Fat maths

I remember reading somewhere that a kilo of fat contains about 7,700 Calories of energy. Although looking on google I have seen 9,000 and 7,000 and 8,100. I am just going to use the 7,000 for ease of maths.

I can put on half a kilo (a pound) a week which is 3,500 cals easy, thats eating an extra (unneeded) 500 cals per day (that would be an understatement I reckon).

I estimate that if I cut out the junk I eat that will reduce my calories by 1,000 per day, so that is 500 that causes my weight to increase and 500 that will cause it to reduce. the net effect then is that instead of my weight going up by half a kilo (a pound) per week, it will go down by that much. And this is with no change in activity.

If I do some exercise that burns 500 cals per day then over a week I should have saved 3,500 cals from eating sensibly and burnt 3,500 from exercise. The effect then according to the maths will be a loss in body fat of 1 kilo (2 lbs).

And thats my plan – don’t eat 3,500 cals and burn 3,500 cals extra and aim to lose a kilo a week.

So the intake side is sorted, what about the activity how to burn an extra 500 cals?

well a half hour run is probably around 500, and biking at a similar heart rate is presumably similar. So what I need to do is do a minimum of half an hour of heavy breathing level exercise a day. Currently I aim to do that is 2 sessions a 10-15 minute run and a 20-30 min ride. Anyway it all looks feasible.

I’ll report back in a few days.

Maths summary:
Getting fat = eat needed cals + 500 per day
Staying fat = eat needed cals
reducing fat by 0.5kg (1 pound) per week = eat needed cals – 500 per day
reducing fat by 1kg (2.2 lbs) per week = eat needed cals – 500 per day and burn extra 500 cals per day.


Progress update

I finally got around to weighing myself, the figures:

Weight: 85 kg ( 187 lbs, 13 stone 5 lbs)

Fat: 30%

So I’ve lost 2kg (4 lbs) of fat in about a month. not brilliant, but not bad, especially considering I have been away.

I’m not sure its quite enough to keep me motivated though. And I am concerned about the number of months I need to keep this up for to get to my target weight of:

Weight: 70 kg ( 154 lbs, 11 stone 0 lbs)

On the positive side though I am really not interested in eating the junk food I used to love. If that were to become a permanent change I think I would be sorted. Just cutting that rubbish out will lose me half a kilo (a pound) a week I reckon.

Also I havent done as much activity as I was intending due to work pressures and various other basically weak excuses. I am back on track now though – I’m just back from a 1/2 hour bike ride.

Goal Setting

There are 2 basic types of goal

Performance goals – these are things you can totally control and actions you want to do. Examples for me

  • cut out the junk food
  • eat more fruit veg and cereals
  • do something active most days

Outcome goals – these are the things you hope will happen if you perform the actions in your performance goals. These are indirect goals and not something you can actually ‘do’. Examples for me

  • reduce my body fat
  • reduce my weight
  • improve my fitness

So the outcome goals are the things we really want, and performance goals relate to what we believe we need to do in order to achieve the outcomes we desire. It feels like I have to educate myself to care more about the performance side of things because I tend to focus on the outcomes, and I’m not sure thats too helpful.

For the next couple of weeks I’m going to concentrate on my main performance goals above, and try to fixate less on the outcomes I am after. I think I will still need to weigh myself frequently to reassure myself that my eating and exercising are working at reducing fat.

Do you focus on one type more than the other? Which?

Quick catch up

I’ve been away with work for a few days and basically realised my worst fears.

I had really convinced myself beforehand that I was going to be eating salads and fruit. As opposed to the burgers, chips, pastries and cakes that I ended up eating. (And to be honest they weren’t that impressive, nice, but not nice enough for the (fat) cost – I just have to keep reminding myself that!)

I took my gym kit and my swimming kit for all the exercise I was going to do whilst away. I’ve brought it all back unused. I was very busy to be sure, but I do believe I could have tried harder to compromise somewhere and get a bit of exercise in.

I havent had chance to weigh myself properly yet, but I suspect I’ve put on half a kilo (a pound) or so in the last week. so its not the end of the world – I have done this before and ended two weeks of intermittent effort fatter than I started. I don’t think I’m quite at that level, but possibly closer than I would like.

I’m still a bit jet lagged, and my clock is out of step, but Sunday I really have to get out and do something active. If the weather is as nice as it was today that should be ok, if not well… I should still be able to convince myself to get out.

I started this weight-loss campaign around 87 kg (13 stone 10 pounds, 192 pounds) and I suspect I am a pound or so lighter now. 0.5 kg or 1 pound weight loss in almost 3 weeks doesn’t sound that great.

Next week my focus is going to be on using my exercise shield to keep me off the junk food and trying to be as active as I possibly can, whilst still holding down my super sedentary job. Using replacement theory I’m going to up my fruit, veg and cereal intake.

Target for next weekend?

Weight of  85.something  kg ( 189 lbs, 13 stone 7 lbs) ish.

I want to lose at least 1 kilo (2 lbs).

What are your plans and targets?

Replacement theory

I read plenty of ‘advice’ on what to eat, and what not to eat. and plenty of advice on what to do and not do. All in the name of reducing fat or losing weight.

Personally I think advice on ‘cutting things out’ is misguided. I don’t think its possible to remove something on its own. Just like its impossible to stop a habit.

What we can do is replace something with something else. We have replaced our habit of chillin’ in front of the tele with tea and biscuits with getting out and about on an evening.

I am trying to replace fatty and sugary snacks with fruit or even water, or even some exercise. I havent worked out just what you can replace somethings with, but a surprising large range of things seems to work for me.

When I gave up smoking, I didn’t ‘give up’ I replaced it with sports.

What I would really like is to replace my sitting on my arse job with a physical one and still pay the bills.

Back to the point, don’t think about giving up or reducing, think instead of replacing with something else. Let us know if it works.

Cost of losing weight

I posted previously about the benefits of losing weight by reducing my body fat. The other side to that is what the cost are of this transformation.

I guess the main costs are:

  1. Time spent exercising
  2. Effort
  3. Financial cost of bike and fuel and other equipment
  4. Pain of avoiding some of my favourite foods
  5. possibly avoiding social situations that revolve around eating?

What others one can you think of?

I suppose I should also think about the cost of NOT losing weight as in the the bad things I’ll avoid if I get myself under control. I’ll save that topic for another post.

Tipping point

There is a theory I heard of somewhere about why some things suddenly seem to get easier.

Like if you are learning a new sport or language and at first it makes no sense, then suddenly something clicks and things start to be easier to learn.

I’m wondering if there is such a tipping point in the fat management world.

On putting weight on, I guess at some point it becomes harder to participate in active stuff and the fat piles on. I think I’ve come close, but not sure this has happened to me.

On losing weight, at some point it becomes possible to join in with sport or active hobbies. As you become more active the fat reduces more quickly, leading to a virtuous circle. I think I sort of went through this a few years ago when I got fit enough to go biking with some fit-lads.

Do you reckon there is a tipping point for fat reduction?