Fitness and being Healthy

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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Shoju » Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:52 am

73.5 pounds down since end of feb / beginning of march. My metabolism feels like it's in overdrive the past couple of weeks.

I recently posted some transformation pics on FB. Sometimes, it's hard for me to see the results. But after looking at those pics, I'm unsure if I even recognize the guy in the before pic.

In October, I went to my High School Reunion. I wore a size 3XL shirt, that was tight around my stomach. Not to the point that it was going to bust a button, but it was tight. I wore a pair of 42" waist Dress Pants, and they were dreadfully uncomfortable. I unbuttoned them on the way home I was so miserable.

In the pic I took Saturday, I was wearing an XL shirt. It was loose. Not loose enough that I'm going to be in a L any time soon, but it was loose enough that it was on the baggy side of fitting well. I was wearing a pair of 38" W shorts, that only stay up because I had a belt on. Otherwise, they would have been around my ankles.

Let me tell anyone who might read this, and is wondering if they can do it. You can. It's not a matter of

"But, I hurt when I do stuff". That will get better. Even my aching surgically repaired joints feel a million times better.

"But, I don't like healthy food". Bullshit. I'm not starving. I'm not miserable when I eat. Part of that, is because I didn't decide to "diet". I changed my lifestyle. Sure, it's just a word change, but It helps. I've changed from eating greasy, shitty stuff, over to healthier versions of the same thing. I LOVE Chips and Dip. So instead of eating a half bag of chips, and half a container of dip, I eat healthier Rice and Pita chips, I eat one serving (which is 20 freaking chips for 120 - 140 calories), and I found a salsa that I drool about even thinking about it. The salsa? 2 TBSP is just 30 calories.

When I want pizza, I'll make my own. I can make myself a pretty awesome, and very filling pizza for 400 calories. I don't walk away hungry, and I don't wish for something else.
When I want something sweet? I'll grab a Fiber One 90 Calorie Bar.
When my kids want to go get some ice cream, I've found lower calorie alternatives at the same place they like to go.

I'll still drink soda. Just diet soda, and not as much as I used to.
I still go out to eat. I just order healthier dishes, and I try to make sure that I'm eating proportionally.

"But, I always gain it back" Remember what I said before? This is a lifestyle change. Not a diet. You have to change your mentality, and it starts with even the simple stuff, like saying that you are going to change your life, as opposed to going on a diet. A diet is something you quit. A lifestyle change is permanent.

I'll never be the fat guy again. I used to tell myself I was too fat to fail. Now, I'm looking at myself, and I know I was right.

If you are trying? Keep it up.
If you want to try? Do it!
If you need someone to talk to, find someone. Even if it's that trollish averse to change guy who says weird shit on an internet forum. Find the strength to do it.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fivelives » Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:11 am

Nikachelle wrote:While it will depend on how much you weigh, I thought that losing anything more than 2 pounds a week was considered "risky".


Two pounds per week is about the limit of "sustainable weight loss" (and it's pushing it a bit, you should aim for about 1 pound per week normally) if you're doing it by diet change alone. If you're adding in exercise, 2 pounds per week is a good starting point for turning your life around.

They call it sustainable because it doesn't require any major life changes beyond taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or going for a longer walk with your dog in the evenings after work. Things that are relatively easy to incorporate into your routine are likely to "stick" whereas something like a fad diet, or following the stronglifts 5x5 program can fall by the wayside when you just feel like a sad sack of miserable.

As far as ratios, as far as I know, the ratio is 30/30/40 (carbs/fats/proteins) for a balanced diet. You can tweak that a bit, say dropping fats by 10% and upping carbs if you're doing particularly intense exercise and you need ready fuel more than anything else, but that should keep you healthy and balanced.

Shoju, that's awesome. Sounds like your body's flipped over from using what it takes in to burning available fat reserves - I can never remember the technical term for it, keto-something either shift or flip. Whatever. Keep it up man.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Nooska » Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:22 am

The "balanced diet" is something very varying from country to country.

