Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Prepping for Project NoWaste

Project NOWASTEHooray! Here we go.... It's Week 1 of Project NoWaste.

Now, many of you are interested in the weight loss aspects of this whole crazy idea. And many of you are interested in really just the food saving aspect of things. So, how do I balance the two out? Well, I think to start I'll alternate postings every week to cover topics related to the two concepts. Of course, you can do both or just one or whatever you want. Or you can ignore it altogether if you're not interested.

But, given the fact that it's a brand new year, sometimes it's easier to change your behavior. Or at least start it. As long as you can stick with it for a few weeks, oftentimes new behaviors become habits. Which is what we are gunning for here - lifetime habits of reduced consumption when it comes to food.

Anyway, this first post is going to concentrate on the over-eating aspect of Project NoWaste, simply because that was the initial idea for this project. Those of you out there who are blessedly already at a healthy, low-impact weight will have to wait another week for a more focused post on food waste.

So, where to begin?

I must admit this is wide open at this point and I want to get feedback from you all. What I want to do is get our baselines, and that means measurements. What you want to do with them is up to you. If you want to post them for god and country to keep yourselves honest, I'm totally down with that. We can have a biweekly weigh-in for those of you who want to. Kind of a Crunchy Watchers - but more public.

Either way you need to know how much you weigh and how tall you are if you want to know how much you should weigh. Let me clarify real quick on the should part. Everyone's weight is based on more than just a few simple calculations, but it's impossible to really cater this to 200 people, so I'll use what the insurance companies use. And that is the following:

Take your height. For the first five feet start with 100 pounds. For every inch over five feet, add five pounds.

For example, I'm 6'0" tall. So that means I should weigh 100 + (12 * 5) or 160 pounds. That is a rough figure. Ha ha.

Now, some people like to take into consideration their "frame" size. A rather unscientific, but somewhat useful method of determining your frame size is to take you dominant hand and wrap your thumb and forefinger around the opposite wrist (where the wrist bone is). If you can't reach those two fingers together you are "big" boned (sorry). If they just meet you are "medium" and if they overlap the nail bed you are "small" boned. Or you just might have stubby fingers. Like I said, this isn't exactly scientific.

So for me, I am small boned so I should weigh between 150 - 155 pounds (just to give you an example of how distorted our vision of weight should be, Gisele Bundchen, one of the highest paid models who is less than an inch shorter than I, weighs 115 pounds).

What to do with this highly useful info? Well, if you are big boned you can add 5 - 10 pounds to the base weight you calculated from your height. If you are small boned, subtract 5 - 10 pounds. If you are medium, you don't have to do a thing.

I'm sure there are many of you out there that will argue with this estimate and, like I said, there are many different ways of calculating your ideal weight, like BMI and whatnot, so if you have problems with this, then use whatever calculation you like. There are several weight calculators online, but I have found this one to be pretty accurate even if you don't like the results.

Anyhoo, now that we have an idea of where we need to be, we can calculate how much we have to lose.

Now, the big question. How to go about doing it. One pound is equivalent to 3500 calories. In order to lose that pound you need to either eat 3500 calories less than your body is expending or add exercise to burn those 3500 calories. I highly recommend a combination of both. The old "diet and exercise" deal.

So, go do some calculatin' and if you want to submit your numbers, by all means, add them to the comments. Next time we'll discuss how to get to your ideal weight.


Chile said...

But, Crunchy dear, fat is the body's "metabolic dollar" for when things get rough (ie. famine). I need to hang on to my "savings account" just in case my sweetie's garden fails as bad as mine. ;-P

Actually, I'm working on re-acquainting myself with the feelings of being hungry and not immediately eating something. Good experience. I didn't die from being hungry!

Anonymous said...

wow Crunchy....I like that how to figure out the ideal weight stuff you posted. I didn't know that....I also have a bit more work to do though.....I'll sign up for the no waste challenge for myself. It was nice to see I'm not as far off from the ideal as I thought I was. If I get to the number from your formula and I feel good and think I look good I'll stop there and enjoy it.

Lissa said...

It may not be precisely fair for me to say this now, as it's a Saturday morning, when everything in the world seems easier, but I'm in on this project.

I, too, am 6'0" tall and small boned. Tall girls unite! Given my "ideal weight" in the past (i.e. the weight at which I have felt my best and had the most energy in the last 24 months), my goal weight is between 145 and 150. I just weighed in at 164.

I would bet that four pounds was put on over the holidays, and I should be able to drop that no problem in the next month simply by returning to my pre-holiday habits. It's the extra 10-15 pounds that will be work.

