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Thread: Put down the fork fatty!!

  1. #11
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    Amavin, i VERY STRONGLY advise against you starting off with something like P90X. The only think that's likely to do is frustrate/discourage you. That shit is INTENSE, and honestly, it's not a very effective weight loss program, it's more of a muscle building program and fitness improvement program.

    Here's my unprofessional advice, but to give you some confidence, here's a bit about me: I run. I run A LOT. I also read. I read A LOT. I read lots of boring books about health nutrition and running. My advice to you is to change slow. Don't try to make a bunch of major changes all at once. Weight loss, health, fitness level come from changes in lifestyle. If you make small incremental changes over a longer time frame, you're more likely to accept them and not get overwhelmed. I recommend you start the Couch to 5k (C25k) program right away (there are also mobile apps for android and iphone to help you track progress and remind you of workouts). Focus on just getting out every other day or so (as prescribed by the program) and enjoying the workout, the rest (diet) will fall into place relatively easily from there. Keep your focus narrow, ie, just on the running/walking.

    brien's protips (amateurtips?) for success:

    * Make the time. I find that one of the hardest part of the process is making the time. I tend to do my workouts very early in the morning. Some times it's almost impossible to convince myself to get up and out the door when my alarm goes off at 5:20a.m. but the reward for doing so is always worth it.

    * Make it a routine. try to do your run/walk at the same time each workout. This makes planning the time easier, and you'll be less likely to miss a workout. My wife suffers from the "i'll just workout later/tomorrow/after this cup of tea" syndrome, as a result, she never finds time to run/exercise because "something" always comes up and leaves her with no time.

    * Get ready, even if you don't feel like running/exercising. When it's the time in your routine that you've chosen for your workout, get ready, even if you want to workout. Just the act of getting yourself ready will start getting you in the mood for it. Plus when you're ready, you've removed the hurdles, all that is left is to just walk outside. This is one of my favorite mental hacks, and I use it quite a bit, especially when it's dark/cold/rainy outside. You'll find yourself thinking "what the heck, i'm already awake and ready, I might as well just go out"

    * Go outside. Screw treadmills or the gym. Go outside. You don't need any membership or equipment, and there's more to see and more places to go, which helps to keep your workouts fresh and more interesting. Workout out in a gym can be frustrating/embarrassing/intimidating, especially when you are just starting out. Don't give yourself one more thing to overcome.

    * Let it be fun. It will suck at times. but embrace it, and make it fun. Laugh at your pain/misery, don't let it deter you. It's a mental game, and you can always win. Tricks I use: explore a park/neighborhood over a series of runs. Choose a slightly different path each time, and try to explore roads/trails you haven't been down before. Workout with other people of the same or similar fitness level.

    * Take it step by step, block by block. Similar the the "just get ready" mind hack above, this one is all about just getting past the next hurdle. Don't worry about having 20 more minutes to run, or 2 more miles, or whatever, just worry about running to that next tree, or the next block, or to that statue, etc. Once you're there, just run to the next tree/block/statue. wash rinse repeat. This may sound stupid/pointless, but when you're out there, you'll find yourself fighting with your brain all the time. It'll be telling you to stop, and tricks like this allow you to keep going bit by bit.

    * Take is slooooow. This is important for three reasons. 1) you don't want to burn yourself out, 2) you don't want to get injured and 3), running slow is how you burn fat efficiently. If you have a heart rate monitor, keep your HR at around 65% of max, DO NOT go over 70% of max HR. If you do not have a heart rate monitor, just talk to yourself out loud periodically, i know, it sounds crazy, but people probably already think you're crazy since you're running. Just say a sentence or something to yourself. When i'm on my endurance runs, and I don't feel like flipping my watch over to HR, i just say my distance and pace out loud "5.3 miles at 8 and a half minutes". Listen to your voice, if you sound winded when you say it, slow down! If you are running with a friend, all you have to do is carry a conversation the whole run. You should be able to cary a conversation without getting winded. After a while (probably a couple weeks) you'll get a good idea of your fat burning pace. Related: Don't be afraid to take an extra "walk break" if you feel you need it, but try to get back to jogging again after a minute or so (or as prescribed by c25k)

    * Be careful of "cardio compensation", aka, eating more now that you work out. For the first few weeks at least, you will feel hungrier. You'r body's "set point" thinks you are burning more calories that it should, and starts telling you to make up for it. This is obviously the opposite of what you want. You will need to start actively training your body to stop being so hungry. As Jeff Galloway puts it:

    [QUOTE]The human organism is lazy. With a primary mission of survival, each of us is programmed to slowly build up extra fat storage. For millions of years, this has been a proven "insurance policy," which allowed our ancient ancestors to survive through periods of starvation and sickness. The mechanisms of fat storage support a well-established principle called "set point." This powerful regulatory mechanism increases your appetite for weeks or months, after periods of fat loss due to reduced calorie intake, illness, and even psychological deprivation. Unfortunately, it does its job too well, leaving you fatter than you were before the fat loss. Understanding how the set point works as your hedge against starvation is the most important step in learning how to adjust it downward, or at least manage it, for the rest of your life./QUOTE]

    Be diligent about not snacking too much, or eating more now than you did before. You will feel hungrier, you will have to live with it. Don't worry, no matter how much more hungry you may feel, you will not die. A good tool I use to fight my set point during these times is trail mix with lots of nuts in it. Fiber (in nuts, for example) helps keep your body thinking it's fuller than it is, since it takes longer for these "slow carbs" to digest.

