Author Topic: Mustachian principles applied to dieting  (Read 6134 times)

Runrooster

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Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« on: January 24, 2020, 06:58:16 PM »
Hi all,
I was wondering if being frugal helps or hurts when it comes to dieting. 
My main problems with it, money-wise, are 1. cheap carbs and 2. not wanting to waste food.
I just don't understand why I have such problems keeping off the weight; I've lost weight many times in my life, 60 pounds 3 years ago, but it's come creeping back (well, half of the weight).  Well, I have some idea what I'm eating that I shouldn't - this week I had pizza, ice cream, cupcakes (no frosting), samosas, turkey sandwich in addition to my omelets salads chicken fruit and 2 hours/day cardio.  All the additional food was given to me free at work.  3 years ago I was doing 3 hours/day cardio, and then 6 months ago I decided that was too much.

I remind myself about hedonic adaptation and that the body will stop sending me hunger pangs after a week after a calorie drop, but it's still hard.

Are there other frugal concepts that help with dieting?

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2020, 07:12:33 PM »
Thatís kinda interesting because you illustrate how being frugal could actually lead to eating badly if you consume as much free food from work as possible. So the biggest Mustachian concept I think that helps is: willpower. Like anything, you need a goal and a plan and you need to track it and keep yourself accountable. You donít have to eat it simply because itís there. There are plenty of online resources for cheap healthy meals. You have to do the work though, the same way you have to be conscious about saving and investing. If you can master that discipline, then you have the tools to transfer to other parts of your life.

mozar

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2020, 08:45:48 PM »
Something that has helped me is having cheat days. So if I eat healthy all week I get a donut on Friday.  I also eat lots of healthy "treats" during the day like lentil peanut butter blondies with chocolate chips and gluten free raspberry and chocolate chip muffins. If you are eating a lot of free food maybe it's because you're hungry. Its hard to pack enough food to get through the work day.

tawyer

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2020, 09:33:15 PM »
Can you put a price on your health? Can you afford to eat poorly? (I cannot). Rather than think about wasted food (which presumably exists because someone ordered too much) think about what a waste of your health it will be to consume it. Works for me.

frugs

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2020, 11:08:01 PM »
The best cheap and filling food is beans. Black beans and rice work wonders. Chickpeas, lentils, any kind of bean is something you can make a large batch of and have during the week or freeze for later. Oatmeal is also very filling in the morning. All of these can be bought in bulk.

Avoid refined white carbs like white bread, pizza, sugary drinks (including alcohol). Those just make you hungrier.

Eat foods that make you feel full for longer like avocado and nut butter. A spoonful of almond or peanut butter works wonders to curb hunger in the afternoon. Bring your own food you can stuff in your mouth when crappy work 'food' is tempting you.


soccerluvof4

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2020, 03:47:05 AM »
I agree with @mozar . Having a cheat day worked always best for me. I would make it a certain day like a Saturday and every-time your tempted just say I will have it on Saturday. You will find when your cheat day comes you probably wont eat half the stuff your thinking about.

Sailor Sam

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2020, 06:17:51 AM »
If your looking for advice - I found reading Gary Taubs ďWhy We Get Fat,Ē and then Good Calories, Bad Calories,Ē to be pretty interesting. Disclaimer: the conclusion is a paleo lifestyle for lean good health. Iím not paleo. In fact I lean towards vegan, but I still found the science pretty fascinating.

If your looking for Mustachian principles, then Iíve also found thinking of my daily food Ďbudgetí to be helpful. My money is a finite resource, and if I spend too much, then eventually Iíll have to institute austerity.  A calorie budget when viewed across a week is the same. If I eat too much on day 1, then sometime very soon Iíll need to have a day thatís much lower in calories.

I also find the concept of delayed gratification is pretty handy for both weight maintenance and money accumulation. The caveat is that eventually you do have to allow the treat. Donít just move the wicket, because youíll stop trusting yourself.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2020, 07:24:55 AM »
If you don't want to throw away food, when you have made too much for dinner, then simply put it in the fridge for next day.

You can save money by baking your own healthy bread.
And make sure you eat lots of vegetables and whole grain products, so that you won't feel hungry so soon.
Maybe becoming a vegetarian could be an alternative? I have heard vegetarian/vegan can be very cheap, especially if you focus on eating beans and lentils.

I also had great trouble not eating many portions of cake at work. I used to be the person eating up the left over portions, because I like sweet products. Not sure how to avoid it other then not thinking you are the department's garbage can. For me it helped to quit working. I actually eat more healthy at home.

Greystache

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2020, 07:27:10 AM »
I have a little personal experience in this area. I dropped 50 pounds about 10 years ago and have kept the weight off ever since. I did it by changing the way I ate. Sure, I reduced my total calorie intake, but mostly, I just limited myself to real food. Fresh fruit, vegetables and lean meat and fish. Stay away from refined carbs and anything that comes out of a factory. I tend to gain weight whenever I get out of my routine. Extended road trips and visits with family always result in a couple extra pounds. When that happens I just cut out one meal a day until I get back to my target weight. The trendy term is intermittent fasting. The simple term is just skip breakfast. Limit all eating to a six hour window between noon and 6 PM. And when you do eat, remember, just real food. There is nothing more frugal than not consuming food.
Regarding exercise, I don't do anything besides a daily walk and play sports and do work around the house and garden. I would never discourage exercise, but I think you get much more bang for your buck with diet rather than exercise.

Runrooster

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2020, 08:39:54 AM »
So, just to provide a frame of reference, I work two jobs, one full time and one part time.  Both provide free meals as well as the occasional snacks.
The full time job provided (I counted) 95 meals last year, mostly focussing on healthy salads and sandwiches. There are often leftovers. For some reason even though I wait to the very end of the day, the salads are left.  I don't feel bad about eating these, but they are heavier on the cheese and olives than what I would make at home. Yesterday there were also two sandwiches left, which I took because I don't treat myself to bread the rest of the time.
The part time job is seasonal, and for 4 months they provide lunch every day, to the tune of 43 meals a year.  It is often pizza or equally unhealthy fast casual, though I prefer getting the roast chicken.  I usually pack something in case they don't order out, but end up bringing it home for dinner.
Then of course I have usual socializing, maybe less than once a week, say another 40 meals a year.
So that's a grand total of 180 free meals a year, plus leftovers. Yikes, no wonder I put on 30 pounds in two years.

I'm doing better at avoiding desserts, but still slip up.
I can't see myself avoiding the free lunches - most are pretty healthy as I focus on the chicken and veg - but I can be convinced otherwise.  Actually my managers don't usually eat the free lunch, I guess it stops appealing once you've been there 15+ years.

swashbucklinstache

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2020, 08:54:52 AM »
Diet >>>>>> cardio for weight loss. 3 hours is almost certainly well beyond the point of reasonable return on investment if your goal is weight loss from an opportunity cost perspective. I.e. spend 1 hour from one of those days meal prepping and triple your results, not to mention weight lifting or, frankly, none of the above.

