Author Topic: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...  (Read 19402 times)

infromsea

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Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« on: December 23, 2016, 07:40:04 AM »
I have been writing/editing/mulling over this "doc" for the last six months. I thought now might be the time to share it since many of us are reflecting on 2016 and making plans for 2017. I hope it's not too long for a message board post. Please provide feedback, I am open to new ideas and continued learning. I've already changed my mind on several things and try to keep it open to new ideas.

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The “ABC hypothesis” of losing weight and keeping it off

I am often asked how I went from 210 pounds in 2007 to “about” 160 pounds in 2016, how I lost the weight and how I keep it off. Here are the “quick and dirty” details that can get you started in the right direction.

The “ABC Hypothesis”
A- Most of us eat a diet that isn’t intentional. We eat too much sugar, simple carbs, processed foods, fast food and we drink too many sodas, juice, and alcohol while not eating enough fats, vegetables, and whole foods. This is “DIET A”. We avoid fat like it’s the plague and eat rice cakes, thinking this is healthy.

B- Once we get tired of being overweight and uncomfortable, we clean up our eating, we become intentional, we count calories, reduce junk food and alcohol and low and behold, we lose weight. This is “DIET B”. The problem is that after we drop the weight, we often revert back to “DIET A”, and the weight comes back. Instead, we need to develop a maintenance protocol that keeps us at our desired weight range (TIP: Use a weight range instead of one single number, set a goal of 180-188 pounds rather than “I have to weigh 185!”). 

C- The protocol that keeps us in our desired range is “DIET C”. This is the way you HAVE to eat FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, with some modifications. For example, once you reach your weight range goal, you may have to eat a little more or less depending on your activity level (the more active you are, the more nutrition input you need to support that level of activity) or your age (we may need fewer calories as we age, depending on multiple factors). This is the challenge, finding what works long term and sticking to it, what is your “DIET C”?

Here are some tips that might help you develop your “DIET B and C”:
1.   Weight loss and maintenance is NOT about exercise, it is 90 percent diet. You can’t outrun your ability to put food in your mouth! Exercise is great, the health benefits are many, but in my experience and opinion, it is not the best mechanism for weight loss!

2.   A good diet should support your level of activity and exercise. Put another way, exercise is a celebration of what you can do, not punishment for what/how you eat.

3.   Remove as much sugar as you can from your diet. If you don’t do anything else, do this one thing and you WILL lose weight. Read food labels, manufactures cram sugar into EVERYTHING. When comparing two similar items, pick the one with the least sugar whenever possible (even much of the “low carb” food that is out there is full of junk, read labels carefully, I’m looking at you “Atkins” crap food in a bar!). 

4.   Remove simple/white carbohydrates from your diet. Keep carbs as low as you can to support exercise. For example, consider whole wheat/whole grain bread that has low/no sugar, and only eat it to support your exercise/level of activity. If you are going for a run later in the day or tomorrow morning, have a sandwich with bread. If you don’t have much going on exercise wise or it’s a lazy Sunday situation, skip the carbs and fill up on vegetables, proteins, fats, and low carb options like a low carb tortilla. For the more advanced, cut the carbs as low as possible, wheat bread has a higher glycemic response than table sugar and it’s genetic modifications might be causing more harm than we realize. I have a ½ loaf of “healthy” 12 grain wheat bread that has been sitting on top of the fridge for two weeks and it has not gone bad yet, that worries me! If you reduce carbs, you’ll reduce insulin response and you’ll lose the cravings for more carbs/sugars.

5.   Reduce/remove processed foods from your diet whenever possible. Skip the bagged snacks and fake “food” (nuts/salads/whole foods that come in a bag are ok!). Processed food just can’t compete with whole foods. Pass up “veggie chips” and have a REAL salad instead. Skip the peanut butter crackers and have a spoonful of REAL peanut butter and some fresh veggies (TIP: check the amount of sugar in the PB!). Pass up the fast food breakfast sandwich or bagel, instead eat eggs, bacon, and avocado, you’ll stay full longer (TIP: fry those eggs in REAL butter, not the processed crap full of vegetable oils).

6.   Fat is not the enemy, it will keep you satisfied and should be part of your diet!

7.   Experiment with the way you eat. Remove the sugar, carbs, processed foods and add vegetables, proteins, and fats, and track your response, your energy level etc. Calories are not as important as the quality of the food you eat. No one gets fat eating salads, eggs, and beef/fish/chicken in moderation. (TIP: chicken thighs!) Take notes on what you ate, when you ate it, and how you feel. Adjust, try other things. Your body is a walking laboratory and what works for you might not work for others and vice versa so play with variables and find out what works for YOU.

8.   Eat one to three meals a day and stop the snacking. You most likely do NOT need 5-6 small meals a day. There is an insulin response to eating and there IS a benefit to going periods of time without eating (too much background info to cover here!). For example, eating your last meal at 6PM and not eating again until 8AM the next day (and not snacking in between meals) gives the body a chance to carry out some biological processes that might help with overall health and longevity. Think about two things, number one, what is body fat and how can you “access” it? Number two, how did your grandparents or great grandparents eat? Were they afraid of starving to death if they didn’t eat six meals a day spaced out over the entire day?

9.   Lastly, question everything! Who am I to say this stuff works? It may not work for you! Only you can determine if it will. Read books on health and nutrition, skip the blogs (many of them are filled with junk), and fad diets (grapefruit diet…. REALLY?). Experiment while questioning everything and everyone to develop YOUR protocol, your “DIET B and C” and you CAN change your life.

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Short background:

In 2003 I was a fit and trim 185 pound (5’11”), able to do 100 pushups without stopping and could easily run 5-6 miles. After several big changes to our lives: a move, a new command, I made a big mess at work, two deployments, new position with TONS of stress etc. my weight climbed to 210 pounds.

