Some people possess the will power to limit their food intake, to completely change what they eat. I am not one of these people. My post yesterday stated that I am also not a morning exercise person either, and I am happy to report that did not change today, despite my best attempts and good intentions. The point I am getting at,  though, is this: you can’t rely on just diet and just exercise to shred the weight, because more than likely you will falter on one or the other from time to time.

Fortunately, I had a very low calorie day yesterday, only eating a Lean Cuisine five-cheese rigatoni dinner (300 calories!), which helped make up for my lack of a run yesterday, so I didn’t loose too much ground. Instead of having a 600-700 calorie dinner and burning 300 calories on a quick run, I just limited my calorie intake. So, now I am going to throw some math at you to illustrate my point.

For someone my weight trying to lose weight, I figure I should try and limit myself to approximately 1700-1800 calories per day. This is just what I’ve found to be a good calorie intake; please don’t take these numbers for anything more then what I personally figure is good for me. So the baseline intake per day is 1700-1800 calories. According to some random online calculators, to maintain my weight I need ~2500 calories a day. Honestly this seems pretty unrealistic, it is more like 2000-2300. One pound is ~3500 calories. Ok so, we got all our variables out of the way.

  • Daily intake — 1800
  • Calories to maintain — 2200 (best guestimate of what I actually should need)
  • Calories in one pound — 3500
3500 = (2200-1800) * X  where X = number of days
x = 8.75

So, based on these numbers, about every nine days, I should lose one pound just from cutting my caloric intake. Now, lets throw in some excercise.

  • Daily intake — 1800
  • Calories to maintain — 2200
  • Calories in one pound — 3500
  • Calories burned per day in exercise — 300 (300 is approximately running a 5mph [8kmh] for 20 minutes)

3500 = (2200-1800 + 300) * X, where X = number of days
x = 5
Based on running 20 minutes a day, I would lose one pound every five days.

I don’t want to bore you with the details, but I wanted to clearly illustrate how much of a difference taking even less than half an  hour out of your day can really help you lose weight.

I’ve had a lot of issues getting out at night for a run lately, I’ve been letting games get in the way a bit too much, and I’ve been a bit more tired due to not having a bathroom (that’s a whole other post in and of itself). So when I’m not as active, I need to really bunker down on what I eat.

To sum up, utilizing both diet and exercise gives you an advantage to be flexible. If you know you aren’t going to get out for that twenty minute run, take a bit less at dinner or don’t snack when you get home from work. Three hundred calories might not seem like a lot, but trust me, if I could take back some of those pumpkin Peeps I had last night, I would. Seeing the first few pounds drop off is all it takes to get your engine running.