I have a stated goal for my summer of losing roughly 20 pounds — going from a flabtastic 180 to a pants-fittable 160 — and aside no longer permanently wearing a feedbag filled with Reese’s Pieces, here’s another tool in my arsenal: The LiveStrong calorie counter, which is available as an app on the iPod Touch. I entered into it my height and (then-current) weight, my activity level (lightly active — SHUT UP) and then also entered the amount of weight I was hoping to lose on a weekly basis (a pound a week, which I felt was reasonable). It then spit out the number of calories I should consume a day to hit my goal, which is, in case you’re curious, 1,743.
I have found this to be a perfectly reasonable amount of calories on a day-to-day basis; it’s fewer than I was eating, apparently, but not so few that I get randomly hungry and try to gnaw on the cats. Aiding in this task is the app’s database of food item calorie counts, so I type in the name of the item and it tells me how many calories I am jamming into my maw. The database is stumpable but most of the big brand names and chain restaurants are in there. Logging one’s calories is surprisingly addictive, which is why I suspect at this point it’s working for me — I’m at 173 pounds at the moment.
This won’t get me to 160 by the time I get to Worldcon, but it’ll get me to about 165, which is the weight below which I no longer have the “defeated middle-aged white man” body profile. Which will work for me.