Sunday, 16 September 2012

Number Crunching

Feeling a little bit down tonight, because I know that tomorrow's weigh-in will be a gain. I'm so tired of my non-existent progress. I feel like a bit of an impostor, like I'm masquerading as some sort of weight-loss person, except I haven't really lost any weight yet. I was on my way to making some progress, but a few days of careless eating has probably ruined everything.

I really don't feel like exercising. I haven't done a kettlebell workout since Tuesday, so I really should do one tonight. Blah.

In other news, I'm experimenting by trying out a new calorie intake of 1700 per day. 1700, I hear you say? Hear me out! I should warn you that I get a bit number-crunchy here, and I don't want to be one of those people who overcomplicates weight-loss because I know that fundamentally, I just need to "eat less and move more", which is what everyone says. But I've realised lately just how little I know about How Things Actually Work, and so I just want to share what I think I've figured out. I'll keep number-crunching to a minimum in future posts, I promise!


I've been doing a lot of reading on My Fitness Pal lately, and using this BMR calculator, I found out that according to my body fat percentage, height and weight, my BMR is 1499 calories. (Your BMR or basal metabolic rate is the base number of calories you need to function at rest). The idea is that you shouldn't eat less than your BMR, because then you would be using up lean mass instead of burning fat. And I like my lean mass a lot more than I like my fat, so I'd like to hang on to it!

Anyway, using my BMR, the calculator thing then churned out a little table (see below), estimating the number of calories I would burn in a day, depending on how active I am. That number is also known as your TDEE, or Total Daily Energy Expenditure.
Activity Level
Daily Calories
Sedentary (little or no exercise, desk job)
Lightly Active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk)
Moderately Active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk)
Very Active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/wk)
Extremely Active (hard daily exercise/sports & physical job or 2X day training, i.e marathon, contest etc.)
Now, according to that dude's post My Fitness Pal (the link is above), you just need to pick which activity level is the most like you, and eat about 20% fewer calories the daily calories for that activity level.

For me, I'd say I'm moderately active, so apparently I burn about 2232 calories per day. So if I want to lose fat, I should eat 20% fewer calories than 2232, which is about 1785, but I'm calling it 1700. 1700 is a good number for me, because it's between my BMR and my TDEE, which means I should be losing fat.

Reading all this stuff was quite the revelation for me. I never EVER thought it'd be possible to lose weight on that many calories per day. If my BMR really is 1499ish, it that would explain why it's always been hard for me to lose weight when I've restricted my calories to 800-1200. Oh, it can be done, if you can endure that amount of suffering - but it's very difficult and you're much more likely to fail. 1700? That should be easy! Of course, at the back of my mind I'm thinking that 1700 sounds too good to true - but I really want to try this and truly hope that I'm not wasting another couple of weeks trying this out. I couldn't bear to waste even more time than I already have.

Anyway, as a result of all this, I'm putting Pro Points on hold for now. The food tracker on My Fitness Pal is so good, that I want to give this whole calorie-counting thing a try, now I'm armed with a bit more knowledge (it took me all day yesterday to figure this stuff out). Also, it means I can let my MFP friends see what I've been eating, which will make me want to stay on track even more.

So, I'll try 1700 for a couple of weeks, and I'll see how it goes. I might need to adjust it, but hopefully, I'll find out how to make this whole weight loss thing actually work for me.

Okay. I just browsed my weight loss blogs and saw Skinny Emmie's latest gym video. No more being lazy tonight - I'm going to do that kettlebell workout right now.

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