Monday, November 21, 2011

One Step at a Time

I haven't posted about my weight loss journey lately.  I am sure you can guess why...yup, haven't lost any weight.  In fact, I have been gaining weight.  So.not.happy!!!

In an attempt to understand why I was gaining weight I got a Body Media Fit (like the Body Bugg that the Biggest Loser contestants wear, just marketed differently).  I thought that maybe I wasn't burning enough calories.  My initial goal was just to wear it for a week or two and see what I noticed about my calorie burn, activity level, steps, and sleep.  I have been wearing it for longer than that without doing much with the information, but it has been very eye opening nonetheless.

Here is what I learned....

Calorie Burn: 
I burn a lot more calories than I thought I did.  I am certainly no expert on calorie burn, but I had envisioned that I burned about 2500 calories a day.  In reality I burn, on average, about 3100 calories a day.  On the days that I do Baby Boot camp, I burn about 3300 calories.  On non-boot camp days, I burn about 2800 calories.

Activity Level: 
I knew I was getting a good workout at Baby Boot Camp, but according to the Body Media Fit (BMF), I burn about 400-500 calories in one 1 hour class.  More specifically, the BMF considers my level of activity to be moderately active (3-6 METs burned*) for 30-40 minutes of the class, while 20-30 minutes are considered vigorous.  This varies day to day because the amount of cardio can vary depending on the day.

While I knew chasing after a toddler all day should count for something, I didn't realize how much it would count.  I average over an hour and a half of total activity a day (activity intensity of 3 METs or more).  That means whether I am going to boot camp or not, I am getting more than enough activity.

*Not sure what METs are?  METs or Metabolic Equivalents are a way to measure intensity in activity.  At rest, your MET level is 1.  Moderate activity is 3-6 METs - you are active but you aren't breathing too hard to carry a conversation, but you probably can't sing.  Vigorous activity is over 6 METs - you are active and carrying on a conversation is more difficult.


Steps:
In case I wasn't convinced that I was getting enough activity, my steps were recorded at an average of 11,832 steps a day.  My goal when I lost weight back in 2005 was 10,000 steps a day.  Almost anything you read about the ideal number of steps when trying to lose weight will say 10,000 steps is the number to shoot for.  In the last month I recorded less than 10,000 steps only 7 times.  Of those 7 times, at least 3-4 of them were because I wasn't wearing my band the whole day (I know of 2 days that I didn't hit 10,000 because we watched football all day). 


Sleep:
I have a 4 month old.  Need I say more?  Ideally, for weight loss specifically, you need at least 8 hours of sleep a night.  I average 5.53 hours of sleep.  The BMF also measures time laying down.  My average time laying down was 7.17 hours.  I usually spend some time reading before bed, but not much more than 15-20 minutes.  What is going on during the rest of the time?  I'm not sure.  I could be tossing and turning. I could be trying to fall asleep. I could be laying there thinking of all the things I need to do the next day.  I could also think that I am asleep, but am really just really relaxed.  One of the things I need to work on is figuring out how to get more QUALITY sleep since getting more actual sleep won't happen till Mr. T starts sleeping through the night.


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So now what? Well it is time for me to start tracking my food intake, but for a variety of reasons, I think there is more going on.  I will be writing about this in my next post as soon as I get a chance.  Basically it involves a bunch of medical tests, a naturopathic doctor, a health coach, and my primary care physician. Stay tuned!

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