More generally from a mustache perspective, in addition to the theoretical approaches others have described I'd offer up an applied piece: spreadsheets. A solution I've found worked well was build a spreadsheet with 14 different days worth of meals, including plenty of variety. Then, grocery shop for exactly those things every 14 days, and eat exactly those things. If you get bored, swap a day or five out in the next 14 day window. If you wake up on Tuesday and don't want to eat Tuesday's food, swap Tuesday and next Thursday's meal plans. If you are hungrier on some random Tuesday because you ran a 5k, well, eat some of Wednesday's food. If you want to have a cheat day or three, or get invited out to a meal, or whatever, just like you can splurge on a one time expense you can splurge on your diet. Build a "my friends ask me to go out to happy hour every week or two" into your calorie budget just like you do your $ budget. This is even better than finances in a big way, because while you might have a one time splurge on a bigger car that has a monthly payment 3x what you should for a 6 year loan term, or buy a car for 20k when you really should not buy a car at all, it's pretty unlikely that you'll go over maintenance calories by 2-5x every month for the next 6 years because of a momentary splurge.

I've found that this is easier than overdoing it on meal prepping myself. I know I have a bag of frozen fruit and I am scheduled to eat it all over the next two weeks, I don't need to measure out exactly 1/14 of it to eat each day I just grab a couple of scoops and eat more or less fruit in the last few days of the cycle depending on how much is left...

The added benefit here is just like budgeting -> if you aren't getting the results you want, you know how to dial down your consumption of calories in 10% increments. Just like a $ budget, if you follow this 80% of the time you'll be in great shape.

If you're worried about wasting food, utilize frozen vegetables/fruit or go ahead and cook the hamburger/whatever it is, freeze it, and eat it in the next two week window instead. If you're worried about the world wasting food if no one eats it, that's pretty close to a sunken cost fallacy and I just tell myself that if the organizers of the meeting see that there's leftovers they might order less next time. If you really, really struggle with this of course you can always build it into your plan - my workplace has a variable amount of free perishable food on Fridays and I account for that by scheduling myself to eat 1-5x amounts of a nutritionally similar, but non-perishable, dish I have purchased in bulk at home.

red_pill

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2020, 10:23:44 AM »
Hi all,
I was wondering if being frugal helps or hurts when it comes to dieting. 
My main problems with it, money-wise, are 1. cheap carbs and 2. not wanting to waste food.
I just don't understand why I have such problems keeping off the weight; I've lost weight many times in my life, 60 pounds 3 years ago, but it's come creeping back (well, half of the weight).  Well, I have some idea what I'm eating that I shouldn't - this week I had pizza, ice cream, cupcakes (no frosting), samosas, turkey sandwich in addition to my omelets salads chicken fruit and 2 hours/day cardio.  All the additional food was given to me free at work.  3 years ago I was doing 3 hours/day cardio, and then 6 months ago I decided that was too much.

I remind myself about hedonic adaptation and that the body will stop sending me hunger pangs after a week after a calorie drop, but it's still hard.

Are there other frugal concepts that help with dieting?


Unhealthy food given to you at work is not saving you money....it is COSTING you in terms of future (and probably current) health problems and reduced quality of life, and there isn't anything more expensive than that.  Every piece of junk you put in your mouth is a deduction to the most important bank account you have.

This whole "oh well I don't want to waste money" is just BS justification, which I suspect you do a lot of.  Exhibit A: "this week I had pizza, ice cream, cupcakes (no frosting)".    You blow up your entire week's diet but then congratulate yourself that you didn't have any frosting on your cupcake.  That's like me spending my entire paycheck on a fur coat and then congratulating myself for turning the lights out as I leave a room.

And this 2 hours cardio every day?  I call BS on that.  What are you doing for two hours a day?  I know incredibly fit dudes who don't train nearly that long every day.  I suspect you are walking and gardening and other low level activity and calling it cardio because it makes you feel better about yourself.    @swashbucklinstache hit the nail on the head explaining that you can diet your way around a lack of exercise, but you can't exercise your way around a lack of good diet, and at least half of that two hours of "cardio"  would be far better spent sorting out your diet.

People love to lie to themselves about diet all the time.  "Oh I eat several smaller meals through the day so I don't overeat" is the way people lie to themselves when they are snacking on granola bars and other shit any time their brain decides it wants a dopamine hit, rather than planning out their food intake based on their actual nutritional needs and then eating 3 or 4 proper meals and ignoring all those "hunger pangs" (that really aren't hunger, it's just your brain wanting its drug) for the week or two it takes for your addiction to go away.  One of the fittest dudes I know eats one meal a day.  2,500 calories in one sitting.  Several small meals is BS that the snack food companies have sold us.   Once you stop snacking and break your dopamine addiction, and ensure you're enough good fats in your diet, you'll see that you aren't actually as "hungry" as you thought you were. 

I recommend applying a binary rating system to the food you eat - either eating that piece of food will help you achieve your fitness goals (1), or it won't (0).   You are allowed to eat 1's, and never allowed to eat 0's, even if they are "free".  There, you just made a single decision that then removes a thousand smaller decisions and you don't have to play the "well I can just have this since I...blah blah blah" justification games that we are all so good at.  And cheat days? Nope, not until you are at your goal weight. No one ever needs a donut.  Alcoholics don't get cheat days, so neither do sugar addicts.

The other thing is, unless you are actually tracking your diet, then you have no idea what you are eating.  Zero.  It's like never looking at a bank statement and trying to figure out what you spend - your estimates will be off by at least 40%, and not in the way that helps you.   There are tons of planners out there, myfitnesspal works great.  Track every single piece of food that goes in your mouth and you'll be aghast at how much sugar and carbs your standard day is.   You seem to like tracking things, so track that.

This is entirely in your control.  Good luck.
 

dabighen

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2020, 12:08:03 PM »
As Michael pollen says in his book:

1)  eat food. (Meaning things that dont say "eat me" or claim to be healthy.  Stay away from packaged processed crap that says "low fat" or "high fiber".  Sounds counterintuitive but you never see spinach packaged that says "low fat")

2)  not too much (stop before you are full)

3) mostly plants

4)  all things in moderation...including moderation.  If you like cake have a small piece of cake.  Just keep it small.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2020, 12:11:34 PM by dabighen »

Runrooster

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2020, 12:11:07 PM »
Unhealthy food given to you at work is not saving you money....it is COSTING you in terms of future (and probably current) health problems and reduced quality of life, and there isn't anything more expensive than that.  Every piece of junk you put in your mouth is a deduction to the most important bank account you have.

This whole "oh well I don't want to waste money" is just BS justification, which I suspect you do a lot of.  Exhibit A: "this week I had pizza, ice cream, cupcakes (no frosting)".    You blow up your entire week's diet but then congratulate yourself that you didn't have any frosting on your cupcake.  That's like me spending my entire paycheck on a fur coat and then congratulating myself for turning the lights out as I leave a room.