For ages its been at least 10% protein, max 30% fat, and about 60% carbs around here. The app I'm using to track calorie intake has it at 15/25/60.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fivelives » Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:34 am

That seems a bit off to me.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Rhiannon » Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:40 am

40% calories from protein is a lot. I consume around 2.4k calories a day and protein is about 30% of that at 180g (though I only really hit that on workout days), and that's with an emphasis on protein (usually one shake a day as well as a tub of cottage cheese or quark or greek style yoghurt in addition to some form of meat at every meal). 40% would only sound right for someone attempting to put on serious muscle, and you really have to go out of your way to get that.

There's so much broscience floating around the internet concerning how many grams of protein a day you should eat per kg or lb of lean body mass to a) build muscle b) maintain muscle mass while undergoing a calorie deficit (and the fact that both measurement systems crop up all over the place confuses the matter more), and the scientific studies to really answer the question don't seem to exist. The most recent RDA from the AMA that I can see is the incredibly helpful figure of "10-35%", which for me is 60g to 210g, which equates to about 1-3.5g of protein per kg of lbm (0.4-1.7g per lb of lbm). As I do some form of reasonably intense exercise at least 4 times a week I go for the higher side, I don't think there's any particular benefit for everyone to shovel protein in if they're not trying to explicitly build muscle though, beyond protein being more satiating per calorie than carbs.

To put it in context 210g of protein is equivalent to about 1kg of chicken.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Lieris » Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:40 am

Wow Shoju, you are doing amazing! Congrats!

I lost 4lbs this week... that's probably a bit too much but I feel really, really happy (due to things unrelated to exercise and weight loss) and motivated so it's hard to hold back.

I'll just keep what I am doing then with the carbs and the protein and not really worry about it. I used to put away HUGE bowls of pasta at least once a week and I would snack on bread throughout the day so just eliminating these habits as well as reducing portion sizes has been enough to see results.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fivelives » Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:44 am

I'm going off notes I made in my nutrition class, since I couldn't find the answer anywhere in the text. Maybe because there is no widely agreed-upon number? Best source I can find says "The amount of protein needed by each person is determined by the age, size, and metabolic rate of the person." But just from the basics, 30/30/40 seems more sound than 10/30/60.

Protein is directly needed for formations of amino acids - there are 8 "essentials" that we have to get from diet, since we can't manufacture them ourselves. And it goes far beyond simply maintaining or building muscle, it's a requirement for every single living cell in our body.

Dietary fats are used mainly to help break down fat soluble vitamins and transport them across cell walls.

Carbohydrates are either immediately converted to glucose or stored as a triglyceride chain. By any measure of the word, carbs are what fuel the body.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Zalaria » Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:01 am

Carbs can fuel the body, but they're not the only way. If you read up on the ketogenic diet they often aim for ratios around 5c/35p/60f (c=carbs, p=protein, f=fat. I put the letters in there because the keto stuff I was reading lists them in f/p/c order so I was confusing myself). Your body only needs a small amount of carbs for certain brain functions. It can run perfectly fine off of the energy in the fats and proteins.

Though if you exercise, your performance will be better if you have more carbs.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fivelives » Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:06 pm

The ketogenic diet is, much like atkins, a scam. Of course you're going to lose weight if you starve your body of carbs - it'll break down available fat deposits for energy first, then go searching for alternate sources.

Starvation diets will always work, at least until your body starts eating itself. And your body needs carbs for more than just certain brain functions. In fact, starving your body of carbohydrates leads eventually to confused thinking, impaired decision making and judgment. Most of that is handled by the prefrontal cortex, which is the area of the brain most sensitive to changes in the glucose levels in the body (being that it's by and large the biggest pig when it comes to needing to be fed).

Now, proteins can and are broken down into glucose (google gluconeogenesis if you're curious), but the process is inefficient and VERY taxing on the kidneys. That's why fad diets that follow from atkins as a source are absolutely horrifyingly bad for you. Sure, they have the intended effect - weight loss - but at what cost? Your kidneys are kind of important, and breaking down proteins into glucose causes an immense load as the byproduct of protein breakdown is ammonia. During normal body functions, a very small amount of the protein we take in is converted to glucose, but we're equipped to handle that.

