There really is no secret to weight loss

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Adr58

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 155

      quote  
Posted: 07 Feb 2010, 21:28
I am dieting for the first time in my life and have had great success in just two weeks. I was moving into that technically OBESE BMI range and found that the belly was impeding access to my socks! I have put about 35 lbs on since 2000 and decided it was time to do something about it. I have always been able to eat anything and not put on weight, but the advancing years are changing that.

Being an engineer, I have looked at this in a scientific but practical way...

1) WEIGHT LOSS BASICS: The most important rule: "You must use more calories than you consume". It looks like the successful dieters use at least 1300 cals more per day than they eat to get a good weight loss each week.

2) HOW TO WEIGH: Weigh yourself the same way every day, just one time per day. Same scales (ideally electronic) on the same hard surface and at the same time, always naked and first thing in the morning after you have completed all your "bathroom" activities (you'd be surprised how much your body waste weighs!) and before eating/drinking anything. I weigh myself three times to confirm the actual weight.

Interesting obsservation:
I always weigh myself after my elliptical exercise. Today I did the weigh-in before and after exercise. Before I was 1.5 lbs heavier than after. Since all my weigh-ins are after, my first reaction was - how did I put on a 1/2 lb since yesterday? I was OK after the next weigh-in when I realized how much sweating can make to your results Smile This shows how important it is to be consistent with your weigh-in condition.

3) EATING: If you like starving to death, then just reduce your food intake - ie TORTURE!. If not, then increase your calorie burn and eat sensibly - ie EXERCISE! I don't like being hungry, so I take the dog for a vigorous daily hike in the evening and hit the elliptical mid-morning. I eat the foods I like, but look to minimize the calories (without wasting money on those expensive diet products). At the same time as watching the calorie intake, I check my daily requirements for carbs, fat, fiber and protein and try to eat foods that get the right proportions of those each day. (Google will get you to a website that will give you these details)

NOTE: Fatsecret is the secret to this as I can accurately measure my intake and burn rate. "You cannot control what you don't measure" - A golden rule for Engineering and for weight control. My initial efforts to lose weight failed because I really did not know what I was eating Vs burning. Guessing didn't work.

As you progress, you will start to find that your stomach feels full after a comparatively small meal. The more I eat, the hungrier I get over time. If I have a breakfast, I feel hungrier at lunchtime. I skip breakfast and by the time I'm done on the elliptical, showering, etc, it's lunchtime. After two weeks, I rarely feel the need for snacking between meals. My Fatsecret "snacks" are at about 9pm as I hate going to bed on an empty stomach. (It's 10:30pm now and my stomach feels uncomfortably full after my bowl of Shredded Wheat and banana!)

4) EXERCISE: I just use my elliptical machine. I can't run as my old knees and arches will hurt. I find the elliptical great because it is joint-gentle and you can switch effort from your legs to your arms and vice-versa to rest your legs or arms during the workout. You also get a good upper and lower body workout for overall fitness.
I put on my headphones and watch music videos on the iTouch. I shuffle the hours and hours of music and basically "dance" to the song, using the beat as the pace of my rpm's, matching one foot to the song's beat. If a particular song has a beat that In can and want to maintain, I may repeat it a couple times (Beethoven by The Eurythmics is a good "60 rpm" song). I vary the resistance to keep the pace comfortable; lowering the resistance for a faster song and increasing the resistance for a slower song.
I set mini-goals to keep motivated as the calories take some effort to burn...
- I aim for a minimum workout time of 15 mins. The first 8 mins are the most difficult as the muscles need to loosen up.
- Once I hit 15 mins, I look at the calorie counter and aim for the next x50 or x00 point.
- Then I might see that I'm at 21 minutes, so aim at 25 mins.
- Then I might decide to go for the say the 400 calorie point.
- If a good song comes on, I just enjoy it and worry about the time or calories burned when it ends. Most songs are between 53 and 70 "elliptical rpm's" per minute. For a great but fast song, I will try and match the beat for the whole song and really work up a sweat, then I'll take the next song more slowly, often skipping to the next slower song to keep pace with that. I have some great music and love to bounce along to it (I can't dance to save my life - this is a good alternative!)