Thank you for challenging me, again, to do more than what I would on my own.

Anonymous said...

I've decided this is my year to make a change. My attempts at weight loss have failed in the past and I think a new approach would help me. I am 5'5" and weigh 200 lbs. This is more than I weighed when I delivered my third child (she's almost five). Yikes!! That was difficult to say! According to your post I should weigh 120 lbs. Even in high school I couldn't reach that weight, so I will aim for 135 lbs. Thanks for the motivation, I look forward to reading your posts and staying on track this time!

Anonymous said...


I think I love you! I always thought I was small-boned and I have been carrying around an extra 5 pounds. Now I know I am not small-boned and I can keep my 5 pounds!

Now for the extra 10 that accompany my allowable 5. Hmm . . .


laurel said...

Alright, count me in too. I just started Weight Watchers (on my own) this week, and this will be nice to go along with it. I had a baby 7 months ago, and have lost almost all the weight I gained with him (45 pounds)...but still need to lose the other 35 pounds I had left from my first two children! So, I am 5'5". My ideal weight is 125, but I would be happy at 130. As of this morning, my current weight is 165.5. That means I am aiming for a 35-40 pound weight loss, as well as living more lightly (literally and figuratively). Thanks, crunchy!

Anna Banana said...

Weighing myself became a tyranny for me, so I don't own a scale any more. I'm going to use my tape measure on my waist and keep those numbers to myself. Chile said it well about being hungry. I'm working on staying with the hunger a little longer.

Unknown said...

Hey Crunchy ~ I am so in on this one, for many reasons! With that being said, let's just say I have about 35-40 lbs I want to lose ;)
Let's get started!!!
Sam @ Loving Green

Green Bean said...

Boy, oh boy am I in! I'm at 5'5" and clocked in at 142 this morning (up 1lb since I started trying to lose weight on 1/1). My goal weight is 134. I lost 15 lbs last year and re-gained half over the fall/winter. I'd like to keep it off this time. ;-)

Unknown said...

Woohoo! I'm in! My baby is 10 months old yesterday, and I've managed to *gain* weight so that I now weigh exactly what I did at discharge from the hospital. Not a proud day. I am 5'10" and large boned. Normally, I weigh between 160-170 - when I got pregnant with this child I was at an adult low of 154. I felt pretty awesome at that weight, and aspire to it again someday, but want to be a little more realistic for the short term. I am currently 198!!! (that number just feels like it needs exclamation points) So I have 35-45 pounds to lose.
One slight complication is that I take medication for help with low milk supply (still breastfeeding) and that medication causes weight gain. I'm in the process of weaning from that to a different medication, so hopefully will not have that side effect too much longer. At any rate, I blame the medication for my weight, but it's really the cookies.
Wow. this is going to take a while. What a great challenge, though!

Anonymous said...

Okay, I weigh in at 167 at 5'8". Using the baseline calculations you gave I need to lose about 20 pounds. So, I'm pledging to do so, slowly and sanely...Count me in.

christy said...

ok, i'm normally a lurker, but since you are playing right in to my new year's resolution...i'm in.

i'm 5'7", and let's just say my first goal is the 20lbs from the babies. i'm starting here...maybe i'll be inspired to do more!

i like the thing chile said about re-acquainting with the feeling of hunger...i've been reading the book "hungry planet", and have been thinking about this a lot.

thanks for your fun challenges!

Burbanmom said...

Woohoo! Been waiting with baited (and sometimes chocolate-covered) breath for this to challenge to start! Here's my stats:

I'm 5'6" and currently weigh 153. Based on your numbers, I should be at 130. However, I don't think I've seen that number since college, and even then it was the proof rating on a bottle I was drinking.

Anyhow if all I do is swap those last two numbers around, I would be extatic!

Anonymous said...

Based on the calculations, I should be about 110 (or 105 if I don't stretch the truth about my height...), which seems really small! I really want to focus on not wasting food since I'm a nibbler and only want to lose a couple of pounds. 115 instead of 118 would be fine for me but I've been 118 for 10 years.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Crunch, for your info! I imagine that took an immense amount of research and I truly apreciate you taking the time to do that for us.

For anyone interested, I went to see a nutritionalist specifically geared towards runners who want to optimalize their nutritional goals. I am 5'5 and weigh 140. (By Crunch's calcs I should be 125. Ri-ight.) Anyway, I am happy to share some of the pointers she got me started with. Most of them are common sense to 'normal' people but I'm a starve/ binge eater so I learned a lot. Plus, I'm more interested in increasing my running speed than decreasing my weight. But I'm ALL IN for the less consumption aspect of P-NW.

