Not Done Yet


The (TRULY) Secret Formula for Weight Loss


Sitting in a Weight Watchers meeting the other day, the following wisdom rolled out of my mouth:

I believe that “calories in, calories out” is true. And I know that I can eat way more calories in an hour than I can burn, so that whole measuring/ weighing your food is probably a great idea.

Yep, that’s me. I am just a fount of heretofore unrevealed knowledge.

So, seriously. We’ve all heard it for years, but I kind of preferred to believe that “calories in, calories out,” was an urban myth. If I go to the gym and run for 30 minutes or burn 800 calories in Zumba class or lift some serious weight in BodyPump, then I should be able to pretty much eat what I want, right? I’ve earned it, right?

Here’s the problem with that. A single Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut is 190 calories (100 cal from fat). For my Weight Watchers peeps, that’s 5 PointsPlus per doughnut. Now, I don’t know about you, but I could easily down three, four, maybe even six of those airy, light, sugary confections and finish with a satisfied yum. My tasty little treat would run me between 570 and 1,140 calories or 15 to 30 PointsPlus.

Let’s compare that to calorie burning activity, shall we?

Doing the Math

In a tough hour of Zumba, during a class when our beloved Instructor has been on vacation and is now trying to burn a few extra calories herself, I can torch about 600 to 700 calories, 800 if I’m really pushing it. Combat will get me about 500 in 45 minutes when I’m going at it hard. My jogging burns about 300 calories in 30 minutes.

So let’s say I ate the doughnuts. Consumption took me maybe ten to twenty minutes, depending on how many. I would have to:

1 Doughnut

(190 Cal)

3 Doughnuts

(570 Cal)

6 Doughnuts

(1,140 Cal)

Zumba (vigorous)

16 minutes

49 minutes

98 minutes

Combat (vigorous)

17 minutes

51 minutes

103 minutes

Jogging/ Running (80% heart rate)

19 minutes

57 minutes

114 minutes

Walking Briskly

48 minutes

143 minutes

285 minutes

So for one doughnut, it would take nearly twice or three times as long to Zumba it off as it takes to eat it. I’d have to walk for nearly an hour in order to get rid of one light, airy, barely-three-bites Krispy Kreme.

That just doesn’t seem fair, does it? Literally seconds on the lips, and its ridiculous time in the gym to get back to even.

And yet, that’s the reality of the Secret Formula. Calories in, calories out. More calories in than out means, sooner or later, a fuller fit in the wardrobe department.

Finding the Balance

So does that mean no more doughnuts ever? Nope. But it does mean accepting that there are trade-offs for indulgences. That could mean planning a lighter breakfast and lunch to offset a hearty dinner and dessert. It could also mean including some extra aerobic activity that week.

The big thing for me is remembering that (literally) I cannot “outrun” my caloric intake. It’s very difficult to fully offset high caloric intake with exercise. Frankly, I just don’t have that kind of time available.

So, I have to keep in mind that all my choices – food, activity and sleep — affect the caloric balance. My best friend is planning, planning, planning. The more I can “schedule” indulgences, the greater my ability to manage the balance.

One more thing where I’m not done yet.  But completely worth the time investment to keep the peace in the nutritional universe.

Wishing you a most awesomelicious day!


Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.