God knows I have been down this road before: trying to lose weight. I have tried to come up with the most simplest, easy to comprehend and follow ideas that will help me and others to successfully undertake this journey.
Three years ago I was introduced to OMAD, a form of intermittent fasting, and it changes my life: I lost 60 pounds in 100 days and I changed my entire outlook on food. After my initial loss, I gain the weight back. Not all of it, but almost half. I still do OMAD and manage to lose weight, but I routinely go off script and gain my losses back.
But I am not giving up. Although it is emotionally draining, I cannot quit it. It is a personal challenge. I must crack this nut wide open once and for all. And I know that the secret to substantial weight loss is a good system and a right state of mind.
While OMAD was an amazing tool for me, it isn’t for all people. I love OMAD for being easy to grasp the concept, for the simplicity it provides and the straightforward results it delivers. What makes OMAD so good for weight loss is that it is a great calorie restriction tools. Counting calories is easy if you do it once a day and you can eat a big, supremely satisfying meal while staying in caloric deficit with relative ease.
The problems come when I slip up and I eat more than I should and I cannot stop myself from eating in a binge-like fashion. Often I can reverse course the next day and have an OMAD day, but often I cannot and that is when I gain the weight back.
Often I lay in bed and think long and hard about ways to stop this cycle of losing and gaining and I think that this mental labor is starting to bear fruit.
I have come up with a system whose underlying principle is the way how wrong I was to take the caloric intake and the caloric deficit as a daily factor. To think of caloric deficit on a scale of one day at the time does not take into account the caloric deficit of the day before and doesn’t inform the caloric deficit of the day after. I propose to think of a caloric deficit as a larger number that includes the entire journey of weight loss right until the day you hit that coveted goal weight.
To illustrate, here are two different ways to say the same thing but with a different impact:
To lose weight I need to eat 1600 calories a day.
To lose weight I need to lose 160,000 calories in the next 100 days.
In the first way of thinking, I am not allowed to make mistakes like overeating, and I am not rewarded for eating less. By daily caloric intake is not a part of the bigger picture, it is a daily source of potential stress and disappointment, in case you could not control yourself.
In the second way of thinking, your mistakes have a definitive recourse, a path to correct then in the days ahead.
I have a big Thanksgiving dinner coming. That means a huge caloric intake that would go a good thousand calories above my limit.
If I take this day as an individual day it can be stress-inducing, to say the least. I can plan by reducing my caloric intake in the days ahead by a few hundreds calories per day or pay it back after the big dinner.
I used the expression “pay it back” to describe reducing caloric intake after a day of overeating. If we start thinking about calories as money that we loan, loan out and payback we might find it easier to gain control over our caloric intake.
Here are some parallels between money and calories.
Almost all of us have some source of income with an established amount that comes in every month.
Desired daily caloric intake can be easily calculated by formulas or tools that can be found online. Or Guided Weight can do it for us.
A monthly income and caloric intake are similar in a way that both are constant and limited. If I spend more than I earn I would go broke if I eat more than my limit allows I will not lose weight but will gain it.
But sometimes we have to make a big purchase that would put us way above our spending limit: a new car, a medical bill, a new phone.
Luckily we can save for such purchases or pay them out in installments after the purchase.
Our income is a recurring thing we can count on and can plan accordingly.
The same thought can be applied to our calorie allowance. We can save ahead by eating less or eating less in case we went overboard.
Why this system is so appealing to me?
It is a much less stressful way of thinking about weight loss.
It aligns perfectly with the fact that weight loss is a long term process.
No need to worry about daily weight fluctuations. No daily weigh-ins are needed to see how well I am doing. Once a week is enough.
I have just begun testing my new system myself so I cannot attest to its worth but I have a feeling that it will work exceptionally well.
How to Use Calorie Bank in Practice
First, you need to know your BMR - Basal Metabolic Rate is the number of calories required to keep your body functioning at rest. Deduct between 300 to 500 to calculate your suggested caloric intake.
You need to count and sum up all your caloric intake for a day and subtract it from your suggested caloric intake. The number you get is a daily Calorie Bank Balance. If you have eaten less your number will be a positive number - you are in the green, if you ate more than you should, your number will be a negative number - you are in the red.
You add your today’s balance to the balance of the day before and keep adding it up to have a total Calorie Bank Balance.
You should try to keep it in the green at all times, but if you find yourself in the red, you should find a way to bring it back to gree by eating less than your suggested calories.
Sounds confusing, I know. Luckily, the Guided Weight calculates everything for you, including BMR, suggested calories, daily and total Calorie Bank Balance. It also gives you the repayment plan: how much to eat each day to repay the bank and be in the green.
I wish you the best with this system and hope that your weight loss journey is much less stressful with Calorie Bank.