As far as fats, sure those can be used as energy. But again, pretty imperfectly. Most of the dietary fats should be taken in as unsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 and -6, etc). Those can only be imperfectly broken down into glucose, because instead of a triglyceride chain of fully saturated carbon and hydrogen, there are "kinks" in it that can't be broken down into sugars.

Anyway, TL;DR: ketogenic diet bad. Balanced diet good. Exercise good. Portion control good.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Nooska » Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:21 am

@Fivelives

You sound very knowledgable and sure, which means I have tyo ask, what is your background for your knowledge and surety?
(Apologies if its somewhere already and I've missed it, but reviweing 50 pages of this thread and possibly others is a bit too much for me currently)
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fridmarr » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:40 am

Congrats Shoju, that's terrific. I'd also like to second your notion of eating less processed food and making the way you eat part of a healthy lifestyle instead of a diet.

As for the ratios, protein is usually given in as a total number of grams (not calories), like a percentage of your body weight (or target body weight), not a ratio relative to carbs and fat. Protein also comes with the caveat that your body can only handle about 30g at a time.

Keep in mind that protein has only 4 calories per gram, so getting 40% of your calories from protein on a 2000 calorie diet would require 200g of protein. That's a shit ton of protein, you would have to eat 7 meals of 30g of protein each day. Usually body builders and the like will do that, though they are also eating more than 2k calories while they are loading too, so even they aren't usually getting 40% of all their calories from protein. So, 40% is likely not really reasonable for an everyday lifestyle diet.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fridmarr » Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:43 am

Lieris wrote:Wow Shoju, you are doing amazing! Congrats!

I lost 4lbs this week... that's probably a bit too much but I feel really, really happy (due to things unrelated to exercise and weight loss) and motivated so it's hard to hold back.

I'll just keep what I am doing then with the carbs and the protein and not really worry about it. I used to put away HUGE bowls of pasta at least once a week and I would snack on bread throughout the day so just eliminating these habits as well as reducing portion sizes has been enough to see results.
Yeah that's the right attitude, don't sweat the pounds per week really. Honestly 4lbs is within the margin of error of a scale and uncontrolled weigh ins anyhow, I mean if you drank a glass of water right before you got on the scale it might say 3lbs...but nothing is really different about your body, that glass of water didn't make you 1lb fatter.

If you are feeling good and your morale is up, then what you are doing likely agrees with you, and that's what it is all about.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Lieris » Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:48 pm

Fivelives wrote:Anyway, TL;DR: ketogenic diet bad. Balanced diet good. Exercise good. Portion control good.


Thank you for this post, that makes a lot of sense.

Fridmarr wrote:If you are feeling good and your morale is up, then what you are doing likely agrees with you, and that's what it is all about.


Yep!
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fivelives » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:17 pm

Nooska wrote:@Fivelives

You sound very knowledgable and sure, which means I have tyo ask, what is your background for your knowledge and surety?
(Apologies if its somewhere already and I've missed it, but reviweing 50 pages of this thread and possibly others is a bit too much for me currently)


I'm an RN. Lots of biology courses (cellular biology, microbiology, anatomy & physiology I and II, and I even opted for the human cadaver lab and organic chemistry because they were interesting) and recently enough that I've either still got the knowledge rattling around upstairs, or at least a valid textbook handy for reference. Also a medical nutrition course.

The 40% was supposed to be for carbs, not protein. My mistake there. 30% of a 2k calorie diet would be roughly 150g, and yeah - that does sound like a lot. I can ask at work, but I've got a feeling that if I ask 5 doctors, I'll get 5 different responses. It's not an exact science.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Nooska » Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:29 am

Whats an RN?

Well on the scale again today, and back down where I was before the weight jump earlier this month before visiting in laws (which bumped me up further - I swear, all we do when visiting in-laws is eating and driving to the next place to eat, and even when trying my best, not being able to weigh my food and choose low calorie alternatives freely is just... well... But I knew that and its only circa 4 times per year, so I can handle that.

