Author Topic: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits  (Read 10393 times)

wenchsenior

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #100 on: October 19, 2018, 05:12:47 PM »
Ironically, this podcast just aired, covering the issue of research into metabolism and weight.

Very interesting, indeed.

https://art19.com/shows/today-explained/embed?theme=light-custom&primary_color=%23636363&playlist_type=playlist&playlist_size=5#

austin944

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #101 on: October 19, 2018, 07:39:37 PM »
I’ve been reading some of the weight loss threads and find them rather depressing.
I have not counted a calorie in my life and most certainly have not ever spent anywhere near the intimidating efforts the dieters are expending on how much I eat.

I went from a moderately obese BMI to a normal BMI over the course of several years, and at no time did I ever feel deprived of food.   I made very small changes in my diet over time, and I did not proceed to the next change until the current change was an ingrained habit.

For example, I never used to eat any fruit.  So I started eating an apple one day out of the week.  I would eat it at a specific time so I would remember ("it's time to eat my apple").   I did that for a few months.  Then I'd increase it to two days out of the week and make that a habit.  Eventually I got to 5 days a week.

Eating the apple helped me to lose interest in the junk food that I had been consuming as a snack, because I was no longer hungry for junk food after eating the apple.  At first I would eat the junk food and then the apple.  Then I switched and ate the apple first.

This progression of apple eating took over a year to incorporate into my diet.  I never would have been successful if I had jumped immediately from eating 0 apples to 5 apples a week, because it was too big of a change in my diet.

There were many other changes to my diet and how I ate food.  But today, I don't really think about the changes because they are all ingrained habits.

I am still making changes today.  Last year I gave up alcohol after drinking almost daily for my most of my adult life.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2018, 07:52:55 PM by austin944 »

use2betrix

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #102 on: October 19, 2018, 08:39:15 PM »
I’ve been reading some of the weight loss threads and find them rather depressing.
I have not counted a calorie in my life and most certainly have not ever spent anywhere near the intimidating efforts the dieters are expending on how much I eat.

I went from a moderately obese BMI to a normal BMI over the course of several years, and at no time did I ever feel deprived of food.   I made very small changes in my diet over time, and I did not proceed to the next change until the current change was an ingrained habit.

For example, I never used to eat any fruit.  So I started eating an apple one day out of the week.  I would eat it at a specific time so I would remember ("it's time to eat my apple").   I did that for a few months.  Then I'd increase it to two days out of the week and make that a habit.  Eventually I got to 5 days a week.

Eating the apple helped me to lose interest in the junk food that I had been consuming as a snack, because I was no longer hungry for junk food after eating the apple.  At first I would eat the junk food and then the apple.  Then I switched and ate the apple first.

This progression of apple eating took over a year to incorporate into my diet.  I never would have been successful if I had jumped immediately from eating 0 apples to 5 apples a week, because it was too big of a change in my diet.

There were many other changes to my diet and how I ate food.  But today, I don't really think about the changes because they are all ingrained habits.

I am still making changes today.  Last year I gave up alcohol after drinking almost daily for my most of my adult life.

Great post.

I feel like your example highlights a big part of the reason so many diets and exercise programs fail. People go from terrible habits to these life changing 180’s that are nearly impossible to maintain. Or someone who’s never really had good habits and is way overweight, makes this New Years resolution and does everything “right” then gets discouraged that they don’t look like a magazine cover model in 6 months or even a year. Needless to say most of the “magazine cover models” have been making those good habits often for decades.

I’m always a huge proponent of exactly what you mention. Baby steps, make it a habit. You don’t have to change everything at once. Just get used to changing SOMETHING and slowly start implementing new things.

austin944

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #103 on: October 20, 2018, 10:06:55 AM »
I feel like your example highlights a big part of the reason so many diets and exercise programs fail. People go from terrible habits to these life changing 180’s that are nearly impossible to maintain. Or someone who’s never really had good habits and is way overweight, makes this New Years resolution and does everything “right” then gets discouraged that they don’t look like a magazine cover model in 6 months or even a year. Needless to say most of the “magazine cover models” have been making those good habits often for decades.

I’m always a huge proponent of exactly what you mention. Baby steps, make it a habit. You don’t have to change everything at once. Just get used to changing SOMETHING and slowly start implementing new things.

Yes, I think there could be at least two false assumptions at work in the failure of many diet/exercise programs:
1) Making large changes over a short period of time and expecting those changes to be sustainable over the long term.
2) Expecting that X number of incremental changes will lead to Y incremental weight loss.

In my own personal experience, I had to make a lot of changes before I began to see any weight loss.   It would have been natural for most people to get discouraged after making many changes and see no weight loss.  They might quit making changes, or revert back to their earlier eating habits, and say "that's how my body works", and "I can't lose weight".

Instead of making weight loss my primary objective, I focused on an overall healthy diet and exercise program.  My goal was to develop healthy habits to make myself a healthier person.  I did not get discouraged and give up when my weight was not dropping, but instead I kept making more changes, very slowly over time.  My measure of success was the number of healthy habits that I had adopted.  And eventually the weight slowly came off, which was a great side benefit.

MrSal

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #104 on: October 20, 2018, 03:26:05 PM »
So pretty much the whole discussion has been habits, patterns, behaviors, etc... so in the end it's all about calories. If you intake less calories than what your BMR+activity is, you will lose weight.

This can be done with a healthy diet or with a diet of just marshmellows (although I wouldn't advise anyone trying this). Macros are mostly associated with weight gain and calories while the micros are the healthy part of it. Kinda like gas on a car (calories) and fluids/maintenance is your micros. You can sure run on mashmellows and gain/lose weight but it will probably make you super unhealthy.

I agree that those behaviors might and are be instilled either through peers, culturally, and nurture as in the habits/patterns you acquired while growing up. The food industry in the US is adamant of this and again as I stated before is ridiculous.

Again anyone can observe any food that is offered in most restaurants and/or highschools.

Compare this to the menu of a school in my country for example - it's always been like this ... I am in my thrities and even when I was young it was like this:



For translation this is the weekly menu for the school:

Monday:
Cabbage Soup
Fish (real fish) with pasta and romaine lettuce, corn, and beet
Dessert: Pineapple, kiwi or peach

Tuesday:

Soup: Cauliflower and Broccoli cream soup
Entree - Stew of chickpeas and chicken with lettuce, corn and beet
Dessert - Melon, peach or Kiwi

Wednesday:

Soup - White bean cream soup
Entree - Hake fish with boiled eggs with steamed potatoes and broccoli
Dessert - Peach, melon or grapes

Thursday
Soup - Spinach soup
Entree - Sauteed meatballs with tomato sauce and pasta
Dessert - Orange, Melon or grapes

Friday
Soup - Pea cream
Entree - Codfish with tomato rice
Dessert - Grapes, orange or apple

This is the typical menu at a school be it public or private. Good old fashioned food. This contrasts a lot with what is seen nowadays in US highschools for example. I coach highschool kids and I gag at what I see them eat in a typical day, even the ones that are/look healthy. I have seen a lot of my old classmates that were super athletes in highschool in US (I did my senior year in US) that have gained considerable weight. Actually even normal athletes this happens. They stop having the same activity as when they did so much activity but yet eat the same way - even though some might do it healthy way, calorie wise might be a lot ... they never adjusted. Again ingrained habits/behaviours/patterns. I think there needs to be not only a major change in how food diet is explained and taught in schools but also the offers that are made available. And by food diet I don't mean a temporary regime but your lifestyle food choices.

Sailor Sam

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #105 on: October 20, 2018, 06:06:24 PM »
So let me ask this:

With obesity for many being based solely on psychological factors, which seems totally acceptable, why isn’t spending viewed similarly for some?

I am fairly positive there are studies that could compare peoples impulse purchasing releasing endorphins similar to an overweight person snacking.

Yet - people here spend and they get face punches. Eat too much? Not the same case..

Yes, I think you're absolutely right. There are huge overlaps between the mental aspects of reigning in your spending and the mental aspects of reigning in your caloric intake. I think we could have a very interesting discussion on the brain science behind the overlap.

The face punches are a matter of appropriate time, and appropriate community. This particular community is built on the concept of financial face punches. Signing up for the forum is (at minimum tacit) acknowledgement that the signee is okay with giving/receiving financial face. No one here gave permission, tacit or otherwise, for face punches based on eating. And handing out face punches that were never agreed to is called bullying and abuse.

BSL18

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #106 on: October 20, 2018, 06:19:18 PM »
Another never overweight guy here. Currently 6'4, 185lbs or so. I only know my weight once or twice a year, when I weight my luggage with me before a trip!

It is the heaviest I've ever been, back at 18 I was as tall as now but weighting probably around 155lbs. I eat what I feel like, usually a lot, so I get a lot of the "genetics" remarks. I'm not sure if it's true or not, but based on my experience, what brought me from very chubby baby to rather thin adult is sport. I've always played a lot of sports, most days actually for all my childhood and teenage years. Even now I play and coach sports at least 3 days a week. And I gained most of my current weight when I started my current office job. So from where I stand, it all comes down to eat less and move more, but hey... I'm not a nutritionist.

