The Perils Of Trying To Lose Weight In Marathon Training With Calorie Counting.

Today I weighed myself for the first time in a while and I came in at 207.5lbs.

I’m really sick of being overweight as a runner. It seems like my progress is stagnating and it’s all down to me just eating whatever I want and not keeping track.

This is why I’m going back to logging my calories over on MyFitnessPal for the time being.

But first, here are the reasons why I’ve been unable to keep to any kind of calorie counting regime over the past 6 months.

  1. I tend to get bored of reducing every single food item into calories – I start tasting food in terms of calories and it just ruins the experience. It’s shitty when you think ‘this food is actually costing me calories!’.
  2. I let my food logging slip – I’ll start off by forgetting to add one item into my diary. Then I’ll become flippant about it, insisting that I’ll record everything at the end of the day. By then I’ll struggle to record what exactly I ate and in what order.
  3. Imposing too much of a calorie restriction upon myself – If you’re desperate to lose weight then it’s only natural that you’ll try to minimise the time it gets to get down to your ‘ideal weight’. Unfortunately this also means that your daily calorie limit is much restrictive and therefore difficult to adhere too over a period of time.
  4. Making poor ‘calorie’ budgeting decisions – The temptation can be to consume 2,500 kcal by dinner time and to then decide to skip on that meal in order to consume a larger lunch. When I do this, I’ll always become really hungry at about 8 or 9pm and go on a fucking binge and everything will be ruined.
  5. Drinking too much alcohol – It’s fucking impossible at times to keep track of the amount of calories you consume if you’re overly fond of a night out on town. There’s close to 150 calories in a bottle of Budweiser. Multiple that by 10 and you’re talking about most of your daily limit.
  6. Can’t eat in restaurants or delis without feeling guilty – No-one really knows how many calories are in your delicious burger. You Google “how many calories are there in a burger” and the answer is anywhere between 500 to 5,000. It becomes much harder to take calorie counting seriously when you’re making ball-park estimates.
  7. Eating into next days calorie allowance – This motherfucker always gets me. If I’ve exceeded my calorie allowance for the day, I’ll begin to eat into tomorrow’s count, leaving me with barely enough to get through the next day. Before I know it I will be back off the wagon again.
  8. The upcoming party with friends, relatives or work colleagues – If you’re anything like me, you’ll try to create a vision of the future where you’re consistently adhering to your new diet. Then out of nowhere your Uncle Raymond will announce that he’s having a anniversary party to celebrate acquiring his first ever vibrator you’ll think “fuck the diet, I’ll start back again next week. It’s party time Ray!”.
  9. Peer pressure –  You might want try to avoid the bar or the cinema or the shopping mall to stop excess calorie consumption, but this can lead to you becoming isolated. At times like this it can be easy to sway to peer pressure and to just go out for that one drink which turns into 5 drinks and a huge pizza.
  10. Not knowing how many calories you really burn on the run – Obviously there are heart rate monitors out there that do an excellent job at estimating how many calories you burn per mile, but you can never be certain that the read-out is 100% correct.

Ultimately I think the key to success with calorie counting is being realistic with your goals.

My short term weight loss goal.

That’s why I’m aiming to intake 3,000 calories a day over the next week for a 2lb weight loss by next Monday.

The breakdown is simple. I need 2,600 calories per day to maintain my weight. I walk 5 miles a day to commute to work which takes my break-even total up to around 3,000 calories per day.

Last week I burned 7,100 calories with 48.1 miles of running. If I repeat this from now until Sunday, then I’ll hit my target easily.