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  1. #1
    hkp
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    Default Weight Loss Advice

    Alright, this is embarrassing but I'm getting desperate here.

    I was hit by a drunk driver a year ago. Before the accident, I'd say I was in good shape. I ran several times a week and I could bench my body weight (probably max over 200 if I ever tried). My weight was 155-160 and my height is 5'8".

    Since the accident, my back has been a mess and I'm having bad knee issues so I stopped running. I persisted with the weight training several months after physical therapy gave the go-ahead. As expected, I didn't really change my diet and I gained some weight. Following a recent month-long business trip, I REALLY gained weight very quickly probably due to not going to the gym at all. I maxed at a little under 170 and went from a size 31-32 waist to snug fitting into a 34.

    I started counting calories 2 weeks ago, emphasizing simple carbs (veggies), limited complex carbs, natural fibers (beans/oats/fruits), and protein from white meat/fish. I've all but eliminated sugars, cholesterol, and unnecessary fats.

    After two weeks of consistently keeping my calories at 1500 or lower and using the eliptical for 45+ minutes 3-5 times a week/weight training; I've lost a grand total of 1.5 pounds. I was expecting more along the lines of a pound+ a week. I also know that tracking pounds isn't the best practice and my clothes are already starting to fit better; but I know the high 160's is not a good place for me health-wise.

    Is this a matter of my metabolism still being kicked back into gear or should I expect it to take 6 months to lose 10 pounds?

  2. #2
    Freckles is offline Senior Member
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    Everything I've ever read indicates that losing a pound a week is healthy and the best way to keep it off long term.

    I am not an expert, but I think that 1500 calories is probably too little, even if what you're eating is mostly good for you. You might be actually slowing down your metabolism by overly restricting. Does your insurance cover a visit to a nutritionist?

  3. #3
    Sailaway's Avatar
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    Pretty much every fitness guru I've talked to (including personal trainers and family) will say that eating lots of small meals throughout the day should help. Even only eating 1500 calories a day, if portioned poorly, doesn't mean your metabolism is running as well as it could. I would know: for years I ate basically one big meal a day.
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    forkiks is offline Senior Member
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    you mentioned that you already feel better in your clothes. you must consider that in the 2 weeks time you have built muscle (since you are using the elliptical) and that is why it only shows 1.5lb loss. You've only been at it for two weeks. Keep up this pace and you will notice a difference. It took me about 5 months to lose 10-15lbs, but i have maintained it off - i did this by exercising and counting calories. Consider that even if it takes 6 months to lose the weight, it is winter and come summer you will be looking a lot better if you maintain this routine. good luck.

  5. #5
    hkp
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freckles View Post
    Everything I've ever read indicates that losing a pound a week is healthy and the best way to keep it off long term.

    I am not an expert, but I think that 1500 calories is probably too little, even if what you're eating is mostly good for you. You might be actually slowing down your metabolism by overly restricting. Does your insurance cover a visit to a nutritionist?
    Honestly, I think I was at about 2,000 a day when I was maintaining the 155-160 range before the accident. I wasn't counting back then, but it was pretty close to what I'm eating now. Just less quantity and more concentrated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailaway View Post
    Pretty much every fitness guru I've talked to (including personal trainers and family) will say that eating lots of small meals throughout the day should help. Even only eating 1500 calories a day, if portioned poorly, doesn't mean your metabolism is running as well as it could. I would know: for years I ate basically one big meal a day.
    One?? Are you French? I'll probably be corrected here but I've shifted my biggest meal to breakfast. In the past, I used to skip breakfast altogether. now I'm eating a granola bar, oatmeal, and a piece of fruit...about 350-400. I'll eat a couple snacks at about 175-200 a clip. Lunch is about 350-400. Dinner is the smallest meal. I try to keep that at about 300-350 going heavy on the protein and less on the sugars.