After transferring again in 2008, I checked into a new command and I had to get “taped” for physical readiness tests since I was out of height weight limits. I vowed to make changes and never get taped again. I started running and making diet changes but it took years to get the weight down (because SO MUCH of the “knowledge” is just so bad/wrong/designed to sell food, not help us). Also, I believed exercise would help me drop the pounds, it did not.

I did not see major weight changes until I changed my diet, for example, I was down to 1,800 calories a day and STILL not losing weight. It was not until I dropped coke zero that I actually lost my first 15 pounds (people asked if I was sick, I was dropping so quickly). I now know I should have never taken my calories that low due to the impact on metabolism (why do all the biggest losers contestants regain their weight? the same reason, calories are too low and in the wrong ratio… metabolism drops, it’s a vicious cycle).

I stabilized/plateaued for a time until I went low carb and dropped to around 190. After that, I changed commands again and did my best to maintain weight and survive a new/difficult job. I didn’t gain weight and actually continued to drop pounds, reaching a new plateau of 180, which I maintained for two years.

In Feb of 2016 I began researching why my energy levels were so erratic. I actually considered adding MORE carbs to my “clean diet”, at one point I thought I might need to eat the second I got out of bed to have enough energy for exercise (what I now know is that I was over-doing the exercise and consuming too many carbs, I was experiencing a blood sugar/insulin “roller coaster”). I decided to try another direction and started to play with intermittent fasting, dropping another 20 pounds in four months, reaching my current range of 158 to 165.

Today I continue to study nutrition, diet, and exercise. I utilize intermittent fasting, long term fasting, low calorie and ketogenic eating habits and still exercise often but I realize it’s always been the diet that made the difference. Exercise can make us feel good, help us look good, and improves many body metrics but it’s NOT the panacea the exercise industry wants us to think it is.

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Books I have read over the years that helped me formalize my ideas on diet and weight loss:
These are in no particular order and not “properly referenced”, I don’t expect letter grades on this.

ACSM Complete Guide to Fitness and Health
ACSM Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription
ACSM’s Resources for the Personal Trainer
Program Design for Personal Trainers by Douglas Brooks
Exercise Prescription by Swain and Leutholtz
Strength Training Anatomy by Delavler (LOVE THIS BOOK!)
Keto Clarity by Jimmy Moore and Eric Westman
The Obesity Code by Jason Fung
The Complete Guide to Fasting by Jason Fung and Jimmy Moore
The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance by Volek and Phinney
Ketogenic Diets: Treatments for Epilepsy and Other Disorders by Kossof and Freeman
Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes
Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes
Sweet Poison by David Gillespie
Challenging Beliefs: Memoirs of a Career by Tim Noakes
Wheat Belly by William Davis
Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson
Fat Chance by Robert Lustiq
The Blue Zones Solution by Dan Buettner
A Year of No Sugar by Eve Schaub
Pure, White, and Deadly by John Yudkin
Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss
Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Harari
The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferris
The Fast Diet by Mosley and Spencer

In addition, I’ve read at least 30 studies on nutrition/exercise/fasting/glucose etc., listened to several audiobooks (loved the Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz) and watched at least 50 hours of videos on these subjects, Dr. Rhonda Patrick started most of this for me!). 

ender

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2016, 08:10:49 AM »
This is my experience too.

Cutting down added sugar (when obvious, like deserts) and starchy carbs (basically gluteny things) I have slowly been losing weight, or at least trending down. I also feel better.

Eating protein heavy or even fatty things also make it harder to overeat. Sugar/gluteny things are so easy to overeat. While it's possible to overeat on steak, it's a heck of a lot easier to overeat pizza or pasta or bread.

Stache it Away

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2016, 08:23:25 AM »
Wow.  Very nice summary!  This is exactly what I will be doing starting December 26th.  I also realized after training for my first marathon and losing 2 pounds (after running over 500 miles) that diet is the key, not exercise.  I love the energy and ability that exercise gives me but it does not do much to keep the weight down when we eat so much sugar.  My goal is to remove processed grains and sugars almost entirely from my diet.  I have done this before and the weight just falls off.  Going without carbs would not give me enough energy to get through the day, but I can get those from beans, peas, etc.

swick

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2016, 08:31:26 AM »
Excellent post! Love the insights and reading suggestions :)

I think the problem most people have is they do bop from Diet A to Diet B and back again without ever realizing it is a lifestyle and not a quick fix. It definitely seems like most people who do a Whole 30 either go back to diet A and start feeling like crap again or find a paleo/keto/clean eating type of lifestyle and keep seeing results.

If anyone is interested in laying a foundation for Diet C - there are a bunch of people starting another Whole 30 in January. The monster thread is here, feel free to join us on the last page:http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/whole-30-starting-sept-8th-want-to-join-us/1750/

Milizard

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2016, 08:53:35 AM »
I think this is a very good summary as well, and fits into what I have discovered myself this year.  I do find, however, that a post workout snack in the afternoon is essential for me to avoid eating garbage and keep me going until dinner time.  Protein works the best for this.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2016, 12:57:27 PM »
Very well written.

I am seriously interested in losing some weight, I am 5' 9.5" (yes that 0.5 inch is very important) and 207lbs.
My job is very sedentary (software developer).

I would be thrilled if I could get to around 175lbs. I am in my 50's, so expect it may be a lot harder.

Another issue is that I am vegetarian (grew up vegetarian, ate meat in school, went back to being vegetarian in my 30's). Most of the diets are meat based, so this will be another hurdle to overcome.

Looking forward to improvements in 2017.

Haselbacher

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2016, 01:32:07 PM »
Very interesting and well written!

I have two questions:
1.   Which book do you think is the best to start? I have an ok understanding of nutrition, but I want to learn more.
2.   Could you elaborate a bit on the Coke Zero? I don’t really understand, why that should make an impact.

