15,000-19,999 SparkPoints 18,009

The numbers don't lie--DARNIT.. :) Plus, mini-challenge for week 1 of Biggest Loser LEMON TEAM.

Friday, September 07, 2012

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.

In fact...
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
GO LEMONS!!!!!!!!!!!

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.





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!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • CHANCE04
    I realize this is a very old blog but I'm so happy I found it. I've been watching my calories very closely lately and reading into the calorie differentials, etc and this was very helpful... just made myself a similar excel spreadsheet to track my info.

    Hope you're doing great!
    821 days ago
    Awesome! I really need to start paying attention to my deficits. Hell, I need to just get back on track!

    You're doing amazing. And I disagree with you on one point, 10.8 pounds IS impressive! WTG!
    2049 days ago
    Great post, I love reading your blogs! I hope you don't mind I send you a friend request :)
    2051 days ago
    Cool spreadsheet! emoticon
    2065 days ago
    You are the chart WOMAN!!! I don't know enough about excel to even do what you just did!! emoticon I stick people with needles~ that isn't even close to excel!!
    You are doing something right, because you are right. Numbers do not lie and your numbers my friend are going down! I would LOVE to lose 10lbs~~ that is quite a bit of weight emoticon emoticon

    We both wear body media~~ and I checked spark. They are comparable to what I am to burn daily. Which brings me to my question. I burn more than my daily target, typically, and always have a daily deficit. So, why am I not losing weight?? I can't figure it out!
    2072 days ago
    We all have our ups and downs and in the end all that matters is that the scale is generally going in the right direction down. Good for you for taking this interesting scientific approach with charts and all. Quite cool! emoticon
    2072 days ago
    I love that you have such a detailed chart! I like to look at mine on a line graph so I can see it all visually. It's funny how it sticks to a pretty clear pattern of ups and downs - esp according to changes in hormones.

    Anyhow, congrats on your awesome success - very inspiring!
    emoticon emoticon
    2073 days ago
    your hard work is paying off...this is a lifetime challenge, so there's no need to rush to get it all over, is there! at least that's what i try to tell myself, but i set goals too, big, small, mini and teeny-weeny ;)

    love to see all your dedication to this process. it's inspirational!
    2074 days ago
    Great post! Thanks for sharing all of this
    2074 days ago
    You're doing awesome!!! :)
    2075 days ago
    Wow very good!! :D I really want to do a biggest loser group :(
    2076 days ago
  • SHOES17
    Did I remind you...10 pounds is 40 YES forty Sticks of Butter! emoticon
    2078 days ago
  • SHOES17
    You are sparking the charts!! That rocks... I kind of let that part just happen. I just try to stay within the calorie range and document carbs protein and fat.
    Adjusting my calories to match my exercise has been an experience. My thing lately is reading about strength training and recovery rate. I am really trying to put my energy into reading the outcomes of my efforts.

    You really do rock! I think your efforts are amazing! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2078 days ago
    emoticon on the weight loss.
    2079 days ago
  • 40_4ME4FAMILY
    I was just reading over your page. I'm glad to know I don't need to go buy an expensive body bug or something similar as Sparks is close enough! I hope you get your thyroid issues under control. Has it been really hard to adjust to being diagnosed a diabetic? I had gestational diabetes during my pregnancy and it stunk. There is NO time like the present to get with it! Enjoy the BLC! I know I'm sparked!
    2079 days ago
    Love to see that you are still ROCKIN IT lady!!!
    2080 days ago
    OMG! I want your spreadsheet! The accountant part of my brain loves numbers and formulas and if I can turn weight loss into something like that it'll be fun! (I know, I'm a weirdo)

    Congrats on the loss, too. 10 lbs is still 10lbs.

    2081 days ago
    Fantastic! Even though my brain sorta curdled trying to understand how you calculate all this, I can see the result. Keeping those sort of records must help in staying focused!
    2082 days ago
  • LINDA7668
    Way to go! I like the idea of the spreadsheet, too. emoticon
    2082 days ago
    emoticon emoticon You are doing great. Keep up the good work!
    2082 days ago
  • DIANER2014
    Your're doing awesome! Love your blog! Keep up the fantastic work. emoticon
    2082 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/9/2012 1:35:00 PM
    2083 days ago
    Awesome job with losing almost 11 llbs! Reading about the successes and dedication like yours motivates me to keep on track with my journey :)

    How you documented the calories in/calories out really lays it all out in practical terms. Gives a lot to think about -- especially when the excuses for why it can't possibly work out creep in (and we know that's not true, but this makes it all the more concrete).
    2083 days ago
    Cheering you to the 260's and onward to your final goal! You can do this Stormi!!!

