Weight Loss Support - Calories in, Calories Out = Math Problem!




HiHoHiHo
06-22-2009, 12:48 PM
weight loss is a simple math equation - burn more calories than what you take in, when you reach a 3500 calorie deficit, you'll lose a pound. logical. so I got a Body Bugg, which tells me how many calories I'm burning. Love it. I'm walking more and being more active because of it.

And, I need a balanced diet. So I'm on a meal delivery program that includes a good variety of fresh foods, and a healthy balance of approx 25%fat/50%carb/25%prot (varies a bit . Love that, too.

Because of these programs, I know I'm averaging a calorie expenditure of 2300 per day. (I'm not killing myself at the gym) and I'm eating about 1600-1700 per day (I'm not starving myself). By the math, I should be slowly loosing weight.

After 10 days, I step on the scale, and I"VE GAINED 2 POUNDS.
what the !? No, it's not TOM. Chicks, I need some support here.


Tomato
06-22-2009, 12:51 PM
I would opt for a diet that is more like 30-40-30. You are eating way too much worth of carbs, IMHO. Add more protein and remove carbs and see it helps.

mayness
06-22-2009, 12:58 PM
Did you just start that meal delivery program? Maybe you're taking in more sodium than you used to.

Weight loss IS about the numbers, but sometimes your loss will come in spurts, or take a while to catch up when you start, or other things that just CAN'T be explained by the math. Assuming your Body Bugg and your meal delivery service are both giving you accurate numbers, it sounds like you're doing everything right, and I would just keep it up for now and see what happens.


srmb60
06-22-2009, 01:10 PM
I am not in favour of anything that tells us how many calories we're using. The counters on machines, estimates online ... I just don't think they can. Short of having extensive metabolic testing ... nope.

I know that I quote Tom Venuto ad nauseum but ... he recommends a two week trial. If something is going to work, it's going to start working within two weeks. I'd say your ten days is a reasonable trial. It's not working. You'll need to change something. IMHO ... I just dunno about the 2300 calorie usage ... assume you're not.

Now here's my disclaimer ... two pounds is a fickle little bit. It's less than one litre of water. It's less than jeans and a t-shirt. It's less than the difference between scales. It's less than the difference between morning and evening. It's far less than I used to gain before my period.
If you are happy with the food and your exercise program ... maybe try a few little things like ... was your period in that time frame? did you weigh at the same time? same place? same attire?

melwolfe
06-22-2009, 01:18 PM
If the exercise is a new thing that can cause a gain for the first couple weeks. You should also try to weigh at approximately the same time each day and wear the same thing. You'd be surprised what a difference clothes make!

Shannon in ATL
06-22-2009, 01:19 PM
The calories in, calories out part is definitely a math problem. Unfortunately, bodies don't always respond to the math the way that they are supposed to. Or mine doesn't, at least. :)

It could be a number of things - sodium from the delivered meals, retained water from increased exercise as you are more active now, carbs could make you puffy like Alena said, might have not had a bowel movement yet so might be holding on to a little weight from that, might not have drunk enough water over the weekend, might have just finished a bottle of water before the weigh in, could be lots of things. Like Susan says, 2 pounds are fickle - I pop on two pounds if I eat a different spaghetti sauce than my normal one on the weekend. :)

Give it a little more time to see what happens.

Fat Pants
06-22-2009, 01:21 PM
Because it's not as simple as calories in vs calories out. Yes, in theory - that's exactly what needs to happen. Eat less, move more. Oh how easy it would be if all of our bodies magically did exactly what we calculated them to do - and then it would show on the scale exactly how we calculated it out. Wouldn't that be nice?

But there are so many other factors at play. Water. Hormones. A change in routine. The body holding on to weight. I wish - heck, I have tried several times - I could say "If I do _________, then ________ will happen on the scale." If only it were that easy!

But it's not.. every time I go for a 3 hour strenuous hike, I should be down at least a pound on the scale because I'm out of shape and burning lots of calories! But every single time, I go up on the scale for a few days as my body retains water, my muscles repair themselves, and it takes a few days for things to get back to normal.

If I eat soup at Panera - even if it's within my calories for the day - it never fails that I'm up a pound the next day because of the sodium.

If I lift weights, I'll be up for a few days, as my muscles retain water to repair themselves.

You would think that weight loss is a linear process, but it's not.. unfortunately. I keep a graph of my weight loss so that I can see the big picture over time. I can look back to the same date last month and see I was actually 7 lbs heavier :yikes: But you know what? I recorded waking up to a gain in probably half of the days out of the month. Then suddenly I would drop 3 lbs. Who knows. The body is a mystery. You just have to trust the process...trust that moving more and eating less WILL result in a loss if you stick with it long enough.

