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How to lose weight

By Nevermind2 in Op-Ed
Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 09:16:26 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)

I've been reading several K5 articles about being fat and losing weight recently, and I see a lot of misinformation out there.

I wanted to give those people who don't know where to start some good guidelines.

Firstly, here are some bullet-points that I don't want to elaborate on, lest this become a whole book (maybe one day):

  • You have to want this, because:
  • It's very simple; but it's never easy.
  • This is not about losing weight fast, this is about a lifestyle change; but it is a good lifestyle.
  • Lift weights. I'll get into it later.
  • Cardio is good, but running off 500 calories is MUCH harder than avoiding the slice of cake in the first place.

How to Eat
Eat at least 5 times per day. Try for breakfast, 3 meals during the day, and one in the evening. I don't necessarily mean FULL meals, but you need to eat often.
Two reasons for this:

1) It will keep your metabolism going
2) It will stop you from being famished when you get to dinner, and pigging out

Your evening meal should be as far as possible from bed-time. And avoid carbs at that meal.

What to eat
  • Eat clean food. Chicken breast, fruit, vegetables, fish, lean red meat (you can find some 5% fat ground beef). Cottage cheese, skim milk, nuts.
  • Base your meals around meat, then vegatables, never around carbs first. Instead of pasta with a bit of chicken, have a chicken breast with salad.
  • If you have to have sugar, get it from fruit.
  • Avoid starch & processed foods. If you need to have bread, get some proper grain-bread, not that fluffy white crap. Try to avoid pasta.

How much to eat
Depends on how much muscle you have. This is influenced by your height and natural build. If you're not really muscled, you can do fine on 2000 calories (even less) as a guy, and maybe 1300 as a girl. The more you exercise, the more you'll need. But people can survive on very little.

If you're 200lbs of fat and 100lbs of muscle, you don't need many calories. Don't kid yourself that you're "big" and hence you need more. Fat doesn't require much maintenance.

DO NOT STARVE YOURSELF. You will screw it all up. If you eat the right foods (lean meat + vegetables), you'll have a very hard time eating 2000 calories worth each day.

The Biggest Diet Secret
There is one huge secret that makes any diet SO much more effective that I haven't seen written about. Here it is in a nutshell:

If I ask you what you'll be eating next Wednesday at 4pm, you have to be able to tell me.

What does this mean? It means that you have to PLAN and you have to PREPARE IN ADVANCE. This is key, I cannot stress this enough. If you do not prepare/cook your meals in advance (several days in advance, not the night before), you will most likely fail. I know this sucks, but what can I tell ya?

Go out Sunday, buy your groceries, and prepare all your lunches (and maybe dinner) for the whole week. Cut up the meat, veggies, marinate stuff, cook it and BOX IT UP into separate containers for each day/meal.

When you get up in the morning, grab your lunch boxes, and go to work.

When you get home in the evening, if you haven't cooked food for dinner, you better at least know what you're going to cook, and you better have the ingredients. If there's indecision, it won't work because you'll soon end up slipping into bad habits.

The corrolary to the secret is:

If I ask you how many calories you ate today, you should be able to give me a rough guide.

You shouldn't need to know whether you ate 1900 or 1950, but you should be within 200 I would say. Know what you're putting in your mouth.

For some people, all this means they'll be eating the same thing every day. For others who have more patience/skills/creativity, they'll cycle once a week, month, etc. Up to you. I said it wasn't easy.

Eating Out
Never easy, because you'd be shocked at what restaurants can put in food. Anything with sauce in it WILL have half a stick of butter (that's your diet for the day gone). Figure it out; it's not rocket surgery.

Buy a George-Foreman type grill. Buy some seasoning. Get a steamer (I just use my colander over a pot of water).

Chicken breast or LEAN steak or fish, season it, grill it.
Broccoli, carrots, steam them.

That's your dinner. 7 minutes (for chicken breast; less for steak).

What about lunch? More difficult. Here are some SIMPLE ideas that will bore you, but work:

  • 2-3 chicken breasts, marinated in teriyaki + honey. Cut up, eat with steamed veggies and a little bit of rice, split over 3 lunch meals (you can get chicken breasts, cleaned+frozen for less than $3/lb).
  • Two sandwiches with chicken/turkey, mustard, tomatoes, lean cheese. Use PROPER grain bread. Check the health food section.

Make up some stuff. Buy a recipe book. There are plenty of low-carb recipes online. Use them.

Adding muscle allows you to eat a lot more food - I joke that I lift to support my eating habit, but it's partially true. This applies to women and men. Don't be afraid of the weights. You will NOT wake up one day and be "too huge" - trust me. You have to eat A LOT in order to add a large amount of muscle (that's another article).

Lifting weights is VERY simple, but again - not easy. It's the same old rule: you get 80% of the gains doing 20% of the work. Keep things SIMPLE. The one rule is: if it's difficult it's good for you.

Don't spend your time in the gym trying to get your arms bigger like 99% of the people in there. What you need to do is work on as many muscles as possible each time; to do this you need to do compound exercises - they work several muscles at once; you can tell a compound exercise by the fact that it involves rotation of more than one joint.

Don't get hurt. Don't be stupid. Keep up with yourself; not the big guy with the needle marks. See CyberPump to learn some more.

Go in twice a week. Work your legs, your back (pull something), and your front (push something) each time. Work HARD each time. Keep it short and sweet. Find someone who knows how to perform the squat or deadlift, and learn.

Here's a good program (doesn't include warmup-sets).

  • Squat or leg-press: two HARD sets
  • Chin-ups (or any rowing motion): two HARD sets
  • Dips or presses: two HARD sets.

Thursday: Same thing.

Did I mention you should WORK HARD?

Guys should aim to put on about 20lbs of muscle. Girls maybe 5-10.

Remember; you put on muscle while you REST, not while you exercise. So don't lift weights 5x per week unless you really know what you're doing. 99% of what's in the muscle magazines will not work unless you're injecting Eastern Bloc Horse Steroids.

If you can work-in cardio, it best comes in the morning before breakfast. Do it as often as you feel, but don't think it's the One True Path.

What about Fun?
So all this is "best case". I recommend that if you can stick to the exercise, you will probably be able to get away with eating crap on the weekend, but don't go overboard. Try to stick to things during the weekdays, and have some fun on the weekeend.

If at this point you're saying "I'm not going to sacrifice my love of food for this!", then you're not ready. Come back when you're really sick of being fat.

Some Links
Nutritional Analysis Tool (what are you eating?)
Google search for low-carb recipes.

Good luck!


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


Related Links
o Google
o CyberPump
o Nutritiona l Analysis Tool (what are you eating?)
o Google search for low-carb recipes.
o Also by Nevermind2

Display: Sort:
How to lose weight | 110 comments (89 topical, 21 editorial, 0 hidden)
How to eat? (2.11 / 9) (#6)
by Kasreyn on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 08:46:06 PM EST

How about how to NOT eat? Just STOP EATING. Put the fork down, back away from the plate! I've never understood obesity, but then I have no experience of it. But I really don't have much pity for people who can't control it.

You can love food. There's nothing wrong with loving food. The problem lies in stuffing your gullet with enough to feed a family of six every day. I mean, can't fat people TASTE their food when it's in normal portions? Why do they think they have to overeat to love food? I don't get it.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
not necessarily overeating (none / 0) (#17)
by j1mmy on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 09:40:02 PM EST

Some people (my cousin, for example) are genetically disposed to not break down food as well as they could. My cousin eats normally and exercises regularly, but has been noticably chubby for the last half decade or so. He doesn't have a gut by any means, but he does carry around some extra weight that he'll probably never be rid of.

As far the morbidly obese, it's probably addiction. People can become addicted to almost anything, whether the dependency is chemical (drugs) or mental (tv, for example). Also, willpower only works if you have some.

[ Parent ]

a friend of mine... (4.66 / 3) (#19)
by cyclopatra on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 09:46:54 PM EST

...who was overweight, used to claim that he didn't feel 'satisfied' unless he had eaten enough that he felt 'stuffed'. If standing up was easy after a meal, it meant he needed to go find something else to eat. His girlfriend and I had a few really memorable arguments with him about this, trying to explain 'eating until you're not hungry' instead of 'eating until you can't eat anymore'.

