Math IS Real Life February 2015 Edition: Getting Real about Calories

It’s the first Wednesday of February which means it’s time for our monthly linky – Math IS Real Life!! If you want to see how the linky works, or just want other real world math ideas, check out our Pinterest Board of all the posts so that you can look back and find some great ideas and REAL pictures to use in your classroom!

If you are linking up, please include the below picture AND a link back to all four of our blogs – feel free to use the 2nd image and the links listed below!



 A monthly REAL WORLD math blog link-up hosted by

 4mulaFunThe Teacher StudioTeaching to Inspire in 5th, AND MissMathDork,



I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve blogged….oh wait, it has!  Ooops!  So, what’s going on with me in my mathematical world?  This teacher is getting fit!  Yes, I know, we’ve all be there…some of of more than others, some of us jumping BACK on the bandwagon.  I’ve decided to go back to a method that works REALLY well for me – portion control with calorie counting.  No, no, no…. not your normal calorie counting.  I’ve been there, I’ve done that.  It gets old…FAST.

Back in September, I talked about doing a cleanse and clean eating.  Loved doing it. Felt great doing it.  Lost weight doing it…. then the holidays came and I pushed all those great habits aside.  So now, I’m jumping back in to the portion control.  I’m using a program called 21 Day Fix that helps make the portioning and counting easy.


Color coded portion control = heaven!

Before I began the program, I needed to take a few steps:

1) Find your calorie level
2) Find the calorie chart that corresponds with your calorie level
3) Check out the container food groups
4) Spread your allotted containers across your day for a balance of nutrition

Okay here goes!  To find calorie level is pretty simple, you just need s few simple equations

A. Your current weight in pounds x11 = your calorie baseline
B. Your calorie baseline + 400 (exercise calorie burn daily) = your caloric needs
C. Your caloric needs – 750 (Caloric deficit) = your calorie target

I don’t really want to put my weight completely out there so let’s just say my caloric needs falls in the 1800-2100 range.  After looking at the color coded chart, I felt like that was going to be a ton of food to eat.  I decided just to follow the plan as stated and started portioning my food, following the workout schedule and continuing on with life.  After about a week on the program I noticed I wasn’t losing any weight…none, nada…. zilch.  After having a motivational talk with my coach (aka sister-in-law) and trying to figure out what was happening, it hit me.  METABOLISM…… UGH!  That word has been the bane of my existence for 20 years.   I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it (probably not…) but I do not have a thyroid.  It was removed when I was 12 years old.  Since then, I have been on a thyroid replacement medication that simulates a metabolism.  There is no changing my metabolism.  So, back to the drawing board with my coach, we altered my program to be more of a 1200-1500 calorie need program.  This dropped me back 2 notches on the food chart (still beyond filling) but allowed for the weight loss to happen with my current metabolic state.

The math?  Well the program assumes that the workout you are doing, and the food you are eating will lead to a higher metabolism and therefore burn more of the calories you eat each day.  Because I cannot change my metabolic rate, we could only take in to account calories in vs calories out.  Now that we have adjusted my equations a bit, and gotten the food to be more proportional to my metabolic needs, I am back to losing weight AND I am not hungry!  That’s my favorite part.  I even found an app that helps me track my colors.


As the program goes on, I’ll continue to track food, and measurements to show progress!


  Don’t forget to check out the other MIRL posts below!  Check back over the next few days – more will be added!!

Categories: #mirl, computation and estimation, geometry and measurement, and math is real life.


    • Annette: Download the 21 Day Fit Tracker (it’s by Fat Chicken). It’s the one Jamie is using and the best one I’ve found for tracking! How do you like the workouts/nutrition so far?

  1. YAY! This is such an amazing post! It’s so cool that there is math in everything we do. Jamie, you have been rocking this challenge and I am SO proud of you! I can’t wait to see your results from this challenge group. I think I’m going to roll right into a 21 Day Fix Extreme group for March. If anyone is interested in joining a fitness/nutrition accountability group like Jamie, just send me a message and I’ll get you started too!
    – Morgan

  2. Charli E.

    Funny! I am a P.E. Teacher (not a traditional one, either) and we just finished calculating calories in our nutrition unit to create meal plans using the 21 Day Fix mixed with PiYo calculations! Awesome 🙂

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