I have a fascinating post for you today, folks! I will be illustrating some weight loss fundamentals through the real question, “How many apple turnovers can I eat in one day and still lose weight?”
It all started when I reached out to all of my friends on Facebook and asked them to comment on my post with a fitness related question. I got a lot of interesting responses, but one question stood out. Although it was clearly intended to be funny, I decided to answer it because it involves some pretty complex equations that can be useful for people striving to lose weight. The question was, “How many apple turnovers can I eat in one day and still lose weight?”
Now, to answer this question, I am going to assume that apple turnovers are the only food being consumed on a daily basis. This is because it would be impossible to determine what the rest of the person’s diet might consist of. I am also going to assume that this person is aiming to lose 2 pounds per week.
Before I begin to explain how to break this down mathematically, let me address a common weight loss misconception. Many people are convinced that eliminating things from their diets, such as carbohydrates, will force them to lose weight. While ideal macronutrient ratios are certainly encouraged for ideal results, weight loss ultimately comes down to calories. If you consume fewer calories than you expend, weight loss will be the result. This is NOT to say that a diet consisting only of pastries is a good idea. It would certainly result in decreased muscle mass and many nutrient deficiencies. Now, let’s move on to the question at hand, shall we?
The first step to answering this question is to determine how large the person’s caloric deficit needs to be on a daily basis to lose 2 pounds per week. One pound of fat contains 3,500 calories. This means that the weekly deficit would need to be 7,000 calories. We can divide this by 7, arriving at a daily deficit of 1,000 calories. In other words, the person would need to eat 1,000 calories less than they expend daily. We can determine the person’s daily caloric expenditure by calculating the person’s basal metabolic rate and then using an activity multiplier. Basal metabolic rate is the number of calories that a person would burn if they stayed in bed all day. To determine this, we can use the Harris-Benedict formula:
Formula for women: 655 + (9.6 X weight in kilograms) + (1.8 X height in cm) – (4.7 X age)
Formula for men: 66 + (13.7 X weight in kilograms) + (5 X height in cm) – (6.8 X age)
I do not know this person’s stats, so I am going to assume that this person is a moderately active male aged 45, weighing 97 kg and standing at 183 centimeters tall. Using the formula above, we are able to determine that this man would burn 2,003.9 calories if he stayed in bed all day. The next step is to factor in the person’s activity level to determine the total daily energy expenditure. The multipliers are as follows:
Sedentary (office work, television) = 1.2 X BMR
Lightly Active (exercise 1-3 times per week) = 1.375 X BMR
Moderately Active (exercise 3-5 times per week) = 1.55 X BMR
Very Active (exercise 6-7 days per week = 1.725 X BMR
Extremely Active (twice daily exercise or an incredibly active job) = 1.9 X BMR
By using the activity multiplier, we can determine that this person will burn 3,106 calories in a day when activity is considered. To lose 2 pounds per week, he would need to consume approximately 2,106 calories. We can see here that heavier individuals can typically lose weight more quickly because their expenditure is higher, allowing them to achieve a greater daily calorie deficit.
The final step is to determine how many apple turnovers equate to 2,106 calories. To do this, I searched for “apple turnover” in MyFitnessPal. One apple turnover from Wegman’s is 330 calories. This means that, for this person, a 2 lb weekly loss could be achieved by eating 6.4 apple turnovers per day. Of course, eating only pastries is a terrible idea. Nonetheless, the question has been answered. Factor in your own statistics and see how many apple turnovers you can eat!