Sunday, May 2, 2010

Calories are Fascinating!!

So, as an experiment, I’m counting calories this week at The Daily Plate in addition to following the Weight Watchers Simply Filling Technique (SFT).

As a reminder, the tenet of Simply Filling is that you eat when you are hungry, stop when you’re satisfied, and if you eat from the list of filling foods, then you don’t count points. If you eat something NOT on the list (like this awesome maple peanut butter my devil friend introduced me to) then you do count points. The trick, of course, is not eating when you’re not hungry.

This week, I decided I would keep track of my calories as an external check for how I’m doing on SFT. I think I’ve figured out something interesting... For the last month on SFT, I had been using my weekly points AND my activity points on “treats” like ice cream, bread, etc. I spent all of my points when I was following the Points system, so I figured I could splurge the same way on SFT.

However, watching my calories has shown me that I am ALREADY SPENDING my activity points, I’m just doing it on filling foods. I’m naturally hungrier when I exercise, and I tend to eat more filling foods (thus more calories) to satisfy my hunger. While I think I may still be able to eat all my weekly points, it looks like I will not be able to eat all my activity points on SFT (since I’m spending extra calories on “free” SFT-friendly food that would otherwise require using my APs). Does this make sense?

Here’s a fun graph:

(Note: as of this writing, I haven’t finished eating for May 2 yet, so don’t be freaked out that the line is so low. I’ve probably got another 300 calories to go today.)

The red line indicates a net consumption of about 1800 calories, which is what Daily Plate says I should be able to eat while still losing .5 pounds per week. Not sure if that’s accurate, but it factored in my age/gender/height/current weight, and it’s a VERY livable number, and it’s below 2000, so I’m going with it for now. The red line factors in whether I’ve exercised that day, so on a day I burned 400 calories through exercise, the red line might actually mean 2,200 gross calories, but only 1,800 net. Get it?

So, looking at the graph, it seems to me like I’m eating very close to my ideal number of calories as it is, without having used any activity points. I can see how eating my activity points might lead to sporadic results on the scale while following SFT.

I’m curious to see what happens at weigh-in this week. I was actually DOWN 1.6 last week, although I suspect I may have inadvertently cheated by exercising right before my weigh in. I was up .8 on my home scale in the morning, which is probably the more reliable measure.

I’ll post an update on my goals from last week on Wednesday when I weigh in. SPOILER ALERT: I have not been leaving food on my plate.

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