Analytical Dieting

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So two months ago I changed the way I ate, worked, and exercised. Simply put, I started paying attention to what I ate and how much physical activity I expended. This change was brought on by a visit to my doctor and his not so subtle way of telling me that the numbers don’t lie, you’re overweight! Right on the line, I indeed had a BMI of 25 which put me in the overweight category.

So this is a progress report of sorts and we’ll focus on the numbers since the numbers started this whole journey and numbers is how I am succeeding.

In the first two months, I have lost 13 pounds (5.9kg). To track my progress and get this information I record my weight everyday, first thing in the morning. As you can see it is an up and down journey by the trend is what is important not the daily successes or failures.

This weight loss is result of my activities and what led to this was methodical tracking of everything I ate. To set my baseline I crunched some numbers online and I set myself a goal of 1537 net calories a day. Net calories are important as this is what it would take for me to just live my normal day. If I exercise in any fashion I get to add calories to this total to make up for the extra energy expended. So this is my last two months of eating by weekly intake.

As the chart shows, I often have ended the day or week eating less than my net calorie total but this eating less is how you end up losing weight. How much is good but what you eat is also important. So to track this goal not only did I log how what I ate and how many calories, I also logged the carlorie distribution from carbohydrates, proteins and fats. As you can see, like more Americas, I do have a high carbohydrate diet. It must be the beer! The top five foods I’ve logged were tea, Fiber One bar, beer, onions, and chicken breast.

The other side of the equation is the extra energy expended. Here is my exercise log from the past two months. This is everything I’ve done the past two months other than living. Everything here is the result of physical activity and represent extra calories I can consume. The top five activities I’ve logged were walking, yard work, house cleaning, carpentry, and hiking.

So all this diligent data collection on myself has allowed me to know exactly how many calories I need to eat and when to stop in order to lose weight. Today my BMI is 23.8 and falling. I don’t record my percent body fat every day but when I started it was 22.4% and today is was 18.2%. My goal is 167 pounds (76 kg) and given the current trend I’m on I should be reaching that in about 4 more weeks!

It’s said that in order to make any change you need to be able to measure that change. By tracking my eating, exercise, and weight loss I have enabled myself to make better decisions to direct myself and my health.

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    1. I’m using a program called LoseIt. There is a iOS app and I also use it via their web site. It has a huge pre-built database and a great feature is it allows you to download all you’re data to a spreadsheet!

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