Category: ‘Case Study’

Week 11 – Case Study – Month 2

December 29, 2015 Posted by The Weight Equation

The case study for month 2 covers August 1st thru August 31st. Feel free to download a copy of the actual spreadsheet I filled out during this time period by clicking HERE or clicking on the spreadsheet images below:

Here’s a look at my daily calorie totals from August 1st – August 31st


Here is the macronutrient distribution for August 1st – August 31st


Month 2 went much better than Month 1. I reduced my target calorie goal from 1,973 calories per day to 1,850. After two weeks I wasn’t quite seeing the results I had hoped for so bumped the daily calorie goal down to 1,750. I was happy with the results at that consumption level. My overall calorie goal for the month was 55,650 and I ended up just a tad over that at 56,278. Overall I did a great job meeting my goal this month. According to my calculations, I should have lost a bit under 4 pounds of fat during this case study month. In reality I only lost about 1.5 pounds of fat. This tells me that I probably need to adjust my calorie goal down even more. I’m not super comfortable going under 1,750 calories per day so I will stay there for a while. It may slow down the fat loss but I have plenty of time. I did pretty well with my macronutrient percentage goals. My fat intake percentage was high at 37%(12% over my goal) but my sugar and alcohol were right on target at 10% combined. So really the area to improve on would be to shift some of my fat calories to complex carbohydrate calories. This is going to be tough due to my preferred diet but I still feel pretty good about month 2 because the two macronutrients I am most concerned with are protein and sugar, which are both at good percentages.

As you can see below, I have accomplished some fat loss without losing any muscle mass. Specifically I’ve lost 3.1 pounds of fat since I started the case study while maintaining the 115.4 pounds of lean body mass I started with. I attribute this to staying pretty focused on lifting weights this month. I didn’t keep track of my workouts but I would estimate that I lifted weights and did a one mile run about 4 or 5 days on average per week this month. I kept my protein intake pretty high as well at 22.8% of my overall calorie intake. While that’s lower than my goal of 25% protein it is very close.



Please enjoy the powerful information I am sharing in this blog but remember that I am NOT a nutritionist or a professional. I am simply passionate about the subject. Please consult with your doctor and nutritionist before implementing any diet

Week 07 – Case Study – Month 1

September 20, 2015 Posted by The Weight Equation

The first case study month technically only covers 3 weeks. I started the case study on July 9th, 2015 and this entry covers July 9th, 2015 thru July 31st, 2015. Feel free to download a copy of the actual spreadsheet I filled out during this time period by clicking HERE or clicking on the spreadsheet images below:

Here’s a look at my daily calorie totals from July 7th – July 31st


Here is the macronutrient distribution for July 7th – July 31st.


I can’t really sugar coat it…it was a rough three weeks. I got off to a bad start right away. If you recall from the Week 03 – Case Study Introduction entry my target for week 1 was 1,973 calories per day. For some reason I had the number 2,150 in my head(my total calculated metabolism before exercise). As you can see on my spreadsheet I didn’t catch this mistake for 5 days so I consumed about 1,000 total calories more than I had originally intended to in that first week.

I did great keeping my calorie consumption close to 1,973 calories per day the second week but ran into more trouble in the final week of July. A confluence of events came together and I had a chance to take a trip to Chicago that I just couldn’t pass up. Unfortunately there were many meals I had during that trip that I could not accurately measure calorie contents. I basically did everything I’m going to spend a year telling people not to do during the course of this blog. The silver lining here is that it is real life and in real life we’re all going to have challenges to our goals and I will show how you can adjust your goals and get back on track even if you suffer a setback. I did the best I could to keep track of my calories during the trip and ended up consuming a whopping 2,500 calories per day….Yikes! According to my goal of 1,973 calories per day I figure I lost another 4,500 calories on that trip. What makes it even worse is because I could not accurately measure the calories I had to make a lot of educated guesses and my calorie intake could be off by as much as 300 or 400 calories per day either way. But I sure did have a great time on that trip. My girlfriend and I visited my grandma at her lakehouse in Wisconsin. We caught fish and cooked them over the campfire. We made homemade ice cream and ate homemade apple pie. We stopped at every winery in Northwest Wisconsin and hit the Leinenkugel’s Brewery on our way over to Chicago where we had Portillo’s and Giordano’s Pizza. Makes my taste buds water just thinking about it!

With all my slip ups in the first period of this case study my total calorie intake was 48,749. I missed my goal of 48,749 total calories from July 7th – July 31st by 3,273 calories. In theory this equates to 0.93 pounds of fat short of my goal of 3 pounds for the first period. As you can see in the table below I lost 1.6 pounds of fat over the period so my calculations were off by 0.5 pounds of fat. Reasons for this difference are probably some combination of bad calorie counting on my trip, overestimating my calories burned during exercise, and overestimating my metabolism calculation. These are all normal sources of error and I should be able to fine tune my calculations as this case study progresses. I am going to stick with my goal of 1973 calories per day until I get to 133 pounds and then adjust downward mid-month in August.