Thanks for you help!

rpr

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2016, 01:39:45 PM »
One of the biggest revelations to me in my weight loss journey has been the concept of calorie density. Since mid-2015, I have lost almost 25 pounds following the principles of calorie density, moderate calorie deficit, and increased exercise.

https://www.forksoverknives.com/the-calorie-density-approach-to-nutrition-and-lifelong-weight-management/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CdwWliv7Hg

I am a vegetarian and eat lots of veggies (5-7 servings both non-starchy and starchy)  and fruits (at least 2-3 servings)on a daily basis. Minimize sugar, salt, oil, saturated fats, and processed foods. Most of my carbs come from whole grains such as whole grain breads, whole grain pastas, oats.

While most of the points you made are good, I disagree with the drastic lowering of  carbs as you propose. Carbs are your primary energy source. It gives me enough energy to keep going and stay active the entire day. Only if you eat excess calories (i.e. more than your Total Daily Energy Expenditure TDEE), only then will the carbs be stored as fat.  If you are in energy balance, going to a low carb diet is not needed.  Fat burning can take time and fats cannot provide immediate energy especially for exercise.

The one thing I don't really get is that if you already have a lot of fat in your body and are trying to lose weight, why add additional sources of dietary fat.  You do need some good fats in order to increase nutrient absorption and protein to prevent muscle atrophy but why add any more dietary fat than necessary. It seems a rather inefficient way to do things.

I want to add the following books:

1. How Not to Die -- Dr. Michael Greger
2. The Pleasure Trap -- Doug Lisle
3. The Starch Solution -- John McDougall
4. The Engine 2 Diet -- Rip Esselsteyn
5. The Blue Zones  -- Dan Beuttner


rpr

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2016, 01:47:03 PM »
Very well written.

I am seriously interested in losing some weight, I am 5' 9.5" (yes that 0.5 inch is very important) and 207lbs.
My job is very sedentary (software developer).

I would be thrilled if I could get to around 175lbs. I am in my 50's, so expect it may be a lot harder.

Another issue is that I am vegetarian (grew up vegetarian, ate meat in school, went back to being vegetarian in my 30's). Most of the diets are meat based, so this will be another hurdle to overcome.

Looking forward to improvements in 2017.

@CowboyandIndian -- As a vegetarian (from India), you are in luck. Eat more veggies (lots). Feel full and lose weight.

I lost about 25 pounds going from >150 to around 125 in less than 1 year. I am in my upper 40s and a few inches shorter than you. What I followed as mentioned in my previous post was following the principles of calorie density along with a slight calorie deficit (15-20%) and increased exercise. It is easily doable. I would recommend tracking any foods that you eat other than non-starchy vegetable. Those you can eat unlimited. Minimize the following three things -- Sugar, Oil, and Salt.  I did minimize rice as well. But I do eat a fair bit of potatoes. Mostly oven roasted (minimal to no oil). 

Good luck with your weight loss journey. It is possible.

rpr

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2016, 02:13:09 PM »

Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes
Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes


The following contains a  rebuttal of Taubes work. See

The Low-Carb Fraud by T. Colin Campbell

https://www.amazon.com/Low-Carb-Fraud-T-Colin-Campbell/dp/1940363098/





marty998

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2016, 02:24:29 PM »
Another vote for eliminating sugar.

It's hard to do when every processed food product in the world contains added sugar, but this is where one should start.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2016, 03:39:17 PM »
Very well written.

I am seriously interested in losing some weight, I am 5' 9.5" (yes that 0.5 inch is very important) and 207lbs.
My job is very sedentary (software developer).

I would be thrilled if I could get to around 175lbs. I am in my 50's, so expect it may be a lot harder.

Another issue is that I am vegetarian (grew up vegetarian, ate meat in school, went back to being vegetarian in my 30's). Most of the diets are meat based, so this will be another hurdle to overcome.

Looking forward to improvements in 2017.

@CowboyandIndian -- As a vegetarian (from India), you are in luck. Eat more veggies (lots). Feel full and lose weight.

I lost about 25 pounds going from >150 to around 125 in less than 1 year. I am in my upper 40s and a few inches shorter than you. What I followed as mentioned in my previous post was following the principles of calorie density along with a slight calorie deficit (15-20%) and increased exercise. It is easily doable. I would recommend tracking any foods that you eat other than non-starchy vegetable. Those you can eat unlimited. Minimize the following three things -- Sugar, Oil, and Salt.  I did minimize rice as well. But I do eat a fair bit of potatoes. Mostly oven roasted (minimal to no oil). 

Good luck with your weight loss journey. It is possible.

Thanks rpr.

The concept of calorie density seems like an easy way to pick foods. I need to explore that more. Also, tracking of food is something that seems like a good idea.

Thank dog, I do not have a sweet tooth! No problems cutting out sugar or any processed food. On the other hand, salt and oil will be harder.

I am working my way thru Dr. Jason Fung's lectures (https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/category/lectures/the-aetiology-of-obesity-lecture-series/) . Very interesting.

rpr

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2016, 04:50:54 PM »
@infromsea

Thanks for your detailed response. I do not consider the American Standard Diet as consumed currently to be NOT low fat by any means as it contains 35% fat. A more whole foods plant based diet would probably advocate a fat % of 15-20%.

Regarding the reduction in sugar intake, I have no issues. The only issue I have is that you advocate replacing it with fat somewhat akin to Taubes argument which goes as follows.

1. Sugar is bad.
2. Sugar is a carb.
3. Thus carbs are bad and must be avoided.

WTF???

I disagree there. You would be better off replacing the sugar calories with calories from more whole plant based foods which are complex carbohydrates with fiber. For example, sweet potatoes, beets, and carrots. You get all of the sweetness with none of the saturated fat.   

I agree with you that the reality is that different diets suit different people. There is nothing wrong in having a good balance of carbs, protein, and fat. Everything is needed in proportion. As for me I likely eat 60-65% carbs (mostly whole grain, not refined, no sugar, but some fruit), 20% fat, 15-20% protein. It seems to be working for me. I don't fast. I eat  when I'm hungry and eat till I'm full. Regarding fasting, I am sure it has its benefits but I am not sure that it is for me. Under certain conditions, sure it can help but it is not sustainable long term.

