Saturday, October 2, 2010

Light-bulb Moment

Lately I have been struggling with my weight loss.  Weight Watchers, says that 90% of plateaus aren't caused by metabolic problems or "water weight"  90% of plateaus are caused by lessened effort.  I am sure that is true of me -- sometimes I wait too long to eat and then just grab whatever is fastest, within reason, of course.  But I knew that I have not been lax often enough to account for this long plateau. 

I mentioned this to my support partner, along with my contention that it was my emotional state causing the plateau.  He placed a question mark over this assertion.  How would that work?, he wondered. He was very quiet and subtle about it, but I ended our call on Thursday with that question mark hanging over my head where the light-bulb  is now.

So . . . back to the drawing board I go.  I recalculated my BMI - Body Mass Index -- (yep, still overweight) and my BMR - Basal Metabolic Rate -- based on today.  Then I calculated my desired BMI and my BMR at my goal weight.  Looks like my goal weight (165) is a good one -- that will put my BMI at 23.  I will probably never be a 20 again, 145 will just seem too skinny on my 5'11" frame. 

There are lots of good calculators for these two things, but I quite enjoy doing the math myself.  I use the SparkPeople guidelines for this.  If you are curious as to what the math looks like, my calculations are below.  I just copied them off my virtual sticky note, so they are a bit cryptic.

Surprise!  It turns out that at goal, my BMR will be around 1400 calories/day.  And right now, it's around 1600.  My guidelines have been to eat 1200-1400 calories and burn 2000 with exercise. So I am eating too much and not exercising enough.  If I can bump my exercise up to 3000-4000 calories a week, I can lose 1 to 2 pounds a week.  At my current rate, I can only lose about 1/2 to 3/4 pound a week.  Of course it is really not only simple math; weight is impacted by more than calories in, calories out.  But those things (metabolism, medicines, etc.) actually have a relatively small impact, percentage wise.  I am going to bet on these numbers and start tomorrow by planning where the time for all that extra exercise is going to come from!

If you are struggling as I was, maybe it's time to get out the pencil and slide rule and go for your own light-bulb moment.  But as for me, it's time to turn off the light-bulb and go to bed!

BMI/BMR Calc  Now v. Goal, 10/2/2010
Multiply height in inches by 2.54 to convert inches to centimeters. (180.34) 1.8 meter
Divide weight in pounds by 2.2 to convert pounds into kilograms. (95)

Divide weight in kg by height in meters squared to find BMI
w/(h*h)=bmi (current 29, goal 23)
h*h*bmi=w  (goal 145-165)

Female BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg.) + (1.8 x height in cm.) – (4.7 x age in years)
=655+(9.6 x 95) + (1.8 * 180.34) - (4.7 * 51)
= 655+912+324.612 - 239.7
= 1651.912 (current) [w/ 2000 cals exercise 1938)

w/4000 cals/wk ex = 2223.34

at Goal:
=655+(9.6*75) + 324-239.7
1459.3/day (bmr at goal)

assuming 2000 cal ex a week, [2000+(1459.3 * 7)]/7 = 1745/day (bmr w/ ex)

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