Want to Weigh Less?

| February 6, 2016 7:44 pm
Want to Weigh Less?

I recall hearing a TV Medical Doctor who said that exercise to lose weight is a waste of time becasue it is easier to just eat less.  Upon hearing this realized that this Doctor didn’t know what he was taking about.  Although some people might be able to keep their weight down to a low level without exercise, for most people it will not work.  Sure they can diet for a period of time, lose the weight, but 97% of those people will gain all their weight back, and more.  I believe the secret is to understand that weight loss, or gain, is on the margin.  We have all read that it is a matter of calories in and calories out.  I happen to believe that balance and although each individual might have a different basal metabolic rate, after understanding that it becomes an issue of how many calories you consume compared with how many calories you use and on a daily basis that difference is small, but overtime it means gaining or losing weight

The issue is that we all need to eat to live.  We are can not just go without eating and our very nature will drive us to eat sufficiently for survival and that means until,we are no longer hungry.  Try to fool your body and it will think you are in a time of famine, and will do it’s best to use less calories for your survival.  Some have said the secret to losing weight is to not go hungry.  It sounds like an oxymoron.  If it were easy, then obesity would not be such an issue as it is in the world.

For the past month, I have been using a program called MyFitnessPal.com to record my Calorie consumption.  It takes it’s data for exercise from my Garmin devices, to get the amount of calories consumed due to exercise.  Having a power meter on my bicycle, means that is a rather close estimate.   This chart shows that it estimates my goal is about 1,670 Calories a day.  This is based on my basal metropolis rate for my weight, and my goal of losing 1/2 lb a week.   On the chart shows the Calories consumed each day compared with this goal.

Calories Consumed

You can see on almost all days I am consuming more calories than the goal, which means only one thing, weight gain.  I know from my post experience that without doing something else, my weight would continue to increase until the higher weight would result in a basal metabolic rate sufficient to use up all the Calories I consume.   Our TV Doctor would say to just eat less.  But I am not eating deserts and I am not “full”.  I eat just enough so I am not hungry but always would like to eat more.  It is the margin, the difference between the calories consumed and the calories burned that results in weight loss or gain.  It is the bar above or below the red line and to talk about the entire bar is frankly a waste of time.

The next chart shows the exercise I did during the same month.  It is from running and biking and since I have a power meter on my bike, the estimate is probably much better than most people will get.  I realize that most people are not going to be able to burn as many Calories as I do since time demands don’t allow it, but the principle is the same.  It is also true that to some degree the high level of exercise means I probably eat a bit more than I would if I did not exercise, but I mean only a small amount.  The last day of the month had no exercise and even on that day, I ate more than my basal metabolic rate.

Calories Burned

Combine the charts and you get this chart of Net Calories.

Net Calories Consumed

On the above chart you can see that on most days I am below my goal.  So how did I do?  I have lost about 1.5 lbs, close to my goal.  If I removed all my exercise, I would have gained 3 lbs, which means I would be nearly 5 lbs heavier.


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