Random tips for success!

The Food Forum's Evil Twin. Trying to lose weight or get in shape? Tips, encouragement, status reports, and so forth go here.
Disclaimer: Unless otherwise stated, we are not health professionals. Take advice with salt.

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apricity
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Random tips for success!

Postby apricity » Fri Feb 08, 2008 12:39 am UTC

I figured this would be a really useful thread to have in this subforum. Here you can add any random tips you might have come up with, that you found through your own successes, or things you read in a magazine that look really promising, or whatever else you might have come up with.

My #1 tip is this: I used a site called Calorie-Count to start me on losing weight. It ended up helping me lose almost 40 pounds. Once you sign up, you can log your starting weight and your goal weight, and the date you want to reach your goal by. The site will calculate how many calories you should eat daily in order to reach your goal weight in time. Then you log everything you eat each day. They have a huge database with practically every food you can imagine in it, so you just type in what you want to log and it'll log all the food's stats for you. You can also log any exercise you do. The site will calculate everything for you, including the ratio of calories you receive from fat:protein:carbs, the number of calories you net in a day (consumed minus burned), fiber, sodium, cholesterol. Then you can also input your weight as you go, and it'll graph your loss. Basically, the site is a really awesome way of tracking whatever you need to track, as well as keeping you ON track. They also have forums where you can ask any questions you might have, and the people there are really helpful. Everything I know about eating right, I know from that site.

PS- It's also totally free, and I promise I get nothing for endorsing it. I just think it's the best tool I had and I want to share it with everyone.
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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby Shro » Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:01 am UTC

The best advice I have for anyone is START SMALL. If you try to make all these changes to your life all at once, it's going to be way to hard to keep it all up, and you'll probably end up feeling discouraged. Give yourself little goals every week, like no food after 10pm or whatever, and then you can feel really proud of reaching your goals! It's all the little things adding up that will get you fit, so don't underestimate the power of starting small!
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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby Token » Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:15 am UTC

This looks pretty cool. I'm hardly overweight, but I'm planning to drop a few kilos of excess body fat so I can fit into a lightweight category for rowing. May have to make use of this.
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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby rachel » Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:22 am UTC

Snacking seems to be a big problem for me, so what I do is cut up fruits and vegetables and put them into snack-sized baggies to keep in the refridgerator. That way, if I feel like having a snack, I just grab a baggie of fruit instead of a bag of potato chips.
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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby tiny » Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:27 am UTC

Some tips that helped me:

* Make a schedule; what you'll do, where you'll do it, and for which amount of time.
* Stick to it.
* Monitor your progress and be proud of yourself for every bit of it.
* If you work out hard, only do so every other day. Your muscles need a bit of rest to grow.
* Sore muscles want you to continue; they only have a funny way of showing it.
* When stagnation comes - and it will come - and refuses to be overcome with activity, acknowledge what you have achieved already and allow yourself a week or two without training (you should still eat right, though). Define the length of this pause before you start it and stick to this resolution. When you resume training you'll most likely make progress again.
* Stretch carefully. Go deeper while exhaling. Pain is your friend.
* Drink something tasty during your training. Fruit juice with mineral water is good.
* Watch your protein and iron intake when you try to build up muscle. Full grain cereals with milk are a good way to do so. When you want to sweeten it, use honey instead of refined sugar (honey = fructose <- good stuff).
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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby Durandal » Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:46 am UTC

.
Last edited by Durandal on Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:24 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby Ian Ex Machina » Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:54 am UTC

-Drink water/fluids as it helps your metabolism.
-Have a healthy breakfast as the aforementioned cereal to start the metabolism going in the morning.
-Eat slowly so that the feeling of fullness will be realised before you have eaten too much.
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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby Zak » Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:50 am UTC

Make sure you can actually recognise when you are full, don't just keep on pounding those chicken wings even though your stomach stopped wanting them 4 chickens ago.
*waggles eyebrows*

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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Sat Feb 09, 2008 4:35 pm UTC

But the REST of me wanted those chickens....

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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby rachel » Sat Feb 09, 2008 4:57 pm UTC

Ian Ex Machina wrote:-Eat slowly so that the feeling of fullness will be realised before you have eaten too much.