BTW, here just east of Seattle, it SNOWED during my trail run this morning! Crazy.

Kristi said...

Another tallish one here, at 5'10". I want to get back to 145, which is where I was when I got married, 16-1/2 years ago. That's really close to Crunchy's formula. Current weight? Do I have to say? Gulp. 190.

Anonymous said...

I gained 7 pounds since Thanksgiving thanks to relatives on Weight Watchers sending leftover deserts and holiday food to my house. This puts me only a couple of pounds over ideal according to your method of figuring (136 lbs) but I really feel better at a slightly lighter weight of 128 lbs.

The part of this challenge that really interests me is cutting back on waste in the kitchen. We do pretty well but once or twice a month find mummified carrots or scary new lifeforms at the back of the fridge.


Melissa said...

Egads. I'm in. I've been happily NOT eating through the fridge thanks the PMS finally abating. So I need to capitalize on my homonal flux these next 3 weeks or so.

I'm 5'8.5" (yes, that 1/2" is important), so I guess my ideal-ish would be 142.5. Currently --as of this a.m.--- I am at 179.5 for a grand total of 37 lbs to lose. That sounds so overwhelming right now.

I've noticed lately how much food we waste. I tend to stock up on things, thinking we'll use it up before spoiling occurs and then forgetting. I've decided to only shop for 5 days out at a time for food/produce---hopefully that will help some of the waste.

Looking forward to seeing less of me! Thanks for the inspiration!

Theresa said...

Count me in!

Hey, I'm big boned! I don't mind that at all! I'm 5'5" so it looks like my proper weight would therefore be 135-140. I'm 174, and frankly I'd be happy to be 150 again. I'm going to set my goal for 150 because I don't want to set myself up to fail right off the bat.

Like Chile, I too am trying to get better at delaying gratification and just staying with that hungry feeling for a while. I'm also trying to eat more mindfully and appreciatively.

Tara said...

I'm in. According to insurance calculations I should weigh about 125. I don't keep a scale in the house but I can guess I'm right around 137 or so. Ouch. I don't feel that overweight! At any rate, time to pick up a scale tomorrow and then remember that I won't DIE if I have a few grumbellies now and then.

Sarah said...

Count me in. According to insurance calculations, I'm right on track(121 lbs at 5'6"). Even so, I still need to manage my eating habits better and tone up. I'm excited about project NoWaste!!!


Anonymous said...

I'm 5'6.5" (and yes that extra 0.5" IS important :) and just weighed in at 148 on a dump-scavenged scale of unknown accuracy. I'm big, umm, "boned" so the insurance fellow says I have 10 pounds to lose.

I'm also a very lazy cook/eater who tends to let stuff spoil in the fridge (or even on the shelf -- I'm currently soaking beans that must be ten years old!), so I really want to focus on the reduction of food waste as well.

Erika said...

I'm in... I've been lurking and making a few comments, but never pledging participation, but here goes nothin'! According to the insurance calculations, I should be 145, and I have a large frame... but I tend to look sickly under 160, but since I don't have OR want a human scale in my home, my goal is a size 10 (I'm a 14 now).

girlosun_9 said...

I'm in . . . I have been struggling with loosing weight since having my last child. I now weigh the same I did when I had him which is quite diffficult for me. I am a regular exerciser (both aerobics and weight lifting) so I have that going for me.

I need to losse 30 pounds according to my doctor (who is very much into loving who you are and I really had to press her to give me any sort of ideal weight) and according to my calculations using the insurance formulas, I need to loose another 30 pounds on top of that.

The first thirty will be my goal as well as working towards my goal of a half marathon :) Perhaps running when I want to munch at night while have double benefits (not eating and burning calories).

Anonymous said...

I'm definitely in. According to the insurance calculations, I should be about 120 (at 5'4" - 5'4 1/4" on a tall day). I'm at 145 now and would be perfectly happy at 135. My New Year's goal is to get there by April when I run the Cherry Blossom 10-miler. For those of you who are so inclined, the book "The Yoga of Eating" is helping me change my attitude toward what, and how, to eat.

klj said...

I'm in. At 5'4", 180 pounds, I have a lot to lose. I am going to aim for 150 as my first MAJOR milestone, even though according to your calculations I should be at about 120.

Anonymous said...

