My Winter Project

I’m back up to about 250 pounds, which with my build gives me a noticeable paunch, but there are few who would call me fat. I would rather weigh about 200 pounds instead, I feel like I look and feel my best at about that weight.

So, I’m being more active, I’ve switched to not a vegetarian diet, but a more produce centric diet I would say. I have not yet figured out how to work in multiple small meals a day yet and do still eat just two or three big meals, which from my own experience as well as just about every study I’ve ever seen is not good for weight control.

My Anthro class I’m taking right now is not in the least bit challenging. My professor for the winter-session is using the simplest grading structure known to man. We have three exams of roughly equal weight each with 33 or 34 questions. These will be combined to give us our grades. Between the two exams we’ve had thus far I’ve missed a single question. The material is only moderately interesting to me, but it does provide me with little tidbits that spark my scientific imagination.

One of those tidbits was homeothemogenisis (that we maintain a constant body temperature). Of course as a biology student I am aware that humans are mammalian and part and parcel of that is being warm blooded. These are facts we are taught in elementary school and we tend not to think about again. When the professor was talking to us about cold adaptations in humans he mentioned in passing the energy requirements to maintain a constant body temperature and that got me to thinking about all the things we as humans can do to “waste” energy.

I looked at quite a few studies on these things and the question of wasting energy and its effect on weight loss has only been just touched on lightly. I think there is a lot of room for study in this area.

I found quite a few studies that looked at the energy costs of maintaining homeothermogenisis in a cold environment, they are surprisingly staggering, but only one of them seemed to consider the effect of this on weight loss and there it was only as a side note as a possible subject to examine further. It is quite cold in Montana in the winter our days have been having highs in the high teens or maybe low twenties these past couple of weeks. It was notably colder when I was growing up but I think it is subjectively reasonable to say that it is cold now. Given that I have been making an effort to go outside without a coat for a few minutes a day.  I wear gloves and boots to protect my extremities as well as a hat and scarf, but I leave my trunk exposed (more or less).

I also looked at the effect of sleep on weight loss. There has been a lot of work here, it is well documented that sleep deprivation can be linked in a positive correlation to obesity. However it takes energy to be awake. In trying to figure out how to use this I decided to try sleeping six hours a night, less than I’m used to but it shouldn’t be so little as to trigger sleep deprivation.

It turns out that six hours really works for me as a sleep schedule. I’ve been going to sleep at midnight and waking at 06:00. I’ve been waking refreshed and ready for the day. This is as opposed to going to sleep whenever I feel like it (sometimes earlier, sometimes later) and actually forcing myself out of bed at around 07:40ish.

I’m making an effort not to increase my food intake. My diet is garbage in general, but it is improving. I find it is a lot easier to make small incremental changes (and data supports this) than to try to make sweeping changes.

Unfortunately I don’t own a scale so I can’t measure what progress if any I’m making towards weight loss. I got my initial weight of 250 from my Wii Fit (as well as the fact that that’s up from about 236 a month and a half ago. The ancient television that it is hooked up to gave up the ghost a few days ago, and nobody in the household can be bothered to get the other even older TV from the master bedroom and bring it downstairs. This is especially true since our general quality of life has improved since the TV went out.

Subjectively it does seem like my pants are fitting a little better, which is what I’m really using as my measure for diet success anyway.

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