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Time To Crunch The Numbers...

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Sunday, June 08, 2014

Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight has done the whole "numbers game" before. We know weight loss is all about CICO (calories in, calories out), and that roughly 3500 calories = 1 pound of fat. Most everyone wants to reach that 2 pounds per week mark (okay, we REALLY want more, but 2 pounds is the top of the healthy range, so it'll do)... which means that deficit of 7,000 calories, coming out to 1,000 per day. Then we go as far to figure out "If I lose 2 pounds a week for the next 20 weeks, I will have lost 40 pounds!"

Unfortunately for most of us, we all know that we can't always hit that 2 pounds a week mark. Our weight loss can stall or plateau, daily fluctuations, water retention and other factors can throw us off our mark. Not only that, but hitting that 1,000 calorie a day deficit can be hard for some of us.

When I started this journey a little over 2 years ago, I refused to play the "If I lose 2 pounds per week for XX weeks, I will lose XX pounds." That only messed with my mind, and when I wouldn't hit those numbers I'd feel like a failure. There is nothing wrong with setting those kind of goals, but they weren't for me. The deficit stuff was pretty easy when I was 272 pounds. I mean, just cutting back on food without exercising was enough to get me 2 pounds a week at the start. But as I get smaller and lose more weight, it gets that much harder to get the same deficits.

I figured it was time to crunch the numbers, and see where I would have to be at with CICO to hit 2 pounds a week. The results weren't as fabulous as I had hoped. With my calories burned in exercise, I need to be eating 1300 per day to hit the 2 pound mark. About 1550 for 1.5 pounds a week. So I will have to decide how hard I want to push. I will say, the only thing that scares me about 1300 calories per day is I feel like I don't have very far to go when I hit a plateau. I don't mind increasing exercise, but I can only increase it so much... In fact, the 1300/day goal was set with me increasing my fitness with the bike. emoticon I don't even want to know what it would have been with just my walking lol.

I also used my heart rate monitor to figure out my average calories using the bike and walking Sparky. These new numbers have been a gentle reminder that I don't burn the same calories I did 80 pounds ago. emoticon Of course I knew that already, but sometimes we have to see the numbers. So after crunching my numbers this is the plan that I am setting out to do starting on Wednesday. I am going to try it for 2 weeks and see if it is sustainable for me and if I am getting the results I think I should have.

emoticon Calorie Cycling:
Wed: 1200
Th: 1800
Fri: 1200
Sat-Mon: 1350
Tue: 1200

Daily Average: 1350

emoticon emoticon Exercise:
Wed-Fri: Bike: 30 mins Walk Sparky: 40 mins
Sat-Mon: Bike: 15 mins. Walk at work: 30 mins
Tue: Bike: 30 mins Walk at work: 30 mins

Total weekly minutes: 405 Estimated weekly calories burned: 2181

emoticon I am going to work on adding strength training twice a week.

I am used to eating between 1400-1600 calories, but don't have an issue eating less as long as I plan for it. Having the one day set at 1800 calories really helps me, because if I go out on any given day, I will make that the 1800 calorie day to stay on plan. I have tried calorie cycling in the past and had success with it, it just takes a lot of planning. I may find that 1200 on any given day might be too little, and if it is I will not mind increasing my calories. This is an experiment, and it is going to come with trial and error. I have just been flying by the seat of my pants lately, but seem to be stalling around 191 pounds. So now it's time for a plan and to kick it up a notch.

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