And this 2 hours cardio every day?  I call BS on that.  What are you doing for two hours a day?  I know incredibly fit dudes who don't train nearly that long every day.

Yeah, I know incredibly fit dudes who called BS on my doing so much cardio too.  That's one reason I cut back from 3 to 2 hours, but it's a genuine 1.5 hours on the treadmill at 4.5 incline/3.5mph (which my treadmill claims is 770 calories, which obviously I doubt), and a solid half-hour walk at lunch every day (prob 3mph so 150 cal).  It's not gardening, but it's not a 6 mph run either.

I'm laughing about the frosting; I just don't like it.  I wouldn't call a slice of pizza, a cupcake, and a 4oz container of ice cream "blowing up my diet", but maybe I need to rethink that.  I also didn't throw away the salad because it came with olives, feta cheese, and quinoa.  I eat the free food because I like the free food, definitely.  I never eat out, no alcohol, no happy hours with friends.  My current health, including A1c, is good, which is why I've been complacent.

Thanks for the facepunch.

red_pill

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2020, 01:14:44 PM »

I'm laughing about the frosting; I just don't like it.  I wouldn't call a slice of pizza, a cupcake, and a 4oz container of ice cream "blowing up my diet", but maybe I need to rethink that. 


You are 30lbs heavier than you want to be.  Cupcakes, pizza, and icecream absolutely is blowing your diet.  Thinking otherwise is how you got to this place.  Thatís like someone with a big credit card debt thinking a daily trip to Starbucks isnít a big deal because they need to treat themselves once in a while.

Glad to hear about the no alcohol. That stuff is poison.

Iím a CrossFit guy so donít know much about sustained endurance efforts but Iíd bet that your treadmill workout isnít getting your heart rate to where it needs to be for maximum benefit. Thatís a pretty slow walk at a very moderate incline.  And maybe youíd do well to incorporate some variety into your workouts (weights, interval training etc). I mean, letís be honest ....how good is your workout plan if you have 30 lbs to lose and you  arenít blowing your diet as you claim.   All that to say, I bet you could accomplish way more of far less time. 

Runrooster

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2020, 07:11:50 PM »
Thatís like someone with a big credit card debt thinking a daily trip to Starbucks isnít a big deal because they need to treat themselves once in a while.
Iím a CrossFit guy so donít know much about sustained endurance efforts but Iíd bet that your treadmill workout isnít getting your heart rate to where it needs to be for maximum benefit. Thatís a pretty slow walk at a very moderate incline. 

Yup, I'm not an ultra fit 20-something male, I can jog but it's almost slower than my walk.  I have no idea what you mean by maximum benefit for my heart - I don't use the heart monitor most of the time, but I see it go to 170; I'm sweating in 10 minutes and pretty drenched when I get off.  The reason ultra fit men don't do as much time in their cardio is BECAUSE they can ramp up their intensity.  I don't have that option.  Some people suggest wind sprints, but basically that makes me hate my workout and I can do maybe 20 minutes.  I tried weight lifting, well 10 years ago, and I put on weight instead of losing it, and no it wasn't muscle.  I just don't buy weight training, sorry if that offends cross fit folks.

I'm certainly not suggesting I've never "blown up my diet" but I don't see it as this week.  In any case, I like the Starbucks analogy in that both seem small but add to a mentality of "deserving it".  I probably do use food as my treat more than I should.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2020, 07:13:35 PM by Runrooster »

NoWorries

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2020, 05:29:56 PM »
Well, I have some idea what I'm eating that I shouldn't

There is NOTHING that you SHOULD NOT eat. If you want it, eat it. Thinking that certain foods are forbidden is not a way to live. Don't deprive yourself. You can have any food, but perhaps not a HUGE portion and perhaps not ALL the time. Eat small amounts of high calorie foods and SAVOR IT! Enjoy it! This has helped me to lose a lot of weight and keep it off.

Also, leftovers are a Mustachian's friend! You get to eat all the food that you want. All the food at work that they are giving out for free. But NOT ALL AT ONCE. Have a few bites and wrap it up for later. Take it home.

Lots of foods can be frozen. I regularly make huge batches of inexpensive and healthy food and then freeze most of it. Cook once, eat 8 times! Such a time saver.

mm1970

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2020, 05:53:45 PM »
Hi all,
I was wondering if being frugal helps or hurts when it comes to dieting. 
My main problems with it, money-wise, are 1. cheap carbs and 2. not wanting to waste food.
I just don't understand why I have such problems keeping off the weight; I've lost weight many times in my life, 60 pounds 3 years ago, but it's come creeping back (well, half of the weight).  Well, I have some idea what I'm eating that I shouldn't - this week I had pizza, ice cream, cupcakes (no frosting), samosas, turkey sandwich in addition to my omelets salads chicken fruit and 2 hours/day cardio.  All the additional food was given to me free at work.  3 years ago I was doing 3 hours/day cardio, and then 6 months ago I decided that was too much.

I remind myself about hedonic adaptation and that the body will stop sending me hunger pangs after a week after a calorie drop, but it's still hard.

Are there other frugal concepts that help with dieting?
It's a feature not a bug.  It's pretty normal to have difficulty maintaining weight loss, it's really how the body works.

In other words, formerly overweight people's bodies behave differently than people who have never been overweight.

Free food at work, I had to dial back on that, or use it as a replacement, not an addition.  I can't eat gluten anymore, but if there was free pizza leftovers for lunch I'd eat it. But if I'd already eaten it, I may take a slice for tomorrow's lunch.  I just couldn't have it in ADDITION to what I already brought.

Also, I've been tracking my grocery budget for years and here's the thing:
the year I focused on losing baby weight, my budget doubled.  BECAUSE - everyone only has so much mental capacity.  If you are using mental capacity at work AND towards weight loss/ counting calories/ meal planning, etc., then there's not much left for also keeping the budget down.

(The year after I lost the baby weight, 2015, I cut my budget back to 60%, so slightly higher than 2013, but more than half of the weight loss year, 2014).

Also, you cannot out exercise a bad diet.  I like cardio and all (for stress relief), but you are right - 3 hours not sustainable, 2 hours not very much either.  Do you lift weights?

ender

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2020, 05:54:48 PM »
I wish I could figure this out.

I'm very good at budgeting/etc with finances.

I'm terrible with it in health.

mm1970

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2020, 06:05:20 PM »
I few other comments -

Weight training is good for you, good for health, good for increasing your base metabolism on, whether you lose weight or not or whether you like it or not.  I'm a 49 year old female - and I weight train, and I don't do cross fit.  I just weight train.

I like free food!  But you should think about portion control, and also start writing things down.  I first lost weight when I was in my early 30s, and I'd tried EVERYTHING. (Ha).  I tried WW then because some friends were doing it, but it totally wasn't going to work because I eat healthfully already, right?  Then I started measuring my food and duh...