Over a few days, fitness will improve and you can extend the workout without feeling exhausted. I now find I can keep going at about 57 rpm for much longer than the 50 mins to 1 hr I am doing. I just don't want to waste any more time exercising and anyway, my calorie burn Vs food intake is OK at that point.

I am feeling much fitter now and actually want to be more active, rather than sink into the Lazyboy.

5) WEIGHT LOSS RESULTS: I have been surprised how quickly I have been able to shed those initial pounds. However, I notice the "easy weight" has gone and now the loss rate is slowing, even though my caloric burn has increased.
It can be disappointing to see you have not lost anything when you do the morning weigh-in. However, I know that it's working (it must be because I'm eating less than I use - that's simple physics) and I just accept my body is taking more time to remove the excess. Usually the next day shows a weight reduction.

6) MOTIVATION: Aim to get that 1000 + cals difference between what you eat and burn and you WILL see results. These results will motivate you. The key thing is to maintain a steady progress - AVOID the lapses in diet control as you WILL pay the price in weight gain and WILL start to lose faith.
It takes WILL POWER and absolute CONTROL of your diet and exercise. (I turned down BBQ meatballs tonight that my wife brought back from the neighbor's Superbowl party. They smelled so good, but I knew I could upset that weigh-in tomorrow or the next day and I want to see my weight go down.

CLOSING COMMENTS:


Find a diet and exercise that you are comfortable with and can maintain. Don't "TORTURE" yourself trying to lose weight; it really is unnecessary. Whatever you do, don't think there's an easy answer - Info-mercials just want your money and show you highly selective results. Tribes in Africa or South America aren't fat, and neither do they have special diet foods, drugs or exercise videos. They just have a balanced diet Vs exercise routine (and not necessarily by choice!)

I hope my thoughts and experience help you in your weight loss efforts

Smile

Perception in the eye of the perceiver is reality


- Unknown

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO-HOO, what a ride!!

- Unknown


kmaxwell08

Joined: Oct 09
Posts: 504

      quote  
Posted: 07 Feb 2010, 21:36
I agree with pretty much everything you had to say! Although, I only burn anywhere from 300-700 calories a day more than I eat. I lose 1-3 pounds a week, depending on my exercise and I am in the last 25% of my weight loss goal. I too am seeing it harder to drop those last few pounds, but they keep falling off. I do notice if I slack off on the exercise though, that diet alone will not do it for me! I have adopted healthy eating habits, not starving myself and not even denying myself the occasional indulgence. Life is goooood!
Karen Maxwell
Adr58

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 155

      quote  
Posted: 07 Feb 2010, 21:44
If "Life is goooood!", that's just great!

Once I hit my current weight goal, that'll get lowered again to create yet another mini-goal.

I will be ecstatic when I can do up the top buttons again of some of my old shirts!

Perception in the eye of the perceiver is reality


- Unknown

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO-HOO, what a ride!!

- Unknown


Adr58

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 155

      quote  
Posted: 08 Feb 2010, 09:50
Interesting obsservation: I always weigh myself after my elliptical exercise. Today I did the weigh-in before and after exercise. Before I was 1.5 lbs heavier than after. Since all my weigh-ins are after, my first reaction was - how did I put on a 1/2 lb since yesterday? I was OK after the next weigh-in when I realized how much difference sweating can make to your results Smile

This shows how important it is to be consistent with your weigh-in condition.

Perception in the eye of the perceiver is reality


- Unknown

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO-HOO, what a ride!!

- Unknown


k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

      quote  
Posted: 08 Feb 2010, 09:57
I agree with pretty much everything you said.

The true "trick" to losing weight is realizing you ARE in control of what you eat/don't eat and how much you exercise. Being obese is a choice and you do not have to choose it.

My experience over the last year has taught me to look at everything with a wider lens. calories in/calories out does work- in the long term as an average. But there will be weeks when despite your efforts, you will not lose weight. There will be other weeks when you lose more than the math would predict. But in the end, it will average out.

