June 11, 2011

Nerdy Weight Loss

It's amazing, the thoughts that run through my head while I'm exercising. It's like my brain has run out of things to think about and now I've gotten to the end--the bare bones of thoughts. Be forewarned, this entry will probably hurt your brain. It has a lot of numbers and math stuff.

A lot of people ask me questions about how many calories they should burn each day and about creating calorie deficits--I usually give them the simple advice to stop worrying about the numbers so much and just use common sense.

Eat smaller portions, healthy food, and move more and you'll lose weight.

Confession:  I *love* math. I love numbers and calculating all things weight loss. You should see my Excel files.

So while I was on the dreadmill, I was thinking about how doing it at an incline burns more calories than flat. And then I started thinking about how MANY more calories it burns, and how long it would take me to get to my goal weight if I just made that change alone. All the while, I was doing the math in my head. And this made me excited.

I figured that at 149.5 pounds (goal being 133), with 3500 calories in a pound of fat, I am 57,750 calories above my goal weight. So, with a combination of eating less than I need to maintain weight and exercising to burn calories, once I reach that number of 57,750, I should be at goal :)

Now, I KNOW that weight loss never works out nicely in the numbers games. Sometimes you do everything right and you gain weight or maintain. BUT, I just think it would be a fun little mind game for myself to reach for that number of 57,750.

I wonder how much this will set me back in the calorie bank?

I've been enjoying tracking my miles, and moving my ticker up every day--closer and closer to my goal of 270. So I think it would be fun to track calories expended too. I think it would give me something to strive for; a reason NOT to pig out on cookies; and especially, when I binge, a reason to get right back on track. If I binge, I'd just have to set my ticker back a little.

After consulting waaay too many BMR calculators, I've decided to use 1700 as my baseline for calories per day. If my total calories for the day are less than that, I get to add the extra to my "bank" on my ticker. Also, any intentional exercise that I do will get added to the bank. For example, if I eat 1350 calories today and burn 300 calories on the dreadmill--my bank balance at the end of the day would be 650 (1700-1350=350; plus 300 from exercise... so 650 total). It'll take a while, but eventually I'll reach 57,750 ;)

So anyway, if the future, if you hear me reference my "calorie bank", THIS is what I'm talking about. Now go eat a cookie. You deserve it after reading this entry.


  1. I geek out over numbers too, especially with weight loss. No shame in that! :)

  2. AnonymousJune 11, 2011

    I never though about it that way. 129500 would be what I need to burn to get there. o.O WOAH! No cookies for me. Although I did buy the 100 calorie ice cream bars that I love today.

  3. AnonymousJune 11, 2011

    @Anonymousps this is vanillamama... lol

  4. WOW your right my brain does hurt.....lol

    Great post though, very creative and makes you think!

  5. VERY interesting. You have me wanting to do the same thing. What is 5.6 (the pounds I want to lose by 7/4) x 3500??? I have to get my calculator!

  6. AnonymousJune 11, 2011

    Ooh I love math too so can so relate! But oh my 276,500 my ticker will be a long process.

  7. LOVE IT!!! What a great perspective. I'm a numbers person, too. :) At the same time, I love your common-sense advice of eating less, eating well, and moving. I don't track calories at all, but I get super into my Garmin numbers.

    Also, I totally love your blog name.

    Note: The number should be 650, not 550. :)

  8. Dude, I totally created a spreadsheet recently, and I plan to go all-out with it. For each week, I'm going to figure out my average daily calories, my total burned calories, and see if I see a correlation with my weight loss. I probably won't, but we'll see.

  9. AnonymousJune 12, 2011

    I love this. I have had a Fitbit for about a month, so when I see how many calories i burned for the previous day, I always like to figure out what my calorie deficit was for that day, but I never figured out how many calories I would have to burn to lose the rest of my weight. Maybe I will think about that when I go to the dreadmill, which I hope to do within the next 10 minutes, LOL!!!!

  10. @Christina Ahahaha, you're totally right about 650 :) I was working with 1600 for a while and forgot to change the math when I decided on 1700.
    I get really into my Garmin numbers too--I could never imagine going running withOUT my Garmin.

  11. Ok, this is actually a really good idea. It's like another way to see how much closer you are to your goal without stepping on the scale all the time. Good idea!

  12. arrrrgh I break out in hives with numbers! I'm so discombulated about numbers. My husband is the math nerd. We'll be driving to Oklahoma and he'll take a nap in the car while I drive. Now get this - he has been that route thousands of times back and forth from his home town to where we live. He KNOWS those exit numbers (indicating miles from border) by heart. I can be on cruise control, smoothly speeding 5-8-10 mph OVER the speed limit, never get caught, never have any problems, never have to slam on my brakes, nothing, and he'll wake up, look at the next exit sign, check his watch, and say "Oh, you've been driving too fast!!!"



    But seriously, when I was in college, I was so stressed out knowing this next semester I HAD to take Algebra I in order to graduate. I had put it off, put it off, and was in one of my Senior semesters (I was a senior in college for like 5 years, partly because my high school guidance counselor completely lied to me and told me Art Majors did NOT have to take Algebra - and he was the HS Algebra teacher too, and he knew first hand how crap I was in understanding anything math!) So in college I find out I DID have to take math!! it was finally do or die, and I knew my math class was coming up and I had to have it to graduate and get the freak out of college, and what happens? I broke out in hives like 2 or 3 days before. Big Monster Hives all over my body. I had NEVER EVER had hives like that (before or even since!). Talk about stress related! HA! I managed to get over the hives and get a C in the class and I've been graduated a few years now (ahem!)....

    Funny though.... and the only way I survived math in college was the sweetest woman born and raised in the MidWest and could speak English like I understood it (none of the cute little foreign-born instructors that I couldn't understand to save my life!). I was SOOO happy with my teacher!!


I used to publish ALL comments (even the mean ones) but I recently chose not to publish those. I always welcome constructive comments/criticism, but there is no need for unnecessary rudeness/hate. But please--I love reading what you have to say! (This comment form is super finicky, so I apologize if you're unable to comment)

Featured Posts

Blog Archive