So there you go for my (very personal) recipe, eat whatever the f*** you want, but if it's burgers twice a day, you'll have to be a marathonian to stay slim!

Slow2FIRE

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #107 on: October 20, 2018, 07:23:03 PM »
I have been overweight "on purpose" but never overweight without consciously forcing myself to be overweight.

I typically keep myself at about 195-200lbs (5'11") somewhere in the neighborhood of 12-15% Bodyfat as a male (never done a dexascan or water test, so I don't know my actual bodyfat level).  It actually took quite a bit of learning to discover how to put on weight when I first took myself from my ordinary weight of 175lb to 200lb around a decade and a half ago.  I ultimately took myself up to 225, but retained too much bodyfat and went down to 200 over the following year (225 helped support my powerlifting goals at the time).

On other occasions, I competed in online "wagering" (called healthywage and dietbet) so I took myself back up to 225 for the initial weigh in and then brought myself down to 178 for the final weigh in.  Once I received my cash from them, I went ahead and slowly took myself back up to 195.

Not sure if the above disqualifies me from the statement of "never been overweight" unless you use those silly BMI charts - which I don't like, since they really don't account for the amount of muscle mass you carry.  I could easily maintain 180lbs, but I could not easily do it while maintaining my current lean muscle mass and I prefer to have my current strength and musculature vs just being lightweight.

Genetics plays a role, I'm sure - but I've found habits and purposefulness can account for quite a bit of swing in the mass you carry around whatever your genetic predisposition is.  Any skinny person, with the mindset for being uncomfortable and ability to do hard things can put on a little weight and maintain it just as any overweight person can do the same with the same level of determination, but you probably won't be able to make and maintain a huge change away from your genetic predispositions without an elite level of effort or chemical help (or both).

Some people tend to confuse housework with exercise.  It really isn't exercise and your body will adapt to an activity you routinely do such that the caloric expenditure from often done tasks goes down really, really low...sure, it is better than being completely sedentary, but if you want to do exercise for health, body composition changes, and ability to stave off many health ills you need to do more than chores around the house.

sixwings

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #108 on: October 21, 2018, 08:34:13 AM »
I was overweight for a few years when I started my office job but went back down to normal once I figured out how to stay active with an office job. I am 6'2 and was 215, now I'm 180-185 and 31.

My exercise routine is key in staying healthy, I get up at 5:30am and walk the dog, then I bike to the gym and work out for a hour, then I bike to work, shower and stuff there (we have a locker room with showers and stuff) and am at my desk by around 8. After work I bike home and walk my dog for about  a hour. I found switching to the morning was key for me, trying to exercise after work was just too easy to make excuses. The first few weeks kind of sucked but once I got used to it, it was easy.

The other key obviously was food. When I was trying to lose weight I was counting calories but I don't anymore. I focus on a whole foods diet, basically if my grandmother didnt know what it is or eaten it, then I shouldnt either. Most modern foods are processed with all sort of awful additives so really it's a focus on whole food. Potatoes - yes, potato chips - no, homemade burgers - yes, McDonalds burgers - no, etc.

Cookie78

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #109 on: October 22, 2018, 10:45:20 AM »
It's interesting to me that you find the weight loss threads depressing.

I find them quite inspiring and very helpful (much more so than this thread containing a list of things that people who have never had to lose weight do). Some of the people in those threads are kicking ass! And the ones who are struggling are getting a lot of support and cheers. It's a positive, helpful environment in my opinion.

I find, in general, I get a lot of good advice from people who have been successful at weight loss, and very little helpful advice from people who have never even had to consider losing weight. The two groups are starting from very different places along the striving towards ideal weight line.

As for calorie counting I got really into it when I was successful with weight loss about 7 years ago. I didn't NEED to, but I really enjoyed it and learned a lot about macros and nutrition along the way. It was a hobby, not a depressing requirement.  It was a similar thing as tracking my expenses now. Many people might be depressed by my financial spreadsheet hobby in the same way you are depressed by the calorie counting of others.


brute

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #110 on: October 22, 2018, 10:59:29 AM »
Snacking. God damn I hate that word. Maybe I'm some kind of weird fuck, but I don't snack. Here's morbidly obese me (and my 40" waist at 6'4") pulling a 46,000 pound firetruck. Afterwards, I ate 9000 calories of meat, potatoes, and beer. That's why I'm fat, not because i flit from one donut to the next bowl of caramel popcorn. I don't know why I read this shit, all it does is piss me off.


mm1970

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #111 on: October 22, 2018, 12:34:23 PM »
I feel like your example highlights a big part of the reason so many diets and exercise programs fail. People go from terrible habits to these life changing 180’s that are nearly impossible to maintain. Or someone who’s never really had good habits and is way overweight, makes this New Years resolution and does everything “right” then gets discouraged that they don’t look like a magazine cover model in 6 months or even a year. Needless to say most of the “magazine cover models” have been making those good habits often for decades.

I’m always a huge proponent of exactly what you mention. Baby steps, make it a habit. You don’t have to change everything at once. Just get used to changing SOMETHING and slowly start implementing new things.

Yes, I think there could be at least two false assumptions at work in the failure of many diet/exercise programs:
1) Making large changes over a short period of time and expecting those changes to be sustainable over the long term.
2) Expecting that X number of incremental changes will lead to Y incremental weight loss.

In my own personal experience, I had to make a lot of changes before I began to see any weight loss.   It would have been natural for most people to get discouraged after making many changes and see no weight loss.  They might quit making changes, or revert back to their earlier eating habits, and say "that's how my body works", and "I can't lose weight".

Instead of making weight loss my primary objective, I focused on an overall healthy diet and exercise program.  My goal was to develop healthy habits to make myself a healthier person.  I did not get discouraged and give up when my weight was not dropping, but instead I kept making more changes, very slowly over time.  My measure of success was the number of healthy habits that I had adopted.  And eventually the weight slowly came off, which was a great side benefit.
This is fascinating because what worked - for ME - was drastic changes.  Small changes showed nothing, were frustrating, and didn't work.

I have several friends, however, who lost weight with the baby steps way.  It's why I keep an open mind on mustachianism methods of "face punches" vs "baby steps".  Psychologically, it will be different for different people.

Quote
So pretty much the whole discussion has been habits, patterns, behaviors, etc... so in the end it's all about calories. If you intake less calories than what your BMR+activity is, you will lose weight.

Just: no.  For many people calories work that way but for many more they do NOT.  The problem is that when you intake fewer calories your BMR drops.  Plus it's pointless to pick a number that people just don't KNOW.  Many bodies have multiple "set points", so cutting 50 calories a day below BMR + activity does zero.  You have to actually DRASTICALLY cut to make a difference, depending on the individual body.

It's not just calories, it's the TYPE of calories. 

Sailor Sam

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #112 on: October 22, 2018, 01:18:31 PM »
Snacking. God damn I hate that word. Maybe I'm some kind of weird fuck, but I don't snack. Here's morbidly obese me (and my 40" waist at 6'4") pulling a 46,000 pound firetruck. Afterwards, I ate 9000 calories of meat, potatoes, and beer. That's why I'm fat, not because i flit from one donut to the next bowl of caramel popcorn. I don't know why I read this shit, all it does is piss me off.

@brute , I feel I should clap you soundly on the shoulder in firm solidarity. I'm 5'4", so I might not actually reach your shoulder, but the spirit is there.

RichMoose

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #113 on: October 22, 2018, 04:22:21 PM »
Very interesting thread! My wife and I are both a very healthy weight and have been since our mid-teens.

I have never been overweight in my life, although my traditional BMI borders on "overweight" due to muscle mass. I have worn size 32 pants since my mid-teens. My wife was somewhat overweight in her teens, but she adopted most of my habits when we met. She slimmed down easily and her weight has been consistent since.

I don't even think about my weight and I have a job where I sit all day. So my practices might help a lot of people on this forum who are also in sedentary jobs.

I basically live by a few habits:

INTAKE
1. Drink only water, black coffee, green tea, and a single glass of wine most days. I very rarely have soda and I can't remember the last time I had juice. I don't add anything to my water, coffee or tea for flavouring.
2. I almost never eat prepared foods. Everything I eat is fresh. All kids of fresh meat, fresh veggies, fresh fruit, fresh dairy, spices, coconut oil, olive oil, vinegars, nuts, dark chocolate, etc. Aside from a quick dash in and out for whole coffee beans, pulses, and a few staples like that, I skip the interior of the grocery store.
3. I very rarely snack and if I do, it's something like a hand of nuts and dark chocolate, an apple/orange, or some raw vegetables.
4. I go to restaurants once or twice a month. Usually I will eat Asian foods like sushi, ramen, Indonesian, Thai, etc. Not necessarily healthy stuff, but tastes great!
5. I generally stay away from heavy carb meals like pasta, breads, etc. but I don't get too crazy about it. Like most people, I enjoy the occasional lemon garlic capellini with chicken marsala and will indulge. But that works out to once a month or so.
6. I eat full fat everything. Fatty cuts of meat, cream, butter, ghee (very underused in my opinion), and so on.

