First - I've joined an online weight loss challenge group. Ten people, trying to loose a collective 300 lbs. I've actually not met any of them personally. But several of us have become online pen-pals of sorts through our blogging, including several who took up cycling specifically to confront their excess weight. So we all have a lot in common. I'm excited by the idea and look forward to trading tips and encouragement, maybe the occasional scolding or stern suggestion with them.
Second - I've opened an account with the Daily Plate service offered by the Livestrong Foundation. It offers some pretty slick online tools. You plug in your vital stats and weight loss goals. It recommends a daily calorie quota. Then you log your activities and food consumption and it estimates whether you are on track to meet your quota.
I documented that off the bike, my life is rather sedentary working in an office on a computer all day and that I wanted to loose 2lbs / week. It suggested a net quota of 1791 calories per day to achieve this objective. "Net" means I can eat 1791 calories per day for life support PLUS whatever I burn exercising, in my case that's mostly on the bike.
Today's meals consisted of the following:
Breakfast: 16 oz of coffee sweetened with honey and low fat cream, a large banana, a pack of Nature Valley peanut butter granola bars (2 bars per pack), and two Fig Newtons.
Lunch: A large chef's salad.
Mid Afternoon Snack: a pack of Nature Valley honey and oat granola bars
Dinner: a bowl of Taco Bean Soup
Consumption: 1492 Calories.
I rode from home to work: 21 miles at an average pace of 15.6 mph for 80 min.
Then I rode from work to Old Mill High School to watch the twins play field hockey, 13 miles at an average speed of 16.4 mph.
Burned: 2943 Calories
1791 quota + 2943 burned - 1492 consumed = 3242 calories below my quota, a good start for my first day.
Don't worry, I won't blog this much detail every day. I'm just highlighting how it works. But I think keeping such a detailed log might be just the tool I need to hold myself accountable.
Check back in here next week to see how I'm doing keeping the log updated and acting on the feedback it provides.
I plan to take the day off of the bike tomorrow and ride a light day to breakfast on Friday. Then Saturday and Sunday will be big days riding on the Eastern Shore.