- Diet & Weight Loss
Operation Skinny: Week 1 Results
So, the results are in for Week 1! Before I get into any of my reflections or explanations, here are the cold, hard numbers:
- Weight: 200.8 lbs (- 4 lbs!)
- Bust: 43.25” (- 0.75”)
- Waist: 34.75” (- 0.75”)
- Belly button: 40.5” (no loss)
- Hips: 45.0” (- 1.0”)
- BMI: 29.6 (- 0.6 – back in the “overweight” category!)
- Height: 5’9”
- Clothing size: 14 (sometimes 16)
How much did I eat? How much did I exercise? According to my food diary, which tracks both food and exercise, my average daily calories were 1648 and my average calories burned were 2944. That leaves me with a deficit of 1296 per day and a total of 9072 for the week. To translate this into pounds lost, I divide this total number by 3500 as that’s the amount of calories per pound. Therefore, according to my food diary, I should have lost 2.59 lbs. However, in reality, I lost 4.0 lbs.
I imagine the discrepancy can be accounted for in many ways. First off, the food diary, while a very useful tool, is never going to be an exact science. I plan to use it as a general guide, not a precise measurement instrument for exact weight loss. Although I can fairly accurately account for calories in, the measurements for calories out are a little less certain. Secondly, I figure my initial weight was likely inflated from water retention – either for hormonal reasons or the fact that I’d been eating so many carb-rich foods (I ate tons of Christmas cookies this year!). So once those influences left my system, I was likely more in the 202-203 lbs range. Next week’s weight loss will help establish a better baseline --- whether I lose 1-2 lbs as I expect or 3+ lbs as I have this past week.
How do you measure calories burned? Luckily for me, the food diary I’m using (FitDay software) computes my daily caloric burn as the sum of my resting basal metabolic rate, background activities, digestion and logged activities (i.e. working out). Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the number of calories your body burns at rest to maintain normal body functions. It is the amount of calories per day your body burns, regardless of exercise. My background activities are not specific exercise, but just the calories I burn as part of my normal daily activities – walking, getting dressed, cleaning, showering, etc. I placed my activity level at lightly active to be conservative. Calories burned during digestion vary depending on what I eat. Lastly, I separately log in my workout sessions. This week I burned a total of 3017 calories from my various workouts.
How many times did you workout? I got in 4 gym sessions, two of which were cardio based and two of which were weight training. I did chest/back for one session and shoulder/biceps/triceps for the other session. I just did the boring old elliptical for the two cardio sessions – for 50 minutes each time. This week, I’m hoping to try out one of the group classes at my gym.
I was planning on getting to the gym 6 times this week (3 cardio, 3 weight training), but I’m satisfied with 4 sessions. I also did my first thing morning walk 6 days of the week. I walked a total of 12.6 miles, which accounted for 1363 of my total 3017 calories burned working out. Not too shabby! For more information on why this helps boost your metabolism, read Walking First Thing in the Morning Boosts Your Metabolism.
How do you feel? What other changes do you notice? Generally, I feel really good. I’m still not super excited to be going to the gym, but I already feel that it’s getting easier. I’m not as resistant to the idea and I can already feel improvement in the cardio sessions. I’m already noticing a difference in my walks – they too are getting easier. I can tell that my stamina is already starting to improve. I’m sleeping better, even though my muscles are often sore (the weight training sessions are no joke!).
I feel lighter not so much in a weight way yet, but in a healthy eating way. All the clean eating (especially the vegetables) just make me feel lighter, like my digestive tract isn’t weighed down anymore with fatty foods or sluggish from too many carbs. It’s been very easy to drink all my water. So far, I don’t believe I’ve had a day with less than 100 oz. of water.
The biggest improvement is that my carb cravings aren’t as intense. I still have quite the sweet tooth (these little dark chocolate dipped acai and blueberry candies from Costco are my favorite), but it takes a lot less to satisfy it – and for me, that’s a HUGE step. I never plan to be a person that doesn’t eat dessert or swears off all sweets, but if I can satisfy those cravings with a few bites, that’s a great compromise!
Well, onto Week 2…
Photo credit for green bar graph photo - http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1152