I had this great idea the other day while reading a personal finance blog about getting out of debt, and thought of how it could apply to fat loss. The writer was in over $80K of consumer debt and made a daily plan to contribute X amount to it. So if she wanted to contribute a $1000 a month, daily she’d have to set aside $33 or weekly $250, depending on whichever one you can make work better.
This was spending deficient she planned to use to pay down her debt. Since she knows on the daily how much she was contributing, she was able to make those adjustments to her spending.
When I think about fat loss, it seems like a similar process to paying off debt. Think of your excess weight as debt you need to pay off, and then break it down and adjust accordingly.
Right now I am at 174 pounds, and based on my height and body type, a healthy weight would be around 150 pounds. If we convert that into calories, then we can see how much “caloric debt” I need to “pay off” by making better decisions on what I eat.
Let’s do the math:
174 pounds – 150 pounds = 24 pounds
24 pounds X 3500 (how many calories are in a pound) = 84,000 calories of debt
When I think of paying off my caloric debt, I need to be in a deficit of 84,000 overtime to lose those 24 pounds. In personal finance, you can either spend less money and contribute more OR make more money and contribute more to it. For fat loss, you’d approach it the same way – either burn more through exercises or “spend less” by not eating extra foods. The savings from not eating them would be figuratively applied to paying off your 84,000.
Just like expenses, you’ll have your fixed ones such as Rent, Utilities, Medical, Subscriptions, Car Payments, etc. that you will always pay every month. Similar to that, your body will always need X amount of calories so you can be a functioning human (DO NOT go below this level or you will do serious damage to your body!). But discretionary spending such as gifts, clothing, entertainment can be cut down – so can you discretionary eating.
Here are some ways you can pay off your caloric debt:
- Exercising – calories burned is cuts down that extra 84,000!
- Lowering your discretionary eating: I will ALWAYS have 3 complete meals a day plus water. But that extra doughnut in the office? A second lunch just because they had leftovers from the meeting? A fun snack because I was hungry at the grocery store? Those are discretionary calories I am not spending, which makes it easier
- No Spend Days: similar to how people do a No Spend Day where they don’t spend money, you can try a No Spend Meal (fasting) or No Spend Day (all-day fasting) and pick right back up next meal, just make sure
It’s easier to pay back the debt when you know exactly how much you owe and how much you can contribute to it by doing X activity or saving X amount. If you take a similar personal finance approach to your weight loss, it might give you more concrete examples of how your actions are helping you work towards your weight goals.