Sunday, January 1, 2012

The P.O.P. World Series - Calorie Counting vs. Natural Foods

Happy New Year everybody, and welcome back to the Pounds Off Playoff for the beginning of a new championship competition. For those of you just joining us, the Pounds Off Playoff began as a 60 week, bracket style tournament of sixteen eating plans. The result: 26 pounds of weight lost and the crowning of 2500 Calories as champion.

After a lengthy off-season, the Playoff is back, this time with a seven game World Series, pitting Calorie Counting against Natural Foods. The World Series format will be a seven game series, with each game lasting one month. The first eating plan to win four games will be crowned champion.

Game 1: Calorie Counting (1/1-15) at Natural Foods (1/16-31)
Game 2: Calorie Counting (2/1-14) at Natural Foods (2/15-29)
Game 3: Natural Foods (3/1-15) at Calorie Counting (3/16-31)
Game 4: Natural Foods (4/1-15) at Calorie Counting (4/16-30)
Game 5*: Natural Foods (5/1-15) at Calorie Counting (5/16-31)
Game 6*: Calorie Counting (6/1-15) at Natural Foods (6/16-30)
Game 7*: Calorie Counting (7/1-15) at Natural Foods (7/16-31)
* if necessary

The two competing eating plans are closely based on the results of the original Pounds Off Playoff. Two of the  top four eating plans were based on calorie counting, with 2500 Calories notching the top spot and 1800 Calories finishing fourth. On the other side are the natural food approaches, with No Processed (2nd), No Junk Food (3rd), and No Whites (6th) all finishing in the top six. The two eating plans in the World Series are close cousins to those original star plans.

Calorie Counting. It's just like you'd think. There are no restrictions on what you eat, just how much, but in reality you'd better eat healthy food or those calories will be gone before you know it. This time around, I will be targeting a 700 calorie deficit, the traditional 500 to lose weight and 200 to guard against underestimating. Using the Mayo Clinic calorie calculator, that puts me at about 2300 calories to start, which will drop as I go along. To ease tracking and discourage late afternoon and late night eating (my weaknesses), I'll allocate half to breakfast/lunch/snacks and half to dinner/dessert/snacks. At my starting calorie allocation, this should be plenty of food.

Natural Foods. The emphasis on eating naturally is to avoid the modern processed foods that add calories and sodium, while stripping nutritional value and the natural cues that prompt you to stop eating. I am convinced processed foods are the number one catalyst of our national obesity epidemic. Ideally, I'll be eating things like fruits, vegetables, eggs, and chicken breasts, but when I have less control over what's available to eat, I'll eat the most natural options available, choosing brown rice over white, for example, and avoiding snack foods and sweets entirely.

Scoring. I'll step on the scale at the beginning and middle of each month, weighing in before breakfast for consistency. The eating plan that produces the most weight loss each month wins. In case of ties, the plan posting the largest percentage loss will be the victor. 

Updates. I'll post how much weight I lose on each plan on the sidebar to the right, as well as in my regular Sunday posts. 

Oh, and if you're not a big baseball fan, that's Willie Mays in the 1954 World Series at New York's famous Polo Grounds. His improbable eighth inning catch of a Vic Wertz drive in game one kept the game tied at 2-2. Mays' New York Giants went on to defeat the Cleveland Indians, four games to zero.

Happy New Year and healthy eating to all!


Michele said...

Happy New Year, Alan!

In sports writer's prose you described a reasonable and sensible plan to the home runs necessary in any World Series! I will be keeping an eye on your RBIs and hopefully minimal errors. Here's hoping to a new year that is out of the ball park for you! Michele

responsibility199 said...

Look at Willie Mays making that catch, where are today's Willie's?

Happy New Year!

Moved my blog to>

Jessica said...

Trying to decide which team to cheer on for the win :)

Mer and Mo said...

You always have creative ways to keeping it fresh! Love it, Alan! Keep it up! Looking forward to watching your progress!
Happy New Year!

Big Clyde said...

Welcome back, Alan! This will be a great year for you. Go get 'em!

Bruce said...

This will be a fun playoff. I think both are great teams. I have a suggestion. When the series is over, have an All-Star game where you do both and see what the results are. Sounds like a dream team.

Hard to take sides on this one, but you will be the winner when it's all over! Great plan!

Ewa said...

I will be very curious to see which method will yield better results for weight loss. Good luck and Happy New Year.

Dr. Fat To Fit said...

Happy New Year! Another exciting plan for the playoffs....after the Cowboys debacle, at least I'll have a playoff to care about. :)

Christina said...

Woohoo! I am so excited about the World Series. This is such a fun idea, Alan. Good luck to you in 2012!

Superwoman Spirit said...

I am interested to see what type of results you get. I am a HUGE calorie counting fan but I can get myself into trouble with it. A calorie is not just a calorie as we all know :)

Tish said...

Hey friend, I'm geared up for POP season. I'll be rooting for you. Hope you have a great new year.