Weight Loss Support - Question: Exercise vs. Calorie Intake??




Michelle
04-10-2007, 12:10 PM
I have a question with just starting out. I'm wondering how many of you did when starting out with exercising and your calorie intake? Is it better to first get your calories under control for awhile and then add exercise in, or do both right from the beginning? It doesn't seem like I'm going very far yet, and I started with both from day one. Thanks for any help!!;)


nelie
04-10-2007, 12:33 PM
When I initially started, I started exercising then that basically drove eating right. I would say almost always exercise is my main driver for eating right. I couldn't imagine not doing both at the same time.

Beach Patrol
04-10-2007, 12:42 PM
JMPO, but, I think that taking it one step at a time is important. It doesn't matter whether you exercise, then add caloric consumption or vice versa.

I am currently "dieting" and doing very little exercise (due to some health issues.) In the past, I have exercised my BUTT OFF & then dieted to some extent.

I've always maintained that "I cannot lose weight if I cannot exercise!" - which I've recently learned is NOT true. My body IS responding to the diet-only approach, just not as quickly as it has with the exercise.

My doctor told me that losing or maintaining weight is 80% diet/20% exercise. I'm not sure if I totally believe that. But I can say that I have noticed a difference in my body between dieting WITH exercise & dieting WITHOUT. I've currently hit the 18 pound loss mark. I have only gone down ONE clothing size. I feel very positive that if I were exercising 1.5 to 2 hours per day 4 days a week like I used to, I'd be nearly 3 clothing sizes down by now.

Or maybe I'm just dreaming. :dizzy: But my point is that I think when most people first begin a weight loss program, if they 'gung-ho' on it, they'll burn out quick & give up.

Baby steps.... baby steps... baby steps. :broc: :carrot: :exercise: :D


alinnell
04-10-2007, 12:46 PM
I seem to have more success with concentrating on diet alone for losing. I know that once I make my goal, exercise will be important to maintain the loss (because I plan on upping my calories a bit to maintain). I've tried many approaches and this works for ME. It is not for EVERYONE. I don't know about Beach Patrol's doctor's 80%/20% notion. I just know what works for me and what my doctor has recommended for me.

Cheryl14
04-10-2007, 12:50 PM
Hi Michelle!

When I first began, I worked on diet. I was more comfortable adding walking AFTER I had lost some poundage! After I began walking daily and increasing my time and my distance, I further adapted my diet strategies. I continue to add different exercises and use all kinds of DVDs. I also continue to change dieting strategies and calorie amounts.

Cheryl

junebug41
04-10-2007, 12:51 PM
Well, all I know is that I always started with exercise because that was the easy part for me. It wasn't until I changed my way of eating that I actually began to drop weight. Even though I am a big believer in fitness and exercise, I have to agree with the 80/20 thing.

I don't think it matters what you do first as long as you are building healthy habits and sticking to them. Knowing how to exercise and how to eat are both components of losing weight and keeping it off. Some people lose weight and don't exercise, of course, but that fact that you are doing that now will only help you in the long run, no?

Janie Canuck
04-10-2007, 12:52 PM
I'm like Nelie. I try to do both, without going to extremes. But I know that when I'm exercising, I'm just more naturally inclined to make healthier food choices. So for me, they go hand in hand.

Not to mention that exercise keeps your metabolism from slowing down as a result of reduced food intake. So what you do eat gets burned off faster. But that doesn't mean you have to jump right in with killer workouts. Just going for a 20 minute walk is great, and completely doable for most people.

2Fat4myJeans
04-10-2007, 12:54 PM
I am the opposite! Exercise is essential for me. I have tried just dieting and found that very quickly, I would plateau OR gain weight (a phenomenon I am still scratching my head over). When I started again, this time I added in exercise 5 times a week. For me it is probably a 50/50 ratio. I do watch my calories but I allow myself to eat higher in calories at least one day a week. Since exercising, I am building more lean muscle and it continues to burn calories as it restores itself and therefore I am burning more calories, even when resting.

That, and I love the definition in my calves!

Beach Patrol
04-10-2007, 01:14 PM
I was just thinking how this would make a VERY interesting study.

I've read articles about studies done on the exercisers vs dieters vs exer-dieters. They all pretty much say the same thing: Dieters lost more weight than exercisers, but those who dieted AND exercised were more likely to keep the weight off.

Of course, I've always dieted & exercised & I have YET to "keep the weight off." And now I am dieting with little to no exercise. It feels strange for me to NOT exercise. I actually enjoy it. I enjoy the movement. Pushing myself, reaching another goal.

