One month in - why haven't I lost weight?
Friday, July 12, 2013
I just had an epiphany. I just weighed myself to find that I'd only lost 1.6 pounds since I began using SparkPeople over a month ago. Which is basically nothing, because I'd rounded up my weight to begin with. While I've had a few binge-eating episodes during that time, and gone above my calorie recommendation pretty often, I still had about ten or twelve days of eating under 1500 calories - which is ten to twelve more days of successful dieting than I've had in previous months, before I joined. The thing is, before this, my weight was stable. So why would eating less on some days (even though I ate normally other days) not cause some sort of weight loss?
So I had a look at my calorie differential over the past month (which is a really cool tool, by the way). Turns out my average caloric intake was 1860 per day, while the amount I burned was 1926. That's a difference of 66 calories a day, or around 2000 calories over the whole month. Losing one pound requires a deficit of about 3500 calories. So no wonder I haven't lost much weight!
I guess I've been overestimating how much my "good" days do for me, and underestimating the negative impact of my "bad" days. It's also possible that a few days of dieting cause me to binge more heavily than I would normally. I'd also assumed that I burned around 2200 calories a day, so even though I went over SparkPeople's recommendation and ate 1800 or 1900 calories, I still thought I was making progress.
The good thing about all this is that I *have* lost weight. Not as much as I'd like, maybe, but hell, anything is good. Learning how to eat properly is a process, and I'd rather it be hard at the beginning and easy at the end than the other way around. Awareness is key: tracking all my food every day and being able to analyze it with these reports is incredibly eye-opening. Plus, I'm excited - if I've lost a pound with only a 66 calorie deficit average for June, what will I be able to do in July? So far I have a 300 calorie deficit average. People say not to focus on numbers, but hey, I'm a math major. Play to your strengths.