    Always know you have the support of your LEMON friends!
    2083 days ago
    I love the BodyMedia Fit....I also follow the Calorie consumed pie chart to show my daily consumption of Fat, Protein and Carbs.....I follow the 45% Carb, 35% Protein and 25% Fat ratio for my tracking and I find it cuts down on the big fluctuations and drinking 12 glasses of water a day helps tremendously. Try it if you have a chance. I am full blown menopause at 49 and my metabolic rate is quite slow and sleeping 5.5 hours a night but what I have learned is that it is the quality ie.85% sleep efficiency of sleep not the quantity that makes the difference.

    You are doing great!

    2083 days ago
    Wow! You are doing great!

    To me.... almost 11 lbs in 8 weeks an emoticon success!
    Thank you for sharing this fabulous number crunching method of yours with us, I love the spreadsheet idea of yours. I might try it.

    Go Lemons!

    2083 days ago
    wow...very cool...looks like you have put a lot of time and effort into this...well done!
    2083 days ago
    Your weight loss is awesome. I would definitely call nearly 11 lbs in 8 weeks a huge success. I love your geekiness with the spreadsheet, number crunching, analytical stuff. I'm that way too. I've wondered about the SparkPeople calories burned also, so I purchase a heart monitor. Some of my workouts are pretty much spot on with SP, while others are about 10% less than what SP tells me. Of course this is mostly due to the intensity of the workout since SP can't really tell how much effort you're putting in. A HRM is the best bet but SP is a decent estimation.
    2084 days ago
    Way to go!! 10.8 pounds is wonderful!! You are losing this weight FOREVER. So losing at this rate means just that. You know it's not water weight or something that will easily creep back.

    I love your experiment! I have heard many different opinions on how Spark differs from various tools. But I think what you are saying here is the important thing. It is not rocket science. The basics are the basics no matter the tool you use to get there.

    Great blog!! Can't wait to see how you do with the challenge!
    2084 days ago
  • VALYNN26
    You're doing amazing. And I am so proud of you. Keep up the great work. emoticon
    2084 days ago
    I love all this! I love how successful you've been so far, and I love how organized you are with your spreadsheet. :-)
    2084 days ago
    We are all different and we will lose our weight at different paces... You are doing emoticon I'm so glad you found something that helps you to stay on track.. The spread sheet is a great idea emoticon You will reach the 260's in no time emoticon I hope you do great on the BLC Fall Challenge !! emoticon emoticon Miss all of you Lemons !!! emoticon
    2084 days ago
    This was very informative. Thank you for sharing. i am going to take a look at that calorie deficit report. I don't think I have ever paid attention to it. Thanks for pointing it out. You did very well in the summer challenge and I anticipate you will do fabulous with the Fall challenge. You keep moving in the right direction. Good for you! emoticon
    2084 days ago
  • DIETER27
    your doing so great. Kep up the good work ...... emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2084 days ago
    Ten pounds in 2 months is a fantastic weight loss congratulations! To put it in perspective, it took me 3 months to lose 12 pounds. I am older so it is slower. I just concentrate on the end result not how long it takes. After all, none of our weight came on in a day. So give yourself a great big pat on the back. I will give you a peppy cheer - hip, hip hooray! emoticon
    2084 days ago
    You're doing so great! I LOVE your spreadsheet! I need to make one like that for myself. =)

    2084 days ago
    1. 10.8 lbs is EXTREMELY IMPRESSIVE!!!!
    2. I thought I was a total geek but my dear, I think I've met my match.
    3. The 5 holder-backers are the same for all of us!!!! The only thing I'd add to your list would be the weekends. It is so hard to create the structure I need to stay on track.

    Last but not least, I am sooooo very proud of your success Ms. Lemon Pepper!!! You are gunnin' for those 260's and at this rate you'll be there in no time!!!

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    2084 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.