For One Week ONLY - Burn what you Eat


The thought occurred to me this week whilst sitting on a Concept 2 rower burning 600 calories…what would life be like if, before we all set out for our day’s work, we had to burn off whatever foodstuffs and beverages we are about to consume?

It’s not necessarily a long-term strategy, as someone will very quickly point out, hence I’m saying for one week only:

The challenge is to exercise-off in calories the same amount as you consume.

Each day.
For a week.

Disregard TDEE (see MvF book) …(that’s why others will say not long-term).

If you road bike and burn 600 calories, you can consume whatever you like 600 calories.
If you Concept 2 row 950 calories, you can consume more!
If you weight-train 100 c, run 400c you can consume glass of wine and a sausage with chips!

Who out there fancies a challenge, starting Monday, (12 pm Sunday)…calorie Output v Input

Each day posting claimed ‘Burned calories’ and ‘Consumed Calories’ and balancing the two…posting week start weight and week end weight…then we’ll decide how to move forward.

I’m doing it anyway, starting Saturday morning if no-one joins me. But add your name and we’ll organise over weekend to start Monday.


If anyone else signs up we’ll start Monday 7 am.


Holy shit i’ll Starve!

Ok. I’m in.




Good boy, actually you won’t because the body adjusts. Give it three days and you’ll love me forever.

…and if a contractor entices you to a bacon sarnie…be weak. Say ‘Yes’… that’ll be another 6,500 metres on the rower, thank you!


@TommyD 30 lbs is for wimps…this one is REAL.


Am I allowed to stockpile some calories with a 5hr ride at the W/e?!


As calories burnt are only an estimate, unlike the food calories consumed, this does run the risk of not creating a calorie deficit.


good point - guess we’ll have to cancel @Zero4 :wink:
thanks @Darren_Welch you might have saved my bacon there - literally! :joy:


Not so fast out of the exit door @TommyD… we’ll agree and establish some rules, and ‘Yes’, there will be a calorie deficit, that’s why it’s for one week only. It’s going to kick-start your efforts and, given you appear the only other one with your head above the parapet you CAN indeed have your five-hour ride included, we’ll start tomorrow…or rather tonight, midnight.

So far as I know both our exercise schedules will include:

Road cycling
Stationary cycling
Concept 2

…so we need to agree number calories burned for each discipline, and @maxnas and @Darren_Welch or anyone else can provide any helpful contribution:

Weights : 25 calories per 15 minutes
Actual road-cycling : 30 calories per mile
Wattbike / other gym make : As per manufacturers reading on screen
Concept 2 : As can be calculated by manufacturer’s website with input of weight & distance

Weights, of course are difficult to account for and I personally don’t count any calories burned, I simply treat them as…if we are to count them (and I’m happy to leave calorie count out), we’ll have to assume we each work as hard as each other and use above figure…or an alternative one.

We’ll need to make sure all consumed calories are good, nutritious ones… I’m pretty confident on this, I’ve been doing it into my third group now, I just need to know I drink ALL of my missus’s vegetable juice and OMIT sauvignan!

Over to you…


Tom’s not hear right now… please leave a message!


Please pass this message to Tom …’You’d like to lose some weight and get fit’




@TommyD…what is your plan for apres-work tonight? Food shop?

TIP: pre-planning of wholesome calories only for the next seven days … I’ll have eyes on at least each next two-day ahead period at a time…and get someone to hide the tempting biscuit tin near the kettle at work!

Maybe take the calorific value of one biscuit, and write on a post-it note how many minutes of rowing you’ll need to undertake to burn it off.

How about we note body fat percentage too? Retest fortnightly or monthly as that might make your efforts in the gym all the more rewarding and meaningful if not reflecting on the scales?


fortnightly? monthly?
I see what you did there - trying to trick me in to a long term commitment :wink:

I forgot to save the results on the boditrax this morning, but i’ll jump on it on Tuesday for a full reading.

Plan for this evening is that I have a couple of mates from the old uni days coming round for a boys night in - which these days, means chilling on the sofa drinking tea, and resting from not having kids or other halves for a few hours!

Tomorrow is food shop day, so will be stocking up on fruit and salad etc…

I normally use my apple watch to track calories burnt during PT sessions, then the garmin for rides etc… so will probably stick with that method - I’ll have to get out on the bike more next week, as inside training will be limited to Tuesday and Friday.

I am slightly concerned that i’ll be dropping from my usual maintenance calories of ~2,700 daily down to at best ~1,000 or at worst ~700 - I’ve no idea how that’s going to pan out!

@Zero4 how do you work out your cals for the veg / fruit juices that you make? I’ve got a good juicer machine, and the Mrs and I did go through a phase of using it for ‘detoxes’ for a few days at a time, although that was before I was tracking etc… Do you plugin the values for the raw ingredients or take an average for the juice?


My missus used to follow recipes on my behalf from The SIRT diet book…all healthy stuff and calculated calories off that. At start of the week she makes juice and the core ingredients (kale, courgette, spinach, green apple, blueberries) remain pretty-much unchanged, only some interchange for additional stuff, so for the measure she used to give me (seems around a 750 ml bottle)she’d an estimate of 250 calories, but I’ve recently only been filling it totwo-thirds as I wasn’t finishing it all…I may now change that as only this morning she mentioned the amount of nutrients I was missing out on from not drinking it all.

