This is me, drawing a line in the sand. Starting today I begin my quest to drop about 45 pounds. Last I looked (a few days ago) I was about 230 lbs. I should be around 185, and that is my goal. How will I acheive such a lofty ideal, you ask? Well it won't be the first time that I [shrunk myself a bit](http://mcallister.ws/weightloss.html). So I plan to follow a similar tract.

**Goal**: weigh 185 pounds by February 1, 2006.

Why set a time limit? Well that is a good question, last time I didn't set a time limit and I did okay, but when I got what I considered to be *thin enough* I sort of lost interest in not eating as much as I wanted. Of course then I didn't really have a weight goal either. But there are two good reasons, one I think it will help keep me focused, also let me know the end is in sight. Another is that if my [BMI](http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/bmi/calc-bmi.htm) is reasonable by about Febryary 15th, I will save money on my life insurance. In this case reasonable means *Normal* and normal means 24.9 or lower. Which means somewhere between 194 and 189 gets me there, depending on how tall I am that day. There is of course a drawback, if I don't hit it by that date, it could be discouraging. But I think it will work well with a target date.

**Hard Numbers**

The dates give me:

* 131 days * 11,318,400 seconds * 188,640 minutes * 3,144 hours * 18 weeks (rounded down)

It's this last one we can grab onto and think about. That means exactly 2.5 pounds per week for 18 weeks. According to [The Hacker's Diet](http://www.fourmilab.ch/hackdiet/) : > A pound of fat is equivalent to about 3500 calories. If you eat 3500 calories more in a month than you burn, you'll gain a pound that month. If you burn 3500 calories more than you eat, you'll lose a pound. All the weight you gain or lose is the consequence of these simple numbers.

Therefore I must burn 8750 more calories than I consume in a week. So the question is how many calories do I burn in a day? Luckily there is a good estimate which is enough to get me started. According to [this](http://www.fourmilab.ch/hackdiet/www/subsection1_2_2_0_2.html#MaleCalBurn) I burn between 2319 - 2899 calories per day. Okay so for the sake of argument lets assume 2800 per day, which is the higher than the average but based on my experience before this is still conservative estimate, I think when I was working out daily I would burn about 3500 - 4000 calories a day. As I monitor my weight and know my intake, I will know exactly how many calories I am burning in a day. So armed with this data, I can calculate what my daily intake should be. 2800*7 gives the amount burned in a week, so if I wanted to stay the same weight, I would just consume this amount weekly, But instead I subtract the 8750 I need to lose 2.5 lbs/week, and that gives me my weekly calorie target. Simply divide by 7 and I get my daily target: **1550**.

When I lost weight before I targeted 1300 calories daily. And I lost 80 lbs in 6 months. Which works out to just over 3 lbs./week. So this lets me know an important and heartening fact. My goal is reasonable, not only in theory, but specific to my previous experience.

So now to make it happen. Today I am going to prime myself, by eating under my goal. There is a long discussion in the Hacker's Diet about why this may help. I did it before so I will do it again. I am going to target 800 - 1000 calories today and tomorrow, to quickly overcome the initial headaches that happen when you begin to slowly starve yourself. Then I will begin on a meal plan similar to what I was eating before. And I will make an effort to go to work out daily, which has been a bit of a struggle lately.