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Thread: Losing weight for health purposes.

  1. #1 Losing weight for health purposes. 
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    Last year I was about 145 pounds. Over the past 13 months or so I've managed to work my way up to 215. It's kind of disturbing actually. Genetically, I have high cholesterol. Although, I have no appointed doctor subscribed to me, I imagine my cholesterol couldn't be too healthy at the moment. Can anyone give me some pointers on how to lose a good 50 pounds or so fairly fast?
    I'm aware that losing weight and cholesterol levels are not always counter-balanced, but I would like to lose weight anyway because it's increased my depression.
    It may sound like a common sense question, but can someone please give some advice? Thanks.


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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    Burn more calories than you take in. That's it.

    If you eat less and excercise more, this will happen. Try avoiding junk food, eating smaller meals, switching to diet softdrinks or sugar free tea/coffee then add a daily walk for about a half-hour to an hour. I use that time to listen to my mp3 player getting in some audio books and podcasts.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    I just got a dog and an allotment (vegetable patch). Both increased my daily activities greatly.

    And I bicycle everywhere.

    I can't keep up with some kind of artificial exercise regime, so I decided to acquire some more natural activities. Walking the dog several times a day is nice. And the dog is also something I can actually control in my life. She is not formally trained, but I am applying Cesar Millan's rules of dog psychology. She responds really well.

    It's nice to have some aspect in your life you can actually have control over when you are depressed.

    The vegetable patch is also great. I have to walk to it (it's about a kilometer away) and I just do the stuff that needs to be doing. Nothing structural, but a great way to get some activities done and feel that you are doing something useful. Compare that to pushing weights. It's boring.

    And i now put my winter tires on my bicycle (with steel spikes!) so i can bicycle through the winter as well (I live in the cold north).
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  5. #4  
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    Don't aim to lose too much weight too quickly, research has shown consistently weight lost like this piles straight back on.

    Weight doesn't necessarily mean high cholesterol - get a blood test if you're worried - it also depends on how your weight is distributed, all around the belly or thighs/bum or more evenly?

    The guys have given great advice. Just remember it's not a diet or exercise programme, it needs to be a lifestyle change if you want the weight to stay off. (Exercise will also help with depression in itself too).
    The mark of a moderate man is freedom from his own ideas - Tao Te Ching

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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Burn more calories than you take in. That's it.
    No nonsense.

    I'll add that exercise is not the only way to burn calories. Metabolic "housekeeping" especially for warm-blooded animals, consumes more calories than physical activity. This is gonna sound lame, but: if you haven't got the time or pep to exercise, you can lose weight quite passively. Turn down the thermostat so you always feel a bit chilled - that's the feeling of your body shedding calories as heat into the room air.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Forum Junior TheDr.Spo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    I'll add that exercise is not the only way to burn calories. Metabolic "housekeeping" especially for warm-blooded animals, consumes more calories than physical activity. This is gonna sound lame, but: if you haven't got the time or pep to exercise, you can lose weight quite passively. Turn down the thermostat so you always feel a bit chilled - that's the feeling of your body shedding calories as heat into the room air.
    Brilliant! I'm turning down my thermostat after I post this.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    In that line of thought: picking food that needs chewing and long digestion also increases energy consumption.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  9. #8  
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    Generally exercise is a poor way to lose weight. It is an excellent way to improve health, but that is not the same thing.

    Losing weight means taking in fewer calories. I know of no way to lose weight, let alone quickly, without feeling hungry as a result. As has been suggested, the first thing is to drop the weighty foods. No fast food takeaways. Eat high fiber foods, and low fat animal protein. Fruit and vegetables. No oils, fat, butter or margarine.

    Find a nice, wholemeal, multi-grain bread. Make that your food staple. Eat it with raw tomato, lettuce, or other raw vegetables, salt and pepper. No butter, margarine or mayonnaise. Low fat meats can be eaten with that bread also.
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  10. #9  
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    stay away from sweets.
    whenever I gain weight its always because of eating too many sweets
    use splenda or stevia for everything. (stevia hasnt been perfected yet. its still has a little bit of an aftertaste)
    use non-fat dry milk. (its also cheaper than regular milk and you do get used to the taste)

    I've tried high protein diets and they really do work.

    find something that burns lots of calories that you dont mind doing. (like hiking or something)
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  11. #10  
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    I suggest some moderate weight lifting combined with the higher protein consumption to build some muscle. I'm not suggesting you get ripped or buff up, but building a little muscle can do a lot. I say this because the muscles you build will burn more calories than your previous, smaller, weaker muscles even while you are not working out, just to keep themselves alive.

    I would also suggest this because this way your diet can be easier to conform to in the sense that it allows you to not cut back as much on the amount of calories you can take in without taking in more than you are burning each day. So, those that are used to eating in certain volumes won't have to make as much of a cut-back on the sheer amount of food, or calories that they can consume, in a meal. The lifestyle change of going to the gym and lifting a little bit (not too much :P ) for half an hour at a time is easier to conform to than starving yourself for long periods.

    I know that what I've just stated might seem counter-intuitive because I have essentially given an excuse to eat more food, but I believe this would make things easier while still serving as an effective way to lose weight. Also, I am not arguing against the proposed diets mentioned above. I believe they should also be used with this strategy under the condition that they offer sufficient protein for muscle building and health.
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  12. #11  
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    We all have different personalities and temperaments, so what works for me may not work for you. To some extent, you will have to experiment a bit. That said, what works for me is to count calories and write down all of my food intake in a spreadsheet, then stop eating when I have reached my budgeted calories for the day.

