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17 September 2008 @ 05:49 am
That's depressing  
Yay! Someone else must have complained about the expired diet coke in the fridge! :)

I've been playing around with the BMI and BMR/RMR calculators here.

It's depressing that despite losing 10-15 pounds in the last five weeks (depending on the vagaries of the scale and clothing) i'm still at least 20 lbs overweight =P

I'm currently at a BMI of 27.8, the middle of the "Overweight" range. I'll have to get down to 170 to be right at the upper end of the "Normal Weight" range. If i want to get to the _middle_ of the "Normal Weight" range i'll have to get down to about 150!! (And i wouldn't even be "Underweight" unless i got below 130! =P)

What's really depressing is that at 170 i'll have a BMR/RMR of 1792/1722, and at 150 it'd be 1667/1632! At least once i hit 150 (if i should be so lucky) i can add back in the 1.2 activity level factor which brings it up to a more normal 2000/1998.

What's really odd is that looking back at what i was eating before the diet i must have been putting away about 3000 calories per day on a regular basis! Possibly more! (400 for breakfast, 1000 for lunch, 1000 for dinner, plus a _lot_ of snacks.)

It's not surprising that i ballooned up to 210 lbs, but what is surprising is that i stopped and held steady there for at least six months. I should still have been gaining more then a pound a week at that point and actually leveled off close to 300 lbs!!! Either that or my activity level was at about 1.55, "Moderate exercise or sports 3-5 days a week." Yeah right! =P

I think if i do hit 150 i'm going to have to formalize my tendency to not pay too much attention to my calorie count on the weekends and make up for it with exercise, otherwise i'm gonna go insane =P
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zellandyne: coatzellandyne on September 17th, 2008 05:31 pm (UTC)
Keep in mind that we don't completely understand nutrition/diet/how the body works. There are a lot of factors we can't address at this point, like, for example, the sources of your calories. Some foods bring with them other advantages that balance out the calories or affect how the body handles those calories.

I find that I can have a lot more calories in terms of fats and proteins - and stay stable - than I can sugar. As soon as I add sugar in, I'm ballooning up, even if my calorie count actually stays the same. It has to do with how my body processes sugar.

Also, BMI is imprecise. Which you probably already know. But it doesn't take into account bone density, muscle density, and variations in build. It's a very rough approximation. According to the numbers, I'm obese. In person, I wear a size 10 right now, and I weigh 180. In the past, I've been a size 14 and weighed 160. At my fittest, I've been a size 6 and weighed 150. There's a huge variation in muscle density there. But if you just look at the numbers, it makes no sense at all.
DonAithnendonaithnen on September 17th, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC)
"Some foods bring with them other advantages that balance out the calories or affect how the body handles those calories."

That's somewhat comforting when i'm trying to ignore exactly how much stuff i'm eating, but not so much while i'm tormenting myself by trying to keep below a strictly calculated but potentially arbitrary and meaningless number ;)

And yeah, i'm aware that the BMI scale is generally @#$%!ed up, but i have no better idea what arbitrary yardstick to go by :)
Catbirdcatbird on September 17th, 2008 08:15 pm (UTC)
You can actually buy calibers to measure skin folds. This can then be used to calculate body fat. Amazon sells them for about $6. Alternatively you can buy a high tech scale that will send a current through your body and calculate your body fat for you while it checks your weight ($40).

Both are on my amazon wish list when we get some spare cash to indulge me.
DonAithnendonaithnen on September 17th, 2008 10:36 pm (UTC)
The caliper method sounds like a lot of work =P The scale sounds theoretically cool, but reviews seem to indicate they're not very accurate. Given that the current only goes through legs and pelvis i can see why it would have trouble guesstimating what the fat levels in the rest of you are.
Catbirdcatbird on September 17th, 2008 10:40 pm (UTC)
True about the scale. My understanding is that while it is not accurate it is consistent. Thus if your number goes down on the scale then it's a pretty safe bet that your actual body fat went down as well.

I haven't looked in to the calipers too much but I think you only have to get one or two readings and then plug it into a formula to get the %. *shrug* not as much effort as a food log in my book but I understand if you feel otherwise :)
Brie2gouda4u on September 17th, 2008 08:23 pm (UTC)
I suppose I never really stopped paying attention to my caloric intake, but once I was around a weight I was okay with, I payed a lot less attention. Instead I'd weigh myself periodically (not more than once a week or so) to see if I needed to make some adjustments in terms of diet or exercise for a week or so, then go back to paying less attention. Granted, this sort of approach only works with some amount of control - I gather it's generally not a good idea to yo-yo too much. My yo-yo-ing tended to be within about 4 pounds, and I think that's probably reasonable.

But really, you should probably ignore most of what I say about weight/exercise/diet. I clearly don't have a healthy outlook on pretty much any of those things.
jon_leonardjon_leonard on September 17th, 2008 09:29 pm (UTC)
The low end of 'normal' probably isn't realistic for you, given how much you (blog about) exercise. That puts on muscle, which does weight something.

For comparison, I'd need to weigh 125 to be 'underweight', and I weighed 147 in high school when I was in nearly perfect physical condition. (That is, not enough fat to tolerate swimming in cold water unless I was really moving.) I have difficulty believing that a weight of, say, 130 could be healthy for me.

So while you do probably want to target something in the 'normal' range, stop trying to lose weight if you don't see much evidence of body fat, and if your weight is stable at some caloric intake, believe your weight instead of calorie counts.
DonAithnendonaithnen on September 17th, 2008 10:37 pm (UTC)
No, if i manage to get to 150 i'm definitely stopping there and starting to eat again! :)
shelleycatshelleycat on September 18th, 2008 02:53 am (UTC)
Just cleanse the liver. It'll get you a couple hundred calories back a day at least.