeks, reaching 180. Lower than my first stated goal, but not as low as my aggressive goal.

    I posted a wrap-up article.