Weight Loss Support - Number Crunching CONFUSING!

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07-19-2009, 11:22 PM

I am so confused with the number crunching that comes with losing weight.

I need reassurance, please!

Okay. I'm 5'2" female, 24 years old, currently 170 lbs. My BMR is about 1550. My AMR (not including exercise) is about 1800 at a sedentary level.

My goal weight is 120 lbs. The BMR for my goal weight is 1350.

If I eat 1200 calories per day AND burn 700 calories six days per week through intensive cardio and strength training, will I lose close to 2lbs each week?

I want to lose 50 pounds in about six to eight months.

Am I on-track or off-track?


07-20-2009, 12:39 AM
Well, those numbers are confusing. Let's back up a bit.

Why do you want to lose 50 pounds in that time frame? What if you 'only' lost 30? 20? in that time, but were on your way to a sustainable, healthy lifestyle that would keep you at your goal weight after you got there?

While ultimately weight loss IS a numbers game, our bodies and our minds don't always cooperate. For example, weight loss isn't linear. Creating a 35,000 calorie deficit every single week (provided you could accurately know that) would not result in a consistent 1 pound weight loss. In part because our weight isn't only our 'fat' but water, bone, skin, muscle, etc., some of which fluctuates independently. And in part because fat doesn't always 'whoosh out' (technical term) on cue.

That's part of the physical side, but also know that it's hard to estimate calories burned -- most of the estimates on machines and websites seem quite high! For example, my elliptical at the gym might say I burned 500 calories, but my heart rate monitor generally estimates only 60-65% of those calories. Burning 700 calories a day sounds high!

And then there's the mental side. The food that calls, the stress of only eating 1200 calories might not work well for you. Some people do that fine for a while, and then binge, and then feel guilty, and then quit! Hard for me to know if that's what will happen to you, but it does happen.

All of which comes back to my original question -- why that much weight in that time?

(Sorry if I sound like a downer, that's not my intent!!)

07-20-2009, 12:46 AM
Oh, yes, all of that Heather said. I have nothing more to add, except to say that if you experiment, you will find something that works for you.

07-20-2009, 01:01 AM
I would not try to calculate your calories burned. There is really no truly reliable way of measuring that-- even body bugg and sensewear have their limitations. I would just focus on healthy eating, and I would start out at about 1500 calories and see if you lose on that. You can always go down, but you don't want to start too low and freak your body out. Don't be in a hurry. I know it's hard but the time is going to pass regardless. It's better to pass it losing slowly than losing and regaining.

07-20-2009, 08:58 AM
You are going in the right direction with creating the caloric deficit. The numbers you crunched do look right too.

I used to keep a daily log that conisted of

goal calories
actual calories
calories expended (including all of my activity not just exercise)
running deficit for the duration of the plan.
actual weight loss
weight loss expected from the deficit.

For example if my deficit was at -7500, I would put expected at 2.14. Actual would be 2 lbs.

I have to tell you. The deficit was always very close to the expected. Except for TOM. So all in all. I believe you are going in the right direction. You will always lose a little bone, muscle tissue, water with any caloric deficit, but it will be expendable as long as you are doing it correctly.

Let's take the upper limit of your expected time of 8 months. That is 32 weeks.

32 * 1.5 = 48 1.5 lbs loss per week
32* 2= 64 2 lbs loss per week

Here is how you number crunching works out:

AMR =1800 (1800-1200 =600. (600*7=4200)
Exercise=700 (700*7=4900)

Total deficit for week = -9100 (9100/3500=2.6 lbs)

you have a little leeway there. So even with days you don't exercise up to 700 cs you might still make 2 lbs/week.

With the time frame expected. That is reasonable. You will fluctuate on your losses per week, but in my experience with the daily log-at the end it will add up to the expected.

Enjoy your journey!

07-20-2009, 09:13 AM
Thank you for the replies. I thought about all this some more last night and agree with all that has been said.

At 5'2" it would be pretty hard to lose 2lbs per week without going crazy on the exercise or restricting my food too much. I didn't gain these additional pounds quickly!

Heather You are right. Weight loss is not linear. It's easy to forget this at the start of a weight loss program. Thank you for reminding me it's not all about the numbers on the scale.

I guess I feel like I need to be in a hurry because I do not want to go down the same path my parents took. Both were obese all my life. My father had gastric bypass surgery a year ago. My mother has Type II diabetes and has lost weight through diet and exercise. She's still working on losing more weight.

Of course, I won't do myself any good if I eat and exercise at an unsustainable level. A healthier number of calories for me would be 1400-1600 combined with more a more active lifestyle and dedicated exercise.

I just want to be a stronger, smaller, and healthier person by my birthday next year in June. That's plenty of time and is totally attainable.

Wow. Sorry for such a long-winded post. This was cathartic. I'm working through some issues maybe.

07-20-2009, 09:24 AM
Meghan-- Hey, if we help you work through issues, then we (as a community) have done our job!! Sounds like a great plan!

Now, stick around for the support, encouragement, and inspiration!!

07-20-2009, 09:27 AM
Will do, Heather! Thank you!