Maths of Weight Loss & Why Exercise is Not the Messiah

My main reason for changing my way of life, adding in exercise and committing to self improvement is my need to lose weight. As I have read more and more about what I need to do, I have realised that although exercise is important, nay, necessary, it is not the prime factor involved in weight loss.

Time to throw a bit of maths around. I realise that these theoretical numbers are solely existent in a calculation, but they do provide a good comparison.

To start, lets look at what I eat in a day (calorie wise)

Breakfast1040 cal
4x Crumpets – 960 cal
3x Tbsp low fat spread – 80 cal

Lunch – 747 cal
3x Slices bread – 264 cal
2x Tbsb low fat spread – 54 cal
1x Tbsp light mayo – 90 cal
5x Slices thin ham – 175 cal
1x Pack crisps – 95 cal
1x Chocolate biscuit – 69 cal

Dinner – 1,003 cal
150g Steamed rice – 540 cal
2x Chicken breast – 256 cal
1/2 Jar curry sauce – 116 cal
1 Tbsp Sunflower Oil – 91 cal

Total Daily – 2797

Assuming that most days, this will be greater – round up to 3,000 (including snacks). I have taken a single day to extrapolate. All calorie counts taken from Calorie Counter.

Weekly Total – 21,000

Now, taking a look at what is burnt, I have used the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) calculator and it states that I currently burn 2259.32 calories per day, or 15,815.24 per week.

Add on to that my exercise total of approximately 2300 per week, I have a total of 18,115.24 calories burnt per week.

I know that this does not account for any incidental exercise, such as walking to the shops, walking up and down stairs, dancing or playing with my son, but does that account to just under 3000 calories per week?

I am currently showing an excess of 2884.76 calories per week. Again, using the BMR Calculator, I know that a deficit of 3,500 calories is equivalent to roughly 1lb of weight. The calculation isn’t great, as it shows that I should still be putting on weight, where I am actually losing. I think this is a combination of me overestimating my daily calorific intake, and the calculation underestimating my BMR (I have quite a lot of muscle mass due to carrying me around).

However, the point behind this post is clear. Of your weekly calorific burn, and in comparison to your intake, exercise really isn’t worth a lot. It can be enough to earn a drink, or a dessert, but is not the be all and end all to weight loss. True sustainable weight loss comes from developing a clear eating and exercise plan, and sticking to it.

Just as an aside…. If you burn 400 calories running, you have earnt…:

One Krispy Kreme cookies & kreme doughnut
One Krispy Kreme cookies & kreme doughnut

Is it worth it?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s