I’m a numbers guy. Pretty much my whole career has been spent manipulating spreadsheets in Excel. So, when I started to reconnect with healthy living again this Spring, naturally I built a spreadsheet to track my performance.
I learned something new this year using the Spark People website / phone app. For those of you who have joined Weight Watchers or some other program in the past, this is probably old news to you.
Anyway, it takes approximately 3,500 calories to lose a l pound of fat. If you know your BMR (basal metabolic rate – how many calories you burn each day just doing the normal routines of sleeping, eating, etc.) and how many calories you burn from exercise, then you can manage the calories you take in to create a deficit. In other words, you need to be burning more calories than you ingest in order to lose weight.
Well, I started tracking my estimated daily caloric deficit (I’m kind of swagging the calorie intake) and sure enough, I’m about within a 20% error rate to actual weight loss (I’ve actually lost more than the formula would suggest, meaning I’m probably underestimating my BMR or overestimating the calories I’m ingesting).
The only bad thing would be if I’m losing muscle AND fat which I obviously don’t want to do. But I’ve been working out pretty consistently, so if I am losing muscle, it’s probably a pretty small percentage.
Who knew that math and fitness could go together?