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Need some Exercise Advice

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Old 03-03-2008, 11:30 PM   #1
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Default Need some Exercise Advice

I have a goal to lose 20 lbs by May. 10 lbs this month and 10 next in April. I've been stuck at 282 for 3 weeks now. I've been going to the gym faithfully at least 3 times a week, sometime 4. I usually stay about 1-1.5 hrs 30 minutes cardio, core, then strength training. The trainer at the gym said to only do strength trainging every other day, but I don't feel anything in my mid section (huge problem area) when I'm on the elliptical or treadmill. I've heard people say that cardio is the best thing for shedding fat, THEN strength train to build muscle and tone. Question..doesn't strength training shed inches? which sheds fat? because I'm wondering why I'm stuck when I know I'm eating better, and working my butt off with no change, sometimes I gain an ounce or two! and I need to lose!!
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:19 AM   #2
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*dons infomercial hat*

This really sounds ridiculous, but it's true. Turbo Jam! I started doing just the basic Learn & Burn about a month ago (3-4 times/week), and I've lost 11 pounds and 5 inches each off my waist and hips. The closest results I've gotten core-wise is from Pilates. Have you tried Pilates, because it does amazing things for your midsection.

My first vote has to go to Turbo Jam, though. I just bought it because it looked like fun, and I needed to do SOME cardio (which I tend to hate) and it really kicked my butt... or rather, my gut!

*removes informercial hat*

Also, are you working on your eating habits at the same time you're exercising? I know one problem I had in the past was that I was exercising more without watching what I ate. When I did start a food journal, I found that I was eating more, as well, and my body was balancing it out.
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:19 AM   #3
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Congratulations on going to the gym! It sound like you're working hard, and getting those habits established is a huge part of the battle.

You say that you're eating better as well, which is an essential part of the equation. I wonder if you're logging what you eat? There's some guy with a weight loss book out (how specific is that?) that goes on and on about how when we increase our exercise, it increases our appetites, and we eat more. I wonder if that could be part of it? If you're concentrating on eating better, but not recording your food intake, you may be eating more of the good food than you realize, particularly when you've increased your exercise so much. If you're not already doing it, I recommend logging your food for a while to get a better understanding of how many calories you're consuming. That might be the answer you need.

A huge congratulations to you, though, on sticking with your new exercise regimen through three weeks of frustration. We all have those weeks, but it's much tougher when they come at the beginning.

As our beloved Rockin'Robin says all of the time - I KNOW YOU CAN DO THIS! It's just a matter of figuring out what works for you and then working it for the next seventy or eighty years.
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:19 AM   #4
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For sheer fat burning, cardio exercise is the best. But, don't forget that weight loss is about creating a calorie deficit. Your body has to be burning more calories than you're consuming. Do you have an idea of how many calories you're consuming each day?

One thing I've noticed...although I can't feel it happening, I lose inches off my abdominal area when I walk every day.
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:23 AM   #5
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So what are you eating?
Have you bee taking measurements? If not, start today. You can lose inches with the scale staying put. That's still progress!

Cardio burns fat, and muscle burns more calories than fat does - so you actually get fat burn both ways. Immediately from cardio, and the new muscles you build will use up more of the calories you take in.

You can strength train every day, however, don't do the same muscle group 2 days in a row. You do need to rest those muscles. Are you using free weights or machines? If you are using machines, try some free weights.
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:44 AM   #6
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I too will say that the thing that stood out to me in your post, was the fact that you say are "eating better". I know for ME, just plain old watching and eating better never did a thing for ME, weight loss wise. It wasn't until I faithfully tracked everything that I was eating, actually COUNTED my calories, which held me accountable and enabled me to set portion limits, and therefore create a CALORIE DEFICIT, that I started losing weight. I really, really think it would be extremely beneficial to you to track your calories just so you know EXACTLY how many you are consuming. I could exercise 24/7 - if I'm not tracking my calories - well then, I wouldn't lose weight. There's only so many calories exercise can burn off. It's really the combination of the exercise AND the caloric intake.

Cardio is a great way to burn off calories and therefore stored excess fat. Strength training will help you build muscle, which is the long run will help you to burn more calories, since the more muscle we have, the more calories we burn just resting.