If you do things like eat slowly, put your fork down and chew then swallow your food before putting more in your mouth (rather than shoveling it all in as fast as possible like most people), and taking sips of water between each bite you will get fuller faster, and probably enjoy your food a lot more than you have been.


Random Tip 1: Portion control. Just because you've cooked yourself a healthy dinner doesn't mean you should have two helpings. Usually, after one, you're body is full enough anyway, if you're eating the correct portion sizes. So either don't make enough to have second or third helpings, or put the rest in a tupperware container and it can be lunch tomorrow!

Random Tip 2: Allow yourself indulgences every so often. Use them as an incentive. If you have a really good week, have a piece of chocolate cake on Saturday. (Chocolate cake is the Best Food EVER.) There's no reason not to eat the things you enjoy, just don't have them all the time and when you do have them don't have a lot. Have a few pieces of chocolate, not the entire box.
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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby Flying Betty » Sat Feb 09, 2008 10:43 pm UTC

Figure out how many calories you need, and actually keep track of what you're eating and how many calories you actually eat. You don't necessarily have to write down every single little calorie (though it's a good idea when you first start) but I find myself just keeping a general running tally in my head. This is the only way I've found that works to keep me losing weight.
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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby microwaved » Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:41 am UTC

Hands down, the best motivator for exercise is having someone to workout with. Even better, join some kind of team sport that has regular practice. It's much harder to skip a workout day and you're more inclined to push yourself.

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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby 0range » Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:24 pm UTC

Get a good jump rope and use it two to three times a day. Start slow with a 1-2 minute workout each session and try to build towards 5-10 minutes over a period of a few months.

Not only does jumping rope burn more calories per hour than most other cardio, it improves agility, coordination, involves your whole body and can be downright fun.

I'd post up some links to good sites, but I don't think I'm allowed to... shouldn't be too hard to google around anyway.
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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby ZeroSum » Sun Feb 10, 2008 5:12 pm UTC

tiny wrote:Pain is your friend.

Be careful with this one. When stretching it should be more *uncomfortable* than *painful*. Pain is your bodies way of telling you something is wrong. Discomfort is your bodies way of telling you you're at your limits.

If it's still painful after you've stopped you probably went too far.

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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby apricity » Sun Feb 10, 2008 5:14 pm UTC

0range wrote:I'd post up some links to good sites, but I don't think I'm allowed to... shouldn't be too hard to google around anyway.

Links are perfectly welcome for users with more than 5 posts :) Jumping rope is a great idea! Another fun cardio exercise is hula hooping.
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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby 0range » Sun Feb 10, 2008 9:07 pm UTC

ZeroSum wrote:
tiny wrote:Pain is your friend.

Be careful with this one. When stretching it should be more *uncomfortable* than *painful*. Pain is your bodies way of telling you something is wrong. Discomfort is your bodies way of telling you you're at your limits.

If it's still painful after you've stopped you probably went too far.


Agreed, care is crucial in stretching. With static stretching, I personally don't feel that pain is requisite. Stretching everyday gently and mindfully is much better than pushing yourself 3-4 times a week. Check out some Yoga classes for ideas.

Almost more important than stretching technique is timing. People who, prior to working out - be it sport, martial arts, a workout, whatever - spend 5-10 minutes doing static stretching are ignorant. When you stretch, you're basically making minute tears in your muscles. Doing this before a workout is harmful in three ways:

a) it makes you more prone to injury than had you not stretched at all.

b) it decreases your strength.

c) it decreases motor coordination.

Instead, stick to dynamic stretches aimed to get your blood flowing and loosen joints and muscles. The best ways to do this are by using movements that you'll be doing in your main workout, but at a lighter pace, or in the case of lifting weights, doing repetitions without weight (incidentally, this is a great time to focus on proper technique and breathing).

Save your static stretching for after your cool-down.

Links are perfectly welcome for users with more than 5 posts


Oh! I thought the limit was 25. Thanks!

Another fun cardio exercise is hula hooping.