Also checkout spudfit (http://www.spudfit.com) on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1jo7mHwQqZNdGS1JS7QpxQ). He has followed an almost exclusive potato based diet and lost 100+ pounds over the entire year. This is an example of a really high carb diet. 

I'd also recommend checking out Doug Lisle. He explains well the Psychology of eating and weight loss.

http://esteemdynamics.org/video/losing-weight-without-losing-your-mind/


rpr

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2016, 05:56:30 PM »
@infromsea

In spite of our differences, we are in agreement that sugars and refined/over processed foods are likely the reason behind the rampant obesity and health issues.

If you have the time, I (once again) highly recommend the Doug Lisle video. It is kinda long (50 mins) but explains the behavioral psychology being weight loss quite well in my opinion. I think that is all that is needed. Doug's got a dry sense of humor.   


 

Ingon

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2016, 09:37:22 PM »
Another interesting effect I've came to know in relation to the foods we eat - dairy affects your insulin quite a lot, even with cheese. So, maybe its a good idea to cut back on it.

Great post!

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2016, 04:55:33 AM »
Salt got a mention above (sorry don't know how to quote on my ancient mobile phone) - I have chronic low blood pressure so have always been advised that salt is a necessary evil for me, especially in the summer as I tend to faint easily from the heat if I don't keep my BP up.

You all sound so much more knowledgeable about diet etc that the average GP (UK family doctor) so can anyone tell me whether this advice is wrong due to salt having other effects on the body?

I'm trying to lose fat under muscle (don't know what it's called) due to trying to heal abdominal diastasis - in case that's important.

human

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2016, 05:09:35 AM »
I get that exercise isn't everything but I'm baffled by how someone can only lose two pounds when training for a marathon. Was that 9 minute miles four miles a day? You need to increase mileage over time and or increase speed.

I'm miserably out of shape but 80km a week at 5 minute km (pretty slow if you ask me) and I drop weight like crazy. Throw a tempo run in there and if your under thirty years old some speed intervals. I see a lot of people "exercising" and it's the same tired routine never challenging themselves yeah nothing will happen for sure if it's the same tired bicep curls and tricep extesions mixed in with walking your dog.

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2016, 08:54:33 AM »
marty998-
cowboyandindian-
Good luck in 2017. You do have some challenges. Are you vegetarian for health/nutrition reasons or moral/ethical? I love vegetables but could not imagine eating them exclusively.
...
Happy holidays everyone!

Thank you infromsea. I am vegetarian due to cultural/religious reasons. Grew up in India in a vegetarian Hindu household. Hindus picked up vegetarianism from the Buddhist/Jain concept of not harming any creature and we have been lacto-vegetarians for maybe a thousand years.
So, we have had a long time to make our nutritional  mix correct and get all our nutrients from just a vegetarian diet.

It is a misconception that we only eat vegetables. A combination of vegetables, lentils and grains along with milk and milk products give us a complete meal. So, basically I would like to eat what my grandparents ate (3 meals, no snacking), whole foods and very little sweets. This is so much better than the present Indian vegetarian diet (polished white rice, lots of sugar and lots of fried stuff).

Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas to all of you

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2016, 08:57:36 AM »
I am working my way thru Dr. Jason Fung's lectures (https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/category/lectures/the-aetiology-of-obesity-lecture-series/) . Very interesting.

I really geek out on Fung's stuff, he's DEEP into the science and, from my layman's level of knowledge, really knowledgeable.

Be careful though, you'll be thinking of fasting if you go very deep into his pool!   :)

Oh wow, I am blown away by his knowledge. I usually work better when I understand why I am eating or not eating something. I cannot pick up a book which says eat XYZ and do not eat ABC unless you explain to me why.

I am definitely thinking of IF (at least for 14-15 hours) on a regular basis. But I want to go thru the full series and read the Obesity code before I start anything.

NinetyFour

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2016, 10:35:02 AM »
Following!

rpr

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2016, 10:52:32 AM »
@infromsea and @StiffUpperLip -- Yes, we need salt but get too much if we are eating processed foods. Lots of times, deli meat is loaded with salt.

There is a huge Big Salt lobby in this country that wants you to keep consuming salt. There is something called a Salt Institute which funds mega $ to researchers in order for them to write favorable articles. Always go back to the original research sources and look for conflicts of interest in the authors.

For a different perspective from the Scientific American article, see this and more

http://nutritionfacts.org/video/sodium-skeptics-try-to-shake-up-the-salt-debate/

In general, I cook with as little salt as I can and then add it at the table if I need. Often , I find that the right spices can make the addition of salt unnecessary.

Also Noakes is another of the low-carb high-fat proponents.

human

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #21 on: December 24, 2016, 11:02:25 AM »
I never argued that one needs to exercise more or that it's more important than diet, just that we should actually do exercise. Unless your bmi is already under 20 I can't understand how training for a marathon can result in the loss of only two pounds. I lost almost thirty training for a half marathon and my bmi has never been above 24 (but I find that too high).

Sure diet is important but exercise is to. maybe I'm underestimating the garbage people are eating when they "exercise".

rpr

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2016, 11:04:55 AM »

Sure diet is important but exercise is to. maybe I'm underestimating the garbage people are eating when they "exercise".

@ human -- That is the key. People have no clue about the food they eat, especially it's makeup and caloric value.

rpr

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #23 on: December 24, 2016, 11:22:27 AM »
One of the things that really helped me is to figure out what sort of food I want to be eating on a long term basis i.e. not just for weight loss but for the rest of my life. The answer was clear, healthy whole foods with lots of veggies, fruits, whole grains, good fats and proteins. Reduce processed foods, minimize salts, sugars, oils. Limit the consumption of refined grains, flours etc. No sugary drinks.