I think somewhere along the line, people who overeat have learned to derive some sort of pleasure out of feeling stuffed, although it just makes me feel sick to eat that much.

All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email
[ Parent ]

Biochemical levels (4.00 / 1) (#21)
by X3nocide on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 09:50:49 PM EST

Certain biochemicals are responsible for turning fat into sugar and sugar into fat. When you have, say, a pancreas problem (or any other metabolism gland), this can cause one of these to not activate properly. While there are prescription treatments for this, I don't know if its always possible for such a patient to actually lose weight.

[ Parent ]
"Clean your plate!" (5.00 / 3) (#51)
by Elkor on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 08:35:13 AM EST

"There are starving children in [insert 3rd world country]."

"You don't get any desert unless you finish your dinner."

"Don't you want to grow up big and strong? Eat all your food."

And you wonder why people overeat? They have been conditioned by the belief that they have to finish all the food that is put on their plate.


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
That's been my experience (4.00 / 1) (#58)
by toganet on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 10:45:32 AM EST

In my family (especially my father's side) those words were a command that could not be ignored (even when spoken in Ukrainian).

Even though I only got that notion (you must eat as much as you can at every meal) second-hand, or on a limited basis from my grandmother, I find it hard to ignore at times.  It's odd, but I have a hard time not finishing the tremendously huge portions I am served in restaurants.  And until I developed (or re-developed, apparently) a case of the ol' GERD, I was well on my way to growing the respectable gut my father, uncle, and grandfather all sport.

My grandmother is conscious of the effects of her insistence to "Eat, Eat!" for all those years, and she explains it as an attitude that was ingrained in her by her parents -- depression-era Eastern European immigrants who had to eat as much as they could at each meal, because they often did not know that there would be another.  (While that may not actually be the best strategy for dealing with food scarcity, it is a natural reaction -- as is fat production under said circumstances.)

Johnson's law: Systems resemble the organizations that create them.

[ Parent ]
Oh hell yes (4.00 / 1) (#92)
by Tatarigami on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 03:12:44 AM EST

There's one particular friend I just won't eat with any more because he has a habit that drives me nuts -- he orders two meals and three drinks, then eats the parts he likes best and leaves the rest.

I was brought up in a household where nothing was wasted -- waste was a cardinal sin. And even now I can't sleep if I know that there's a light on somewhere in the flat in a room with no-one in it.

Someone once recommended the 'half-and-half' diet to me -- make your normal amount of food and throw half away. Don't keep it, you'll only go back to it later. Get rid of it.

That diet could never ever work for me.

[ Parent ]
You're right, you don't understand. (none / 0) (#59)
by Jman1 on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 11:01:45 AM EST

Imagine being hungry all the time, even after you've eaten "enough." Due to screwed up blood sugar or being too sedentary or whatever, that's how it feels. You're not stuffing yourself for the hell of it, you're doing it because you're hungry! "Naturally" skinny people (like you, I presume) don't seem to have this same hunger. Their hunger mechanism works. They stop because they don't feel like eating more. They don't understand the incredibly powerful urges to eat more than some of the rest of us feel. For me (I'm down to 190 from 220,) weight loss is all about avoiding this extra hunger. I do that by limiting carbs, eating protein with every meal (at least 5 times a day usually) and exercising before one meal most days.

[ Parent ]
Sigh (none / 0) (#78)
by Cro Magnon on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 04:13:46 PM EST

I know a guy who weighs at least 300 pounds, and he doesn't even eat that much. OTOH, when I used to be skinny, I probably DID eat enough for a family of 6 and their dog. Fat != overeater.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Gluttony & Habit (none / 0) (#89)
by vastor on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 08:28:29 PM EST

The thing about 'loving' food is that it encourages you to eat to excess - gluttony - unfortunately, the thing is that the more you eat of something, the less delicious it seems.

So for example, if I eat one donut it can taste really nice, two is fairly good, three and it's really no big deal. A small realisation like that can make eating sensibly dramatically easy. Feel like a donut - just buy 1 rather than 3 or 4 where they are cheaper per donut. Putting a meat pie on for lunch, just have one if that is ample rather than two (like I used to do).

Eat some fresh fruit. It doesn't have to be lots, but if you've been eating some chips for a snack - make it an apple or two or something else instead. People are habitual, some may have the strength to wholesale change diet, but I for one think small changes are the way to go.

I've a rule of thumb that it probably isn't a good idea to lose more than 1% of your bodyweight per month. The body is a system, big changes tend not to be sustainable if imposed overnight (unless you've an iron will, but if that was the case, odds are that using a fitness scheme developed by others wouldn't really be needed).

Habit was largely what had led me to put on excess weight. Eating the same amount each day regardless of whether I did a fair bit of exercise or sat at the computer all day. Just the act of not eating unless I was starting to feel hungry cut back on eating at some times, while encouraging me to eat more at others.

Be prepared. Someone else talks about preparing meals a week in advance, thats a lot of work but may do the trick (I think it's particularly useful if you're a single person and so there are benefits to doing big batches at once). Unless you're eating pretty poorly for main meals as well, snacks seem to be one of the big problems people have - making sure there is something healthy to eat at hand makes it much easier to avoid buying a chocolate bar or muffin or whatever. It's when you're caught out with no food on you, that a lot of bad stuff can be eaten IMO.

I'm not really a great fan on reducing consumption of food to lose weight, make the transition to healthier food by all means, but nobody should ever be hungry for longer than it takes to get something to eat (or a short while, though if I'm only a little hungry and a main meal is an hour away, then I tend to just sit it out).

However everyone is unique, I think postings like this one (and the ones that seem to have been occuring here on kuro5hin in the last few months) are good for demonstrating that as well as providing ample alternatives for ways of changing things, for those that have lacked success in the past.

[ Parent ]

A Testament to Exercise and Friends (5.00 / 4) (#15)
by keenan on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 09:23:44 PM EST

I've always been a sedentary guy, not caring about sports or pretty much anything physical and in overall bad shape.  But I've been working out [using weight machines] twice a week now for about 5 months and the results have simply been amazing.  I've tried going to the gym by myself many times in the past and I just haven't been able to stick to a routine for more than a couple of outings.  But I've found the trick:  I started going with 3 friends of mine in January and we all help each other keep consistent -- I actually enjoy going now and look forward to it as it's not just a workout, but a time to be social.  

I used to regularly feel fatigued during the afternoon -- that's gone now.  I can think clearer now and am able to become more focussed.  Over the past few weeks I've also started swimming and running [also with a friend] and that's been fun too.  

The most amazing thing that's happened is that I now regularly get phone numbers at bars and have been dating a whole lot more.  My confidence in general has increased dramatically.  


How to Diet - Dont (5.00 / 5) (#22)
by omegadan on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 10:09:18 PM EST

I like the advice, but first pack on the muscle.  Muscle consumes ~50 cals/day per pound.  If you are a sedintary person you can *easily* put on 25 pounds muscle in a quarter (3 mos).

The one thing I dont like about your excercise advice is, you aren't telling people to run.  Your legs are the largest muscles in your body -- they are capable of using the most calories and putting on the most muscle.  A better workout plan would be to alternate running / upper body workouts everyday (monday arms, tuesday run etc).  If you can't run, start with power walking, and work your way up to running.  If that sounds like too much work, you aren't ready to loose weight.

Dont even bother dieting while your putting on muscle -- your body will need the calories to repair the damage you are doing -- you should feel like a freight train hit you --- just eat reasonably and cut the calories when you you've adjusted to your new level of activity.  

25 pounds of muscle will consume 1250 cals/day and thats about a pound extra per week you could loose.

For those who are seriously obese, you may consider a fad diet like the Atkins diet, most people loose ~50 pounds on atkins before your body adjusts to it (after that you wont loose any weight -- regardless of what the books tell you).  But the atkins diet is *extremely* dangerous -- its very stressfull on your heart and liver, and encourages you to eat food that is horrible for you.  So you shouldn't do it unless you are unable to excercise.

Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley

running and muscle gain (3.66 / 3) (#28)
by tola on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 10:53:15 PM EST

Running of any appreciable distance will not put on red muscle in your legs.  The runners with the most leg muscle is sprinters because they do a tremoundous amount of lifting.  Also, doing too much cardio will burn up all your energy for lifting and you will have a tired workout.

