Monthly Science: Weight

We’d been eating a “healthy” high-carb / low-fat diet, which produced the more-or-less expected 1 lb/yr weight gain over the course of three decades. Given that we eat about 106 Cal/yr, being off by a mere 0.3% seemed fixable, but we were always hungry while trying to cut out calories.

In April 2016, we decided our tummies had come between us, so we switched to a mostly ketogenic diet (clicky for more dots):

Weight Chart 2016 - Ed
Weight Chart 2016 – Ed

Having a Master Gardener in the family complicates dietary choices along the ketogenic axis, but Mary raised more green-and-leafy veggies, less squash-and-corn, and we keto-ized our meals reasonably well. Moderation in all things works fine for us, so losing 25 pounds at about 1 lb/week wasn’t particularly stressful.

Continuing through 2017, you can see how regular bike riding season affects winter bloat:

Weight Chart 2017 - Ed
Weight Chart 2017 – Ed

Our cycling vacation in July 2018 produced a blip, but the rest of the riding season worked as expected:

Weight Chart 2018 - Ed
Weight Chart 2018 – Ed

It’s straightforward to crash-diet two dozen pounds, but maintaining a more-or-less stable weight for the next two years suggests we’ve gotten the annual calorie count about right. FWIW, my bloodwork numbers sit in the Just Fine range, apart from the somewhat elevated cholesterol level typical of a keto-ized diet.

Starting in late 2018, however, a stressful situation of a non-bloggable nature (at least for a blog such as this) produced an unusually high number of road trips, motel stays, and generally poor dietary choices:

Weight Chart 2019-03 - Ed
Weight Chart 2019-03 – Ed

The situation now being over, our lives / exercise / diet will return to what passes for normal around here and my goal is to lose another 10% of my current body weight, ending at 150 pounds, by the end of the year. In round numbers, that requires losing half a pound = 1700 Cal/week, 250 Cal/day. Not power-noshing an ounce or two of nuts a day should do the trick.

If it makes you feel more science-y, you can use the NIH Body Weight Planner, but it produces about the same answer: knock off 300 Cal to lose weight, 250 Cal to maintain it, at essentially the same exercise level as before.

We’ve been recording our weights as dots on graph paper every Saturday evening for the last four decades, so I know for a fact I averaged 148 pounds when I wore a younger man’s clothes. I’ll re-post the 2019 chart, adding four dots every month, during the rest of the year.

This way, you can help keep me on track … [grin]

4 thoughts on “Monthly Science: Weight

    1. The level of compulsiveness required for 0.3% accuracy seems beyond us; homeostasis is definitely a thing operating beyond conscious control.

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