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  1. #1
    Registered User grubman's Avatar
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    6th month of “minimum”...I dunno guys

    So, I’m into my 6th month of doing a “minimum“ workout that takes me 30 minutes, 3 days a week...so 1 1/2 hours a week total. I’ve totally stopped monitoring diet. I generally eat healthier than most, but there’s been plenty of junk too. I just eat whatever when I’m hungry until I’m satisfied.

    Result...I weigh close to the same. My BF% looks a bit higher. My legs (not pictured) actually look bigger and better than before?!?...perhaps all the walking at my job meant I was overtraining legs with more intense workouts?

    Anyhoo...here is a side by side of me on the left 6 months ago, working out 6 days a week 45 minutes - 1 1/2 hours a day on volume periodization

    Vs.

    On the right, just a few minutes ago... 1/2 hour a day, 3 days a week, light weights, higher reps.

    Honestly, I don’t know what to think. Is maintenance this easy? Have I been overtraining all along, and this was all I need? Does my body respond better to the lighter weights and higher reps? Is training to failure for “1 set” better than multiple sets?

    Right now I have no intention of going back to my “old ways”, although I’m sure my priorities may shift again...but what if in 1 year I still look fundamentally the same? I didn’t plan on this little “break” raising so many curiosities.

    My 8 year progress video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wg3BXudgIjg
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  2. #2
    Humble Megalomaniac ElrondHubbard's Avatar
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    You're noticeably grayer. Better hit those weights harder!
    I'm out, standing in my field.

    64 and still a newbie.
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  3. #3
    Registered User grubman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ElrondHubbard View Post
    You're noticeably grayer. Better hit those weights harder!
    I’m ok with the gray...it’s the balding I’m not digging.
    My 8 year progress video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wg3BXudgIjg
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    Registered User beowulf359's Avatar
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    miring! you are definitely a good testament to the fact that holding onto muscle is much easier than building it, especially if you keep calories around maintenance on average and still give your muscles a stimulus. good stuff!
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  5. #5
    Powerlifting in disguise induced_drag's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by grubman View Post
    Is maintenance this easy? Have I been overtraining all along, and this was all I need?


    Been saying this for several years now.

    I always have been telling you your workouts were kinda too much. But if you enjoy that, great.
    My current workout is 3 days about 50 min/workout. (and I am not taking it easy).
    I was on a 4 day for a while, just because that is the amount my daughter danced and I worked out at a gym close to her studio.

    I have a few times, take almost a full year between benching or squatting. Only doing light weight in between. And noticed very little fall off.


    In fact, I took 3 years off benching heavy. Only doing 135 reverse grip. My shoulder was feeling better so I went up to 315. I was able to get 8. (I could have probably got 9 but I did not want to push too hard) At my peak when I was powerlifting, I would do 12. And those times were long before I was so lean (which has made me weaker all around than when I was 12-15%). So not touching more than a warm-up weight I lost 3-4 reps. (and am way leaner now).


    I tell people all the time, I dont believe I could have built my physique with the workouts I do now, but maintaining is pretty easy.
    RAW lifts
    635 Dead http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mATRBZ0gwdg
    585x7 Dead reps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yf2ZkdNNNQ
    420 Bench (paused) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJ2_Q-TLIB8
    535 Squat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdgVaiTi4-8&feature=youtu.be
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  6. #6
    Registered User grubman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by induced_drag View Post
    Been saying this for several years now.

    I always have been telling you your workouts were kinda too much. But if you enjoy that, great.
    I think you may be confusing me with someone else....my workouts have always been rather brief. My standard for the last 7 years has been 9 sets for big and 6 sets for small per week (that’s an average of 3 sets per big, 2 sets for small a workout)...even with the periodization, this averaged out to about the same with lighter days and heavier days. The only reason my workouts got “longer” is because I increased my rest periods from 1.5-2 minutes to a full 3 minutes, and my split from full body to push/pull.