Ah, the good ol'days of being ABLE to move. Hopefully I'll see those days again!

Michelle
04-10-2007, 01:23 PM
WOW, thank you ALL for your quick responses!;) I just restarted a little over a week ago, on March 31, and I have been doing my WATP 1 mile every day, and three of the days I did it a second time in the evening, and for about the last 5 days I have added in the 2 pound weights. I have been writing everything I eat down, but have not actually counted the calories. I think I'm going to start counting my calories for awhile to see where I'm at, get that on track, and then go from there. I just had blood drawn this morning to have my thyroid level checked, because I've been hypothyroid since 1992, and my weightloss has been so slow, very frustrating!:( Lately, with some of my side affects, I've been feeling like my level might now be right, but when they always say your level is in within the "normal" range, even though it's so close that the level could be upped just a little, might help with my weightloss. I go see a brand new doctor one week from today, and she will be able to look my blood work over and we'll see what she has to say. I really appreciate all of your help and advice and it will really help me to think things out better.:hug:

nelie
04-10-2007, 01:23 PM
Well I have to say that I've been struggling for 2.5 years to continue my weight loss and it is hard. Two weeks ago, I made a vow that I was going to exercise every day and I was going to eat right. Two weeks ago, I weighed 10 lbs more than I do today. I don't kill myself with exercise either. 3-5 times per week, I'm doing about half an hour of weight training. Every day I'm doing 25 minutes of cardio on the elliptical. If my weight stalls, I may up the cardio but for now its fairly simple.

BlueToBlue
04-10-2007, 01:23 PM
I started with exercise. In fact, initially my goal was just to improve my cardiovascular health, I didn't really think I would be able to lose any weight. It was the encouragement that I got from my gym and, in particular, my personal trainer, that gave me the confidence I needed to commit to losing weight.

And, although I started with exercising first, I did not lose any weight or inches until I started controlling my diet. For me, although I exercise like a mad woman, losing weight is all diet. Hopefully the exercise will help with maintenance and it definitely makes me look nice and toned.

Also, you say it doesn't seem like you've gotten very far, but losing 25 lbs is a huge achievement. Don't sell yourself short--you are doing great! :broc: Weight loss is slow; you didn't gain the weight overnight, you aren't going to lose it overnight. Just keep doing what you are doing and you'll get the rest of the way there. You're already more than half way to your goal!

christabell3
04-10-2007, 01:30 PM
:carrot: I at first concentrated on the eating and got use to that ,and then threw in the excerising. I think at least for me when I have a good work out I want to eat better that day. You are really doing great with what you are doing. Much success to you.;)

Michelle
04-10-2007, 01:37 PM
I started with exercise. In fact, initially my goal was just to improve my cardiovascular health, I didn't really think I would be able to lose any weight. It was the encouragement that I got from my gym and, in particular, my personal trainer, that gave me the confidence I needed to commit to losing weight.

And, although I started with exercising first, I did not lose any weight or inches until I started controlling my diet. For me, although I exercise like a mad woman, losing weight is all diet. Hopefully the exercise will help with maintenance and it definitely makes me look nice and toned.

Also, you say it doesn't seem like you've gotten very far, but losing 25 lbs is a huge achievement. Don't sell yourself short--you are doing great! :broc: Weight loss is slow; you didn't gain the weight overnight, you aren't going to lose it overnight. Just keep doing what you are doing and you'll get the rest of the way there. You're already more than half way to your goal!

Thank you for your encouragement! It has taken me over two years to lose the 25 pounds. I have yo-yoed and after my hysterectomy two years ago, that's when I gained back the 40 pounds I had lost before that. I had lost 3 pounds the first week, but after cheating on Easter dinner a little bit, I feel like I've been retaining water and I've been up 1.5 pounds that has not left yet. I know eventually, one day at a time, I will get there, but it's hard when you want to set a goal date, and you want it right now LOL!!:o

srmb60
04-10-2007, 01:44 PM
In training, a dietitian came to teach us the segment on nutrition. As was tradition at the time ... it was all about calories. We learned about eating them and using them. So I guess I always knew that I had to do both but eating less was easier for a start.
I've never been even remotely sporty. I can think of dozens of folks my from past (phys ed teachers especially) who would be very surprised to find that I work out now.

rockinrobin
04-10-2007, 01:51 PM
I wanted to give myself the very best opportunity for weightloss that I possibly could. So I started with both. Although as far as the exercise is concerned, I started slowly and kept on increasing.

