Losin’ it

Kind of makes me miss Fuddrucker's.I’m overweight. I’ve had a couple of recent epiphanies regarding that fact, and I haven’t been comfortable with how I look (or what size pants I have to buy) for quite a long time. Finally, I’ve decided to do something about it, and I wish I’d made the decision–or rather, the commitment–earlier. So I’ve looked up some decent science-based nutrition sites, followed Greta Christina’s advice, and downloaded a couple of calorie-counting apps. I also walked close to three miles today on a whim (it’s shocking how short a trip that actually is), even though the exercise plan I developed on DailyBurn doesn’t have me exercising on Mondays.

I’ve thrown myself into this pretty wholeheartedly, and I’m fairly confident that I’ll be successful. I owe that confidence to my skeptical, scientific mindset. First, I’m going to be seeking out solutions and practices supported by evidence. That’s going to require the second thing: lots of research. I’ve already been hitting the websites of some of my favorite restaurants for nutrition information, and I’ve gotten calorie recommendations from three or four different sources (haven’t talked to a doctor yet, but that’s on my agenda). Finally, I’ll be collecting and recording data regularly and diligently, so I have some objective idea of how well I’m doing. I’ve set reasonable goals and I have a reasonable attitude about what I can (and am likely to) achieve, and I’m not starting on a crash diet that I know won’t work in the long term.

Unfortunately, I have already hit a couple of stumbling blocks. First, the estimates for my healthy weight are all over the damn map (I can’t imagine what I’d look like at 6′ and 138 lbs, but I suspect I wouldn’t have all my limbs), which means the numbers I’ve gotten for a daily calorie intake are similarly widespread. I’ve settled on the DailyBurn recommendation of 2458-2708, though I think I’d like to keep it closer to 2200, which was the ballpark of another program’s estimate. So far it seems more than doable.

The other big problem I’ve hit is a lack of data. Sure, I can find nutrition information for a huge number of things, but the milkshake I got tonight to round out my calorie count (and in hopes of increasing my protein intake)? Not a nutrition pamphlet in sight. I used a reasonable facsimile in my count, but I think the solution is going to have to be avoiding some of those little mom-and-pop places with food of unknown value. I hate this whole dearth of information thing, and I really hate guessing–it goes against my instincts.

I don’t have any kind of conclusion (talk to me in a few months). I’m just sharing one more way that a healthy skeptical, rational attitude can help you out, and hoping that anyone with more/better information, estimates, and so forth can share their findings as well. Yay science!