general fitness advice

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zmatt
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general fitness advice

Postby zmatt » Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:27 pm UTC

I'm a pretty concise person so to get my backstory out of the way as fast as possible.....I have been at different levels of overweight since about puberty. I did marching band in highschool and in my later years that with a concerted effort by the family for us to get in shape yielded fairly decent results. When I went to college I did ROTC for awhile and i worked out just about every day of the week. I weighed about 175lbs at that time and wa sin the best shape of my life. I was still over weight however. I've been out for about a year and I started to gain weight back so I started working out and improving my eating habits. I was able to loose 10lbs fairly quickly but I've been on a plateau for weeks now and I'm getting discouraged. I have a very hard time loosing weight and keeping a healthy weight even when I eat and work out the same as everyone else.

So what do you guys think I should do? I've tried just about every healthy thing under the sun and maybe a few unhealthy ones to try and break this. I feel like I am in a battle with my body and I have fought to a stalemate. I am 5'9" so my weight goal is somewhere around 160-150lbs.
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caje
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Re: general fitness advice

Postby caje » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:18 pm UTC

Sleep
Sleep 9 hours a day minimum (very important, like most important)

Diet
Carbs
keep under 200 calories a day. (preferably from veggies and starchy tubers; potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash)
Protein
Get in 1gram of protein per lb of body weight. (preferably from animal sources)
Fat
Get in as much fat that comes with the protein (AKA whatever comes with the meat you eat, which means you also don't eat all lean meat) and whatever fat you need to cook with is fine also (coconut oil, butter)

Exercise
Cardio
High intensity is better then low intensity. Run/Swim sprint intervals. Walking/jogging is almost useless.
Lifting
low rep (3-5) with about 4-5 sets of complex barbell movements (Squat, Dead lift, Press, Bench press, Power clean)
http://startingstrength.wikia.com/wiki/FAQ:The_Lifts For information on form.

zmatt
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Re: general fitness advice

Postby zmatt » Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:26 am UTC

Maybe I misread this, but I should only eat 200 calories a day? isn't that dangerous?
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Nath
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Re: general fitness advice

Postby Nath » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:57 am UTC

Pretty sure caje meant 200 calories worth of carbs (i.e. about 50g worth), in addition to 175g of protein (about 700 calories) and some fat. You'd certainly lose weight if you stuck to this, but I think it's a bit drastic. Another approach would be to figure out exactly how many calories you're getting now, and start eating a few hundred less (making sure to get enough protein). I think there's some leeway in deciding how to divide your non-protein calories between fat and carbs, and the ideal ratio isn't the same for everybody.

I agree with caje's exercise recommendations.

shocklocks
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Re: general fitness advice

Postby shocklocks » Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:32 pm UTC

caje wrote:Sleep 9 hours a day minimum (very important, like most important)


Why is this the most important :O. I wish I could get 9 hours sleep a day.

caje
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Re: general fitness advice

Postby caje » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:30 pm UTC

Nath wrote:Pretty sure caje meant 200 calories worth of carbs (i.e. about 50g worth), in addition to 175g of protein (about 700 calories) and some fat. You'd certainly lose weight if you stuck to this, but I think it's a bit drastic. Another approach would be to figure out exactly how many calories you're getting now, and start eating a few hundred less (making sure to get enough protein). I think there's some leeway in deciding how to divide your non-protein calories between fat and carbs, and the ideal ratio isn't the same for everybody.

I agree with caje's exercise recommendations.


Aye this, and I am assuming about 500-750 calories of fat a day in there. (my recommendation to eat non-lean meat also) Yes you are right the fat/carb ratio can very from person to person, I just find low carb tends to work better in general compared to low fat.

caje
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Re: general fitness advice

Postby caje » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:42 pm UTC

shocklocks wrote:Why is this the most important :O. I wish I could get 9 hours sleep a day.


http://thyroid.about.com/od/loseweights ... epdiet.htm

Or in another word hormone control (which is pretty much everything when it comes to weight loss)

And when I say 9 hours is most important I really mean getting a large amount of sleep is important, 8-9 hours preferably. People tend to over-estimate how much sleep they get so I say the upper bound.

zmatt
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Re: general fitness advice

Postby zmatt » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:58 pm UTC

Right sorry for the misunderstanding. That is actually more than I eat now. I used to eat a lot, but I recently went a a 4 week liquid diet to break my appetite and it worked. My stomach has shrunk and I don't have to eat or want to eat as much as I used to. The weird bit was at the end of it my body was somehow maintaining my weight with only about 800 calories of food a day. I didn't know this was possible. especially considering I have to walk a fair bit daily due to the nature of where I live.
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Nath
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Re: general fitness advice

Postby Nath » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:44 pm UTC

Are you sure you are accurately estimating your calorie intake? Unless you are completely sedentary, it seems very strange that you can maintain bodyweight on 800 calories a day, and you might need to seek medical attention. This is not safe or sustainable.