[ Parent ]
That's backwards (5.00 / 1) (#100)
by memerot2 on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 03:14:35 PM EST

Ideally you'd lift for a while to burn your readily available blood sugar, then do your cardio routine to go into fat burning mode.  That combo, in that order, puts you in the fat burning zone longer than doing either just weights or just cardio.

[ Parent ]
cardio then lifting (none / 0) (#105)
by tola on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 09:12:46 PM EST

All the personal trainers that I have had tell me on lifting days do 20 minutes of cardio mostly for warmup: get your heart rate and loosen your muscles.  If you can still do cardio after lifting, your lifting routine was weak and you should try to more intensity.  After just my one hour of lifting (I used to do three day splits but now only do two day splits) I can barely move my muscles voluntarily, and I am twiching.

[ Parent ]
Yep (none / 0) (#108)
by MKalus on Sat Jun 08, 2002 at 05:03:46 PM EST

Same thing for me, I have two weight lifting session a week and I am glad if I can still walk without too much willpower, not because the muscles hurt but because I don't have any energy left at that point.

[ Parent ]
That's exactly what I meant (none / 0) (#110)
by memerot2 on Mon Jun 10, 2002 at 03:22:34 PM EST

You have no energy - i.e. blood sugar, left.  So if you then spend some time doing cardio - obviously not sprinting hills, but just using the elliptical trainer, then to produce the energy your body is using you need to start converting body fat.  

If your exercise schedule is just two heavy lifting sessions a week, then your primary goal is not loss of body fat.  If your primary goal IS loss of body fat, then you obviously need a different workout schedule.  Muscle does burn calories so it's good to add some as part of a goal of reducing body fat, but I know a lot of heavy lifters with huge arms and a substantial gut, so lifting by itself won't get you trim.

[ Parent ]

Running vs. cycling (none / 0) (#30)
by NFW on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 11:07:15 PM EST

I'm sure running works more muscles than just cycling (esp riding on roads) but from a weight loss POV is it significantly better than burning the same number of calories cycling?

Got birds?

[ Parent ]

Cycling = moderate excercise (5.00 / 1) (#41)
by omegadan on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 01:28:04 AM EST

but the real point is to make new muscle not to burn calories -- atleast for the first few months.  So whatever helps you build muscle is good nuff :)

I stole this list from here:


Sitting Quietly 80 calories per hour
Standing Still 95 calories per hour
Light Activity 240 calories per hour
  Office work
  Cleaning house
  Playing golf
Moderate Activity 370 calories per hour
  Walking briskly (3.5 miles per hour)
  Bicycling (5.5 miles per hour)
Strenuous Activity 580 calories per hour
  Jogging (9 miles per hour)
Very Strenuous Activity 740 calories per hour
  Running ( 7 min. per mile)

Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley
[ Parent ]

5.5 MPH?!?!?! Cycling is better than running. (none / 0) (#61)
by SnowBlind on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 11:53:44 AM EST

Hell, I can't go that slow! I'd fall over!
Even a moderate pace for me is 15 mph, and a brisk ride is 18. At 230lbs I burn about 800 kcals an hour at 15mph, about the same rate as if I ran (assuming I could run for 1 hr).
Cycling is less tramatic to the joints than running assuming that you have a properly fitted bike (most people do NOT) and proper form.

There is but One Kernel, and root is His Prophet.
[ Parent ]
But (none / 0) (#101)
by memerot2 on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 03:16:16 PM EST

It doesn't use as many muscle groups as running.  Running uses arms and back a lot more than cycling.

[ Parent ]
For those of you who can't make it to the gym... (5.00 / 2) (#24)
by blankmind on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 10:37:39 PM EST

I use a modified version of a Navy SEAL Pre-BUD/S workout. The only equipment you need is a chin-up bar, and you can buy a door-jam bar for only 15-20 bucks.

You have to be in pretty decent shape before you can actually start it, but if you can run a mile in about ten minutes then you could probably handle the beginning phase.

Here's the link. Scroll down to the heading that says "SUGGESTED STUDENT PREPERATION."
I have been trolled.
For Nerds like me out there... (5.00 / 4) (#26)
by Talez on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 10:48:01 PM EST

Spend all your time at an arcade rather than the gym? There is hope!

Dance Dance Revolution has got to be one of the reasons I've brought my weight down about 20lbs (from just under 210 to just over 190) and I've got much more stamina and endurance.

While it's not the be all and end all of exercise, its a good cardio, fun and once you've mastered single, you can go on to double for even more of a challenge and workout.

I've been playing the game for over a year now and I both look good on it and can do amazing stuff which would require stamina that I wouldn't have even contemplated having over a year ago.

Si in Googlis non est, ergo non est

I hear that. (none / 0) (#31)
by Work on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 11:26:46 PM EST

A friend of mine had the home version (you can find it on ebay since they dont sell it in the US), and I have to admit thats the most physically exerting (but fun!) video game ive ever played.

[ Parent ]
DDR in the US (none / 0) (#54)
by James Renken on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 10:00:54 AM EST

Actually, some versions of Dance Dance Revolution are available in the U.S. now, and a PC version was just released.

RedOctane is a good place to buy the PlayStation versions and dance pads, and DDR Freak has a great deal of information about DDR.

Enjoy! :)

[ Parent ]
best diet advice ever (4.33 / 3) (#27)
by martingale on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 10:52:34 PM EST

Whatever you think works for you, go with it by all means.

Personally however, the best book on dieting I've ever read, by far, is here. It's an engineering oriented book, so may be inaccessible to a few, but unlike all other dieting schemes I've had the misfortune of hearing, it hasn't triggered my bullshit detector. Highly recommended.

Success story (none / 0) (#93)
by Tatarigami on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 03:22:16 AM EST

I'm on that diet right now -- and it's paying off for me. I've just added the fourth new hole to my belt to keep pace with my shrinking waistline.

This guy really knows his audience, this is the first writing on the topic of weight loss I've encountered that makes sense to my linear mind...

One thing I really hate (and so does John Walker) is a text that tries to get the reader all psyched up for the task at hand. Try staying constantly upbeat and optimistic for the months it'll take to get that weight off, and see how easy it isn't.

[ Parent ]
Cardio (4.00 / 3) (#32)
by ucblockhead on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 11:31:19 PM EST

Cardio is good, but running off 500 calories is MUCH harder than avoiding the slice of cake in the first place.
This depends a lot on the person, I think. I've found pretty much the opposite. Burning 500 calories takes a half hour of willpower. Avoiding the cake for a day takes 24 hours of willpower. The nice thing about exercise is that you go do it and your done for the day.

Also, my doctor once told me that exercise tends to cut appetite. I've found this to be true.

But it may depend on the person. To lose weight permanently, I had to both reduce calories and do cardio. To keep it off, I only seem to need the cardio. But then, I'd rather eat the chips and run a few miles. Other people may have differing opinions.
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup

appetite. (3.00 / 1) (#37)
by /dev/trash on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 12:21:02 AM EST

I tend to agree. But only if I eat a meal before I exercise. if I exercise and then eat it seems that I eat more.

Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
[ Parent ]
I've made a recent discovery (none / 0) (#64)
by Humuhumunukunukuapuaa on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 12:27:28 PM EST

I can burn calories at a tolerable rate while reading a book on an elliptical cross-trainer. Although I burn calories slower than when not reading I can keep the work up for much longer before boredom sets in. In fact I read ebooks on my Palm with a large font rather than paper books and it seems to work out quite well. At least my wife has noticed a difference! If I can believe the display I'm burning 1000 calories/hour and enjoying it.
[ Parent ]
Low carb isn't for everyone... (4.00 / 3) (#33)
by dissonant on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 11:58:35 PM EST

...I tried the low carb diet (along with daily cardio) with almost 0 success for several months. My parents on the other hand both lost ~25 lbs without any excercise. I guess I just have a different metabolism.

What has worked for me has been pretty simple: I eat whatever I want, but I eat less. I eat until just before I feel full. No particular timing, no particular number of meals. I pay attention to what my body is telling me and feed it what it craves when my stomach rumbles. I figure it knows better than I. Coupled with that, I run for 30-45 minutes for two days, then lift (HARD) one day. Every two iterations of this running\lifting cycle I take 1 day off (6 days on, 1 day off).

