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The Invincible M.A.E.

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Weight loss experiment

So for the past week from Monday to Sunday, I conducted an experiment of sorts.

I have subscriptions to Fitness and Shape magazines and after reading several articles, the consensus seems to be that weight loss is as simple as, for every 3500 more calories burned than calories consumed, you will lose a pound of fat. This sounded kind of dubious to me. How accurately can you really measure calories burned by a person? And aren't there other factors, like a genetic pre-disposition to being a certain weight? Does resting metabolic rate vary a lot between people? Does the amount burned for a certain activity vary a lot between people even if they're the same height, sex and weight? Etc, etc.

Anyway, my skepticism is partly why I've never really committed to any kind of weight loss program. So I decided to eat and exercise amounts that should equate to losing two pounds in one week. (Two pounds because there are normal variations in weight that can be attributed to water weight, so a larger number would make the water effect less significant. No higher than that because two pounds/week is the max recommended safe weight loss rate)

So I obsessively meticulously recorded all my physical activity and food intake for a week, making sure that my calorie deficit was about 1000 per day, and at the end of the week, I had lost 2 1/4 pounds, which is almost exactly the expected 2 pounds. (Weight measured at about the same time of day, with comparable hydration).


One thing that surprised me was that I didn't feel hungry at any point during the week. I stayed above the 1200 calorie/day guideline for minimum consumption rate (lower than that is supposedly unhealthy), and exercised to get to the 1000 calorie defiict. I went with smaller portions of stuff but pretty much ate the same things I'd already been eating. And I had ice cream almost every night! :P

I did feel tired, but that was because I was sleep deprived, not because of the exercise, which was an hour on the elliptical trainer at an easy rate. I basically spent an hour reading magazines every day.

So that was actually pretty comfortable, but I'm not going to keep going at the same rate. I don't want to go to the gym every day, and I like to eat out. :) And also with my calorie intake that low, I was getting less vitamins and minerals, which I tried to counteract by taking a multi-vitamin, but I think it's better to get vitamins and minerals from food. *shrugs*

Anyway, I'm going to aim for a one pound loss per week, which would only involve hitting the gym three times a week, and upping my food intake by 200 calories per day or so--more if I'm more active.

An interesting side effect of the experiment was that because it was an experiment and I wanted to make sure the results were as accurate *snicker* as possible, I made sure to hit the gym every day without fail. Even when I would have normally thought it was too late to go and put it off to the next day, or if I was too sleep deprived. Simple thing: there was a goal, so that motivated me to stick with it.

Obviously, I don't claim this to be scientific proof or anything, just that my weight loss was consistent with what was expected for my calorie consumption/burn for the week. I'll see whether the one pound per week rate also works.

I took really anal meticulous notes on what I ate, and how much I worked out, so if you're interested in seeing, leave a comment. :)

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From what I remember when I met you, you really don't need to lose weight... you're a little thing... ;)

Then again, to each their own, I suppose.


Goodluck, dude.

And as much as part of me wants to see those notes, I don't think I can, because they'd probably make me cry. It's possible I may change my mind.

Thanks. :)

*hugs* Let me know if you do.

(1) Congrats on the weight loss
(2) Math is hard. I think I need to give you props for figuring that stuff out.


(this is a not often used, very rare userpic only used for special occasions)

Thank you! My geek skills came in useful. :P

I'm very honored!!! :D

Have you tried fitday.com? They make it easier.

I'ma drag you out for ice cream, you tinytiny thing. :p

Joolzie told me about that, but I was just doing it for the week. I joined sparkpeople, and they have similar tools.

We have to have gelato from Gelato Classico! Or Ciao Bella! Or Mitchell's ice cream! :D

Dude! We are so on the same wavelength. I injured myself stupidly doing some obscure and esoteric goalie thing that I don't even understand myself, so I was very sedentary for about two weeks, and then on crutches for a couple more, which sucked. So I was doing hardcore math (probably incorrectly) to figure out what my caloric intake needed to be to maintain or lose weight while not getting ANY exercise. I should have just called you and let you do my math in exchange for bribing you with gelato, or slash, or some combination in between.

*giggle* Ooh, you so should have! I used http://www.caloriesperhour.com/ to get the burn rates for various activities (or inactivities, as the case may be), as well as for calories from food.

*geeks out*

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