Sunday, January 27, 2008

Dieting and Diet Update 1/2008

One of my early blog postings was about my renewed attempt to lose some weight and get fit.

That attempt went nowhere. I thought that making it public would give me some added incentive. Wrong. A better approach might be to use stickk.com which allows you to bring in supporters and people who you are accountable to.

Well, that was February 2005. It's now three years later. It's funny, but my weight is almost exactly the same as it was then. I'm at 219 now, I was 221 then. In between though I ballooned to 235 lbs. I have lost those 16 lbs since April 2007.

More importantly, my body fat is way down. In 2005, I reported 31% body fat. I think that was a high estimate, but now I am at around 20%. I can actually see and feel ab muscles now, where I could only pretend to feel them in 2005.

My strength index at gymamerica.com has gone from 126 to 140. This partly reflects age as a correction factor, but it's not everything. I am stronger now than I was then.

I have used kind of a weight watchers formula to counting calories. Basically every 50 calories counts as a point then it's modified by fat grams (adds points) and fiber grams (reduces points).
You also get modification for exercise. 100 calories of exercise gives you 1 extra point. My program is between 30 and 35 points.

I watched the Berkeley talk that Gary Taubes gave. Based partly on his book "Good Calories, Bad Calories" Taubes makes a convincing case (to me) that carbohydrates are the cause of fat accumulation.

Rather than deleting ALL carbs from my diet, I have started to watch my refined sugars and starches more carefully. I am not doing Atkins, but I think there is some wisdom there. I kind of like the evolutionary fitness/paleolithic eating approach. Lean meat, fish, vegetables, fruts are good. Go light on grains, milk products, and refined sugars.

Following is a link to an interesting article by Lyle McDonald
Determining the Maximum Dietary Deficit for Fat Loss


Bottom line on this is that you can cut calories by about 31 calories per pound of body fat that you carry without losing lean body mass. For me that's a bit over 1200 calories per day.Given that my base metabolism rate is somewhere around 2700 calories per day, this is consistent with my weight watchers approach.

1 comment:

Dave said...

Hi Tony. Good luck on your dieting! I dropped about 70 pounds on low carb, eat like a horse now and still slowly losing (getting close to my college pants size).

Here's a really good review article on the hormonal responses to food:

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1642707

If you want to be really hard-core, get a blood glucose meter, and test 45 minutes to an hour after a meal. I did this for awhile, it's pretty illuminating (and surprising) to see which foods move your blood sugar.