The Plan - HMR

The Plan

In the past I have found success (albeit short term) with following the HMR Program.  For those of you who are not familiar, its a program that is generally administered under medical supervision as a VLCD (very low calorie diet).  There are "at home" versions that do not have to be medically supervised and follow a slightly higher calorie plan overall. 

The program is based up on meal replacements.  The "hard core" version consists 100% of meal replacements, but in an unlimited fashion.  There are shakes, bars, entree's and soups.  Each shake is roughly 100 calories, very high protein, and very low fat.  I use the HMR 70 shakes that are lactose free (vanilla and chocolate). 

Anyway … all that being said, my plan this go around is to use the meal replacements as an easy alternative during the week … and  substitute a "sensible" meal for the entrees.  I don't mind the meals, though some people cannot tolerate them, but they are pricy.  $3.50 a pop…and I generally  have 2 for dinner (mixing and matching) … it adds up. 

For me, I am like a robot when I am in the zone.  I don't want to think about what I am going to eat, i don't want to have to make a decision on what will keep me on target…essentially i need to have a no-decision program, which also lends to NO RATIONALIZATION for straying.  Clearly that is not a long term successful way to be as its very isolating…so I am going to try and find a middle ground.

My secret weapon will be using GoWearFit to track everything I am eating (all nutritional info) as well as all the calories I am burning by exercising and just being alive.  Check out the website linked, it really is an awesome tool if you don't know about it.  I wear an arm band 100% of the time (not in the shower/swimming) and it tracks activity, steps, even measures sleep efficiency.  The armband collects data and I dump it into their program / website and it tracks everything.  The results are awesome reports that show progress … averages … day to day evaluations, etc.   Once I start getting weekly data I will link them on the blog. 

My strategy is simple math:  creating calorie deficits using restricted daily intake and burning calories via physical activity to lose weight.  Each pound of body weight is roughly the equivalent of 3500 calories.  So, to lose 1 pound a week, you would need to determine the amount of calories per day that you need to eat to maintain your current weight … and then reduce/burn the amount that will total 3500 a week.

Here is a link to calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate (calories per day your body burns)

Take that # and multiply x 7 for your weekly total of calories to break even.
Multiply the # of pounds you want to lose a week  x 3500 for calories you need to burn/not eat
Subtract the two and divide by 7 to get the target of calorie consumption per day.

Here is mine:

2506 x 7 = 17542 (calories per week to maintain current/starting weight)
2 x 3500 = 7000 (calorie deficit needed to lose 2 lbs)
17542 - 7000 = 10542 / 7 = 1500 calories per day TARGET max calories

By eating less / working out more than the target above, ideally I should be able to lose more than 2.  This of course changes weekly as your weight decreases. 

FYI, if you are following Weight Watchers, that equals about 30ish points (each point roughly being 50 calories).

Here is a spreadsheet that can help with your weight loss projections and may help you keep track or stay motivated.  The file was created Ken of and tweaked a bit by me. Check it out:

So folks, there is the plan.  To execute here is what I am going to do for myself (not advocating for anyone else)

1) have 4 - 6 shakes a day (2 for breakfast, 2 for lunch, 1-2 as dessert) - 660 - 700 calories per day
2) keep dinner and snacks low fat and high protein
3) drink 64 oz of water a day - crystal light/ocean spray cran drink mix
4) diligently track what i am eating using GoWearFit to look at total nutritional picture
5) daily vitamin / fish oil / dietary supplements
6) start walking - targeting 5000 steps a day / 30 minutes of "moderate" activity a day per GoWearFit
7) keep up with blog / twitter as much as possible

That's about it! 

Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you …. talk to you more about GoWearFit or HMR, etc.

Good luck!