Reality Check

July 26, 2010

I am not a dummy. I know that weight loss is calories in, calories out. I know what the formulas say my BMR is (1,719). My heart rate monitor and Garmin tell me how many calories I burn during exercise (around 2,000 per week). I know how to record my food and calories in SparkPeople.

However, 95% of the time I am very resistant to calorie counting. I hate it. It is burdensome and makes me sad. It seems to trigger binges for me. I haven’t counted calories in months, and I’m currently binge-free for 89 days – I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

But calories DO matter! Whether I count them or not, the calories I consume are what’s causing my body to hold onto this fat. (I think I have the exercise part of the equation down, and I have no trouble recording the calories spent exercising – I do it everyday!) I need to eat less calories. Does that mean I need to record my food everyday? It would be a HUGE help, but I don’t want to spark my crazy. So what can I do? I think I am going to try to count calories one day a week, just to get a general idea of what I’m consuming. I want to see how much ice cream I’m eating after dinner every night.

I started today, and so far, between the work candy bowl and my grabbing a handful of salted, oil roasted cashews, I have consumed 288 extra unplanned calories. I thought “no big deal.” I probably eat something like that everyday. But then I decided to calculate out the result of doing that everyday. Over a year, consuming an additional 288 calories per day would result in 105,120 unwanted calories. Yowzers! Then the scary part – divide that by 3,500 calories per pound, and it equals 30 pounds, almost on the nose. I just so happen to be approximately 30 pounds overweight.

Maybe this sounds silly to people who have thought about it before, but this shocked me! 288 calories doesn’t seem like a lot. Before I calculated it out, I thought “that’s not so bad, I could do that everyday.” But now I know. And I’m going to stay away from that candy bowl for the rest of the day.

On the brighter side, my workout schedule has me burning 2,000 calories/week, which is 104,000 per year, which is just under 30 pounds

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2 Responses to “Reality Check”

  1. allieatfood Says:

    Wow that is really interesting! It definitely put things into perspective for me. I also find that when I count calories I tend to over eat. It is something about not being “allowed” to, that makes me want to do it more! I’m glad that you have a good plan that will help you get on track 🙂 Excited to start reading your blog!

  2. Tina Says:

    Calories do make a difference, especially when you look at the big picture. I think you don’t need to count really at all if it triggers negative things. You could always just be really mindful of portions (measuring them out if you have to) and focusing on getting in more fruits/veggies in a meal over other things. I know I battled binging for a long time and giving up calories helped a ton.


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