Michelle, you said you haven't had good results yet. I know you are very anxious for this to happen, but you really must give it more then a week. For weightloss to occur and for you to get some good habits and control back into your life. Hang in there, the first few weeks of any new venture are difficult. You will get the hang of it and you will definitely see results if you are staying with the program. But I really think you need to give Fitday a shot. I know it's tedious, but it is worth the extra effort. It can be a real eye opener. You CAN do this. It WILL happen.

2Fat4myJeans
04-10-2007, 02:04 PM
You know, I was thinking about this more while I was at the gym (lol). 3 years ago I was in my best friend's wedding. She, like all brides, was trying to lose weight before the big day. She was exercising 4 times a week, with a personal trainer, and doing some hardcore stuff. But then she would come over to my apartment and we would eat a whole pizza between the two of us along with a couple of sodas. So she wasn't seeing any changes at all. Finally she started eating right along with the exercising, and it was like the weight melted off and you could really tell the difference.

This exercise thing has been tough for me because I am used to seeing the weight come off really quickly with past dieting. Inevitably, I always gained it back. With exercise, I see it come off more slowly, but the main difference I have noticed is that I can have a bad day with eating and I do not gain weight as a result of it. Before, it felt like while I was only dieting, my body was so sensitive to everything I put in my mouth. I would have one bad day and put on weight again. Then again, I didn't truly understand what the "right amount" of calories meant! I was always too high or too low (restricting).

maegdaeien
04-10-2007, 04:41 PM
I lost 40 pounds a few years ago by just counting calories and walking (then gave up both, because apparently I am very stupid), but this time around I'm counting and going to the gym 4x per week. Not only does exercising make me feel stronger, but when I get back I'm less inclined to eat too much-- I don't want to undo all that hard work!

Mami
04-10-2007, 04:55 PM
Without exercise you're probably losing more muscle than without, so technically I think - pound for pound - you're losing more fat when exercising than if just restricting calories.

Personally I dont think its possible to keep your weight down without exercise, and I would think you'd be really loose (un-toned) without it as well, which doesn't sound that healthy or attractive.

I dont see why one cannot and should not focus on both at the same time. Neither need be extreme, but both should be done hand in hand (meaning calorie counting and exercising). If not for weight loss, at least for cardiovascular and muscular health. But that's just my opinion.

alinnell
04-10-2007, 05:15 PM
I dont see why one cannot and should not focus on both at the same time. Neither need be extreme, but both should be done hand in hand (meaning calorie counting and exercising). If not for weight loss, at least for cardiovascular and muscular health. But that's just my opinion.

It may be just your opinion, but I think you are 100% correct! Now if I could just get it in my brain so I could do both!!!!

meowee
04-10-2007, 05:19 PM
Some of your comments remind me of a little known book called . . . The No-Beach, No-Zone, No-Nonsense Weight Loss Plan by Jim Johnson who is a Physical Therapist . . . and, no, he really isn't bashing any popular plans although the title would make you think so . . . His point is that everything boils down to limiting calories and increasing exercise -- the old "eat less; move more" -- and one of the things I liked about the book was the fact that he definitely provides documented research to support all of his findings.

Anyway . . . to get back on topic . . . at one point in the book he outlines studies that show that men can lose weight by exercise alone but women cannot. That seems to fit right in with what some of you have said. He also states that both genders will get the best results by a combination of both diet and exercise and that if anybody must do only one or the other, calorie reduction is the way to go.

He recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise at least 5 days a week . . . but another interesting point he makes is that exercise can be accumulated by the mere minute's worth rather than in one or two longer sessions . . . particularly valuable for those who have physical challenges.

Mami
04-10-2007, 05:50 PM
It may be just your opinion, but I think you are 100% correct! Now if I could just get it in my brain so I could do both!!!!

Allison, I forgot if you have a home cardio machine or not. I know you're very busy and that you have understandable trouble finding time to fit in a workout so I feel you can't go wrong with something good at home (you can just do 20 minutes if that's all you have, with an hour on weekends or something). I love my Center G3 elliptical I got, I swear I never thought I'd turn into cardio queen.

alinnell
04-10-2007, 06:22 PM
I have a Nordic Track at home and if there were a TV near it, I'd probably use it more. It happens to be in the one room where there is no TV! All during January I got up early and used it for 20-30 minutes 5 times a week and also did some sit-ups and whatnot. I guess I got discouraged because I saw no change (but now I realize that I was relying on just exercise--not diet AND exercise). The other day at Costco I was eying a Bowflex machine......doubt DH will let me buy that, though. And.....I work 2 doors down from a very nice gym. Like I could get myself out the door here and inquire about a membership? I've been saying I would do it for several weeks now.....

rockinrobin
04-10-2007, 06:33 PM
IMO, they really go hand in hand. Exercise and right eating that is. For long term success anyway. And that's what we all want. I mean why not give ourselves the best chance at success and the best chance for a healthy and fit life?