For sure, and both have the added benefit of making one feel a little childish. There's a quote that goes something like, "You were once shoved headfirst through someone's vagina, what are you doing acting so dignified?" :mrgreen:
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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby studyinserendipity » Mon Feb 11, 2008 2:53 am UTC

I wasn't actually trying to lose weight, just trying to eat more healthy, but I lost a few pounds in the bargain, so maybe it is a good plan:

Instead of eating a single-sized portion of one thing for your meal, eat smaller portions of 4 or 5 different things. For example, half a cup of seasoned rice, quarter cup steamed eggplant, a portion of meat, carrots with hummus, and a sliced apple with kiwi for dessert. With all the different flavors and types of food, the meal is interesting and you feel like you've eaten more than you actually have. And you can still have 'unhealthy' foods, but you only eat a portion of the serving size - lasts longer and isn't as bad for you that way.
Look up bento lunches for some really good recipes, combination ideas, etc.
Plus, you end up cooking alot a couple times a week, but the rest of the time you're just combining left-overs, so it can save on time.
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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby Amarantha » Mon Feb 11, 2008 4:35 am UTC

Music. I can run twice as far twice as fast when I take an mp3 player. Then I get home and do weights because the music is still pushing me :P

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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:37 am UTC

That worked for me until my iPod vanished last week.

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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby Zak » Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:06 am UTC

Sing the lyrics to "Live to win" or "Push it to the limit" to yourself

Both are classic montage songs. :wink:

Spoiler:
Frustrated, degraded, down before you're done
Rejection, depression, can't get what you want
You ask me how I make my way
You ask me everywhere and why
You hang on every word I say
But the truth sounds like a lie
Live to win, 'till you die, 'till the light dies in your eyes
Live to win, take it all, just keep fighting till you fall
Obsessive, compulsive, suffocate your mind
Confusion, delusions, kill your dreams in time
You ask me how I took the pain
Crawled up from my lowest low
Step by step and day by day
'Till there's one last breath to go
Live to win, 'till you die, 'till the light dies in your eyes
Live to win, take it all, just keep fighting till you fall
Day by day, kickin' all the way, I'm not cavin' in
Let another round begin, live to win
Yeah, live, yeah, win
Live to win, 'till you die, 'till the light dies in your eyes
Live to win, take it all, just keep fighting 'till you fall
Day by day, kickin' all the way, I'm not cavin' in
Let another round begin, live to win
Live to win
Live to win
Yeah, live, yeah, win!!

Spoiler:
(Push It To The Limit)

Push it to the limit
Walk along the razor's edge
but don't look down, just keep your head
and you'll be finished

Open up the limit
past the point of no return
You've reached the top but still you gotta learn
how to keep it

Hit the wheel and double the stakes
throttle wide open like a bat out of hell
and you crash the gates
(crash the gates)

Going for the back of beyond
Nothing gonna stop you
there's nothing that strong
So close now you're nearly at the brink
so, push it

(Ooo yeah)

Welcome to the limit
(The limit)
Take it maybe one step more
The power game's still playing so
you better win it

Push it to the limit
(The limit)
With no one left to stand in your way
you might get careless, but you'll never be safe
while you still feel it

Welcome to the limit
(The limit)
Standing on the razor's edge
don't look down just keep your head
and you'll be finished

Welcome to the limit
(The limit)
(The limit)
(The limit)
(The limit)

Push it to the limit
(The limit)
(The limit)
(The limit)
(The limit)

(The limit)
(The limit)
(The limit)
(The limit)

Push it to the limit
(The limit)
(The limit)
(The limit)
(The limit)
*waggles eyebrows*

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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby __Kit » Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:50 am UTC

If you might be feeling like your not making progress ask yourself how you would have been if you hadn't changed anything at all (does this make sense?)

"Everyone suffers pain, either the pain of hardwork or the pain of regret" (Kind of relevant?)

rachel wrote:
Ian Ex Machina wrote:-Eat slowly so that the feeling of fullness will be realised before you have eaten too much.

If you do things like eat slowly, put your fork down and chew then swallow your food before putting more in your mouth (rather than shoveling it all in as fast as possible like most people), and taking sips of water between each bite you will get fuller faster, and probably enjoy your food a lot more than you have been.


My sis does this, she also says she cuts up all her food into smaller pieces for the same reason.

"The best exercise you can do for your body is putting two hands on the table and pushing away"
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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby Sunsnail » Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:03 pm UTC

I'm currently on a diet. Lost 20lbs so far three weeks in. Some things that have worked for me:

1. I drink a lot of liquid. Usually water or diet soda. I've heard some bad things about diet drinks being bad for weight loss, but it helps me feel full.
2. Smoking :|
3. Not eating late at night.
4. Keep with your diet for the first week! After you start to see results it's much easier to maintain a diet.

