Losing 100g everyday

April 14, 2017

The experiment

The world of weight loss is a very complicated one. There’s all sorts of diets, plans and routines that you’re supposed to follow — and frankly, a large element of nonsense too. It’s better to take a first principles approach to this.

If we viewed the human body as a lump of energy, then it makes things simpler. According to the law of conservation of energy:

the total energy of an isolated system remains constant—it is said to be conserved over time. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it transforms from one form to another.

We’re not completely isolated though. We have energy coming in (when we eat/drink) and energy going out (for basic metabolism, exercise, etc.). If we just track both of those things, we can accurately control the weight we gain / lose (since weight is energy).

In summary:

Setup

Using a tool online, I found my Basal Metabolic Rate to be 1,830 calories. That’s how many calories I’ll burn a day even if I never get out of bed. It’s the energy my body consumes to stay alive.

Next, I plugged everything into a Google sheet:

Google sheet for weight loss

In case you’re wondering how I can convert energy into weight, that’s simple. Each macronutrient (carbs, protein, fat) corresponds directly with weight as follows:

1g of protein 4 calories
1g of carbs 4 calories
1g of fat 9 calories

Calculation

So, essentially the nett calorie count for the day \(Cal_{nett}\) is calculated like so:

I then convert the \(Cal_{nett}\) into grams by assuming a 40%/40%/20% loss for Carbs/Proteins/Fat, like so:

Here’s the form I use to fill in the calories I consume/use every day:

Google form for tracking weight loss

Everytime I eat something (or do some exercise), I log it in … and the sheet is updated automatically. At the end of the day, I throttle my calories consumption to ensure that there’s always a net loss of 100g or so of body weight.

Rules

Update: 1 month

Wow, this experiment has worked better than I could’ve ever imaginged! Checkout the results below:

Results after 1 month

The expected weight is 75.0kg as of today, but my actual weight (when I first wake up in the morning) is 74.5kg!

Actual weight

That’s insane — it means I’m actually losing more than 100g each day, since I’ve lost 3.3kg to date (in just 30 days).

I’m going to keep this experiment going for another month or so until I hit the 70kg range, which I think would be ideal. I’ll make sure to share more details around the specifics of how I accomplished this, and tips you can use to do the same once I’ve got a firm grip of things (say in a month or so).