Once I figured this out, the next step for weight loss was quite clear. You have to eat calorically less than your caloric expenditure. That is the math. No getting around it.

To lose weight, you have to be in a calorie deficit.

Granted it is complicated and depends on the individual. It was up to me to figure out what works for me.  It was a combination of a calorie deficit and increased exercise. I worked out 5+ times a week. It helped to elevate my heart rate and likely my calorie burn for the rest of the day. Like a lot of people, my job is quite sedentary sitting in front of a computer all day. What can I do to move. Be more active. Get up. My office has a long hallway. Just do a brisk walk up and down a few times. There is also some stairs. Just walk up and down the stairs a few times a day.

Thinkum

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2016, 12:58:59 PM »
OP: Thank you for this very good information and everyone else for the great comments! Lots of useful ideas and strategies.   

rpr

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #25 on: December 24, 2016, 01:43:39 PM »
To lose weight, you have to be in a calorie deficit.

And this is where our opinions will diverge.

If you had said

"For me to lose weight, I have to be in a calorie deficit"

I would have agreed with you, calorie deficit DOES work for some.

For me, I don't have to be a calorie deficit and I don't believe that it's a hard and fast rule for many people.

If your ratios of consumption are "correct" for you, then you can actually ignore calories. If hormones are in balance, the body will simply burn the extra calories, making you warmer.

I've seen this personally, when I eat LOTS of calories in a day, I will wake my wife up in the middle of night from the heat I generate (I weigh 160 pounds, and am ALWAYS cold in the winter). That heat is coming from the body up-regulating temperature in order to burn off the extra "fuel" it's been giving since the fuel did not come with a lot of sugar/carbs so insulin did not rise with food intake, causing the calories to be stored as fat versus burning off.
This is just being semantical. If you are dropping weight to losing calories via heat, then by definition you are in a calorie deficit. It is just the math. Different people just have different ways they expend energy. Heat generated is just another way calories are expended.

rpr

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #26 on: December 24, 2016, 03:34:12 PM »
@infromsea -- I get the impression that you think that heat is NOT a form of energy expenditure. My physics textbooks say that heat is a form of energy, maybe yours say differently. ;)

Why don't you try to double your caloric intake for a month or two and see if your body gets rid of all of it as heat as you claim without any exercise?

human

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #27 on: December 24, 2016, 05:26:38 PM »
This is just being semantical. If you are dropping weight to losing calories via heat, then by definition you are in a calorie deficit. It is just the math. Different people just have different ways they expend energy. Heat generated is just another way calories are expended.

I don't mean to be, honestly.

I don't think it's semantics, I believe I can "over-consume" calories and not gain weight.

By over-consume, I mean that I can eat WELL above my RMR + activity level and not gain weight, because of the bodies up-regulation of temperature.

I will conced that IF your diet is dialed in for your body, you can increase your weight loss by dropping calories OR increasing your level of exercise (to human's points) BUT, if your not dialed in, your insulin is not under control, your cortisol is through the roof etc. then it's not a calories in/calories out issue.

The biggest loser winners/contestants almost always gain their weight back. Why is that? It's surely a multi-faceted response to variables BUT, they consistently see a drop in their resting metabolic rates from the excessive exercise AND low calorie intake (their metabolism slows down). In my opinion, this indicates that calories in/calories out/move more/eat less does not work for most.

If you have to be in caloric deficit to lose weight, then does it matter where those calories come from?

Yes, people do lose weight eating nothing but twinkies or mcdonalds but that's not a holistic approach to diet/nutrition/health. Eat a diet of twinkies/junk food for a week and lose weight because you were in caloric restriction, then go have an A1C test or CRP done, not to mention a lipid panel (which is probably the least important of all of them) and let's see how that diet treated one.

People often thing atkins, low carb is new. It's not. It has been discovered and re-discovered many times, probably even earlier than the 1850s BUT, Banting made it very popular in that time period, when he discovered that (in many cases) intake did not matter, it was the make-up of that intake that impacted weight.

It sounds like you have a great metabolism and exercise which keeps it going. Eating fat a little before sleep is an old hiker's trick to sleep warmly in cold weather. If your body is burning calories in your sleep, first of all this is completely normal, muscle is repairing itself. It just means you actually need these calories.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2016, 05:28:35 PM by human »

rpr

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #28 on: December 24, 2016, 07:34:55 PM »
Here is my understanding of the weight loss process based on what I have read and understood so far. I am very interested in the science -- physics, chemistry, biochemistry, physiology as well as the psychological aspects.

For all of humans before the advent of modern processed foods and diets, there was a certain relationship between weight and height. A normal type of distribution but with heights and weights that depended on population genetics, environment etc.

When your body gets in a state of equilibrium, i.e. calories in = calories out, then you will maintain weight.

You can then try to disturb this equilibrium by eating less and/or exercising more. But what happens now will vary between individuals depending on their current state. If they are extremely overweight, then they will tend to typically lose weight even with moderate changes in diet/exercise. Initially this can be rapid but eventually a new equilibrium will tend to be established. People typically say they have "plateaued" when this happens.

If you still need to lose weight further, then you have to disturb this equilibrium once again. Now it depends again on how far this person is from their "normal" weight i.e. based on their position in said above distribution. If you are still far away from your normal position, changes in food intake and/or exercise can still work.

If however, you are quite near to your optimal position, then changes in weight may be much harder to achieve via exercise/food changes. Your body metabolism can adjust lower resisting weight loss. Conversely, as the OP mentions, increased food consumption near optimal weight may result in higher metabolism resisting weight again. From this optimal situation, the rate of change can be extremely gradual as your body is fine tuned.

But there is one way that can disturb even the above fine-tuned equilibrium. And that is under the presence of a drastic and sustained long term change. Such changes can happen under starvation conditions for example during famine etc. 

Each person is different. The details may be different. The food composition may be different. But calories in and calories out still holds. Each person has a certain optimal weight they would be under normal (before modern artificial processed food) environmental conditions. It is upto us to reach there. There are different paths and different roads.

