1- what a person or animal usually eats and drinks; daily fare
2- a special or limited selection of food and drink, chosen or prescribed to promote health or a gain or loss of weight
So while what I'm doing may be eating a special selection of food and drink to promote health and lose weight, I will be looking at this all as my new "diet", definition number one. This is now what I usually eat and drink; my daily fare. I was considering following the Weight Watchers' Points system, where you place a point value on a serving of food, based on an equation that considers calories, fat, and fiber. However, I've decided against that for a few reasons. First, if I'm not 100% following the prescribed Weight Watchers plan, I shouldn't really do it at all. Secondly, I'd like to do something that anyone can do, without joining or paying or learning a proprietary system
So we're going back to basics. No fasts, no eating grapefruit at every meal, no removal of carbs, etc. We'll follow the simple equation of: less calories in, more calories burned = weight loss. This will mean doing some math, tracking calories in my food, etc. Not gonna lie, it's going to be a lot of work, at least in the beginning. But anyone who ever claimed you can lose weight easily LIED. This will be hard work, and rightly so the pay-off will be enormous. Simply, I will create a calorie deficit. To do this, we have to figure out how many calories our bodies burn every day. Researchers suggest that you should then only drop your caloric intake by no more than 500 calories per day for optimal weight loss. Dropping too many calories per day from your daily needs will put your body into a famine mode, where it will protect and prevent you from losing excessive amounts of weight. Thinking you literally cannot find enough to eat, your endocrine glands purposely slow your metabolism.
Basal metabolic rate is the minimum calorific requirement needed to sustain life and bodily functions while your body is at rest. Your BMR is determined based on a formula that examines weight, age, height, and sex. Once you figure out your BMR, you use the "Harris Benedict Formula" to figure out your daily calorie needs, based on your activity level. This will give you an approximate total number of daily calories needed to maintain your current weight. Then, to lose fat (and only a minimal amount of lean tissue), you reduce your calories by 500-1000 per day. If you only have a little to lose, obviously 1000 is a far too large deficit. It is commonly recommended to reduce calories by 15-20% below the daily calorie maintenance number that you learned from the Harris Benedict Formula.
Figure out your own BMR here. Then figure out your daily calorie needs with the Harris Benedict Equation. Based on your weight loss goals, subtract 15-20% to create a deficit. There we will finally have that magic number we've been looking for! Mine is right around 2500 calories. This may sound like a lot, but as I begin to lose weight, it will constantly change, as my BMR will lower as my weight lowers. This will allow me to lose at a somewhat slow but steady pace. As I kick exercise into the mix it will of course also switch things up. Cutting 3500 calories total in one week will result in approximately a 1 pound weight loss. I've got to admit, with what I've got to lose, one pound per week does not make me happy. I'm sure there will be lots of tweaking with my daily calorie intake, and maybe this will finally be the thing to get me on a hardcore exercise regimen. Let's say I burn 800 calories per day exercising, then that's at least another two pounds per week! Dealing with these concrete numbers makes me feel so much more in control. It kind of de-mystifies the concept of weight loss.
I'm going to Florida this weekend, so I will be starting my new plan on Tuesday, July 28th! Now, before I get yelled at for waiting until after my weekend get-away, please understand that if I had started two weeks ago and was on a roll with the plan, I would definitely stick to it while away. I know from experience though that the first few days can be tricky territory, so why make it that much harder for myself by doing it away from home?
"Bit by bit, putting it together. Piece by piece, working out the vision night and day. All it takes is time and perseverance, and a little luck along the way."
Coming up next: I detail exactly what types of food I will be eating. A very general look at my eating plan!