Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:33 pm Post subject: My introduction and mods--and a scale hack!
Hi everyone, first of all thank you Reinhard for continuing to maintain these forums even though there is apparently also a Facebook group. I hate Facebook and don't have an account there so I'm glad this is here.
Second of all sorry in advance for the length of this post. I just wanted to introduce myself and share my mods and a hack that I thought some might find useful or at least interesting.
I started No S a week and a half ago as a 40th-birthday present to myself. That milestone is just a few months away and I knew that the best gift I could give myself would be to stop the diet roller coaster I've been on for nearly 20 years. During that time I've alternately counted calories and binged, repeatedly gaining and losing the same 15-30 pounds. What makes this obsession over diet even more ridiculous is that I've never been technically overweight; my BMI is currently just under 24. I decided to finally put an end to the madness and work on accepting myself where I am, but the problem is that I've never had a framework for normal eating. I'm either counting calories or I'm eating anything I want, all day long. I decided to cut out sweets first, then it occurred to me to try cutting out snacks. In my entire life I have never not snacked, so I Googled the idea for support, and that's when I found No S!
So as I mentioned above, I kind of stumbled upon a couple of the no-s rules independently. Once I found No S I read the website and bought the Kindle book. It wouldn't have occurred to me otherwise to add in the "no seconds" rule and I think that is absolutely key. But some of the other rules didn't really resonate with me. Specifically, S days. I know from experience how much damage I can do in a short amount of time and the idea of being "off" the rules 1/3 of the time doesn't make sense to me from either a moderation or habit-building standpoint. So I decided that it would be no snacks and no seconds no matter what day it was.
But I knew that no sweets, ever, is not realistic in the long run. So I came up with a simple mod that I think makes a lot of sense and still has bright-line clarity:
No sweets at home or the office
Yes, I work M-F, so you might say this is just another way of making weekdays N days and weekends S days. The difference is that if I'm dining out or at a friend's house or event any day of the week and there's a delicious sweet on offer, I can have it. And this is not a 1/3-of-the-time occurrence. So in a way it's a little stricter than vanilla No S, but in another way a little looser because there are no date boundaries, only place boundaries. The "no snacks" rule is still in effect so I can't just run out and grab an ice cream cone any time I want; sweets are only at meal times.
Speaking of "no snacks," I am still thinking of how to mod this to allow for the rare exception here and there. This is the core of the plan for me so I don't want to loosen it up too much--I want to develop a really strong habit of eating only at mealtimes, 7 days a week. But. I don't think I will go the rest of my life never having popcorn at the movies or nachos at a baseball game. Those might be my exceptions right there ("no snacks except at the movie theater or ballpark") or I might be able to come up with something else. The trick is crafting a rule that allows for a few unforeseen snacking occasions without leaving too much wiggle room. I'm open to suggestions!
Finally, the "no seconds" rule is pretty much unmodded except that I am a little looser about the "one plate" thing. I'm interpreting the rule the way most people would--no eating something and then going back and taking more of that thing (or dishing out another plate from a buffet, etc.). But if a meal is presented in sequential courses or if a few small dishes are involved, I'm not going to stress about it or worry about trying to virtual plate it.
My scale hack: no peeking!
I wrote in my notebook the day I started: "My goal is to normalize my eating habits. If I lose weight, that's a bonus. If I gain weight, that's a problem."
As you can see, weight loss is not my ultimate goal and I will be totally fine staying where I am. I still want that weight data, though, because I want to make sure I don't gain weight on this plan. Intellectually I know I shouldn't--a lot of my calories used to come from snacks and sweets, and I'm cutting way back on those, even on weekends. But there's still a nagging doubt that it won't work and the weight will creep on and I won't notice unless I weigh myself. And we all know that a single weight reading isn't much to go on because it can vary so much just based on time of day, time of month, hydration level, carbohydrate intake, etc.
So I weigh myself every day. But I don't look at the number.
I have a wifi scale (a Fitbit Aria). I step on the scale and it uploads my weight to Fitbit's servers. From there, Trendweight collects it and calculates the moving average. This trend will give me the feedback I need, but only if taken over a meaningful interval of time. I know from experience that I will obsess and likely backslide if I check my weight too often.
So I've taped a piece of cardboard over the display on my scale, and I step on it every day and just let it take its silent reading and send it to Fitbit. I'll log in to Fitbit and Trendweight every four weeks to review the results. That should be enough time to get a solid weight trend that is meaningful, while keeping me from attempting daily adjustments to my eating based on unreliable, short-term readings.
So far, so good
Today is my 12th day and I can hardly believe how manageable it's been. I don't feel deprived, I don't feel starving, in fact it's almost magical how, as Reinhard promised, I feel more satisfied by being able to eat whatever I want at meals and being just hungry enough to really enjoy them. Just in the first week a few occasions came up that would have stressed me out to no end on any other diet: a Thai buffet lunch and a potluck picnic. I didn't look at the buffet as a way to "get my money's worth" as I have in the past, but rather an opportunity to try small portions of many different things (all duly arranged on a single plate). At the picnic, I simply waited until all the food arrived and created my single plate then rather than graze on things here and there as people showed up. EASY.
I don't know how often I'll post here because I'm hoping this eventually just becomes habit and I can go on auto-pilot. The less I think about it, the better, probably. But I wanted to say hi and thank you and also share those ideas above with the group.
Hi and thanks for posting! I'm on my 4th week, and it's really interesting to see how others are making the plans their own.
Very interesting idea you have about weighing every day but not looking at the number! I'm still struggling with what to do about weighing in. I tend to either weigh daily and calculate a 7-day moving average myself - that's when I'm trying to lose -- or stop weighing altogether and have my weight creep up. Wonder if I should think about a WiFi scale.
For now, I'm planning to weigh myself Tues-Thurs every other week, take the average, and hope that gives me a good idea of what's happening without making myself nuts.
Also like you, I'm not "overweight" BMI-wise. But I have a small frame, and a 24 BMI is way too much for me. I know what a great healthy weight feels like for me, and this is not it.
My goal is to lose a pound a month, which seems like it ought to be doable. Although based on my weigh-in last week, I suspect my first month will be a wash at best.
Joined: 06 Oct 2008 Posts: 9153 Location: San Diego, CA USA
Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:40 pm Post subject:
Welcome, no peek.
S days were never meant to be free-for-alls for two days a week. They are a release valve. If you have a sense already of when you will get the most bang for your S bucks, go for it. You'll find out soon enough if it seems like you're asking too much.
I've continued to be very fascinated with this process (or maybe I'm just obsessed), but I do think it is supposed to become second nature, so don't feel any obligation to post much here. If it's fitting right in for the most part, ride off into the sunset as soon as you can!
If you have been restricting and then rebelling with S's a lot, you might actually have a slight gain after one month. Even if you do, it's likely a small adjustment somewhere will make the difference.
Have a great month! _________________ Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 8 years & counting
Mar/13-24.9 Stayed at +/- 8-lb. for three years Sept/17 22.8 (but more fluctuation)
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