So here are the things, once I added it up, I realized that a 5'2" woman shouldn't be matching her husband bite for bite.
I also shouldn't be looking at every meal as if it was my last.  I loved pizza!!  But you know, I should only really eat a slice - a single slice.  Once I realized that, (and also realized that if I only ate one slice, I could eat another one tomorrow), it got easier.  I could eat whatever I wanted, just not as much as I wanted and just not every day.

So yes, I could have pizza, but not with ice cream or a cupcake.  I could have pizza as long as 2x the volume was vegetables.

(Now I eat protein and vegetables for lunch, that's it.)

Also: wind sprints for only 20 minutes?  Also, you are doing it wrong if you are trying to do sprints for that long.  High intensity intervals are GREAT, but in short duration and only maybe once or twice a week.

Runrooster

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2020, 06:23:12 PM »
Also, leftovers are a Mustachian's friend! You get to eat all the food that you want. All the food at work that they are giving out for free. But NOT ALL AT ONCE. Have a few bites and wrap it up for later. Take it home.

Lots of foods can be frozen. I regularly make huge batches of inexpensive and healthy food and then freeze most of it. Cook once, eat 8 times! Such a time saver.

Yeah, I do wrap it up, take it home, share with family, freeze some. But, for example I'm on day 4 of a daily serving of Panera's greek salad with quinoa.  It comes with feta, olives, and quinoa, which I would not have put in a salad I make.  At $4/lb for lettuce, it feels frugal as well as knowing the salad would probably have been thrown away.  Even red_pill held off on criticizing the salad. BUT, a quick web search puts the salad at 550 calories - with dressing, and a larger container than I eat at once, but still, maybe 250 calories for a freaking salad, no protein.  Today I had a half-sandwich (leftover) with that, another 250 calories.  I'm still proud of myself for rejecting the free fries, samosas, ice cream from the weekend job.

When I lost 60 pounds, along with the 13 miles of walking/incline I did, I ate a very repetitive diet.  Omelets, beans, chicken, plus veg/fruit.  I don't think I'm doubling the calories for every meal (I tried skipping breakfast for a few months, didn't do much pro or con), but maybe one meal a day. cutting back to the lower calories is hard, especially in the face of delicious free calories.

I think one mustachian principle applies here from another thread of mine: always ask the price.  When I was losing weight, I used eating at friend's houses as free days - I ate low-carb, high-veg, but maybe had one piece of bread, one dessert.  Now, those free days are every other day and then some with leftovers.  I need to research the calorie content before I eat it, wrap it up, bring it home, especially because once it's home I won't throw it away.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2020, 06:55:48 PM by Runrooster »

Runrooster

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2020, 06:33:54 PM »
Also: wind sprints for only 20 minutes?  Also, you are doing it wrong if you are trying to do sprints for that long.  High intensity intervals are GREAT, but in short duration and only maybe once or twice a week.

I hear you on the single slice of pizza. I'm also 49, female and 5'2".
Wind sprints for 20 minutes means 45 seconds sprint, 90 seconds recover/walk, repeat.  I think 30 minutes is recommended, but even 20 minutes is painful to me.  I'm with you on once/twice a week.
I don't know what to say about weight lifting etc.  My sisters have tried to get me to a gym, including offering to pay for it; I just figure that the 45 minutes it takes to get there and back is time I could save on the treadmill.  Plus I like the "set it and forget it" aspect of it; I watch TV on the treadmill and no other time.  90 minutes is absolutely sustainable for the long haul.  The 30 minute walk at lunch is mostly a way to get some sunshine, as I suffer from SAD; I have a sun lamp but like natural light.  It would be nice to do yoga and kickboxing again, things I did when we had a gym at my job.

Sailor Sam

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2020, 07:51:17 PM »
Sounds like youíre stuck in a pink collar cardio regime. Which, if equating back to MMM principles, is like sticking all of your savings into a money market or bond. Youíre money wonít keep up with inflation, and your cardio isnít keeping up with whatever your caloric intake and metabolism are doing.

Lifting some weights is like sticking that money into the stock market. The higher muscle mass will require more calories. That muscle mass will give you the choice between eating more (nom!), or eating the same and losing weight (baller).

You canít lose, as long as you pick up something heavy-ish. Then put it back down. Then pick it up again.

red_pill

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2020, 07:53:24 PM »

I hear you on the single slice of pizza. I'm also 49, female and 5'2".
Wind sprints for 20 minutes means 45 seconds sprint, 90 seconds recover/walk, repeat.  I think 30 minutes is recommended, but even 20 minutes is painful to me.  I'm with you on once/twice a week.
I don't know what to say about weight lifting etc.  My sisters have tried to get me to a gym, including offering to pay for it; I just figure that the 45 minutes it takes to get there and back is time I could save on the treadmill.  Plus I like the "set it and forget it" aspect of it; I watch TV on the treadmill and no other time.  90 minutes is absolutely sustainable for the long haul.  The 30 minute walk at lunch is mostly a way to get some sunshine, as I suffer from SAD; I have a sun lamp but like natural light.  It would be nice to do yoga and kickboxing again, things I did when we had a gym at my job.

If you are 49 and female you NEED to be lifting weights to build bone density.  This is really not optional if you want good quality of life in your later years.  Why not go to the gym with your sisters?  It's not just good for you physically, but socially as well.  And, sorry, but there is just no substitute for lifting weights when it comes to healthy bones.

Also, if you are 49 and you saw your heart rate go to 170 (as you said earlier)....well, no way.  That would be your max heart rate and after two minutes you wouldn't be able to focus on the tv let alone watch a show on it, you would be near death.  So, since your HR isn't 170 (I hope!), that tells me you really don't know what it is, which tells me you aren't attacking this with a goal in mind.  That's like me saying I'm paying off debts but I don't know the interest rates on my different loans....sure, I'm paying something off so it's better than nothing, but clearly I have no idea what I'm doing and the lack of knowledge would speak to the fact that there's probably other aspects of my financial life that are lacking.  That's the sense I get from you re: fitness and diet.  There's probably a lot more going on here than excessively long treadmill sessions punctuated by free pizza and ice cream in the lunch room at the office.  Maybe I'm wrong, but that's my sense, anyway.

RE workouts, try this:  Instead of 2 hours, just do 30 to 45 minutes on your treadmill.  But increase the speed to the point where you can just barely hold a conversation.  Like, you can speak but multiple full sentences would be hard. That will do far more for your cardio than zoning out while watching tv.  Another workout idea on your treadmill is to do 7 rounds of 1 min running (as fast as you can for the full minute) and then 2 minutes or walking slowly.  So that will take you 21 minutes.  Keep the running speed to the point where you have recovered enough at the end of your 2 minute rest to do another 1 min run.  So, it won't be crazy sprinting speed. 