    * Eating better will make you feel better when you run. You will quickly realize how different food/drink habits affect your running. Listen to your body. Try to cut out the junk food and other overly processed stuff. An easy way to do this is to cut out fast food and soda, if you currently partake. If you feel like a snack, pass up the Doritos and candy, and try some tortilla chips and salsa (mmmm!) trail mix, or pretzels instead. Apples/Oranges/Carrots are good snacks, too. I usually eat a half of a banana before my morning workouts, and after my post-workout stretching and shower, i really love a salad (yes, for breakfast, it's magical! - spring greens, feta, tomatos, balsamic dressing) with a soft boiled egg on top.

    * You will not lose weight quickly. And don't worry about it. It will come, trust me, be patient. The serious weight loss will come soon, but you have to make your workouts just a little bit longer, which brings me to...

    * Stretch after every workout. the longer your workouts get, the more stretching you'll need to do. But for now, keep it simple, stretch your calves (upper and lower), hamstrings, quads, IT band, groin, and upper body. Follow the 10 stretches outlined here (ok, 11 for you, since you should do both of the calf stretches that are mentioned). Print that out, and keep it handy. 11 stretches may sound like a lot, but at 30 seconds each, it only ends up being about 5 minutes of actual stretching time, double it to give yourself time to transition and you're still only looking at ~10 minutes, although initially, it will take you longer as you learn and begin to remember how to do them. Not only will this help prevent injuries, but it will help prevent you from feeling sore and exhausted all day and especially the next day. Once you graduate from C25k I can give you more advanced stretching routine as your workout distance grows.

    * Keep it up. After the 9 week c25k program, you are now "a runner" congratulations! Now keep it up! Remember what I said up there about this being a lifestyle change? You are now a runner, you now have to run on a regular basis, and you know what? by the time you get to this point, you'll likely find yourself craving a run after a few days of not running. Goals may help give you something to aim for. Lots of people choose marathons, half marathons as goals once they can run 5k non-stop, which you will be able to do 9 weeks from now. If that's not your thing, a minimum goal must be to get to where you can run (with or without walk breaks) for more than 45 minutes at a time. The reason for this is that at around 45 minutes of physical activity, your body makes some important changes in how and where it gets it's energy. It turns into a fat burning machine.


    jebus, that's a wall of text. please feel free to ask me any questions, or for other advice, or to dive deeper into any section. I tried to keep the diet advice to a minimum for now, you should just focus on the activity part first as well as managing your "set point". Once you finish C25k, and are ready to move on to Phase 2, I can gladly give you another wall of text about how to eat better and tips/tricks related to that.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by brien View Post
    If that's not your thing, a minimum goal must be to get to where you can run (with or without walk breaks) for more than 45 minutes at a time. The reason for this is that at around 45 minutes of physical activity, your body makes some important changes in how and where it gets it's energy. It turns into a fat burning machine.
    Seriously, 45 minutes is the magic number? I'm right at 45 minutes on the stationary bike now. Are you saying that if I bump it up to 50-55 minutes I'll see more significant fat loss (assuming I don't chase my workout with a Big Mac)?
    - Definitely

  3. #13
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    Between 45 minutes and 1 hour is the magic sweet spot where the most efficient fat burning happens. Heart Rate is the other key factor, don't forget. keep it between 60% and 70% max HR. And going over 1 hour will also result in more calories being burned, but at that point, you have to start taking other things into account to make sure you don't get injured

    for a quick and dirty estimate of your max heart rate, use this formula:
    210 minus 50% of your age minus 5% of your body weight (pounds) + 4 if male and 0 if female = Estimated Maximum heart rate.

    for a nice plug and play equation that you can edit and paste into google/wolfram:
    male:
    210 - ( ([age]/2) - ( [weight] * .05) ) + 4
    female:
    210 - ( ([age]/2) - ( [weight] * .05) )

    to get 60% HR, just multiply your result above by 0.6


    More details and some clarification:
    This low intensity, 45-1hour work is not the only time you burn calories from fat. It is the time that your body will begin seeing the most benefit from your workout. The low intensity workouts burn the highest percentage of calories from fat. You will continue to burn fat if you run/ride/walk longer or have a more intense workout, but you will burn it at a slightly slower rate, and you will burn more overall calories.

