My only stint of calorie counting in 3 years of weight loss #twit2fit

I did about 6 months of calorie counting, mostly focused during ramping up my mileage for my best marathon time ever (by at least 50 minutes).  I had intense focus on both training and diet (at least calorie intake) during this time.

However, I never regained momentum after the May marathon, as you may notice in the Net Calorie Intake log.

That said, it was a very effective way of learning how many calories were *really* in certain foods, as well as estimating which food choices were the best choices when you didn’t have a calorie count/guide at your disposal.

The spreadsheet breakdown:

Baseline:

  • Basal metabolic rate – estimated at 13 x current weight.

The “net intake” is the:

  • Total calorie intake for the day
  • – Calories burned running (I used runningahead.com‘s numbers for my post workout weight x mileage, which were the most conservative estimates of calories burned.)
  • – Basal metabolic rate (post-workout weight x 13 calories)

My target for “net intake” was a net deficit of 500 calories.  As you can see, I went overboard early on, but eating caught up later on.  If you notice the “averages” line, I averaged about a 476 calorie deficit.

The “intake” number is the:

  • Total calorie intake for the day
  • – Calories burned running

You’ll notice that I didn’t count any other exercise.  There are two reasons for this:

  1. Calories burned directly during non-aerobic exercise are negligible (at least for calorie counting purposes).  You may burn 200 calories doing weights, etc…, but you’ll probably get that much error in a too generous portion at a restaurant as well.  I tried to keep a good estimate.
  2. I didn’t really do any other exercises other than running.  Cycling and elliptical machines give wildly varied calorie readings, and I always felt more of a workout from 1-2 miles of running than an hour of hard cycling.

I have to emphasize, this was a time of incredible focus for me, but the log itself was not sustainable for even my statistics-minded head.  I also need to point out that the calorie need calculations are from the over-simplified 13 x weight in lbs formula.

I’ll share some other insights into my “calculations” and what I learned about nutrition during and after this exercise.