Look, 30 extra pounds on a 5'2" frame at your age is a big deal.  That's heart attack material.   You need to get this sorted.  Good luck! 

horsepoor

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2020, 08:40:05 PM »
+1 for weight lifting.  Personally, I mostly do kettlebells, so I can get cardio and strength in one go.  Then some additional free weights.  Maintaining bone density and muscle mass is key as we age.  Many years ago I saw a cross-section image of two older ladies' thighs; similar weight, but one had muscle and the other one had adipose tissue.  I'd rather be the resilient one with the muscle covering my thighs, and the bones that aren't brittle, so I can ride until I'm 80.

Past that, it sounds to me like your best bet is tracking your food for a few weeks.  I'm sure you've done it in the past with your weight loss history.  MyFitnessPal and many other apps and websites provide this for free, and it will show you where you can cut out some calories.  I did it off and on when I lost 50+ pounds several years ago.  Now I eat low carb, but not totally keto, and it cuts cravings and appetite enough that I don't have to track.

As far as the actual grocery bill, I still try to economize, but also realize that since I barely go out to eat, make my own "clean" condiments, etc., I can afford to buy good fresh veggies and not rely on cheap filler carbs.

ReadyOrNot

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2020, 04:15:47 AM »
I forced myself to enjoy healthy, complex greens / veggies / fruits, and hate processed foods like cookies, chips, most junk food.

Health is far more important than taste.  Fortunately I can afford good healthy meals without sacrificing too much in taste, but I pay for it.

I now despise heavily sugar laden things as well as tons of simple carbs.  We need to go to a less processed based diet, with a lot of leafy greens and healthy fruits.

Cranky

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2020, 05:54:58 AM »
I think you can eat whatever, including the occasional cupcake, but you have to be mindful of portions. If your salad is 500 calories, that's fine but that's all you need for lunch. It's not *part* of lunch, it's all of lunch.

Fair warning - your calorie requirements continue to drop. Your body becomes thrifty and conserves!

Barbaebigode

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2020, 07:43:55 AM »
Eat only when you're hungry, but when that happens, eat real food. My intake of junk food falls dramatically when I have lunch/dinner at the "correct" time. Being hungry with chocolate around is a recipe for disaster (in my case, at least).

Also, be sure you're eating for right reason: hunger. Try not to eat out of boredom or as a coping mechanism or due to social pressure.

and +1 to lifting weights. Some people hate it, but it's cheap, practical and effective.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2020, 09:30:18 AM »
I can kind of relate in that I feel the need to buy the larger container of ice cream or the largest block of chocolate when I have a craving, because this is more economical. Unfortunately, this is followed by extremely poor willpower when it comes to treat food at home, resulting in me eating the entire lot of treat food! I've had to accept that a craving can be indulged, but by buying a single serving only. Then it's over and done and more diet-efficient while being less dollar-efficient.

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2020, 10:05:38 AM »
OP, the food environment at your work is a minefield. I understand your desire to take advantage of the "healthy" options in order to save money, but saving those pennies is getting in the way of you losing out on many dollars of weight loss. You're right to ask what the real cost is.

If I were you, with your goals, I would bring 100% of my own meals and snacks to work for at least 2 weeks to reset my baseline. Yes, this is more expensive. Yes, it's more work, but you know you can't continue to do what you're doing and succeed.

StashingAway

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #30 on: January 28, 2020, 10:28:06 AM »
I love all of the feedback you are getting!!

I think, just for variety's sake you should entertain the idea of switching up your workout routine. I'm a distance runner, and I get bored in 15 minutes on a treadmill, especially if I'm actually running hard (as weird as that sounds). 45-90 minutes just sounds like torture. Or, in your case, it's easy entertainment if you're watching TV. But it's probably not a great workout.

  • It sounds like you're trying to kill two birds with one stone and make your workout time also your leisure time. In my opinion, this ruins both. 
  • You can get an incredibly good full body workout with kettlebells in 20 minutes. Imagine being done in 20 minutes rather than 45, 90, or TWO HOURS? You should be concentrated enough on your workout that you couldn't possibly follow along whatever show is on television.
  • These are all things that signing up for a class or gym or regular scheduled even that holds you accountable are good for many people. Crossfit is expensive but an incredible camaraderie experience where people are excited at your progress and ask where you're at if you miss a class. This goes for most of the class experiences (spin, zumba, pilates, hot yoga, etc.)
  • Even the best athletes frequently dread going to workouts. I'd say about 90% of the time I don't feel like going to the gym, and every time I tell myself that I'll feel better once I'm done. Once in the workout, it's not so bad. So there no magic bullet to make things easy- just the same as there's no magic bullet for budgeting. You just take things day by day and in a year evaluate where you're at.
As for diet, I just have one thought that I haven't seen yet:

How often do you drink sugary drinks (including "diet" drinks with artificial sweeteners)?

« Last Edit: January 28, 2020, 12:40:05 PM by StashingAway »

wellactually

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #31 on: January 28, 2020, 10:31:13 AM »
The worst I've ever eaten was when I was paycheck to paycheck. A lot of my bad choices were to take advantage of free food. Sometimes you do what you gotta do!

But as I've gotten older, made healthier eating a priority, and had the time/energy/money available, something interesting happened. When making a big health push (i.e. to start prepping and batch cooking a healthy lunch for work), my grocery spending will bump up, but that bump will drop off pretty quickly. So at first I'll spend a little more money on the healthy choices, but then I think the replacement value catches up and my spending levels out. It just takes a few tries to figure out the equilibrium of how much X to prep and what that will replace in your current grocery spending. If you're tracking your spending, it's easier to know what the full impact is.

One huge thing that helped me with changing my diet was accepting that I am not someone who can moderate. I cannot buy a full thing of pringles and then portion those out throughout the week. I will eat all the pringles. Part of my strategy for dealing with this is to make those choices more inconvenient. In our joint budget, those food purchases are blow money ones, thus must be made with cash. So I leave my cash at home. And I don't keep any of those snacks in the house or purchase any with grocery money.

The other habit changing tool (these are adapted from Gretchen Rubin FYI) is to have a plan to fail. So I have snacks for myself at work which are not 100% the most healthy options but are long-lasting and satisfying. They are not my favorite things, but they are things I like. So if I am tempted to go have some free leftover scones from the breakroom, I consider if I'm actually hungry or just want the treat. If I'm hungry, I can have one of my less bad snacks like a fruit cup or fiber bar.

FWIW, dropping from 3 hours to 2 hours of cardio is not why you are struggling to lose weight! At least 75% of weight loss is from diet, not exercise. You may, however, want to explore if your current workout routine is very efficient for your goal. Depending on your physical ability, doing more high-intensity interval training or incorporating strength training along with cardio are good options for affecting your metabolism in a positive way while also burning calories.