Week 03 – Case Study Introduction

August 23, 2015 Posted by The Weight Equation

As I mentioned in the Week 01 – Introduction, each month there will be a blog entry dedicated to a case study following The Weight Equation principles. To start with, I am going to use myself as the case study subject. I originally was not planning on being the subject myself but shortly after I started this writing this blog in 2011 I realized it would be quite difficult to find a willing and committed participant. In 2011 and again in 2012 I found people who were very interested in being part of the case study but for different reasons neither of them made it very far. For this reason I put the blog’s launch on the backburner until just recently deciding that I would be the subject of the case study for the first few case study entries(and maybe longer). I would still love to find someone that has struggled achieving their weight loss goals and is willing to be a participant in this blog. Please CLICK HERE to see what qualities I’m looking for in the perfect Weight Equation case study subject.

During my adult life I’ve weighed between 118 pounds(age 22) with a body fat percentage of 4% and 150 pounds(age 29) with a body fat percentage of 20%. I’m 32 right now and weigh 135 pounds with a body fat percentage of 14%. Although I’d love to weigh more than 135 pounds I was not content at 20% body fat when I weighed 150 pounds. Like most guys I store my excess body fat around my stomach and after being so thin for so long I was not thrilled about seeing a pooch every time I leaned over. Although I’m much lower now at 14% body fat I can only see a faint outline of my abs attempting to push through my belly fat. In my entire life I’ve never had well defined abs so I thought it might be fun to work towards that goal using the Weight Equation principles and document it as a case study. I have muscle down there I promise, it’s just hiding right now!

In order to see well defined abs I predict that I will need to drop my body fat percentage to 8%. If you’re curious why I picked 8% and how I am measuring my body fat percentage I will be going into a lot more depth on those subjects in Week 21 – Recommended Body Fat Ranges and Week 22 – Measuring Body Fat percentage. To accomplish the 6% drop in body fat percentage I will attempt to create a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day. I initially plan on using a combination of 300 calories per day of exercise and a 200 calorie per day cut in my food intake to create the daily 500 calorie deficit. Although it is impossible to gain muscle mass on a calorie deficit I still don’t want to lose any of my existing muscle mass. Therefore part of my daily exercise goal will be simple weight lifting during work days. I will alternate upper body and lower body each day. The lower body days will consist of three sets of ten repetitions(3-10s) in the squat cage along with 3-10s of single arm bent over rows. The upper body day will consist of 3-10s of bench press along with 3-10s of full supination curls and 3-10s of overhead triceps extensions. I will also run one mile each workday and complete Ab Ripper X. On the weekends I will take one day off and just attempt to be active in some way on the other day whether it’s a hike or an afternoon of wakeboarding.

Ab Ripper X is a popular abdominal workout video that is part of P90X. I could not post a video of the actual P90X workout video due to copyright reasons but here is a YouTube video of a couple performing the workout I will be doing daily.

I will go into more detail on how I arrived at these numbers in Week 17 – Measuring Your Metabolism but below is the breakdown of what my calorie goals will be at each stage. If my calculations are correct and I stay committed I am hoping to lose around 9 pounds of body fat and only 1 pound of muscle in the next ten weeks. This should leave me at a weight of 125 pounds and 8% body fat(and hopefully very nice abs!). I’m also going to attempt to keep my calorie intake at 25% fat, 40% complex carbohydrates, 10% sugars and alcohol, and 25% protein throughout this case study.


After the first month I will have a pretty good idea how close I got to calculating my metabolism and will adjust this table as needed. Below you can see my “Before” Pictures. Hopefully my “After” pictures will look much better!


Date: 7/9/15
Weight: 135
Body Fat: 14%
Waist at Naval: 30.5”

I will be using the spreadsheet below(which I created and am very proud of). You can download the spreadsheet for free on the Products tab. There are tons of great software programs and phone apps that can track calories but I suggest you only use them as a tool to help populate this spreadsheet if you want to use The Weight Equation principles to reach your goals. I am going to allow you to download and peruse the actual spreadsheet I fill out each month as part of the case study. This way you can see exactly what I’m eating during this case study and how much of it. I’m also going to attempt to create an instructional video on how to use the spreadsheet. Hopefully it’s pretty intuitive but there are some cool tricks I’ve built into it.


Last but not least you can get updates on the blog as well as progress I’m making and see pictures of my meals by “liking” The Weight Equation page on Facebook and following The Weight Equation on Twitter and Instagram. Please don’t be shy about sharing The Weight Equation with your friends!

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