100 lb. Club - 80% Diet, 10% Exercise, 10% Genetics




lola06
12-11-2007, 12:17 PM
Hello All,
I recently read in a few different magazines and health-related books that when it comes to weight loss 80% is about diet, 10% is exercise, and 10% is genetics. What are your thoughts on this?

I'm in this weird new place, I'm not at my goal, but I've lost a good amount of weight. It feels good and I'm happy about it, but I DO NOT want to get stuck here. I also haven't lost in the past few weeks. I'm trying not to worry. I just want to make sure I'm focusing on the right things to push through to my goal weight. A few things have changed in terms of me working out also. Over the summer I started running and continued that through the fall, which helped me drop a lot of weight. But I live in NYC and don't feel comfortable running when it's dark, mainly for safety reasons. I workout in the morning, so that I am sure to get it in, but there's no gyms nearby that open early enough. I'm working out at home with DVD's and weights. But I want to make sure I'm pushing myself hard enough. I still haven't done any workout to date that pushes me as hard as running. I may eventually invest in a treadmill, but my place is small, so I'm not sure how feasible that is. I basically want to do all I can to make sure I reach my goal. My diet mainly consists of whole foods and calorie counting, but I'm willing to make any adjustments as needed.

Any help and thoughts are greatly appreciated!


nelie
12-11-2007, 12:29 PM
Regarding percentages of diet/exercise, I would say purely it is mostly diet BUT I know that if I'm exercising, I tend to eat better.

I was walking a lot more in the summer because it was warmer and I could walk before and after work. Now I'm only walking in the morning but I do some exercise at night. I basically work out at home when its dark.

If you are concerned about your weight workout not working you hard enough, why not do intervals or heavier weights?

Robin41
12-11-2007, 12:48 PM
Obviously it's going to vary for everyone, but I think my percentages would be closer to 60% diet, 30% exercise and 10% genetics. Exercise is just a huge factor for me; my weight loss is really tied to how much I've exercised. Three times a week at the gym is really maintenance for me; 5-6 times and the weight falls off.

You might think about a rowing machine instead of a treadmill if you've got space limitations. Much smaller and you can get an upper and lower body workout. The one at my gym kicks my butt in a way that the treadmill and elliptical never have.


Lifeguard
12-11-2007, 05:39 PM
Obviously it's going to vary for everyone, but I think my percentages would be closer to 60% diet, 30% exercise and 10% genetics. Exercise is just a huge factor for me; my weight loss is really tied to how much I've exercised. Three times a week at the gym is really maintenance for me; 5-6 times and the weight falls off.

You might think about a rowing machine instead of a treadmill if you've got space limitations. Much smaller and you can get an upper and lower body workout. The one at my gym kicks my butt in a way that the treadmill and elliptical never have.

I agree with this!

For me exercise, especially weight training, is the key to weightloss.

And the rower is awesome!

tamaralynn
12-11-2007, 08:01 PM
I see a lot of running groups around in my city. They get groups of 5 or more so that it's safer. Are there any groups in your area through a community centre?

rakel
12-11-2007, 08:40 PM
I'd say exercise has a big part in my weight loss too. I haven't changed my diet much, but I did start going lax on my exercising. I went from losing 17lbs in the first month, to losing about 10lbs the next month and then to a pound here and there... I'm just trying to get back on track with the exercise and hope those numbers start dropping again! The first month, I did about 45m to 1hr of intense exercise 4 times a week and it worked really well for me.

Purplefirefly
12-11-2007, 08:42 PM
Exercise is also the biggie for me. I have noticed in the past that every time I get off track, it is exercise that goes first. I slack there, th eating soon follows. As far as what actually brings the results, I believe it is the combo of eating and exercise. It's basic math, you have to burn more than you take in. If you are not exercising you can't eat as much because you aren't burning as much...for me, I like to burn a lot because I feel so deprived on low calorie days.

