Exercise Calories

The story so far: I have 10-15 pounds to lose at the tail end of a long diet and I just signed up for weight loss programme Noom. Today was Day 4 of the new regime.

It’s been quite an eventful 24 hours in diet land.

I worked at my desk until late last night, by 11pm I was tired and full of self-pity, which led to eating chocolate. I stopped before the point of committing carbicide but it still brought my calorie count for the day up to 1533.

Today I eventually reached a similar total, 1516, but this time more intentionally. Here’s what I ate today.

Early snack: 100g white seedless grapes.

Breakfast: 100g Alpro almond yogurt. Why did I not know about the almond flavour before?!! It tastes like marzipan. 1 red pear, sliced. 1 plum, sliced. More grapes.

Lunch: Sandwich with 2 slices of bread from a seeded loaf (a treat), 10g of dairy free spread, a slice of low-fat mature cheese (cheese, a massive treat), loads of salad, mainly lettuce with red onion, peppers and sweetcorn. That was the most I’ve enjoyed and savoured a simple cheese sandwich in a long time. I might have that again tomorrow.

Afternoon snack: Coffee with milk, bag of low-fat Popchips for 96kcal (I think I’ve finished them all now, they are nice but a waste of calories).

Dinner: 300g of chickpeas, spinach and quinoa, steamed. It tasted OK. It wasn’t what you’d call exciting. Dessert: 100g fresh blueberries with 125ml low-fat custard (yum).

Evening snack: 2 Roses chocolates for 110kcal.

I nominally think of my daily calorie limit as 1200, if not less than that, more like 1100, but then I regularly have diet fails every few weeks and eat pizza and cake so it crossed my mind that maybe I was trying to be a bit strict.

Noom agrees with a baseline calorie limit of 1200 but each day it monitors my activity and awards me extra calories for my food budget amounting to half the calories it thinks I burned off by moving around that day. I walked for about 90 minutes today and did a moderately strenuous 60-minute yoga class. iHealth and Noom think that I burned off hundreds of calories today and as a result, Noom stuck an extra few hundred calories on my allowance, that is, Noom thinks that it’s perfectly fine that I ate 1516 today and has me right in the middle of its target range of calories, eating neither too much nor too little.

So I’m a bit sceptical of this because we all know that apps and sports technology exaggerate calorie burn. Normally I would be really worried about relaxing my calorie limit just because iHealth said I’d burned off a load of calories by walking downstairs, however, I weighed in this morning to find that I was down to 146.0 pounds. Which is a loss of nearly two pounds since yesterday. So I am just going to put my faith in Noom and do the programme the way it is telling me and see what happens. How badly wrong can it go?

Here’s a photo of my chickpea, spinach and quinoa dinner (432 calories). My partner eats things like this all the time and thinks they are perfectly normal. He is a vegan and in a few hours he will be home for the weekend.

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