    Now I’m doing 1 set of 15 + 1 rest pause set To failure (usually another 3-6 reps) per bodypart.
    My 8 year progress video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wg3BXudgIjg
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  7. #7
    Powerlifting in disguise induced_drag's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by grubman View Post
    I think you may be confusing me with someone else....my workouts have always been rather brief. My standard for the last 7 years has been 9 sets for big and 6 sets for small per week (that’s an average of 3 sets per big, 2 sets for small a workout)...even with the periodization, this averaged out to about the same with lighter days and heavier days. The only reason my workouts got “longer” is because I increased my rest periods from 1.5-2 minutes to a full 3 minutes, and my split from full body to push/pull.

    Now I’m doing 1 set of 15 + 1 rest pause set To failure (usually another 3-6 reps) per bodypart.
    I am remembering when you were doing these crazy fatigue (30-40sec rest) workouts along w/ supersets...etc And I was telling you to just keep it simple. At least that is what I remember.

    Anyway.... I tell people all the time, if you are working out 5-6 day of the week, you are wasting your time (unless of course that is what you want to do as you enjoy being in the gym....)
    RAW lifts
    635 Dead http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mATRBZ0gwdg
    585x7 Dead reps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yf2ZkdNNNQ
    420 Bench (paused) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJ2_Q-TLIB8
    535 Squat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdgVaiTi4-8&feature=youtu.be
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  8. #8
    Registered User grubman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by induced_drag View Post
    I am remembering when you were doing these crazy fatigue (30-40sec rest) workouts along w/ supersets...etc And I was telling you to just keep it simple. At least that is what I remember.

    Anyway.... I tell people all the time, if you are working out 5-6 day of the week, you are wasting your time (unless of course that is what you want to do as you enjoy being in the gym....)
    That was Steve Shaw’s Bulldozer routine.i did it for about 6 months, like 9 years ago...you really hated it, ha ha, so it must stick in your mind.

    For what it’s worth, it was actually productive while I was doing it...it would probably give me a heart attack now.
    My 8 year progress video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wg3BXudgIjg
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  9. #9
    Powerlifting in disguise induced_drag's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by grubman View Post
    like 9 years ago...
    Ha! Time really does fly. I have from time to time looked back at some of the older threads. So many people have come and gone.

    Major props for hanging in there.

    A few similarities we might be experiencing along our journeys. When I first started out, I was like gangbusters. I ate, breathed and slept the gym. I was determined to recapture my younger days and I was not about to just 'wing' it. I gave it everything I had.

    Flash forward, the gym is not all that important to me. I still do it, but this past few years has been more of a chore. I have explored to see just how little I can do and keep it up, and like you, I was amazed. It makes me feel stupid for the decade off, I probably could have done 1 day a week and kept a lot of my size and strength.

    Fracturing my spine last year was tough on me. I did not skip working out, but it was not a fun year. So this year, I started jan with a round of DC training. 3 days/week with an A/B routine. One exercise / bodypart, and 3-4 warm-up, and one all out set. Very interesting so far. I actually had to take a light week this past week since aches and pains were kicking in. But it holds promise. My workouts are aprox 45-50 min long, 3 days a week.

    Keep at it!
    RAW lifts
    635 Dead http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mATRBZ0gwdg
    585x7 Dead reps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yf2ZkdNNNQ
    420 Bench (paused) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJ2_Q-TLIB8
    535 Squat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdgVaiTi4-8&feature=youtu.be
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  10. #10
    Registered User grubman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by induced_drag View Post
    I have explored to see just how little I can do and keep it up, and like you, I was amazed.
    I’m not even on a “routine”.

    With the home gym, and I have a lot of equipment and plates, about half of the stuff is loaded and ready to go. I go downstairs, pick 1 exercise for each body part, based on what I haven’t done for a while, or based on the synergy with other exercises...adjust the powerblocks or load a bar or two, Warm up for about 5 minutes, go at it for about 25 minutes, and done.

    Since I’m pushing the core set for 1 rep below failure at a 15 rep goal, and the rest pause set to failure (if safe), progressive resistance with the weight I’m using isn’t really that important (Since I’ll just do 1 more rep if I’ve got it in me), so other than memory (and pre-loaded machines and bars), I’m not even keeping track of weight.

