It’s not that people lie on purpose; when it comes to weight loss, the most recent statistics show overweight people underreporting daily food intake by 30-40% while normal weight individuals underreport by 16%. Virtually no one over-reports their food intake. Additionally, they’ll overestimate how much they move. The combination of those two little white lies that folks tell themselves is partially to blame the expanding waistline of the American public.
I’m not immune to these lies. I feel like I’ve struggled with my weight for years. Well, wait… let me back up there. For most of my life I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. It wasn’t until I was in my first marriage that I used food to emotionally cope with my problems. Although I wasn’t fit when I got married, I was thin, and when I got divorced,I was definitely fat. Here’s my transformation in case you’ve missed it.
Since I’ve taken the bulk of the weight off, I’ve still struggled; my weight has fluctuated no more than 20 lbs for the past few years. Still, I’d like it to be more stable. Recent attempts to lower my weight on my own have been half successful. Now I admittedly have very little weight to lose; I just want my clothes to fit better – a little roomier.
One of my problems has always been that I scoffed at the calorie estimators that said that I probably needed about 2000 calories in order to maintain my weight. I swore that 2000 calories was waayy too many calories; I’d balloon back up to 175 lbs if I ate that much. I have a slower metabolism than the calculators are estimating.
Another one of my problems is that I gave myself an entire cheat day on Saturdays. Anything I wanted, I ate. And let me tell you that I can eat a lot! The concept of a cheat day is that one day of overeating is good for a person who is restricting their calorie intake as it gives the body and brain a break. Too low of a caloric intake for too long could cause the body to stop shedding fat, and rather try to preserve it in order to stay alive. Although I have kept an electronic journal of my food consumption for years, I never tracked my food for those “cheat” days because 1) it was too difficult to estimate, and 2) it would have been too difficult to admit to how many (empty & junk food) calories I was really eating. Ignorance is bliss, you know.
So the tool that I am now using to manage my weight is called the bodybugg. I’ve been using the bodybugg since March 19th (just over 7 weeks). Within that time, I’ve lost 6 lbs!
I would love to tell you that the bodybugg has made me lose the weight, but the truth is that it’s just a tool. One thing that I really like about it is that it cuts through the bull crap that a dieter can dish out: “I have a slow metabolism!” Because the bodybugg knows how many calories you’re burning, the only real variable is the food that you’re journaling. So, as you progress towards your goal, when you weigh yourself weekly, the application will give you feedback as to how accurately you’re tracking your calories.
Here’s a screen shot of one of the reports that is useful to see how realistic you are being with the foods that you consume.
So in this graphic, the light green bars represent the number of calories I logged each day. The dark green line is the number of calories that the application estimates that I ate based on my weekly weigh-ins. Overall, I”m not doing too badly. I’m underestimating my calories by 111 per day, or 16% – just under the average.
“What have you been doing that’s different?” That’s a question that I’ve been getting recently as people are noticing the decrease in my size. Well a couple of things:
- Although I allow myself to eat anything I want, I have gotten a little more precise about measuring & weighing my food portions. And, thanks to the bodybugg, I’m journaling my food again – which, by the way the application makes it very easy to do. It’s a really nice interface.
- I’ve been pretty strict about asking myself “Am I hungry?” when I’m eating; AND stopping eating when I’m no longer hungry. Which is different than stopping when I’m full.
- I don’t save my cheats for one day a week anymore. As you can see from the graphic above, I have a higher calorie day on Saturdays, but I eat chocolate pretty much every day. I just don’t have a whole bar; I leave it to about 100 calories. I sprinkle treats in throughout the week, and I make them work with my calorie budget for the day.
- I’ve been moving more. When you upload the data from the armband to the bodybugg application, it charts your movement across 24 hours of the day. When I’m sitting, I only burn about 1 calorie per minute. When I run, I burn about 11 c/m. When I’m just moving around the house cleaning up or doing basic chores, I burn about 3 c/m. I HATE seeing those 1 calorie per minute lines. So, instead of just sitting on the couch, I’m up & doing more. It’s extremely motivating!
I used to be one of those people who thought that they had a slow metabolism. I really thought that I had to starve myself in order to lose weight. Its just not true; and the bodybugg is proof of it. The truth is that the calorie estimators were wrong. I don’t burn an average of 2000 calories per day. I burn about 2200!
“People say they love truth, but in reality they want to believe that which they love is true.”
– Robert J. Ringer
Copyright Elizabeth Sherman. Purchase a Bodybugg through Elizabeth Sherman.