    Doing faster higher intensity workouts ( > 70% max HR) will burn less percentage of calories from fat, but more overall. The problem is you have to be much more careful when doing higher intensity workouts, as you will be much more likely to get injured, especially when you are still working on regaining your fitness.

    A common "safe" level for increasing the length of your workouts is 10% per week. The more you increase, the more calories you'll burn, but take it slow and easy to avoid getting an injury, and remember: STRETCH after each workout, I can't stress this enough. Don't forget to also keep yourself hydrated!

    extra super bonus weightless tip:
    drink a glass of water every morning as soon as you get up. make it part of your routine. as an extra bonus, it also helps you recover from the dehydration you get when you sleep.

  4. #14
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    I'm not actually that bad off. I've been going to the gym and doing fine. I'm up to 30 mins on a stair stepper, I can do 100 crunches on the machine (with 40lbs of resistance). I work my ass off at the gym. I enjoy the gym actually. I feel so much better ALL day the days I go to the gym. I only LOOK like I've had a stroke after the workout.

    I'm going to be losing my gym membership when I move to Florida...but the original idea was to take up running (so far I've only been walking on treadmills, hiking in nature, or stair steppers). I'm totally okay with giving authentic, natural exercise a try. It seems like the two most physically active men I know are telling me to save my money and be more natural...so I will try it. My dog will appreciate it too, since he will be my running buddy.

    You guys have saved me $150 for a while....you might regret it with all the questions I'm going to have, lol.
    My biggest problem is the backslide. when I fall off the wagon I do it with style! We had fast food last night (something I haven't done in like 4 months) and I feel like crap today. I honestly feel disgusting. Not just shame for a bad choice....but I feel sick. I don't think I'll be doing that again, it's not worth the aftermath.

    So today is a new day...better choices, healthier choices, one day at a time. One sacrifice at a time.

    Today I give up Fast food and soda. I've given it up before but we got reacquainted recently.

  5. #15
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    The human organism is lazy. With a primary mission of survival, each of us is programmed to slowly build up extra fat storage. For millions of years, this has been a proven "insurance policy," which allowed our ancient ancestors to survive through periods of starvation and sickness. The mechanisms of fat storage support a well-established principle called "set point." This powerful regulatory mechanism increases your appetite for weeks or months, after periods of fat loss due to reduced calorie intake, illness, and even psychological deprivation. Unfortunately, it does its job too well, leaving you fatter than you were before the fat loss. Understanding how the set point works as your hedge against starvation is the most important step in learning how to adjust it downward, or at least manage it, for the rest of your life.
    This is my least favorite thing about being human. Come on, for real? I'm not living on the plains, running from wild animals, trying to hoard calories for the winter. Fuck you, nature!

    Thanks for the lengthy post, it's a valuable read.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by amavin View Post
    I'm going to be losing my gym membership when I move to Florida...but the original idea was to take up running (so far I've only been walking on treadmills, hiking in nature, or stair steppers). I'm totally okay with giving authentic, natural exercise a try. It seems like the two most physically active men I know are telling me to save my money and be more natural...so I will try it. My dog will appreciate it too, since he will be my running buddy.
    Running outside is sooo much better than running indoors.

    Quote Originally Posted by amavin View Post
    You guys have saved me $150 for a while....you might regret it with all the questions I'm going to have, lol.
    My biggest problem is the backslide. when I fall off the wagon I do it with style! We had fast food last night (something I haven't done in like 4 months) and I feel like crap today. I honestly feel disgusting. Not just shame for a bad choice....but I feel sick. I don't think I'll be doing that again, it's not worth the aftermath.
    Good. Keep those shitty feelings in mind. Now do you wonder why you ever ate like that in the first place?(I know I do)

    Quote Originally Posted by amavin View Post
    So today is a new day...better choices, healthier choices, one day at a time. One sacrifice at a time.

    Today I give up Fast food and soda. I've given it up before but we got reacquainted recently.
    You can do it! You've got a bunch of supporters here.

  7. #17
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    Didn't get up in time for a jog on Friday, so I went for a 15 minute walk at lunch. Today, I didn't get up early enough either, but I had the day off, so I went for a late-morning jog. Good Christ, if it's possible I think I might be getting further out of shape.

  8. #18
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    Your daily diet, sleep, hydration all play a role in how easy or hard your run will feel. Given that you probably didn't sleep much this weekend it's not surprising activity today is hard.

  9. #19
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    also, acute muscle atrophy begins as early as 48 hours after your last workout. translation: workouts will probably feel easier as long as you do one every other day or so. if you take two or three days off, it's gonna feel like you've gone out of shape a bit because, well, technically, you have. :tmyk:

  10. #20
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    Also, I felt kind of dizzy in the shower just now, and then remembered I hadn't eaten anything yet today. That may have played a role.

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