OUTPUT
1. I walk/hike/bike almost everyday. Usually between 30-60 minutes total.
2. I lift weights once or twice a week. Simple exercises: pull-ups, dips, dumbbell bench presses, dumbbell military press, and leg presses or squats. Usually 5 to 6 sets of 5 reps per set. Lift fairly heavy, but try avoid going to complete failure.
3. If I feel very ambitious, like 10 times a year in total, I will do a plyometric/cardio type workout. GSP RushFit, old Insanity videos, or other timing-based high heart rate workout. Gets a good sweat going!

PeteD01

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #114 on: October 23, 2018, 06:28:07 AM »
It's interesting to me that you find the weight loss threads depressing.

I find them quite inspiring and very helpful (much more so than this thread containing a list of things that people who have never had to lose weight do). Some of the people in those threads are kicking ass! And the ones who are struggling are getting a lot of support and cheers. It's a positive, helpful environment in my opinion.

I find, in general, I get a lot of good advice from people who have been successful at weight loss, and very little helpful advice from people who have never even had to consider losing weight. The two groups are starting from very different places along the striving towards ideal weight line.

As for calorie counting I got really into it when I was successful with weight loss about 7 years ago. I didn't NEED to, but I really enjoyed it and learned a lot about macros and nutrition along the way. It was a hobby, not a depressing requirement.  It was a similar thing as tracking my expenses now. Many people might be depressed by my financial spreadsheet hobby in the same way you are depressed by the calorie counting of others.

You were successful with calorie counting and a focus on body weight.
I’m going to take the opportunity to characterize the typical person who would be successful with calorie counting without running into trouble with developing an eating disorder. This is of practical interest because if we could identify individuals for whom the approach works while not putting them in harms way we could recommend calorie counting as a reasonable approach. That of course means that we would still accept weight loss as an appropriate primary goal but that is another question I am leaving alone for now.

Weight control through calorie counting is not easy, particularly when real foods are consumed, and requires a high level of conscientiousness in order to achieve reasonable accuracy. The majority of people does not have the necessary level of conscientiousness (a stable personality trait with probably an important genetic component) for them the whole thing becomes an ordeal and they abandon it.
So why not assess conscientousness and recommend calorie counting in the subset of the population scoring high? We would spare a lot of people from attempting a strategy they are resistant to because the required behaviors do not come naturally to them; at the same time we’d boost success rates of the strategy by targeting the susceptible subset.

The trouble is that the subset containing all individuals rating high on conscientiousness contains the subset of people at risk for obsessive compulsive disorder which in turn is strongly associated with eating disorders. (Some go so far as to characterize OCD as a maladaptive variant of normal high conscientousness)

In other words, even if one excludes all individuals with OCD or manifest eating disorders from the dieting, one is still left with a subset of people at higher risk for developing OCD or eating disorders because the selection criterion conscientiousness selects for higher risk and success at the same time. Conversely, the subset with lower levels of conscientiousness are also at lower risk for adverse outcomes but are almost uniformly resistant to the strategy because they score low on the trait that makes it work.

Of course, this is just an outline of a somewhat more complex analysis but serves well as an illustration of how an investigation of an aspect of an intervention has to proceed in order to determine if the intervention can receive a positive recommendation.

You were succesful with calorie counting and see it as a hobby. I do not have a high enough level of trait conscientiousness to experience it as pleasurable hobby. I also could never derive pleasure from using a spreadsheet for my personal finances but you can. I could never be a good accountant but I’m impressed by the work they are doing. You probably could be an awesome accountant. My approach to personal finance management would drive a person with high trait conscientiousness crazy. You could drive a person with lower trait conscientousness insane with your spreadsheets.

I probably would score high on traits associated with activities where the stakes are high (motorcycling, flying small planes, practicing critical care medicine) and where risk management is a way of life. For me the challenge is not to cross the line into irresponsibility.
If you scored high on conscientousness you might be drawn to activities which might look almost compulsive to others. For you the line not to cross would be the line beyond which compulsion and obsession reign.
Experiencing high levels of pleasure often involves driving right to the edge of insanity with the direction determined by one’s personality traits and once there one might outperform most others to an astonishing degree. But when it comes to relevance to others it hardly ever gets beyond “Look Ma, I’m dancin’”.

What I’m saying is that the fact that you came back from that particular hell of calorie counting, unharmed with the prize in your hands and the impression that it was a pleasant experience, is no basis for judging the merits of the strategy, nor, God forbid, recommending it.



Roots&Wings

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #115 on: October 23, 2018, 07:19:29 AM »
Of course, this is just an outline of a somewhat more complex analysis but serves well as an illustration of how an investigation of an aspect of an intervention has to proceed in order to determine if the intervention can receive a positive recommendation.

This is fascinating, and of course makes sense that certain personality traits would be more receptive to different approaches for weight management. Do you have more details on this?

MrSal

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #116 on: October 23, 2018, 09:01:28 AM »
Snacking. God damn I hate that word. Maybe I'm some kind of weird fuck, but I don't snack. Here's morbidly obese me (and my 40" waist at 6'4") pulling a 46,000 pound firetruck. Afterwards, I ate 9000 calories of meat, potatoes, and beer. That's why I'm fat, not because i flit from one donut to the next bowl of caramel popcorn. I don't know why I read this shit, all it does is piss me off.

You are a different case though. You need to be that weight in order to pull off those amazing numbers on what you do. You are in sort of what I consider a power lifter, where weight adds a lot to the leverage process. I don't think you could pull off those numbers of lifting at 8% body fat.

And 9,000 calories? Wholly cow! Literally :D That's just painful ... I remember when I used to eat 2700 calories of clean food in one sitting - dinner - and it was painful at times to eat the whole thing. That;s just badass!

MrSal

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #117 on: October 23, 2018, 09:16:35 AM »
I feel like your example highlights a big part of the reason so many diets and exercise programs fail. People go from terrible habits to these life changing 180’s that are nearly impossible to maintain. Or someone who’s never really had good habits and is way overweight, makes this New Years resolution and does everything “right” then gets discouraged that they don’t look like a magazine cover model in 6 months or even a year. Needless to say most of the “magazine cover models” have been making those good habits often for decades.

I’m always a huge proponent of exactly what you mention. Baby steps, make it a habit. You don’t have to change everything at once. Just get used to changing SOMETHING and slowly start implementing new things.

Yes, I think there could be at least two false assumptions at work in the failure of many diet/exercise programs:
1) Making large changes over a short period of time and expecting those changes to be sustainable over the long term.
2) Expecting that X number of incremental changes will lead to Y incremental weight loss.

In my own personal experience, I had to make a lot of changes before I began to see any weight loss.   It would have been natural for most people to get discouraged after making many changes and see no weight loss.  They might quit making changes, or revert back to their earlier eating habits, and say "that's how my body works", and "I can't lose weight".

Instead of making weight loss my primary objective, I focused on an overall healthy diet and exercise program.  My goal was to develop healthy habits to make myself a healthier person.  I did not get discouraged and give up when my weight was not dropping, but instead I kept making more changes, very slowly over time.  My measure of success was the number of healthy habits that I had adopted.  And eventually the weight slowly came off, which was a great side benefit.
This is fascinating because what worked - for ME - was drastic changes.  Small changes showed nothing, were frustrating, and didn't work.

I have several friends, however, who lost weight with the baby steps way.  It's why I keep an open mind on mustachianism methods of "face punches" vs "baby steps".  Psychologically, it will be different for different people.

Quote
So pretty much the whole discussion has been habits, patterns, behaviors, etc... so in the end it's all about calories. If you intake less calories than what your BMR+activity is, you will lose weight.

Just: no.  For many people calories work that way but for many more they do NOT.  The problem is that when you intake fewer calories your BMR drops.  Plus it's pointless to pick a number that people just don't KNOW.  Many bodies have multiple "set points", so cutting 50 calories a day below BMR + activity does zero.  You have to actually DRASTICALLY cut to make a difference, depending on the individual body.

It's not just calories, it's the TYPE of calories.

Actually your BMR does not drop, it may drop if you don't eat protein. Protein does have a thermo effect, where the body has to "spend" calories in order to deconstruct the aminoacid chain.

Also, again what I said previously, while BMRs and metabloic rates vary from person to person, they don't have the weight that most people attribute it to! Again, the variability of BMR is within a +/- 100/200 calories.

As for the type of calories, for loss weight it barely matters. I have done it. I have gained weight eating the healthiest possible and I have lost weight eating the worst possible - by just adjusting my macros.

Now of course, what those calories do to you in a "healthy" stand point is another story (kinda like not changing the oil in your car keeps it running up to a point, eating maintenace or below BMR calories of crappy food keeps you thin but hey maybe you'll get some disease from lack of vitamins/nutrients in other areas).

