The Plan

Background

I could give you a million excuses for not losing my baby weight. Some I’d say are actual reasons but the result is the same – today marks the day I let go of anything holding me back from regaining myself. Today I will lose weight.

I’m not using a supplement or trying a diet or signing up to a fad. I’m not using a new pill, cutting out food groups or buying a new piece of gym equipment. What I am doing to get myself back is based on common sense.

As someone who worked in the health and fitness industry for over a decade I know all of its flaws, all of its secrets and all of its failed promises. And I have gleaned a fairly rudimentary knowledge of how weight loss works and how it doesn’t, (I saw rudimentary because I have been out of the industry for a while and am not entirely up to date with every new miracle cure on the market).

The Strategy

So, my weight loss strategy is as follows;

  • I will eat less and I will eat better quality food. And I need to eat more productively, for sustenance and not always for pleasure.
  • I will exercise more intensely. Exercise in and of itself has never been a problem – I have always trained daily. But lately, through a myriad of life’s curve balls, my motivation has been lacking. I need to increase the intensity and calorie burning potential of my workouts.
  • I will evaluate my efforts daily and reflect on how I have performed.
  • I will continue to learn more about weight loss from credible sources.
  • I will track my intake and outtake of calories, and measure my progress weekly.

The Underlying Theory

The theory is simple. One kilo is equivalent to around about 7,700 calories. If I can create a deficit of this size I will lose a kilo. If I continue creating caloric deficits I will continue to lose weight. It doesn’t really matter what the time frame is, though the current research shows that slower weight loss is more likely to be maintained.

My caloric goal for each day is 1800, and I will aim to burn around 800-1000 calories in a daily workout. Based on my age and approximate weight I should be burning about 2300 calories metabolically each day. So if I hit my diet and exercise goals I should be able to create a caloric deficit of between 1000 and 1500 a day. And if I don’t, I will jump back on the wagon and keep on going tomorrow.

I have set up a spreadsheet, (because I do love spreadsheets), to calculate calories in and calories out. I will enter the details daily and calculate my daily caloric (hopefully) deficit. When I reach 7700 calories, I know that deficit is equal to one kilogram. All I need is myself and a good shopping list to do this, though I have the benefit if a (very) cheap home exercise bike as well.

Please Note: There can be up to 20% margin of error in calorie counting tools and formulas both in terms of exercise and in terms of diet. But this experiment is not about counting exact calories, it is about proving that having a better understanding of the value of what I eat and the intensity of exercise required for weight loss will ultimately lead to said weight loss. The numbers will keep me on track, but they are no the be all and end all. They are simply a tool I can use to eat more mindfully and to improve my lifestyle with the end goal of weight loss.

For the interested onlooker, when I was a trainer I wouldn’t necessarily have recommended calorie counting for every individual. But for those that want to lose weight I do believe it is imperative to know what is the value of the food you are putting into your body? If a client had come to me and said ‘I’ve tried everything! I just can’t seem to lose weight.” I would respond by asking what their daily intake should be. Most looked at me blankly. They hadn’t tried everything. They had tried everything easy.

The honest to goodness truth is that you need to know what’s going into your body in order to change its shape. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it!

More information is below for anyone that is interested in some of the background research I have done prior to beginning this endeavour.

How Diets Work and Why They Fail

Exercise, Interval training and Weight Loss; The Basics

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