    Quote Originally Posted by forkiks View Post
    you mentioned that you already feel better in your clothes. you must consider that in the 2 weeks time you have built muscle (since you are using the elliptical) and that is why it only shows 1.5lb loss. You've only been at it for two weeks. Keep up this pace and you will notice a difference. It took me about 5 months to lose 10-15lbs, but i have maintained it off - i did this by exercising and counting calories. Consider that even if it takes 6 months to lose the weight, it is winter and come summer you will be looking a lot better if you maintain this routine. good luck.
    I'm kind of a dope because I didn't even consider the muscle I'm building in my lower body now that I'm actually doing a lot of cardio again. If my surgeon next week can shoot me up with Cortisone or something I may actually get back to running again within a few months. Even pain free, I don't think running would do me too much good right now.

    So, basically, I'm just impatient. I just want to be able to squeeze back into my 32's before Thanksgiving. That's actually what inspired me to stop being a little $@#$ and get back into shape...I had to buy new clothes because I couldn't fit into my regular wardrobe anymore.

  6. #6
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    I always put on 8-10 pounds during the winter due to being much less active than during the warmer months. So every year come March I'm anxious to shed those pounds. Here's what works for me. On a normal day I consume approx 2800 calories. When I'm trying to lose weight I cut down to 2000 per day. Instead of consuming 2000 calories every day, 14,000 per week, I vary the amount every day but still come out with 14,000 per week. For example I may have 1500 calories one day and 2500 the next. That way my metabolism never adjusts to a lower calorie count, it doesn't know what to expect. It's never taken me longer then a month to take off the extra pounds.

  7. #7
    hkp
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuscleHead View Post
    I always put on 8-10 pounds during the winter due to being much less active than during the warmer months. So every year come March I'm anxious to shed those pounds. Here's what works for me. On a normal day I consume approx 2800 calories. When I'm trying to lose weight I cut down to 2000 per day. Instead of consuming 2000 calories every day, 14,000 per week, I vary the amount every day but still come out with 14,000 per week. For example I may have 1500 calories one day and 2500 the next. That way my metabolism never adjusts to a lower calorie count, it doesn't know what to expect. It's never taken me longer then a month to take off the extra pounds.
    I'm usually pretty quick to shed excess weight, too. We'll see where I'm at in 18 days. I do take in about 500 calories more on days I lift weights. Hopefully that's enough to mix things up.

  8. #8
    Marty B. is offline Senior Member
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    You're "usually" a fast shedder of weight, but your norm will change over time. You've had an accident which your body may well still be mending itself from (being able bodied does not mean your body has completely regenerated itself from its injuries, in fact, one never truly regenerates from serious injuries, years down the road a pathologist performing an autopsy on you will likely find marks in your bones and tissues reflective of your accident), you're pursuing a relatively aggressive level of physical activity, and you're doing a relatively aggressive calorie restrictive diet. What could be going on, especially if you're over 25, definitely if you're in your 30s, is your body's metabolism is panicking and not shedding weight because of the trifecta of stressors.

    That said, 1.5 lbs of weight loss is an entirely reasonable and expected amount of weight to lose in about two weeks. 1-2 lbs. a week should be what you're aiming for if you want to permanently bring down your weight.

    I lost around 25-30 lbs. in about a year. Weight maintenance is not exactly a "goal" of mine; but I keep my weight at current levels through ~2 hours of exercise a day/5-6 days a week (but that amount of time is a luxury a lot of people don't feel they have so I won't really get into that, needless to say I'm not doing anything in the gym that's bulking me up though if I wanted to put on more healthy mass, I could), drinking a gallon to 1.5 gallons of water a day (I can expand on infusing water into your diet if you're not accustomed to it), cutting my alcohol consumption from a beer or cocktail or two at the end of most days to 2-4 drinks if any a week, and adhering to the above mentioned 3 moderate to small meals and 3 snackish meals a day. I don't count calories, but basically a big meal for me is limited to a "fist" sized portion of protein, and two fists of vegetables/fruits. It's more a matter of thinking about what I'm eating and portions under broad terms of "good for me" or "healthy" as opposed to doing nutritional math.

    As for a specific recommendation, I'd suggest, if able, to swap your eliptical trainer for a swimming pool.