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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby Ian Ex Machina » Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:21 am UTC

NewScientist.com wrote:If you want to lose weight but can't stand running, lift weights instead. New research in mice shows that strength training is just as good as endurance training at burning off fat.

Running and other endurance activities build up what's known as "slow" or type I muscle. It is rich in mitochondria, the energy powerhouses of cells, and research has shown that this type of muscle combats weight gain and reduces the incidence of metabolic problems. "Fast" or type II muscle - the kind you build when pumping iron - is mitochondria-poor and was thought to be less effective in reversing weight gain.

Kenneth Walsh at Boston University School of Medicine and his colleagues were curious to know how weight training affects metabolism. So they designed a mouse in which Akt1, a gene involved in building type II muscle, could be switched on and off by giving the mice a drug.

The mice ate a high-fat, high-sugar diet and got fat. But when the gene was activated, not only did the rodents' muscles bulk up, they also lost body fat. This was despite them not exercising and continuing to overindulge (Cell Metabolism, DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2007.11.003).

There were other metabolic improvements too, such as a decrease in fat around the liver. "It was stunning," says Walsh. "Type II muscle has been under-appreciated."


From latest issue of New Scientist.
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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby AngrySquirrel » Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:29 pm UTC

Todays round of obvious "Doh's"

-Don't punish yourself when you fail, reward yourself when you succeed.
-Sometimes the most healthy thing you can do is to be a tiny bit unhealthy.
-Breakfast is your friend, so is fruit and vegetables.
-Frozen grapes, frozen melon-bits and frozen mango-bits are very tasty snacks that removes the need for sugar efficiently.
-Make your exercise fun and varied, that way you keep your motivation up longer.
-Walk whenever you can.
-Making food is fun! Don't be afraid to try out new things.
-Drop the sodas, water is good. You don't like water or find it boring? Try putting some lime or lemon in it. Juice also works, but avoid those with loads of sugar and artificial stuff in them.
-When you decide to spoil yourself a bit, do it in a healthy way, carrot-sticks and frozen fruit snacks are a good replacement for chips. You can make healthy dips with garlic, different spices and yoghurt or kesam. Smoothies makes excellent drinks. Get yourself a good kitchen knife and enjoy getting some frustration out by chopping up poor unsuspecting fruits and vegetables.
-Tell people who criticise you, the way you look or what you do to go f*** themselves. What matters is that you feel good about yourself, what other people think don't mean a thing.
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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby Ren » Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:06 pm UTC

Give up elevators for Lent.
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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby apricity » Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:43 pm UTC

Sunsnail wrote:1. I drink a lot of liquid. Usually water or diet soda. I've heard some bad things about diet drinks being bad for weight loss, but it helps me feel full.

What my doctor told me a few years ago when I needed to lose weight was that carbonation from soda expands the stomach, so it takes more to make you feel full. That's why they're not conducive to weight loss. I can't work out exactly how well it worked for me, because I stopped drinking soda at the same time I started counting calories and exercising. But either way, I'd recommend some kind of flavored water instead if you can't deal with just water. Soda isn't considered healthy anyway, even diet, due to caffeine and the debatable effects of artificial sweeteners, plus if you're exercising it's not going to hydrate you like water will. Keep drinking it if you want, but if you can stop drinking it you're probably going to be healthier.
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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby Masuri » Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:48 pm UTC

I gave up soda completely and if I want a flavored drink, I usually get a delicious Propel Fitness Water!

I am so addicted to this stuff. Kiwi-strawberry is the best, followed closely by peach. I like drinking regular water at the gym but Propel is my drink of choice.

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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby 0range » Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:33 pm UTC

Ren wrote:Give up elevators for Lent.


Stairs are one of the better cardio and leg workouts you can do for sure, and you can do them in so many ways that by the time you're bored you're done your workout!
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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby microwaved » Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:16 pm UTC

Ian Ex Machina wrote:
From latest issue of New Scientist.