As for what works for me, I have done it all - I have a passion for bodybuilding/fitness/nutrition since I was 14 and have read hundreds of studys, books etc... While in my beginning years, I was trying to practice the whole 5-6 small meals per day, the body can't go without 2 hours without food in order to gain muscle, catabolic state etc to me it never worked - lack of discipline for the most part - who has time for all that!

In the end, what worked for me was pretty much your method - extreme path. I pretty much only eat 1 big meal a day - dinner - after I workout. When I snack is something small and easily digestable like greens, fruit, cottage cheese, nuts.

I usually go longs periods of fasting 24-48 hours easily. I have done this for the past 10 years or so - with some breaks in between which is where I gained weight at a period there. It has enabled me to keep eating the things I enjoy - I have a super duper sweet tooth - and still keep my weight in check and body recomp. This last March I was 209 lbs and as a previous poster had said, it struck a chord in me after I saw a picture of mine and weighed in at a doctor's appointment. While in the mirror everything looked good sort of, when I saw a picture of myself it was a shock.

The next day I was doing fasting and low calories - think 1000 calorie or more deficit. In about 2 months I was down to 180. Currently I am at 175 or so and working towards body recomp.

As a kid I was always overweight, not sure if borderline obese and not to the extent of what I see in USA at least, but I was fat. All due to my super sweet tooth - I could eat half gallon of ice cream, or when my mom got home from supermarket and she brought cookies for the family - let's say 2 packs - there were times where in 1 hour they'd be gone. (Heck even just a week ago I ate 3 peanut butter cream filled doughnuts in 5-10 minutes. That's how much of a sweet tooth I have).  Can't remember what my weights were and age, but I remember my mother always had buy me 16s y/o clothing when I was maybe 12ish or so. All my pants had to go to the sewist because my pants were always longer by huge amounts.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2018, 09:25:48 AM by MrSal »

austin944

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #118 on: October 23, 2018, 01:27:44 PM »

I've lost weight without explicitly counting calories by following these simple rules:

1) Try to wait until hungry before eating a meal.
2) Put only enough food on your plate to make yourself feel satisfied (not hungry), but not full.  It helps to use fixed meal plans so you can accurately judge how much food you will need.
3) If you're still hungry after your first plate of food, then go back for seconds
4) If you put too much food on your plate, then put less food on the plate for the next meal of that same plan.

To avoid wasting food, you can measure out your carbs in a cup or bowl, or weigh them.  If you have excess food, measure out less food in the cup for the next meal, or use it as leftovers.  If you get hungry too soon before the next meal, then measure out more carbs for the next meal.

Eventually you will learn how much food to measure out for each kind of carb to avoid being hungry.

If you start to feel hungry before the next meal, then have a healthy snack on hand.  I've used fruit, nuts, and whole grain cereal.

MustacheAnxiety

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #119 on: October 23, 2018, 03:51:25 PM »
The myriad of different ways people maintain a healthy weight has been enlightening.  While I have never been overweight, I have moved a fair amount within the "normal" BMI category fluctuating between 19 and 23.  To the extent they can be helpful to anyone here are my thoughts an observations on avoiding being overweight:

The number 1 "habit" that has kept me from being overweight is almost always eating with people who have never been overweight.  Eating with others that consume reasonable, healthy portions has always consciously or unconsciously helped to keep my eating habits reasonable.  I think it is a mix of encouragement to eat healthy and avoiding encouragement to eat unhealthy when I am not otherwise thinking about dessert.  I am not well known for my ability to watch other people eat cookies and not have one myself.

As a side not, a close friend and eventual roommate of mine was about 100 lbs overweight and I never understood why from eating meals together.  But after living together I saw the constant stream of prepackaged junk food wrappers in the trash and it really brought home the idea that eating when no one is looking can be deadly.

Growing up we always had heaping plates, but they were usually 75% vegetable and 25% meat/carbs.  There was the occasional pizza or pasta night but probably no more than twice a month. A genuine enjoyment of eating green (and other healthy) vegetables is another helpful habit, even if they are generally enjoyed with a little butter and seasonings or salad dressing.

I was the thinnest when I either:
exercised like a fiend: 15+ hours of vigorous exercise a week, mostly swimming.  Moderate exercise even 5 or 6 hours a week has never had much impact on my weight although it is much better for my health.
Was under such immense stress at work that I was probably borderline anorexic (not recommended)

I was the heaviest when:
I indulged my sweet tooth daily. Mostly in college when dessert was put out with every meal.  After developing the habit I craved junk food pretty intensely every evening.  Breaking the habit of dessert after a meal has been an important part of maintaining a healthy weight.


GoCubsGo

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #120 on: October 24, 2018, 01:24:09 PM »
I've read through most of the posts and I haven't seen what I've found to be the main reason I've maintained a healthy weight for 15 years.  I think body type matters as my father is 325 lbs but can lift a car, he could probably never be 185 lbs, two of my brothers are naturally thin and could probably never get to 225 even if they tried.  I was always in the middle.  Could get fat fast, could get skinny fast.

That said.  My biggest revelation was reading studies related to muscle fibers and the more the better (and that you lose the ability to generate new fibers as you age).  I started weightlifting 2-3 times a week and running/biking 2 times a week (not brisk walking).  Since I started and kept to that routine, I not only maintained my weight but changed my body composition/shape to something I never thought I would be (positively).  My lifestyle for 10+ years:

  • Sleep- 8 hours (a must for me)
    Food- Limited carb intake throughout the weekdays (I shoot for 125 carbs a day during the week). No carbs on drinks.  Lean protein as most of my meals with vegetables (find ones you like and stick with them).  I cheat on the weekends and don't worry about what I eat.  I also save my alcohol intake for the weekends.  I've found I've lost my sweet tooth after doing this for years so most of my cheating is pizza.
    • Exercise-  Must weightrain at least twice a week.  My sessions last 55 minutes and are fairly intense.  I run 3 miles twice a week and do some core training while watching tv twice a week.

    I've helped a couple co-workers with their weight training (one was menopausal and the other was having an extremely difficult time losing baby weight.)   Weight training was the missing piece for them.   I wish everyone struggling would pay $100 to have a trainer to set up a program for them.  At the very least you would be stronger and feel better.

Manatee

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #121 on: October 24, 2018, 06:17:57 PM »
Here's another data point. I'm a 34 year old woman, have never been overweight (BMI is 20, have been within 5 pounds of the same weight since I was 18).

- Sleep: About 7 hours a night. I'm not consistent about this - sometimes it's 5 hours, sometimes it's 8.

- Exercise: I exercise pretty much every day, either running, swimming, biking, or hiking. I love it. A normal weekend will be about 15 miles of hiking. I used to lift weights but didn't stick to it as I find it a bit boring. I also take a walk every evening after dinner.

- Food: I love to eat and cook. Eating at restaurants is entertainment for me and I do it several times a week. I plan trips around food destinations and have dreams about specific dishes.
After reading about other's exemplary diets, I'm embarrassed to say mine is not great. (Not sure what a "macro" is.) I don't eat much red meat but I do eat tons of carbs (breadmaking is a hobby), cheese, and fried foods. I think my saving grace is that I have a hard time eating anything I'm not excited about, so the overall quantity I eat is usually small. If I'm full, I stop.

- Other: I don't smoke and the only thing I drink is water. I assume genetics are a factor because my mother is very similar. She's slim and active and can live on chocolate croissants.

ETA: My cholesterol/metabolic panels are excellent, so I guess my diet could be worse.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2018, 06:34:19 PM by Manatee »

carolina822

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #122 on: October 24, 2018, 09:05:56 PM »
My problem with this thread is that people are not idiots.  People who struggle with weight are perfectly aware of the fact that weight is correlated with healthy eating, good sleep, physical activity, etc.  They are also probably very interested in not being overweight, given our society's obsession with body image and conventional attractiveness.   

The only thing NOW people can possibly add to the conversation is to say that maintaining our weight is, for whatever reason (I don't care much whether it's ascribed to luck, history, environment, genetics, personality, what have you), significantly easier for us.  I don't see how that can possibly be productive other than to neener-neener at people who are having a lot fucking harder time than we are.  I'm not a better person, or have more will power, or have a better work ethic than overweight people.  I'm just playing the game on easy mode, and some people have to play it on hard mode, and that's just a shitty thing about life that needs no rubbing in.

Honestly, I actually do find this helpful. I'm not the OP, but I've always really wanted to know what the hell it is that the NOW people do on a daily basis that is so different from what I do so that I can either A) aim to do that too or B) not feel as horrible about myself because I don't feel like putting in a 24/7 effort to do what is legitimately harder for me than it is for them (or some combination thereof.)

I really appreciate the acknowledgement that is easier for some than it is for others. We all know people that (seemingly) eat whatever, drink whatever, and can't gain weight even if they try. And that's chalked up to "genes" or "metabolism." But just about every overweight person gets judged for being lazy/undisciplined because hey, it's calories in calories out and there's no way you're not just making excuses. Obviously, it's good to make healthy choices and do what is in one's control re: weight, but that doesn't mean we're all going to see similar results or have the same pants size.