    Really though, as mentioned you've lost a bit of weight after two weeks of trying to make it a go, and you feel better. Most people are told it takes 4 weeks to a month to really "feel" or "see" any gains from a fitness routine. So all these suggestions and routine swappings aside, it sounds like you're right on track, doing just fine, and just need to be aware that healthy weight loss for your long term health (as opposed to short term slipping into a smaller waistline) requires a bit of patience.

  9. #9
    hkp
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    Thanks, Marty. I'm 29, by the way.

    As of yesterday, I was down 2 lbs from baseline for consecutive days. Hopefully, that continues. The elliptical is hurting my back by minute 40 to the point that my leg movement becomes a little limited. The pain doesn't continue after I leave the machine so this is something that is in line with what I was told to expect (LBP for 2-3 years post-injury). At this point, I wouldn't want to attempt to swim until I see my surgeon next week, at least. I was thinking about doing 30 minute cardio bid--morning and after work once I'm able to sustain full effort cardio again for over an hour.

    Regarding the calorie limitation, I'm only counting after I eat. I eat when I'm hungry and stop eating when I'm no longer hungry. This is different from when I would eat to be full. I can do that when maintaining weight. I know enough not to limit my diet to the point of being uncomfortably hungry.

    Regarding water: I drink 2-3 liters a day. Closer to 3 when I exercise. I try not to drink too much because I already get a decent amount of water from what I eat. I admit, I am a beer drinker and I prefer darker beers. I've cut that out to a point. I had 3 beers last night and 3 last weekend. It was, at times, 1 or 2 a day and more on weekends. I feel like cutting that alone should pay off in the next month or so.

    Also, keep in mind, I'm probably seeing more immediate gains because I have been working out in the past months with weight training and I do a lot of walking for my job when traveling (again, the traveling also led to the gain due to crappy hotel food and other indulgences). The difference is the now 50 minutes of cardio in between weight training days.

  10. #10
    acb
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    Sorry to hear about your accident--sounds like an intense experience to rebound from.

    I recommend trying yoga. There are so many places to practice yoga in Philadelphia (though I recommend Wake Up Yoga), and so many different styles of yoga--from vigorous Ashtanga yoga to gentle yin and Restorative yoga. In in the interest of full disclosure, I am a yoga teacher, but I also practice yoga and know how much benefit the practice has offered me.

    Yoga is such a good thing for the body--for aches and pains, for building strength and for increasing flexibility. Yoga is not all about sitting, stretching, and breathing--some styles of yoga are quite vigorous. If you're looking to smooth out your body, go for yin or Restorative yoga. If you aim to challenge your body and lose weight, give vinyasa or ashtanga yoga a try.

    When I was losing weight a few years ago, I found that I was hard on myself when I ran. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it was a relief to go to the yoga mat, strengthen and challenge my body, in a way that was kinder--mentally, but also physically (no pounding the pavement.) Yoga may be a great thing for you now, as it's low impact and will not aggravate your knees and back and like running or the elliptical. The practice of yoga also helped me lose weight when I was off the mat: I was able to break some bad habits toward food (and some bad habits not related to food) and this made healthy eating the natural, easy choice. I was able to relax and finally eliminate my calorie-counting tendencies.

    Both men and women practice yoga. It's a good exercise, and a good thing to do for yourself in general. I recommend giving it a try.

    Good luck, whatever you chose to explore!

  11. #11
    hkp
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    I never ate fast food. I started running in April and everything is peachy. First 5k next week.

  12. #12
    Mr Morley is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkp View Post
    I never ate fast food. I started running in April and everything is peachy. First 5k next week.
    Allan's a spambot, trying to look like an actual posters. Go look at "his" other posts and the pattern is clear.

    As to your situation, I'm going to echo what a number of people have suggested: if you have back and knee issues, try swimming. If you start running again before your knee has healed, there's a very good chance you'll screw it up permanently and you don't want to do that

  13. #13
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    Water, water, water....drink lots of it.

  14. #14
    Brooke's Avatar
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    I've been reading a lot that small meals during the day raising your metabolism has been proven to be not really helpful--that you're more likely to overeat than the very tiny boost in metabolism it gives you (5-10 calories). Three meals with 2 snacks is a good way to go.

