Friday, September 15, 2006

Burn Baby Burn

Sooo.... I'm on a diet.

The wife and I have been panning on it for a while, but we werent very serious about it til now. As of monday, I have been cutting my caloric intake in about half.

Of course, since I was averaging somewhere around 5000 calories a day; that's still a fair bit of food.

I won't say this is typical for me, but it wouldn't necessarily have been unusual for me to eat something approximating this in a day:

Sausage McMuffins with egg2450900
Hash Browns2140280
Coffee, 4 cream, 4 sugar2160320

Crispy Chicken Classic1450450
10 Piece McNugget1420420
Hot Mustard Sauce350150
Large French Fries1570570

Crispy Chicken Classic1450450
20 Piece McNugget1840840
Hot Mustard Sauce550250
Large French Fries1570570

Now, this isn't to say that I ate that every day; most days I didn't have breakfast for example, and I certainly didn't eat THAT much fast food (though there was a lot); but I snacked a LOT; and it is substantially representative of what I've been eating for the last ohhh say 10 months or so. Basically since Mel and I were joined up, I've been overeating rather drastically.

Prior to that time, my weight was relatively stable, between 365 and 385 for around 2 years. As of a few days ago, I'm at about 440lbs; meaning I've gained between 55 and 75 lbs in 10 months, or about 7.5 lbs a month.

In order to gain 7.5 lbs a month, you need to eat about 27,000 extra calories in that month; or a little less than 1000 extra calories a day... which pretty much fits in with my patterns; because I generally didn't eat lunch, or breakfast before getting together with Mel, but I snacked a lot more.

My weight has pretty much stabilized at 420-440 given my current 5200 calorie diet, and it was pretty stable at 365-385 given a 4200 calorie diet, taking the median of both weights, my basal burn rate (at my current average activity level) seems to be between 11.2 and 12.2 calories per pound, which is about average for a relatively sedentary, but employed fat man.

The human body is a marvelous thermodynamic engine; simply to stay awake and upright, we need to burn between 16 and 24 calories per lean body mass pound (depending on your basal metabolic rate, activity baseline, the outside environment temperature, and exactly what you're eating), and 6-8 calories per fat body mass pound. The average for all humans is 10-12 calories per pound.

Funny thing; the "secret" to weightloss really is about math. Oh fitness is about excercise, and activity, and metabolism, and a thousand other things; but weight loss (and weight gain) is nothing but math and thermodynamics: For every 3500-3600 calories you consume over your basal burn rate (that 11-12 calories per pound I mentioned) you will gain 1 lb. For every 3500-3600 calories you BURN above your consumption, you will LOSE 1lb (excluding water weight of course).

So anyway, Mel and I are on a diet (she's gained about 35lbs over the past 10 months; pretty much exactly half what I have, which is funny because she weighs almost exactly what I do); and we have both cut our intake in half.

Now, I'm used to controlling my intake (no, not recently, but I used to be a semi-pro athlete, and a serious power lifter; you learn this stuff); but Mel isn't, so we've worked out a system using Google Spreadsheets, to share our intake totals.
Note: This is a GREAT idea by the way; don't obsess over your intake, but really look at what you eat, and you'll be surprised. It's scary how much we eat and don't even think about it. Sharing it with someone else helps keepn you honest, and keep you working at it.
Now here's the thing, cutting your intake in half from 5200 calories, is actually pretty easy; I'm going to share some menus with you, and when you look at them you'll thing "God theres no way he could have been eating twice that"... no, really, I was.

Anyway, the general protocol for rapid weight loss is to cut your stabal basal burn rate in half; slower weight loss by 25%; so that's what we're going for.

Another technique, is to set a target weight, multiply by your basal burn rate, and then cut IT by 25%.

Funny enough, BOTH of those numbers, come out about the same for my target weight of 265 to 285 lbs; and Mels target weight of between 145 and 160lbs (I'm 6'2" and she's 5'9"); at 2400 to 2600 calories per day for me (which is about what Mel is eating now), and between 1400 and 1800 calories per day for Mel.

So anyway, we've set targets at 2600 and 1600 calories respectively; and so far we're doing pretty well.

I want to share our week so far with you; not only to help keep US honest, but also to show everyone out there that you don't need to eat nothing but lettuce and wheat germ to lose a LOT of weight.

Day Item Qty Cal Total

9/11/2006 Starbucks venti iced white mocha 1. 650. 650.

Starbucks fiore .66 570. 376.2

12oz can Mt. Dew 4. 170. 680.

10oz filet mignon, pan broiled 10. 50. 500.

Large roasted potato 1. 290. 290.

Seasonings and oils 1. 150. 150.
Total Calories
Excercise Calories burned in excercise . . .
Basal Burn Calories burned per pound 440. -11. -4840.
Calorie deficit Calories burned in excess of consumption -2193.8

9/12/2006 Turkey Sandwhich
2x sliced bread 75cal ea
3x turkey slices 60 cal each
1x cheese slice 90 cal
1. 420. 420.

