Medical bariatric program – Week 7

Another week down, and I’m happy to say that this week was a bit easier than last week as far as cravings went. Still tough, but no tears.

I was down another 3.5 pounds, to 243.3… for a total loss of 22.5 pounds from my highest weight. My mood is still low but not quite as it was last week, and my energy levels are so-so. The hunger is still bad, but I’ve been trying to keep busy so that I don’t notice it.

This week’s session was all about exercise and metabolism. We learned how to calculate our BMR, or basal metabolic rate. This is essentially a formula which tells you how many calories you burn just being alive. It is your metabolism.

BMR is influenced by factors such as age, weight, height, and gender, and is thus in constant flux. As it stands now, my BMR is about 2200 calories/day, with absolutely zero exercise. Throw some light exercise in regularly and that number goes up to about 2500 calories/day, and just shy of 2900 calories/day with moderate exercise.

In order to gain weight, you must eat more calories than you burn. Conversely, losing weight requires being in a calorie deficit. For every 3500 calories you are in deficit, you should lose about 1 pound. There are hundreds of other factors at play here (hormones, sleep habits, etc.) so it’s not fool-proof, but is a pretty good way for us to carry on with our fat loss efforts once the weekly sessions are over.

It was interesting to learn that we burn more calories through regular exercise, even when we aren’t actually exercising. This is because building and maintaining muscle mass results in more daily energy expenditure — muscle cells burn more calories, while fat cells tend to simply store calories. Definitely incentive to stay moving regularly!

We also talked about different ways that we could increase our metabolic rate, including:

  • exercise, with a focus on strength training
  • eating smaller meals throughout the day
  • getting enough protein
  • eating breakfast
  • checking portion sizes
  • drinking ample water
  • getting enough sleep

I know for me I will need to continue working on maintaining a regular exercise routine, and checking my portion sizes as things progress. I’ll also be more aware of snacking between meals, and taking in extra bites and tastes of foods. I don’t know how possible it will be for me to actually get the sleep that my body needs and still get everything done in a day that I need to (gotta love that #momlife and #selfemployedlife), but I know that’s another major contributor that’s likely stalled or held up my weight loss efforts in the past. Always a work in progress, eh?!

But, I digress.

I thought I’d also share that I was having trouble with my chocolate shakes mixing this week… they would simply chunk and gum up every time I tried to mix them, no matter how well I shook the container. There’s just something so wrong about chewing a shake. So, I dusted off the Nutribullet and gave it a whirl in there for a few seconds, and I gotta say — GAME CHANGER! There is no grit of any kind (a big issue for me since I started on Optifast) and it’s almost frothy like a float or melted ice cream — YUM!

Anyways. Until next week…

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