My 2019 Weight Loss Journey, 12.5 Kg in 18 Weeks

Summary of My 2019 Diet in Google Sheets

Weight Loss

On May 7th 2019, I decided to go on a diet mainly because I wanted to start running but I was too overweight for it. In fact right before I start my diet, I had three 10K runs  on April 29 2019 , April 30 2019 and May 7 2019 and my corresponding running time for each of them was 1:10:08 , 1:08:48 and 1:07:05 respectively. The running times were as disappointing as I even didn’t think about starting a 10K training plan. 

In fact the slowest 10K training plan in one of my favorite books “Running: The Complete Guide to Building Your Running Program” By “John Stanton” was 10K 60 minutes training plan and in my case I wasn’t sure if that training plan is applicable to me or not because I was too slow at that time.

Later on, I noticed that the American Olympian “Jeff Galloway” in his book “Galloway’s 5K and 10K Running” has even introduced a 10K 1:19′:00” training plan but anyways I wasn’t interested to start such a slow training plan. As an alternative, I decided to first reduce my weight and then start my running through an appropriate training plan. 

I was 65-67 kg when I was in my running prime in 2016 and on May 7 2019 I was 83.3 kg. Therefore as my diet goal, I decided to drop 16 kg of my weight. I have to mention this was my first ever diet and therefore I had no idea about weight loss and anything related to it. Therefore as my first question, I asked myself how long would it take to achieve my ideal goal, so I started doing the math.

As it is well known like in this article, the average woman needs to eat about 2,000 calories per day and the average man needs to eat about 2,500 calories per day to maintain weight, if you consume anything less than that you would start losing weight.

Now the question is how many calories you need to burn to lose one pound of fat. As you can find in another article of available here,  one pound of body fat contains about 3500 calories. 

As we all know, exercise can be a lot helpful in losing weight. As a former runner, I had two favorite options for my exercises: running and walking. I have been reading in several articles in past, that when you are running you shouldn’t expect to lose weight that much. Even now that I googled “running and lose weight”, I found some articles like this , where they explain why running is not the best option for losing weight. 

On the other hand, I can remember when I was training in 2016, I took certain breaks during my training to lose more weight through diet and walking. In general, I had the impression that walking works better for me for losing weight compared to running. Therefore I chose walking for my exercise in my weight loss journey.

The immediate question that appears here is how many calories do you burn in each walk. As it is mentioned in this article and it’s somehow obvious, your weight, pace ,terrain and genetics would impact on your burning calories. I start with pace and terrain.

I decided to have my daily walks starting from home approximately in Yonge and Sheppard in North York Toronto, walking all the way down to south in the Yonge street. I also decided to have my daily walks with an average of at least 2 hours a day. Having that in my mind, I measured a very long 16K walk , in that path at my regular pace (or a little bit faster) with my Garmin Fenix 3 HR watch.

My watch already considered my weight, and the terrain, pace and genetics factors in this walk was approximately the same as my other walks. The duration of this walk was 2:41′:36” and the burned calories calculated by my watch was 626 C. Therefore it was a safe estimate to assume during a 2 hours walk in the same path I would burn as much as 2.0/(2+41/60)*626=465 calories. 

I also decided to be tough on myself and just consume around 1000 calories a day which means starving during my diet time. Now lets calculate how long would it take with that plan to lose 16 Kg of my body weight. My body approximately requires 2500 calories a day for maintaining my weight plus 465 calories for my 2 hours walk which is 2965 calories per day. I was eating approximately 1000 calories a day and therefore burning the rest of 1965 calories in each day.

Since one pound (454 gr) of fat is 3500 calories, in each day I was burning 1965/3500*454gr =254 gr of my body fat and therefore in each week I was burning 7*0.254=1.784~1.8 kg of my body fat. Therefore to be on the safe side, one can estimate my weekly burning body fat by 1.5 Kg. and therefore it would take me 11 weeks to lose 16 Kg of my weight. 

That was my initial calculation for the duration of my diet but in practice, it never came true.  As you can find it in Summary of My 2019 Diet in Google Sheets , in the first 6 weeks of my diet, I was getting the best results and my weight loss rate in that period was equal with almost 1 kg/week . After that because I was so tough on myself during my diet, I couldn’t continue and I decided to have 8 days of rest. 

