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Diet Day 820 - Rectification

Since my diet reboot back in June, I've intended to lose about three-quarters of a pound a week. It's been seven months, and no matter how I look at the numbers, I'm losing at the near-imperceptible rate of a quarter of a pound a week. Somewhere, there's about a 375-calorie-per-day leak in the system.

Either I've misunderstood the math of energy-in and energy-out, or my data is bad. Since I've proven the math to my satisfaction, I decided I'd better take a look at the data.

Turns out, those "occasional" days of exceeding my calorie goal weren't as rare as I wanted to think. They account for half the slowdown--a little under 200 calories a day overall.

So, Action Item One: bring that average back under the bar. Special treats go back to being special. Chocolate is not a vegetable. Seattle's Best also serves black coffee. Stuff like that.

But what about the other 200 calories?

Well, it seems I've been overstating my exercise and understating my food portions. Who knew? (Okay, I knew.)

Tricky brain! Every day, I write it all down. I confess to the evening hot chocolate that puts me 400 calories over for the day, and I never write down exercise I didn't do. My master database and I have an honest and forthright relationship. Really.

Except for the part where I call a cup of yogurt half a cup, and a tablespoon of sugar two teaspoons. Or a 25 minute bike ride a 30 minute bike ride.

No single inaccuracy like that has any impact. This is a statistical numbers game, not a sacred ritual. But yogurt and bike rides and sugar in my coffee are daily occurrences, and fudging on them has shifted the whole dynamic another couple hundred calories a day, and resulted in this slowdown.

So Action Item Two, as scary as it feels, is to get my measuring cups and kitchen scale back out and square up the edges again. I'm done with this quarter-pound-per-week stuff. It's time to step on the accelerator.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 15th, 2013 02:08 am (UTC)
It does sound like such small differences. Aren't there about 16 calories in a teaspoon of sugar?

I wish losing the weight weren't so hard. Would it be easier to add in a 200 cal a day burning exercise?

My best wishes to you on your quest!
Jan. 16th, 2013 12:31 am (UTC)
It's really not that hard now that I'm into it, and being public about it. Sharing here, and getting thoughtful comments back, makes a surprisingly big difference.

Sugar is a special case because of its appetite-triggering properties, and isn't an example I should have used, but no, no one teaspoon of sugar is going to make the slightest difference.

Yogurt is a better example. If I record 100 calories when I actually ate 200 calories' worth of yogurt, that's just margin-of-error stuff. But if I do that four days a week for seven months--which I was did--I lose only ten pounds where I could have lost 14. That's a big difference!

As to exercise, for me to burn 200 calories I have to walk or bike for 35 minutes. I'm already doing six hours a week of those exercises, and making time for the extra half hour a day those little 200-calories would require is beyond my capacity. Maybe an extra hour per week would be feasible, but no more.

So cutting back on food really is my simplest strategy. Either that, or just accept a glacially slow rate of weight loss. We'll see. I might yet go back to that.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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