How well has it worked? About 8 months ago I weighed ~360 lbs. Today I'm ~295 lbs, and have added quite a bit of muscle mass (so I probably have lost more like around 80 lbs of fat). I'm still pretty chubby (even at 6'5") but I'm getting there. Another 6 months and I should be fairly lean.

I'm anti low-carb too (none / 0) (#57)
by MicroBerto on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 10:40:23 AM EST

As an Italian that will never get enough pasta, I agree that the no/low-carb thing looks quite ridiculous from here. People need to realize that all aspects of dieting are about good moderation and mediation, not blowing things out to extremes.

Can you honestly tell me that BREAD is bad for you? Give me a break!

I'm all about a good protein and carb mix, I eat lots of carbs and often do 2 protein shakes a day to get more protein. But i'm trying to GAIN weight. Don't stop eating carbs alltogether though, that's silly.

- GAIM: MicroBerto
Bertoline - My comic strip
[ Parent ]

Screw Diet (3.83 / 6) (#34)
by epcraig on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 12:07:02 AM EST

What's worked for me, repeatedly, has been to stop driving my car and get back onto a bicycle. Eat whatever I like, but pedal enough, 30-40 miles a day, drop 4 or 5 inches off the waistline in a couple of months, keep most of it off even over a long New England winter.
There is no EugeneFreeNet.org, there is an efn.org
Swimming (4.50 / 4) (#35)
by mmcc on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 12:12:58 AM EST

Did anybody mention swimming?

I think it's the best form of exercise you can do. If you swim a quick kilometer (20x50m) 2/3 times a week, then you'll feel good and look good.

Make the time to do it.

That's good if you don't eat afterwards (none / 0) (#50)
by nosilA on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 08:02:00 AM EST

The problem with swimming for a lot of people is that as soon as you get out of the pool, you feel extraordinarily hungry.  At least for me, if I finish playing raquetball or running on the treadmill or a good game of bball, food is the last thing on my mind, but I get out of the pool and I'm looking for something to put in my stomach.  I don't know anything about this phenomenon, but I'm quite certain it's common.

Vote to Abstain!
[ Parent ]

Maybe it is about salt loss? (none / 0) (#103)
by panum on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 05:48:49 PM EST

When your skin isexposed to water for a long perioid, your  salt levels are dropping at the cellular level. This is exactly the reason why your fingers and toes look like pink fluffy raisins after a long, nice hot bath.

Water seeps into cells and mixes down the salt level, causing a defiction. Maybe the hungry feeling is caused by you body's need to fix the salt balance?


[ Parent ]

Two-thirds of a time a week? (3.00 / 2) (#56)
by toganet on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 10:19:58 AM EST

So, uh, every 14 days you swim three times, right?  
All this math stuff is hard.

Johnson's law: Systems resemble the organizations that create them.

[ Parent ]
I Totally Agree (5.00 / 1) (#104)
by curunir on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 06:36:10 PM EST

Swimming is an awesome form of exercise. I love it because it enables you to do so many other exercises...and cross training is sooo important.

Swimming is so low impact, so you can do it when you'd normally rest from other activities. It also helps you stretch out muscles after a workout. I routinely swim about half a mile after participating in other exercises.

It's also amazing for increasing your cardio fitness level. The fact that you're basically holding your breath while exercising make it incredibly efficient at increasing your lung capacity. If you do any running and ever find yourself getting winded sooner than you'd like, adding swimming to your workout schedule will almost definitely help.

I'd also like to add that rockclimbing is a great exercise for building muscle and losing weight. It's also an easy form of exercise to stick with due to the fact that most people get an adrenaline rush while climbing. When I started, I couldn't even do a single pullup. Now, about a year later, I've lost nearly 40 pounds and on days that I don't climb, I do 5 sets of 40 pull-ups.

[ Parent ]
My two cents (5.00 / 4) (#36)
by a3d0a3m on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 12:15:21 AM EST

      I agree with everything he's saying. One thing to add emphasis to is: avoid refined sugars! Refined sugars (I'm no scientist but this is the gist of everything I've read) make your blood glucose rise really fast, then your body reacts by producing insulin, too much insulin, to store this sugar as fat, and you endup with a short burst of energy followed by tiredness/hunger. On the other hand, unrefined sugars, such as those in fruits, don't enter the blood stream as fast and cause the glucose/insulin spike. Whole grains are the best, because their carbs take time to enter the blood stream, like a time release sugar, which keeps your blood sugar constant. This ties in with eating 5 meals a day, which also keeps your blood sugar at a constant level.
     One other suggestion, avoid doing cardio right before you work out. Do only a few minutes if any, that way you will do your best lifting. And you should expect alot of sorenes the first 6 weeks of lifting weights (eg not being able to lift your arm up to shampoo your hair the next morning)... this is good it means you have created microtears in your muscle and your body will repair them and add even more muscle to the tears.
      Finally, avoid metabolife, xenadrine, hydroxycut and other herbal diet aids that contain ephedrine and caffeine if you have high blood pressure.  You should really ask your doctor about those supplements because they can really cause problems.


What??? (none / 0) (#68)
by MKalus on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 01:31:07 PM EST

>>And you should expect alot of sorenes the first 6 weeks of lifting weights (eg not being able to lift your arm up to shampoo your hair the next morning)... this is good it means you have created microtears in your muscle and your body will repair them and add even more muscle to the tears.<<

No you should NOT. By damaging your muscles and not giving them time to heal you can get scar tissues on the muscles that will actually have a negative effect on your strength.

Build up slowly, start with 3 sets of 15 but only the first two workouts should help, also get some protein in the body after you're finished (EnduroxR4 works like a charm but there are others out there as well).


[ Parent ]

Uh (none / 0) (#79)
by a3d0a3m on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 04:39:19 PM EST

As all of my coaches have said "no pain, no gain." You need to hurt muscles-- while giving them time to recover completely or they will never grow larger.

[ Parent ]
Well... (none / 0) (#82)
by MKalus on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 05:50:47 PM EST

... yes that's "old school".

Look at last years Tour de France, the ones who won the hilly parts where the ones who spun up the hill easily, not the ones who hammered it up there.

Stress the muscle, but not to the point where it breaks (tears).

If you feel hammered after a workout you have done something wrong and are prone to injury.


[ Parent ]

To clarify (none / 0) (#87)
by Nevermind2 on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 07:49:03 PM EST

The original poster was right. The ONLY way to make your muscles grow is by causing micro-tears in the fibers.

This doesn't mean TEARING THE MUSCLE. It's a microscopic thing.

And please note that the original article mentioned working out only twice per week - to give plenty of recovery time.

Tour-de-France is a completely inapplicable analogy. They're not trying to build up muscle; they are trying to maintain their energy.

[ Parent ]

Bull! Bull! Bull! (2.25 / 8) (#38)
by jabber on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 12:43:45 AM EST

How to lose weight?

EAT LESS. Simple.

Exercise if you want to, or don't, but make sure you eat less than you use.

Whenever you get hungry, drink water.

Drink two glasses before eating ANYTHING. It's as mental as it is physical. If you 'like' food, you 'like' being fat. Change your mind. It's that simple.

Dieting is like economics. Supply vs demand.

Starvation doesn't work because your body gets defensive about its resources.. It'll actually deny you needed energy to conserve the fat you have, just in case.

You need to find out how much you burn, and eat a little less then that.

I'm one of those freaks who can't GAIN weight, despite trying.. Lifting weights is the only way I CAN gain weight. If I didn't lift, I'd weigh 150lbs at 6'0" height, even if I ate nothing but lard. I, for one, would love to see an article on reliable gaining weight. I'd love a 'silver bullet' as much as the next guy. There aren't any.

By wiring, I tend to drink instead of eat. It works. Just make sure you give your body the nutrients it needs, otherwise it'll declare martial law and you'll gain weight despite starving.

Oh, and another thing.. Weight management is a lifestyle, not a temporary regiment. Once you get to that 'desired weight', it's going to be an effort to stay there. It's not a 'goal', it's a path you have to stay on.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

Ignorance (none / 0) (#65)
by thelizman on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 12:28:41 PM EST

How to lose weight? EAT LESS. Simple.
It's *not* that simple you ignoramus.

