For the past month I have been tracking my weight and calorie intake. It's not that I am fat, or even overweight. But to borrow a term my roomie used, I got “squishy.” So as part of an overall plan to get into better shape I thought I'd start by losing a little weight. I first established a starting point of 165 lbs (75 kg) by weighing in each morning before I took a shower. This weight varied, but 165 was the most typical number. Then I started counting calories. For my age, height and weight I need to take in about 2,200 calories/day. For weight loss it was recommended I take in between 1,200 to 1,800 calories/day. I have been shooting for 1,500/day.
In addition to just taking in less calories, I've started to focus on the kinds of calories I take in. Whole made bread and pasta were the staples of my diet. While I love my cereal grains I've tried to switch away from that. More protein and more vegetables. Technically I should also be doing more fruit, but I don't like most fruit. The best I can do regularly is banana. But I can eat spinach, kale, and broccoli all day. So steamed broccoli and a little lemon juice has become my new favorite snack food.
All this began around December, but I didn't start keeping records until the 9th of January. By this time I had already lost 5 lbs and I decided to keep records to track further progress. Results:
In this 22 day period over the month of January I went from 160 lbs to around 153 lbs (69 kg) with an average drop of 0.41 lbs/day or 2.9 lbs/week (1.3 kg/week). That's a little faster than the recommended 2 lbs/week (2 kg/week) and I need to slow the rate of drop or I risk messing up my metabolism.
My calorie intake has been just about 1,500 calories/day, which is what I was targeting. So why am I dropping weight faster than expected? Exercise. Skating, swimming and short morning routine must mean I am burning a good deal more calories than expected. Swimming alone can burn between 500-700 calories/hour for someone my weight, and we like to swim for at least 2 hours at a time. I had not considered myself a very physically active person, but I am clearly more so than I thought.
With the data obtained so far I am going to adjust my diet a little and take in a few more calories. My initial goal was 150 lbs, and I am almost there. At this weight I will start to focus on maintaining body weight and start dig into doing more exercise. Why? I'm a computer programmer in my mid thirties, and spend at least 8 hours a day sitting in front of a screen. I'd rather not have all the health issues associated with this sedentary lifestyle. I enjoy biking, skating and swimming. So why not use that to counter act the negative effects of my computer dominated lifestyle? Besides, enjoy projects that require me to try new things—especially when they work.