Adventures in Weight Loss!

Keep warm, keep burning!


S – 990 kcal consumed, 2 miles walked, 0 kcal exercised:  20 pts

S – 1000 kcal consumed, 0 miles walked, 200 kcal exercised: 20 pts

M – 970 kcal consumed, 2 miles walked, 100 kcal exercised: 30 pts

T – 980 kcal consumed, 2 miles walked, 100 kcal exercised: 30 pts

W – 990 kcal consumed, 2 miles walked, 0 kcal exercised: 20 pts

T – 1200 kcal consumed, 2 miles walked, 100 kcal exercised: 0 pts

Last week’s weight: 102.9 kg

This week’s weight: 101.7 kg

Weight difference: -1.2 kg (25 pts)

Total ponts: 145

Keep warm, keep burning!

It’s rapidly approaching wintertime here in the northern hemisphere, which naturally means chilly weather . It’s a natural instinct for us to consume more when we feel colder – anecdotally, I’ve heard that people living and working in the Arctic and Antarctic must consume an increased number of calories in order to maintain their body temperature.

While Manchester in winter is certainly not as extreme in its temperature as at the poles (hyperbole notwithstanding), it certainly introduces a similar, observable effect. When the temperature drops, we crave more food to keep us going. It’s not just a physical thing, of course, but also has a significant psychological component too; during the colder months, when food and resources were traditionally scarce, a full belly helped us to feel more secure and assure us of our mastery of nature in the face of its fearful and frosty wrath.

As they say in Scottish Game of Thrones: "Aye, that's the cauld weather comin' the noo."

As they say in Scottish Game of Thrones: “Aye, that’s the cauld weather comin’ the noo.”

Well, okay, that might be a little over-dramatic. But it still stands that there is temptation both ways: Firstly, temptation to overeat. Secondly, a temptation to use the increase in calorie requirements to achieve greater amounts of weight loss. Of course, the first is probably easier to address – No matter what the weather is, if you’re aiming to lose weight one must maintain discipline and exert command over one’s cravings to stick to the diet. The second one is somewhat fraught with danger – Yes, your aim is to reduce the amount of calories you consume and drop your weight. However, you want to do this slowly, in order to minimise the amount of stress your body has to endure. Remember that when you’re losing weight, what you’re actually doing is burning up the body’s emergency supply because you’re not actually consuming sufficient energy. When winter comes, your body will need that little bit extra to keep itself topped up properly. It’s got not so much to do with eating over your target calorie intake so much as it is making sure that your target is reasonable enough to permit that extra burn. If you’re consuming too little, you run into problems, fatigue and risk of shock being among them.

I think my chief message here is this: If you’re doing the diet thing like me, you absolutely have to be careful about your health. Don’t over-exert yourself; the damage you can do to yourself may be irreparable, and even in the short term stretching oneself too thinly might result in sabotaging your own efforts as you consume more to make up for the lack of energy you’ll feel.

Take care of yourselves, out there!


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