Today was my week 6 weigh-in for my TDEE search. Let me begin by recapping my food and fitness last week. I did not do any strength training. I went for the final two c25k runs. I didn’t walk much. I ate an abundance of cookies and chocolate (delicious). One day I ate over 4000 kCal (I felt guilty that day — it’s the first time I’ve felt guilty about food in quite awhile, but the guilt had more to do with eating to discomfort when I wasn’t hungry, not about the actual food). I averaged over 2700 kCal per day (goal: 2600 per day with normal activity level). In short: I was lazy and I ate big.
And now, my stats.
Current weight: 243.6 lbs
Weight change this week: -1.8 lbs
Average daily kCal: 2759
Over 6 weeks of TDEE project
Total weight change: -7.8 lbs
Average weekly weight change: -1.3 lbs
Average daily kCal: 2463
Based on my food and fitness choices this week, I expected a weight gain. I was so surprised to see that number on the scale this morning that I weighed myself 5 times, in 2 different rooms, moving the scale each time, to check for consistency. So, what’s going on?
It could be that ~2750 kCal is a deficit for me, and 2400 kCal per day was way too low, putting my TDEE over 3000… with little exercise, and with exercise closer to the terrifying 3600 number from the TDEE estimator.
Weight maintenance and weight change are products of calories in vs. calories out. But the relationship between calories and weight is not perfectly straightforward. 3500 food calories doesn’t necessarily equal 1 pound of weight, although that’s the accepted generalization, and over large groups over the long term (many, many calories, lots of pounds) it holds up pretty well. But in an individual over the short term it’s less precise; eating 3500 calories over your TDEE one day doesn’t result in a 1 pound weight gain the following day. Energy expenditure and energy storage — and therefore weight change — are complex processes. So another possibility is that this week’s weight gain hasn’t caught up with me yet, and I’ll gain next week. (That’s why it’s important to average calories and weight change; trends matter, not individual data points.)
I certainly won’t complain. It’s still within the weekly 2-pound maximum recommended for safe, sustainable weight loss (and it puts my total weight loss since I started this blog pretty close to 20 pounds). But I’m also not getting too excited.
Goals this week: 2600 kCal per day, run x3, strength train x2
In search of my TDEE