Wow, so my last post here was before the Super Bowl. I didn’t even blog anything about how sad I was that the Bears lost. What a great great first quarter. After that, I’m just sad that the Bears played so predictably: good defense, no offense.

So I’m inspired by Jason Calacanis to start blogging about my weight and diet in an effort to inspire some discipline in myself. I use blogs to make promises like having WineLog Mobile live by Valentine’s day, and it works there. So why not use a blog to help me lose weight? I’m hoping it will prove a great motivator because if I don’t lose any weight, I have to cope with the embarrassment of having all these posts out here and nothing to show for it.

Peak Weight: 234
Current Weight: 225
Goal Weight: 210

I’m getting Married on May 5th and hoping to weigh about 210 by then. That gives me about 12 weeks to lose 15 lbs. I was down to about 222 and on track to lose 1lb per week and hit 210 by wedding day. But a couple weeks of fewer gym visits and reckless eating have stalled my progress.

Now usually 3 pounds is nothing to lose sleep over. My weight can fluctuate 3 pounds or more day to day. However, I’ve been tracking my weight’s 15-day moving average, using a handy little Google Gadget called “the Google 15“. The moving average smooths out the day-to-day fluctuations and let’s you keep your cool when you’re still on track. On the other hand, it also helps me be confident that I should actually be losing my cool. Because not only am I heavier than I was two weeks ago, I’m above my moving average. And anyone who reads my blog at InvestorGeeks regularly will know that being above the moving average is a bad sign if you are short a security (in this case we want to be short Jason’s weight).

So what else am I doing to lose weight? The main thing I am doing is limiting my calorie intake. I am a huge fan of the Hacker’s Diet (completely free to read online). The main points of that work are:

1. It’s all about calories in (eaten) vs. calories out (burned). If you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. If you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight.

2. It is generally easier to forgo food than workout to lose weight. For instance to net 300 less calories in a day, you could either run for 30 minutes or pass on that 2-serving bag of chips. Which is easier? For some it’s the running. For busy folks like us it is often to pass on the extra food.

3. There is a reason some people are naturally thin. Simply put, they are only hungry when they need to eat and stop being hungry once they’ve eaten enough calories. It’s as if they have a watch on their wrist telling them when to eat and when to stop. Overweight people have defective watches, and so they might stay hungry even though they’ve already eaten enough (my problem). The key point to take away from THD’s graphs on metabolism and hunger is that to lose weight you must be hungry.

That’s it. That’s the secret. I’ve done well by changing the way I think about a diet. Instead of trying to game the system by finding foods that I can be sated with but still lose weight, I acknowledge the fact that I’m going to have to make a sacrifice. I have to be hungry to lose weight. And so my hunger becomes a good thing instead of a bad thing. When I get those pangs in my stomach, I know I’m losing weight and embrace it.

Based on the expected caloric intake of a moderately active 25-year 6’2″ male, I should be eating about 2500 Calories a day to maintain weight. This is pretty consistent with how much I would typically eat and maintain weight. One pound of fat is roughly equal to 3500 Calories. And so to lose 1 pound per week, I need to cut my caloric intake to about 2000 Calories a day. That’s the number I shoot for every day.

And I don’t cheat myself. It’s very easy to use some fuzzy math to hide 500 Calories in my diet. Here are two recaps of what I ate today.

Today I had a bowl of Chocoalte Cap’n Crunch with 1% milk. That’s 2 serving of cereal at 150Cal per serving plus about 100Cal of milk. 400Cal for breakfast. I then had a turkey and cheese sandwich on a pita, with mayo and lettuce. That’s about 150Cal for the pita, 200Cal for the cheese, 200Cal for the turkey, 75Cal for the Mayo and a negligible # of Cal for the lettuce. That’s 625Cal plus about 1.5 servings of tortilla chips for 225Cal. 900Cal for lunch. For dinner I had 1 and 1/2 quesadillas with black beans, red pepper, and cheddar cheese. 200Cal for the quesadilla tortillas, 50Cal of beans, 200Cal of cheese, negligible red pepper. I also had another 1.5 servings of tortilla chips, with salsa this time. That’s about 450Cal worth of quesadilla plus 250Cal of chips and salsa. 400+900+700 = 2000. Go me!

Now here is an equally plausible calculation.