PeteD01

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #123 on: October 25, 2018, 05:48:19 AM »
Here's another data point. I'm a 34 year old woman, have never been overweight (BMI is 20, have been within 5 pounds of the same weight since I was 18).

- Sleep: About 7 hours a night. I'm not consistent about this - sometimes it's 5 hours, sometimes it's 8.

- Exercise: I exercise pretty much every day, either running, swimming, biking, or hiking. I love it. A normal weekend will be about 15 miles of hiking. I used to lift weights but didn't stick to it as I find it a bit boring. I also take a walk every evening after dinner.

- Food: I love to eat and cook. Eating at restaurants is entertainment for me and I do it several times a week. I plan trips around food destinations and have dreams about specific dishes.
After reading about other's exemplary diets, I'm embarrassed to say mine is not great. (Not sure what a "macro" is.) I don't eat much red meat but I do eat tons of carbs (breadmaking is a hobby), cheese, and fried foods. I think my saving grace is that I have a hard time eating anything I'm not excited about, so the overall quantity I eat is usually small. If I'm full, I stop.

- Other: I don't smoke and the only thing I drink is water. I assume genetics are a factor because my mother is very similar. She's slim and active and can live on chocolate croissants.

ETA: My cholesterol/metabolic panels are excellent, so I guess my diet could be worse.

“Macro” stands for “macronutrient” and refers to the categories of carbohydrates, protein and fat.

As far as scientific reductionism goes, the concept indicates that one is talking about the major metabolic pathways, usually in the context of energy metabolism. Its usefulness in science is limited but the terms still serve well as part of a book or article title.

The public discourse, however, goes on and on using macronutrient terminology despite of being of limited use. The food industry has a vested interest to keep the general discussion centered on macronutrients because it helps maintain the myth of interchangeability of foods and food-like substances (engineered foods, also known as Frankenfoods, junk foods, etc.). Nutrition labels were originally introduced to help consumers to make informed decision about their diet. Inadvertently, these labels have raised the awareness of the public of the concept of macronutrients and the food industry uses it in its advertising (low fat, high protein etc.). As long as a discourse about how to eat well focuses on macronutrients instead of real foods, it likely has not left the sandbox set up and maintained by concerns which are not identical with the concerns of an indivdual who wants to learn how to eat well. You can search “nutritionism” to find out more about that and similar issues.

Macronutrients are distinct from food groups which are a different way to categorize food. The elements of the individual food groups are actual foods whereas the elements of macronutrient “groups” are categorized according to the major metabolic pathways used and that comes down to biochemistry. Macronutrient “groups” and food groups contain numerous different elements with the food groups showing a mind boggling variety.

Thinking in terms of macronutrients when dealing with one’s diet has severe limitations.
Even in the case of protein, which is the macronutrient for which it makes most sense to think about in these terms, one has to take a closer look because the biologic value of proteins from plant sources may vary between 0% and 100% depending on what other source protein was consumed concurrently. The reason for that are the essential amino acids contained in some proteins, especially from animal sources, in the absence of which the deficient protein is shunted to carbohydrate pathways via a process called gluconeogenesis.
This is all well and good in the right context, but it is ridiculous when all one wants to know is what to eat. Here, the correct answer is to eat your lentils with a bit of yoghurt, a piece of cheese or meat etc.

Scientific reductionism is extremely powerful in the right context and can be funny when applied in the inappropriate context.

Imagine a food company (FC) trying to sell someone (S) orange juice:

FC: “Drink this orange juice, it is good for you!”

S: “Really? How come?”

FC: “It contains the juice of six oranges. Oranges are good for you. Drink this orange juice, it is good for you!”

S: “I could never eat six oranges all at once!”

FC: “See! Oranges are good for you. Six oranges are even better for you. Drink this orange juice, it”s good for you!”

S: “Are you sure that eating oranges is really the same as drinking this orange juice?”

FC: “It’s exactly the same thing. Drink this orange juice, it’s good for you!”

S: “But how can you be sure that it’s the same thing?”

FC: “We have an expensive laboratory and we analyzed the orange juice to come up with the numbers we have to print on this label you see on the bottle of our healthy orange juice. We also analyzed six oranges and the results are exactly the same. Now drink this orange juice, it’s good for you!”

S: “Fascinating. How did you actually do the analysis on the six oranges? Sounds difficult!”

FC: “Too difficult for you to understand. Basically, we have this expensive machine and our scientists pour the sample in on one side and on the other side it prints out the nutrition label. Drink this orange juice, it’s good for you!”

S: “But how do you get the oranges into the machine?”

FC: “We got this little blender. Drink this orange juice, it’s good for you!”

S: “And how do you make your orange juice?”

FC: “We got this really big blender... Drink this orange juice, it’s good for you!”


(The first step in macronutrient analysis of a food typically involves homogenization (blending). Of course, the main difference between six oranges and the juice is that one cannot have six oranges in one sitting. The other difference is that sugars contained in the fruit are released by breaking up the oranges. These sugars are then free to be absorbed quickly. Fruit juice is a good example for how single step processing can transform a beneficial food into something physiologically not much different from soft drinks.)

What I’m trying to get at is that reductionism has its place and that it is not merely a theoretical abstraction but baked into any analysis.
In the case of the orange juice, all the differences between oranges and the juice are intentionally erased prior to making the comparison at the macronutrient level.
When one compares foods at the macronutrient level, one has to be aware that all other differences have been intentionally stripped away.
The absence of differences is not an artifact or mere oversight but by design.
Suggesting the interchangeability of foods based on macronutrient analysis should be called what it is: a willful deception. The same is true for the suggested interchangeability of calories. The food industry knows all this very well.





« Last Edit: October 27, 2018, 09:28:36 AM by PeteD01 »

wenchsenior

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #124 on: October 25, 2018, 07:29:37 AM »
My problem with this thread is that people are not idiots.  People who struggle with weight are perfectly aware of the fact that weight is correlated with healthy eating, good sleep, physical activity, etc.  They are also probably very interested in not being overweight, given our society's obsession with body image and conventional attractiveness.   

The only thing NOW people can possibly add to the conversation is to say that maintaining our weight is, for whatever reason (I don't care much whether it's ascribed to luck, history, environment, genetics, personality, what have you), significantly easier for us.  I don't see how that can possibly be productive other than to neener-neener at people who are having a lot fucking harder time than we are.  I'm not a better person, or have more will power, or have a better work ethic than overweight people.  I'm just playing the game on easy mode, and some people have to play it on hard mode, and that's just a shitty thing about life that needs no rubbing in.

Honestly, I actually do find this helpful. I'm not the OP, but I've always really wanted to know what the hell it is that the NOW people do on a daily basis that is so different from what I do so that I can either A) aim to do that too or B) not feel as horrible about myself because I don't feel like putting in a 24/7 effort to do what is legitimately harder for me than it is for them (or some combination thereof.)

I really appreciate the acknowledgement that is easier for some than it is for others. We all know people that (seemingly) eat whatever, drink whatever, and can't gain weight even if they try. And that's chalked up to "genes" or "metabolism." But just about every overweight person gets judged for being lazy/undisciplined because hey, it's calories in calories out and there's no way you're not just making excuses. Obviously, it's good to make healthy choices and do what is in one's control re: weight, but that doesn't mean we're all going to see similar results or have the same pants size.

So did the responses in this thread cause you to lean toward A or B? Were any of the NOW habits reported surprising or useful?

rdaneel0

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #125 on: October 25, 2018, 10:13:03 AM »
I've never been overweight but I have to work pretty hard to maintain my body. When I was younger I was a serious athlete and could eat pretty much anything, but when I got my first desk job I put on a lot of weight (35 pounds over a year and a half or so, and I'm just under 5'2" so that's a lot for me). I was eating like a full-time athlete while sitting at a desk all day!

I was shocked at how long it took for me to lose the weight. I think it probably took me about 10-14 months of hardcore dieting to do it and I have no previous issues around food. I did a combination of calorie counting (what an epic pain in the ass) and whole 30s to reach my pre-office job weight (107-111ish). I've kept off the weight since then (6 years) but I do have to think about what I eat. When I have very low physical activity times I calorie count and restrict quite a bit, but the rest of the time I subscribe to the three meals a day plan, and nothing more (with small portions) to stay in shape.

General habits that allow me to stay at my current weight:

I cook almost all of my own food and rarely eat out.

I have a go-to low-calorie meal plan so I don't have to count calories when I'm less active. I eat 2 eggs and 1/4 avocado for breakfast, a large salad for lunch, and a large bowl of (non cream based) soup for dinner.

I love healthy food. I genuinely prefer healthy food to junk food 99% of the time.

I naturally moderate with little to no effort. If I eat a giant burger and fries and drink a bunch of beer one night, the next day I might not have my first meal until 3:00 pm, and it'll probably be something healthy and light. This isn't even intentional, it's just what I do naturally.

I don't snack very much. This is intentional because when I snack I gain weight. I love snacking damn it!

