(Closed) Argh so confused about nutrition & fitness!

posted 6 years ago in Fitness
Post # 3
Member
1474 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011 - Bent Creek Winery (Livermore, California); Reception: Family Residence (San Ramon, California)

Oh my gosh, I struggle with this type of thinking as well! Especially when it comes to something like nutrition and exercise. I feel like, if I know everything and come up with a very detailed, concrete plan, I’ll be able to stick with it, and everything will be perfect. But that’s so not how life works, and often I’m crippled by my own overthinking. 

I think you really do need to take just one or two steps right now. But focus on taking managable steps. Like you can’t just run a marathon tomorrow. But can you power walk or jog for 10 minutes? That’s a start! And that’s more than you did the day before. And don’t overhaul your diet right away. Try making a few adjustments. Even drinking 8 glasses of water a day will make a huge difference in your life! And taking those steps now will make it easier to take more steps later. 

Don’t be afraid to start small and grow. When we try to do everything at once is when we set ourselves up for failure – as you can see, you’re already experiencing that right now! Take steps that are managable for you, steps that you can maintain and build on for the rest of your life. That way, the changes you make will be lifestyle changes, not diet/exercise routines that you’ll eventually give up on in a few weeks.

Good luck! You can do it! 

Post # 4
Member
395 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

My doctor told me that the ONE tried and true method is to count calories!! It is true that carbs hold a lot of calories, so reducing carbs (NOT cutting out entirely) may help to reduce your calorie count. The number of calories that you need to eat depends on your lifestyle, etc. Some say that if you don’t eat at least 1,200 calories a day, that your body will go into starvation mode. My doctor told me to eat 1,000 calories. 

Also, exercise. Start small, like taking the stairs and parking further away so that you have to walk. But MAKE time for it, even if it’s just 10 minutes a day. 

MyFitnessPal is a website that several bees (myself included) use to track our calories and exercise, and you can add people on there and have friends who help to keep you accountable.  There are Apple and Android apps for it as well.  

Hope that helps!!! 

Post # 5
Member
2786 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Honestly, the biggest thing is calories in vs calories out. You need to reduce your calories by 3,500 to lose a pound. Obviously the best way to do this is through a combination of diet and exercise.

In terms of WHAT exercise, I don’t know what your fitness level is so here are very general tips: in terms of weights, you need to lift them. Not only do you burn more calories by lifting than through many types of cardio, but you build muscle, which then continues to burn fat AFTER your workout is over. You should lift “heavy” to build muscle, and remember that girls cant get bulky like a guy…it isn’t in our DNA. Female body builders have to take a lot of supplements to get as bulky as they do. So feel free to go a heavy as you need to to “feel the burn”, but not so heavy that your form is incorrect as you might hurt yourself.

For cardio, anything is better than nothing but every trainer I know has told me that interval or HIIT training is the best way to get your heart rate up and burn calories.

In terms of carbs, etc….I really wouldn;t cut them completely, unless you’re planning to go the rest of your life without them. If you cut them you will lose weight short-term, but when you re-introduce them you will gain it all back. Instead think about cutting them back, and setting a rule like no carbs after 7pm.

A lot of what I’m telling you is what i’ve learned through trial and error, personal training, and workout programs. If you are looking for an awesome workout jump start I can’t recommend this one highly enough: it’s full body, and the routine grdually gets harder, so you build up to it. Plus, it has a great diet plan, which includes recipes.

Just remember: there are no WRONG answers, because doing anything is better than nothing. Every body is different, so you need to find what works for yours. Good luck!

Post # 6
Member
368 posts
Helper bee

My favorite website is Sparkpeople.com it is completely free. You can choose to follow meal plans, or make your own. It has a nutrition tracker, fitness tracker, and a huge community. The program tells you how much to eat, workout, and how many calories you need to burn. They even have stages of fitness for you to go through. They will literally hold your hand, and if you get lost there are great people on the message boards.

Post # 7
Member
6597 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

There is no magic recipe to fitness and nutrition. Many of the things you talked about are fads.

You need to start with the basics. 

The basics of nutrition are:

  • calories in > calories out = you gain weight
  • calories in < calories out = you lose weight
  • foods that are natural (not processed) and you know where they come from are healthier and more nutrient rich than processed foods (and usually less calories)
  • moderation is key (everyone needs to splurge sometime so build in a cheat meal)
  • You need all three macronutrients to survive: fat, carbohydrates and protein
  • Fruit and vegetables are also carbohydrates – eating high fiber carbohydrates and natural carbohydrates are better than eating low fiber processed carbohydrates (white bread)
  • Eating protein with your carbohydrates will keep you full longer and prevents blood insulin spikes

The basics of exercise is:

  • Get moving!!!!
  • Cardiovascular exercise trains your heart and burns many calories
  • You want to do a minimum of 30min of cardio at a minimum of 3x wk
  • Weight training tones your muscle, builds strength and can increase your resting metabolism (indirectly by having more muscle)
  • Currently the general consensus for strength training is that everyone should do 8-12 repetitions and the weight should always be really hard by the time you get to your last rep (almost like you can’t do another rep)
  • With exercise you should always be changing it up so you body doesn’t get used to what you are doing. Either increase weights or reps or change your exercises. Change your routine every 6 wks.
  • Don’t forget to also change up your cardio!!!!! Add intervals or hills etc.

I hope this helps clarify what you are thinking! I am a trainer and I am doing a PhD in Kinesiology so please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions.

Post # 8
Member
5148 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

My suggestion is Paleo/Primal + CrossFit.

I disagree with “it’s just calories in and calories out”. What those calories are made of does matter, as different things (especially sugar & carbs), cause insulin spikes, which also causes changes in the way the body moves and stores fat.