As I said before, the above is just my understanding. Some of it is  based on the ideas explained and expounded by Dr. Doug Lisle. I highly recommend his videos as well as his book "The Pleasure Trap".

https://www.amazon.com/Pleasure-Trap-Mastering-Undermines-Happiness/dp/1570671974/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1482632299&sr=8-1&keywords=the+pleasure+trap

For videos see

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAdqLB6bTuQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jX2btaDOBK8

Stache it Away

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #29 on: December 25, 2016, 01:30:03 PM »
I get that exercise isn't everything but I'm baffled by how someone can only lose two pounds when training for a marathon. Was that 9 minute miles four miles a day? You need to increase mileage over time and or increase speed.

I'm miserably out of shape but 80km a week at 5 minute km (pretty slow if you ask me) and I drop weight like crazy. Throw a tempo run in there and if your under thirty years old some speed intervals. I see a lot of people "exercising" and it's the same tired routine never challenging themselves yeah nothing will happen for sure if it's the same tired bicep curls and tricep extesions mixed in with walking your dog.

It was my first marathon and I was following a normal beginner routine which focused simply on ramping up miles over 5 or 6 months.  I was running roughly a 9 min mile pace for everything.  The real reason I didn't lose weight was that I thought I could eat anything I wanted since I was running so much.  This was not the case!  I agree with you that if my diet had stayed the same then I should have lost a decent amount of weight.

OurTown

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #30 on: December 27, 2016, 10:48:30 AM »
I'm solidly with the OP on this one.  Low-carb is the way to go, and it's not just weight loss.  I feel like a million bucks. 

Milizard

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #31 on: December 27, 2016, 12:50:29 PM »
I started exercising 3x a week April this year.  The immediate effect was it made me feel great!  Did not lose weight.  I increased the exercise to 1 hour 5x a week.  Still didn't lose anything.  Cut down a lot of the sugar and started tracking calories with myfitnesspal app.  Started losing finally after a little cheat of chocolate cake for my birthday mid May.  I started at a 1300 net calorie diet, and decreased it to 1200 calories and added a nightly yoga workout to my daily exercise regimen.  The only way I could do 1200 calories without starving or passing out was to increase my protein a lot.  I didn't eliminate bread, but cut down to half a do slice of whole wheat in the morning.  No more sandwiches for lunch-- the bread that I buy is healthier, but also has a lot more calories.  Started eating a lot more steak + baked potato with sour cream (which is surprisingly lower cal than butter), and similar basic, real food.  I am lactose intolerant, so couldn't add too much dairy--sometimes a snack of cottage cheese with a lactaid pill.  Lost about 25 lbs. over the course of 4 months.  I've purposely plateaued, as I felt like I'd get saggy skin and rebound on the weight if I kept up that pace.  Not currently tracking calories, and exercising less, but I'm maintaining the same weight even when I eat a bunch of crap that I shouldn't (like this last month.). I have a stretch goal of losing another 25, but I am already really happy where I am now, which is back in the normal bmi range.  At 44, I'm feeling so much better and stronger than I had in years.  I gained most of the weight I just lost with my first pregnancy 7 years ago, but have been pretty sedentary for the last 10.

boarder42

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #32 on: December 27, 2016, 02:33:05 PM »
yep this is the same idea i've come to.  exercise keeps you physically fit.  your diet maintains or causes weight loss.

Milizard

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #33 on: December 27, 2016, 02:34:23 PM »
Thanks. I think you missed the fact that I made myself plateau on purpose:  I eased up on both the exercise and diet.  Not saying I wouldn't have plateaued at some point anyway.  It just didn't happen while I was actively trying.  I didn't feel like my diet was about calorie restriction so much as replacing food choices with better choices.  Unfortunately, I am very much lactose intolerant.  I wish I weren't, and was in denial about it for some time.  The severity of it does go with the state of my gut bacteria, but it's not due to gluten intolerance.  Probably more caffeine related.

marty998

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #34 on: December 27, 2016, 02:46:34 PM »
@infromsea -- I get the impression that you think that heat is NOT a form of energy expenditure. My physics textbooks say that heat is a form of energy, maybe yours say differently. ;)

Why don't you try to double your caloric intake for a month or two and see if your body gets rid of all of it as heat as you claim without any exercise?

I don't have a physics textbook    :)

I would be interested in eating a high caloric intake but would not reduce exercise. I'll be honest. I'm an exercise addict...

I do think it's a common thing to try and apply physics and thermodynamics (closed system science) to an "open system" (the body) that is highly impacted by genetics/environment/etc. I do not think you can take the hard sciences and apply them directly to what we are discussing, it's apples and oranges.

The laws of physics do not apply to humanity? That's a novel idea...

Believe the applicable law here is conservation of matter/energy? Energy cannot be created or destroyed....merely transformed from one state to another.

Someone smarter than me can provide numbers, but I was under the impression the way the body burns fat is to respire it.

Carbs are turned into heat and kinetic energy (movement) with the by-product being CO2 which is breathed out.


thunderball

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #35 on: December 27, 2016, 07:55:03 PM »
Following!

At Barnes & Noble today I found myself perusing the Bulletproof Cookbook.  Did not buy it though.  Has anyone tried that diet?

Haselbacher

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #36 on: December 27, 2016, 08:37:49 PM »
Sorry for the stupid question! I just moved to the US earlier this year...

Why is everything made with sugar here? And how do you avoid it? For example I wanted to buy bacon at Costco, but they all had sugar as ingredient. Is that normal?

boarder42

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #37 on: December 28, 2016, 04:05:32 AM »
Sorry for the stupid question! I just moved to the US earlier this year...

Why is everything made with sugar here? And how do you avoid it? For example I wanted to buy bacon at Costco, but they all had sugar as ingredient. Is that normal?