If you have any other health conditions that affect your hormones or thyroid or metabolism, it would be worth finding out if any specific diet and exercise focus would be more beneficial for you. I don't tout low-carb as the end-all be-all, but I actually know that I have PCOS with insulin resistance. So for me, a diet with a focus on low-glycemic index foods and an exercise plan that focused more on strength training were crucial for my weigh loss a couple years ago. I didn't work any harder or eat any healthier, but the change in types of exercises and type of healthy food was key.

I say all of this as I finish my can of coke lol.

mm1970

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #32 on: January 28, 2020, 10:42:13 AM »
Sounds like youíre stuck in a pink collar cardio regime. Which, if equating back to MMM principles, is like sticking all of your savings into a money market or bond. Youíre money wonít keep up with inflation, and your cardio isnít keeping up with whatever your caloric intake and metabolism are doing.

Lifting some weights is like sticking that money into the stock market. The higher muscle mass will require more calories. That muscle mass will give you the choice between eating more (nom!), or eating the same and losing weight (baller).

You canít lose, as long as you pick up something heavy-ish. Then put it back down. Then pick it up again.
This is a good way of putting it.

Also, I get it. I'm a cardio hound.  For decades, years and years...cardio.  Walking, running, swimming, biking.  The last few years, mostly running with some walking thrown in.  Yay for cardio!!

I've basically FORCED myself to start weight training - I started last year at a local gym (pay per class), upgraded to a membership.  Went 2x a week, then they closed.  I'm proud of myself for maintaining it at the YMCA (even though now it's Body Pump - low weight/ high reps instead of low reps high weight).

I'm not sure of your personality - but I get you on the cardio being easy.  We have a small house, so no treadmill, but it's so much easier to throw on shoes and go for a walk or run than it is to go to the gym. I LOVE working out with people, so that's how I get there.  HOWEVER, I have done many months of weight lifting programs AT HOME with Beachbody on Demand.  You don't even need to use them, there are plenty of things on-line.  I like the programs because I can put it on the calendar - Monday chest/back, Weds legs, Thursday biceps/triceps (or whatever).  SO, if you want efficiency and doing it at home, then there are options. 

Now, I did grow out of all my shirts when I started weight training, but I do love the biceps and shoulders and actually willingly wear tank tops now.  Even with the farmer tan.

More info to the OP:
Also, knowing that you are also 49, female, and 5'2" explains a lot. Free food at work, extra carby food, difficulty maintaining weight loss...unfortunately it has come with the territory for me.  I only eat heavy carb foods for breakfast and dinner for the most part, and I make 3/4 of my plate veggies for lunch, and 1/2 of my plate veggies for dinner.  Also: protein.  My diet can also be very repetitive and boring.

Good for you in passing up samosas.  I love those damn things but can't eat gluten anymore.

mm1970

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #33 on: January 28, 2020, 10:48:41 AM »
Quote
Also, if you are 49 and you saw your heart rate go to 170 (as you said earlier)....well, no way. That would be your max heart rate and after two minutes you wouldn't be able to focus on the tv let alone watch a show on it, you would be near death.  So, since your HR isn't 170 (I hope!), that tells me you really don't know what it is, which tells me you aren't attacking this with a goal in mind.  That's like me saying I'm paying off debts but I don't know the interest rates on my different loans....sure, I'm paying something off so it's better than nothing, but clearly I have no idea what I'm doing and the lack of knowledge would speak to the fact that there's probably other aspects of my financial life that are lacking.  That's the sense I get from you re: fitness and diet.  There's probably a lot more going on here than excessively long treadmill sessions punctuated by free pizza and ice cream in the lunch room at the office.  Maybe I'm wrong, but that's my sense, anyway.
This is very much genetically dependent.  Yes, her heart rate SHOULDN'T go that high, but it very likely does.

I've been running for years, and my heart rate runs high.  I asked my doc about it last year, and he asked me if I feel like I'm going to pass out...and I said no.

So he said - be safe but some people's heart rates run fast - he has a friend like that.

To be clear, I have run many half marathons in the last 2 years.  After about 2-3 miles during any training run (slow or fast), my heart rate hits 170.  Then it hits 180, 190, 195.  Often my AVERAGE is 170.  The only way I can keep my heart rate below it is to walk A LOT.

(During my 2nd uphill half marathon, my HR was basically 185-195).  Yes I wear a heart rate monitor.  My resting HR is fine.

ketchup

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #34 on: January 28, 2020, 11:14:49 AM »
Would you rather have one donut for $1 or one dozen donuts for $1?  Until your answer is the first one, the allure of "free food" will blow up your goals.  I've been there.

DadJokes

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #35 on: January 28, 2020, 11:52:57 AM »
While I'm only a week into it, the thing that has helped me a lot with weight loss is calorie counting. Just like a person with a spending problem needs a budget to see where their money is going, a person with an eating problem needs to track what they are eating.

I ate a Chick-Fil-A chicken biscuit this morning because it was free. I will seldom turn down free food. I'll just find a way to fit it into my calorie budget. Just like I have to forego some luxury spending to pursue financial independence, I passed on the Chick-Fil-A sauce, as 140 calories for a condiment is too much to justify.

robartsd

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #36 on: January 28, 2020, 02:12:36 PM »
I don't think I'm doubling the calories for every meal
1 lb of body fat is about 3500 calories. 30 lb * 3500 calories/lb / (3 years * 365 days/year) = 96 surplus calories per day. A slice of pizza, 4 oz of ice cream, and cupcake can easily add up to the surplus calories for an entire week at that rate.

Fair warning - your calorie requirements continue to drop. Your body becomes thrifty and conserves!
I've heard this as reasoning for a cheat day - let your body know that you aren't at risk of starving, but do be sure you have an adequate calorie deficit over the week as a whole to meet your goals.

I can kind of relate in that I feel the need to buy the larger container of ice cream or the largest block of chocolate when I have a craving, because this is more economical. Unfortunately, this is followed by extremely poor willpower when it comes to treat food at home, resulting in me eating the entire lot of treat food! I've had to accept that a craving can be indulged, but by buying a single serving only. Then it's over and done and more diet-efficient while being less dollar-efficient.
I too find that my willpower to resist tempting food is related to the cost. I'm never tempted by the vending machine, but frequently tempted by the pantry. I'm hoping that by tracking calories, I can break the sunk cost fallacy regarding treats in the pantry.

le-weekend

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #37 on: January 28, 2020, 03:05:05 PM »
I just wanted to say GOOD LUCK and you can do it. I need a pep talk myself lately, after having recently realized that I REALLY can't eat "whatever I want" anymore. Now in my mid 40's I oh so slowly gained 20 lbs in a few years and I'm just one or two notches away from being in the "overweight" BMI category. :-( 

Motivation comes slowly and sometimes it's a struggle, but for me I have to believe that focusing on small wins will add up to larger wins over time. For example:

1) After working out (1 hour of cardio, stretching, and simple weight machines at gym) I really do feel so much better mentally and physically.
2) Bring baby carrots + hummus to work for an afternoon snack instead of Doritos or sugar snacks.
3) Batch-prep meals on the weekend and freeze portions in single-serve containers so there's less temptation to order food out.