    Priorities shift.
    My 8 year progress video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wg3BXudgIjg
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  11. #11
    Registered User Plateauplower's Avatar
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    I’ve been on maintenance (or less) mode for awhile. I still train 2-4 days per week (usually 3-4). Have not tracked intake accurately for awhile. I gained some fat but stabilized around my normal 205-210 range. About to start dieting for summer knowing I can be in good enough shape May. My shoulder is just starting to feel better, lower back issues occasionally if I squat or DL too heavy. Overall though maintaining is not difficult. I’ve slipped a little in strength on some lifts but increased others. I just don’t have the drive to hit the gym as hard as I did for the first 3-4 years. Still a regular in the gym, but have more fun train8ng than pushing so hard for gains.
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  12. #12
    OCB Pro smokinal's Avatar
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    Hey Grub bud! How the heck are ya? Still lookin good I see.
    Your BF looks identical from pic to pic; and from what you said about your eating habits now, tells me you are very aware of intuitive eating.
    Someone would have to really scrutinize the pics to tell a difference in your physique; great work man.

    I've always believed that just keeping every muscle group activated often is the key to maintaining and it looks like you just proved that.
    Thanks for the update
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  13. #13
    Registered User grubman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Plateauplower View Post
    I’ve been on maintenance (or less) mode for awhile. I still train 2-4 days per week (usually 3-4). Have not tracked intake accurately for awhile. I gained some fat but stabilized around my normal 205-210 range. About to start dieting for summer knowing I can be in good enough shape May. My shoulder is just starting to feel better, lower back issues occasionally if I squat or DL too heavy. Overall though maintaining is not difficult. I’ve slipped a little in strength on some lifts but increased others. I just don’t have the drive to hit the gym as hard as I did for the first 3-4 years. Still a regular in the gym, but have more fun train8ng than pushing so hard for gains.
    Man, looks like about half the regular posters from “my time” here are taking a maintenance break.

    Originally Posted by smokinal View Post
    Hey Grub bud! How the heck are ya? Still lookin good I see.
    Your BF looks identical from pic to pic; and from what you said about your eating habits now, tells me you are very aware of intuitive eating.
    Someone would have to really scrutinize the pics to tell a difference in your physique; great work man.

    I've always believed that just keeping every muscle group activated often is the key to maintaining and it looks like you just proved that.
    Thanks for the update
    I’m good, thanks!

    They are bathroom pics, so the camera sits on the shelf in the same exact spot, the lighting is identical, and I’m forced to stand in the same spot. Great for comparison shots...but too bad I can’t get legs in.

    I was a little surprised at how similar I look. I expected a bit more “loss”. My arms look a little smaller...but my chest looks a little bigger, so I’m assuming they are both just variances in the pose or angle...but the fact that my weight has remained the same (give ir take a couple pounds daily) makes me think I’m maintaining pretty well.
    My 8 year progress video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wg3BXudgIjg
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  14. #14
    Registered User Payton1221's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by grubman View Post
    Man, looks like about half the regular posters from “my time” here are taking a maintenance break.
    Add me to the list. I've been working out every two or three days with each workout consisting of three heavy pressing sets superset with three chin-ups (all to within a rep or so to failure) and some type of legs usually done rest pause. I look neither better nor worse and I have plenty of time for other endeavors: mainly reading and bike riding.

    P.S. And if you look at what little chin I have exposed in my avi, it's all grey/white
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  15. #15
    I love my power hour MrCarrot's Avatar
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    At a glance I would say both pics look like they were taken at exactly the same time!

    Whatever you're doing, then and now, is clearly working
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  16. #16
    Clearly Irrational blue9steel's Avatar
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    Visually very comparable, it might be worth taking some tape measurements as a double check. What you're doing seems to be working quite well for you, I'd say keep doing it.
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  17. #17
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    Looking great as always! I remember a while back when you took a break (maybe for elbow pain) and you made a post that you thought you were not maintaining on reduced volume so this is great to hear.

    I doubt that your previous routine was too much. My guess is that all that hard work over the years is now allowing you to maintain with the current lower volume with higher relative intensity.

    You say your diet is looser now but the fact that you are maintaining the same weight means the calories/TDEE have to be similar.