I splurge when I'm out. When I do go out I indulge in whatever I want which I think helps me stay very healthy the rest of the time. I often get the "you're just lucky" comment about my weight, and I think part of it is because people only see me when I'm eating/drinking atypically. They don't see me eating the same breakfast every single day or calorie counting when I'm inactive or working out like a maniac, lol.

I work out very consistently and always have. I love physical activity and I think that's a huge advantage for maintaining a healthy weight. I aim for an hour a day (4-5 days a week) of pretty serious pushing it to the max working out. It would be much harder to do this if I hated being active. I also think a lot of non-athletes waste their workout time on inefficient workouts/poor form, so they don't see the best results.

This is probably the biggest one: I have no negative associations with food or weight. Food and weight are not loaded topics for me. I don't have bad memories of diets or weight discussions. Food and cooking in my house was always a celebration. I also did not have access to much processed food growing up, and I think this helped form my taste buds. A lot of junk food that's popular tastes pretty disgusting to me.




Arbitrage

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #126 on: December 03, 2018, 02:57:28 PM »
40M, never had weight problems.  I've often been "overweight" per BMI, due to high muscle mass as a regular weightlifter.  I did probably have one stage in my life where I was overweight due to a life circumstances - studying 12-16 hours/day for a huge examination and eating terribly, but it was temporary. 

I'm actually around both the minimum body fat and maximum strength I've been for my adult life currently. 

I have noticed a drop in metabolism over the past 10-15 years.  I do pay attention to my weight. 

Exercise Habits
Weightlifting 3-5 times per week, fairly heavy weights but not all-out powerlifting.  Mostly in maintenance at this point; my strength fluctuates primarily around whether I have to pause or cut back on my workouts due to work-related travel, vacation, illness, or injury.  Not endeavoring to bulk up further. 

E-Bike commute daily, 13-14 miles round trip: This is a new habit, going on about 6 months.  I don't burn a ton of calories on the trip in, as I'm shooting to arrive at work sweat-free.  I burn a lot more on the way home or on recreational/errand rides.

Weekends: e-bike trips of variable distance for errands or recreation.  Not every day.  Occasional other exercise such as hiking, kayaking, but not as much as I'd like. 

I do have a Fitbit, and it occasionally motivates me to walk more, grabbing an afternoon walk here and there. 

I take the stairs.

In the past, I was more active in team sports, playing ultimate frisbee, basketball, other sports.  Also used to downhill ski several times per winter and have had periods of interest in indoor rock climbing. 

Eating
I don't strictly limit my eating, but try to keep my splurges/cheating limited (e.g. certain times of year, only infrequently, only when near my target weight).  If I need to cut a few pounds - this does happen a couple of times per year - I will generally avoid sweets and limit snacking - my most vulnerable times are before and after dinner.  I try to be more cognizant of portion sizes as well.

I'd say that my most effective habits have been:
(a) Building my day around my exercise - if I have an opportunity to come up with an excuse not to workout, I just may do so.  My workouts are during my lunch period at work.  This does mean that I can struggle to get enough workouts in during long breaks or travel, though I'm usually pretty good during work travel (albeit with inferior workout facilities).  Previous times in my life where I was very diligent about working out were when I stopped by the on-site gym every day straight after leaving the office, and another period where I woke up and drove straight to the gym after waking (when much younger).  It needs to be automatic, with no need to make a real decision to go to the gym. 

Now that I bike to work, there's additional exercise built into every day, though I've added a mini 'biking meal' to compensate.

(b) If needing to cut back, I brush my teeth immediately after dinner.  Cuts out the after-dinner snacking. 

(c) Bringing lunch to work.  Part of my 'working out at lunch' means there's no time to go grab lunch.  I avoid the pitfalls of high-calorie lunches out, save money and time. 

Outside of those strategies, it does come down to willing myself to cut down on portions, cut out junk food, or avoid other snacking.  I haven't had to make any wholesale changes to my diet, though I am now eating out far more at home for monetary reasons. 

I do consume a lot of calories, certainly more than 2000 per day.  I also burn a good number of calories.  Maybe I'm blessed with good metabolism, but if so, part of that is definitely due to a lifetime of building and maintaining high muscle mass. 
« Last Edit: December 03, 2018, 03:00:26 PM by Arbitrage »

Hula Hoop

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #127 on: December 05, 2018, 05:25:05 AM »

Again anyone can observe any food that is offered in most restaurants and/or highschools.

Compare this to the menu of a school in my country for example - it's always been like this ... I am in my thrities and even when I was young it was like this:



For translation this is the weekly menu for the school:

Monday:
Cabbage Soup
Fish (real fish) with pasta and romaine lettuce, corn, and beet
Dessert: Pineapple, kiwi or peach

Tuesday:

Soup: Cauliflower and Broccoli cream soup
Entree - Stew of chickpeas and chicken with lettuce, corn and beet
Dessert - Melon, peach or Kiwi

Wednesday:

Soup - White bean cream soup
Entree - Hake fish with boiled eggs with steamed potatoes and broccoli
Dessert - Peach, melon or grapes

Thursday
Soup - Spinach soup
Entree - Sauteed meatballs with tomato sauce and pasta
Dessert - Orange, Melon or grapes

Friday
Soup - Pea cream
Entree - Codfish with tomato rice
Dessert - Grapes, orange or apple

This is the typical menu at a school be it public or private. Good old fashioned food. This contrasts a lot with what is seen nowadays in US highschools for example. I coach highschool kids and I gag at what I see them eat in a typical day, even the ones that are/look healthy. I have seen a lot of my old classmates that were super athletes in highschool in US (I did my senior year in US) that have gained considerable weight. Actually even normal athletes this happens. They stop having the same activity as when they did so much activity but yet eat the same way - even though some might do it healthy way, calorie wise might be a lot ... they never adjusted. Again ingrained habits/behaviours/patterns. I think there needs to be not only a major change in how food diet is explained and taught in schools but also the offers that are made available. And by food diet I don't mean a temporary regime but your lifestyle food choices.

MrSal - this is pretty similar to the school lunches that my kids eat (they are compulsory - no bringing lunch to school) at their public school here in Italy.  It's the traditional food that people eat here and it's real food.  A typical lunch would be pasta or risotto followed by meat, fish or cheese with veggies on the side (things like steamed spinach, broccoli or chard) and fruit for dessert.  Occasionally they get ice cream for dessert.  I think it's good as the kids learn to eat real food not 'kid foods'.  And they learn that food is a part of life to be enjoyed socially - not something to feel guilty about or to restrict.

Unique User

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #128 on: December 05, 2018, 08:35:29 AM »
I find it very interesting the number of people that responded are 40 and younger.  With the exception of pregnancy weight (which I dropped with almost no effort) I never had a weight problem until I was around 47 and in my first office job, not surprising since it corresponded to starting menopause.  I've done the small changes, lowering carbs, portion sizes, sugars, adding exercise, but I've come to the realization that I just need to drastically cut calories.  Most of my family is overweight so between that and menopause the small changes have probably made no impact except maybe to keep me just overweight, not obese. 

PeteD01

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #129 on: December 05, 2018, 10:13:42 AM »
I find it very interesting the number of people that responded are 40 and younger.  With the exception of pregnancy weight (which I dropped with almost no effort) I never had a weight problem until I was around 47 and in my first office job, not surprising since it corresponded to starting menopause.  I've done the small changes, lowering carbs, portion sizes, sugars, adding exercise, but I've come to the realization that I just need to drastically cut calories.  Most of my family is overweight so between that and menopause the small changes have probably made no impact except maybe to keep me just overweight, not obese.

I’m 56 and have not experienced difficulties maintaining my weight. I’m also way above average when it comes to physical activity.
You did not give enough information regarding the amount of exercise you are doing, nor the type of exercise. In any case, it is impossible to give individualized recommendations in this setting so let me just give you and others some food for thought.

There is a loss of muscle mass with advancing age which starts at around 30 years. Unless someone does regular heavy lifting at work or is exposed to resistance work as part of their leisure activities, there is no other way to prevent that, and it can be prevented, than with weight lifting/resistance training. There is absolutely no risk for women inadvertently bulking up - it’s as unlikely as me inadvertently ending up on top of Mount Everest after taking a wrong turn on my morning walk with my dogs. Proper instruction is required for beginners or they won’t get anywhere.

The second thing is the dose of moderate physical activity. There is this official recommendation asking for 150-300 minutes of moderate exercise (or half of that for vigorous exercise) as the minimum per week. As one can see, the experts are confused, evidenced by them giving a range for a lower limit. That aside, the recommendations are meant to improve the general health of a population for which hiding the TV remote control constitutes an exercise program; and the improvement in public health is to be achieved with the lowest effective dose of physical activity. Within these constraints, the official recommendations are not that bad. However, if one is not almost completely immobilized on an everyday basis and does not see physical activity as something to be avoided to the largest extent possible, these recommendations need to be ignored.
The often mentioned failure of physical activity having an effect on excess body weight is another issue to be informed about. First of all, physical activity of the right kind and dose leads to substantial differences in body composition which are not reflected on the scale, but most certainly in health outcomes. And now we are coming to the issue of dose of physical activity.

