Posted by: nakamura2828 | March 28, 2009

Day #39: It’s a new record!

LasagnaSo this weekend I went home to celebrate my Dad’s birthday, and set a new record: most calories recorded for a single day since I started logging it.  I expected this however, and planned to indulge for the second day in a row, but was careful to minimize the damage as much as possible.

Following tradition for my Dad’s birthday, we had a hearty breakfast, lasagna for dinner, and pineapple upside-down birthday cake.  It was all very good, but I made sure to moderate myself, and skipped lunch to mitigate what was sure to be a calorie dense breakfast and dinner.  In the end, despite breaking my record-high daily intake, and breaking my daily goal, I still managed to keep it below my estimated daily expenditure, so it shouldn’t hurt my weight loss tremendously.

It’s generally difficult to stick to the diet at places like home where I don’t prepare my own food, and had early-on made the decision I would be more lenient on myself for holidays and celebrations.  All-in-all I think I managed the situation fine.

Oh, also notably I apparently lost almost 3 lbs overnight.  I think that had more to do with the fact that I skipped dinner than anything else.  I expect due to that fact and the amount I ate today, for that to go up considerably tomorrow morning.


Day 39:
Weight: 156.2 lbs
Fat: 25.7%
BMI: 25.99

  • Breakfast: A pancake (149  calories), a fried egg (90 calories), a scrambled egg (102 calories), 2 sausage links (165 calories), and a small glass of OJ (60 calories).  Altogether: 566 calories
  • Lunch: Skipped intentionally (0 calories)
  • Dinner: One slice of my Mom’s homemade lasagna (377 calories), one slice of garlic bread (186 calories), a salad (70 calories), and a glass of red wine (125 calories). Altogether: 758 calories
  • Other: A slice of pineapple upside-down birthday cake (370 calories) in a bowl of 1% milk (102 calories).  Most of my family likes to eat cake this way.  Altogether 472 calories

Put together that leaves the day at a whopping 1796 calories, almost 200 calories higher than my last highest.  Of course it’s only “whopping” in comparison to my diet meals.  I’m still burning an estimated 2300 calories or so, which means I’m still on the right side of the deficit line.

It’s suprising how expensive things like garlic bread and red wine are calorie-wise.  Lasagna, I expected to be heavy, but it’s interesting to note that the cheese is a bigger offender in it than the meat.   My sisters’ vegetarian version is likely almost as dense as mine was.  Oh well, at least I had a few hearty meals.  They were the biggest I’ve had in a long while.

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Posted by: nakamura2828 | March 27, 2009

The best laid plans…

Today was the department’s annual computer science day event, which consists of contests, talks, free food, prizes, and a job fair offering free goodies.  As last year, I volunteered to help out.  I signed up to help set up tables & chairs, and to serve pizza for lunch.  This is generally a pretty fun, useful way to pitch in.  As things would turn out though, this year was a fair bit more chaotic for me then last.

The day started out more or less as planned.  I woke up early, and headed in at 7:00 AM to prepare for a meeting I had later that morning.  By 8:30, I was setting up tables as per the plan.  Unbeknownst to me however, my supervisor on the tech staff would be expecting me to help him set up buzzers for a competition downstairs soon later at nine.  I get the message at 9:45, and thinking he wants me help set up computers I head out and start working with the rest of the tech staff.  Shortly after 10, I’m explicitly sent downstairs, and find that the competition has already started. My supervisor seems a bit miffed to see me late.

Not being able to help him at this point, I head back upstairs to help with the computers.  At 10:30, I break to have my meeting, after which I head back out to help finish setting up.

By the time we are done, it is noon (when I was originally to start serving pizza for lunch).  Instead though, I head back  downstairs to help my supervisor tear down the buzzer system, to help make amends for the mix-up earlier.

As we finish with the clean up, one of the staff come in telling me that one of the exhibitors was having issues with their laptop and needed wireless access.  I’m put in charge of trying to work this out.  This turns into a bit of a disaster, being their machine was an older Dell, and didn’t support the WPA2 security the university uses.  After trying to find them one of our loaners (they were all out) and offering them the use of my laptop (which runs Linux and they needed Windows), I had to let them know that I was unable to help them.  I found out later that there ended up multiple people working on this problem, which is where at least one of the loaners went.  Hopefully they got this resolved, but I never got the chance to find out.

At this point it’s 2:00, and I get a chance to eat lunch.

It’s a short break however, and I get sent out to inform people of a panel downstairs, and fill in manning one of the front tables of the event.  By the time I’m released it’s about 3:30 and the job fair exhibitions are over.  Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to walk around.

At this point I start helping the tech staff again, tearing down the computers we had installed in the morning.  By the time we are done, I have a chance to catch the end of the award ceremony, and it’s the end of the day.

Altogether, it ended up being a lot more hectic and chaotic than last year.  I’m satisfied with the result though.  Even if not everything went smoothly, I think I ended up more of a help than I did last year serving pizza all day.  In the end, a friend of mine was able to get me some of the leftover pizza, and I got a few freebies that were left behind as I helped clean up.   The event is important to our department, and even if I wasn’t able to indulge in all the festivities, I’m happy to have been a part of it.

Posted by: nakamura2828 | March 27, 2009

Day #38 – Pizza Day

Pepperoni PizzaSo what is a grad student on a diet to do when confronted with that staple of the typical grad student diet, free food?  Why indulge of course, but attempt to stay within their calorie goals.