How exactly are you calculating calorie intake? What did you eat and drink in the past 24 hours? What is your current bodyweight?

shocklocks
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Re: general fitness advice

Postby shocklocks » Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:55 pm UTC

I wouldn't worry so much about the exact calorie count just yet anyway. There's no point starting with the one subjective part of the process. Esspecially when it's dependant on all the other factors anyway. Focus on fixing the foods you eat and getting a proper exercise routine started. Start: drinking a gallon of water a day, taking a multi vitamin(or even better a greens supplament,) have 2-4 caps of fish oil with every main meal, making sure every meal you eat has a vege portion, only have meals high in carbohydrate after(and maybe before) exercise sessions. Basically fix all the equally important stuff that doesn't require thinking on your part first. Once thats all right you can fine tune the calories.

Also just as a side, don't get overwhelmed by all the advice or try to implement it all at once. Keep it easy at the start and gradually add in more changes at a steady pace. A good plan would be something like:

Weeks 1-2: Start drinking alot more water, start taking the 3-4g of fish oil with each main meal as well as a multivitamin with the fish oil for one meal.
Weeks 3-4: Add vegetables to every meal you have. If you'd usually have carbs with a certain meal reduce the ammount by at least half and fill the void with the veges. With the exception of the starchier / more caloric dense vegetables you can never eat too many. Pick something easy you can introduce exercise wise(ie start learning the squat and or bench press).
Weeks 5-6: By now the diet should be in the right direction, do what you need to fine tune it. Add abit more to the exercise (learn the press and deadlift maybe?)
Weeks: 7-8: Start doing complete exercise sessions(You could start doing the entire starting strength program from here)

Heck if that pace is too ambitious take 3 weeks between each step or spread the changes out over more steps. It might seem like wasted time but 2months is nothing in the long run and every step makes the next step that much easier. Some might argue you're better off fixing it all at once but there are few people that can suddenly change their entire routine overnight. More likely they end up not changing anything at all or making changes that are too hard to stick with and failing. People have this idea they have to make it a huge life changing event and that it's meant to be as hard and drastic as possible and it just ensures they fail.

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Thirty-one
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Re: general fitness advice

Postby Thirty-one » Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:53 am UTC

When you say overweight, do you mean "my BMI is slightly high" or do you mean you bulge out in places you feel you shouldn't?

If it's the first, ignore it, you can be perfectly healthy and fit and have a high BMI.
If it's the second, I have no help to offer, as I've lucked out with a high metabolism.
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zmatt
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Re: general fitness advice

Postby zmatt » Tue May 10, 2011 2:57 pm UTC

shocklocks wrote:I wouldn't worry so much about the exact calorie count just yet anyway. There's no point starting with the one subjective part of the process. Esspecially when it's dependant on all the other factors anyway. Focus on fixing the foods you eat and getting a proper exercise routine started. Start: drinking a gallon of water a day, taking a multi vitamin(or even better a greens supplament,) have 2-4 caps of fish oil with every main meal, making sure every meal you eat has a vege portion, only have meals high in carbohydrate after(and maybe before) exercise sessions. Basically fix all the equally important stuff that doesn't require thinking on your part first. Once thats all right you can fine tune the calories.

Also just as a side, don't get overwhelmed by all the advice or try to implement it all at once. Keep it easy at the start and gradually add in more changes at a steady pace. A good plan would be something like:

Weeks 1-2: Start drinking alot more water, start taking the 3-4g of fish oil with each main meal as well as a multivitamin with the fish oil for one meal.
Weeks 3-4: Add vegetables to every meal you have. If you'd usually have carbs with a certain meal reduce the ammount by at least half and fill the void with the veges. With the exception of the starchier / more caloric dense vegetables you can never eat too many. Pick something easy you can introduce exercise wise(ie start learning the squat and or bench press).
Weeks 5-6: By now the diet should be in the right direction, do what you need to fine tune it. Add abit more to the exercise (learn the press and deadlift maybe?)
Weeks: 7-8: Start doing complete exercise sessions(You could start doing the entire starting strength program from here)

Heck if that pace is too ambitious take 3 weeks between each step or spread the changes out over more steps. It might seem like wasted time but 2months is nothing in the long run and every step makes the next step that much easier. Some might argue you're better off fixing it all at once but there are few people that can suddenly change their entire routine overnight. More likely they end up not changing anything at all or making changes that are too hard to stick with and failing. People have this idea they have to make it a huge life changing event and that it's meant to be as hard and drastic as possible and it just ensures they fail.


