Is it Hot in Here? (I think so, but others don't)

One of my personal arguments for promoting and being on the calorie deficit diet is that it is 'science' based. I believe that we are subject to laws of thermodynamics. If you asked me weeks ago what I meant by that, I would have 'smartly' (cluelessly) replied: "energy in versus energy out." How did I come up with this gem? I saw video clip where someone explained this concept to me. It made sense and was logical to me, so I embraced it. 


This is why we should not get sucked into the Facebook and Instagram video clip realm.


Disclaimer: I never took physics, never wanted to take physics, and don't care how physics works (except with respect to dieting, cycling and stuff falling out of the sky and hitting me on the head). I just want my bicycle to conserve my momentum when I'm pedaling and gravity not to work so well when I drop something breakable.


There are actually four laws of thermodynamics, zero through three, and this is how I understand them based on my very quick research (aka Wikipedia):

Zero: If two systems are the same temperature as a third system then they are all the same temperature.

One: When energy (heat, work, or matter) enters a system, the system will process it internally with the respect to the 'conservation of energy" law.

Two: Energy in a system from a natural thermodynamic process does not decrease even when interacting with other systems with different entropies (you may have to correct me on this one, but this is my interpretation). 

Three: The closer the system gets to a temperature of absolute zero, the entropy value will approach a constant value, and with a few exceptions, will be zero when the temperature of the system is at absolute zero (okay, I have no idea what this means or why it matters either....)


I would very much welcome your "Thermodynamics for Dummies" explanation in the comments.  I'm a number cruncher, not a scientist. I read a lot, but I read romance novels, not scientific journals.


There are also arguments that our bodies are not subject to this law.  I did see one article that refuted this claim and the author called out the scientist's assumptions and methods, and poked holes in their reasoning,


We do know that our bodies do want to remain at a constant temperature and will only raise and lower that temperature based on extraordinary things that impact it. For example, severe cold and heat that our bodies cannot adapt enough to overcome, viruses and bacteria that our body adapts to eliminate.  We do know that our bodies process food as fuel, which powers our internal automated systems and allows us to use that food to expend energy doing all kinds of mental and physical activities. This all makes sense to me and it is why I believe this is why the diet works for me.


I don't know about you, but I want to know how much energy my body uses to exist, how much energy my body expends when I put forth physical and mental effort in addition to just existing. and how many calories I should fuel it with.


Exercise apps can give me a very rudimentary estimate, but that is all. Also, we know that different fuel produces different results (protein versus carbohydrates), physically and mentally, which impact the whole process of converting food into fuel as well. So many factors, so few answers that really matter. 


There are actually formulas that have been developed for this. I'm sure this is what diet apps use in their calculations. There is a formula to calculate what they call your basal metabolic rate (BMR). The formula is different for people born biologically as women than it is for people born biologically as men. I'm not sure how transitioning to a different sex and the hormones taken along with that would impact which formula one would use.  This is what you may find when you search for the formulas:


Females BMR:  655.1 + (4.35 x weight in pounds)) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)


Females BMR 655.1 + (9.563 x weight in kilograms) + (1.85 x height in cm) - (4.676 x age in years)


Males BMR:  66.47 + (6.24 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) - (6.75 x age in years)


Males BMR: 5 +(9.99 x weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in cm) - (4.92 x age in years)


The easiest way is to calculate your BMR is to search for a BMR calculator on the internet and use that. There are lots of them. Here is one:


Using the formulas and the data I had on Tuesday when I weighed myself, my BMR is 1,435.85. Using the app at the website posted above, I come up with 1,375. That's a 61-calorie difference. That is the problem with science. Not everyone agrees and sometimes it isn't exact. 


Do you remember when we were told a 'healthy' diet is 2,000 calories a day? It is now very clear to see that if I ate the 2,000 calorie a day diet recommended by whoever those 'experts' were, I'd be starting a "150 pounds by Who Knows How Long It Will Take to Lose it " blog in a about a year. I may not know the exact number of calories I need to eat daily to maintain a certain weight, yet, but I do know how many calories I shouldn't eat.


As a numbers person, this frustrates me. I'm frustrated that I have to rely on a cell phone app to give me an estimate for my daily calorie intake, and sometimes I lose the weight it tells me I will on that calorie count and sometimes I don't.  I'm frustrated that I get different answers to the same question and it's anyone's guess as to which is the correct answer. I do get some satisfaction from the cycling app I use as I tell it my age and weight and it will tell me how many calories I burned from a bike ride... in theory... I'm pretty sure I get no credit for grueling hill climbs and receive shameless credit for long, downhill coasts.  But I'm guessing that estimate is about as accurate as my own personal best guess. 


Over the summer, I was very determined to figure out how many calories I burned by doing specific things, even just by existing (it rained a lot and I was bored....). I used the data I logged in My Fitness Pal and my exercise apps, and I tracked it on a spreadsheet (I kid you not). I had columns for total calories, how much weight lost that week, estimates on exercise. I was determined to figure out my own body.


If you have been reading this blog since the beginning, you are thinking "I don't remember a post about that..." Because there wasn't one. I was unable to come up with any concrete data to help me gauge how many calories I was actually burning during a given week.


The closest you really get is pounds lost multiplied by 3,500 (calories per pound). That is how much energy you expended in excess of the calories consumed. So, that brings us back to the basic premise of this diet. 


Calories in versus calories out. You can't ignore the fact that in order to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. It's science, folks. And if you say that doesn't work for you, then I challenge you that you are eating far more calories than you think you are. I know, because I was doing just that myself. 


Taking stock of day three:

I exceeded my daily calorie allowance by a 118 calories (it was date night and I had wine....)

I ice skated today for 1.5 hours (which my app told me burned 800 WINE)

I'm very stressed because we are gathering this weekend as a family for the first time since the passing of our niece. 


(photo courtesy of Monstera Production)



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7th Decade Redhead
7th Decade Redhead

I'm 60+ years old female retiree who is finally figuring out why she's been struggling with losing weight her whole life. I want to share the lessons I learned so others can help themselves with their own weight loss struggles earlier in their lives.

60 Pounds by 60 Years
60 Pounds by 60 Years

My final weight loss attempt after 40 years of different diet failures. No shakes, no supplements, no surgery, no crazy food, no purchased meal plans, no fasting. Creating a healthier relationship with food and facing the painful truth about my relationship surrounding food. No BS, just common sense. And it worked.

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