Don't buy processed crap. Bacon is processed. But towards the lower side of processing.

rpr

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #38 on: December 28, 2016, 06:54:53 AM »
@infromsea -- Hope you feel better soon. Also IMO, you are over thinking and over complicating this. Let me simplify the problem with the following extreme example.

Complete  fasting (water only) -- 1) either voluntary fasting (under controlled conditions such as medical/spiritual), or 2)  involuntary fasting (starvation due to famine/war etc).

In this situation Calories in = 0. Calories out = BMR (which will reduce). 

People lose weight. Granted that  complete fasting is not sustainable long term for obvious reasons -- you will eventually die.

It is always

Weight gain/loss = Calories in - Calories out, for EVERY one.

rpr

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #39 on: December 28, 2016, 06:56:09 AM »
Following!

At Barnes & Noble today I found myself perusing the Bulletproof Cookbook.  Did not buy it though.  Has anyone tried that diet?

The second link on google search gave me this.

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2014/12/24/the-bulletproof-diet-is-anything-but

boarder42

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #40 on: December 28, 2016, 06:58:58 AM »
my personal favorite diet is Tim Ferris's 4 hour body.

Meat
Beans
Veggies

only dairy allowed is cottage cheese
only alcohol allowed is 2 glasses of red wine

6 days on with one cheat day. ... if you're starting it for the first time you can expect to drop 5 lbs per week.  no counting calories basically eat as much of those 3 things as you want but limit your fats.

works really well and i've come up with many recipes that fit it.  once i reached goal weight i add back in cheese ... its so damn good.

rpr

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #41 on: December 28, 2016, 07:27:30 AM »
@ infromsea -- You seem to be focussing too much on sugar and the sugar industry. The meat, poultry, and dairy industries are just as bad in terms of paying scientists and researchers.


rpr

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #42 on: December 28, 2016, 08:12:36 AM »
I would say that we dis-rupt the process by the way we eat. IF we get our intake "correct" for our body type, calories don't matter as the body will regulate weight, just like it does all of the other processes.

Only if you don't change it too much. Try doing an experiment for the next couple of months. With your current diet and macro ratio, double the amount of food you eat i.e. double calories in. Do not change the level of exercise. I'd be curious in the results.

Have a good weekend.

PS: I am grateful that you have started this thread. I'm OK changing my ideas if incorrect and not backed by scientific consensus. Yes, science is messy and takes time but is one method that we know will eventually get things right. Plus, always willing to learn new things.

Field123

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #43 on: December 28, 2016, 08:31:25 AM »
Commenting to follow. Great stuff!

boarder42

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #44 on: December 28, 2016, 08:53:16 AM »
my personal favorite diet is Tim Ferris's 4 hour body.

Meat
Beans
Veggies

only dairy allowed is cottage cheese
only alcohol allowed is 2 glasses of red wine

6 days on with one cheat day. ... if you're starting it for the first time you can expect to drop 5 lbs per week.  no counting calories basically eat as much of those 3 things as you want but limit your fats.

works really well and i've come up with many recipes that fit it.  once i reached goal weight i add back in cheese ... its so damn good.

I thought about trying this diet out to see how I responded, it does appeal to my way of thinking.

The reason I didn't implement it was the "cheat day". For me (and I'm only talking about myself here) the cheat day leads to binges for 2-3 days due to insulin sensitivity. Consuming "cheat day" levels of carbs causes me to be ravenous (for more carbs) and I spend several days breaking that cycle. I've learned to deal without having a cheat day.

Glad to hear it's working for you, have you had any good responses in your "numbers" (glucose/CRP/A1C etc.).

yeah they are crazy good
HDL's 50
LDL's 88
TRY's 50
Glucose 75

that was after 3 months on it cold turkey.


Cromacster

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #45 on: December 28, 2016, 09:32:10 AM »
I enjoyed the article!  It really hits home int alot of areas.  I've spent a alot of time with diet A and B, up down up down.

 I'm currently trying to find my diet C, but I'm making progress.  I've got the workout part down pretty good.  I consistently workout and have been for 3-4 years.  Over the 4 years I've gained quite a bit of muscle, but overall stayed relatively static with my weight other than some odd loss/gains from crash diets.  The positive is that I went from around 290 43%bf to my current 275 at 30% BF.  So a pretty big loss in BF even though the scale only dropped 15 lbs over 4 years.  Early on I dropped quite a bit of weight to 235 using extremely low carb, but it wasn't sustainable for me and I put the weight back on pretty fast.

So, I've developed some good workout habits, mostly focused on strength training.  Now I am trying to develop proper eating habits to help me bring my weight down.  I've been working with a nutritionist that has helped me developed a plan going forward.

Things I have found that help me:
Meal prep.  I don't go crazy with my meal prep, but I precook most of the meat I will eat during the week.  Turkey and chicken mostly with some ground beef.
Meal consistency:  I eat the same thing, or nearly the same thing everyday
Meal timing:  I eat at the same times every day and I focus almost all of my carb intake around my workouts.  Some pre-workout, but most are consumed post workout.

I do a cheat day every two weeks, although with the holidays there's been a little to much cheating (but I still came out a 1lb or so down after the Christmas weekend)  Cheat days are nice because they help me relax a bit.  I'm not focused on measuring and timing.  But I do tend to get post cheat day blues and cravings.

I also do a 30hr fast every week.  This isn't terribly hard to do if I keep busy.  If I'm sitting around the house doing nothing it gets harder.  Especially during football season when it's pizza commercials followed by fried chicken commercials etc etc.  Usually around hr 18-20 I get some wicked cravings (also around Sunday night football, so commercials...)

The Changes
Overall I'm down 8lbs in about 2.5 months.  Slow and sustainable.  The biggest difference is my energy levels and recovery times.  My energy levels are way up.  Workouts are going great and I've hit a few PR's which is always fun.  Recovery from workouts is one of the best things.  The biggest thing I noticed was during a hypertrophy phase in a weightlifting cycle. I usually dread these because they leave me feeling wrecked for a few days after every workout.  Then I feel like I am forcing myself to keep working out in those following days.  But my most recent cycle was like a whole new thing.  The first few days I kept waiting for the wrecked feeling, but nothing.  I finally figured out that with my nutrition dialed in my recovery happens much faster.  Game changer.