Today was the department’s annual computer science day event (more on that in another post).  This usually means that we get treated to more or less unlimited free pizza.

In order to let me take advantage of this, I planned ahead.  To save on calories, I deliberately canned breakfast and dinner.  I knew multiple slices for lunch would be more than enough to meet the day’s calorie budget.  Furthermore, I set a limit on the number of slices I would allow myself the night before.

Using this site as a guide, planning to eat only veggie or cheese pizza (at 230 calories a slice), I figured I could eat five slices and still meet my calorie goals, or 10 slices and still stay below my total energy expenditure for the day. This would at least maintain my weight for the day.  Being as I had expected to be serving the pizza most of the day, I was willing to go for the latter.  As things turned out though, I only ended up briefly with the pizza as a servee, which enabled me to more easily go for the former (and healthier) option.

Unfortunately I accidentally grabbed a couple pepperoni slices to begin with without thinking, which are more calorie dense at 290 calories a slice. Knowing this, I limited myself to four slices: two pepperoni, and two cheese.  It was enough to fill me up at that point, and I was soon called away to volunteer somewhere else.

Now this probably isn’t the healthiest day in my diet, but free food is free food.  Pizza, also, is relatively nutritious as far as junk food goes.  I’m a little hungry now late at night, but that probably has more to do with having skipped dinner than what I ate for lunch.  It’s not too bad though, and not strong enough that I feel the need to sneak something from the fridge.  In any case, I should be used to the once a day meal schedule, having stuck to it for a good part of my early college career.

Another added benefit of CS day is that the department regularly orders much too much pizza.  As a result, I and many of the other volunteers ended up with free pies at the end of the day.  I got two boxes worth myself and stuck the pizza straight in the freezer so I wouldn’t have to eat them quickly to avoid spoilage.  Again, pizza’s not the ideal diet food, but at 230 calories a pop, a slice of pizza will make a nice quick and easy entree for dinner, alongside a salad or veggies as a side.  The amount that I picked up today should last me for quite a few meals into the future.

So that was my way of reconciling free junk food with my dietary ambitions:  plan ahead, moderate yourself, and when possible use it to supplement your future meals.  So to close, I’ll close with my stats for the day:


Day #38:
Weight: 159.0 lbs
Fat: 26.6%
BMI: 26.46

  • Breakfast: Skipped intentionally (0 calories)
  • Lunch: 2 slices pepperoni pizza (290 calories each), 2 slices cheese pizza (230 calories each), diet Pepsi (0 calories) – altogether 1040 calories
  • Dinner: Skipped intentionally (0 calories)

So since lunch was the only contributor, the full day stays at 1040 calories.  That’s more or less in line with my recent consumption, and well less than my goal of 1200.  As late as it is, I think I’ll forgo a snack, even though I could afford one if I wanted.

Posted by: nakamura2828 | March 26, 2009

Day #37: The turning point…

Many of you may know, I’ve been on a diet for about a month now.   I started at 175 lbs, which put me way into overweight territory, and plan on reaching 145 lbs by my birthday in a couple months.  Well good news is I’ve recently broken 160, which is my midway point, 15 lbs down, 15 to go, and ahead of schedule to boot.   Anyway I’m happy I’ve been successful so far, because I’ve tried this thing many times in the past and never got anywhere.

For anyone reading this interested in my strategy this time around, I’ve found that logging my data and getting feedback on a site like PhysicsDiet has been enormously helpful.  Furthermore, reading the dated but informative e-book that that site was based on: The Hacker’s Diet was very motivating.  I think it also helps a lot that somehow by bringing up the topic, I’ve gotten my dad and a couple friends to join me, so that everyone can keep each other on track.

Anyway one of those friends was partial inspiration for me starting this blog.  Following her lead, I thought I’d use this space as a place to record in a bit more detail aspects of the diet that I don’t have offline or elsewhere.  Anyway, here’s a synopsis of my diet today.  It was a bit atypical, but I am saving calories for free pizza I know I’m going to eat tomorrow.


Day 37:

Weight: 159.6 lbs
Fat: 26.8%
BMI: 26.56

  • Breakfast: Missed it!
  • Lunch: A 6″ turkey on wheat at Subway (330 calories) – on a side note, I found out today that their meals are cheaper if you buy the combo instead of the drink alone.  Apples (35 calories) are cheap enough calorie-wise to make it worthwhile to save money. To drink, as always I had a Diet Coke (0 calories).  Altogether that puts lunch at 365 calories.
  • Dinner: A nice salad (70 calories) and a serving of Tuna Helper I made yesterday (320 calories).  Altogether 390 calories.

Altogether, that puts the day at 775 calories, which I think is my lightest day so far, well short of my 1200 calorie guideline.  Funny enough, it’s late, but I don’t feel hungry.  I didn’t plan on missing breakfast today, but maybe that will give me justification to sneak another slice of free pizza tomorrow.  I’m going to be good though and eat only veggie.

Posted by: nakamura2828 | March 26, 2009

And so it begins…

Every journey begins with a single step, so I suppose every journal begins with a single post.  I’ve long considered starting a blog (for years now), but I never got around to doing it.  Coming up with a name, deciding on a topic, finding a place to host it – I more or less gave up before I began.  So here I go, finally started, we’ll see how long I can keep it going.  No topic at this point, I’ll see where things take me. If a central topic coaleses so be it, for now it’s going to be random crap about my life.  So here starts the maiden voyage of the USS Obviated Reality.

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