Saturday, November 15, 2008

Mid-Month Update

Today is November 15th, halfway through my first month of a Monthly Calorie Budget. Today is the day I look at the numbers and reevaluate the plan and my progress.

I began with a Calorie Budget of 48000 calories for November (which averages 1600/day). The idea is *not* to binge like a fool half the time and starve the other half; the concept here is moderation with an eye to the future. So far, this has really helped me avoid several pitfalls:

1. Eating too much for one meal and then saying "oh well, I ruined the day, may as well eat anything I want and start over tomorrow." Can't do that on a monthly budget, since one "bad" meal does not mess up the month. It's easier to make up for the extra calories over several days rather than just ignoring them and pretending they never happened.

2. Binge eating. One binge *could* totally make it impossible to complete the monthly budget. It would make it so I would have to eat 500 calories a day for the rest of the month... something I am unwilling AND unable to do. So I have successfully avoided binges because I don't want to screw things up.

So what are the stats so far?
I have eaten just over 27,000 calories so far this month. A lot of days I did eat 1200-1400 because I had some indulgences on my Chicago weekend. So now I have just under 21,000 calories left for the rest of the month. That's about 1300/day. While doable, that wouldn't be pleasant nor realistic for me. So I decided that I will tweak the budget a bit. Instead of 1600/day I am going to revamp the month to include 1700/day. In effect I am adding an extra 3000 calories to the budget. That gives me some wiggle room and accounts for Thanksgiving as well. It will still be a challenge (I will have to stay around 1500/day for the next 2 weeks) but much more likely for me to succeed.

I've often looked at calorie calculators that tell me I could eat 2000 or even 2400 calories a day and lose weight. I've always said, "that's nuts! I eat 1500-1600 a day and I barely lose weight unless I exercise!" Well guess what? I was not accounting for the "off" days. This monthly budget has made me realize just how many days I used to go over my daily calorie amount and shrug it off as if it never happened. I probably WAS eating 2000 or more per day... not 1500! Interesting. I always thought I had a slow metabolism or something. But so far this month I have averaged 1940 calories per day (because of the big-calorie days on my trip) and I am down six pounds.

Yes, that's right, I am down six pounds this month. I weigh 228.

I biked for 30 minutes every day this week. I strength trained twice and will again today. I feel pretty good about things. I am calling it a success, so far.

And now I am off to the Farmer's Market for some fresh veggies!

29 comments:

elife said...

6 pounds! That's great. I think what you're doing is really interesting...I go through the same thought process, thinking "I could never lose weight on 2,000 cals!" but I think you're right, I'm just not paying attention.

Melissa said...

Yay! That's exciting. I think it's smart to add the extra calories to your budget, rather than forcing yourself to stick to a daily calorie budget that is much too low. And clearly it's working :)

Katschi said...

Looks like you got your groove back, Lyn. Isn't the exercise invigorating?!

Ames said...

WOOHOO. Awesome!!! Congrats.

I like your monthly budget idea.

sonia said...

WOWOW - 6 pounds, that's great!

To each their own - whatever works for you, congrats on finding something that makes you feel good, and helps keep you on track.

oxo.

LissaLee said...

Lyn- I am so happy for you! I always need a kick in the head when it comes to remembering moderation.

ryry the adventurous said...

YAAAAAAAAAAY! 6 Pounds?? Oh my god! That is so awesome!!! I'm jealous hehe. But SO HAPPY this is working for you!! YAY LYN!

Hanlie said...

That is a wonderful way of holding yourself accountable... I'm so glad that it's working for you.

spunkysuzi said...

Congrats on the great loss! I'm glad you have found something that works for you, i think you have to try several things before you find the one things that's right for you :)

Benjamin Teal said...

That is awesome! You would be surprised how many people forget to count the "off days" when using the calorie calculators. You are definitely not alone there. I really like the idea of the monthly calorie calculator to thwart that problem.

Again congrats on the loss, and thank you for the great idea!

moonduster said...

6 pounds is terrific progress!!! Woohoo!!!

RACHEL! said...

The number-crunching is very enlightening! I've just finally started counting calories and am continually surprised at all the ways calories add up that I wasn't even aware of. Guess that's what it's all about, eh? Congrats on the weight loss!

redballoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
redballoon said...

Lyn,

I like your budget idea as well though I hate calorie counting. I may try to incorporate something like this into my life, though it would be more an estimate budget because I find counting calories makes me overeat out of frustration.


Yes, the "off days" are what throw us. We think what's done is done and it is, but there are consequences that come to be paid later and those we forget. I am SO guilty of this too.


I'm so glad to hear you're becoming more and more aware of what you do and I do wish you success in your weight loss journey. I love reading your blog.
Hang in there!

kilax said...

I am happy to hear it's working and the number on the scale is coming down! Do what works for you! :)

Scale Junkie said...

WOW great job on another great loss.

Paula said...

Congratulations!

Teenage Veg Head said...

you are such an inspiration!
i have been reading your blog for months and I think its great that your trying so hard. keep up the amazing work!!

6 pounds is awesome!

MizFit said...

YAY!!!

and kudos on fitting in the bike riding. with a child your daughters age it is a freakin MIRACLE :)

Miz.

Lynne said...

I am glad this is working for you! You are doing awesome. I bet you can't wait to post your big loss for the month -- especially with Thanksgiving and Chicago behind you!

Keep it up - Your focus is keen!
I'm thinking of you!!

Vickie said...

when I read this posting -
which I loved -
I got an over all sense of
EVEN-NESS -
is that how you feel?

Karyn said...

SIX pounds!!! That is terrific!

I am so glad the monthly budget is working for you!

Meg said...

I think that your monthly calorie budget is pure genius and I thank you for sharing your idea. I want you to know that your blog is incredibly inspiring for me!

Heather said...

sounds like youve had a great start the the month, that is a great loss so far! I think its great that you are giving yourself more calories - the last you need to be is hungry because that is not healthy, and it usually will cause a person to overeat.

Miss Milo said...

What an interesting idea, Lyn... I'm so glad it's working for you! 6 pounds is fantastic!

Pandora said...

Lyn, Congratulations! Perhaps the most important part of the budget has been the self knowledge you have gained....and the successful problem solving.

Perhaps even at 1500 per day for the rest of the month you are thinking too low. I'm increasingly finding that I lose better when I cycle a bit, some lower days, but more importantly a day or two of higher calories. (Note, not binges, not craziness, just more than I generally eat.) You don't want to set your metabolism to slow down. (Six pounds is awesome! And that is more than two pounds a week, which after a year of weightloss is pretty spectacular!)

Give yourself a ton of credit! Three cheers for Lyn!

workout mommy said...

GREAT job and I'm so happy to hear you got to ride your bike so much! :)

findyourownweigh said...

Hey, that's great! You've done amazingly well with your calorie budget. Great lessons, like getting right back on track and realizing binging puts us way further behind that we might have thought. I'll keep them in mind for myself.

new*me said...

wow .....6 lbs!!! I am so ready to be in the 220's!!!