I'm in on the not wasting food bit, and it's one of my new year's goals to either cut out more snack food, or produce it myself (which will probably end up being that I make it myself very rarely, and so it will be the special treat that it should be). I'm 5'5", 120 pounds, and fairly small-framed, so it actually might be a good idea for me to gain five pounds and make sure my thryoid meds don't need adjusting. That five pounds will consist of more local homemade cornbread and less cashews and chocolate.

Anonymous said...

Count me in! According to caculations by insurance I should be 112.5 . I think thats a bit to light for me. But will jump on board to lose 22 pounds. This is coming right about the best time for me. I just found out my cholesteral is way high and I am borderline diabetic.

Linz said...

I love this idea...I'm in for both sides of challenge. It's a great way to approach weight, food value, and budgeting. :) I'm 5'8 and weigh 157 lbs at the moment (but that usually fluctuates between 155-160 in the course of a month). So according to the insurance calculation I should weigh 140.

dabomb said...

I discovered this blog from "no impact man" 's blog and am happy to find people who think the same way I do - that I am not the only freak that runs around the house turning down the heat and rationing the toliet paper. I was beginning to have my doubts.

My weight is not an issue for me but I have lots of food in my fridge in various stages of decomposition. I could use some help with that, so, count me in.

Hippie Girl said...

Count me in - I've got 25 lbs to lose and love the idea of wasting less for the environments sake!

Niffer said...

I'm so in! About 2 years ago I was within 15 pounds of my goal weight. Fast forward to now and I'm back up over 200 pounds again (217.6 to be exact, eek!). I mostly drink my calories in the form of soda, which I know is so bad for me and the environment. I'm determined to beat this habit once and for all. My ideal weight according to Crunchy's research is 140. My lowest adult weight was 134 and that was right out of boot camp, so I'll be happy at 150-155.

Jennifer said...

I'm in... about 15 lbs to go down technically, but I'm trying NOT to count lbs and simply count my body's good feelings and such about a particular weight. I am really going to be working on NOT wasting food!

I really recommend Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole, by the way... it is a great primer on listening to your body so you don't over eat AND you find your natural healthy body weight.

Unknown said...

I'm in. I'm 5'5" and medium-frame. According to these calculations, I should be 125, but honestly, I was a size 6 and declared too skinny by my doctor when I was 141. (If I hadn't had severe scoliosis, I would have been about 6'. I have no scientific proof, but I actually think my body wants to be what it should have been. People said I looked my best at 150-160.)

Right now, I'm at 230. :( I gained a bunch of weight during my last office job, and I haven't been able to rid myself. This challenge will be great, I think.

Anonymous said...

Hey Crunchy,

Very interesting post. Love this one.

OK, I'm in. I am 5'4" and small boned. I weigh 126 lbs. According to your calculations I should be 120. Honestly I feel best at 118-120, so I'm in. I am also horrible about not finishing food -- as a single woman, going out to dinner is much more fun! I have been having pantry cleanout for a few weeks now to clean up leftovers.

I am totally on board with this. Thanks for helping all of us!

Anonymous said...

I have been so discouraged about my weight. I hate to say it but it feels kinda good to see a group of people with the same hurtles in front of them as me.
I currently weigh about 186 and according to the numbers I should be 135. I look kinda gross at 135 so I am shooting for 145- that's a size 6 bikini body for me. Whoo hoo! If I have been stuggling to do it for myself maybe doing it for the environment will be a huge motivation. Thanks a ton crunchy!

Anonymous said...

I started last week at 175, but have lost 4 pounds already (I lose and gain those same 4-5 pounds all year long). According to your calculation, I should weigh 120 (I am slightly less than 5'4) -- I would be skeletal at that weight -- it would be impossible. At my fittest and thinest in my late 20's (I am 33 now), I weighed 135. I was not super skinny, but I looked great and I wore about a size 8. I would be REALLY happy in a size 10! Now, a few years older, and having had one child -- I am going for 140 -145. We shall see what that looks and feels like.

My first goal for this and next month is 165 getting there by eating and wasting less and moving more -- here we go!


Anonymous said...

Okay, I'll bite. Using your calculations...let's just say I have forty pounds of excess baggage.

As long as I stick with swimming and...some gym class every week, I think the weight loss should happen. As soon as the holiday food is gone.

I definitely want to get better about food waste. I have a bag of potatoes from the last farmer's market (October!) that are now sprouting. Sigh.

Susan M.B. Sullivan said...

Your formula works great for me. I'm 5'4" and 128 pounds. I should be at 120. I love all our veggies from our CSA, but if there are any sweets in the house I eat them all! If I can think of it environmentally, maybe I can leave a cookie for someone else.