I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how the body adapts to reduced-calorie days and you’ll need to persevere with feeling supposedly hungry for ‘just’ a day, two or three max and settle in to the week.

For much of my 2+ groups in MvF I’ve been pretty much equalling cals IN v OUT maybe five days a week…not planned that way as such, it’s just that possibly two days a week I’ve £ucked up and had a blow-out. Having said that, notwithstanding that I’ve lost 21 lbs in that time, I’ve sabataged the loss of even more weight by having a bottle of wine on days that would otherwise have seen me consume only maybe 700 calories.

I have genuinely never felt hungry and my concentration on it may have been helped by fact that many days I’ve been intermittent fasting and not eaten until around midday, and not after 6 o’clock in the evening… (ie) consuming all intake between midday and six; or 1 til 7 pm. I’ve also been fasted Wattbiking or, when I was on hols in France, fasted road cycling on flat roads below Pyrenees and STILL not eating til lunch.

It has to be said that I failed in that mountain climb attempt …only a 13k climb, and that must surely have been down to collective days of low calorie intakes, so when I did set out on the 19km climb up Port De Bales a week later I did fill myself with biggish meal night before plus breakfast… I’d say all my cycling during time of MvF has been controlled environment stuff (Wattbike or just with missus accompanying when out on the road, and she knows I’ll not be full-paced)… I’ve not been going out on any club rides for fear of bonking!

The idea is to lose the weight and only then return to group rides and test my new found power-to-weight ratio on an unsuspecting club!

Since finishing rugby, I’ve maybe got down to somewhere near the 198 lbs weight I now am, twice…once for a 3 hrs 10 minute marathon, once as part of concerted weightloss effort, but I rather think I owe it to myself to get down to 13 stones just to see what I CAN do on a bike…and because I just want to feel even better and healthier than I do already.

I know if I were 6’ 7" I’d want that to be 6’ 7" of prime beef and not flabby in any way…I think once I get my stats from David Lloyd at weekend I’ll set a body fat percentage I’d like to hit within another group or two… that’ll be my challenge.


@TommyD … I’ve just been to Concept 2 website and the ‘Actual calories burned’ calculator:

I put in your weight (275 lbs) and mine (198) for a 30 minute row where manufacturers screen showed fictitious reading of 600, and for you the ‘Actual’ burn equalled 386, whereas mine was 320 c.

What should this mean?.. I’m happy for you to have 20% ‘advantage’ over me on like for like cardio exercise (the reading was 17 point something%), because for some reason that’s beyond me after a glass of wine, the greater the punter’s weight the greater the calorie burn.

So by my reckoning, if I’m to be attributed with 30 calories burned per mile on a road cycle, you should earn 42 ! Which, in short, sounds like if you and me do same output, you’re allowed to eat more! £uck!


Few things are so ‘overrated’ for weight loss as exercise is.

You ever seen the tv show ‘The Biggest Loser’? They take time off work for months. They eat very small portions of food, work out as though it’s a full-time job & it’s simply not sustainable for the average person in the long run. Just taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or getting off the bus one stop earlier, isn’t going to change the numbers on your bathroom scale. You’re going to need at least one hour of tough workouts every single day to noticeably lose weight.

Basically, the effect of exercise on weight loss is vastly overrated. There are other things you need to take care of first. It’s not a good idea to eat bad food, drink sugary drinks. Exercise cannot compensate for other issues in your life. They have to be addressed first.


I’m not sure I fully understand the concept of this, can someone explain as if I we’re 5? Lol


Not just me then @maxnas!

I believe the challenge is effectively - ignoring daily maintenance calories, you can only consume as many calories as you earn through exercise each day.

Rather than eating normal maintenance (less 500/day) to drop 1lb per week, the aim is to drop your maintenance cals and only eat ones early through exercise. Thereby creating a much bigger deficit.

In @Zero4’s case, he regularly survives on 700-800 calls per day, so he’s not going to be too phased by this. On the other hand, my 2,700cals /day will be quite a drop down to ~700-1000 cals assuming I can work out each day.

It’s by no means a long term (possibly very short term!) challenge, but merely a way to kickstart a drop in weight for a few days.

I know the science behind it is almost certainly suggesting it’s not a good idea or sustainable long term, but for me it’s more about creating a different way of looking at food by directly equating how many minutes of rowing / cycling / weights that biscuit / Apple / pint equates to before putting it in my pie hole!

Quite honestly I don’t expect to make it through the entire week, but it will be interesting to see what happens.


Got it, hey it’s not a bad test, in fact it could be helpful for self learning & discovering what ‘real’ hunger is, not cravings etc

I sometimes get newbies to fast for 24-36 hours when starting to see what real hunger actually feels like (as most have never experienced it), & when they see what it really is, but also see that they can manage life whilst legitimately suffering with hunger, it can give a new perspective on when they think they ‘need’ something out of a craving :slight_smile: