I’m gonna talk about weight! In particular, about the idea that losing weight is an indifferent physical system – that one loses weight solely by restricting calorie intake and increasing one’s level of exercise.
I’ve lost about 120 pounds over the past year or so, in part because I do a lot of bicycle riding. But I have not lost as much weight much as I “should.” On an average day, I each about 2200 calories – I eat around 2000 calories on days I don’t ride, and somewhat more on days that I do. This is nowhere near my maintenance intake, even now (which is about 2900 calories). So, even if I was just sitting at my computer every day, I should be losing weight. About a pound every five days, as a matter of fact, since a pound of fat has about 3500 calories in it.
I wish to do a little experiment on my body!
At my weight, on my bike, I use about a thousand hundred calories per ten miles of riding. (That’s just physics!) Right now, it’s really about 1100 calories per ten miles, but I’ll stick to 1000 per 10 miles to stay honest. I will also assume that I will intake as much as I should to keep my weight what it currently is. This is not the case – I’m eating a calorie deficit somewhere between five hundred and a thousand calories a day not even taking into account the metabolic boost from all that riding. It also doesn’t count that I do stuff like gardening, doing my errands by foot or on my bike and that I lift weights. I’m going to be EXTREMELY conservative in my calculations is what I’m saying.
If I ride a hundred miles a week, by the above reasoning – the extremely conservative reasoning – I should lose about three pounds a week. Eleven thousand calories divided by thirty-five hundred. If weight loss is simply about caloric intake vs. caloric output, this should happen.
Which means if I keep up this level of activity, in six months – which is October 19th, the day after my birthday – I should have lost approximately seventy-five pounds. Even at that weight, 2200 calories a day is well below the threshold of maintenance for an adult male. Which is to say that seventy-five pounds should be the MINIMUM that I should lose.
I won’t lose that much weight, though. I will lose weight this summer, just not that much. I hope I’m wrong, but the calculation where you just need to restrict your diet and increase your activity to lose weight in direct proportion to your effort is untrue.
I’m gonna prove that, at least to myself! So, stay tuned for weekly updates about my weight loss against my activity level! (Though the first week might not include very much riding because I sprained my damn ankle yesterday!)