Friday, August 16, 2013

Calorie Counting

So I have decided to try bringing my weight down. On Monday I ate nothing at all and that brought me down from 13 stone 9 pounds to 13st 4lb (I weight myself at exactly the same time in the morning, after a shower, after having drunk just one cup of tea). Of course I’m aware that I hadn’t actually lost 5lbs of fat and that it was more to do with fluid and other processes going on, but a good start nevertheless. The next day I just ate veg and a couple of hard boiled eggs in the morning, then a meal in the evening with cabbage supplanting the potatoes. Next day my weight was 13st 6lb and on the ensuing day I did the same and my weight remained unchanged.

By this time a lot of people were telling me to count calories and, since I’m a bit anal about this sort of thing, I started looking up some stuff. On the internet I found that the amount of calories I need to maintain my weight ranges from 2300 to 2800. I mean, is cycling 8 miles 3 times a week, and weight-training for half an hour once or twice a week, moderate exercise? I don’t know. Anyway, to lose 1lb a week I needed to reduce my calorie intake by 500 a day, apparently, so I started counting up. By my calculations I consumed 2090 calories on Thursday and that was really hard work with me spending most of the day feeling hungry.

The result this morning was a weight of 13st 7lb. No matter – I know that when you start doing this your weight can yo-yo but that it is the average that counts and, thus far, my average weight is sitting at 3.5lbs below what it was last week. Of course I can’t judge any of this on just a few days dieting and one day counting calories but … but I suspect that my maintenance need is at the upper end of the scale and that a sensible weight-losing calorie count for me is about 2300 or maybe a bit more. Seriously, cutting out the food to the extent that you end up sitting on the sofa in the evening eyeing up your wife’s leg and thinking of mustard is maybe just a bit extreme.   


Bob Lock said...

Don't they say that drinking a couple of pints of water when you feel hungry allievates the craving? (Or try substituting water with Merlot?) :)

Bob Lock said...

Oh, btw, did I tell you that Anna bought some e-cigs?
She cut down from 15 rollies to 9 yesterday :)
She just said she misses using her lighter and flicking the ash :)

Neal Asher said...

I was reading something somewhere that nicotine replacement doesn't replace certain psychological and tactile aspects of smoking. I think, having been a rollie smoker, this is why I like my refillable e-cig. I don't have all my rollie making paraphernalia but now I have the e-cig, recharger, fooling about with the atomiser, refilling the thing etc.

Yagiz Erkan said...

Weight training is an important part of healthy weight loss. You'd like to hold on to your muscle mass as much as possible. One humble advice: concentrate on exercises that stimulates major muscles such as squats and deadlifts.

Neil said...

Currently losing about a 1lb a week, which I am relatively happy with.

Sadly I love fresh pasta, a lot.

I just keep plugging away, with a goal of about 20lbs to lose. So I am just over halfway, but some days it's hard.

egz said...

Interesting post. I can relate to this, as I'm in the middle of the same thing.

After spending too many years staring into computer screens all day I needed to make a change.

First I tried the low carb craze for a while (half a year), and it did seem to work pretty fast. However, I eventually got sick and tired of all the eggs and bacon, and my pasta and rice craving got the better of me. I went back to my old ways and all the weight came back, bringing along its buddies.

So now I count calories, and I exercise. I eat whatever I want, but I am conscious of how much. And I log everything. I currently eat 1800 calories a day, as recommended for me based on my data by the site where I log my food. It sounds like a tiny amount, but it's just enough for me not to feel hungry. I also log exercise, which allows me a larger calorie consumption on the days I work out.

Like Yagiz says, working major muscle groups really burns the fat away. I've lost 17 kg since spring, and it keeps coming off.

The funny thing is that compared to all other "diets" and quick solutions this doesn't feel like a chore. It might take a while, but it works. And I feel healthy doing it. I even got inspired to start running, which I never, ever, thought I would do.

Anyway, find a good site with a good interface, mobile apps, and a huge food database for your logging. Ease of logging is crucial! (Unfortunately the site I use is in Norwegian, so I'm guessing that won't work)

Keep it up :-)