So, how much physical activity is necessary for optimal health outcomes? Well, we know that pretty well, just like we know very well what to do to prevent sarcopenia, osteoporosis, back pain and a host of other conditions that respond very well to theoretically modifiable lifestyle factors. Unfortunately, the answer is not the one the average person wants to hear. What we do not have, and probably never will, is the trick, or the pill, that allows us to continue the average American lifestyle without suffering the consequences.

The official recommendations for physical activity ask for 150-300 minutes of moderate physical activity, or its equivalent in vigorous activity, per week. Translated into MET minutest makes 600-1200 MET minutes per week. (Brisk walking is approximately a 4 MET activity and walking briskly for one hour is 240 MET minutes)
The authors of the meta-analysis (link below) use MET minutes to make the studies they looked at comparable.

https://www.bmj.com/content/bmj/354/bmj.i3857.full.pdf

The systematic review of high quality studies shows that there is a clear dose response to physical activity of at least moderate intensity for a group of diseases associated with sedentariness with the effects of sedentariness disappearing between 3000-4000 MET minutes per week. This translates into approximately 800-1000 minutes of moderate physical activity per week.
This is more than 5-6 times the lower limit of the range of the recommended lower limit (I’m not trying to be difficult here, just working with what the experts decided to give us) and 2.5-4 times the upper limit of the range of the recommended lower limit.

Interestingly, 10000 steps a day plus a couple of weight lifting sessions and an hour of higher intensity exercise per week gets one right where one wants to be from an optimization perspective.
Combine all that with a halfway decent diet and chances are that obesity is not anything one would spend much time thinking about.





« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 10:26:20 AM by PeteD01 »

CNM

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #130 on: December 05, 2018, 10:30:40 AM »
@MrSal Do you live in Portugal?  My brother in law is Portuguese and he has told me many times how fanatical they are about eating soup as a 1st course!  :)  Seems like soup is a strong cultural touchstone!

mm1970

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #131 on: December 05, 2018, 11:30:30 AM »
I find it very interesting the number of people that responded are 40 and younger.  With the exception of pregnancy weight (which I dropped with almost no effort) I never had a weight problem until I was around 47 and in my first office job, not surprising since it corresponded to starting menopause.  I've done the small changes, lowering carbs, portion sizes, sugars, adding exercise, but I've come to the realization that I just need to drastically cut calories.  Most of my family is overweight so between that and menopause the small changes have probably made no impact except maybe to keep me just overweight, not obese.
I'm over 40.  So are many of my friends!  I think a lot of it comes down to individual genetics and lifestyles.

I haven't hit menopause yet, but I have been overweight - so I really had to start worrying about my weight in my 20s.  But I found that what worked then, didn't work in my 30s, and that didn't work in my 40s. 

Most of my older sisters have been through menopause, and every one of them gained weight in their midsection. I don't know their eating habits, but they were all (and still are) physically active.

Drastic calorie reduction doesn't even always work.  A good friend of mine, blessed with better genes, was never the slightest bit overweight.  Had one baby - gained 10 lbs with the pregnancy and he was 8.5 lbs.  Until she turned 70...she gained 15 lbs and despite cutting her calories, could NOT take it off.  She gradually cut them till 1200 cals per day.

She complained to her doc who said "you are 70".  In the end, 2x a week she added a boot camp class with HIIT.  That took the weight off.  She was already exercising daily - over an hour of walking, stretching classes, and weight training.

The only over-40 people I know who don't have struggles with weight fall into 2 categories:
1.  The very physically active
2.  The genetically gifted

I have to be careful, but I've maintained my healthy weight for four years now.  (That's when I lost the 2nd pregnancy weight.)  2 ways:
1.  I'm pretty physically active.  I wouldn't say "very", but I did spend most of this year training for half marathons.  So I ran an average of 10-15 miles a week.
- because tracking is awesome, my Garmin tells me I averaged 1280 minutes a month, or 42+ minutes per day of activity
- because tracking is not awesome, my current level of activity is 30 min per day.  Post injury.
2.  I gave up eating wheat because it didn't agree with me, and 8 lbs just kinda dropped off over the year.  I'm guessing inflammation.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #132 on: December 05, 2018, 03:38:41 PM »
I'm 47 and a woman. I also have a full time desk job. I'll keep an eye out for weight gain when I hit menopause but so far I've stayed at my usual weight and I eat normally.

MrSal

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #133 on: December 06, 2018, 06:12:14 AM »
@MrSal Do you live in Portugal?  My brother in law is Portuguese and he has told me many times how fanatical they are about eating soup as a 1st course!  :)  Seems like soup is a strong cultural touchstone!

Yes I am. Indeed. Traditional 3 course meal is mandatory at schools... And most family dinners the same. Soup is 1st course and very present. It's a good way to have lots of veggies and rich nutrients in one go. I love soup - spinach soup, carrot cream, and so forth.

It's common, for elderly people, for example my grandmother does not eat much nowadays.,especially at dinner time she doesn't have the hunger for 3 course meal on a daily basis. It's mostly a big bowl of soup and dessert.


MrSal

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #134 on: December 06, 2018, 06:28:36 AM »

Again anyone can observe any food that is offered in most restaurants and/or highschools.

Compare this to the menu of a school in my country for example - it's always been like this ... I am in my thrities and even when I was young it was like this:



For translation this is the weekly menu for the school:

Monday:
Cabbage Soup
Fish (real fish) with pasta and romaine lettuce, corn, and beet
Dessert: Pineapple, kiwi or peach

Tuesday:

Soup: Cauliflower and Broccoli cream soup
Entree - Stew of chickpeas and chicken with lettuce, corn and beet
Dessert - Melon, peach or Kiwi

Wednesday:

Soup - White bean cream soup
Entree - Hake fish with boiled eggs with steamed potatoes and broccoli
Dessert - Peach, melon or grapes

Thursday
Soup - Spinach soup
Entree - Sauteed meatballs with tomato sauce and pasta
Dessert - Orange, Melon or grapes

Friday
Soup - Pea cream
Entree - Codfish with tomato rice
Dessert - Grapes, orange or apple

This is the typical menu at a school be it public or private. Good old fashioned food. This contrasts a lot with what is seen nowadays in US highschools for example. I coach highschool kids and I gag at what I see them eat in a typical day, even the ones that are/look healthy. I have seen a lot of my old classmates that were super athletes in highschool in US (I did my senior year in US) that have gained considerable weight. Actually even normal athletes this happens. They stop having the same activity as when they did so much activity but yet eat the same way - even though some might do it healthy way, calorie wise might be a lot ... they never adjusted. Again ingrained habits/behaviours/patterns. I think there needs to be not only a major change in how food diet is explained and taught in schools but also the offers that are made available. And by food diet I don't mean a temporary regime but your lifestyle food choices.

MrSal - this is pretty similar to the school lunches that my kids eat (they are compulsory - no bringing lunch to school) at their public school here in Italy.  It's the traditional food that people eat here and it's real food.  A typical lunch would be pasta or risotto followed by meat, fish or cheese with veggies on the side (things like steamed spinach, broccoli or chard) and fruit for dessert.  Occasionally they get ice cream for dessert.  I think it's good as the kids learn to eat real food not 'kid foods'.  And they learn that food is a part of life to be enjoyed socially - not something to feel guilty about or to restrict.

Yup. I assume this type of food is pretty standard in most romance countries (Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and other mediterranean countries). Yes very seldom there would be icecream or something but very rarely. Maybe near Summer or so, same for burguers. Even burguers would never be a burguer in a bun. It would just be a standard meal (ground meat patty with rice, spaghetti/pasta and or potatoes).

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #135 on: December 09, 2018, 07:20:58 PM »
5'8", mid-30s, never weighed more than 170lbs in my life. Currently around 160 +/-. A year or two ago I was diagnosed with fructose malabsorption which means if I eat anything with high-fructose corn syrup or lots of fructose in general (apples, pears, a lot of different types of fruits and vegetables) I get severe bloating and burping that lasts for hours. After I was diagnosed I basically cut sugar completely out of my diet to include a lot of grains. I dropped from about 165 down to 150-155. I found myself trying to eat more calories to compensate for the weight loss. I've since been able to expand my diet to include some sugar and a limited amount of fruits and vegetables but I still have to watch what I eat far more than I did a few years before when I basically could eat anything with no problems.

I've worked office jobs since college. Finally got a standing desk a year ago but prior to that I sat 8-9 hours a day.

I joined the Army National Guard at 18 and have generally been in combat roles (infantry and the like) so there's an expectation to maintain a relatively high level of physical fitness. For most of the last 15 years that's meant running a couple of miles once or twice a week and doing some push-ups and sit-ups in the morning or evening. I have spent maybe 20-30 hours in a gym my entire adult life. I'm not a fan of exercise but I do what it takes to get by.

