Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Milestone Hit, and Why Weight Loss is Not Black and White

This week didn’t start out great, and didn’t end wonderfully, but overall it was a good one because I worked to work within the flexibility of my eating plan, and I think it was good practice for weight loss under (almost) all circumstances.

My plan is simple: eat a minimum of 1000 calories per day, plus any calories burned while working out. Those calories, plus another 2000 “weekly” calories that can be split up however I want allows me to average 1300 calories per day. That adds up (er, down) to a pound loss every week - but with a lot more flexibility than a standard 1300 calories/day plan.

The only issue with this is that if I eat a lot on Wednesday, the first day of my week, I spend the rest of the week playing catch up. That’s what happened this week, so by Saturday, I was out of weekly calories and would have needed to net 1000 calories every day until it reset on Wednesday. Not easy, and probably not going to happen without a lot of planning, and workouts.

Here's where the flexible part came in most, and it applies to any weight loss plan. So I've said this before, but it should be said over and over again: weight loss is so not black and white. There are many areas between “lose a pound this week” and “gain a pound this week.” Yes, ideally I’ll follow my plan and have an average 500 calorie deficit each day, for a weekly calorie deficit of 3,500, which is a pound. But if I end up with a 3,000 calorie deficit, or even a 2,500 calories deficit, that’s still a loss.

So as much as I really, really, want to try and get that 3,500 calorie deficit each week, it’s not always going to happen. On the last day of my food week, Tuesday, I was at a deficit of 2,200. But I realized that just wasn’t feasible to eat at the calorie level that my plan dictated, so I decided to let myself eat up to a full 1,800 calories for the day - maintenance level. That way I could eat a decent amount, but not have it spill over onto other days and still end up with that 2,200 calorie balance. I could even theoretically have eaten 4,000 calories that day and broken even for the week because of the previous deficit.

The results of yesterday’s weigh in:

Lbs. Fat82.772.570.370.868.169.567.166.967.666.5
Lbs. Muscle 67.366.865.267.363.36863.963.96565.1

Awesome, another pound down! It's more than I was expecting, because I did not have a pound's worth of calorie deficit this week, but since when does the scale perfectly reflect the last seven days? Still a win. This means that I have officially lost 25 pounds from my highest weight. (Hopefully the next 25 won't take as long.) Fat isn’t cooperating as much, but it’s back down from last week, and I’m really happy.

In other news, I realized that between drafts and published posts, I have 99 posts. So I got 99 posts, but… actually I have no idea how to finish that. Help?


  1. Congrats on this week's loss!! I totally share your calorie deficit struggles. I feel like I know in my mind that weight loss is a numbers game, calories in and out, but there seems to be another aspect to it that I definitely don't understand!

    1. Thanks, I'm still doing the Chandler Bing dance over here!
      I think maybe it's, in the end, just a numbers game, but actually getting there is the tough, weird, mental part.