Well, what started 30 days ago in the post “Calories – how many per day” has finally come to a close. For the last 30 days, I have burned an average of 1000 calories per day, seeing if exercise is my keystone habit that bring all of my other bad habits into place.
So, was it?
Simply put – no.
I’ve dropped about 3-4 pounds over the course of this experiment, but I truly believe that for any meaningful weightloss, I would need to get better control over my diet. As some of my previous experiments have proven, I can drop a similar amount of weight with much less effort than exercising enough to burn 1000 calories per day. Heck, even putting a few simple controls on my diet might have had a similar effect in a much more time-efficient manner.
However, is the experiment a total loss? Definitely not.
Firstly, I’m stronger and more fit than I was 30 days ago. One doesn’t exercise for 30 days without some sort of benefit. Secondly, while I only lost 3-4 pounds, I did so while eating whatever I wanted. There’s a saying “You can’t outrun your fork” that refers to diet being the primary component of weight loss. Perhaps I can’t outrun it, but I did at least end in a tie *grin*.
It’s also important to note that tracking my diet for the last 30 days has led to me making some better decisions and being far more aware of what I’m eating than I was previously. This doesn’t mean I always make the best decisions for myself, but it does mean that I’m closer. I’m at least not making ignorant decisions anymore, which is a small victory.
Also, it’s important to note that I’ve lost a combined 4.5 inches from my body since I started this experiment. That’s probably the single most exciting accomplishment from the month. Quite frankly, I’m proud of that result.
However, I also need to acknowledge that my original logic behind the site still holds. Shorter experiments are more fun for me, and sticking with the longer experiment was actually a fair bit of work. So, in this next week we’re back to a shorter, 1-week experiment.
Conclusions on 30k Calories in 30 Days
Just trying to burn more calories does have a positive impact. It really does. However, it’s only part of the equation, and if you ignore the other parts of what makes you lose weight and be healthier, you won’t get results that are as dramatic as you might want for the effort you’re putting in. So, stack the odds in your favour and attack the problem from multiple directions!
I won’t be targeting a 1000 calorie per day burn anymore, but I will still be more active. The last 30 days has reminded me a lot of the joy I take in physical activity and I hope to keep it up!