Just remembered I made this thread. Thanks for the advice.

Thirty-one wrote:When you say overweight, do you mean "my BMI is slightly high" or do you mean you bulge out in places you feel you shouldn't?

If it's the first, ignore it, you can be perfectly healthy and fit and have a high BMI.
If it's the second, I have no help to offer, as I've lucked out with a high metabolism.


I'm a stocky guy so i have never worried too much about BMI, but #2 is of concern here. I also have a pretty slow metabolism it seems.
clockworkmonk wrote:Except for Warren G. Harding. Fuck that guy.

Save Point
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Re: general fitness advice

Postby Save Point » Wed May 11, 2011 3:14 am UTC

Smaller portions, smaller portions, smaller portions. It seems silly but a friend of mine is a bit of a foodie and a pretty formidable guy (used to play football, etc.) First thing he changed about his eating habits was to: (1) cook everything himself, and; (2) limit portion sizes, saying (paraphrasing here) that the French, for example, have some of the most buttery-butter-butter-tastic foods you'll ever find and generally within healthy weight limits precisely because they limit portion size.

zmatt
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Re: general fitness advice

Postby zmatt » Thu May 12, 2011 12:57 pm UTC

OK, so what is a reasonable portion size? I understand that most "portions" you get in prepared food are too big, so what is right? I have heard things like "a cut of meat no bigger than your fist" but that is awfully arbitrary.
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JudeMorrigan
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Re: general fitness advice

Postby JudeMorrigan » Thu May 12, 2011 5:28 pm UTC

I'm not sure what the absolute answer is for what reasonable portion sizes are. (Assuming there even is one. I imagine it would vary pretty widely person to person.) But one bit of advice I can offer is that if one's simply looking to reduce one's portions sizes, one thing that has been shown to work is to eat off of smaller plates. It seems somewhat silly, but I've found it to work reasonably well for me. Portion control is something I've struggled with at times, and I really do have an easier time maintaining a healthy weight when my full-sized dinner plates sit in my cabinets, largely unused.

biodomino
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Re: general fitness advice

Postby biodomino » Thu May 12, 2011 10:29 pm UTC

As far as rapid fire advice:

Don't necessarily concern yourself with making your efforts the most "efficient." By that I mean allow yourself a bit of leeway. Interval training may produce the fastest results, for example, but you'll probably get bored with it and find it difficult to stay motivated. Change up your routine so that your exercise is always at least a little fun.

In regards to diet, just try to improve your eating habits rather than emphasize the amount of food you eat. If you eat more fruits, vegetables and lean meats, you'll naturally consumer fewer calories to get full. Find what you like, make sure it's actually healthy, and keep twerking your diet. If you snack a lot, keep fruit or fiber bars handy. Don't buy junk food and you won't eat it. Also, be sure you're not eating out of boredom. When you go to the kitchen, ask yourself if you're actually hungry or just bored. If it's the latter, find something to do (maybe something physically active). If you have a tendency to overeat, a mantra I often teach is, "I still have an appetite, but I am full." Having an appetite and being hungry are different states, and the signals for appetite that coincide with hunger do not generally stop until roughly 20 minutes after the stomach is no longer hungry.

If you just make temporary lifestyle adjustments to lose a little weight, you're going to gain it back afterwards, and the problem will worsen as you age. Try to make sustainable changes. It may take you longer to lose the weight, but you will keep it off much more easily.

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Solt
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Re: general fitness advice

Postby Solt » Thu May 12, 2011 10:43 pm UTC

zmatt wrote:OK, so what is a reasonable portion size? I understand that most "portions" you get in prepared food are too big, so what is right?


Easy! If you want to lose weight, less than you eat now. There's no way anyone could give you an absolute value since it varies wildly from person to person based on things like activity level, size, food type, and nature of your overeating. Simply reducing the total calories by cutting off a small portion of everything you currently eat is a sure-fire way to lose some weight. That's easier said than done, of course.
"Welding was faster, cheaper and, in theory,
produced a more reliable product. But sailors do
not float on theory, and the welded tankers had a
most annoying habit of splitting in two."
-J.W. Morris

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Thirty-one
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Re: general fitness advice

Postby Thirty-one » Thu May 12, 2011 10:50 pm UTC

Solt wrote:
zmatt wrote:OK, so what is a reasonable portion size? I understand that most "portions" you get in prepared food are too big, so what is right?


