Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Day 236 - My Calorie Measuring Experiment

September 30, 2013         No weight this week.

So today is officially a rest day. I decided to conduct an experiment and wear my heart rate monitor for a full day in order to see an accurate picture of my caloric needs. This is what I got.

Time: 20:30:00
Calories Burned: 3806
Hourly Average: 185

If I indeed burned 3806 calories on a non workout day then on my actual workout days I should have lost a bunch of weight as I was burning more than I was eating in general.

I don't know how accurate it is so I did some corroborative research on the ACE Fitness site's calorie calculator. According to it, I should be eating about 3581 calories to maintain my weight if I'm working out 6-7 days a week and 3217 calories daily if working out 3-5 days a week. In order to lose, I would need to eat a couple hundred calories less per day. A few days ago my coach, Chris Hauth, told me "It's easy, just eat three squares a day about a thousand calories at each meal."

There is a test called RMR or RESTING METABOLIC RATE TESTING like the one offered by Phase IV in Santa Monica, CA that can measure your metabolic rate by your VO2 usage at rest. This test can give you a very accurate picture of what your nutritional needs are and based on that you can make adjustments.

There is only one problem. When it comes to counting calories, I am a dismal failure! So the struggle continues. Lately, I know what I'm doing wrong and I know what I should be doing to correct it. But I just haven't been doing what I should be. My mind is distracted with other things.

It was interesting to do the experiment. The only thing I seem to be successful at today was losing my beloved Oakleys. I am crushed as I got them right before I started Ironman training and they have been with me ever since.


  1. Hi Michael,

    The RMR test IS what you need to figure out exactly how many calories your specific physiology needs to survive through the day. i.e. organs to function properly, skin and hair to grow and regenerate and is a "snapshot" of your metabolism. With this caloric number we add a light lifestyle factor to include normal life functions such as brushing your teeth, combing your hair and generally moving around throughout the day. This number is the amount of calories (not counting exercise) you need to maintain the weight you are at. So to lose weight we subtract calories safely each week. This is the most sustainable way to lose weight. The RMR test also tells us what fuel your body is using; what percentage of fat and what percentage of carbs.

    From reading your blog I believe you would also benefit from a VO2 test. This test will make using your heart rate monitor a tool for losing the weight you want to lose and increase your performance. The VO2 test tells us where you stop being Aerobic (meaning burning more than 50% fats) and start being Anaerobic (burning more than 50% carbs). The goal is to transform your physiology to prefer fats over carbs because our body has about 2-3 thousand calories of carbs and 70-80 thousand calories of fats at any given time. Obviously this means that fat is a more sustainable fuel source and the way to lose the weight and keep it off. The info that is derived from the test tells us specifically what heart rate zones you need to train in to teach your body to burn fats and increase your Aerobic Capacity. In addition, the VO2 test also tells us how many calories you are burning at each different heart rate intervals as the test progresses and what percentage those calories are coming from fats and what percentage are coming from carbs. This means you know EXACTLY how many calories you are burning when you are training (NO MORE GUESSING) so you can dial in your nutrition and diet as well.

    I want to stress that is not something we invented but simply the science of the human physiology, the utilization of the proper testing equipment and the knowledge of this science by our professional exercise physiologists. We want to be a resource to anyone who is interested in living a healthier lifestyle as well performing up to their genetic potential so we offer free consultations with our exercise physiologists and are happy to answer any questions you may have.

    1. Thank you for the response Robert! Good information. Hopefully, we can do some testing soon.

  2. Mike, keep me updated as I suffer from the same existence! Spinning wheels and burning calories but not as much fat!