Waist measurement is stationary (but then it might not be, as I'm not that good at remembering precisely where I put the measuring tape), chest measurement slight down, I think, never noted it the first time as that was just to look at shirt sizes.
Now clocking in at 259.7 lbs and back down to BMI of 30.0 (I was briefly under that before I gained weight earlier this month). That makes a weight loss of 20.28 lbs since may 21st, and should see me at my currennt target weight of 209.5 lbs in ~15 weeks, provided it goes smoothly without too many jumps.

Always good to step on the weight and see it lower than last time :D
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fridmarr » Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:15 am

Nooska wrote:Whats an RN?

Registered Nurse
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fivelives » Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:20 am

Nooska, an RN is a Registered Nurse.

I wouldn't pay too terribly much attention to BMI as a measurement of fitness. It's a joke, and I've gone on about it at length here somewhere. As a shorthand easy-to-read chart for a doc to point at you and explain "you're fat" in a politically correct way, it's not horrible. But as a measurement of pretty much anything else, it's kinda useless. Body composition tests are way better, and you can even pick up scales for around $20 at Walmart or Target that can measure your body fat percentage. It's not going to be SUPER-accurate, but it's better than the BMI chart, and at least it's consistent.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby KysenMurrin » Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:42 am

Ha, yeah. I always sit in the middle of "ideal" in BMI - because I'm a little overweight but with low muscle.

*

I actually don't know how much I weigh, just have a general guess that I'm in the same region I've always been (~11 stone), but lately I've been feeling like my stomach is a little bigger. And I noticed this a few weeks after I started exercising regularly. Not sure if I'm just imagining it.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Lieris » Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:59 am

Nooska wrote:Now clocking in at 259.7 lbs and back down to BMI of 30.0 (I was briefly under that before I gained weight earlier this month). That makes a weight loss of 20.28 lbs since may 21st, and should see me at my currennt target weight of 209.5 lbs in ~15 weeks, provided it goes smoothly without too many jumps.

Always good to step on the weight and see it lower than last time :D


That's fantastic! I think I read somewhere that losing weight is actually easier than putting it on so don't worry about the blips.

Fivelives wrote:Nooska, an RN is a Registered Nurse.

I wouldn't pay too terribly much attention to BMI as a measurement of fitness. It's a joke, and I've gone on about it at length here somewhere. As a shorthand easy-to-read chart for a doc to point at you and explain "you're fat" in a politically correct way, it's not horrible. But as a measurement of pretty much anything else, it's kinda useless. Body composition tests are way better, and you can even pick up scales for around $20 at Walmart or Target that can measure your body fat percentage. It's not going to be SUPER-accurate, but it's better than the BMI chart, and at least it's consistent.


I know that BMI is meaningless for people who are really building muscle but what about for those of us who are mainly focused on cardio and diet? In my particular case the weight thresholds for each band seem to be about fair which I appreciate is not very scientific! I use BMI because that's what Wii Fit uses (I don't know if I would care enough to make the calculation if it didn't) but it gives me some very attainable goals and it so happens that my target weight is exactly the recommended weight using BMI. I think as long as you recognise its significant shortcomings it can be useful.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Nikachelle » Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:11 am

I've been an absolute ass with my own food intake lately (I hate using the word diet. I'm not on a diet damnit.) and right now I'm suffering the pains of a too tight skirt this morning. UGHHHHHHHH.

I don't actually like BMI, but it gives people a good idea of what to shoot for. If you're very close to your target weight and wondering why the heck you don't fit into the lovely charts where it says perfect weight and overweight, I wouldn't be worried too much, particularly if you're a very active individual. However, for people who are just starting their weight loss journey and are more likely to be 30 to 100+ pounds overweight, BMI isn't such a bad thing. It gives you something to shoot for. It might not accurately represent where precisely you are, but it'll give you an idea. I started around a BMI of 35 and am now down to 27 (which is still "overweight"). While I know the numbers aren't necessarily the whole picture, it does feel pretty nice to have a second reinforcement to know that you no longer qualify as "obese". I sure got excited when I fit back into the "overweight" category as opposed to the "obese" one!

Edit: re: this protein intake stuff. I eat what is generally a pretty balanced diet and will struggle to get to 90 grams a day. (I'm more likely to loiter around 70-80). 150 would be near unattainable to me if I wanted to keep eating other things as well.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Shoju » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:19 am

I'm glad to hear people say that the Atkins Diet, and similar "no carbs" diets are scams.