Chips 1. 160. 160.

Pickles 2. 10. 20.

Soup 1. 150. 150.

Oz. Pork tenderloin, trimmed, pan broiled 8. 40. 320.

3/4 cup basmati rice, cooked in chicken broth 1. 150. 150.

Oils and seasonings 1. 150. 150.

Tblsp gatorade 3. 50. 150.

Vanilla ice cream, cup 1. 320. 320.

Cookies 2. 100. 200.
Excercise Calories burned in excercise . . .
Basal Burn Calories burned per pound 440. -11. -4840.
Calorie deficit Calories burned in excess of consumption -2800.

9/13/2006 Coffee, oz 40. .5 20.

Heavy cream, tblsp 4. 50. 200.

Raw sugar, tblsp 4. 33. 132.

Cup, cranberry juice cocktail 1. 140. 140.

Cup, watermelon 1. 45. 45.

Naval orange, medium 2. 50. 100.

Buffalo burger, oz 5.5 35. 192.5

Large soft roll 1. 250. 250.

Cheese slice 1. 90. 90.

Bacon slice, broiled 2. 44. 88.

Potato wedges, oz 5. 35. 175.

Pyramid hefeweizen 20. 12. 240.
Total Calories
Excercise Calories burned in excercise . . .
Basal Burn Calories burned per pound 440. -11. -4840.
Calorie deficit Calories burned in excess of consumption -3167.5

9/14/2006 Coffee, OZ 40. .5 20.

Heavy Cream, tblsp 4. 50. 200.

Vanila sugar, tblsp 4. 48. 192.

Polish Sausage 2. 150. 300.

Roll 2. 120. 240.

Slice (1/8), 16" pepperoni pizza 1. 320. 320.

Filet mignon, oz 10. 50. 500.

Sauce (pan drippings, hot sauce, vinegar, milk) 1. 150. 150.

Butter, tblsp 1. 100. 100.

potato, large, baked skin on .5 280. 140.

Sweetcorn, fresh kernel, cup 1. 130. 130.
Excercise Calories burned in excercise . . .
Basal Burn Calories burned per pound 440. -11. -4840.
Calorie deficit Calories burned in excess of consumption -2548.

9/15/2006 Pastrami, extra lean, boiled in mustard 6. 50. 300.

Bread, sourdough, slice 2. 75. 150.

Mustard, tsp 6. 3. 18.

Potato chips, oz 1. 160. 160.

Pickle, nathans deli, spear 2. 10. 20.

Slice (1/8), 16" pepperoni pizza 4. 320. 1280.

Cannoli 1. 375. 375.
Excercise Calories burned in excercise . . .
Basal Burn Calories burned per pound 440. -11. -4840.
Calorie deficit Calories burned in excess of consumption -2537.

So this week, I've eaten, pastrami, sausages, pizza, pork tenderloin, roast beef, Filet mignon twice, even ice cream.

So how much have I gained from eating all that? After all, it's all rich fatty food right? Well, yes it is; though not as much as you might think; but I wasn't kidding when I said weight loss was all about thermodynamics.

You might have noted, that over the past 5 days I've eaten about 13000 fewer calories than I've burned at basal rate; and I haven't changed my fluid consumption habits at all.

So how much have I lost then?

Well, I wish I could tell you accurately, but my scale isnt accurate above 400lbs (though it will read), but it's somewhere around 5 lbs.

Now 5 lbs isn't much; but I haven't even STARTED excercising yet (I need to drop a bit more for my knees, and my wind; for anything other than walking and basic calisthenics); and also, I havent been too restrictive of my food intake. The real result though, is the 20 or so pounds I'll drop this month if things keep going this way. Then I'll adjsut my intake down a bit, and keep going.

I figure once I get down to 400, then I can start back with moderate excercise, other than walking. Sure enough, after christmas I'm planning on picking up a serious home gym (a freeweight machine and a circuit trainer. No bowflex pansy ass shit here).

Mel is starting to lose as well; though obviously not as fast as I am, because I'm starting from so much heavier than she is.

So, I have almost 150 lbs to lose, and Mel has about half that. If we can keep at it, diet, excercise appropriately; I figure we can do it in a year; but I'll allow for 18 months for plateaus. Funny enough 18 months will be just around the time of my birthday.

Of course 18 months ago, I made the same damn promise; but then life took a giant dump on my head, and jsut getting through it took over; I got lazy,a nd I just didn't give a dman.

Well, now I give a damn. I want to be back down to 285, back down to a 42" waist, a 52" chest, and a 20" neck (vs my 56" waist, 56" chest, and 21" neck right now - god I am fat); by the birthday after next. Mel wants to be down to a size 14, maybe even a 12 at the same time.

Wish us luck, and hell, do it yourself if you need to.

If you want to view our progress, check out the spreadsheet. If you want to use it yourself, here's a blank copy to use as a template: FitnessLog.xls