Tuesday, October 30, 2012
How many calories a day can I eat and maintain my weight at around 142?
About 10 calories per pound. That's all.
About 1400 calories a day was my weight loss range; now it's my maintenance range.
Does it matter whether I exercise or not? Not much, actually, with respect to weight loss and weight loss maintenance. Exercise matters, for sure. It matters for cardio and strength and toning and balance and flexibility and above all for mood and general well-being and optimism.
But for me at least, exercise doesn't seem to affect weight much -- except to remind me, as I see the calories ticking away on the elliptical or the rowing machine, how much effort it takes to burn even 10 calories.
Sure, I know weight loss is supposed to be about "calorie deficit", burning 3500 calories for every pound. But awareness of the energy expenditure linked to calorie burn is for me mostly an incentive not to load calories into my mouth mindlessly! And while I'm at the gym, I'm not eating: another good thing.
If I'd decided from the beginning at 230 pounds that I wanted to weigh about 140 and adopted the attitude that a sustained weight of 140 means 1400 calories for life, would that have helped?
I think so.
One thing I know for sure: my former assumption that once the weight was lost, I could revert to former levels of eating (all that pent-up demand for french fries and potato chips and chocolate chip cookies) resulted only in yo-yoing,
If I had it to do over again, I'd start with maintaining my way to permanent weight loss.
And of course I do have it to do over again: starting every day. That's maintenance.