Good luck to you and everyone else!
My blog, This is not a Diet:
http://notsobigk.wordpress.com
Follow me on Facebook for tips, recipes, advice, exercise ideas and more:
http://www.facebook.com/notadiet
Adr58

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 155

      quote  
Posted: 09 Feb 2010, 14:26
"The true "trick" to losing weight is realizing you ARE in control of what you eat/don't eat and how much you exercise."

Agreed. I reckon it's 50% psychology (determination and drive); 25% plan (calorie planning / counting) and 25% execution

Perception in the eye of the perceiver is reality


- Unknown

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO-HOO, what a ride!!

- Unknown


DeniseTra

Joined: Oct 09
Posts: 620

      quote  
Posted: 09 Feb 2010, 15:22
Calories in/calories out is a very simplified THEORY that accounts for calories being burned in a test tube, not how our body burns fuel.

It is not entirely wrong, but it is not entirely right either.

If you ate 100 calories of veggies and 100 calories of a soda, only 4% of the veggies would get to the point where your body tries to store it. Your body would try to store the majority of the soda (fructose) as fat. (Something like 70%).

http://sciencestage.com/v/16142/sugar-the-bitter-truth-the-damage-caused-by-sugary-foods-robert-h.-lustig.html

k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

      quote  
Posted: 09 Feb 2010, 15:27
You're right Denise, the way people simplify it is wrong. But as a theory of physics (conservation of energy) it is indisputable.
The calorie goes in and that energy has to go somewhere, either used as energy, stored as fat, or passed through as waste. Different types of calories have a different "preferred" route. It will be easier to turn specific types of calories into energy and others into fat. It is very complicated on that level. So complicated that I don't particularly think the scientists have it figured out yet.

That's my reason for trying to eat everything in moderation. I may not know why my body needs specific types of calories, but I think most types serve some kind of useful purpose in moderation Smile
My blog, This is not a Diet:
http://notsobigk.wordpress.com
Follow me on Facebook for tips, recipes, advice, exercise ideas and more:
http://www.facebook.com/notadiet
LMJ114

Joined: Dec 09
Posts: 13

      quote  
Posted: 09 Feb 2010, 15:38
To Adr58.

You said: "I reckon it's 50% psychology (determination and drive); 25% plan (calorie planning / counting) and 25% execution."

I couldn't agree more! I've tried to lose weight before, and the main difference between then and now is that I'm no longer "trying" but instead I made up my mind to "do". I am determined, I am driven. Not succeeding is NOT AN OPTION.
Adr58

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 155

      quote  
Posted: 09 Feb 2010, 23:02
LMJ114 wrote:
To Adr58.

... the main difference between then and now is that I'm no longer "trying" but instead I made up my mind to "do". I am determined, I am driven. Not succeeding is NOT AN OPTION.


Good for you! You can do it!

I've found that if I can get some small success initially that drives me to get more. Knowing that what you're doing actually works over time, allows you to ignore any minor hiccups along the way, should they occur.
I look forward to my weigh-ins every morning!

Perception in the eye of the perceiver is reality


- Unknown

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO-HOO, what a ride!!

- Unknown


DM2

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 5

      quote  
Posted: 10 Feb 2010, 19:19
DeniseTra wrote:
Your body would try to store the majority of the soda (fructose) as fat.
http://sciencestage.com/v/16142/sugar-the-bitter-truth-the-damage-caused-by-sugary-foods-robert-h.-lustig.html

I watched the video. Yikes. HFCS always seemed a dubious ingredient, now I understand why! Checking labels in my pantry revealed that a can of Tomato Soup (an ingredient in the vegetable soup that's been a mainstay of my diet) has HFCS. I will try to replace it with tomato paste, but I bet it won't taste as good Doubt And my fat-free half&half? They achieved that by adding HFCS!!
Which means that while it isn't really fattening going down my throat - it ultimately gets turned to fat by my body. So not really fat-free after all!

I had always associated heart/cholesteral problems with fried/fatty foods - now I've learned that fructose isn't at all like other sugars.Shock Thanks Denise for sharing that link.



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