We have no choice but to live in the body we're given, so we must make the best of it. Good luck to you! 

Runrooster

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #38 on: January 28, 2020, 06:54:41 PM »
Sounds like youíre stuck in a pink collar cardio regime. Which, if equating back to MMM principles, is like sticking all of your savings into a money market or bond. Youíre money wonít keep up with inflation, and your cardio isnít keeping up with whatever your caloric intake and metabolism are doing.
Lifting some weights is like sticking that money into the stock market. The higher muscle mass will require more calories. That muscle mass will give you the choice between eating more (nom!), or eating the same and losing weight (baller).

So I would disagree with this attitude 100%. First of all, the idea that muscle mass burns extra calories has been thoroughly debunked.  From 40 cal/lb to more like 4 cal/lb.  Weight lifting by itself is also a poor calorie burn - all that time sitting around recovering from lifting weights.

I'd say the analogy is more like: cardio is like going to a job, weight lifting is like getting an education.  Having higher muscle mass would probably enable me to workout harder/ get a higher-paying job.  That's if I were to put on much mass, which hasn't been the case in my experience.   Weight lifting endlessly without ever doing cardio is like going to school forever and never getting a job.

That's about the end of how much I want to debate interval training, wind sprints, weight training, cross fit, going to a gym (with my sisters who live out of state?) (which is a social event how?). Not that it need stop debate amongst y'all, but for me, the best exercise is the one I'll do.  And that's treadmill plus TV.  And no, when I run outside in the summer I don't still try to watch TV; the TV makes the exercise, sweat, heart race bearable, it's not a "zone out" mode.  But, so what if it was?  I'm torching 600-800 calories without spending half an hour commuting on a daily basis.

As for diet, I just have one thought that I haven't seen yet:
How often do you drink sugary drinks (including "diet" drinks with artificial sweeteners)?

My daily drinks are 4 cups of tea (last one decaf) each with a packet of splenda.
About once a week I'll have a can of diet coke.

OP, the food environment at your work is a minefield. I understand your desire to take advantage of the "healthy" options in order to save money, but saving those pennies is getting in the way of you losing out on many dollars of weight loss. You're right to ask what the real cost is.

If I were you, with your goals, I would bring 100% of my own meals and snacks to work for at least 2 weeks to reset my baseline. Yes, this is more expensive. Yes, it's more work, but you know you can't continue to do what you're doing and succeed.

When I said to "ask the price", I didn't mean the cost of poor health, I just meant that in the exercise=income, food=spending analogy, I'm often eating meals without having any idea what the caloric cost is.  Like the ridiculous salads, which I may have eaten half of or all of one.  Since I rarely eat out, I'm not used to worrying about the extra calories in foods - homemade salad, chicken, and veg are a lot lighter than what I'm getting at work.

I like your idea of going two weeks.  I think we don't have any lunches this week, and I have more say over weekend food - I can request healthier items, as I did last weekend.  I'm not worried about the "work" or even the cost - homemade food is pretty cheap - but I'm going to miss the yum, i.e. calories.  If I can survive two weeks, though, I should adjust.

Sailor Sam

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #39 on: January 28, 2020, 07:06:24 PM »
Sounds like youíre stuck in a pink collar cardio regime. Which, if equating back to MMM principles, is like sticking all of your savings into a money market or bond. Youíre money wonít keep up with inflation, and your cardio isnít keeping up with whatever your caloric intake and metabolism are doing.
Lifting some weights is like sticking that money into the stock market. The higher muscle mass will require more calories. That muscle mass will give you the choice between eating more (nom!), or eating the same and losing weight (baller).

So I would disagree with this attitude 100%. First of all, the idea that muscle mass burns extra calories has been thoroughly debunked.  From 40 cal/lb to more like 4 cal/lb.  Weight lifting by itself is also a poor calorie burn - all that time sitting around recovering from lifting weights.

Okiedoke. Youíre thread, your rules.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #40 on: January 28, 2020, 08:36:04 PM »
Sounds like youíre stuck in a pink collar cardio regime. Which, if equating back to MMM principles, is like sticking all of your savings into a money market or bond. Youíre money wonít keep up with inflation, and your cardio isnít keeping up with whatever your caloric intake and metabolism are doing.
Lifting some weights is like sticking that money into the stock market. The higher muscle mass will require more calories. That muscle mass will give you the choice between eating more (nom!), or eating the same and losing weight (baller).

So I would disagree with this attitude 100%. First of all, the idea that muscle mass burns extra calories has been thoroughly debunked.  From 40 cal/lb to more like 4 cal/lb.  Weight lifting by itself is also a poor calorie burn - all that time sitting around recovering from lifting weights.

Okiedoke. Youíre thread, your rules.

Not remotely an expert in this, but after many gym years and following trainer plans and all that, I found I lost more weight and gained more muscle by doing cardio. Weights simply didn't work for me. I could go up weights in some areas like legs, but never in my arms. The whole regimen left me feeling exhausted, sore and underachieving for MONTHS. I know weights work well for men. I sometimes wonder if there's been any research at all into how this all works for women. We're not the same creatures, as much as the pc brigade would like us to me.

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #41 on: January 29, 2020, 04:39:39 AM »
Maybe try a baby step approach, monitor, then refine:

Skip the food at work unless it's whole grain and without sugar.

Start by eliminating ALL sugar, refined carbs which includes white flour.  No pizza, white rice, bagels, cupcakes and the like.
Fruits, veggies and lean protein.  Easy on any cheese.

2-3 hours of cardio is ridiculous.  You might look into weight training to boost your metabolism.

StashingAway

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #42 on: January 29, 2020, 05:54:58 AM »
Sounds like youíre stuck in a pink collar cardio regime. Which, if equating back to MMM principles, is like sticking all of your savings into a money market or bond. Youíre money wonít keep up with inflation, and your cardio isnít keeping up with whatever your caloric intake and metabolism are doing.
Lifting some weights is like sticking that money into the stock market. The higher muscle mass will require more calories. That muscle mass will give you the choice between eating more (nom!), or eating the same and losing weight (baller).

So I would disagree with this attitude 100%. First of all, the idea that muscle mass burns extra calories has been thoroughly debunked.  From 40 cal/lb to more like 4 cal/lb.  Weight lifting by itself is also a poor calorie burn - all that time sitting around recovering from lifting weights.

Okiedoke. Youíre thread, your rules.

Not remotely an expert in this, but after many gym years and following trainer plans and all that, I found I lost more weight and gained more muscle by doing cardio. Weights simply didn't work for me. I could go up weights in some areas like legs, but never in my arms. The whole regimen left me feeling exhausted, sore and underachieving for MONTHS. I know weights work well for men. I sometimes wonder if there's been any research at all into how this all works for women. We're not the same creatures, as much as the pc brigade would like us to me.