My diet is reasonably healthy. I rarely eat out and my wife or I cook almost all meals from scratch. A lot of meat, grains, and relatively little fruit due to the fructose issue.

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #136 on: December 10, 2018, 11:54:51 PM »
5'10" 30 y/o male.  My adult weight has varied between 165-193.  I've always been active, but the activity level has ranged from "extremely active" to just "active" and my weight fluctuates accordingly.  Given the direct correlation between my weight and activity level I am certain I could become obese (and look like my brother) if I dropped the ball.  After reaching an all time high weight of 193 in late 2017 I decided to get back at it.  In 2018, I started running every day (21 days off this year), and went vegan (although not for ethical reasons. Rather only because I enjoy cooking and want to be like Kyrie Irving and the other plant based NBA stars).  This is the first time in my life I've ever watched what I eat and I've found it to be extremely fun (I ate falafel yesterday). After being vegan for a year and 1900 miles of running I'm back down to ~166 lbs.

tigersforsale

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #137 on: December 12, 2018, 06:10:35 PM »
Early 30s female, BMI 21.0. This is my set point. Never been overweight as per request. I believe it has a lot to do with genetics for me.

Twice when I was younger, I dieted to try and get fashionably slim (near underweight). Both times, after I had lost the weight, I started binge eating like crazy and shot up to over a 23 BMI, the only time my body wanted to go that high. I do wonder if this is a major problem for people with high set points that they try to change. Once, I was very ill for about two months and lost fifteen pounds due to that - oddly enough, I kept it off for almost a year without trying and gradually went back up to 21 BMI. Not sure what the difference was.

Anyhow, here are my normal habits. Was never exposed to fast food, processed food or soda as a child, so don't really like them as an adult. I do love my fatty foods and eat lots of them, particularly when it involves olive oil, cheese or pie. I do not count calories and have no idea how many I take in, just eat until I'm short of being uncomfortably full sometimes, but definitely eat myself near comatose at other times. I try to get a couple servings of fruits or vegetables every day, so that probably takes up space that would otherwise go to less healthy food. I generally don't eat much until dinnertime, that's my main meal of the day. Don't get any exercise currently except about a mile walk 3-4x per week.

Also, I have to add that I've never had a baby. For women around my age, that seems to make the biggest difference.

Scandium

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #138 on: December 13, 2018, 11:57:33 AM »
All you disgustingly healthy people, with your 9 hrs of sleep and 3 hr bike rides.. Pah who has the time!
36 male. 5'11". ~165 lb. Kids 4 & 2 yo.
I'm decently fit, but not a lifestyle to model I think. I can squat 200lb and bench 160, so many will beat me, but they're usually bigger (and can't all do 15 pullups:)

Sleep 6 hrs.
Walk old dog; <15 min.
smoothie in car, plain oatmeal at desk.
PB&J and sardine sandwich lunch (4 slices of bread, ohgod carbs!..)
We make all dinner from scratch. Fish or chicken only, lots of veggies.
Eat lots of fruit (sugar!). Like beer, but usually 1-2/week
kettlebell gym once a week, 1 hour.
Trying to do 20 min set in the morning 1-2 a week. But 5:30 is so early..

I've avoided/minimized fat and sugar since my 20s. So it's yeah somewhat genetic, but hate being told who "lucky" I am to be skinny! Do you know how much butter, sugar, fries etc I've denied myself compared to the average person?! How many hours of reading nutritional labels and comparing sugar percentages?! Over 7 years since I've been in McDonals. Eating salmon and rice for dinner in college.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2018, 12:01:16 PM by Scandium »

PeteD01

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #139 on: December 14, 2018, 10:06:40 AM »
All you disgustingly healthy people, with your 9 hrs of sleep and 3 hr bike rides.. Pah who has the time!
36 male. 5'11". ~165 lb. Kids 4 & 2 yo.
I'm decently fit, but not a lifestyle to model I think. I can squat 200lb and bench 160, so many will beat me, but they're usually bigger (and can't all do 15 pullups:)

Sleep 6 hrs.
Walk old dog; <15 min.
smoothie in car, plain oatmeal at desk.
PB&J and sardine sandwich lunch (4 slices of bread, ohgod carbs!..)
We make all dinner from scratch. Fish or chicken only, lots of veggies.
Eat lots of fruit (sugar!). Like beer, but usually 1-2/week
kettlebell gym once a week, 1 hour.
Trying to do 20 min set in the morning 1-2 a week. But 5:30 is so early..

I've avoided/minimized fat and sugar since my 20s. So it's yeah somewhat genetic, but hate being told who "lucky" I am to be skinny! Do you know how much butter, sugar, fries etc I've denied myself compared to the average person?! How many hours of reading nutritional labels and comparing sugar percentages?! Over 7 years since I've been in McDonals. Eating salmon and rice for dinner in college.

You think that you are not a lifestyle model.
Well, let’s see.

You squat 200lbs - the average person doesn’t even know exactly what a squat is and of course have no idea what squatting 200lbs means in the big scheme of things.

You walk your dog every day - the average American does not walk anywhere beyond couch to car, to job, to store, to fridge.

You do a one hour kettlebell workout every week and try to squeeze in a bit more - that’s so far beyond what the average person is doing that I do not even know what to say.

You do not eat processed food or fast food - the average American obtains about 60% of caloric intake from processed food.

You limit your sugar intake - average Americans ingest their body weight in form of sugar every couple of years or so.

You cook every dinner at home and from scratch - if one considers what the average person is doing, you are abnormal.


Bottom line is that, for a majority of Americans, you can serve very well as a role model:

You are exceeding the official recommendations for physical activity which are aspirational for the majority of Americans.

Just the kettlebell workouts alone give you the muscular development and ability to move vigorously, without even realizing it, during any other activity, putting many of your age peers to shame. If you keep this up for the next 15 years, the difference to your age peers is going to be enormous.

You got your diet under control without dieting. That is a really big deal in a world were the vast majority is at the mercy of food advertising and basically totally out of control.

You are living a very different lifestyle than the average American without having more time for doing it than the average person. If anything, you make perfectly clear that lack of time is nothing but a lame excuse for taking the path of convenience.

MrSal

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Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #140 on: December 14, 2018, 04:05:25 PM »
All you disgustingly healthy people, with your 9 hrs of sleep and 3 hr bike rides.. Pah who has the time!
36 male. 5'11". ~165 lb. Kids 4 & 2 yo.
I'm decently fit, but not a lifestyle to model I think. I can squat 200lb and bench 160, so many will beat me, but they're usually bigger (and can't all do 15 pullups:)

Sleep 6 hrs.
Walk old dog; <15 min.
smoothie in car, plain oatmeal at desk.
PB&J and sardine sandwich lunch (4 slices of bread, ohgod carbs!..)
We make all dinner from scratch. Fish or chicken only, lots of veggies.
Eat lots of fruit (sugar!). Like beer, but usually 1-2/week
kettlebell gym once a week, 1 hour.
Trying to do 20 min set in the morning 1-2 a week. But 5:30 is so early..

I've avoided/minimized fat and sugar since my 20s. So it's yeah somewhat genetic, but hate being told who "lucky" I am to be skinny! Do you know how much butter, sugar, fries etc I've denied myself compared to the average person?! How many hours of reading nutritional labels and comparing sugar percentages?! Over 7 years since I've been in McDonals. Eating salmon and rice for dinner in college.

You think that you are not a lifestyle model.
Well, let’s see.

You squat 200lbs - the average person doesn’t even know exactly what a squat is and of course have no idea what squatting 200lbs means in the big scheme of things.

You walk your dog every day - the average American does not walk anywhere beyond couch to car, to job, to store, to fridge.

You do a one hour kettlebell workout every week and try to squeeze in a bit more - that’s so far beyond what the average person is doing that I do not even know what to say.

You do not eat processed food or fast food - the average American obtains about 60% of caloric intake from processed food.

You limit your sugar intake - average Americans ingest their body weight in form of sugar every couple of years or so.

You cook every dinner at home and from scratch - if one considers what the average person is doing, you are abnormal.


Bottom line is that, for a majority of Americans, you can serve very well as a role model:

You are exceeding the official recommendations for physical activity which are aspirational for the majority of Americans.

Just the kettlebell workouts alone give you the muscular development and ability to move vigorously, without even realizing it, during any other activity, putting many of your age peers to shame. If you keep this up for the next 15 years, the difference to your age peers is going to be enormous.

You got your diet under control without dieting. That is a really big deal in a world were the vast majority is at the mercy of food advertising and basically totally out of control.

You are living a very different lifestyle than the average American without having more time for doing it than the average person. If anything, you make perfectly clear that lack of time is nothing but a lame excuse for taking the path of convenience.

Maybe this is why... :D Usually when I say my age people get surprised. I look like I am 22-24 years old (seriously it's what people think I am) and am actually almost turning to 34! So hopeffuly this type of lifestyle keeps it going :D eheh I think never having smoked and other addictions - also helps a lot. Sure I drank lots of alcohol in my teens and into my 20s but nowadays not so much. It gets old :D We do get about a bottle of wine a week or so