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Sure it is (none / 0) (#69)
by jabber on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 01:38:48 PM EST

If it's not working, you're still eating too much.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Wrong, Dumbass (3.00 / 2) (#72)
by thelizman on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 02:28:50 PM EST

Your view is as ill informed and uneducated as can be. Most dieticians show that starvation diets actually increase weight gain in both the near term and long term. Research has even shown that people on diets which result in a negative net caloric intake can still lead to weight gain.

You need to do more research on the subject before spouting your pedestrian simpleton rants.

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Whatever, Fatass (1.00 / 2) (#73)
by jabber on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 02:34:12 PM EST

I eat les, I lose weight.
I eat more, I gain weight.
In my experience, it's perfectly true.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

If that were true (4.00 / 1) (#74)
by Cro Magnon on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 02:58:21 PM EST

I would have weighed 300 pounds in my teens! At the time when I ate enough to support the local grocery store single-handed I was skinny as a rail. Nowdays, I eat a tiny fraction of what I did then, but I'm 20-30 pounds overweight.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
You both are right - sort of (none / 0) (#102)
by panum on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 05:40:37 PM EST

Even when it is true one can lose weight by eating less than the intake, one should note a few things.

Your body is very able to adapt, but it does not like suprises. Changes to diet shouldn't be instant for a simple reason. When your energy intake drops suddenly, a power save mode kicks in. That is, your metabolism slows down. The body tries to conserve energy resources.

In order to maintain metabolism at a steady rate, a sufficient amount of energy intake is required. The energy requirement is subject to change between individuals' muscle mass, daily activities, genetic abilities and whatever.

Of course, if one fasts for a lenghty perioid, weight loss is certain. But most likely the results are not too desirable, as muscle tissue is also lost. What is worse, the brains suffer from extended perioids of undernourishment.


[ Parent ]

Heh. (none / 0) (#66)
by Iesu II on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 12:38:23 PM EST

I'm 6'4", and I weigh 125 lbs.

[ Parent ]
Gaining Weight (none / 0) (#88)
by Nevermind2 on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 07:56:18 PM EST

Actually, gaining weight can be very difficult; but it's not complex.

Use the same workout as I posted above, but do more sets. More importantly, eat ALOT. Go for at least 3000 calories per day, preferably more.

If you can't eat that much, drink craploads of milk. Try for a gallon per day. I know it sounds crazy.

Read the book "Super Squats".

(For reference, I did put on about 35lbs of muscle, so I know what I'm talking about)

[ Parent ]

Well now (none / 0) (#94)
by Tatarigami on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 03:28:28 AM EST

I'm one of those freaks who can't GAIN weight, despite trying..

Did you stop and wonder if maybe you're not the sort of person this story is aimed at? I mean, never having experienced the situation we're discussing, after all...

How to lose weight? EAT LESS. Simple.

How to fly across the Atlantic? FLAP YOUR ARMS. Simple.

But not easy. There's a big difference between simple and easy.

[ Parent ]
Supply vs demand? (none / 0) (#107)
by dlade on Sat Jun 08, 2002 at 11:02:22 AM EST

Well, if it's just supply vs demand, gaining weight should be simple.

All you need to do is eat more. Right? =)

[ Parent ]

Mono Diet (3.50 / 2) (#40)
by gnovos on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 12:58:03 AM EST

In college I contracted mononucleosis and lost about 40 lbs in 2-3 weeks (I guess running a 101 fever for a month burns a lot of energy), and for the next four years I couldn't put or weight becuase my metabolism was so screwed up.  Finally I'm hovering back up there in the weight category, and you can't get mono twice, so I don't know what to do... :)

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
Opposite happened to me (none / 0) (#49)
by nosilA on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 07:57:40 AM EST

I lost a little bit of weight on mono, but I managed to screw up my blood sugar enough that I was fainting whenever I didn't eat for a couple hours for months after I got over mono.  In trying to regulate my blood sugar I ended up putting on about 30 pounds which I still have 3 years later.

Vote to Abstain!
[ Parent ]

i have the solution! (4.85 / 7) (#42)
by macpeep on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 01:35:21 AM EST

Disclaimer: I'm not super thin or anything (nor am I really fat either), but I do a lot of exercise and while I hate it as much as the next guy, I've come up with a way that makes it truly fun.

I got myself an exercise bike and placed it in front of the TV & Playstation 2. I then throw in some sport game and start playing while biking. If your team loses, all the better.. you'll pedal faster. Pick such a length of the game that it more or less matches the time you want to spend on the bike. I'm serious when I say that several times, I've just suddenly looked at the clock after one hockey match or boxing match or whatever, and noticed that I've sat there for 45 minutes pedaling and that I'm totally sweating. It seriously ROCKS for doing exercise without even noticing it.

And why sports games? Well, for some reason, it works better to fool the brain that way. Car games, you tend to pedal really fast on the straights and then slow down in the corners. If you're about to go out, you instinctively almost stop pedaling. It's weird and kinda annoying but it's hard to avoid. :) It might workd with some kind of strategy or adventure game too - they are good at sucking up time. Sports games tho, it's easy to relate to them since you're basically working out just like the characters arae in the game. My personal favorite game for this purpose is boxing. You mileage may vary. :)

Some more tips (4.75 / 4) (#43)
by Disevidence on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 01:46:22 AM EST

Thats a fairly basic outlook, but i'll introduce a new area, GI.

Eat low GI foods and lean meat whenever possible. Sites such as this one list GI of most common foods. In a nutshell, the lower the GI, the better

Whats so good about low GI's? Gi applies to carbohydrate-based foods, and the lower the GI, the slower the carbs are released into your bloodstream. The result? Longer lasting energy, more fuller feeling (food in stomach for longer), and very low amounts of fat storage. Normally High GI foods store what you eat straight away, and in most sedentary people, it goes to fat. Low Gi supplies the body with energy as you need it.

(The only time you should be eating High Gi, is if you train for a sport, and you finished a training session, eat a banana or some other fairly high GI food to replace muscle glycogen)

Low GI is especially good for snacks, as it gives you sustained, high saitaiety(sp?) energy.

So learn about GI (Glycaemic Index is what it stands for, do a google to learn more), and supplement that info to your diet

(Disclaimer : I am a 4th year Nutrition and Human  Movements student, so I do have a fair idea).

Exercise -

I think i read somewhere that aerobic exercise doesn;t burn fat off. One word to that : Bullshit. Aerobic energy is vital to burning off fat stores.

Heres why. Theres a scientific term that compares Co2 output over a period of time with heart rate and other things. The name of it actually eludes me at the moment (anyone else know?). But essentialy, the harder you work, the more you rely on carbs stored in the body (in muscle glycogen) and the less on you fats.

The good thing about aerobic exercise is that your normally not working hard enough to get all the energy from glycogen, but rather its a 60 - 40 % ratio of carbs to fats burnt, at a 65% Maximum heart rate effort (a good effort, but not  that difficult).

So, in a 5km run (Energy Expenditure for running = 4.22kj per kilogram (2.2 pounds) per km, or easier 1 calorie per kilo per km) a 65 kilo person would burn off 325 calories. They would burn off approx 140 calories of fat (15 grams of fat) and 185 calories of glycogen (46 grams of Carbo's) with maybe a slight bit of muscle breakdown. The next meal, eat 40 grams of Carbs, 8 grams of Protein and about 6 grams of Fat, and you've essentialy lost 15 grams of fat. Of course it depends on whatever else you eat, but you get the idea.

Summary : If your going to diet, make sure you exercise, and lift some weights, so the weight you lost is fat, not muscle. If you diet only, then you will lost mostly muscle. Keeping active with aerobic exercise, some weight sessions, low fat and low gi diets are the best way to stay fit an healthy.

(sorry about some of the grammer and spelling, im going out for a run before it gets dark, and im trying to rush through my comment. Just remember, you can lose fat easily by doing aerobic sessions. Whoever said you couldn't in the front page article about obesity had NO idea what he was on about.)

Excercise Does Not Burn Fat (none / 0) (#63)
by thelizman on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 12:26:35 PM EST

I think i read somewhere that aerobic exercise doesn;t burn fat off. One word to that : Bullshit. Aerobic energy is vital to burning off fat stores.
Someone needs to hit the books again. The body cannot use fat for energy without first converting it. The process for converting fats to glycogen takes longer than the average persons workout lasts. If you excercise long enough, especially with aerobic excercise, you will not be burning fat but muscle, which is ultimately counterproductive to weight loss since muscle mass burns fat passively.