Heather
06-22-2009, 04:04 PM
Remember the calories in/out is about FAT. But the scale weighs ALL of you. As some of the other posters are indicating, there are MANY reasons for the scale to go up and down, not just fat loss.

Give it a little more time and see!

ICUwishing
06-22-2009, 04:13 PM
Echo what the others have said - it isn't quite as simple as it looks. The 3500 calories (kcal) is something spit out by a bomb calorimeter test in a carefully controlled laboratory. How our individual cells take in, process, and output energy is a crazy puzzle - the best that can be said is you need to expend more than you take in ... but figuring out what your unique formulas for "expending" and "taking in" are, is not so easy. The only common thread that I can see in all diets is to eliminate as much sugar as you possibly can - after that ... "it depends", and "your results may vary".

DCHound
06-22-2009, 04:44 PM
Maybe I'm the only one on earth but it is SO not calories in/out for me. It's carbs. Just carbs. I gained/maintained on 800 calories a day, carb-intensive. When I first started Atkins I lost on probably 2500-3000 calories a day, <5 carbs/day. I'm cognizant of, and have lowered calories, NOW...but it didn't matter one whit at first. That's just me; YMMV.

kaplods
06-22-2009, 04:49 PM
Metabolisms vary, not only between people but within a single person. Your metabolism isn't a constant, and it can be effected by so many things (including what you eat), that there just isn't a method or a machine that can effectively measure the calories burned. You have control over calories in, and you can influence calories out, but translating that into a precise mathematical equation is going to be an exercise in frustration.

I have found by keeping precise food journals that I lose more weight and lose more consistently on the same number of calories of higher carb eating. I'm another person who can eat far more calories and yet lose more weight when I keep the carb level down.

I've recently started taking my temperature daily. I was reading that low body temperature can be a sign of a low metabolism, and that the body burns "hotter" and better on a lower carb diet. I'm a bit skeptical, but I do have a lower normal body temperature (usually around 97.4 but sometimes even lower). It's too soon for me to tell, but I have noticed that there seems to be an inverse relationship between my body temp and my carb intake. My body temperature actually seems to drop when I eat more carbohydrates than protein, and spikes when I eat very low carbohydrate.

I'm not jumping to any conclusions, and as I've said, it's far too early for me to be sure this isn't just a coincidence, but I've noticed enough of an effect that I wonder whether there's a relationship.

It may be that some diets may turn up or down our metabolic furnace/thermostat.

thinpossible
06-23-2009, 05:08 AM
I am not in favour of anything that tells us how many calories we're using. The counters on machines, estimates online ... I just don't think they can. Short of having extensive metabolic testing ... nope. I second this. Honestly, I wouldn't even bother trying to figure out your calorie expenditure. I would look at any exercise you do as a bonus, necessary to weight loss and good health, but keep your calorie tracking a separate affair. Just my opinion FWIW

Samantha100
06-23-2009, 07:04 AM
:woops:There is no device that you put in your pocket or wear on your belt that will consistently and accurately calculate your caloric expenditure. The best it will be is give you a rough estimate of how many calories you are burning. You can get a better idea of your caloric requirements by visiting one of the many web sites where you enter your specific variables (height, weight, age). Again, your expendature will vary from day to day. At your height and weight, you should be able to eat 1500-1800 calories per day and lose weight at a safe rate. For all of us, unless we have a health issue, steady exercise needs to be included such as walking, swimming, and something thqt will get your heart rate and metabolism up.

L144S
06-23-2009, 08:10 AM
I have a BB too, I say keep at it and Hang in there, I have had 4 weeks of plenty of deficit (the BB/gofit are accurate) and I have not lost. I find this time of year with the weather changing, my whole body will swell from the heat and reatain fluid. you may have to tweek your program and if it is meal delivery you could request a lower carb option for a few weeks and see how that works for you.

Mrs Snark
06-23-2009, 08:31 AM
Are there any scientific studies about the accuracy of the Body Bugg? I've been curious.

Rebound
06-23-2009, 08:50 AM
Are there any scientific studies about the accuracy of the Body Bugg? I've been curious.

Yes. It's within 5% accuracy for exercise activities and withing 10% accuracy for "daily living" activities as compared to an EXTREMELY accurate oxygen tent metabolism doo-dad.

I got a GWF recently and I'm really enjoying it as a fun tool. I haven't had it long enough to know how "mathematical" my body is yet!

You can read about it an I believe they have the NEJ of Medicine articles at www dot gowearfit dot com. If not there, the BodyBugg or SenseWear pages might have it. They are all three the exact same device just with different interfaces and marketed differently.

