Oct 21, 2013

10 Weeks, BMR calculations, and a Plan

I was talking with a friend this weekend and realized that New Year’s eve is only 10 weeks away!
10 weeks!? Where did this year go!?


As proud as I am of my accomplishments, like running 3 half marathons this year, I’m not where I want to be yet, and I truly thought that I’d be at my goal weight by now when I first started this journey. 

I know it’s not a race when it comes to weight loss, but if I’m being completely honest with myself, I’m getting in my own way lately with my diet by making a lot of consecutive bad choices. I have been gaining and losing the same 5-8 pounds for what feels like months now because I can’t seem to find the willpower to keep my diet in check. 

I’m here to say that ends, today.  I have 10 weeks before New Year’s Eve to lose these last 20 pounds to make this my healthiest year ever, and I’m putting this goal at the top of my priority list.  My friend and I decided if we can hit this goal, we’re going to do something big, like rent a limo and go out to the casino for the night, or maybe just a full blown spa day to splurge on ourselves!

I read this morning on Instagram that you can’t ever lose fat cells, so once you lose weight, you have to work just as hard to keep it off….I forgot about this fun fact.  After a little research, I’ve copied the below passage from http://www.wellsphere.com/exercise-article/true-or-false-we-can-never-get-rid-of-fat-cells/1940331

You can SHRINK fat cells by losing weight, but the only way to ELIMINATE fat cells from your body is through the ever popular liposuction. Your fat cells are like little balloons filled with grease and butter (awesome I know.) You can pour some grease and butter out of the balloon and make it smaller with proper diet and exercise, but it is still a grease filled butter balloon. Sleep also plays a major role in fat loss, in fact, for each additional hour slept you can lose an extra 1.6 pounds of fat on average (Canadian Study).

Kaizen Breakdown on Fat:


1. The medium-sized (red cells) above are the most efficient at storing and releasing fat. Much better than large swollen cells, and small immature cells (Black Cells)
2. Overeating and lack of exercise causes your fat cells to store more fat. As a result, they grow larger and tell your body to produce more new cells.
3. As your fat cells expand, they become swollen or inflamed. Larger fat cells are much worse at releasing fat back into your body to burn off as energy. This makes it more difficult to lose weight.
4. When you lose weight, you draw from these fat cells; but they will never be as small or as efficient at releasing fat like before.

So…science is AGAINST you when it comes to weight loss.  That’s depressing.  You can never just “go back to eating normal” because eating that way is what got you here in the first place.  This is a lifestyle change, it’s not a temporary thing.  This is why it’s so easy for me to gain 5 pounds in one weekend.  This is why we see so many of the contestants from the Biggest Loser gain their weight back…it’s so easy to revert back to those bad ways, and those fat cells are always there, ready to fill themselves up again with all that grease and butter (yuck!).  I’m by no means an expert when it comes to weight loss….it’s taken me a long time to lose what others have managed to do in a much shorter time.  I have counted calories for as long as I can remember, and I’m not sure I’ve ever really found what my magic number is, but I’ve got to do something different, so this is my plan.

1.       Calculate my BMR (basal metabolic rate).  If you google search this, you’ll find easy calculators (like this one: http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/)  to tell you what your number is based on your height and current weight (you should recalculate every 5 pounds or so). This is this the energy you use no matter what you are doing, even when you are sleeping.
You can also do this manually using the following formula:
Women:  BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)
The manual formula gives me a higher number than the online calculators, but the manual formula is what is suggested for more accuracy, so I’ll use that for now.  My BMR is: 1793.3

2.       Now understand your Active Metabolic Rate (or AMR).  This accounts for the amount of activity you see in your everyday life (not including exercise, just based on your profession).  Use the numbers listed below and multiply the appropriate number by your BMR to get your AMR (this is the amount of calories you should eat every day to maintain your current weight at your current activity level). According to Jillian Michaels:

·          If you are chained to your desk and sedentary most of your day, you’re a 1.1. People who fall into this category would be receptionists, telemarketers, and customer service reps. (I’m an architect, chained to my desk the majority of my day, so this is me).

·         If you’re mildly active over the course of the day, you're a 1.2. People who fall into this category: housewives and retail salespeople - basically folks who are on their feet throughout the day but not exerting themselves as a part of their job.

·         If you're active and on your feet moving at a fast pace, you're at 1.3 - fitness trainers, plumbers, electricians, waitresses, etc. Someone who is up, moving, and exerting energy.

·         If you are extremely physically active you’re a 1.4, like a construction worker or a professional athlete.

3.       My BMR therefore is 1793.3 x 1.1, or 1972.63.

4.       In order to lose 1 pound per week, you need to eliminate 3500 calories from your diet.  3500 divided by 7 days per week is 500 calories per day.  For me, this would be 1472.63.
*****Edit: Please don't ever drop below 1200 calories; if your AMR is so low that you drop below 1200 in order to lose 1 pound per week, consider losing at a slower pace or increasing your workouts in order to eat more each day and/or lose more rapidly.  I'm certinaly not a professional, this is just the method I'm using!********

5.       I would ideally like to lose 2 pounds per week, which means I need to eliminate another 500 calories per day through exercise.  I plan to do this through T25 (I typically burn about 300 calories per ½ hour workout), and by taking extra steps each day through walking or running.  My new goal is to hit 10,000 steps each day on my Fitbit.  I went for a 3 mile walk with my husband this morning, and burned over 300 calories doing that alone, so I’m well on my way to my 500 calorie/day goal.

6.       Pay more attention to protein.  I’m having a hard time with feeling hungry lately, and I know my body is still recovering from my 2 recent half marathons, but I’ve been giving in to those hunger pains with carbs….which don’t keep you full for very long, so the hungry cycle continues.  I’m going to try to up my protein intake this week to see if it helps keep my hunger pains in check and keep me under my calorie goal each day.  I am re-committing to have Shakeology every morning since this is a huge helping of protein to start my day off right!

So that’s my goal…my big push through the end of this year.  I’m determined now.  No more screwing around, I mean business!

Who’s with me??

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