Status Update - September 2017

- POSTED ON: Sep 06, 2017



Treating Dieting as a Hobby (see:
ABOUT ME) involves the ongoing task of finding or creating ways to keep myself interested in detailed issues involving Weight-Loss and Maintenance, as well as watching how MY own body responds to those various issues.

Here at DietHobby I sometimes share my personal weight and calorie numbers, along with Tactics that I’ve used to help me in Maintenance. These past articles showing my weight and calorie history can be easily located under BLOG CATEGORIES, Status Updates.

Yesterday I posted about my Summer Experiment 2017.

Collecting, recording, and analyzing detailed personal data has helped me lose weight and maintain that weight-loss.

For the past 13 years I’ve been logging all of my daily food intake into a computer food journal which provides me with a calorie count.  I’ve also been using a scale to see my early morning weight, unclothed, immediately after urination, which I record immediately.

As part of my long-term-weight-loss-Maintenance journey I use various charts to track my progress. Although each chart uses the exact same weight and calorie information, I’ve found that charting that information in different ways helps give me new viewpoints which sometimes results in additional insight.

Bounce Chart

My body’s daily weight tends to Bounce up and down quite a lot.  In my weight-loss phase I created a table that I call a “Bounce Chart”, and during a specific time period, I make daily entries to a specific chart in order to track the range of my daily weight deviations. 

The 98 Days of Summer “Bounce” chart shown here covers the 98 day time period between Memorial Day and Labor Day 2017. It shows my starting weight was 133.2 and my ending weight was 132.0.  So, this shows that I had a net weight loss of 1.2 pounds for the entire summer which involved a 9 pound “Bounce Range”. 

During that 98 day period, I ate an average of 662 calories per day. 1st third of the summer, my calories averaged 624 per day; 2nd third of summer, my calories averaged 654 per day; 3rd third of summer, my calories averaged 705 per day.

Weekly Results Chart

This “Weekly Results” chart shows my Monday morning weight along with my daily calorie average for the prior week.

It covers the 19 week period from April 17, 2017 through September 4, 2017, showing the ongoing connections between my weekly weight and my daily average calorie intake.

This chart shows that during this time period, my net weight loss was 1.2 pounds, with a 19 week calorie average of 684.


Online chart from TrendWeight

The Chart below is from the website: “TrendWeight, Automated Weight Tracking in the Style of the Hacker’s Diet .“

It provides a graph showing my weight Trend Line  from April 17, 2017 through September 4, 2017 together with my actual daily weights.

This shows that on this current date, my actual weight is trending at 133.1 pounds.

Like most online calculators, the TrendWeight chart relies only on weight input, and makes assumptions about the calories of one’s food intake based on the commonly used metabolic formulas such as Harris Benedict or Mifflin. 

I input 120 pounds as my goal weight, and took it’s lowest weight-loss option, which was to lose ½ pound per week.  Based on that data the program told me that my body is eating 174 more calories than it is burning, and that to lose ½ pound a week, I need to eat 424 calories less per day.

My daily calorie average for the entire Trend Weight time period was actually 684 calories, and based on my ongoing weights, according to TrendWeight’s metabolic data, my body’s current total metabolic burn is 510 calories.  

 Furthermore, TrendWeight tells me that in order to lose ½ pound per week, I will need to subtract 424 calories per day from the amount that I am now eating.  Subtracting 424 calories from my average calorie intake of 684 results in a recommendation to eat a daily average of only 260 calories daily in order to achieve a ½ pound weekly weight loss.  

The Realities of Life

In previous articles I’ve spent a great deal of time discussing the issues surrounding the mathematical Metabolic formulas, including the fact that they are all based on AVERAGES; that a 15% deviation up or down is normal while there are some people (outliers) whose numbers are FAR different than the group number. 

At present, most experts consider Mifflin to be the most accurate of these formulas.  To keep things in perspective, Mifflin gives the average 72 year old, 5'0" tall, female weighing 130 pounds a BMR of 1016 calories. When sedentary activity is included to that number, the average daily caloric maintenance requirement is 1219.

One of the leading obesity researchers, Dr. Rudolph Leibel of Columbia University, says that a “reduced obese” person’s metabolic burn will normally be about 15% less than the metabolic burn of a person (of the same height, weight, age, and activity level) who has always been a “normal” weight.  Also, I recently saw a medical obesity specialist that I respect say that he’s occasionally seen deviations 25% lower than the average Mifflin BMR. 