After that 8 days, I again got good results for the next 3 weeks and I had the same weight loss average of 1 kg/week . That was up to the end of week 11 where I lost 9.6 kg during that time period. From week 12 up to the end of week 15, I got very poor results and I just lost 1.0 kg however I worked very hard. The 18’645 daily average steps during that 4 weeks thoroughly indicates my hard effort during that time period.  

In the next two weeks (weeks 16-17) my average weight loss was again 1 kg/week and in the last week i.e. week 18, I didn’t lose anything at all. At this point I decided to stop my diet. That was a complete summary of my 18 weeks weight loss journey. 

Why it’s that hard for professionals to get back to their focus when they are being disturbed!


“Why it’s that hard for professionals to get back to their focus when they are being disturbed!” (Sep 28 2015)
Last Sunday, it was Berlin Marathon and the importance of that event is obvious for all who enthusiastically follow running news. In the past 12 years, marathon world record was improved just in Berlin Marathon, in particular in 2013 and 2014 it was improved to 2:03:23 and 2:02:57 respectively.
When I read the news of Berlin Marathon I noticed no new world record was exchanged this year. At the same time when I looked at the shoes of the winner of Berlin Marathon at the finish line, I was surprised maybe we have a new development in the running shoes but the story totally different.
“Eliud Kipchoge won the Berlin Marathon on Sunday in 2:04, but the insoles falling out of both of his shoes for most of the race stole the headlines” wrote runner’s world about the event ( “There are blisters on the left foot and my big toe is cut, with lots of blood,” Kipchoge said, after the race. I was thinking what was the reason he didn’t take out the insoles in the middle of the race, it wouldn’t take him more than a few seconds and instead he won’t be bothered for the rest of the race. Jos Hermens, Kipchoge’s agent said “He didn’t take the insoles out when they started causing problems because he didn’t want to disturb his rhythm and focus.”
Yes, and it’s all about the focus and keeping your rhythmic. For all the professionals, Keeping focus is the most important thing in their career, and it’s extremely hard to get back to your focus when you are being disturbed. It’s as hard as Kipchoge prefered to run more than half of the run in that situation rather than taking a few seconds and took the insoles out of his shoes.

Completing a sub three hours marathon

Before reading this article about how you can prepare yourself for completing a sub three hours marathon, you may ask “why three hours and where does that point come from?”. Well, there are a couple of critical point for marathoners that they are trying to reach those points and they are 4:30,4:00,3:30 and 3:00 hours. Among those times, completing a sub three hours Marathon is specially important for marathoners because it would qualify them for Boston marathon which is dream of every marathoner. Actually to be very exact at this point, being qualified for Boston marathon depend on your age and gender, and for young men runners (under age 30) qualifying time for Boston marathon is 3:05 hours.

Sub Three Hour Marathon

There are different training schedules for marathon, but most of them consist of about 18 weeks of training and in this period you would run over  1100km. After completing each marathon, you need at least two weeks of rest before start training for your next marathon in order to improve your previous record. In case you want to start training for your next marathon immediately after your previous training, you may neglect the first five weeks of your schedule which doesn’t include SOS workouts and jump into the sixth week, but in any case in order to complete the rest of your schedule, you again need to train at least 13 weeks/+1000km in order to get your goal.

Now back to our initial question “how long would it take to complete a sub three hours marathon and be qualified for Boston marathon”, the math is very simple now. Usually to have a sub 3:30 marathon, you need at least two training sets while any attempt to complete your first marathon before 3:30 hours is pretty aggressive and chances of getting injured is so high, where in that case you would not even able to complete the marathon.

After completing a sub 3:30 marathon, by each set of training, you would able to improve your previous record by usually 3% ,let’s say 7 minutes (theoretically you can improve up to 5%, but again it’s not recommended and continuing that way you would high likely get injured in a close future) Therefore in order to improve your record from 3:30 hours to 3:00 hours you need 4 sets of marathon training and therefore you need at least six sets of training in order to be able to complete a sub three hours marathon from the point that you started. As we discussed in past each training set requires at least 1000 km of running so you need to run at least for 6000 km in order to complete a sub three hours marathon and being qualified for Boston marathon which is dream of every marathoners.