    I am currently maintaining on lifting full body just 2 days per week but I am doing 3 to 5 sets per muscle group each session. Good to hear from you!
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    Originally Posted by blue9steel View Post
    it might be worth taking some tape measurements as a double check
    Ha! Wouldn’t have anything to compare it to. I measured my biceps 1 time (I honestly don’t even remember what it was) since I started lifting again...guess the “numbers” just never meant that much to me.

    Originally Posted by tblodg15 View Post
    My guess is that all that hard work over the years is now allowing you to maintain with the current lower volume with higher relative intensity.

    You say your diet is looser now but the fact that you are maintaining the same weight means the calories/TDEE have to be similar!
    Probably...my workouts are brief, but they certainly aren’t “easy”.

    I keep expecting to see some dramatic change on the scale that never happens...but then again, even when I would “bulk” or “cut” I’d rarely see more than a 5-10 pound change either way. My metabolism seems to adapt effectively to whatever fuel source it’s getting. Lucky I guess.

    Bet the wife if happy your a little less “obsessed” with lifting and diet ...unless your talking her ear off about archery now? Before I log off BB.com for another couple months, how about an archery video?
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    maintaining is way easier. Makes sense when u really think about the meaning of "homeostasis"

    At our age, especially for true nattys, Im thinking pretty much everything has to be optimized for us to make any gains at all. I mean like all the stars have to align

    The 'window' for maintenance is way bigger though...you can overtrain a bit, undertrain a bit and youd still maintain. I think we'd have to really be screwing something up to noticeably digress


    if anything, for us old dudes, id say that its probably wise to basically hold most bodyparts at maintenance while picking one or two to try to actually improve
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    I'm equally amazed with how you had the exact same pose/lighting/facial expression 6 months later!

    Whatever you're doing, keep up the good work!
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    Originally Posted by capnutra View Post
    I'm equally amazed with how you had the exact same pose/lighting/facial expression 6 months later!

    Whatever you're doing, keep up the good work!
    Well, you know...same room, same light wattage, same position...and I’ve been working on that signature pose since I was 18...

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    Originally Posted by induced_drag View Post
    I am remembering when you were doing these crazy fatigue (30-40sec rest) workouts along w/ supersets...etc And I was telling you to just keep it simple. At least that is what I remember.

    Anyway.... I tell people all the time, if you are working out 5-6 day of the week, you are wasting your time (unless of course that is what you want to do as you enjoy being in the gym....)
    I think technique focused lifts benefit from higher frequency.
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    Originally Posted by grubman View Post
    Ha! Wouldn’t have anything to compare it to. I measured my biceps 1 time (I honestly don’t even remember what it was) since I started lifting again...guess the “numbers” just never meant that much to me.



    Probably...my workouts are brief, but they certainly aren’t “easy”.

    I keep expecting to see some dramatic change on the scale that never happens...but then again, even when I would “bulk” or “cut” I’d rarely see more than a 5-10 pound change either way. My metabolism seems to adapt effectively to whatever fuel source it’s getting. Lucky I guess.

    Bet the wife if happy your a little less “obsessed” with lifting and diet ...unless your talking her ear off about archery now? Before I log off BB.com for another couple months, how about an archery video?
    That is crazy to me that a guy who is into lifting says he has never taken his measurements! When I was a teen and read everything I could about lifting most books and articles suggested taking measurements to track progress. So that’s what I did starting at 16 years old and still do today!

    No way I am giving you another video to be modified LOL. But yes the wife is happy that I have backed off on being obsessed with lifting & diet but that focus has been put on my current hobby.

    I have not tracked a single calorie in 6 months and have slowly gained weight since the end of my cut but that is on purpose. I am up 9 lbs and can put my weight wherever I want it without tracking calories. If I eat until satisfied every day I am real close to maintaining, eat until full and I gain slowly, go a little hungry and I am losing. For me it took a couple years of tracking every meal but I am very happy that I can now trust my satiety signals. And of course even though I am not tracking I am still eating probably 80% clean with mostly lean meats and fruits/veggies along with a protein shake every day.
    Bodybuilding is much more than an hour in the gym a few days a week---it's a lifestyle that changes all your perceptions about how to live, eat, and rest. It feeds the mind as much (and sometimes more so) than the body.
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    Originally Posted by tblodg15 View Post
    That is crazy to me that a guy who is into lifting says he has never taken his measurements! When I was a teen and read everything I could about lifting most books and articles suggested taking measurements to track progress. So that’s what I did starting at 16 years old and still do today!

