## Sunday, October 4, 2009

### Mathematics of Losing Weight

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, especially since I read the article I posted about a few days ago on slow weight loss. There's always pressure every day to eat less calories or to stick to a specific number of calories each day. If we go over we feel depressed and that generally allows us to say 'forget it!' and eat even more the following day.

Why are we so focused on the "day" and not the "lifetime" aspect. 1 lb of fat is 3500 calories. You'd have to exercise pretty much all day at a high intensity to actually lose that lb in a day. And unless we stop eating, we can't in one day eat 3500 calories less. But over time it will equal itself out. If I burn 600 calories a day - in 6 days I should lose that lb, without adjusting our diet.

I'm a scale junkie and I weigh myself 3-4 times per day. Why? Because I think miraculously by eating a 300 calorie lunch, the lbs are just going to drop off instantly. It's not just about one meal, on one day though. It's cumulative. It goes slow. And yes, that can be maddening.

I've been for the last few days entering my food on Sparkpeople.com. The first day I ate 1500 calories and I was psyched. The second day I ate 2200 calories. The third day I ate 1700 calories. Maybe on that one day I ate more than I should have, but on the other 2 day I ate less. So simple math would mean that it would even out. I know our metabolisms are trickier than that, but I think it still works. We trick ourselves into thinking that one binge is going to throw us off forever, when in reality it is only one days worth of calories. It would probably be better to just even it out the rest of the week. And sometimes our metabolisms like to be jerked around a bit to get them in working order.

I can't even imagine what the calorie count of days before I chose to have a different lifestyle were. 3000 calories - 4000? I guess it depended on the binge. But most days were pretty high. The simple fact that I have cut the calories so well should outweigh the numbers on the scale. Honestly, I'm still working on letting that penetrate my brain. Eventually that weight will come off. The proof is in the math.