Monday, June 18, 2007

Fit Club Week 1 Results

Starting Weight: 174

The goal this week: 2 pounds

Weight this week: 173. A disappointing result. As of mid-week, I was down to 171 pounds and was feeling confident. Arrogant. I kept up the work out regime, but starting eating more. That was a mistake.

There is a lot of research out now that indicates that the vast majority of weight loss, when you engage in a workout and diet regime, comes from what you eat. At my age and weight, my Basal Metabolic Rate is 1775 calories. In other words, if I just lay on the ground all day long doing nothing, my body would burn 1775 just keeping the body alive and functioning. On top of that, we engage in physical activity -- including the act of eating itself -- which burns calories. Let's assume I burn 500 calories through normal activity (walking to the metro, climbing stairs, etc.). If I consumed 2275 calories of food and drink, I'd maintain my weight.

To lose a pound a week, you need to burn 3500 more calories than you take in. That is 500 extra calories burned a day. If you run for 30 minutes each day, you may lose 300 calories. But, if you just sat there, you'd lose 100 calories. So the net gain from the 30 minute jog is only 200 calories. Good, but not determinative. Weight lifting burns much less than cardio, and the metabolism gains from increased muscle is negligible. And, some studies show that your metabolism boost from working out only lasts for up to 40 minutes after a workout. Then you go back to your normal level. Unless you are doing extreme workouts, you won't be losing enough in a workout to lead to significant weight loss (i.e., 1-2 pounds a week).

Thus, the best thing to do is to cut your caloric intake. It is much easier to cut 500 calories a day out of your diet while being healthy. Combine that with a regular workout regime and voila -- weight loss. But, working out and eating the same will get you nowhere.

Which is what I did towards the end of last week. My caloric intake, notwithstanding the workout, was probably in the 2500 and above territory. Not good if you want to shed 1-2 pounds.

But, the good news is that I am still leaner. I am up a notch on the belt. Also, the reason to exercise is to be fit mor than to lose weight. And I am feeling fitter.

Goal for this week: It was going to be 1 pound. Due to the set back this week, the goal this week is 2 pounds (171 pounds).


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