Mrs Snark
06-23-2009, 08:59 AM
Interesting. I'm such a data freak I'd love to have one but I can't rationalize the expense when I don't reeaaaaaallly need it!

Delphi
06-23-2009, 09:02 AM
I have a BB too, I say keep at it and Hang in there, I have had 4 weeks of plenty of deficit (the BB/gofit are accurate) and I have not lost. I find this time of year with the weather changing, my whole body will swell from the heat and reatain fluid. you may have to tweek your program and if it is meal delivery you could request a lower carb option for a few weeks and see how that works for you.

I agree! Keep at it! I'm a GoWearFit user and my device has been spot on regarding calorie expenditure and calculating the deficit, however, I give myself a 300 calorie margin of error and with that being said, every time I have a 3500 deficit, I lose a pound. It really has been spot on for me. I hit a stall for about a week but chalked that up to pre TOM and then lost the pounds I should have lost the following week. Just be patient which I know is difficult, but if you are POP, then you are losing fat even if the scale doesn't translate it. :)

Rebound
06-23-2009, 10:17 AM
Interesting. I'm such a data freak I'd love to have one but I can't rationalize the expense when I don't reeaaaaaallly need it!

I made it my birthday present to myself. I'm a scientist and I LOOOOOOOOOOVE data. The more information I have, the more spreadsheets I can make, and that makes me very very happy.

I think I need more hobbies :)

JulieJ08
06-23-2009, 12:22 PM
Your ratios may or may not be the problem. I lost all my weight with a minimum of 50% from carbs and not 100g+ protein. It seems to make a difference for some people, but is in no way some nutritional rule that applies to everyone. I definitely think it's worth experimenting with to see if it helps you.

JulieJ08
06-23-2009, 12:27 PM
Yes. It's within 5% accuracy for exercise activities and withing 10% accuracy for "daily living" activities as compared to an EXTREMELY accurate oxygen tent metabolism doo-dad.

Re: the OP, then, if her total calorie expenditure is 2300, say 500 exercise and 1800 daily living, that could be off on the order of 25 + 180 = 205 calories. Which is well above amounts paid attention to when talking about food calories on these forums.

KnitALisa
06-23-2009, 12:31 PM
I made it my birthday present to myself. I'm a scientist and I LOOOOOOOOOOVE data. The more information I have, the more spreadsheets I can make, and that makes me very very happy.

I think I need more hobbies :)

I'm thinking of doing the same thing. Birthday's in September, so it gives me some time to save... I'm just like you, I freakin' love spreadsheets. They make me happy and feel organized! :p

Rebound
06-23-2009, 12:41 PM
Re: the OP, then, if her total calorie expenditure is 2300, say 500 exercise and 1800 daily living, that could be off on the order of 25 + 180 = 205 calories. Which is well above amounts paid attention to when talking about food calories on these forums.

Assuming that the % uncertainty was always in the same direction, you would be correct. So lets assume that the OP is burning 2300-205=2095 calories a day. And then lets throw in the assumption that she's underestimating her calories by 10% we get 1650*1.1=1815 calories consumed. She's looking at a daily deficit of 2095-1815=280 calories, or 1960 calories per week. Less than a pound a week. But still a deficit. And that's worst case scenario.

I kind of forgot what point I was making...

To the OP, 2 pounds isn't a lot. And you've made a lot of changes in 10 days. I'd give everything 2 weeks to settle down. And then if you haven't seen any loss it's time to reevaluate. But I wouldn't worry about it yet. I love my GWF (same thing as the Bugg) but I don't expect my body to respond EXACTLY as the numbers say. It would be nice if it did, but it doesn't. If I continue to see a reasonable calorie deficit, though, I would expect to see my overall trend be that of weight LOSS. But a 2 pound variation in ten days isn't something you should stress out about just yet :)

And Julie, I'm not sure if you're pro or anti Bugg, but being off by 205 calories is still way more accurate than most other calorie expenditure "calculators" that just use body mass and some user-defined intensity. And it's still more accurate that just using body mass and heart rate.

The power of the Bugg, too, is that it tells you when you are becoming too efficient at your exercise. Lets say you run 5 miles a day every day in 10 minute miles. For a few weeks this burns 500 calories. Then your body becomes more efficient. Now you're burning only 425 calories. That is the sort of information that the Bugg will give you to allow you to change your exercise to something that makes your body work harder. So you see that now you're only burning 425 calories where you used to burn 500. You add intervals, or hill work, and now you're burning 525 calories. Yippie! This is stuff that the Bugg is particularly good at.

belezura
06-23-2009, 12:56 PM
wow... I need to get a bugg then...
It is pretty sweet!!!
How much can it cost??

