Project 7000

Since 2007, when it started mattering, I’ve been through various weight-loss successes and failures. From that, I have gleaned the following aspects of a successful weight-loss program for myself:

  • Calorie limitation is all that matters; exercise has no particular effect on weight.
  • Minimum plan-length is a single day, but longer is better.
  • Food in my possession will get eaten; generally a whole packet at a time.
  • My cooking skills are quite limited; the only three recipe options are “put it in the oven”, “put it in the sandwich press at work”, or “mix it together and put it all in the slow-cooker”. I might buy a fry-pan to add a fourth option, but cooking oil adds a complication here I’m hoping to avoid.
  • The food rules must be flexible; if they are too specific, supply-chain issues will tank the diet, and I will flail around for emergency substitutes poorly.
  • Weigh-ins, measurement, and goal-setting are counter-productive; when I’m this far from my desired weight, every measurement is depressing, even if the trend is good.

Based on the above, and on a previous weight-maintenance regime I used, I get:

Project 7000 Rules

  • Calorie intake of 7000kj per day, on average. (Yes, I recognise that I’m measuring “calorie intake” in kilojoules.)
  • Average is maintained by shopping days: For every 7000kj of food bought, the next food shop is a day later.
    • The rough target is a week’s food at a time, but this isn’t a fixed rule.
    • If I don’t get through all the bought food, I may delay the shopping, but this isn’t a requirement.
  • An external meal with a calorie count, or other intrusive calorie count, pushes back the next shopping trip as if it was part of the last shop.
    • A meal with no measurement, is counted as 5000kj, because I have no self-control sense of scale. This also covers social drinks, which are either with unmeasured nibbles, or end up with a HSP afterwards, because I have no self-control.
  • Not measured: Sugar-free energy drinks and similar. I need the caffeine and hydration more than I need to think about this extra 200kj. And they’re bulky, so cannot reasonably be bought in the same shopping cycle as the rest of the project anyway.

Further Notes

I’ll be posting my shopping trips and other intrusive events in this category for self-accountability. I hope a late-night HSP becomes less tempting when I have to blog about it, even if it’s just me reading it back later.

Preparation

Right now, I’m working through eating whatever’s already in my home (frozen vegetables and ice cream), so I expect my first shop of this program will be 1st January 2023. Although the local supermarket might be closed or have limited hours, I just realised. >_<

Macros

Although it’s not part of the diet plan, I’ve found high-protein, low-carb foods have worked well for me in the past. The reason that’s not part of the plan is that it’s hard to find such that are dairy-protein free (most “high protein” foods simply use whey powder), and when I have found such a food, I usually end up consuming everything in stock, and the diet falls apart while awaiting restocking. And that was before CoVID-19 revealed the limited flexibility of supermarket supply chains. I’ll also be looking at how I can fit in some higher-fibre stuff, e.g. high-fibre cereal, but again it’s not required by the rules.

Weigh-ins

I also want to avoid weighing in regularly, as even weighing in weekly at the start of the program is going to depress me. I did weigh in earlier this week (and it depressed me) at 140kg, so I plan to run this diet for a few weeks, and then weigh in next month to make sure it’s working as intended. The main risk I see is if it turns out 7000kj is actually too much for my current metabolism to achieve weight loss. I’d be surprised if that’s the case now, but if I have had no effect after a month, then I’ll need to start asking some questions.

Averaging calories over a week?

A big part of this plan is removing a source of short-term decision making. Specifically, the temptation of looking at the food I have, not feeling like eating any of it, and going to graze at the supermarket instead. Limiting my choices to “What I have”, “Write off a whole day with ramen or supermarket cookies”, and “Nothing” should help keep me on the straight-and-narrow.

This also ensures I have more variety in “What I have” by aiming for larger shops, and being able to trivially spread something like a tub of potato salad across multiple days without needing to record anything about that choice specifically. And without removing the option for me to have a 3-potato-salad-meals day if I feel like it.

The major complication is going to be if I start sourcing things from multiple stores. I’ll try and do that all in one day to keep things simple, but otherwise specialty shopping trips will work like external food and just push the days back further.

Alcohol

I do need to work out which of the beers I like (or tolerate but already possess) include a calorie count, and work them in if I want to clear them out. I’ll probably treat the ones I already have the same as calorie-counted external meals, and then future purchases will just count for the normal rules. I am assuming, but haven’t checked, that a mixed drink will be immaterially different from the mixer by itself, so I’ll make that simplifying assumption for the rare occasions it’s relevant.

Exercise

As part of Revolutionise my ass I will be looking at exercise options. However, experience shows that with an unchanged exercise regime, I can lose or gain a lot simply by diet, so I need to get the diet in place before I worry about anything else. Also getting my weight under 130kg will make exercise much less brutal. Exercise will not affect the calorie counts, as bitter experience suggests that calorie-burn estimates from gym equipment or personal smart devices are way low for me, and I’d rather not exercise than set myself back by accidentally over-eating.

2 thoughts on “Project 7000

  1. Something that’s worked for me is having microwave ready meals on had so if I’m feeling lazy, or whatever excuse I’m thinking up, I have something I can easily get ready. Some are pretty gross but I found a few MyMuscleChef ones that were decent

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I tend to lean on those a lot (as you’ll see shortly), although My Muscle Chef can be tricky to get non-whey-containing options. There’s a couple of other fitness-type meal brands that do often either dairy free or vegan options, but as I discovered today, they’re often sold out.

      Like

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