Saturday, June 27, 2009

The numbers don't lie....

Today I finished my week with an 18.5 mile run, which has given me 58.5 miles for the week, and 229 miles of running for the month. I feel a little sore, but overall everything is pretty groovy for me right now. I absolutely love not having to follow a plan. With my current life responsibilities, it is just a completely useless stress that really isn't worth it. The funny thing is that I am running more than I have ever run... I just have no idea how I plan to pull it off from week to week. But, it seems to be working just fine, and I don't feel mentally or physically worn down by it.

Earlier in the week, a patient started to tell me her struggles with weight loss, and how she doesn't understand why she is unable to take off weight. She seemed genuine in her frustration, so I started to ask her a few questions... and after about 10 minutes of talking with her, she realized why her goals weren't being met with re: to weight loss.... so what did I tell her?

Let's say that "Sally" is currently at 170 lbs. and wants to lose 40 lbs. Where would you start? How do you going about tackling this? So the first thing I always tell my clients is take your current weight, and multiply by 10 (females) or 11 (males). So in Sally's case:
170 x 10 = 1700 calories.
The second thing is that approx. 3000 calories = 1 pound. So, in order for you to lose weight, you have to go into a calorie deficit of 3,000 calories to lose at least a pound.

There are two ways to go into a calorie deficit: Eat less and/or exercise more... take your pick.

If "Sally" was to take in 1300 calories per day, that means she would go into a 400 calorie deficit per day, which means that if she did this consistently for 7 1/2 days, she would be at a 3,000 calorie deficit, which is..... 1 pound.

If "Sally" was to stay at 1700 calories/day of intake, and she decided to exercise every day for 30 minutes, she would burn (depending on the type and intensity of exercise) around 250-300 calories a day, which means that she would lose 1 pound in about 10-11 days.

Now, what sucks about this, is that as "Sally" loses weight, her caloric intake will have to decrease in order to maintain the weight. If she now weighs 160 lbs., 1700 calories would put her in a 100 calorie surplus every day...not good.. that means weight will come back on.

In a nutshell, that is how it works.... This patient that was talking to me said, "Well Greg, you are so lucky that you have good genes, and you are skinny... because it's so hard for us folks with the bad genes"

Most of the time, I don't say anything, but since I didn't have any more patients coming in for another 10-15 minutes, I gave her a breakdown of my workout schedule, and why I can continually lose weight... because I exercise a lot (compared to the average American that is). So figure it this way... if I run on average 50 miles/week, and each mile of running allows me to burn around 90 calories, that means that I am in a 4500 calorie deficit every week due to exercise alone. So if I wanted to stay at 160 lbs, I can eat up to 2300 calories a day, and still maintain my weight... sounds good to me.... but that's a lot of running!!!

I completely understand and respect the struggles of weight loss for people. The first thing is that it can get a lot more complicated for those that have hormonal imbalances, and other medical issues, along with those that have been on many different types of diets before, which have affected their metabolism in a negative way. Also, our society is set up for all of us to be overweight...

Did you know????

......... that a slice of cheesecake at Cheescake Factory is 1300 calories?

........ a Big Mac and Large fries is 1230 calories

....... 2 slices of Papa John's pizza is 670 calories

....... a Whopper contains 670 calories

So to put it in perspective, last night I had Chinese takeout (General Tso chicken, Sweet & Sour chicken, fried rice, lo mein and an egg roll). It was approx. 1500 calories. It took me about 20 minutes to have dinner, as I was watching the Rays vs. Marlins game. This morning I burned a little over 1600 calories, by running 18.5 miles in the stinkin' heat which took me over 2 1/2 hours... that SUCKS!!!!! Weight loss is not easy, but it's doable... you just have to watch what you eat, and start moving!!!


Puerto Rican Kenyan said...

Greg, if I had a nickel for every time someone made a comment to me about "having good genes"...

Did you show here some of your older pics??

Greg said...

Walter, I didn't show her the pics... thanks for reminding me. She will get a peek at those tomorrow!!

Kerry said...

I'm telling you about those people with "good genes". I'm really hating on them right now! On another note, I'm really proud of you babe and all your efforts. You've really stayed with running and I know it has not always been easy. I see where you've been and what you have to do every day. I'm praying you kick butts in SF. Run Forest...Run..LOL!