Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Where have you gone, my calories?

I had a chance over the weekend to sit down and review my totals for 2010 (starting in February and extending to Christmas Eve). My final numbers:

Distance: 3783 miles
Total time on bike: 224 hours
Total ascent: 147,322 feet
Minimum temperature: 25.4 F
Maximum temperature: 102.2 F
Calories: 273,361

As I looked at the numbers, the one that struck me the most was the number of calories (supposedly) burned. 270,000 calories? Sounds like a lot.  But it's not all good.  Here's why:

Here are my weights from this year:

Starting weight (January 2010): 162 lbs
Ending weight (December 2010): 154 lbs
Post holiday weight (January 2011): 160 lbs (Argh)

When advising people about weight loss, it's typically quoted that 3500 calories equals a pound of fat. So roughly, having a negative calorie balance of 3500 per week equals a loss of 1 pound of fat per week. If I've used 273,000 calories in the past year, I should have lost 78 pounds... leaving my weight at 84 pounds. But instead, I only lost 8 pounds.

So doing some "back of the envelope" calculations:
Calories expended on bike:                 273,000
Weight loss (converted to calories):       28,000
Balance:                                            245,000

So I've somehow managed to consume an extra 245,000 calories this year.


How does that translate to food?  I don't really eat fast food that often but it's an easy metric that most of us can understand.  So using some familiar items:

The old standby
McDonalds Big Mac at 560 calories: 437 burgers

For our West Coast friends (so jealous here in NYC)
In n Out Double Double at 640 calories: 382 burgers

"Gourmet" pizza
Pizza Hut slice at 240 calories/per slice: 1020 slices

To make Jared proud (actually, I don't really care much for Jared)
Subway 6" Spicy Italian at 480 calories: 510 sandwiches

I feel nauseous just writing these numbers down. Anybody have Jenny Craig's number?
Before I leave, I have to say that I'm really excited about the official announcement for the team currently called the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project (codenamed Leopard True Racing).  I really really hope that they don't call themselves Team Leopard because I cringe at the thought of any cyclist wearing leopard printed kit.  Even if your name is Mario Cipollini, it's just wrong.
Of course, it would still be better than the kit that worn by Footon Servetto last year.  *Shudder*
My eyes!  My eyes!  (Their dignity!)

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