I had another weird thing happen with this whole weight loss gig. Okay, remember when I ate all the candy on Halloween and then the next morning I had LOST a half pound? Well, on Saturday I had another experience like that. I went to dinner with girlfriends, ate a filet mignon, a spinach salad with bacon dressing and half of a chocolate decadence dessert, plus cream in coffee, etc. Now granted, I had eaten extremely well all day and had exercised earlier in the day, too, but when I weighed the next morning, I lost almost an entire pound. .8! Totally bizarre, in my book, but more confirmation for me that my theory of "not eating enough calories" is more than likely right.
So I did a bunch of research today about metabolism, basal metabolic rate and caloric needs. I've determined (after putting my stats into several calculators) that my BMR is about 1450 calories, meaning that just for my body to live and breath, in a resting state, it needs 1450 calories. I burn about 300 calories when I exercise (discovered by working with several other calculators) for 35 minutes and I expend about 350-ish just moving about during the day (found by other calculations I performed). SO - what all this means is that if I wanted to just maintain where I am, I would need about 2100 calories coming in. If I want to lose weight, I need to reduce that amount.
It is up to me to determine how much to reduce it. A pound of fat equals 3500 calories. If I reduce my caloric intake for the week by 3500, I will lose one pound. 7000, 2 pounds, etc. The other side of this is, though, that if I drop below my BMR of 1450, my body will slow the metabolism because it senses impending deprivation and begins to hold on to the fat its got stored. So - the diet I've been following has easily been keeping me below my BMR but I've had some weight loss success, clearly (I was at 155.0 today). But I think that I am going to step away from the strictness of the diet and begin to supplement with significantly more protein, fruit and vegetables to increase my calories to 1400 some days, 1200 other days to keep the body guessing. This will mean that the loss may slow even more at first and it will also mean that I will come out of ketosis, the fat burning state that arises when a person eats very few carbohydrates. But I think I am okay with this - this past week or so I've added quite a few more protein snacks and veggies and have still lost weight.
I learned a lot today and will continue to research these things. I think it is important to educate yourself about health and diet and I have to admit, I've never taken the time to actually learn the formulas related to metabolism that could help me determine the proper amounts of food to eat for maintenance or weight loss. And you know what else? I am really enjoying eating all of these damned vegetables and finding interesting ways to add them to my diet. Really. I never in a million years thought I would say something like that!!