Easy! If you want to lose weight, less than you eat now. There's no way anyone could give you an absolute value since it varies wildly from person to person based on things like activity level, size, food type, and nature of your overeating. Simply reducing the total calories by cutting off a small portion of everything you currently eat is a sure-fire way to lose some weight. That's easier said than done, of course.


Surely that depends on how much one is currently over-eating?

I vote for eat slowly, stop when you feel no hunger anymore.
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Nath
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Re: general fitness advice

Postby Nath » Fri May 13, 2011 1:22 am UTC

Thirty-one wrote:Surely that depends on how much one is currently over-eating?

Just titrate it down till you get the effect you want.

Code: Select all

do
{
   Reduce daily calorie intake by a couple hundred
} while (!losing weight);

zmatt
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Re: general fitness advice

Postby zmatt » Thu May 26, 2011 12:40 pm UTC

great advice thanks. I'll start tracking the changes I make here to give an idea of the progress I am making.
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caje
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Re: general fitness advice

Postby caje » Thu May 26, 2011 7:49 pm UTC

Solt wrote:
zmatt wrote:OK, so what is a reasonable portion size? I understand that most "portions" you get in prepared food are too big, so what is right?


Easy! If you want to lose weight, less than you eat now. There's no way anyone could give you an absolute value since it varies wildly from person to person based on things like activity level, size, food type, and nature of your overeating. Simply reducing the total calories by cutting off a small portion of everything you currently eat is a sure-fire way to lose some weight. That's easier said than done, of course.


That is not always the case. Depending on what your eating and your hormonal profile your metabolism could simply drop.

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Solt
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Re: general fitness advice

Postby Solt » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:07 am UTC

caje wrote:That is not always the case. Depending on what your eating and your hormonal profile your metabolism could simply drop.


I doubt a difference of 200 calories a day is going to cause any such issues. Yes, if you really mess with your body your metabolism will change and you could end up worse off. That includes things like going 8+ waking hours between meals or completely cutting out an important nutrient category or drastically reducing calories. If you do any of that your body will go into calorie saving mode and reduce the total daily expenditure, your energy levels will fall, you will burn less and save more. And that is exactly why I gave the advice I did. With my technique you are causing very few radical changes, just 100 or less fewer calories per meal. Same meal frequency, same nutrient profile, just mathematically a little less. That is designed to be easy to do and to keep your body from feeling disequilibriated and provoking the exact reaction you are talking about. I'm sure it will work if you manage to stick to it.

Thirty-one wrote:Surely that depends on how much one is currently over-eating?

I vote for eat slowly, stop when you feel no hunger anymore.


That's a good plan as well and definitely a good long term approach. It's essentially the same as my plan (eat less of every meal) but depends more on feedback from your body than it does on numbers and logical observations. There are three problems with that: one, the body is highly adaptable and it might have changed its definition of what is a 'normal' amount to eat. Two, it's harder to break a habit than to make a calculated decision. People go into epileptic fits when I leave a portion of a burger on my plate and say I'm done. They've been told for decades to finish everything on their plate, don't underestimate the power of that training. Third, the body's natural feedback system for this is kind of stupid- stretch sensors in the stomach. That means calorie dense foods like fatty foods will completely out-wit this strategy. If you like to eat meat and veggies it's a good plan, but people tend to get fat on chips and fries and cake, not chicken.

Oh and regarding the first comment, no it doesn't. Ideally, given the same level of activity and assuming your weight is stable, there is a 1:1 correspondence between daily caloric intake and the amount of fat the body stores. It's like oil, in order to store more oil you have to spend more money on renting and maintaining space for the oil to be stored in, and to transport the oil, and so on. If your maintenance budget (caloric intake) drops, you can't afford to store as much and will have to sell off reserves (burn fat) until your expenditures match your budget. If your daily budget is higher than the cost of upkeep, you spend the extra to buy more oil and to buy more storage space for that oil (add fat) until the excess budget is used up. You never waste calories (have un-invested money sitting around).

That's why reducing your average daily intake by as little as 100 calories a day will result in weight loss given all other factors remain roughly the same. Of course that loss is not endless, and eventually you will settle on a new, lower weight and to lose more you will have to reduce your calories further.
"Welding was faster, cheaper and, in theory,

produced a more reliable product. But sailors do

not float on theory, and the welded tankers had a

most annoying habit of splitting in two."

-J.W. Morris

zmatt
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Re: general fitness advice

Postby zmatt » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:29 pm UTC

ok guys I started my new workout regime with a buddy yesterday. it's pretty simple stuff, mostly free weights and cardio that doesn't require much in the way of machines. Yesterday I did arms and back along with a 3 mile bike ride. Today I'm doing chest and abs. I'm a little sore but not nearly as bad as I thought I would be.
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