    No way I am giving you another video to be modified LOL. But yes the wife is happy that I have backed off on being obsessed with lifting & diet but that focus has been put on my current hobby.

    I have not tracked a single calorie in 6 months and have slowly gained weight since the end of my cut but that is on purpose. I am up 9 lbs and can put my weight wherever I want it without tracking calories. If I eat until satisfied every day I am real close to maintaining, eat until full and I gain slowly, go a little hungry and I am losing. For me it took a couple years of tracking every meal but I am very happy that I can now trust my satiety signals. And of course even though I am not tracking I am still eating probably 80% clean with mostly lean meats and fruits/veggies along with a protein shake every day.
    Oh, the first time around, when I worked in the gym, I measured my arms weekly (16 3/4” was at my best...but I have a high peak). But this time around I just cared what I looked like . I do remember being disappointed when I did measure them, because they weren’t as close to my prime as I thought. Maybe 16” or something like that.

    If you post a cool archery video I PROMISE I won’t modify it...I just like to see new stuff, and it’s cooler when it’s someone I know instead of a stranger.

    My wife hasn’t said anything...but I’m sure the less random talk about calories the better.
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    Originally Posted by grubman View Post

    My wife hasn’t said anything...but I’m sure the less random talk about calories the better.

    Ha...... The one item my wife came to hate the most (or focused her frustrations on) was my food scale.


    It still comes out most every day for proteins, but since I dont have nearly as much fanatical behavior associated with it, she no longer hates it as much.


    The worst for my wife was when I was eating up. She said watching someone trying to eat looking like they were going to get sick was not enjoyable. It was like that for me even on moderate surpluses of 250ish. Getting it in every day, over and over was hard.

    Anyway....sounds like we all are in more laid back settings!

    It is nice to be able to enjoy the progress a little!
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    Originally Posted by induced_drag View Post
    Been saying this for several years now.

    I always have been telling you your workouts were kinda too much. But if you enjoy that, great.
    My current workout is 3 days about 50 min/workout. (and I am not taking it easy).
    I was on a 4 day for a while, just because that is the amount my daughter danced and I worked out at a gym close to her studio.

    I have a few times, take almost a full year between benching or squatting. Only doing light weight in between. And noticed very little fall off.


    In fact, I took 3 years off benching heavy. Only doing 135 reverse grip. My shoulder was feeling better so I went up to 315. I was able to get 8. (I could have probably got 9 but I did not want to push too hard) At my peak when I was powerlifting, I would do 12. And those times were long before I was so lean (which has made me weaker all around than when I was 12-15%). So not touching more than a warm-up weight I lost 3-4 reps. (and am way leaner now).


    I tell people all the time, I dont believe I could have built my physique with the workouts I do now, but maintaining is pretty easy.
    To be honest I've been at my largest and strongest doing minimal volume and only training each muscle once a week, but it was usually with 6-8 reps and sometimes just one or 2 sets of 5.

    I know the new hotness is that you MUST train everything at least 3x a week or you'll never gain, I've had a certified expert on main misc tell me that I have much to learn about this lifting thing so I should follow his example, but I do wonder if I'd done much higher reps at the time how that would have worked out

    I mainly do 20+ reps on most lifts these days and look pretty much the same as ever too.
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    Originally Posted by induced_drag View Post
    Ha...... The one item my wife came to hate the most (or focused her frustrations on) was my food scale.


    It still comes out most every day for proteins, but since I dont have nearly as much fanatical behavior associated with it, she no longer hates it as much.
    My wife doesn't hate it, but she thinks it's "weird". Only the other day she found me weighing out a little knob of butter for my toast.
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    Originally Posted by MrCarrot View Post
    My wife doesn't hate it, but she thinks it's "weird". Only the other day she found me weighing out a little knob of butter for my toast.
    My wife and I both use it often yet neither of us are counting calories or macros. I suppose that I do it to ensure that I meet some minimum amount of protein for the meal that I'm eating, but in reality, I think it's just a habit
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