Today I had a bowl of Chocoalte Cap’n Crunch with 1% milk. That’s 2 serving of cereal at 150Cal per serving plus about 150Cal of milk. 450Cal for breakfast. I then had a turkey and cheese sandwich on a pita, with mayo and lettuce. That’s about 150Cal for the pita, 250Cal for the cheese, 250Cal for the turkey, 100Cal for the Mayo and a negligible # of Cal for the lettuce. That’s 750Cal plus about 2 servings of tortilla chips for 300Cal. 1050Cal for lunch. For dinner I had 1 and 1/3 quesadillas with black beans, red pepper, and cheddar cheese. 300Cal for the quesadilla tortillas, 50Cal of beans, 200Cal of cheese, negligible red pepper. I also had another 2 servings of tortilla chips, with salsa this time. That’s about 550Cal worth of quesadilla plus 350 Cal of chips and salsa. 450+1050+900 = 2400. Not so good.

It’s hard to be honest when counting those calories. Now, I’m not going to break out the scale and measuring cups every time I eat. But I am going to be conservative (towards higher numbers) in my estimates and make sure that I am really eating less and not just practicing fuzzy math. Plus, I know that I ate too much if I wasn’t hungry for a substantial part of the day. For the record, I think my numbers are closer to the first calculation.

I’m also lucky enough to live right across the street from my alma mater, which has a nice new gym. I can workout there for free, and Kim and I have been going pretty much every other day or so for a while. I’ll run for 10-15 minutes or shoot a basketball for 30 minutes, then lift some weights or do more cardio. It’s not an incredible amount of exercise, usually just 30-45 minutes. But I probably burn about 200-400 Calories and am building up some muscle, which should help with my metabolism.

So that’s the regiment so far. I’ll try to post an update, no matter how brief every day. Good luck to all the other fatties out there trying to get in shape.

Jason’s problem with this pre-wedding diet is really based on the following two points:

1. He can’t be hungry! He mistakes thirst for hunger, tiredness for hunger, and basically every other feeling as “Maybe I should eat something.” I actually love being hungry. I love when my stomach is lurching, cramping, and I feel as if I might pass out. It’s EXHILARATING!

2. He loves to add extra calories to his food! Jason can’t eat a sandwich without mayo or cheese, and chips on the side. So, sometimes, he’ll choose to go with only one of the above, where really he could go without all of them. He also loves to eat seconds (and thirds) of every dinner we make. While a lot of our dinners are semi-healthy in single servings, Jason always eats more than the “proper” serving. He also stays up late and eats food without my knowledge – so he can’t feel guilty about it….so don’t think I didn’t see that peanut butter-covered knife in the sink, mister!

These two points aside, I hope that this new “blogging about dieting” will help him stay on track. I know I can’t do anything to help… well there was one thing he said helped, but I can’t really mention that here without making you all blush 😉

Good luck, baby! (and I don’t harbor any ill feelings toward you, even if your chest is bigger than mine!!)

So not true Kim 😉

1. I said in this article that part of losing weight is accepting hunger as a good thing. And no duh I’m hungry all the time. I’m a big fat person!

2. You got me here. I love food. I don’t like dry bland sandwiches. I like flavorful sandwiches and cheese. Cheese is so good. Some people can cut some calories by removing these extras, but I can’t do it. I’d rather eat better food less often than more bad food. What I can do is cut out snacks. I’m not eating a lot between meals. I’ll try to keep two of my meals smallish and one bigger. On my bigger meal, I’ll usually eat like a person who’s not on a diet. As long as my daily total is < 2000 Calories.

On the topic of seconds… you and I usually eat at the same times. Simple physics will tell you that I need to eat twice as much as you since I'm twice as big. Just because you're tiny and can live off a 1200 Calorie diet doesn't mean that I can too. Plus you've been cooking some relatively low-cal meals lately. I need to eat 2 300-Cal bowls of soup to hit 600 Cals for my dinner.

You caught me on that PBJ I had the other night. Shit, I guess I'll have to do dishes when that happens in the future. For the record, I still calculate those splurges into my daily count. And they don't happen as often as you might think. Sometimes I have extra calories at the end of the day (I've eaten less than 2000). If I'm disciplined, I can suck it up and get net a less Cals for the day. But sometimes I "spend" these extra calories when I got 'em.

Anyway, I'm just making excuses here, and you are completely correct as always. Thanks for helping.

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[…] It seems I am not the only one thinking about this. Jason is the most vocal, par for the course for things Jason is into. But he also pointed to several other bloggers that are taking his lead and getting in shape. One of those bloggers, another Jason, pointed to The Google 15 Weight Tracker that gives you a 15 day moving average so you don’t get discouraged by daily fluctuations. With Google technology behind me what else do I need? I think I can figure it out in 3 easy steps. […]