Sunday, November 25, 2012

Crunching Numbers

Let's suppose my weight is 240 pounds.

I honestly have no idea what I currently weigh. The whole30 discourages getting on the scale. During my first 30 days, I ignored the advice and hopped on nearly every day: I was losing about a pound every 36 to 48 hours. It was addictive to watch! But then it became all about the numbers, and then I got sick. So, this time, no scale, though I'd love to know.

Using this calculator based on the Mifflin-St Jeor formula, my basal metabolic rate for my age (48) and my height (5'5") is 1722 calories/day.
Add in exercise 3 days a week and maintenance is: 2367 calories.
To lose fat: 1920 calories per day.
That's a net difference of 447 calories.

Let's assume my goal weight is exactly 100 pounds less: 140.
Keeping age (and height) the same, my basal metabolic rate is: 1267 calories/day.
Exercisin 3 days a week, maintenance is: 1742 calories/day.

Right. So the idea that I should eat (and exercise for my future body, not my current one, so I don't have to make "big adjustments" when I acheive my goal weight is not going to work. I don't see how I can eat 1800 calories a day and exercise 3x a week right now based on these calculations without extreme fatique. What I need is a plan that gradually decreases my caloric intake based on my weight until I get to 1742 calories a day (or thereabouts).

(Maintenance is based on exercising 3 days/week. Notice no one is discussing the type of exercise. Building muscle mass (ie doing anaerobic exercise like weight lifting) will result in a higher number of calories required by the body than aerobic exercise, like --so this is really all just guesswork.) Note too the BMI calculations do not differentite between lean muscle mass and fat. In other words, it is quite possible to be very lean, highly muscular and have a high weight, and thus a high BMI. I can easily see how BMI may thus be useless for men, but just how askew would it be for the average weight lifting woman?)

So, lets try 230: (BMI 38 obese)
Base: 1676
Maintenance: 2305
Fat loss: 1844

220: (BMI 37)
Base: 1631
Maintenance: 2242
Fat loss: 1794

210: (BMI 35)
Base: 1585
Maintenance: 2180
Fat loss: 1744

This is interesting. From here on in, I am supposed to consume fewer calories than I would at my goal weight.

Question: What happens if you do eat less than the calories you need at goal weight and then you reach that goal weight: do you add calories back into your diet until you are at the "maintenance level?" What happens when you do that? I would think your body would start regaining since you have taught it to be so thrifty.

Is this a plateau waiting to happen?

200: (BMI 33)
Base: 1540
Maintenance: 2117
Fat loss: 1694

190: (BMI 32)
Base: 1495
Maintenance: 2055
Fat loss: 1644

180: (BMI 30)
Base: 1449
Maintenance: 1992
Fat loss: 1594

170: (BMI 28. No longer obese, merely overweight.)
Base: 1404
Maintenance: 1930
Fat loss: 1544

160: (BMI 27)
Base: 1358
Maintenance: 1867
Fat loss: 1494

150: (BMI 25)
Base: 1313
Maintenance: 1805
Fat loss: 1444

Using this calculator I just calculated my "ideal" weight based on a large frame:
134-138 pounds.

138: (BMI 23 "desireable")
base: 1258
maintenance: 1730

134: (BMI 22 "desireable")
base: 1240
Maintenance: 1705

Every ten pounds lost means I should decrease the amount I eat by 50 calories per day.

BMI is ridiculous. I should use the body-fat calculator instead, even though I don't have calipers.

I'm not sure where this leaves me or what the whole30 template looks like at each of the calories levels. It would be easy enough to find out, I suppose. One of the beauties of the hole30 is, of course, that it frees you from calorie counting and portion control--no more measuring cups and spoons!

So, I don't think I'll use this information until I have to--that is, until I don't lose weight for a month or more. Only 4 more days to weigh-in! (Nov 29)

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