So, if we assumed the average "normal" weight person of my size and age would have a BMR burn of 1000 calories, a 25% reduction would be 750 calories.  As there are different levels of sedentary activity, a sedentary metabolic burn of 1100 calories would not be unreasonable, and a 25% reduction would be 825 calories. 

Calorie counting is never an exact science, and at these low numbers, an unwitting daily 10 to 20 percent error could account for a 100 to 150 calorie deviation.  This could bring an outlier’s maintenance calorie burn to around 675, which is where … evidentially… my calorie burn has been trending.


Here’s an online chart graphing
my Average Weekly Weights over the past 8 ½ years.

This chart reflects that since 2013, I’ve had several successful weight drops down into the low 120s, but even though during the past 4 years my daily calorie intake averages totalled less than 1000, my body has been unable to maintain those weight-losses long-term.

The right half of this chart involves weights from the high 130s to the low 120s … a bounce range of around 15 pounds or so. 

I think it is relevant to point out that I diligently and consistently worked at dieting for weight-loss and maintenance during ALL of this time period, and the ongoing Ups and Downs shown in the right half of the chart can NOT be attributed to periods of inattention or ongoing periods of "overeating".  The drastic weight drops involved a drop in glycogen, salt, water, & waste due to several weeks of radical very-low-calorie diets  of around 200 to 300 calories.  Many of the weight increases reflected the return of that glycogen, salt, water & waste when my calories increased to an average of between 700 and 1000 calories. 

For an understanding of the kinds and amounts of food I normally eat, look at the photos of meals I’ve recorded in RESOURCES, Photo Gallery section, under the heading Petite Meals.



In Summary

So, what can a reduced-obese person who has metabolic numbers like I have, do?

I feel certain that additional exercise is not part of a solution for me. Almost 12 years ago, when I got to my original goal weight of 115 pounds, I was 60 years old and physically able to be more active than I am now. Furthermore, I have spent my 72 year lifetime as a sedentary person whose favorite outdoor activity is to go back inside.  When considering my age, my current mindset and physical limitations, there is very little I can do to change my current activity level. The small amount of additional exercise I might be able to tolerate would increase my hunger but do very little to increase my calorie burn.

I can continue working to track my calories and weight as carefully and exactly as possible.

I can continue working to keep the calories of my food intake as low as I can reasonably, healthily, and happily tolerate.

I can continue working toward keeping my weight as low as my body will healthfully allow.

I can work to ACCEPT the fact that things are just as they should be even though my body weight now has a BMI near the border between “normal” and “overweight”. Since my body appears to be unwilling to return to my original weight-loss goal … despite numerous, exhaustive attempts to force it do so, …. its continued refusal to cooperate with my weight-loss attempts might be an indicator that my body is already at its optimal weight for this late stage of my life.  




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Existing Comments:

On Sep 08, 2017 TexArk wrote:
Again, thank you so much for taking the time to share this information for us. All your documentation over the years needs to be preserved and published. You know my story is similar. I have been losing over the summer of 2017 by staying at or under 1000 and I am a 70 year old who is now 5'6". I am intermittent fasting and eating 2 meals a day. I have dropped down to 174 but that is still 20 lbs. above supposed correct BMI. I am exercising but my default is also to sit down. I don't know if I will keep losing or not, but I do know that if I eat any more I will gain and my maintenance will have to be 1000 or less. I never was morbidly obese, but obese I was many times over the years. I am having some health issues for the first time ever. They are checking for autoimmune hepatitus due to high liver enzymes with no other symptoms or evidence. If that is the case I will have to take prednisone and that increases appetite and bloating. We shall see.


On Sep 08, 2017 Dr. Collins wrote:
             TexArk, Thanks for your kind words. My records actually only show the FACTS for ME personally, but my observation and research makes me suspect there are many people around who are "in the same boat". Unfortunately, there's no money to be made by proving the issue. Now that the computer has made the ongoing compliation of data personally possible, perhaps more people will document and share their information, and ... best case scenario ... eventually expose the "Myths" about obesity and weight-loss that our Culture commonly believes. *************************************** I remember how hard you worked to successfully lose weight and maintain your weight-loss, and it appears, like many people, you are still doing your best to moniter your food & weight. Like I've said so many times here, the Body is Designed to Wear Out. People are are fortunate enough to reach the age of 70+ are going to develop health conditions due to NO Fault of their own. It's just the way we are made. We live, we get Old, we get Sick, and we Die. Sometimes medication helps, but sometimes not. It seems like many of the most commonly prescribed medications don't really cure illness, but merely serve to reduce symptoms of an illness, and the side-effects of those medications cause other distressing symptoms. Marketing has influenced our Cuture to believe that there's a FIX for Everything, and if we can't "Fix" ourselves and stay "Healthy" until the day we die that we aren't "doing our best". ... and if fact .. I could go on and on. ************************************ TexArk, it's good to hear from you. Sometimes I've thought of you and your past involvement with weight and horses and riding, and wonder how its all going now, so Thanks for sharing with me here.


