How to lose 20 lbs in 6 weeks – The Accountant’s Way

I’m serious about the headline.I’m going to explain how. Because as a part of my “Accountant’s Way” series I use accounting methodology to solve other problems that I encounter.

So, to reiterate, I lost 20 lbs in 6 weeks.

I didn’t use a product. I set a goal, used quantifiable measurements to record my progress along the way and adjusted as needed. Not sure what that means, I’ll show you. First, here is a graph of my weight loss. Because accountants love graphs.

IMG_6714To give a little background. I am a veteran, and a hobby while I was in the service, I worked out. So, for the 14 years I was in the service, physical fitness was a part of my life. As I transitioned out of the military, through college, and into a family lifestyle I went from a lean 185, to a soft 205. I decided that I didn’t want to be that type of father, husband, or accountant.

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So, I set up a plan. and I considered my skills. Because…

And I got to work.

I used two apps on my phone, which I will disclose, but they were tools, and they can be supplemented with any other app, as needed. What is important is what I measured and how I behaved during the period from June until the middle of July.

I used my Apple Watch, to measure my fitness activity and an app called Lifesum, to measure my calorie intake.

I thought about everything with the very simple equation of:

Calorie in – Calorie burned = Net Gain/Loss

Kind of like Revenue – Expenses = Net Income/Loss

See, Accounting.

But I wanted to lose. So I needed to make sure that I burned more every day than I consumed.

I knew a few things about human behavior. I knew it was only natural to overestimate my workouts, and underestimate my calories. So, I was conservative in either direction. Unless I measured my calories burned I didn’t assume I had burned more. And when I didn’t have an exact measurement for food, I erred on the side of documenting more. Every time.

It was also, important that I did this throughout the day, to make sure I didn’t end up in a mess. One big lunch can make dinner miserable. So, I would either eat a lighter lunch, or work out when I got home. My workout app of choice was Sworkit if only because it was easy to use, only required some time, and my living room floor.

The keys to all this wasn’t the workout app, or really the workout. It was that I used the workout to move the calorie expenditure into the range I needed. Always trying to be an overachiever, but really just trying to get it so I burned more than I ate. I believe that had I not worked out, but kept my calories in line with the formula I would have lost weight just as fast.

If you don’t have an apple watch, or other similar device, then some apps, like Sworkit can estimate calories burned. Which is ok too, as long as you are really doing the workout. Neither the calories consumed or the calories burned is anything more than an estimate. I just tried to make it a good estimate.

The only thing that isn’t an estimate is weight. Which is the final piece. Every day, every meal I documented my calorie intake. And I would always keep it below my daily calorie goal. But I also needed to track the only metric that really mattered. My weight.

So, every weekend, and only on the weekend, preferably Saturday morning, because Saturday and Sunday are the days I’m most likely to blow my calorie budget. I would weigh myself, in the morning, on an empty stomach. The goal is to be consistent, and reduce the amount of factors that could affect weight. Remember, consistency. This eliminates the, “It is ok, I just had a big meal” excuse.

Now, I’ve kept it off since I lost it, that was a few months ago, it is now about keeping the right balance.

Calorie in – Calorie out = Net Gain/Loss

Best of luck.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this document is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or tax advice. It is not intended to be a substitute for obtaining legal, accounting, or other financial advice from an appropriate legal professional, financial adviser or for the purpose of avoiding U.S. Federal, state or local tax payments and penalties.

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