I would definitely agree with what they have to say. Every pound of lean muscle burns a significant amount of calories on it's own every day just for the mere fact that it exists. Increase your muscle mass, and that daily calorie count increases. I think though that it would depend a bit on what type of workout you do, higher weight/lower reps or lower weight/higher reps and whatnot.

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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby Skateside » Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:20 pm UTC

I think the best piece of advice is probably don't go it alone.

Get a friend or partner to go on a diet with you, or take up the sport with you. That way you'll encourage each other and it'll make it seem like much less of a chore
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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby SteaL7h » Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:23 pm UTC

Masuri wrote:I gave up soda completely and if I want a flavored drink, I usually get a delicious Propel Fitness Water!

I am so addicted to this stuff. Kiwi-strawberry is the best, followed closely by peach. I like drinking regular water at the gym but Propel is my drink of choice.


That's so fucking sick.

I have a bottle of Propel just by my screen right now.
I am addicted to it as a drink.
I stopped drinking sodas regularly for Propel.
This bottle is also Kiwi-Strawberry.
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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby Jorpho » Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:03 am UTC

Remember that stuff that works perfectly for other people might not necessarily work very well for you! Surely it is not unreasonable to invoke individual uniqueness to some extent?

I find being on a very strict budget to be very helpful in stopping me from buying food.

I like aerobics classes. Flailing around madly is just so much easier when you're doing it in a roomful of nonjudgemental people. Especially with peppy music playing in the background.

I am inclined to suggest glutamine as a good addition to one's post-workout beverage in order to avoid feeling like crap the next day, but it seems very easy to spend too much money on supplements. I did buy a copy of Nutrient Timing a while back, as it was highly recommended, but in fact the most useful information is right there in the Amazon reviews.

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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby thatblackguy » Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:52 am UTC

Work out with someone, drag the others ass when he/she doesn't show up for gym
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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby 1hitcombo » Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:55 pm UTC

don't make excuses.

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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby Visceroid » Sat Feb 23, 2008 3:32 am UTC

1hitcombo wrote:don't make excuses.


agreed. I got the idea of scrubs. Never be content with your body.
if you dont feel like it tell yourself to stick it and go get some exercise.

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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby Aerol » Sat Feb 23, 2008 6:45 pm UTC

Get your wisdom teeth out AKA the Vicodin and Sleep diet. You won't want to eat anything for 3-4 days. (I'm on day two) :D

On a more realistic note, just try to fit mini workouts in to your daily routine. Many people can't spare 2 hours a day to hit the gym but almost everyone can carve out 10-15 minutes here and there to get in some running or sit-ups.

One more thing, music always helps when working out.

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Jorpho
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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby Jorpho » Sun Feb 24, 2008 3:18 am UTC

Visceroid wrote:Never be content with your body.


Motivation is all well and good, especially since exercise is generally a healthy activity, but I don't think longterm psychological self-harm is the best perscription.

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Aerol
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:18 am UTC

Re: Random tips for success!

Postby Aerol » Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:18 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:
Visceroid wrote:Never be content with your body.


Motivation is all well and good, especially since exercise is generally a healthy activity, but I don't think longterm psychological self-harm is the best perscription.

Agreed that sounds like a recipe for anorexia.

WaywardAngel
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:49 pm UTC

Re: Random tips for success!

Postby WaywardAngel » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:40 pm UTC

Aerol wrote:
Jorpho wrote:
Visceroid wrote:Never be content with your body.


Motivation is all well and good, especially since exercise is generally a healthy activity, but I don't think longterm psychological self-harm is the best perscription.

Agreed that sounds like a recipe for anorexia.


A longer but more accurate way of putting it would be: 'be proud of your body, but know that you can always improve, and to do that you need to push yourself.'

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Mercat
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Re: Random tips for success!

Postby Mercat » Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:06 am UTC

Some of the most recent interesting tips I've seen in research:

--If you have a craving for food, try drinking water; a lot of time your brain triggers "hungry!" even if you're just thirsty, and this will prevent over-eating.
--Breakfast is important, but beyond that, having a larger breakfast and lunch, and a smaller dinner is better for you. Apparently your body will burn the calories throughout the day, but in the evening your body gets ready for sleep-mode, and in a sort of hibernation-ish thing stops burning calories as much and "stores" them.

Hope that's helpful to someone. ;D
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