I’ve seen this with my dogs. One of them was always chubby, even when I cut her food intake in half she didn’t lose weight. When I switched her from kibble (carbs) to a raw diet, she slimmed down. Her calorie intake stayed int he same, in fact she now eats MORE calories of raw food than she ate of kibble, but she’s not soft/pudgy anymore. It really was the TYPE of food rather than the calories.

Post # 9
Member
764 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Myfitnessplan.com

Reduce calories, increase activity.

Post # 11
Member
954 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

i run a lot and do yoga, i don’t count calories, but i eat when i’m hungry and stop when i’m full.  its not just cals in/ cals out- if i eat a lot of junk, i get flabbier…if i don’t, i get leaner.  i don’t lift weights because it bores me and isn’t sustainable.  

do a form of fitness that you LIKE, because you will stick with it- doing something you hate will make you give up and not see any results.  with regards to weight, figure out what you eat now, and then reduce the amounts somewhat, eat a little bit of everything and not a lot of anything. 

 

i know that sounds ambitious and annoying- but it works.  diets don’t work.  if they did, our entire country would be thin and all the new diet gurus would be out of business because the old ones would have came and conquered.

Post # 12
Member
1326 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

IMO it comes down to what works for you. I tried many plans and programs,a nd what has worked best for me so far is calorie counting, but keeping a mindful eye on fat and carb intake too. I use myfitnesspal on my iphone because it;s always handy. I’ve lost 11lbs so far and I’ve enjoyed the process.

I think the make and break here is to like or enjoy what your doing. I’ve tried WW, Atkins, Paleo etc. but I wasn’t happy about it. Once I started calorie counting I was still eating healthy, but in a way that gave me control. I could have carbs and dairy if I wanted and wasn’t on a diet that told me I couldn’t have those things.

It takes awhile to figure out what works for. My tried and true motto is, “What works for others, may not work for you”. Everyone has different preferences, foods they like etc. I took me awhile to finally try calorie counting, but it’s worked for me. Try some different plans out or, check out the specs to each one. If you love carbs and dairy then Atkins won’t be for you, but WW or CC might. Read up on all of them and see which one meshs with your lifestyle the best.

Post # 13
Member
5148 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

@cdncinnamongirl  – I eat about half my meals paleo/primal and half Weston-Allen-Price style. I don’t care too much for grains, so I wouldn’t miss those and don’t eat very many. But I LOVE LOVE LOVE cheese, I don’t think I could ever go completely paleo/primal because cheese is one of my favorite foods.

Most of the paleo/primal people do 80/20. 80% of their meals are strict paleo/primal, 20% they get to “cheat”.

Post # 14
Member
1278 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I think just getting started is the way to go! It can be so overwhelming if you want to make a complete life change, that you can get scared off!

I just try to do excerise 4 times a week, eat as well as I can, and not beat myself up when it all goes bad! The trick is to just start again the next day if you’ve had a bad one!

But what everyone has said about calorie tracking is correct – if you eat less than you burn, you will lose weight 🙂

Post # 15
Member
822 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Let me start off by saying what works for me will not necessarily work for you.  You will have to try out a few different things to see what works.  I am also very type a so I like to have plans in place for eveything in my life.  I soon found out that weight loss is not linear or expected.

It’s true that a pound is 3,500 calories.  1 gram of protein or carb is equal to 4 calories and 1 gram of fat is equal to 9 calories.  I have the food nutrition background but I have a tendency to get lured in by fads.  The Dukan Diet book is sitting on table but I couldn’t follow it because it’s not right for me.  I know that just because I ate a 300 hundred calorie slice of chocolate cake doesn’t mean i ruined my diet and just because the scale went up 5 pounds doens’t mean I really gained it because I know there’s no way I ate 17,500 calories.

This is what I did and I’ve lost over 20 pounds since the middle of October. (I managed to lose weight during the holidays! yay!)  I was not obese but just slightly overweight.  Now I’m within the BMI normal weight range.  I started off by identifying my weakness (bread, desserts, sweets, and pretty much all empty refined sugars and carbs).  I forced myself to cut it out by loosely following the south beach diet to cut my cravings for sugar.  i’ve done this several times before for several reasons and it gets easier each time. i also tracked my calories. (i used loseit and then fitbit after i got the fitbit activity monitor.)

i kept myself a few hundred calories under my bmr.  i used an online calculator to calculate my bmr so that i knew how many calories i burned if i was pretty sendetary.  any activity resulting in burning additional calories was a plus.

because i ate mainly proteins, the calories i consumed each day dramatically decreased.  i then added in only good grains.  i cut fruit out the first week only so i still a good amount of carbs.  i didn’t do low carb — only good carb.

i switched from honey to agave nectar for my greek yogurt.  i haven’t bought sugar in ages.  it was a good two months before i started eating any white flour or sugar and even now, it’s in moderation.  i’ll have a container of fruit flavored fage or chobani yogurt instead of getting just the plain and sweetening it with agav nectar. 

i don’t eat red meat so eating protein is difficult.  i eat a lot of eggs (i don’t have cholesterol issues), chicken, nuts, fish, low fat cheese, greek yogurt, nut butters…

i find that by eating mostly protein, i am full without eating too many calories.  i don’t want to say anything bad about fad no or low carb diets because it works for many people.  just remember that when you cut out the carbs, the first ten pounds you lose during that week is mostly water.  i am also not a fad of no fat.  your body needs fat so the key is eating good fat.  i never toss egg yolks or say no to an avocado. 

good luck.  you still have some time.  just keep focus and don’t come up with a plan that is too diffult to follow.

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