One of the hardest parts about working out is quantifying your progress. This is also a motivating factor in not being able to choose properly with your jobs, relationships, and basically everything else. The reason that video games are so easy to attach to and we are willing to put so much time into them is that most of them provide us with easily quantifiable data.
You kill X creatures to produce Y experience gains per second and will reach your goal in Z minutes. Because you can predict these things they become easier to devote yourself to. But what about a push up? A pull up? How do these things convert into calories? You’ll need to use averages naturally because different people expend different calories. There is so much conflicting information out there that it is difficult for me to say what is true and what is not.
However there are websites like healthstatus that will give you data on how many calories various things will do for you at your bodyweight. I suspect the averages are close enough for jazz. At 135 lbs I burn on average 64 calories every 60 minutes. That works out to 1,536 calories per day just by being alive. If I eat less than that each day I will lose weight unless I have a disorder of some kind.
That, to me, is the easy part. The hard part is figuring out how much I need to eat and what I need to eat to gain weight. In theory I can figure out how much weight I’ll gain by taking the total number of calories I go over this number each day and dividing 3500 by that number. Lets say I take in 2,000 calories per day.
2000-1536 = 464 Calories stored per day.
3500/464 = 7.54 Days per LB gained.
In theory then if I ate 2,000 calories per day I would gain about 4 lbs a month. I am quite certain that I’m not eating that many calories per day. My work life and personal life don’t really support that sort of lifestyle. What we decide next then is what kind of weight do I want to gain? I would like the weight I gain to be muscle instead of fat. Mostly because I’m sure I wouldn’t look all that good being chunky and I suspect having more muscle would make me feel better emotionally (more energy and better hormone control).
Let’s presume I lift kettle bells for 45 minutes each day. 15 Minutes of light lifting to warm myself up and then 30 minutes of modest lifting. This means I’d be burning an additional 170 calories each day. I’ll want to take this in mind with my weight gain.
2000-1641 = 359 Calories stored per day.
3500/359 = 9.75 Days per LB gained.
This means that I’d be gaining about 1 lb of weight each week or 3 lbs per month. I’ll want most of these calories to come from something high in protein. I presume that it’ll be liquid as my stomach can’t handle a large amount of solid food without me getting incredibly nauseous (part of the problem with being this thin). I’ve only got 3 hours between the end of work and when I plan to go to bed (on a good day).
In 3 hours I need to consume Almost 1600 calories (my lunchtime meal is around 300-400 calories) each day. If I wanted to accomplish this with milk I would need to drink 16 cups of milk a day. That is quite a tall order seeing as that’s a gallon of milk. I’m pretty sure doing that in 3 hours would make me a whole lot worse than just uncomfortable.
Whey protein powder has about 100 calories per scoop. I can safely put 2 scoops in a cup of milk without it being unpalatable for me. We’ve now increased the calorie count for a glass of milk to 303 calories and increases it by 40 grams of protein. Now I only need 5 and a 3rd cups of milk.
This still doesn’t seem feasible. That’s a cup of milk every 36 minutes after work. Perhaps we can increase the calorie intake by turning this into a smoothie.
If I’m making it a smoothie I’m going to switch to chocolate milk. This increases my sugar intake but frankly I’m not putting away very much sugar per day as is. Chocolate milk is 209 calories per cup (getting better) and 8 grams of protein. We’ll add in 2 bananas. That’s 210 additional calories. 2 Cups of Chocolate Milk, 2 Bananas, and 2 Scoops of Protein Mix. We are now at 210+418+200 or 828 calories. We can also safely add in a cup of strawberries and 1 cup of blueberries. That’s an additional 53 calories from the strawberries and 84 calories from the blueberries.
418 Calories from Chocolate Milk.
210 Calories from Bananas
200 Calories from Protein Mix
53 Calories from Strawberries
84 Calories from Blueberries
418+210+200+53+84=965 Calories per smoothie.
60 Grams of Protein
It might be difficult (read painful) to have 2 of these per night. I’ll test it out tonight. If I did that would get me to 1930 calories per day. Which then going back to our original math.
2230-1641=589 Calories stored per day.
3500/589= 5.94 Days per LB gained.
That’s about 4 lbs per month with a lot of protein. I’m going to try it and see if I was able to actually quantify this. If by the end of the month I’ve gained 0 lbs (which has been the case for about a decade) we’ll figure out where I’ve gone wrong.