Sunday, March 15, 2009

20/20 Step 1

Alright, now that there are so many of you who want to participate, I'm going to get these posts going! Here is the first thing everyone needs to do if you don't already know! I'm a very Type A personality, I love plans, I love visual things, I need structure, so I'll be mapping out the challenge and steps everyone should take. I'll be using my blog as my journaling outlet, but if you don't have a blog, maybe get yourself a journal so you can write down this info, or create a secret blog!

Step 1:
Make a plan and set your goal!
My plan: To lose 20 lbs. in 20 weeks
My goal: To reach -100 lbs.

Now the basic principle we need to follow to reach our goal is this: If we’re going to lose 20 lbs. in 20 weeks, we need to burn 3500 calories per week over our BMR. SIMPLE AS THAT! How do we do that? Here's how:
The first thing we need to do is calculate our BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). Mine is around 1610, different calculators vary a bit. Now in order to burn 3500 calories per week, I can eat a little less than 1600 and work out more, or I can eat 1600 and work out lots more, or a combination of both.
-This is where you need to stop and look at where you are in your weight loss journey. If you have much more than 20 lbs. to lose, you’re going to want to cut calories by eating less than your BMR as well as workout to burn and use energy form your fat reserves.
-If you have just 20 lbs. to lose, you can do a combo of both, cut maybe 100 calories per day, plus work out more.
-If you’re down to 10 away from your body’s ideal weight, you should consume your BMR calories, and use workouts to burn calories for weight loss.

It is also important to keep your body guessing. You don’t want your metabolism to slow down because it always gets 1600 calories and always burns 500, day in and day out.
What I plan to do is switch it up, maybe MWF I’ll stick to 1600 calories and burn 500 those days, and on TR I’ll eat 1400 and burn 300, and on Sat. and Sun I’ll eat around 1800 and burn 700.
You might actually want to write down your BMR, and cals in v. cals out plan, make sure you’re burning 3500 calories above your daily BMR each week. Figure out the math! I know, most people hate math, but it's just addition and subtraction :)

Now I know it’s going to be tough, and not fun, but we’re going to really have to count our calories! I’m going to start blogging more dinners with calorie counts. If you look in my food blog and you see a dinner you want the calorie count for, email me and I will figure it out for you. We'll get more into food later on though.
I don’t have a HRM to track how much I burn when I do things like the shred or other workout DVDs, I just have to take a good guess (I’m going to assume the shred is 250, and the Burn Fat and Trouble Zones burn 500 for me). I also know that when I run 1 mile, I burn around 150 calories. You can use spark people to get an estimate of some daily activities calories burned as well.
Don’t forget that things like cleaning the house, doing laundry, walking the dog, etc., are also workouts! Make sure you take an off day at least once a week (Jillian recommends 2, but I like 1 day to rest). On my off days, I plan to walk Pumpkin and do some housework to keep moving enough though I’m not doing strenuous exercise.

Ok, step 2 coming later :)


  1. Great post. I love my HRM as it keeps me consistant with my goal of burning at least 600 calories per workout.

  2. How accurate are the only BMR calculators? I did mine, and it says I need to eat 1350 calories. But I know from past experience that if I eat more than 1200 calories / day, even working out for an hour a day, then I gain weight. It's so frustrating.

  3. Your blog is so inspiring. It has really helped me get healthier. I am on week 3 of the C25K and I will look great at my wedding thanks in large part to you!

  4. Thanks for the info.
    That makes alot of sense about cycling the calories in and out.
    I think I am going to try to do that more, as opposed to sticking to the same number, each day.

  5. I love it. Such a great idea. I actually have 20 lbs to lose until my goal weight so this is perfect!
    I need to get back to the basics, calories in vs. calories out . I never follow the calculators because they always tell me to eat so much and i always gain on more than 1600 cals. unless i'm working out a ton.

  6. I just created my "secret" blog so that I can keep track of everything. Taking my power back. Thanks! I'll be posting from there now. =)

  7. i'm in - thanks for your inspiration!

  8. Hi! Okay so the BMR said 1523. Therefore, if I have 20 lbs to lose I need to make it a goal to burn how many calories a day? I'm sorry i'm a bit confused:) (I'm currently 5'9 and 152 age 25)

  9. I've never commented here but I've followed your journey. I've gained 20 pounds over three years of grad school, and I'll be finished in August so this is the perfect plan for me to get rid of the gains by the time I graduate! I think I'm in. :)

    Question though - I read online that your BMR is not the actual number of calories you need per day to maintain your weight - that to figure that out, you have to multiply your BMR by 1.2 for a sedentary person. Could you explain a little more about how the BMR works and what it is?