Weight loss explained in simple terms

Burn more calories than you take in. It’s that simple. You want to loose a pound? You need to burn 3500 calories from stored body fat. One gram of body fat stores about 7.7 calories (there are other things in human body fat that don’t convert to calories so 9 calories per gram of pure fat does not apply). To date I’ve lost 64 pounds. That’s roughly 241,000 calories … that enough energy to burn a 60 watt light bulb for 280 hours! That’s enough calories to supply me the energy to walk 1,377 miles!

Everyone wants to know how I’ve done it. “What are you doing?” they ask. And when I tell them I am running, walking, lifting weights, taking vitamins and eating healthier you’d think I told them I was abducted by aliens. My guess is people want me to say I’m taking hoodia or some other weight-loss pill. Or worse, I had surgery. Seriously, people cannot believe I did it without taking something or doing something other than getting my butt up off the couch and shutting off the crap on my TV. Yeah, it’s hard work. I sweat. I ache. I’m tired. I don’t really want to do it. I used to hate going to the Y, and I still hate to go when I have missed a day or two of exercise. And with this messed up toe, running is out as is the elliptical machine .. as is anything that requires me to “stress” the foot. But I can lift weights. So until this foot heals, I have to lift every day. Low weights, high reps to get the heart rate up. And my normal weight lifting days I do the heavier work. The point is, I keep at it.

Look, I’m excited about my weight-loss, and when people ask I love to talk about the things I learned and how those things worked for me and what I had to do to find the right routine. And it’s always more than they want to hear. So now I just say “hard work”. There are few people I can talk to about it that really have an interest. I’ll bet right now you could care less and want me to move on to something else. Well I’m not.

I’m within the weight zone I originally set for myself. But according to my scale and the calipers and other body fat calculation tools I’ve still got a bit more to loose. My body fat is still at 24% (that’s the average of 3 methods) and my BMI is at 23.9. Both are still a little high. And I am beginning to agree. This “extra skin” on my belly is still fat. Period. It’s not extra skin. Everything I’ve read and researched indicates that as you build muscle and fat gets burned the skin will shrink to fit. As long as you stay hydrated and eat right and take care of your skin it will stretch and shrink as needed.

Here’s the theory I have about body fat and skin boiled down really simple – Pinch the skin on the back of your hand (this will work unless you are really overweight) and pull it up away from your hand. You see how thin the skin is an how it stretches? When you pinch it, it’s about twice as thick as a dime (at least it is for me and for my wife and daughters) and it should stretch. And when you let go it shrinks back into place. If you are really overweight this will not work as your skin is already stretched and there is fat behind it as well. When you “pinch an inch” on your abs, you should be able to pinch it, pull it and stretch about an inch.

These last 2 pounds of loss have taken 3 weeks. Once of those weeks was a gain. I’ve been trying to figure out the best routine to maintain the weight I want. After doing more and more reading and research, I need to be honest here. Stopping at 220 to 225 is not ideal. I need to keep going on the weight loss routine until my BMI hits 22 and body fat is below 18%. And that should put my weight around 212 to 215. That is dead center for recommended BMI and slightly above center in the body fat % and weight charts for someone my height. That means I have 10 to 13 pounds to go. And I can do that. As well as continue to read up on maintaining weight once I get there.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Weight loss explained in simple terms

  1. Alicia

    I find your posts interesting and since I can’t find enough free time do all the research you’ve done, it’s like reading cliff notes or “weight loss for dummies!”

  2. Well thanks! I have learned so much. Most by trial and error. Like maintaining my weight. I have yet to figure out the right combination of exercises. I don’t want the “I have to do 5 days of hour long cardio” to maintain. There is a balance to be found, it’s just like the trial and error I went through when I first started losing weight.

    And speaking of losing weight, how goes your quest?

  3. Alicia

    I’m still down 9 lbs. Started doing the toning, so I’m not discouraged that I haven’t lost anymore, yet….

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