Day 36- How Many Calories Do I Need?


The basic tenet of weight loss is eat less calories than your body uses in a day and you will lose weight.  Someone, a long time ago came up with the number 1800 as the number of calories you used each day.  This number did not take into consideration sex, age, height or general activity level, it was useless.  An online calculator like this one uses all of those inputs and gives you an approximation.  It says that I need between 3050 and 3250 calories a day to maintain my weight, I say ‘let’s find out.’

I decided to see exactly how many calories I need each day.  To do this I ate exactly the same number of calories every day for seven days and did the usual amount of activity that I normally do.  I carefully chose the foods I would eat each day to account for my personal tastes and to make sure that I would be getting adequate protein and fat to support the workout strategy I was pursuing.  If I skimped on protein, my strength work would be useless as the recovery process would be short-changed thus negating any gains in that area.

My weight this morning will be the ending weight for this experiment, and the formula below should give me a really good indication of how many calories I actually need each day, then I will know exactly how much I need to eat in order to lose the weight that I want to lose.  Water weight can often skew results such as the ones I am trying to get but I maintain an intake of at least 1 gallon of water every day, much more on endurance rides, typically 1/2 to 1 additional gallons, it sounds like a lot but a typical ride for me is in excess of 2 hours of continuous effort.

Part 1-  Beginning weight- ending weight= net pounds lost(we hope)

Part 2-  [calorie intake for one week+(net pounds lost x 3500)]/7=daily maintenance calories

P1: 288.4-282.8=5.6 lbs.   P2:[12,215+( 5.6×3500)]/7=4545 calories

If I further adjust this for the heavy endurance work I am doing this week, 4545-(6000/7)=3688 should hit the nail on the head.

This means that I can lose 1 pound a week by eating an average of 500 calories a day less than 3688  or  3188 calories.  I really look forward to eating something different tomorrow, as you might imagine.  As far as my choices for the ‘special diet’ went, I chose pork because of it’s excellent protein content and the fact that I could get a loin roast at an exceptional price and trim it and run it through my meat grinder and make exact portions.  Eggs and spinach, in my opinion, are perfect foods and I would not hesitate to eat them at any meal.  An onion a day was tough, so I mixed it up between the salad, the pork and the lentils.  2 jalapenos were no problem as I cooked them with the onions.  Tuna because it is simple and easy, Ro-Tel tomatoes because I like them.  Finally, lentils are a new favorite of mine, they go with anything and you can put anything in them to vary the flavor.  And they are easier to cook than dried beans, take that beans.

I would not suggest that anyone try this themselves, trust that I followed this diet as exactly as humanly possible, no cheating, not even once.  This was done for me, to prove a point and to find out something about myself.  Take what you will from the results, as much as I tried to remove all of the variables there is still room for error, it is expected to a certain degree, I just tried to make that error as small as I could.

My food
4 eggs(320 cal.)P28F21.2C0
1 tsp. coconut oil(40 cal.)P0F4.7C0
1 Can tomatoes and chilies(50 cal.)P2.5F0C10
total=410 cal. P 30.5 F 25.9 C 10

Protein shake
whey isolate(130 cal.)P20F3.5C6
16 oz. 2% milk(244 cal.)P16.2F9.6C24.6
Total=374 cal. P 36.2 F 13.1 C 30.6

1st lunch
2 cans tuna(180 cal.)P40F2C0

2nd lunch
5 oz. spinach(35 cal.)P4F.5C5
1/2 cup lentils(240 cal.)P20F0C40
2 tbsp. italian dressing(60 cal.)P0F6C3
total-335 cal. P 24 F 6.5 C 48

8 oz. pork loin(264 cal.)P50.6F5.2C0
1 onion(64 cal.)P1.4F.1C15.5
2 jalapeños(8)P.2F0C2
1 tbsp. coconut oil(120 cal.)P0F14C0
total=446 cal. P 52.2 F 19.3 C 17.5
daily total= 1745 P 182.9 F 66.8 C 106.1


My workout

cycling 29.09 mi. 3025 cal.  16.55 MET hrs.

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