    I also do daily exercise for health, but I view that as a separate activity from weight loss. It just takes too much exercise to make a significant dent - more than I am willing to do. I could easily undo my daily exercise by eating a couple of cookies or a doughnut. I wouldn't discourage anybody from exercising to lose weight, but before you do, look up a table of calories burned during exercise, and do the math.

    If you decide to count calories, there are some free tools available. There is a free computer program called CRON-o-meter. http://spaz.ca/cronometer/

    There are also online diet journals. The one I like best is this one from USDA. http://www.mypyramidtracker.gov/

    If you have gained 70 lb in a year, you may need to address some issue there first.
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  13. #12  
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    Just to reinforce Harold's comments on exercise.

    There has been a lot of research into weight loss methods, and some results are clear cut. One such result shows that low to moderate levels of exercise are pretty much useless as weight loss tools. Such exercise, of course, is extremely valuable, for general health. But not for weight loss.

    Very heavy exercise, though, measured in hours per day, does result in weight loss. Anyone who does 4 hours a day of pumping iron will struggle to maintain weight. Just do not expect that to be the result if your exercise is just moderate.
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  14. #13  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    But once you stop the heavy exercising you will gain weight, even more so because you got used to eating more.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    But once you stop the heavy exercising you will gain weight, even more so because you got used to eating more.
    Hence, constant routine of moderate exercise. Even after the weight is lost.
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  16. #15  
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    Do some weight training mixed with cardiovascular excercise. Doing some cardio early in the morning will help you lose fat easier too, since your body is burning your fats as energy. Also, don't eat junk food. Have a healthy, clean diet. Drink lots of water. Also, eat less calories than usual. Hope I helped you out buddy.

    Good luck!
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  17. #16  
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    I feel urged to note that one should be careful when running in the morning. Your body is essentially 'cold', and doesn't naturally 'warm up' fully until the afternoon. Hence, it's easier to injure yourself in the morning. So, you need to prime yourself. Be sure to stretch carefully and sufficiently. Also, start out slow. Your capacity for physical performance is much lower in the morning for various reasons (e.g. low lung capacity compared to afternoon capability). So, don't get discouraged when you feel like you're wimping out too soon, it's natural :wink: .
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  18. #17  
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    Losing weight is simple -- just cut your daily intake of calories and exercise more. When your organism finds it cannot extract the necessary energy from the food you consume, it will start burning the fat deposits in waist and other parts of your body. So, the most natural way to lose weight is to keep to a diet, which reduces the energy your consume and do regular exercises to burn energy.
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  19. #18  
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    Learn how to eat. An easy to read book that teaches this: "I Can Make You Thin" by Paul McKenna

    Find a sport where you have some social support, and can connect with other people.
    If you like walking, you could consider race walking. I know some race walkers who look like like their skin is saran wrap pulled over their ribs--very low body fat.

    Add regular stretching and strength work to your exercise. I think a lot people "stress eat". Stretching with activities like yoga, can break this cycle. Also, if you take up a sport, connect with people who can teach you, and get good instruction. There is a lot of info on good training methods that can make exercise much more effective, depending on your health, and will help you avoid injury.

    Keep healthy snacks in your fridge and eat these when hungry. For example, every 2-3 days I cut up raw "alkaline" veggies (celery, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) and keep them in the fridge for snacking. If you do this, you may find your appetite will change, and the desire for junk food goes away. You learn to crave healthy food when hungry.
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  20. #19  
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    There are many ways in which an individual can choose to lose weight. The problem is that diet, and exercise alone for some people still isn't enough, and may leave them struggling to reach their weight loss goals. For many people changing their diet, exercising, and taking nutritional supplements or weight loss products in combination can be the perfect answer to lose weight.
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  21. #20  
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    I feel obliged to make a comment on long term weight loss failure.

    Sadly, the main finding of researchers working on weight loss programs, is that - long term - they almost always fail. That is : people go on a diet and lose weight, and then slowly put it all back on again.

    One study showed the following statistics for weight loss after 5 years.
    100% lost substantial weight over a period of 6 months. (Those who failed to do so were excluded from the study.) Of this group :
    5% had long term (5 year) weight loss.
    35% regained all they had lost.
    60% regained all they had lost and put on even more.

    It is very easy for us to give advice on diets to lose weight. With a bit of discipline those diets work, and you lose weight. However, it is entirely something else to retain your new lower weight. Putting it all back plus extra is the norm.

    As far as I know, the only proven method of losing lots of weight and keeping it off long term is surgery. Stomach stapling or similar. If your level of obesity is dangerously high, this is probably the best option. Surgery somehow changes appetite, so that people eat less long term.

    There is, however, lots of research into weight loss, and a pill that suppresses appetite without the surgery is in the offing. This pill would have to be taken daily for the rest of our life, but should do the job. It is not quite here yet, and we might have to wait another 10 years.

    There is another view that is being proposed more and more. It is not yet fully accepted by health authorities who are notoriously conservative. That is , that saturated fat is not the bogey normally portrayed, and the real culprit is purified carbohydrates. Sugars, and purified starches like white bread, pasta, white rice, potatoes, French fries etc. This school of thought says that, if you exclude such things from your diet, you will be much better off. I am not sure that this idea is yet proven, and I offer it diffidently, knowing that more studies are required.
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  22. #21 Losing weight for health purposes. 
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    Losing weight can improve your health in many ways. Just losing 10% of your current weight can make a difference in the way you feel on a daily basis. Here are some other ways losing weight will benefit your health:

    * Increased energy level
    * Lower your cholesterol levels
    * Reduce your blood pressure
    * Reduced aches and pains
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