After 21 days, I'm three-fourths of the way through my test of the NutriSystem diet and while it's still easier to follow than when I began, I'm not ready to declare it a success.

A week ago I was losing weight at a torrid pace while I had more energy and was rarely hungry. Apparently the struggles of dieting come and go.

This past weekend started off great. I went on a four-mile run on Friday evening, was able to stay out late with friends and had a productive day Saturday. But after a long work week while running longer distances about every other day, it caught up with me Saturday night.

I promised a friend that night I'd play shuffleboard with him at one of our local watering holes. I was ready to go to bed by midnight and had to rely on water to satisfy a growing appetite as I'd already eaten my daily allowance. Then the next day, while watching football at a friend's house, I had to leave, after only two hours, in the middle of the game because I was so hungry.

So far this week I'm still generally hungry. It's like even when I do have the small portions in my stomach, I could go for an enormous burger, preferably with lots of bacon, tomato and mayonnaise, at any moment.

But with one week left, I'm not about to cave in.

I also have not had nearly the energy I did last week. Although I'm planning to run tonight, it will be my first serious exercise since Saturday. I never went that long even when I was off the diet; I just haven't had the energy to do much more than walk back and forth between my apartment and my office.

I even turned down watching a movie with a friend last night because I was coming down from the coffee high which sustained me during the day. I should add that I'm not a regular coffee drinker.

After perusing NutriSystem's online forums, I found that many of the other dieters also say that their energy and hunger come and go.

Despite this week's struggles, there was a success this morning when I was able to tighten my belt by one notch. That's at least an inch off my waist. I've had the belt for about a year and a half and have always used it on the final notch sometimes barely.

I was somewhat disappointed to see that I only lost one pound in the last week to 179. While it's great that I'm in the 170s a feat I haven't accomplished since college -- it's a huge drop from the four or more pounds I lost the previous two weeks. While I suspected the initial weight would burn off easier, I fantasized that I could continue to lose weight at that pace.

Next week I intend to share video of some of the stranger foods in the NutriSystem diet and on Thursday, I will check in with Dr. Henry Fishman on my final day eating NutriSystem.

But who's counting?