Greenwich, London

Good morning, readers. Today’s photo is of (a small part of) London, viewed from Greenwich Observatory, where they make Greenwich Mean Time. I was in Greenwich yesterday, and walked 11 miles including a few hills and stairs, taking my nephew for a day out.

I am still struggling with vanity pounds. I am aiming for 133lbs. Last time I blogged, ten days ago, I weighed 138.0lbs and today, 30 May, I weigh 139.4. So that’s a gain of 1.5lbs.

I have no idea how many calories I should be eating to lose weight. TDEE calculators don’t help much because I am never clear on what counts as ‘light exercise’ or ‘moderate exercise’. It’s never spelled out very explicitly.

A typical day:

  • Strength training (dumbbells). 30-60 minutes, apple watch says 130-210 active calories.
  • Yoga. Usually 30 minutes, apple watch says 60-100 active calories, can rise to 150 if I do a 45-minute session.
  • Walking. Usually 1 hour (weekdays), around 5km, apple watch says upwards of 210 active calories.

So a typical weekday, I’m burning between 400 and somewhere north of 520. This is a big range, IMO, with a lot of room for mistakes and miscalculations to happen. Also, every day is not the same. On Friday I only burned up 454 calories (30 mins Pilates and a 90-minute walk) but yesterday (Sunday) I burned 1,005 calories mostly by being outside all day. On Saturday I did a full-body dumbbells workout for about an hour, did some yoga and did a 90-minute walk and burned 743 calories.

OK, let’s attempt some averages.

Weekdays: let’s say I’m using up 460 calories by being active. If I were sedentary (the only TDEE measure I feel I can trust), my TDEE at 5’6″ and 139lbs (today’s weight) would be 1,491 calories per day. If I were trying to lose the last 6 vanity pounds in a conventional way, I would drop that number to 1,200, only because I don’t think it’s healthy to go all the way down to 1,000. But a 500 calories/day deficit is what dieters usually aim for.

So here’s my dilemma. If I take 1,200 as the basic calorie allowance and add 460 for exercise, that yields 1,660, which seems like a lot. I would be worried about regaining weight. If I take 1,000 as the base line (this being a deficit of 500 cals), then add 460 for exercise, it yields a sensible-sounding daily allowance of 1,460. But what if I’m not eating enough? I’m doing a lot of dumbbells work, I’m growing muscles that you can see, I’m hungry nearly all the time and am craving protein and fat.

I love my new muscles and I don’t want to sacrifice them but even so. I have regained 2lbs since hitting a low weight of 137 on 16 May. I am six pounds away from my goal. I want to preserve my muscles AND have energy / not be tired AND be less hungry.

I have no idea whether I am bulking, cutting or some combination of the two, if that’s even a thing.

And that’s all todays weight loss news.

View of London from Greenwich Observatory.

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