Susan@StepWise Family

Gift of Green said...

Oookay, I crunched the numbers and I would like to lose 10 pounds, from 125 to 115 (for my 5' 2" height). I also figured out my calorie requirements which are about 1350 per day...which is why (after my first day of trying to stick to 1300 calories) I am about to eat my computer.

Cave-Woman said...

Current weight 168
Goal Weight: 155
Amount to lose: 15 pounds.

Motivation: Wedding in October

Getting a hold of this "calorie" thing will be tough for me---Especially since my exercise is limited ( an injured foot).

I've got a lot to learn, so I'm looking forward to finding encouragement here, and a little support group of new friends.

Blessing to you all!

Anonymous said...

Awright, I'm in.

At 5'2", I'm looking at a target of 110, which means giving 25 lbs back to the universe...

Keep the inspiration coming, Crunchy!


Anonymous said...

Okay, deep breath. Weight: 146.2 Height: 5'3". There's no way I'm getting down to 115. I know that from experience. I also know that I feel great around 125. I'm going to shoot for that. I think we've got to factor our ages into this equation too. I was 115 in college, but now I'm 43 years old, and the metabolism isn't getting much faster, no matter how much I exercise.

Anonymous said...

I'm 5'6", and small boned. I should weigh, 120-125. So I need to lose 5-10 pounds and... get out of the habit of having food rotting away in my refrigerator. I do exercise regularly so I think my main problem is snacking. I work in one of those offices that has a constant flow of junk food coming in all the time.

Village Green said...

I want to join in too. Food issues all my life long. Bulemic before anybody had a word for it. Terrible body images developed from childhood -- shopping in the "chubby" department. I look back on pictures from post college days now and I looked very good. But then I thought I was disgustingly fat. Which I am now, but for real.

I have been a vegetarian for 30 years, and recently chose to go full out vegan, for many reasons, including losing weight.

One of my biggest problems remains stress eating at night, so I will be very interested in shared techniques to deal with that issue.

I won't put up numbers, but I will report things like going down in clothing sizes and regaining the ability to do some of the yoga exercises I really miss.

Thanks Crunch, for presenting this in a way that I think will motivate me and hopefully many more.

Unknown said...

I'm not posting my numbers because I have way more to lose than most of you here :) I'm 5'9" and medium boned and I'm aiming for 150/160. It's going to take some time, but I'm committed! Thanks for the additional help.

Anonymous said...

Longtime lurker, but count me in too! Let's just say I've got 40-45 recently-gained pounds to lose, so this is just the kick in the pants I need. I think having an external motivation like not wasting resources will be the difference for me. I know I feel my healthiest when I'm just eating fresh veggies, fruits, beans, and some whole grains, so that's what I'm going to get back to. Thanks for the challenge!

UrbanHippieMama said...

I am 5'4" and weigh 141. I'm nursing 2 kids under the age of 2, and the weight has been coming off pretty steadily since the birth of my last child in March...but I could use some motivation now. :) I'm shooting for 125, which I haven't weighed since college. I do struggle with overeating, and for me I feel it is a "scarcity complex". I feel really really crappy if I get too hungry and then eat again, or if I am slightly hungry but then I don't eat enough to get full, so I am always trying to avoid that feeling (headaches, shakes, stomache cramps, bloating) and I end up eating more than I need to be eating--plus a little extra. ;)
One of my babies is showing signs of food intolerance, so he and I will be doing an elimination diet of no wheat, dairy or soy... hopefully that will help with my goal here, too!
Thank you for sharing your knowledge and your encouragement, Crunchy!

Olive said...

i always feel stupid commenting or talking about my weight because im the "skinny bitch". im 5'10 and im 118 lbs (im also nursing a baby ill add). it seems like everyone is geared up to lose weight but like, for me should i just not participate in the weight aspect since i "need" to gain? i have always been this thin despite activity, pregnancy/nursing, and diet truth be told. i don't feel i "need" to gain weight but according to the stats i "should".

Anonymous said...

I'm 5'3" and I weigh 180 lbs. I'm medium frame, but I've been told I don't look like I weigh that much. People always guess in the 150's, which makes me feel good. Anyway, I've decided to eat 1200 calories a day and see where that gets me. I'm just starting out and I'm coming in under 1200, by alot! I'm scared now that I won' lose a single lb. by my dr.appt next week. I'll be so discouraged if I'm not down at least a couple of lbs. I hope it works!