Thursday, April 07, 2011
I come from a family of large barrel chested men. I'm 5'11 and 247 lbs. According to most charts, tables, doctors, etc. I should weigh around 180 lbs. If I did that, my neck would be the size of a pencil. I would be very happy to weigh between 200-220.
Two years ago I had a heart attack. I went straight into cardiac rehabilitation. There I worked out with an EKG machine, a nurse, a physical therapist, and a dietician/nutritionist. I had to sit down with all three and go over why I had a heart attack.
This brings me to GENETICS SUCK! My father had 3 heart attacks, a quintuple bypass, and two strokes before he hit 55. Because of this I gave up soda, red meat, pork, and fatty foods (a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet). I have done this for the past 10 years.
Bouncing back to meeting with the dietician, she asked what I ate and I told her my version of a low fat diet and that I tried to eat around 2,000 calories. She was shocked how good my diet is/was and still had the heart attack. She plugged my stats into a formula and told me with my activity level, I should be burning around 2,800 calories per day. This was if I didn’t work out more than my usual daily routine. In order to lose 1 lb per week, she told me to keep a 500 calorie/day deficit.
I picked up a gym membership and started working out about 3-5 times per week. After a year with no results, I signed up with Sparkpeople. My nutrition tracker informs me that I should be burning around 2,700 calories per day. This is in the ball park and confirmed what my nutritionist told me. When I work out, the equipment told me that I was burning around 500-900 calories per hour depending on the machine and workout. This would put my calorie burn at around 3,200-3,600 calories per day.
Two months at working out at a 1,000-1,200 calorie per day deficit, I fluctuated water weight at best. A trainer started pushing the Bodybugg. I got a better deal on a Bodymedia through Costco, so figured hey, scientific data to disprove my dietician and Sparkpeople.
Now a constant tattle tale hangs on my as a constant reminder of how much I work out or slack off. It claims to be scientifically proven, yadda yadda. Guess what. It confirms what Sparkpeople, my dietician, and about half a dozen websites tell me… my calorie burn is about 3,200 to 3,400 on a monthly average. So I continue eating 2,200 calories trying to lose weight. Hurray consensus! Booo no weight loss in 6 months other than 2 lbs.
Monday I see my doctor. I show him the printout from Sparkpeople and from Bodymedia to show him how hard I have been working, my calorie deficit, and my lack of weight loss. You’ll never believe what he tells me. Everything that I am listening to contradicts what he was trained. There’s no way I generate that much of a calorie burn, and if I want to lose weight, I need to drop down to 1,700 calories per day to achieve a 1 lb per week loss.
Forget Sparkpeople, forget the Bodymedia, and forget what my cardiac rehabilitation nutritionist told me… they’re all wrong! I was dumbfounded. As it is, if I drop below a 1,500 calorie a day deficit (going off my Bodymedia estimated calorie burn), I get light headed and weak. Also keep in mind, when I hike, I’m getting around a 5,000 to 6,000 calorie per day burn estimate. So the million dollar question is, do I try to put faith in what a doctor who was trained in nutrition 20-30 years ago tells me, or things that are more up to date (more updated dietician, Bodymedia, and Sparkpeople). Grrrrrrrr!