As long as we're using anecdotes; weights work better for my wife than they do for me. She gains strength and maintains energy better than I do in this aspect when we do the same routines.

There's a really good chance your nutrition and workout routing aren't working together well
if you're feeling exhausted for months from lifting. It's probably not a gender thing; it's probably an execution thing. There is a lot of variance in bodies in general, and some people are more sensitive to poor nutrition for recovery. It's impossible to know any of this over the internet, but based on experience that's the first thing I would look at if you said you were tired from lifting.

There are certainly significant differences biology, which play out on a many levels including synapse response, fast twitch muscle, muscle building, testosterone, etc. but your comment sounds of "weights aren't for women" misconception. They definitely are, and I've seen countless women respond absolutely positively to weight routines.

I'm also not suggesting that cardio isn't best for you (it very well could be!), what I'm suggesting is that it's much more to do with your personal system rather than generic gender differences.

wellactually

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #43 on: January 29, 2020, 05:57:39 AM »
Just to clarify my own post, when I suggested adding in some strength training, I was thinking about what I do for strength training. That is just body weight stuff. So Iíll do various types of squats, planks, tricep dips, donkey curls, push ups etc. So my tip with that was just maybe incorporate some of those kinds of core/strength building along with your cardio or replacing some of your cardio. But as long as youíre getting your heart rate up during exercise, itís good for your health, regardless of how much it helps with weight loss.

I totally agree that the best exercise is the one youíll do and frequently have given that advice to friends who ask me about budgeting. Donít pretend youíre going to magically cut your spending and then blow the fantasy budget every month.

SailingOnASmallSailboat

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #44 on: January 29, 2020, 06:00:52 AM »
You mentioned drinking tea (with splenda) in it and the occasional diet soda. Do you drink water?

I'm new to Mustachian-ism but my sense is that part of it is really dialing into what we need as opposed to the general feeling put forth by the media of what we're supposed to want.

Are you eating only when you're hungry? Are you drinking water first (because often our bodies think "hunger" when the signal is really "thirst") and waiting a few minutes (so the signal gets through)?

Echoing what others have said here, tracking your food is a really solid way to get a handle on what you're eating. Measure it out. Figure out appropriate portions and what they look like on a plate, and stick to those.

Good luck!

StashingAway

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #45 on: January 29, 2020, 06:12:35 AM »

So I would disagree with this attitude 100%. First of all, the idea that muscle mass burns extra calories has been thoroughly debunked.  From 40 cal/lb to more like 4 cal/lb.  Weight lifting by itself is also a poor calorie burn - all that time sitting around recovering from lifting weights.

It sounds like you're making excuses to me (Facepunch!). You've got an uncontrollably fluctuating weight and are rejecting advice from people who want to help.

1) Don't go to a crossfit/yoga/pilates gym out of state with your sisters. Go to one down the road. You're creating straw men problems with your responses.

2) Treadmill + TV is absolutely not the best workout for you. Your resistance to discussing it is indicative that it is being used as a workout crutch. It sounds to me like you're just watching TV; just because you sweat doesn't mean it's a workout. People work out 1/4 the amount of time that you do and are in better control of their fitness.

3) There is no quick fix solution; this is going to take a lifestyle change. There's no setting on your treadmill or trick like skipping breakfast that will let you circument this problem.

4) If you do sit down and try some new routines with an open mind, I am confident that you will find that it will improve your energy and lifestyle! Don't do ALL of the suggestions people are giving, but try giving something a shot; I really think you can find something for you! I have a friend who discovered mounting biking when he was 60 and is in better shape than when he was 40! He's having fun and cannot stop talking about it... which gets me very excited. You don't have to do crossfit or whatever, just realize that what you're currently doing isn't working and it might be a little journey to find what does!

5) Diet drinks make you feel hungrier. While they don't add extra calories, they are not as healthy as they sound. I would consider reducing your diet drink intake (maybe half packet of splenda)- ideally with an end goal of 0 - just to help with hunger signals. Then treat yourself to that coke a week.

6) Good luck, I hope you find what you're looking for!

« Last Edit: January 29, 2020, 06:20:11 AM by StashingAway »

Malcat

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #46 on: January 29, 2020, 06:48:41 AM »
I'm really confused as to what you are looking for???

You've already identified the food provided by work as a big part of why you are having a hard time limiting your caloric intake to a level that can sustain your desired weight.

What kind of advice are you actually looking for?

If you want cheap and healthy food options, there are tons of threads here talking about that. Cheap food does NOT have to be unhealthy food.

You won't get useful answers until you are clear as to what you want.

robartsd

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #47 on: January 29, 2020, 09:50:28 AM »
First of all, the idea that muscle mass burns extra calories has been thoroughly debunked.  From 40 cal/lb to more like 4 cal/lb.  Weight lifting by itself is also a poor calorie burn - all that time sitting around recovering from lifting weights.
You are absolutely correct that body building is not a cure all to a fitness problem (although it can help a little). According a webMD article, a pound of muscle consumes about 5 cal/day whereas a pound of fat consumes about 2 cal/day. I think the education/job analogy makes a lot more sense as to the importance of building muscle.

My cycle commute is my primary cardio activity - about 400 calories in about 20 minutes. It is absolutely not intense enough that I would struggle to keep up with a TV show if I did this on a stationary bike instead, but I would have difficulty carrying on a conversation at that pace.

mm1970

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #48 on: January 29, 2020, 10:57:47 AM »
^^
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25973403

Results of a meta-analysis on effectiveness of diet, diet+ exercise, and types of exercise (resistance training vs. cardio)
(Resistance training is effective).

I'm not anti-cardio, obv.  I like my cardio!  But I do seem to come back to what seems to make sense overall, which actually comes from Mark Sisson and the Primal Blueprint
- Move frequently at a slow pace
- Sprint once in awhile (HIIT)
- Lift heavy things
- Play

So for me, that's
- "slow pace" - walking the dog, lunch walks, occasional swims, Sunday walk with my bestie
- Sprint - Track Tuesday
- Lift heavy things - Body Pump Monday/Friday
- Play - dance video game with kids, frisbee, volleyball, beach
- Plus my long Saturday run

StashingAway

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Re: Mustachian principles applied to dieting
« Reply #49 on: January 29, 2020, 11:35:38 AM »
Reading through all of this again, I'm realizing that I was a bit off track (as well as the thread in general)-

Dieting is certainly the first thing to look at when trying to lose weight. And it's a super important part of a healthy lifestyle.


I think a lot of us are just thrown by a standard 2hours/day for cardio for someone who isn't a fitness nut and is struggling with weight. It's just seems like there are optimization issues.

A person could do MUCH more with 1 hour of meal planning and research combined with 1 hour of more intense cardio.