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Oh really (none / 0) (#70)
by lngtones on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 01:59:27 PM EST

I've always understood that running helps you burn off your available ATP stores, so that your body is forced to make new ATP from your fat.

And YES it takes a long time, but without your quick ATP available it will start burning the fat through the rest of the day?

Of course, if you run too long, then it will mess with your muscles.

I've seen different figures but something like 45-50 minutes is a good amount I think to WORK TOWARDS.

[ Parent ]

Actually (5.00 / 1) (#71)
by epepke on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 02:15:51 PM EST

ATP is made all the time. There really aren't reserves. What exercize does is lower the blood glucose levels (glucose is normally burned to convert ADP to ATP). When they get low enough, the liver starts converting its glycogen (about one pound with about five pounds of water storing about 200 kcal) to glucose. When the glycogen level gets low enough, enzymes release fat from adipose tissue. The fat travels through the bloodstream and is used directly in the muscles.

This is why new diets produce dramatic immediate weight loss: it's the glycogen and water.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

[ Parent ]
Bonking (none / 0) (#76)
by MKalus on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 03:38:53 PM EST

What you describe is called "bonking" and no, it's not a very nice experience. Try it, I can assure you you will NOT like it, and after that you will take some gel with you on the run.

Michael *bonk*

[ Parent ]

I disagree (none / 0) (#81)
by Disevidence on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 05:48:29 PM EST

Nope sorry Boyo, methinks your wrong. I did consult the journal articles and my current textbook after your post, and you do burn fat when your running.

The term i was trying to say before was RER, or resting expiratory volume. Its a calculation, which as approaches 1, you are burning less fat and more glycogen whatever you are doing. 0.8 is the lowest you can go (burning all fat)

So if im zooming along in a run, and my RER is about .92 (a good figure for long running) you are burning about 60% glycogen, 40% fat, as i said. Have a look for RER in one of your textbooks or articles you;ve read. Its a proper scientific term to do with energy expendtiture, i suggest you look it up.

[ Parent ]

Listen to (2.50 / 2) (#44)
by medham on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 01:47:58 AM EST

Nothing but Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band's second album for a month while you're home.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.

I wish I could agree with you.. (3.20 / 5) (#45)
by StephenThompson on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 03:12:47 AM EST

I own a used bookstore that has a diet section. We have books from the sixties to the aughts. Let me tell ya, there are a lot of books written about how to lose weight. Bookstores and publishers make good money on 'em. None of them are worth a damn, even the one's that sound as sensible as this posting. How do I know they arent worth a damn? Because they still churn them out, and fat people still buy them, and fat people are still fat.

Now perhaps it is true that if a person actually followed your prescription, they might get thinner, but you don't supply a method to force them to follow the prescription. Fat people are insane, and thus are unable to control themselves, but are able to delude themselve into believe they are staying on their diet. How many times have my fat friends gone several days eating 'right' only to blow it by eating a large bag of potato chips in 3 seconds while stopping for gas? And they never remember doing it either. Its spooky. One guy I know (who is also diabetic) went behind the bushes when he thought no one was looking and ate an entire box of twinkings in about 10 seconds. One of the most disgusting things I've ever witnessed! He was on a strict no fat no sugar diet too.

No, diets dont work. Crisis is the only thing I know that actually works: give them cancer or some deadly disease, or bomb the city the live in to rubble and make them scavange with the rats for a couple years..only then will they lose weight.

Yes, exactly. (none / 0) (#60)
by ghjm on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 11:18:47 AM EST

Because, lest we forget, there is one essential truth that underlies all this discussion: Humans are animals.

What do you think would happen if you put 10lbs. of sugar candy out in your back yard every day? After a couple months, would you wind up with a big mound of sugar candy? No, you'd wind up with a backyard full of grossly fat squirrels who have to live on the ground because they can't climb trees any more.

Humans have the capacity to understand what they should and should not do, but they retain the animal tendency to do whatever feels good/right/desirable. The conflict between these (dualism) is at the heart of most Western philosophy, and is central to the human condition.

Interestingly, the animalistic side of you has full access to the knowledge and thoughts of your "higher" self. So one immediate lesson is this: you can't fool yourself. If you diet out of guilt, or because other people tell you that you should, or whatever - it won't work. You can't just say the words, you have to believe. This is the key reason why one diet doesn't fit everyone, and it's also the key reason why diets with "star power" (such as the Adkins diet) tend to do well regardless of their strict medical correctness.

Another consequence: Dieting through willpower doesn't generally work, unless you have the psychological constitution of a medieval abbot. Your behavior is controlled as much by your animal self as your "higher" self. Willpower (in this context) is the attempt to deny your animal self any access to the outside world; to suppress its very existence. You probably won't succeed, but even if you could, would the end result be healthy?


[ Parent ]

How I lost 30 pounds in 4 months (none / 0) (#90)
by richardk on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 11:13:37 PM EST

My Doctor's advice on loosing weight was this: It doesn't matter a damn, what you eat; just eat less of it. He also recommended a multi-vitamin to ensure nutrition. I then went online an found some calculators to determine how many kCal/day I could eat to loose 2 pounds/week. I then estimated how many kCal my average day's meals added up to. Turned out I had to halve my food intake. The only hard thing was to stop snaking. Instead of snaking I drank Water. I feel full, but water has 0 calories. After a while you get used to smaller meals. Not having fries and soda at lunch with that burger. And I also allow myself one "don't care" restaurant meal a week. My metabolism speeds up something chronic after the big meal and it actually seems to _help_. The real key to keeping all this up is to buy a good-quality scale and weigh yourself every morning. Keep a _weekly_ recording of your weight on the same day each week (not daily as your weight fluctuates every day, it's the average drop per week you should measure). This will show you the improvements you are making and makes it much easier to continue.

[ Parent ]
Eat right for your type. (3.33 / 3) (#46)
by Daemon on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 04:39:21 AM EST

This is the diet that I follow, or more to the point  .. this is the lifestyle I follow. My housemate is a homeopath and health food stockist. Essentially , I live in a health shop.

I am blood type O ,and according to this diet ..  i was given a list of neutral, beneficial and avoid-at-all-costs foods. I am shedding kilogram's left and right (10 kg in 8 weeks without even trying).

One of the big things people have against this diet , is that you need to give up foods you love .. in my case i was told to give up bread (and wheat in general) , but I can eat as much biltong (something like beef jerkey in the states) as i want.  People generally find that they are allowed to eat food that they were always told not to eat . and really love.

You might not realize it, but your body really doesn't like certain foods. I find , now that I've stopped eating bread .. if i do eat a slice of bread , I feel terrible afterwards ..

The one thing i'm having trouble giving up is avocado's .. thank god they are out of season.

If you're happy and you know it, see a shrink.

Same here.... (none / 0) (#52)
by Elkor on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 08:48:07 AM EST

While I have read reports that "Eat Right for Your Type (ERYT)" is a load of speculation, it seems to work for my and gf.

Fortunately we are both Type O, so it is easy for us to "stick to it" since we just don't buy food that we aren't supposed to.

Last fall all I did was the diet with my normal lifestyle and over the course of 4 months I lost 10 pounds (remember, I was eating my "normal" amount of food, just differently) and had more energy.


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
Exercise misconceptions - Weight != fat percentage (4.33 / 3) (#47)
by loaf on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 07:20:43 AM EST

For most, it's not a weight issue, it's a matter of the look of their body - it's their body fat percentage not their BMI (Body Mass Index).

Take me as an example, I'm 6-1 and a shade under 200 pounds, on all medical charts I am overweight, but you wouldn't say that to me in person because muscle is heavier than fat.

So, misconception number one is that weight lifting is a good way to lose weight, it's not - but it is a way to lose fat and improve the look of the body, which is more like what most people are seeking.

Misconception number two - lifting weights is not actually a great way to get rid of the fat. It will work, and working out hard, as you're advised to here, will certainly reap dividends. But the most effective way of losing the fat is through low-intensity volume, simple as that. (And by volume I mean a couple of hours a day.)

Do something every day, don't just visit the gym twice a week, do something that raises your heart rate every day. A half hour jog/walk will do for starters. While lifting weights and explosive exercise gets the pulse up there, it's doesn't keep it there long enough to really burn off the fat - for that you need a prolonged bout of UT1 or UT2 training, sub-anaerobic threshold work.