Keep at it. Tweak it. Keep experimenting. Through trial and error you'll get it all figured out.
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:19 AM   #7
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Thanks guys! I have been logging down what I've been eating for about 2 weeks now. I will admit I've cheated a bit (giving in to urges for sweets here and there), but its been more than a week since I've had any sweets. I snack on granola or peanuts when I have those urges and they're slowly going away. Calorie counting is hard for me. I've tried it with about two food journal entries. Some of the foods I eat have a combination of things so its hard for me to get exact calories of certain items. I'll search google to see if there's a site where I can look up food item calories. Thanx
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:33 AM   #8
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All right then........

Granola, for example is one of those tricky foods. We think it's healthy, but lo and behold - it's not. It's loaded with fat and sugar. One cup has over 500 calories!! 500!! Peanuts - well one measly little ounce has 164 calories. I looked that up on Fitday.com, which is an excellent source for calorie counts and it will actually help you to track and keep tabs on your calories.

Much better snacks are veggies - grape tomatoes, baby carrots, cucumbers, pepper strips, fat free/sugar free yogurt, cottage cheese, egg white omlettes with sauteed veggies.

I know you say it's hard for you to track your calories, but wouldn't it be a shame for all of your hard work to produce no results? So though in the beginning it might be a bit of hassle, just til you get it down pat, just think how much MORE of a hassle it is to be overweight.

Losing weight DOES take some hard work. Well worth it hard work. But hard work non the less. And without a doubt, the hard of losing weight has way more benfits then the hard of BEING overweight. Way, way, WAY more.
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:46 AM   #9
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Cardio and strength training are both important to lose weight, they work together. Muscle is what actually burns the fat, so the more you build the more you will be burning off all day and night long, so strength building is important. But cardio is what enables to muscle to burn it off, so you really need both.

You can do strength daily, just don't work the same muscles two days in a row. Some people split it upper body one day and lower the next, and I am doing Jillian Michaels dvds now and she splits it between front and backside and includes cardio moves, so it's like cardio strength and that is changing the whole shape of my body...and I do pilates and yoga as well as a ton of cardio. As someone else said, pilates is good for seeing changes in your shape and looking more lean...and it works the tummy a LOT.

I think you can do abs everyday, I know a lot of people who do, and Jillian includes abs in all her workouts so I am doing it daily. Plus, you can work your abs through almost any other exercise you do if you focus on tightening your core as you do it...even cardio can work the tummy if you tighten up, feel every little twist, etc.

I agree with Robin, your problem might be the snacking foods because those are high calorie, and it is also so easy to eat a lot more peanuts and granola than you even realize you're taking in! Eat it out of measuring cup so you know what calories you're taking in. I like to munch on a head of lettuce when I just feel that urge to munch, you can eat the entire head and it's not going to hurt you.

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Old 03-04-2008, 11:10 AM   #10
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I found that I HAVE to count calories even though the plan I do does not require it. I started using Fitday. It took me about a week of thinking that Fitday was taking too much time, but now that I have gotten familiar with the program, it is much easier. I only use the online, free version. And don't track my exercise on Fitday, just calories. I heard the exercise part of it is not accurate.
I was suprised at how many calories/percent of my calories each day were coming from Olive oil to cook lean meats and from salad dressings and/or mayo use. When I saw this on the chart, I changed the way I was cooking meats. I now just use some chicken broth or water to "saute". Olive oil is healthy, but it is full of calories, so now I just use a tiny spray from Misto.
Don't forget to add into your daily calories any amounts of fat you use in cooking. It can make a big difference in your daily calorie count.
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:11 AM   #11
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Strength workouts are great because they burn calories and build muscle which burns calories and increases your metabolism. You can lose weight with strength exercises alone although a cardio/strength mix is best.
You can't out-exercise poor eating habits.
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:33 AM   #12
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wow thanx robin! and look at ur weight loss, u go! in '06 when you started i was probably around the same weight. here i am '08 and only 5 lbs lighter!! ur right, and it does make a lot of sense to snack on veggies instead of peanuts and granola (even though i thought it was a healthier choice) i know i can do better so i will try to incorporate more veggies and stick with counting calories. you are right it is hard to make healthier habits, but well worth the hardwork! so thanx for giving it to me STRAIGHT.
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