Out of the book list, which one would you recommend most?  I've heard good things about the primal blueprint, but am curious what your suggestion would be if you were to pick one.


horsepoor

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #46 on: December 28, 2016, 10:03:11 AM »
Following!

At Barnes & Noble today I found myself perusing the Bulletproof Cookbook.  Did not buy it though.  Has anyone tried that diet?

Here is a PDF version of a Bulletproof Cookbook.  The Bulletproof Cookbook is available on Kindle for $1.99, but I doubt it would give you anything that Google can't.

Also following this thread.

One thing I'm surprised I haven't seen mentioned yet, is much distinction in the TYPE of exercise performed, and the effect of that on muscle mass, which in turn affects metabolism.  Pretty sure most of us here are interested in FAT loss, not indiscriminate loss of all types of bodyweight.  Sprint/HIIT type exercise, and weight-bearing exercises that build muscle also burn fat.  Maintaining muscle mass takes calories.  The fat endurance athlete is a classic example in these types of discussions, but I'll posit that the exercise volume is not the key, but rather the kind and intensity. 

I've also done several half marathons and training 20 miles a week does help keep weight off, but I know I also need to strength train and watch my diet if I want to lose.  The caloric demands of running 12 miles make it difficult to stay in a calorie deficit (want to eat all the things after burning 1,000+ calories in 2 hours), and all that running doesn't really build muscle, it just makes certain muscle groups very efficient at moving the body through space.  And when the run is over, the body drops back to RMR quickly, whereas it keeps burning at an elevated rate for many hours after a good strength workout.  So yeah, the eat less/move more admonition is flawed in that it's not a simple linear scale, and loses a lot in its lack of nuance.  No wonder people get frustrated with attempts to lose weight (fat) on the treadmill of endless cardio.  If muscle wasting is part of the weight loss equation, metabolism is going to decrease along with body weight, so a plateau is inevitable without further increasing cardio volume or further calorie restriction.

cerat0n1a

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #47 on: December 28, 2016, 10:05:13 AM »
It is always

Weight gain/loss = Calories in - Calories out, for EVERY one.

As a skinny marathon runner with a degree in Physics, I'd always thought that simply eating less or exercising more, as per the above, would remove obesity - but I'm now fairly convinced that it's not a helpful way to think about it. I'd very much recommend this article to you.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/apr/07/the-sugar-conspiracy-robert-lustig-john-yudkin

boarder42

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #48 on: December 28, 2016, 10:16:39 AM »
It is always

Weight gain/loss = Calories in - Calories out, for EVERY one.

As a skinny marathon runner with a degree in Physics, I'd always thought that simply eating less or exercising more, as per the above, would remove obesity - but I'm now fairly convinced that it's not a helpful way to think about it. I'd very much recommend this article to you.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/apr/07/the-sugar-conspiracy-robert-lustig-john-yudkin

yeah that equation is very very flawed. it matters what the calories come from and how the human body handles them differently.

Milizard

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Re: Want to lose weight in 2017? Exercise is NOT the answer...
« Reply #49 on: December 28, 2016, 12:21:26 PM »
Thanks. I think you missed the fact that I made myself plateau on purpose:  I eased up on both the exercise and diet.  Not saying I wouldn't have plateaued at some point anyway.  It just didn't happen while I was actively trying.  I didn't feel like my diet was about calorie restriction so much as replacing food choices with better choices.  Unfortunately, I am very much lactose intolerant.  I wish I weren't, and was in denial about it for some time.  The severity of it does go with the state of my gut bacteria, but it's not due to gluten intolerance.  Probably more caffeine related.

I didn't miss the point that you purposefully stopped weight loss, I applaud the control it took to do that.

I'm heard one hypothesis that when we reach the "saggy skin" phase of weight loss, it's a good idea to level off the weight loss (add in a few more carbs, reduce exercise) to allow the body to re-absorb the tissue, resulting in firmer skin. I don't know if that's crazy talk or not but hey, it's probably worth a try.

I didn't mean to infer that your intolerance was gluten instead, just saying that was the case for me.

Replacing food choices with better choices, what kind of changes did you make?

No problem.  I understand the gluten issue.  I have a niece with celiac, and a friend who has had to eliminate 80% of foods, including gluten, from her diet.

I wouldn't say it was self-control.  I recognized how much time and energy it was taking, and wanted to find an equilibrium I could manage when I go back to work.  I didn't want to waste my energy getting down to an unmanageable level.  So, I would call it more-laziness! 

I didn't even know that the saggy skin issue was a known technique--just seemed reasonable to me at my age.  Interesting.

Replacing food choices, well let's see.  I started eating salads regularly, then changed the dressing and eliminated the croutons.  My snacks used to be just anything around such as granola bars, changed to veggies with dip or a protein shake or some cottage cheese.  Quit eating Arby's after discovering how many calories even the healthy-seeming sandwiches had.  Replaced my 2nd cup of coffee with creamer and sugar to Oolong tea with no sugar.  Also my black tea with lots of sugar --or *gasp* pop-- to raspberry green tea with none.  Ate less carby, noodley foods and replaced with steak, chicken or salmon.  I've never been much of a fan of meat, so this was a pretty big change.  I think it went well with the kettlebell exercises--building some muscle and all that.

I am terrible with strict diet regimens, so I just consolidated things in my head about what I've learned about nutrition from various placed over the years.  I did not eliminate any foods completely.  That would make me sad, and make me want it even more.  And that's not sustainable--not for me, anyway.  I just severely cut back if they were very bad, or cut back a little if not too bad.

Just curious if you've heard of, and what you think of the GBOMBS diet?