Here's the scoop: muscles work by burning fuel, this they get from the blood. When the blood's sugar level is exhausted they need to go elsewhere to get it - this is the fat-burning stage. But explosive exercise doesn't occur for long enough to actually allow the body to have to revert to the stored fat - getting the fat converted to usable blood sugar is actually quite a hard, time-consuming process.

Everyone is different but the methodology is the same and it's all measured in terms of what is known as the heart rate reserve, which is the difference between your resting pulse and your maximum pulse. At around 65-70% of the reserve (165-170 for most) is a point known as the anaerobic threshold - which is the point at which your heart and lungs can no longer continue to oxygenate the blood sufficiently, the muscles go on to (limited) local reserves, which is why you can't go ballistic for too long.

Endurance athletes will train themselves at just below the AT - so as to maximise the body's ability to work at a rate that the cardio-vascular system can maintain. But if you're just looking for fitness and weight-loss, you should be working here so as to maximise the amount of time you can exercise. UT1 is just below AT - for most people this is around 150-160 bpm, a rate that means you should be able to speak quite comfortably but struggle to hold a conversation - and you will eventually be able to stick here for an hour or more. UT2 is about 20 beats lower, you'll be able to chat at this level and you'll be able to keep this up for much longer.

But, to begin with, go out walking. A half hour walk is the first step for most people - you don't need to go near the gym!

There is a big difference between wieghts/cardio (none / 0) (#99)
by memerot2 on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 02:40:05 PM EST

And your comments almost highlight a very effective strategy.  Weight lifting will burn the blood sugar for energy.  So an ideal exercise session would start with weights, and then move on to cardio.  Doing cardio right after you've lifted weights will put your body in the actual fat burning stage for a much longer peridod of time than just doing one or the other.  

But yes always remember any positive change is a positive change, don't feel the need to accelerate from 0 to 60 in 3 seconds, start off in first gear and shift up when your body isn't being worked hard enough any more by your current level of exercise.

[ Parent ]

The thing is... (none / 0) (#106)
by gromm on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 11:31:34 PM EST

Muscle burns energy even when you're resting. And the more muscle you have the less efficient you are at using that energy. In other words, having more muscle raises your metabolic rate, which is why he recommends gaining some weight by building muscle, (and doing so in a fashion that puts on muscle all over your body) not lifting weights twice a week as the only exercise to burn calories.

Heh. It's actually kind of a viscious cycle if you think about it. Primitive humans had to be strong to hunt, and had to eat meat (meat having the highest concentration of food energy) to be strong. Vegetarians would argue of course, that we don't need to do this anymore thanks to the modern methods we use to kill animals. Well, to each their own I guess. :)
Deus ex frigerifero
[ Parent ]

Different people need different strategies (5.00 / 4) (#48)
by TheophileEscargot on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 07:56:16 AM EST

Everybody's different. Different people need to use different strategies depending on their metabolism, their preferences and even their lifestyle: someone with a fulltime job and a couple of kids might want to spend less time exercising than someone without. It's good that you've found something that works for you: but I'm not convinced this particular strategy will work for many other people.
"If at this point you're saying "I'm not going to sacrifice my love of food for this!", then you're not ready. Come back when you're really sick of being fat.
I disagree totally with this. The fatter you are, the worse the health risks and the worse you look. It's significantly better to be 40 pounds overweight than 80 pounds overweight, even better to be 20. If you can't be bothered taking extreme measures, then take moderate measures. Every little helps.
"This is not about losing weight fast, this is about a lifestyle change"
"If I ask you what you'll be eating next Wednesday at 4pm, you have to be able to tell me."
"If you have to have sugar, get it from fruit."
"If I ask you how many calories you ate today, you should be able to give me a rough guide"
I've noticed that there are two basic strategies for reducing the amount of calories you consume. Some people find it easier to give up the worst foods like chocolate, chips and burgers; but not bother counting calories or planning every meal days in advance. Other people (like me) prefer to count calories, so they can still enjoy tasty but unhealthy foods every so often. What you seem to be advocating is doing both at once, for the rest of your life. Okay, if you've got the willpower to do that, fine: but this seems to be a very extreme attitude, and one that lots of people don't find necessary.

The only firm rule for losing weight is to consume less calories than you burn, but there are all kinds of ways to do that: I even wrote my own article a while back. If neither of these articles appeals to you, you don't need to give up, you just need to find a method that works best for you.
Support the nascent Mad Open Science movement... when we talk about "hundreds of eyeballs," we really mean it. Lagged2Death

Counting calories (5.00 / 1) (#77)
by infraoctarine on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 03:39:27 PM EST

I read your article when you posted it in the diaries a few months ago. I have to say I found your advice more useful than the hard-core approach advocated in this article.

In fact, I'd just started on my own mission of weight-loss when I read your article. I found the advice of counting calories very useful. It's a great way to discover your bad habits. It's not always obvious where them little buggers come from. I've learned a lot about what I can eat and what to avoid as a result of me having to know the calorie content of everything I eat. They don't just came from candy and pizza, that's for sure :-)

Counting calories has worked for me too (well, together with some exercise of course). I'm back to normal weight now, which is almost 15 kgs less than in December of last year.

[ Parent ]

Rocket surgery? (none / 0) (#53)
by What She Said on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 09:29:48 AM EST

= rocket science + brain surgery [nt] (none / 0) (#75)
by Sacrifice on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 03:09:26 PM EST

[ Parent ]
rocket surgery (none / 0) (#95)
by bp33 on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 05:59:29 AM EST

Coined (to my knowledge) by Steve Krug in his excellent Web usability book Don't Make me Think! .. also the title of a CD from alt-country band Mulehead.

[ Parent ]
Trick for eating less.... (3.66 / 3) (#55)
by Elkor on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 10:11:16 AM EST

Buy smaller plates.

Most US American households have 10-12" plates, which are rather large.

Since a meal preparer will typically put on as much food as a plate will bear to make a "full" meal, this results in more food on the plate.

So, buy a set of smaller plates and put your large ones away. 8-9" plates will let you load the plate up while still decreasing the amount of food you are actually eating.


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
A Word On Excercise (none / 0) (#67)
by thelizman on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 12:48:37 PM EST

I don't want anyone here to walk away with the silly notion that they can absolutely exercise their fat asses out of obesity, because you won't. But, excercise will help you tone up, build muscle, increase endurance, and overall health. Consider this: (someone else pointed this out) for every pount of muscle you will burn 50 calories a day. Increasing your cardiovascular endurance will allow you be more active, and that will burn off calories as you get them, preventing them from being converted to fat stores.

The best excercises are ones that involve large muscle groups. Running for instance, is far better than cycling. This is because you use muscles throughout your body to maintain balance and gait (runners often comment that their arms grow tired while running), whereas cycling only requires a few muscles in the legs and upper back (except recumbant bikes, which don't even use that many). Situps, likewise, are good because they excercise your entire abdomen, parts of your chest and upper thighs. Of course, you'll still need to do targeted excercises, because nobody wants flabby weeny arms to match well toned muscular legs. When doing upper body excercises, unless you are a beginner, avoid machines. Use individual free weights, as this works not only the primary muscles, but the myriad of smaller muscles which assist them.

Finally, balance is key. Both weight training and aerobics are equally important. You want to emphasize cardiovascular fitness, as the heart is the bodys main muscle - if it can't do it's job 100%, then the other muscles will starve for nutrients and oxygen. But nothing does better for your self esteem than finely toned muscles rippling with sinew, so do some weight training excercises.

Also, if you're don't "enjoy" your workouts, then don't do it. What did he say? DON'T DO IT! If excercise is a bore, you won't get the benefit and you'll eventually stop anyway. Instead, do more activities like biking, hiking, tennis, football, basketball, etc. Also, and this is very important, get a partner to do it with you. The support/dependance thing does wonders for alchies and druggies, and it also works for people getting healthy.

One last thing: Water. Drink it like a fish. A liter a day minimum, and if you're excercising up it to about 3 liters. I drank as much as 2 gallons a day during my peak periods of weight loss (I've lost 100 lbs so far). 8 oz of cold water wastes 30 calories in bringing it up to body temperature.

