I'm finally over the monster cold that wiped me out last week. It was an ugly, ugly week for me. I was hungry all the time, I ate too much over the holiday weekend, and after the cold was finished with me, I feel like I'm starting all over again with exercise endurance.
So this week, it's time to get serious. Less than two months between now and BlogHer. I know that Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer in the US, and we're more likely to want summer treats and do less, but now is the time to get back on the bandwagon and make every week count.
I'm not doing three different challenges this week. Your goal this week is to do some math. Losing weight or maintaining weight is a simple mathematical principle of energy in-energy out. You take in less energy than you use, you lose weight. You take in more energy than you use, you gain weight.
Start this week by finding your basal metabolism. This is the estimated number of calories your body needs in order to simply support basic life functions: doing nothing other than sitting or laying down, breathing, and digesting your food. Any activity beyond that uses more calories past that number.
There are several basal metabolism calculators out there, and they should give you roughly the same answer. I use the Discovery Health calculator the most, only because it's the first one that popped up in a search. Once you know your basal metabolism, find activity calculators to figure out how many calories you burn doing your average daily activities. You can be as detailed as you want. Some even include calories burned while applying makeup!
Take your average daily calories needed to maintain your lifestyle, and subtract anywhere between 250 and 500 from that number if you want to lose weight. That new number is your calorie goal for each day.
Or if that's too complicated and you're not math inclined, simply take your basal metabolism and try to eat at or just above that number of calories each day, making sure to work in some exercise each day. Just remember not to restrict your calories under your basal metabolism - it can slow your weight loss and force your body into starvation mode.
For example, I'm 196 pounds as of Friday. (I'm sure after the weekend of BBQ and ice cream I'm no longer that weight, but I'll pretend I am.) According to the calculator, my basal metabolism is 1659 calories. Additional activities add another 679 calories each day, for a total of 2338. One pound is 3500 calories, or 500 calories lost per day, so if I keep my calories around 1838/day, I should lose one pounds per week.
I know, it's confusing. Which is why I like to use Weight Watchers and track points instead of these larger numbers. But I still think it's a good exercise to know your basal metabolism and how many calories you need to keep your body functioning.
So find out what your numbers are and post sometime this week with the results. Share if you were surprised with the number - was it more or less than you expected?