When you were in school did you also question studying math? “Why do we have to do this? It’s not like we’re ever gonna use this stupid stuff once we get out of school.”
Wrong! And as I have told my kids, who whined similarly, math is indeed a skill you use your whole life. Okay, maybe for most of us, not calculus. Or geometry. But algebra and percentages and more.
So why do I hate math today?
Because it doesn’t always add up!
You have all heard it before: weight loss is simple math. Calories in versus calories out. Makes sense. In theory. But, for me at least, that theory is flawed. Because I’ve done the math. Counted my calorie intake and subtracted my calorie burn. And then looked at the scale. And the number just don’t always prove true. And it’s frustrating.
I like logic. I like things that make sense. I like black and white. I am pragmatic. Sounds like I would like “weight loss math.” But, no.
There is clearly something else at play here. Some additional (really did not intend that pun) component. Some missing piece to the equation. (But that pun was intentional.) Maybe it’s metabolism. Surely each of us burn calories at a different rate. After all, aren’t we encouraged to build muscles because they burn more calories than fat?! And then there is the whole age and hormone thing. I have heard it over and over from women who reach a certain age, or approach the “change” – suddenly they put on weight or find it harder to lose even when their exercise and eating stays the same. And I also wonder if all calories are created equal. I don’t think they are – not in the sense of how they impact our bodies. Sugar versus protein, for example. But I wonder if there is more to that as well. Given the same calorie intake of cookies or fruit, will they have the same impact on my weight? If the number going in is the same, shouldn’t the number on the scale be the same?! And then there is that darn sodium and water weight. How do we factor that into simple math? What about my three pound weight gain last week that came overnight after a little binge that was not even close to 10,500 calories!
I’m not proposing throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Doing away with the whole notion of watching calorie intake versus calorie burn. I’m just proposing that maybe I need to figure out my own math. This way isn’t adding up. So time for a little math theory a la Karen. Because diet math is as frustrating to me now as calculus was back in school!
Do the numbers work for you? Any suggestions for my new equation?