A few weeks ago, Matt brought home a magbook by Runner’s World. I have to admit I was a bit surprised as Matt will generally be happy to follow my lead when it comes to weight loss methods and he has had absolutely zero interest in running after I dragged him out of the house last spring as I was getting towards the end of Couch to 5k. The book is “Run Your Belly Off” (or RYBO from this point on).
He read a few chapters himself and liked the sound of it. A few days later, I picked it up and started leafing through it. It was at this point I had a bit of a light bulb moment. I know this won’t come as a shock to many people, and if I am honest, I suppose I’ve known this all along…
Weight loss is simple maths. Calories in versus calories out. There must be a deficit. Everything else is just advice or diet industry spiel.
Deep down, I know all of this.
I know this is probably a bit “durr” to some people, but for years I almost feel like I have sought for the magical solution to it all. Slimming World gloss over the simple fact that it’s maths by introducing “syns” (though there is logic in restricting some fats and sugars etc), and Weight Watchers have their points system. Distractions? Maybe. I guess it depends on your mindset, and clearly some people do really well following these kinds of plans and I am in no way knocking it. For me, I’ve used it as a crutch, going to the classes and feeling as if that alone, that small commitment in itself should be enough to yield spectacular losses on a weekly basis. Sustainable? Not for me at this moment in time. That much is evident by my own journey so far. Meal plans, syns, points have all meant that I have become lazy and reliant on just doing what I’m told and not really thinking for myself, eventually “rebelling” and ordering Domino’s, Chinese, Indian etc.
This really shouldn’t be surprising news to me. My sister lost a large amount of weight a few years back just by being more mindful. There was no cutting food groups out, no deprivation, but tweaks like more veggies, better meat, more fish, less processed food.
Can I calorie count? Yes, of course. There are plenty of apps and websites out there to help you do just that. Will I calorie count? I would be interested to see what I am shovelling in every day or week, definitely. Longer term? I won’t rule it out, but I suspect that after a period of re-educating myself on labels and portion sizes, I will have it as a fall back tool. It is not something I see myself doing on a daily basis in the long term. How many calories do I need?
I did the maths…
Right now, my basal metabolic rate (BMR) is 2,021 calories. That is what I use per day. Without doubt I eat more than that as I have gained weight since January (5lbs up – whoops!). The book then goes on to say that in order for a person to lose 1lb of fat per week, there needs to be a weekly 3,500 calorie deficit. The deficit can come from exercise and/or cutting down on the calories.
There is a running plan in the book too. It takes 12 weeks to complete, at the end of which you’ll be running for 30 minutes. The first week is all about walking. I have to admit I was surprised that it is 3 weeks longer than Couch to 5k, but I’ll be seeing how it goes. It is time to build my confidence back up and get back to running for 30 minutes in one hit. I have things that I want to do at the end of the year which mean I need to stick at this (I WILL be beating my 10k time set at the Weston Christmas Cracker, and I am literally counting down the days to the day that they accept entries).
Pleasantly surprising is that Matt also wants to start running with me. As I mentioned before, he doesn’t like running. Despite this, I think he had a nasty shock courtesy of the scales. Also having had a conversation with his friend J recently, where J is now studying to become a personal trainer and needs a
victim guinea pig person to practice on, Matt has volunteered to be just that. However, rather than be completely unfit, he wants to build a base level of fitness in preparation for his PT sessions. Woo – I have a running buddy!
Watch this space!
Now I must go and plan some meals! What are you having for tea tonight?