The goal of diets like this is to get your body into a state of Ketoacidosis. It's weight loss. But it's a REALLY FREAKING BAD Weight loss. I'm not exactly sure what the result of it happening to a non diabetic person would be, but for a diabetic, That's the super negative state of Hyperglycemia, resulting from prolonged high blood sugars, and the body is breaking down. This type of ketoacidosis would have me putting my wife in the car, and driving to the ER.

I can't imagine that the results on a normal person would be that much better. It's murder on your kidneys no matter how you look at it.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby katraya » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:26 am

I currently trying to decide whether to change gyms. The new one I am looking at is 2 blocks from my house, has a pool, sauna, much better hours, and comes with 6 weeks of personal training. It's also more than twice what I pay now. :shock:

I'm giving it a week since i have a free trial. I'm not sure if a change would be the kick in the pass to regain motivation or if it will just be wasted money. I've stagnated for the past year despite trying to mix it up a bit and give varying degrees of effort. It's hard to keep trying at this point.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Amirya » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:46 am

Update:

This week's results are a loss of 1 lb for me, but I suspect part of it is water retention - for some reason, I was craving super salty stuff. Seem to be over that, though. If all goes well, and I don't get stupid ill effects later, I may actually be able to go back to the gym without feeling like I'm going to throw up or drop weights on my head, or fall off the treadmill face-first. So, for the two weeks so far, I've lost a total of 5 lbs. Not as much as I'd like, but I can't complain.

My roommate is now at a loss of 14 lbs for the 2 weeks, his apparent biggest complaint is the lack of pasta/bread/rice (compounded when my mother keeps forgetting and making rice, or offering to make sandwiches), and that he constantly craves red meat. Not sure what to do there for him, other than "just deal with it."

For the most part, my BS numbers don't exceed 150 anymore, which is a lot better than when it used to be good that it didn't exceed 220. I still haven't found this magical, "you'll feel better when you see results of losing weight/lower numbers/blah blah blah," so I still figure it's mostly just shit. My mood swings have gotten worse - more that I get moody a lot easier now; I generally don't want to eat on any given day (though there are exceptions), so I have to force myself to do it since I can't skip without my BS skyrocketing. Insomnia seems to be worsening, too. Go figure. :)
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Zalaria » Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:21 pm

Shoju wrote:I'm glad to hear people say that the Atkins Diet, and similar "no carbs" diets are scams.

The goal of diets like this is to get your body into a state of Ketoacidosis. It's weight loss. But it's a REALLY FREAKING BAD Weight loss. I'm not exactly sure what the result of it happening to a non diabetic person would be, but for a diabetic, That's the super negative state of Hyperglycemia, resulting from prolonged high blood sugars, and the body is breaking down. This type of ketoacidosis would have me putting my wife in the car, and driving to the ER.

I can't imagine that the results on a normal person would be that much better. It's murder on your kidneys no matter how you look at it.


I have to correct this. The state they get you into is call ketosis, which is a state your body is likely in somewhat often for short periods. These diets simply keep you there. People on these diets are perfectly healthy for months or years.

It is VERY different from diabetic ketoacidosis. People with this are dead within a couple days if it's untreated.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Nooska » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:31 pm

On BMI, I've been thinking its a "scam" from the beginning - I'm a wide shouldered, 6'6" tall male. My BMI should not be the same as a narrowshouldered same height male (or a well endowed female of slightly lower height).

But like Lieris and Nikachelle state, I think its a good measurement of progress, if not actual start or end point accuracy.

We have decided to get a weight that measures bodyfat/water content when the battery on the current one ran out. I just got a "Lo" warning this morning, so we will be looking at that.
$20 you say? hmm what brand would I look for for that pricetag (I'm in Denmark, so I know it'll be higher regardless), and if I wanted to up the investment to get a good (or better) weight, since we are both trying to get down to .. less round .. weight placements, so a good/reliabvle weight is a good investment (as I indicated we also weigh our food and register it as well as possible).
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