Mami
04-10-2007, 07:02 PM
I have a Nordic Track at home and if there were a TV near it, I'd probably use it more. It happens to be in the one room where there is no TV! All during January I got up early and used it for 20-30 minutes 5 times a week and also did some sit-ups and whatnot. I guess I got discouraged because I saw no change (but now I realize that I was relying on just exercise--not diet AND exercise). The other day at Costco I was eying a Bowflex machine......doubt DH will let me buy that, though. And.....I work 2 doors down from a very nice gym. Like I could get myself out the door here and inquire about a membership? I've been saying I would do it for several weeks now.....

My unsolicited opinion is that if the room with the nordic track has no TV then you need to get one. They're not that expensive, it can be a really cheap old model type or for a few hundred, stick a small flat screen on the wall. Its really so worth it if it makes you work out, and frankly, I couldn't imagine being happy to use my machine if there was no TV?!???

alinnell
04-10-2007, 07:10 PM
My unsolicited opinion is that if the room with the nordic track has no TV then you need to get one. They're not that expensive, it can be a really cheap old model type or for a few hundred, stick a small flat screen on the wall. Its really so worth it if it makes you work out, and frankly, I couldn't imagine being happy to use my machine if there was no TV?!???

You're right. DH has a TV in the garage after all!

canadian mom
04-10-2007, 07:46 PM
allison~ If the hubby doesn't want you to buy a tv for the room threaten to take the one in the garage.lol

Mel
04-10-2007, 08:22 PM
My doctor told me that losing or maintaining weight is 80% diet/20% exercise. I'm not sure if I totally believe that. But I can say that I have noticed a difference in my body between dieting WITH exercise & dieting WITHOUT. I've currently hit the 18 pound loss mark. I have only gone down ONE clothing size. I feel very positive that if I were exercising 1.5 to 2 hours per day 4 days a week like I used to, I'd be nearly 3 clothing sizes down by now.


Yup! I might be able to lose weight without exercise, but it would be a lot of muscle. When I started, I jumped in and changed everything- went all out on exercising and did a 180 degree turn on my eating. My weight came off quickly, and my body shape changed rapidly. After I reached what I thought was my goal weight, I really changed the way I exercised and lost another clothing size without losing any scale weight.

The answer to the original poster's question is really it depends on YOU. Some people need to make changes gradually, some need to take a big plunge. If you are already exercising, don't stop! You'll lose scale weight, but a greater percentage of it will be muscle. You want that muscle to burn up more calories and to look great when you get to goal. You're also establishing healthy habits to help you maintain.

Good luck with the thyroid meds- "normal" is an infuriating term when you know that it's not optimal.

Mel

ennay
04-10-2007, 08:40 PM
For me exercise was easier. But the more I exercised, the more my appetite went up so I didnt lose. It wasnt until I got my diet under control that I was able to lose weight. But I notice that if I dont exercise, I dont eat well, mostly because I become lethargic, moody, depressed etc. I need both. Exercise for body , energy and spirit, diet to lose weight


Besides. I simply can not enjoy life on little itty bitty portions of food. Cant do it. I would rather create a deficit that is shared by diet and exercise than diet alone.

Michelle
04-10-2007, 09:28 PM
Yup! I might be able to lose weight without exercise, but it would be a lot of muscle. When I started, I jumped in and changed everything- went all out on exercising and did a 180 degree turn on my eating. My weight came off quickly, and my body shape changed rapidly. After I reached what I thought was my goal weight, I really changed the way I exercised and lost another clothing size without losing any scale weight.

The answer to the original poster's question is really it depends on YOU. Some people need to make changes gradually, some need to take a big plunge. If you are already exercising, don't stop! You'll lose scale weight, but a greater percentage of it will be muscle. You want that muscle to burn up more calories and to look great when you get to goal. You're also establishing healthy habits to help you maintain.

Good luck with the thyroid meds- "normal" is an infuriating term when you know that it's not optimal.

Mel


MEL...Thanks so much for your input, I really appreciate it!!;)

Is that really me
04-11-2007, 09:19 AM
Just my 2 cents -- losing weight and losing fat are not the same thing. I believe that dieting alone will get you results on the scale but you will likely be losing muscle as well, not just fat. A combo of both is essential. You don't have to go overboard on either but by exercising -- not just cardio but strength exercises too -- you will lose the fat. Exercise is also just plain good for you!

