Weight is NOT always Calories In vs. Calories Out

I have spent the last year trying to lose 20 pounds.  And it has been a humbling experience.  For the majority of my life, losing weight was never a problem. I gained 60 pounds my freshman year of college and lost all of it and then some less than 4 months into my sophomore year of college.  In 2008, I fell in love and gained 20 plus pounds that I managed to shave off in the mere 5 months between our engagement and our wedding.  And by Joycie’s 4 month check-up I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight.

But something’s changed.

And I don’t know what.  The majority of the medical profession (and the health and fitness industry for that matter) will tell you that the key to weight loss is to consume less calories than you burn.   However, in my case that has not been true.net caloriesThis is a chart that shows my “net calories” for the last 30 days. Net calories are the total calories consumed less any exercise. On  95% of the days, I was below my target – meaning I burned more calories than I consumed. Therefore, it would seem logical that the scale would show weight loss.  But my weight was remained the same for the last 30 days.

Frustrated, I started digging into my past food journals, and I began to see a pattern. When I was at my lowest height, there were 3 common factors: I walked 2-3 miles every single day (in addition to running and weight lifting), I kept my sugar consumption under 26 grams per day, and my sodium consumption as between 1500-1800 mg.  Fast forward a year, and I am not walking 2-3 miles a day, and as for sugar and sodium….

Well, I think the graphs speak for themselves.

sodiumsugarBased on this, I am drawing the conclusion that for me to lose weight – I have to walk every.single.day, reduce my sugar consumption, and lower the amount of sodium in my diet.  I have a follow-up my doctor on Wednesday. I am going to share my thoughts with him, and see what he thinks.  But for now, this seems like a good plan of attack for those extra 20 pounds.

 Over to you, have you found that weight loss is more than just calories in vs. calories out?

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One thought on “Weight is NOT always Calories In vs. Calories Out

  1. I agree that weight does not always equal calories in v calories out. There are a ton of other variables, such as water, sodium, sugar, etc, and probably a bunch of stuff I’m not even conscious of.

    Whether it helps you lose those 20 pounds or not, I think walking and consuming less sugar and sodium are all positive things to do. I would also recommend drinking plenty of water. I don’t know how much you drink now, but I know that everything about my body is better if I am getting enough water, from weight loss to the tone of my skin to digestion to headaches.

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