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Losing Those 50lb


Here's the plan, such as it is. Apparently 1lb of body weight is the equivalent of 3500 kcal. The conventional weight loss diet works by reducing your "calorie" intake by 1000 kcal per day so you lose 2lb of body weight per week assuming no other changes in your lifestyle (e.g. additional exercise).

I'm not keen on that. I've tried weight loss diets before and they suck. So my plan is to aim to reduce my intake by 500 kcal per day, so I should lose 1lb per week. So over 52 weeks I should make my 50lb target.

Can I do that without too much pain? I think so. Simply by targeting a few key foods:

  1. Butter - I get through at least one 250g block a week and that's 1842.5 kcal but I'd have to replace it with another spread. Beth's spread for example is 600 kcal / 100g compared to 737 kcal for butter so the real saving is reduced quantity. Now I like my butter spread good and thick so I reckon I use 3-4 times the amount of spread she does. Let's be pessimistic and call it three. If I spread it like her that's a saving of at least 1200 kcal per week. Probably more.

  2. Milk - I get through about five pints of skimmed milk a week, almost all in tea. That's 1065 kcal. So I tried tea black today. And it was fine. So I'm giving up milk.

  3. Wrestlers - I go for a Thai lunch at the Wrestlers at least once most weeks (often twice) and normally drink Coke and orange. The Coke is 142 kcal so I tried Diet Coke today which is effectively calorie free and it was fine so that's an easy gain.

  4. Biscuits - I do eat quite a lot of biscuits. On a small sample 70 kcal per biscuit seems not untypical (I think the apple, raisin and cinnamon cookies were more like 100 kcal per cookie). So even two biscuits a day is 980 kcal a week.

Adding those up we're up to 3387 kcal and bear in mind that I'm being pessimistic in my estimated savings on both butter and biscuits. Plus we've agreed to cut out puddings completely.

So that's more than enough to make the 3500 kcal. Whether I can cope without these goodies I don't know. I suspect I won't miss milk or butter much after a while. It's biscuits and other sweet things which may be a harder nut to crack.

Update 25/04/10

After the first month it became clear to me from the chart that I was losing weight faster than I expected and I had probably underestimated the amount of biscuits and other sweet things I was eating so, as it was milk I was missing most, I added milk back into my diet. Since then the downward trend seems to have stabilised at around the planned 1lb per week.

Written 09/01/10

Previous comments about this article:

On 24/07/11 at 10:51pm Andrew Bateman wrote:

you're an inspiration paul.

keep up the good work!

best wishes from andrew (learning to get a bit more web involved " @ozcboss and on linkedin)

On 24/07/11 at 11:05pm Paul wrote:

As Andrew's commented this reminds me is probably a good time for a postscript as the year is now long over.

I got my weight down to about 215lb but the end of the year (although I'd forgotten to keep logging it so the graph ends in mid-November) so that's 15st 5lb. Since then I've continued to drift downwards and I now weigh around 208lb or 14st 12lb giving me a BMI of 25.3 which isn't so bad.

What's a bit scary is that I've effectively lost almost 20% of me in the last 18 months. Odd when you think of it like that ...

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