Friday, December 03, 2010

The Question Answered

A friend asked me what I was doing to lose weight.

Why do people ask such questions and expect one line answers?

Ask me what I did to gain up to 350 pounds and the answer is not one line either.

Losing weight is simple. Burn more than you eat or eat less than you burn.

That is the short and simple answer.

What am I doing to lose weight? I am burning more than I eat or eating less than I burn.

Now, the nuts and bolts of how I am losing weight goes like this:

I started August 9th. I have lost 65 pounds in 16 weeks. Now, that is definitely not typical. Typical is about 2 pounds a week.

What I eat:
Breakfast is always a slim-fast chocolate drink: 190 calories, 10 grams of protein. I usually drink it after my morning walk of 2 or more miles

Lunch varies.
Sometimes it is a salad (usually in the 275 to 325 calorie range.) My salads consist of lettuce, broccoli, onion, radish, carrot, red and green peppers, boiled egg, shredded cheese, and a fat free Italian dressing.

Other times, it is a sub from subway: 350 to 360 calories. I get the turkey and ham, or chicken breast, or club, all with pepper jack cheese, includes everything except pickles.

Supper is anything I want, just in moderation. My suppers are usually in to 500 calorie range (which is a lot of food to me now, veggies=low calories) steak, pork tenderloin, chicken, fish, even pasta.

We never were big on frying things, fried chicken on occasion, but not much else.

Snacks consist of several things: fruit (apple is 81 calories, banana is around 80 to 100 depending on size .. peach and/or pear cups are 70 to 80 calories,) yogurt cup: 100 calories, baked chips and salsa (salsa is only 5 calories per tbsp.).

I also have a jug-o-fireballs. I have one of them about every third day or so, only 35 calories.

(The big Hershey’s chocolate bars are only 40 calories per square.)

The key to losing is to burn more calories or take in less, or a combination of both. For me, walking 2 miles in 40 minutes burns just over 300 calories. It would be more or less for others because of individual weight, higher or lower.

You burn about 10% of the calories you take in by chewing and digesting. Then you burn calories just by living, heart beating, lungs working, blood pumping, ect..

You can find out your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate - number of calories you burn by doing nothing) at Then you multiply your BMR by how active you are and it tells you how many calories to take in to maintain your current weight.

A pound is 3500 calories. Cut out 500 calories a day or burn 500 more calories a day, and you will lose 1 pound in one week.

My BMR is about 2344. Then my activity level brings the calorie count up to 3345 to 3633 calories a day. (You will find this using the Harris-Benedict Equation. The link is on the same page as the BMR calculator.) According to this, I should take in 3300 to 3600 calories a day to keep my weight where it is. I take in about 1100. Using the figures from this site, I should take in 23100 calories per week. I take in 7700, leaving a 13400 calories deficit. Divide that by 3500 and you get 4.4 pounds per weeks. 4.4 pounds times 16 weeks is 70 pounds. I have lost 65 pounds, so it is close.

That is the nuts and bolts.

What one line answer did you want?

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

I am so happy for you, this must truly be a wonderful feeling!
The question I would ask is what was your inspiration and and what is your motivation to stick with it. I have started so many times and then quickly "fallen off the wagon" :{