    Also, if you've always lost weight before quickly with running, it's going to be much more annoying to do it without running. It's super easy to run for an hour and burn 600-800 calories a few times a week and blast calories, versus getting on an elliptical trainer and having it tell you you've burned 500 calories in an hour but it being totally overestimated. Not to mention some people get their whole bodies into it and others just use their lower body...

    But running also results in a leaner body regardless of calories burned, allowing you to get into a smaller waist size quicker than non-high impact activities like swimming. Take a look at the body type of your average swimmer versus runner. Read this in a running magazine and realized it's totally true.

    Having bad knees myself from years of running incorrectly (I was a heel striker and am a woman with wide hips, which screws everything up), I can tell you the importance of not solely running. I usually did a day or two of other cardio in a week and gradually increased running speed or distance. Strength training is very important too. Between running and strength training just 3 times a week, it's going to be hard not to see a difference in both your weight and your actual body mass.
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    five apples's Avatar
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    So I just started working out again myself and have been doing 30 minutes four times a week for two weeks on the eliptical. I have lost maybe 2 - 3 pounds. Is 30 minutes not enough?

  16. #16
    Brooke's Avatar
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    Anything is better than nothing. Most docs recommend 30 minutes of exercise on most days for general health. It's definitely a good place to start. Rather than upping your time, just up the resistance or the incline when it becomes easy.

    I just mentioned an hour because I know people that run a lot seem to go for 45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes. I myself usually would get bored after 30 minutes.

    Add in 15 minutes of weight lifting each time you do that and you'll amplify your results.
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    five apples's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brooke View Post
    Anything is better than nothing. Most docs recommend 30 minutes of exercise on most days for general health. It's definitely a good place to start. Rather than upping your time, just up the resistance or the incline when it becomes easy.

    I just mentioned an hour because I know people that run a lot seem to go for 45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes. I myself usually would get bored after 30 minutes.

    Add in 15 minutes of weight lifting each time you do that and you'll amplify your results.
    Thanks Brooke. I will take your advice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by five apples View Post
    So I just started working out again myself and have been doing 30 minutes four times a week for two weeks on the eliptical. I have lost maybe 2 - 3 pounds. Is 30 minutes not enough?
    Good for you; that's a great start. Couldn't agree more with Brooke's suggestion about adding weight lifting into your routine. I have found that the more exercise, the more conscientious I am about my food intake; it makes you think more about optimal health and body performance.

    Keep us posted on your progress.
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    toxigal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by five apples View Post
    So I just started working out again myself and have been doing 30 minutes four times a week for two weeks on the eliptical. I have lost maybe 2 - 3 pounds. Is 30 minutes not enough?
    there ha been an article on HIIT training in just about every fitness/woman's/man's magazine i've picked up in the past month. i've been trying it and like it a lot more than "Running".

    the basic concept is that adding short periods of intense exercise to your walk/run/elliptical allows you to have a more effective workout in less time.

    i signed up for this (Free) email program and have found it very helpful.

    Lose Belly Fat

    i definitely agree with the adding weight training, though i alternate mine...i do cardio one day and weight/resistance training the next. i take one day a week off (just take a nice casual walk).

    do you have netflix? there are some pretty good workouts on there. i don't do dancy dance stuff, not coordinated enough, but i like the 10 minute solutions stuff and a few other videos.

    i also highly recommend a set of resistance bands. for my non-running days i alternate between resistance bands, kettlebell and light dumbells.

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Gold-s-Gym...h-DVD/12167849

    oh, and youtube. i have found some good workouts on you tube!

    six months ago i NEVER exercised. Now i do it daily. i still hate it but once i started seeing real results the motivation to stick with it kicked in. one days i'm really not wanting to do it i get on the treadmill and commit to 10 minutes or commit to doing one ten minute video. once i get started i usually do more, but sometimes i do stop after 10 and that's just fine too.
    Last edited by toxigal; 08-30-2011 at 11:22 AM.

  20. #20
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    Good stuff, toxigal. Thanks.
    "It's not the bullet with my name on it that worries me; it's the one that says, 'To Whom It May Concern.'"
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