On Sep 08, 2017 TexArk wrote:
Like I've said so many times here, the Body is Designed to Wear Out. People are are fortunate enough to reach the age of 70+ are going to develop health conditions due to NO Fault of their own. It's just the way we are made. We live, we get Old, we get Sick, and we Die. Sometimes medication helps, but sometimes not. It seems like many of the most commonly prescribed medications don't really cure illness, but merely serve to reduce symptoms of an illness, and the side-effects of those medications cause other distressing symptoms. Marketing has influenced our Cuture to believe that there's a FIX for Everything, and if we can't "Fix" ourselves and stay "Healthy" until the day we die that we aren't "doing our best". ... and if fact .. I could go on and on. I have been saying the same for years, but your summary concise statement I have saved to simplify my attempts on this subject with my friends who either think there is a medicinal or food cure for everything. I recently taught a ladies class at church on this very subject. The physical body is going to die and we can't stop it. As a side note, I keep records also (myfitnesspal, DietPower, Hacker's Diet). I just checked out Body Weight Planner after reading your post. Ha Ha I am supposed to eat 1825 calories daily to lose down to my goal in 6 months and then 2182 to maintain. Are there any people who actually can do this over the age of 18 who are not athletes?


On Sep 08, 2017 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Hi TexArk. If you followed the link to my article about BWP, you'll see that the program is actually the newest and most accurate way to get weight-loss projections. My advice when checking out the program is to click the upper right hand corner where it says "Expert Mode", then where it says "Activity Level" enter the number "1.111" which is the absolute lowest percentage that the program will allow, and keep the additional exercise activity at zero. Doing THIS will provide the lowest possible projection possible for your body numbers. The top chart is an Overview, the next chart is a Graph with tabs which can show a variety of numbers. At the bottom are pages of the actual daily weight-loss expectations. Notice that that chart provides 3 predicted numbers, The first is Predicted weight; the next is High Weight; and then Low Weight. I'm thinking that these numbers indicate lower and higher metabolisms, however, I've not yet run across any details explanation of that charts detailed function. I've been running personal experiments with this program since I discovered it, and will be doing another detailed article about it one of these days. For ME... so far.... it looks like my body tends to roughly follow the "weight" pattern for the first two to three weeks, and then just bounce up and down in the same area instead of losing further. To run my experiments, what I've done is take screen shot photos of the program, and print them out, then enter daily weight data on them by hand, including weekly calorie averages. ****************************** Anyway if you'd like more personal data from the BWP, my advice is to run the numbers with as little activity as possible, and check out the bottom chart's 3 column of daily projected weight loss. You might get a more realistic projection.... or not... .


On Sep 08, 2017 Dr. Collins wrote:
NOTE: Here in DietHobby, under the heading "RESOURCES", then Links, under the first section, "Helpful Tools",.... about the 4th one down is a direct link to the BWP, - listed as "Body Weight Calculator - NIH (Timeline Projections)...... I find my "RESOURCES.. Links" page really helpful and use it quite a lot.


On Sep 08, 2017 TexArk wrote:
Thanks. I tried that and this time it comes out as 1000 calories a day for 6 months to lose 20 lbs. to get to 154. Then 1479 to maintain. Since I am eating at 1000 daily it should be interesting to follow their charts and see where I fall. Of course I highly doubt the 1479 maintenance number.


On Sep 08, 2017 Dr. Collins wrote:
             TexArk, it's great to see that you followed through in getting those numbers. The burn numbers they give you might be inaccurate, but at least this can give you a more reasonable place to start running a personal comparison. In order to keep from getting confused over time while tracking a various BWP chart projection, I start by taking screen shots of the charts I'm interesting in using & save them to a computer file so that I can tie their specific weights to specific dates. If you do a comparison experiment, I'd love to hear about what you learn.

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