JulieJ08
06-23-2009, 01:17 PM
And Julie, I'm not sure if you're pro or anti Bugg, but being off by 205 calories is still way more accurate than most other calorie expenditure "calculators" that just use body mass and some user-defined intensity. And it's still more accurate that just using body mass and heart rate.


Um, neither. It was simply information.

Rebound
06-23-2009, 01:40 PM
Um, neither. It was simply information.

No problem! I only asked because there are some really anti-Bugg people out there -- which I don't understand. It's just a gadget :) How can anyone ahte a gadget?

belezura, I have the GoWear Fit (Bugg is just more fun to type!) There is actually a sale right now at gowearfit dot com. There is a 20% off code for father's day: FITDAD. I don't know how long it lasts.

I just bought mine without that discount and it was $249.90 for the armband and display and a 12 month commitment to the monthly service at $6.95 a month. You don't need the display (it just gives you real-time information throughout the day) but you do need the monthly service.

The BodyBugg, GoWear Fit, and SenseWear are all the same product but are marketed to different groups and have different interfaces. The science and the algorithms behind them are all the same. There's a BB/GWF/SW thread in the general diets section with LOTS of information.

JulieJ08
06-23-2009, 02:15 PM
:) I surely wouldn't mind playing with one ;)

Pas de Chaton
06-23-2009, 02:22 PM
How does it work? Like your scenario, Rebound, where a person is burning 500 calories during a run and then becomes a more efficient calorie burner, how does the gadget know you're now only burning 425, if you're doing the exact same exercise for the exact same time? I guess I'm looking at this as a fancy pedometer. Is it more than that?

Rebound
06-23-2009, 02:26 PM
How does it work? Like your scenario, Rebound, where a person is burning 500 calories during a run and then becomes a more efficient calorie burner, how does the gadget know you're now only burning 425, if you're doing the exact same exercise for the exact same time? I guess I'm looking at this as a fancy pedometer. Is it more than that?

It's MUCH more than that. Because I can't link, this is what it says on the GWF website:

Your GoWear fit has multiple sensors. Those innovative sensors take 5 different “views” of your life:

Motion

The armband contains an accelerometer, a device that measures motion. (Your car air bag has an accelerometer in it that lets it know when you've been in an accident.) We use it to measure HOW you move from multiple axis and perspectives, allowing us to better understand your activity.

Steps

We count your steps, using the accelerometer to measure the distinct patterns created by walking and/or running.

Galvanic Skin Response

When you sweat, your skin becomes more electrically conductive. This measurement help us see how active you are.

Skin Temperature

There's an electronic thermometer inside your armband that helps us know how hot you are.

Heat Flux

When you move, your muscles produce heat. We measure the heat that's flowing from your body into the environment.


Once we've gotten these “readings” we can determine what kind of exercise you're getting, and how difficult it is for you. That's important since your body burns calories differently than anyone else's.

Our clinically proven algorithms crunch your numbers – pairing up sensor data with calorie information and presenting it to you via the GoWear fit online activity manager… so you know how far you are toward reaching your goals!

It can tell how much energy (and as we all know, heat = energy) you are expending to do different things. As you get more efficient, you use less energy and therefore create less heat and burn fewer calories. The sensors can "read" all this from your body. It's really remarkable. It's also cool to really see how many calories I burn when I sleep, and how many when I'm packing lunches or making dinner or something.

kiramira
06-23-2009, 02:33 PM
I just eat my WW points, exercise, and let the rest take care of itself...I really WISH I could get more into the data and its analysis, but I just don't have the time to log the info up. I know how far towards reaching my goal I am when I see my weight loss trends over several weeks.

To each his own! I know lots of Bugg users! I'd love to know what the usage rates are at 6 months and 12 months, or if all the data and inputting gets pushed by the wayside (along with the majority of gym memberships!)...

NOTE: not a bugg hater here, just a different POV...

Kira

HiHoHiHo
06-23-2009, 03:01 PM
thanks, everyone. Now a day later I'm back to my starting weight, which means that in almost 2 weeks I haven't gained anything but I haven't lost anything, either. I think it's some cruel test my body is playing with me. I mean, geez, I could have stayed the same weight by not eating as well and not moving as much... Well, I'm going to keep on going, so there.

HungryHungryHippo
06-23-2009, 11:46 PM
I just want to commiserate. We're always told It's calories in vs. calories out, plain and simple--until we follow the rules, and it doesn't work that way. Very frustrating! (Said following 2 weeks with a total of 1 pound lost!)