By just dieting you can get to goal on the scale but esstentially look the same. I'd rather weigh 10 lbs. over my "goal" weight but look/be fit and firm vs. weighing my "goal weight" and be less fit/firm. Mel's example is dead on. Don't let the scale become the be all, end all.

BooBear2071
04-11-2007, 09:36 AM
I have a question with just starting out. I'm wondering how many of you did when starting out with exercising and your calorie intake? Is it better to first get your calories under control for awhile and then add exercise in,

Personally I think it is more important to conserve motivation at all costs. So for me it was getting calories under control and slowly work in more exercise. But to whatever extent the exercise took away from the calories / motivation I would back off.

I do think that exercise can make a difference but I agree with your doctor that it is about 80-20 and IMHO exercise must be put aside if it pulls too much from your motivation. To me dieting is 50 calories- 30 motivation -20 exercise.

nicolbw
04-11-2007, 10:09 AM
In all the years that I have dieted in my life I never really liked to add in exercise. I would always lose some weight by diet alone, but the real change in my body (which is what I am really after) is when I add in exercise.

For my body when I add exercise it looks like the fat is just melting off me. So I tell myself that, "exercise will sculpt the body I want. Diet will help prepare me to keep the body once I get it." Diet is important in that you can't exercise without dieting to lose weight. It's more important to me to teach me how to eat the right way so all the effort and mental anguish of exercising won't be a waste.

If you haven't guessed, exercise is the hardest part for me.

Michelle
04-11-2007, 11:08 AM
Thank you ALL again so much for your advice. I really got to thinking about this last night, and it did make sense to me in that I could lose weight without exercising, but if I do exercise, I could weigh a little more, but still be in a smaller size clothing, because I would be more fit and toned. Everyone's input has really helped me out and given me a lot to think about!!;)

lumifan4ever
04-11-2007, 02:27 PM
Wow, this thread has given me more to think about and more motivation to continue taking my classes. I am definately not going to give the scale as much power over me as I have been. I am going to do measurements once a month...and no more!!! lol. I did take measurements before I started my classes. And I am going to do better about keeping up with my fitday so I can see where my calories are coming from and how many calories I am getting so i will be able to determine if I need to cut back or up them some. I am so glad I stop by to read this thread. You all have been very informative and helpful!!

weemissnaughty
04-11-2007, 09:41 PM
heyy, a few years ago i was about 200lbs even though i went to martial arts classes at least once a week and then i had to leave due to exams etc but i started watching what i ate and went down to around 140lbs without the exercise however as a few people have suggested i wasnt that toned and as soon as i began eating normally (i was barely eating before) the weight has came straight back on!!!! i cant go to regular classes cos of my job having such messed up hours but gunna try to do some walking and checking kcal at same time to see how it goes (i dont have scales in the house to check how its going!!!)
xxx

baffled111
04-12-2007, 02:26 PM
I always do both. I figure I could just diet, or just do exercise, but the weight will come off much more quickly if I do both! My feeling is that the weight coming off quickly will keep me motivated and make it easier for me to stick with both the diet and the exercise. Besides, while I really hate exercising, it makes me feel stronger and healthier, and that, in turn, influences my eating habits. My only thing is that I don't use calories burned at the gym in order to increase my calorie intake. If I'm eating 1500 or 1800 a day, that's how many I eat, even if I burn 500 or so at the gym.

YP1
04-12-2007, 02:33 PM
I do both and put my success down to exercise, but that's partly because it keeps me on track mentally as much as physically.

I find it easier to turn down a glass of wine or a slice of cake if I think it will affect my running than if I was purely focussing on the number of the scales. I prefer to have a mindset that tells me to eat like an athlete rather than one that tells me to eat like a dieter, even if they involve a lot of the same food.

I've never tried to do only one or the other so have nothing to compare it to!

Ready2ShedLBS
04-12-2007, 05:35 PM
I believe that diet is a HUGE part in losing weight ( still trying to learn this one) I chose healthy foods but I eat too many calories apparently because even when I exercise like a fiend I dont lose weight I just stay the same. The last week or so I have slashed calories.. under or right at 1500 cals and I have notice a big change in my stomach.. I had a stomach bloat or something, I dont know but its went down alot.

Have said that.. I *love* exercise, and it would take something life altering to keep me out of the gym. Just makes me feel good. Blood flow is my drug of choice :)