About 8 weeks ago I decided to start charting the following things on a spreadsheet:
-Daily Deficit I create as shown by Spark People
-Daily Deficit I create as shown by Body Media (Body Bugg)
-How much those two differ
-How much those weekly deficit totals project I should lose each week
-How much I actually lose or GAIN each week
Well.. I must say that I am pleased with my little experiment. Spark People and Body Media are VERY VERY close to each other in their CALORIES BURNED ESTIMATIONS.
Over a period of a little over 8 weeks the weight loss that Spark People's total deficits projected I would have lost and the weight loss that Body Media's total deficits projected I would lose were only .9 lbs different. That is less than a pound of difference that the two sources projected I would lose.
My actual loss from a little over 8 weeks was 10.8 lbs.
Not impressive, I know... BUT... as far as my little experiment went I am very impressed because of how CLOSE both Spark People and Body Media were at letting me know how much I would lose by how much work I had put in over the past 8 weeks.
No... Spark People and Body Media don't TELL me how much I am going to lose.. I have to do a little math to figure that out. That is where my spreadsheet comes in handy.
Of course we also have to take into consideration water weight fluctuations and what not. Which is why I thought it best to monitor these numbers over a period of 8 weeks as opposed to just 2 or 3 weeks.
I was using the deficit system before this 8 weeks to lose weight.. but it wasn't until recently that I started to document my deficit numbers daily to see how I was doing over time.
As most of us know 1 POUND is approximately 3,500 calories... so to lose 1 POUND we need to create a deficit of 3,500 calories with diet and exercise.
My goal over the past 8 weeks was to create a weekly deficit of at least 7,000 calories for 2 pounds lost a week. I didn't accomplish this every week. With the way things have been going I am really pleased that I lost weight at all!
Below you can see how I did every week. You can also see how much my weight fluctuated from week to week. This was from changes in medication, lack of sleep, water retention, etc. But-- you can see that over time the deficits in the end do in fact match the weight loss over time.
If I had a positive deficit at the end of each week that is great... especially if it was at or above 7,000. Even if it was over 3,500 for the week that is still good for a 1 pound loss.
Week 4 and week 7 were horrible.. yuck!
So, what have I learned from this?
-You get out what you put in
-Losing weight is not rocket science
-If I want to lose more I have to create bigger deficits
-I can see the weeks that I had the worst sleep I ate more
-What we do one week may not show that week on the scale
-One day of bad eating can cause water retention for several days
-Weighing in from Sunday to Sunday shows more gains than weighing in from Wednesday to Wednesday... My weekend food must be really high in sodium WHOOPS.
Now I know not everyone likes to lose weight by watching their deficits ... I am not pushing my plan on anyone else. We all have to find what works for us.
I also wanted to post my spreadsheet so that those of you who want to know how accurate Spark People estimates calorie burn... I can say from my little experiment that they are VERY close in estimation to my Body Media device.
I don't count regular every day cleaning or walking at the grocery store or things like that on my fitness tracker.. Here's why. Spark People already takes your BMI and multiplies it by 1.2 to estimate for the little things we already do everyday.
If you want to see what Spark People shows your daily deficit as... hold your mouse over MY TRACKERS until the pull down menu shows up. Then click REPORTS. Select DAILY CALORIE DIFFERENTIAL.
To lose 1 pound a week you want to create a 3,500 calorie differential or deficit every week. For 2 pounds lost you want 7,000 and so forth. So I use those reports and put my number on my spreadsheet everyday... Then I go to my Body Media and put in those numbers on my spread sheet everyday.. and voila-- I can see how I am doing.
Of course my weekly deficit or differential won't be EXACT. I may over estimate or underestimate calories I ate at one meal. I try to weigh and measure most of my food but there are those times when we can do our best at guessing.
Overall.. I am happy with how my little project turned out. I am not really happy about my weight loss-- I wanted more. I am happy that my weight loss was so close to what Spark People and Body Media projected.
Sooooo on Wednesday I started the Fall Challenge for the Biggest Loser Lemon Team.. WOOHOO
This is a 10 week challenge. I will be using my spreadsheet and shooting for at least 7,000 calories a week in deficits. I will be exercising at least 6 hours a week. At least 2 hours Strength Training a week. At least 4 hours a week of Cardio. Those are my goals.
HERE IS THE MINI-CHALLENGE PORTION OF MY BLOG.
MINI CHALLENGE FOR BIGGEST LOSER LEMON TEAM:
BLOG 5 THINGS THAT ARE HOLDING ME BACK:
1. I keep having to switch or adjust medication for thyroid. Hopefully this time I am done with that!
2. Lack of sleep from insomnia
3. Not exercising first thing in the morning.. putting it off til later
4. Lack of planning
5. Eating over my calories on some days
Reflecting.. What is the thing I will be working on for this Fall Challenge.
-----I want to focus on getting my exercise done first thing in the morning.
So I have a high weight of 330+ pounds .. not sure how high it got.. I didn't have a scale then.
My highest documented weight after starting to eat right and exercise was 323 pounds.
I started Spark People on April 27th, 2012 @ 310 pounds.
I am now in the 270's.
260's HERE I COME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have so much catching up to do on Spark. I hope to catch up with all of you very soon!