The NEW and Not-So-Improved Weight-Loss Math…

I recently wrote about being somewhat frustrated at the pace of my weight loss in recent months.  It turns out it might actually just be the way things roll the longer one is playing the losing game.  One of my MFP pals (rocking it, Jarvis) sent me an article after I wrote the above-mentioned post, which depressed me in one breath, solved the mystery in the next, and ultimately tried to end the next breath with some “good” news.  To sum the article up in Clem’s Notes terms (Clem is Cliff’s dumber and ADD-riddled brother), the 3500-calorie rule does not always apply the longer you’ve been calorizing.

The old way, quoting the above article:

Since there are 3,500 calories in a pound of body fat, eating 500 fewer calories each day – or burning them off exercising – will lead to a slow and steady weight loss of a pound a week. (The math: 500 x 7 days = 3,500)

That’s fine and dandy in the beginning… but as you lose weight your metabolism changes and ultimately it’s your metabolism that determines the rate of weight loss.

As the body slims down, metabolism slows, causing it to burn fewer calories at rest. A smaller body also burns fewer calories during exercise. The net result: a sluggish rate of weight loss that can frustrate dieters calorizers and cause them to abandon their plan. 

I’m pretty much guessing that nearly 3 years of calorizing would put me in that slows down category.  Which is depressing to know that I can’t just rely on 500 fewer calories per day losing me 1 pound of fat at the end of that week.  On the upside, the article also goes on to say that if one keeps following the “plan,” they will eventually get to where they want to be… just at a slower pace.

Kind of like the tortoise and the hare, except that if the tortoise was calorizing.  It’s interesting to learn this information… and while it did get me a bit down at first, I’m falling back on my whole point in the first place… this is a lifestyle change… not a race.  It at least solves the mystery of why I haven’t been losing as fast as I had been in the beginning… despite preplanning my meals, weighing everything I put into my mouth down to the milligram, and exercising at least 4 to 5 days a week for the last few months.  Patience, grasshopper… patience.

I’m out… off to find an article that tells me I can become a billionaire if I follow “the plan.”

Question of the Day:  I’m finding it more beneficial to focus on the nonscale victories (NSVs), rather than what the scale says… what was your latest NSV?




Filed under Calorizing, Diet

14 responses to “The NEW and Not-So-Improved Weight-Loss Math…

  1. Natalie

    I can verify that my body is doing exactly that. And Whitney, i’m the size of an 11 yr old boy and practically menapausal!! I think it’s been, what? 6 years? since I lost a pound? That means I’m beyond snail pace! It’s true, though. All the zig zagging in the world gets you to the same place at the same rate. So buckle in and work on the rest of you and living, while you are waiting.

  2. Susan

    Latest NSV: Lost 6 inches during February.

  3. Natalie

    Despite being at “goal” basically for the whole winter, not having lost any that I haven’t already lost (3-5lb variation) I’ve still got a 3ft stack of clothes that don’t fit. And a size smaller shirt and bra. So it’s not all for nothing! There is re-arranging going on!

  4. cl2

    That’s a good one–NSVs!!! UMMM! None. I’m dealing with a sick dog. One of the reasons I said I’d never get another dog–and now he is sick. I feel so helpless–do with my kids, too. He only weighs just over 5 pounds so 2 days of no eating and losing all fluid is scary to me. Going back and forth from CO makes it difficult, too. I’m SO burned out. I’m staying home 5 to 6 weeks in April as my daughter goes back to Alaska in May. YAY!

    Weight loss is so difficult. Nobody really gets it if they’ve never had to lose more than 50 pounds! It kills me when someone says, “If I could just lose 10 pounds.” My ex used to say, “Just stop eating.” ha ha ha Then he gained about 30 pounds and I said, “Hey, just stop eating.”

    You have done so well. Your regular exercise is what I really admire! And all the cooking. I have to find somewhere I can buy already prepared food. I’m just too lazy to cook all my food. Hang in there. You are our inspiration!

    • Oh no… is it your new little doggie that is sick? 😦 I’m sending him get well vibes. I hope it’s something that is easily fixed. I’m glad you are getting to stay put for a few weeks… rejuvinate.

  5. cl2

    I didn’t mean Yay my daughter is going back to Alaska! I mean I get to stay at my home for 6 weeks. I have a reason to not tend Mike’s giant dog.

  6. Jarvis95

    Very well written Whit, I think i prefer Clem’s notes over Cliff’s now!! I’m sorry this got you down at first, but i have to really agree it fits your whole attitude-lifestyle change, for life!! and this is pretty awesome..” preplanning my meals, weighing everything I put into my mouth down to the milligram, and exercising at least 4 to 5 days a week for the last few months”. You will win the weight race, plus a whole bunch of other health benefits along the way! and finally, i think my last NSV would just be looking in the mirror this last week and being happy with what i saw!

  7. Louisa a.k.a. ProudMomOfTwo

    Loce the pic, Whitney

    Plateau-city that is where I have been residing for the past month or so.
    {heavy sigh}
    I don’t like it. I want to move.
    Been sick & taking care of a sick kid here for the past 10 days. That is a lot considering we rarely get sick. I guess we were due.
    I have done all that MFP suggests but I am still waiting….

    My latest NSV…I have made the decision to implement strength training into my mostly cardio workouts.
    I will be ordering the TurboFire program for myself. I chose TurboFire over Insanity & P90X because I have heard others say they really like it, its fun, the music is better than the other programs I mentioned, and it has modified exercises for joint problems.

    I wouldn’t be SO bummed about the plateau I am on if I were losing inches…but nothing is moving and that is really FRUSTRATING me.

    • It’s so frustrating isn’t it, Louisa? I totally feel your pain. But, if we’re doing it the healthy way, we’ll be more likely to keep it off forever. Hang in, Chica! Let me know how you like Turbofire!

  8. You will pull through this plateau. You will! You are going about you training the right way. You are maintaining a healthy lifestyle that is not consuming your every waking breath. You are being healthy and able to enjoy life at the same time – that is the trick! You are on the right track for sure 🙂
    NSV – love that acronym!! My latest NSV is having a treat and not punishing myself with endless cardio! Working on getting my mind right again – baby steps!

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