Since in-person training resumed, the most common question asked is of course, “What have you guys been up to?”
I have come to believe that we all ask this question of other quarantiners out of a sense of hope that they did something amazing that we can then experience vicariously. Naturally, everyone’s answer is, “not much, you know how it is….how about you?”
Well, one thing that I have been up to is doing math. While it is true that I was helping with some of the homework for my buddy Jack, that isn’t what I mean. If you read my last post from April I talked about how unsuccessful “trying to eat better” was in terms of weight loss. I did two weeks of just thinking about it more, followed by two weeks of tracking. Though my sample was a little small, I felt that it was pretty obvious that tracking my food intake and matching that with my exercise output was the true difference maker.
So that brings me to math. In any normal summer we might be planning a trip to a campsite or maybe to visit someone by driving there. Part of the planning would naturally involve knowing how much to budget for gas. You need to know the distance you are going to drive and your vehicle’s approximate mileage consumption. Those two values combined with an average gas price along the way will tell you how much money you need for it.
(D)istance / (m)iles/(g)allon =(G)allons
(D)240 miles / 24m/g = 10 Gallons
I broke down enough algebra this spring for my buddy Jack, so I won’t bore you with the steps to solve. Just make note that this is a simple equation we do all the time. Not to mention, a truckload of things just like it. Having a BBQ? Need to know how many hotdogs? You need the number of attendees and a guess for about how many hotdogs each person will eat.
People / hotdogs/person =Hotdogs needed*
*converting this number into hotdog packages vs bun packages is a whole other thing :)
My point is that we all do these calculations in the aisle at Costco with hundreds of (hopefully masked) people surrounding us. It’s not rocket surgery. Just math. Yet, when it comes to losing weight I think this becomes scary to many of us. It’s not unreasonable, the car doesn’t know or care if the gas comes from Exxon or Conoco. But you know if your calories came from a few too many hotdogs or from a grilled salmon filet and a kale salad.
Looking at what you are eating and writing it down can be hard for many people and may bring up feelings of failure or disappointment in themselves. I get that, and while I would say one should be sensitive to those feelings, let’s just stick to the math for now. We only need the following values. A, B, & C
Here’s our formula.
C - A + B = either X or Z
In our result, we will say that X equals a negative number. This means we ate MORE than our necessary calorie number and so we have excess.
Z, however, equals a positive number. This means we ate LESS than our necessary number, C, and so we have a deficit or a leftover. When we want to lose weight DEFICIT IS WHAT YOU WANT.
The general recommendation for most people looking for moderate weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week. I’ll use today’s entry (at the time of this writing) for my numbers.
C - A + B =
2020(C) - 2216(A) + 810(B) =
2020 - 1406 = +614 calories remaining
If one pound of fat is equivalent to 3500 calories then I would need to average 500 to 1000 leftover calories everyday for a week to get my 1-2lb loss. Let’s look at my numbers for last week.
6/8 - 6/14 = 4,439 calories leftover for the week. When you divide 4439 by 3500 you get 1.26 lbs.
Let’s see how that checks out with my recorded weight-ins.
6/8 wt = 184.8lbs
6/14 wt = 183.4lbs
Wt lost = 1.4lbs
So, that’s pretty close to real life. The math was off by about 10%, I can live with that. I’ll bet you could too. I’ve done pretty well over the past 12 weeks losing almost 18lbs. Now that people are getting back into the gym I’m looking forward to seeing everyone and sharing with you how you can do it too.
2 awesome trainers +1 amazing you =doing something incredible
There you have it, in simple mathematical beauty. I would encourage anyone interested in losing some excess weight to follow this plan. I’m going to stay on this topic for a little while so check back next time for some follow up info where I will dive a little deeper.