I hope the title does not throw you off! Two dangerous words – ‘weight loss’ and ‘mathematical’ except of course for Pattu the maths professor!
A plate of samosa – takes about 10 minutes to eat, and 65 minutes to burn off. Did not like the equation? welcome to the cruel world of mathematics. The world of maths and excel sheet are both unemotional and therefore cruel. They show you things exactly as it is.
The day I run say 21 km and happen to visit a friend over a meal, the will invariably say ‘arre Subra you have run 21 km today, so you can eat one EXTRA plate of kulfi’.
This is emotionally right, but mathematically it sucks. Running 21 kms I burn about 1200 calories. This is about 4 samosas, that is all.
So to reduce weight what do you have to do? You need to create a calorie ‘deficit’ of about 9000 calories. How do you create this? Well if you run for say 5km you will end up burning say 450 calories. If you run 20 days in a month (food held constant) you will end up losing about 1kg a month.
Or you could eat less – assuming you burn about 1500 calories for your day to day activities your INTAKE has to be about 1000 calories per day. Over a 20 day period you will reduce your weight by 1kg.
Obviously if you run more / play more aggressive a sport for a longer period of time you will burn more. If you cut down your food intake by 500 calories a month, and run for 20 days in a month, you will lose 1kg a week.
Just eating less may not be a great solution – eating right is a super solution. If you replace your rice and wheat with fresh uncooked salads – almost all green vegetables – can be eaten uncooked. This fills your stomach without the calories.
However if you are at a stage when you do not know how much you eat and how much you burn, you need to start keeping track of that. So step ONE (like any project) is to keep accounts. I know people who are very happy using www.myfitnesspal.com – and it also calculates the ‘calorie deficit’ that you need to create. Of course you need to write down everything that you do – eat or burn. This tool will then tell you whether you are headed towards your goal or not!
The question is ‘Do I need to be so scientific in my weight reduction program?’. Frankly the question to ask is ‘what is a post on weight loss doing in a financial blog’?
The answer is simple – if you are serious you need to measure, have a target and do a continuous comparison of actual with the budgeted results. This is called tracking. Big and huge projects hardly get done well without MONITORING…I hope you agree.
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