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
A tangent... (none / 0) (#85)
by NFW on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 06:34:55 PM EST

because nobody wants flabby weeny arms to match well toned muscular legs.

I resemble that remark. I've been into stuff like cycling and skateboarding and snowboarding all my life, but never really got into anything that works the upper body near as much as the lower body.

For the last few months I've been doing this kind of stuff with free weights, trying to build my arms and shoulders to match my legs. Anyone got recommendations on lifting strategies for building muscle? Like, do it to "near fatigue?" Repeat until you can't lift at all? Do it til you can't lift at all, then start over with half the weight?

I've read about many different approaches, but I'm fairly new to the idea of working out just for the sake of exercise (as opposed to riding a bike or snowboard just for the fun of it), so I don't know who or what to believe.

Thanks in advance to anyone with any input.

Got birds?

[ Parent ]

Size or Strength (5.00 / 2) (#86)
by thelizman on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 07:11:13 PM EST

Believe it or not, the size of a muscle doesn't necessarily denote strength, and the type of excercise you do determines either. As a cyclist, I'm sure you're familiar with long and short (or quick and slow) muscle fibers, and which one you want to have for short track racing vs tour de france type racing.

If you're looking to bulk up, do low numbers of reps with very heavy weights. Low reps is like 5 to ten. I also recommend "drop sets" or better still "pyramids". A drop is when you do a set at your maximum weight, then drop 5 or 10 lbs and do another set, until you're down to a 5 or 10 lb weight. You don't rest between sets. Pyramids start off at about 1/3rd your maximum, and work their way up to your max (if you can), and then back down. Pryamids are supposed to be more effective, though I don't see why.

If you're looking to increase endurance, then you start by bulking up, but when you're happy with your size you then switch do about 75% of your max for a given excercise, and do large numbers in each set, like 30 or 40. You may still bulk up more, but that's because your adding long muscle fiber in between the short muscle fibers. If it turns out that you don't use one or the other that much, you will lose them, which means you'll have to do some remedial bulking up from time to time.

As to the actual excercises, there are lots you can do. Men's Health comes out with an excercise poster just about every 4 months. These are the most common and effective excercises:
  1. Bicept curls: You use a free weight in each hand, start at the down position with your palms facing inwards. Keep the upper arm as paralell to your body as you can, and raise the weights using just you forearm. Bring the weight inward towards your pectoral muscle, rotating it so that your palm faces the pect. Slowly let it out, never drop the weight down. Part of the excercise is the negative action, the slow contract. Also, freeweights can be dangerous because of their momentum. Most gyms get pissy about dropping weights too; floors cost money. Do each arm alternately if you're trying to bulk up your bicepts. Do them together if you're bicepts are okay but your pects need work.
  2. Overhead Arm Extensions: this can be dangerous, since it involves living a weight over your head. Take a single large dumbell, and lift it so that you are holding one half with your hands forming a diamond; The bar will go between teh webs of your thumbs, and your palms will be flat against the inside of the dumbell. Lift the weight overyour head, and then bring it down behind you. Your upper arm should be vertical, with your elbows pointing up, and your forearms should be behind you. Then, raise the weight over your head, then let it down again. This one really works the tricepts and deltiods; Ibuprofin and Flexall 454 will become your two best friends. Tips: When lifting the weight initially, it is helpful to balance it on your chest in order to get your hands into the diamond formation. Avoid arching yoru back at any time in this or any other exercise. Do not do this excercise to failure; you still have to bring the weight down in front of you.
  3. Bench Press: The good old bench press. Everyone ought to know this: You rack some weights, lower it onto your chest, and then push them up. I highly suggest free weights, but barbells are okay, and if you've been doing other excercises already, a barbell is probably going to be easier. I stronly suggest, no, advise that you use a spotter on this excercise if using a barbell. I have a storey of personal near tragedy from an early morning workout wherein I was pinned by my own barbell for 30 minutes, till someone finally noticed my flailing legs and raspy calls for help.
  4. Lower back extensions: Real simple, you hook your feet into a bar, set your body to a 45 degree angle, put your hands on your hips, and practice bending over. Keep your back and legs straight, and don't use weights unless you're really developed.
Those few are the basics, and they'll give you pretty good definition by themselves. Unless you're a body builder, you don't have to worry about much more than that, situps, and running for a great physique.

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Periodization (none / 0) (#98)
by Rhodes on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 11:25:36 AM EST

Periodization is a way to organize your weight training workouts over the course of several months. This method reduces the plateau (where one is not gaining strength) that most systems lead to.

from: Body building periodization ... Periodization, training in cycles of gradually increasing intensity, began with the work of Soviet sports scientist Dmitri Matveyev in the early 1960s and has been used by elite athletes (Olympic weightlifters, swimmers, track and field performers and others) all over the world to an ever increasing degree since that time. American Olympic lifters and power lifters have been using periodization for a long time ...

The other thing to keep in mind is that physical fitness has three components- strength, endurance, and flexability. Neglect one, and your overall fitness suffers. Endurance is usally split into cardiovascular endurance, and muscular endurance.

[ Parent ]
When you eat, just eat. NO TV or nothing. (none / 0) (#80)
by thirstyfish on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 05:08:44 PM EST

Like, how do you double the value of something?
Appreciate it twice as much.

So, no more TV, newspaper, whatever.  Just sit
down and eat and enjoy until you feel as full as
you should be and stop.

Veggies! (none / 0) (#83)
by McDick on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 06:13:05 PM EST

The most IMPORTANT thing to do is to make SURE you get in at LEAST 5 serving of fruits and veggies a day! They fill you up!

If you are really serious about weight loss go join "Weight Watchers". The group thing will support you in times of need! That is important for people that do not have the will to stick to a plan (which accounts for 90% of us).


"The worst part about eating vegitibles is the wheelchair. . ."

McDick Technologist

Eat Less, Move More (none / 0) (#84)
by X-Nc on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 06:16:13 PM EST

My youngest brother has, over the last 10 months, gone from 338lbs to 250lbs. He's 6'1" tall. What he did was to eat less and move more. He didn't drastically change his diet. He always ate a well rounded variety of food. All he did was take smaller portions, drink more water and not snack very much. As for the move more part, just walking instead of taking the elevator and riding a bike a little bit most days. Doesn't take more than about an hour a day.

I have been following his example, though not as well as he is. I've dropped from 255lbs in December 2001 to about 230lbs now. I am not specifically trying to lose weight as much as lose the extra fat around the middle.

Well, that's all for now.

Aaahhhh!!!! My K5 subscription expired. Now I can't spell anymore.

Credentials check, please. (2.50 / 2) (#91)
by Macrobat on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 11:26:37 PM EST

Is anyone posting here:

a) a licensed physician or nutritionist, and

b) helped more than ten other people lose weight and keep it off?

--that's the person I want to hear from. Anyone posting who fits the bill?

"Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.

hmm (none / 0) (#96)
by a3d0a3m on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 11:16:57 AM EST

I lost 20 pounds and kept it off for 8 months and counting now. I am as thin as I would like to be... would a peek at my six-pack be credentials enough? I used to have a nice beer gut.


[ Parent ]

A little bit (4.50 / 2) (#97)
by nosilA on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 11:23:49 AM EST

That qualifies you to give a personal account of whatever works for you.  But it does not entitle you to assume that this will work for everyone and tout it as though it is the best way to lose weight.

The issue of weigh loss is very complicated.  There's nothing wrong with giving personal accounts or advice, but some pople in this discussion are adamently professing their misconceptions as facts.  Or maybe they aren't misconceptions, but some of them must be, as they often conflict.

Vote to Abstain!
[ Parent ]

One simple trick (none / 0) (#109)
by pexatus on Sat Jun 08, 2002 at 06:29:38 PM EST

If you are attempting to change your eating habits, eat before you go to the grocery store.  If you have to, eat a lot before you go there (just don't go grocery shopping too often).  Then only get the low-calorie healthy stuff while you are there.  If you shop hungry, you'll come back with huge bags of sugary, oily junk, half of which you'll ingest before you have even put the rest of the groceries away.  If you shop full, you'll have the willpower to avoid that stuff.  Then later, while you're at home and get a craving for junk food, it won't be there, so you make do with whatever fruits and vegies you bought instead.

Now, if the craving is so powerful that you drive straight to your local McDonalds because you don't want to eat the healthy food you already bought, then we have a problem.

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