So, today isn’t going to be a pretty day at the weight loss clinic. I’m going to get on the scale, and it’s going to say that I’ve gained several pounds. One reason is that I’ve only exercised 3 days this week. Another reason is because I didn’t pay careful enough attention to my caloric intake. Although I logged everything I ate, and I only ate what I planned to eat, my caloric intake caused a gain rather than a loss, several days in a row.
I started a long email to my dietitian to ask for help in figuring out why I had gained weight. I gathered copies of my meal plans as well as copies of my food logs for each day. Before hitting send, I thought it would be helpful to actually calculate the calories for each of the meals so she wouldn’t have to.
To calculate the calories, I used an iPhone app called Calorie Count. It has an excellent database of nutrition information, the ability to scan the barcodes of foods that have them, and a voice recognition feature. It’s pretty neat. For each of the meals I ate, I entered each of the items and calculated a daily total of calories.
By the time I got to the last meal, it was clear to me what had happened — I had eaten as much as 400 calories more on some days than others. That, combined with the lack of exercise, caused a net gain rather than a net loss.
A pound of fat is 3500 calories. Assuming a week of 400 calorie surpluses and an additional 750 calories that weren’t burned off due to exercise some days, it’s easy to see how 3 days would add up to a pound.
When I was losing, 210 pounds felt like an accomplishment. Realizing that I’ve gained to 210 pounds feels like a failure. Isn’t it strange how perspective can affect you?
At work last week, we learned about a strategy called “See It, Own It, Solve It, Do It.” I see that I’ve gained weight. I own that this is due to my actions, intentional or not. My solution is to more carefully calculate the calories for my meal plans, keeping them under 1750 per day, and ensuring that I do not skip workouts. All that’s left is to do it. I started on the revised menu this morning, and we shall see how next week’s weigh-in looks.