Treating Dieting as a Hobby (see: ABOUT ME) involves the ongoing task of finding or creating ways to keep myself interested in detailed issues involving Weight-Loss and Maintenance, as well as watching how MY own body responds to those various issues.
Here at DietHobby I sometimes share my personal weight and calorie numbers, along with Tactics that I’ve used to help me in Maintenance. These past articles showing my weight and calorie history can be easily located under BLOG CATEGORIES, Status Updates.
Yesterday I posted about my Summer Experiment 2017.
Collecting, recording, and analyzing detailed personal data has helped me lose weight and maintain that weight-loss.
For the past 13 years I’ve been logging all of my daily food intake into a computer food journal which provides me with a calorie count. I’ve also been using a scale to see my early morning weight, unclothed, immediately after urination, which I record immediately.
As part of my long-term-weight-loss-Maintenance journey I use various charts to track my progress. Although each chart uses the exact same weight and calorie information, I’ve found that charting that information in different ways helps give me new viewpoints which sometimes results in additional insight.
My body’s daily weight tends to Bounce up and down quite a lot. In my weight-loss phase I created a table that I call a “Bounce Chart”, and during a specific time period, I make daily entries to a specific chart in order to track the range of my daily weight deviations.
The 98 Days of Summer “Bounce” chart shown here covers the 98 day time period between Memorial Day and Labor Day 2017. It shows my starting weight was 133.2 and my ending weight was 132.0. So, this shows that I had a net weight loss of 1.2 pounds for the entire summer which involved a 9 pound “Bounce Range”.
During that 98 day period, I ate an average of 662 calories per day. 1st third of the summer, my calories averaged 624 per day; 2nd third of summer, my calories averaged 654 per day; 3rd third of summer, my calories averaged 705 per day.
Weekly Results Chart
This “Weekly Results” chart shows my Monday morning weight along with my daily calorie average for the prior week.
It covers the 19 week period from April 17, 2017 through September 4, 2017, showing the ongoing connections between my weekly weight and my daily average calorie intake.
This chart shows that during this time period, my net weight loss was 1.2 pounds, with a 19 week calorie average of 684.
Online chart from TrendWeight
The Chart below is from the website: “TrendWeight, Automated Weight Tracking in the Style of the Hacker’s Diet .“
It provides a graph showing my weight Trend Line from April 17, 2017 through September 4, 2017 together with my actual daily weights.
This shows that on this current date, my actual weight is trending at 133.1 pounds.
Like most online calculators, the TrendWeight chart relies only on weight input, and makes assumptions about the calories of one’s food intake based on the commonly used metabolic formulas such as Harris Benedict or Mifflin.
I input 120 pounds as my goal weight, and took it’s lowest weight-loss option, which was to lose ½ pound per week. Based on that data the program told me that my body is eating 174 more calories than it is burning, and that to lose ½ pound a week, I need to eat 424 calories less per day.
My daily calorie average for the entire Trend Weight time period was actually 684 calories, and based on my ongoing weights, according to TrendWeight’s metabolic data, my body’s current total metabolic burn is 510 calories.
Furthermore, TrendWeight tells me that in order to lose ½ pound per week, I will need to subtract 424 calories per day from the amount that I am now eating. Subtracting 424 calories from my average calorie intake of 684 results in a recommendation to eat a daily average of only 260 calories daily in order to achieve a ½ pound weekly weight loss.
The Realities of Life
In previous articles I’ve spent a great deal of time discussing the issues surrounding the mathematical Metabolic formulas, including the fact that they are all based on AVERAGES; that a 15% deviation up or down is normal while there are some people (outliers) whose numbers are FAR different than the group number.
At present, most experts consider Mifflin to be the most accurate of these formulas. To keep things in perspective, Mifflin gives the average 72 year old, 5'0" tall, female weighing 130 pounds a BMR of 1016 calories. When sedentary activity is included to that number, the average daily caloric maintenance requirement is 1219.
One of the leading obesity researchers, Dr. Rudolph Leibel of Columbia University, says that a “reduced obese” person’s metabolic burn will normally be about 15% less than the metabolic burn of a person (of the same height, weight, age, and activity level) who has always been a “normal” weight. Also, I recently saw a medical obesity specialist that I respect say that he’s occasionally seen deviations 25% lower than the average Mifflin BMR.
So, if we assumed the average "normal" weight person of my size and age would have a BMR burn of 1000 calories, a 25% reduction would be 750 calories. As there are different levels of sedentary activity, a sedentary metabolic burn of 1100 calories would not be unreasonable, and a 25% reduction would be 825 calories.
Calorie counting is never an exact science, and at these low numbers, an unwitting daily 10 to 20 percent error could account for a 100 to 150 calorie deviation. This could bring an outlier’s maintenance calorie burn to around 675, which is where … evidentially… my calorie burn has been trending.
Here’s an online chart graphing
my Average Weekly Weights over the past 8 ½ years.
This chart reflects that since 2013, I’ve had several successful weight drops down into the low 120s, but even though during the past 4 years my daily calorie intake averages totalled less than 1000, my body has been unable to maintain those weight-losses long-term.
The right half of this chart involves weights from the high 130s to the low 120s … a bounce range of around 15 pounds or so.
I think it is relevant to point out that I diligently and consistently worked at dieting for weight-loss and maintenance during ALL of this time period, and the ongoing Ups and Downs shown in the right half of the chart can NOT be attributed to periods of inattention or ongoing periods of "overeating". The drastic weight drops involved a drop in glycogen, salt, water, & waste due to several weeks of radical very-low-calorie diets of around 200 to 300 calories. Many of the weight increases reflected the return of that glycogen, salt, water & waste when my calories increased to an average of between 700 and 1000 calories.
For an understanding of the kinds and amounts of food I normally eat, look at the photos of meals I’ve recorded in RESOURCES, Photo Gallery section, under the heading Petite Meals.
So, what can a reduced-obese person who has metabolic numbers like I have, do?
I feel certain that additional exercise is not part of a solution for me. Almost 12 years ago, when I got to my original goal weight of 115 pounds, I was 60 years old and physically able to be more active than I am now. Furthermore, I have spent my 72 year lifetime as a sedentary person whose favorite outdoor activity is to go back inside. When considering my age, my current mindset and physical limitations, there is very little I can do to change my current activity level. The small amount of additional exercise I might be able to tolerate would increase my hunger but do very little to increase my calorie burn.
I can continue working to track my calories and weight as carefully and exactly as possible.
I can continue working to keep the calories of my food intake as low as I can reasonably, healthily, and happily tolerate.
I can continue working toward keeping my weight as low as my body will healthfully allow.
I can work to ACCEPT the fact that things are just as they should be even though my body weight now has a BMI near the border between “normal” and “overweight”. Since my body appears to be unwilling to return to my original weight-loss goal … despite numerous, exhaustive attempts to force it do so, …. its continued refusal to cooperate with my weight-loss attempts might be an indicator that my body is already at its optimal weight for this late stage of my life.
Mar 01, 2021 DietHobby: A Digital Scrapbook. 2000+ Blogs and 500+ Videos in DietHobby reflect my personal experience in weight-loss and maintenance. One-size-doesn't-fit-all, and I address many ways-of-eating whenever they become interesting or applicable to me.
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