BattleAx
12-11-2007, 08:55 PM
I wonder how they came up with the percentages. I have no doubt that they all play a part, but I'm not so sure about the split. And, even if the split is accurate, to what percentage of the population does it apply? I would think that we see a lot of the exceptions here on the board. A lot of us have to work harder than the general population.

For me, exercise is more than 10%.

Genetics, they most definitely play a part and that's another factor making it harder for a lot of us. Not impossible, but harder. And, if I have to deduct the 10% for crappy genes, I'd still be happy to lose 90% of the weight the charts say I should lose to be in a normal weight range.

FresnoBeeDude
12-11-2007, 09:04 PM
Another vote for the exercise. When asked, I attribute most of the weight loss to the treadmill, and walking. From what I have read, weight loss is all about calories in/calories out. Eating healthy is fine. Pig out on those veggies, but if you don't burn more then you consume, you will gain.

I will agree with the genetics thing. Not necessarily as a hereditary thing, more of a environmental thing. All of my family was heavy, accept for the weird brother who had a eating disorder (he was skinny, he watched what he ate, and lifted weights, and was on HS wrestling team). We were never taught proper dieting skills - which I have taught myself. Shopping used to be easy, grab the yummy stuff. Stock up on sodas. Get some snacks. Go to Mickey Dees for dinner. Now its all about what the nutritional label says.

boaterswife
12-11-2007, 09:07 PM
Exercise is a factor for me as well. As for your diet, I'm wondering if you've continued to decrease your caloric intake as your weight has decreased? I do WW, and the points (which sort of correspond to calories) are partially based on your weight....as your weight goes down, your points go down as well. Just a thought, but maybe you need to decrease or change up your calories a bit. Good luck!

Nori71
12-11-2007, 11:06 PM
Obviously it is mostly the amount of calories in...but exercise is a big factor for me also. Like Nelie said, when I'm exercising I make good food choices. And I feel better in every way.

rockinrobin
12-12-2007, 08:44 AM
I've always heard that it's 80% diet, 20% exercise. For me, that's pretty close, but maybe more like 70/30. But there's no way to know for sure. I also agree that exercise is more then the physical. Although the physical is pretty darn good. It's DEFINITELY a frame of mind as well. The bottom line is, for me, I could exercise all day long, but if I don't keep me eating firmly in check, I will actually gain weight.

I like the idea of the rowing machine and heavier weights and looking for some fellow minded runners. And congrats on the weight loss and the mindset to keep up with it and wanting to look for alternatives while running solo is not an option right now.

Eves
12-12-2007, 12:10 PM
The bottom line is, for me, I could exercise all day long, but if I don't keep me eating firmly in check, I will actually gain weight.


You have no idea how long it took for me to get this through my head! Years and years!

I am a good example of this. As an archaeologist, especially on survey I would spend 8-9 hours walking through muddy fields (not like a stroll through the park, mind you) and I was baffled as to why I still weighed 220 pounds. Well, I would also cram in 3,000 or more calories every day. That's why.

Once I got rid of all of the fast food and started counting calories, with less exercise I was able to lose weight. Who knew?!?

nelie
12-12-2007, 12:19 PM
Archy,

It is a pretty well known phenomenon that people will increase their food intake along with their exercise increase if they don't monitor their food intake.

I think exercise is awesome and I do it every day but I know it really only burns a minimal amount of calories compared to what I don't put in my mouth. I can easily create a 1000 calorie deficit through food but it'd take intense exercise for hours to create the same calorie deficit.

Weights are great because it increases your muscle and helps you burn more calories but still it is only a slight increase but that increase adds up over time.

rockinrobin
12-12-2007, 01:24 PM
You have no idea how long it took for me to get this through my head! Years and years!

I am a good example of this. As an archaeologist, especially on survey I would spend 8-9 hours walking through muddy fields (not like a stroll through the park, mind you) and I was baffled as to why I still weighed 220 pounds. Well, I would also cram in 3,000 or more calories every day. That's why.

Once I got rid of all of the fast food and started counting calories, with less exercise I was able to lose weight. Who knew?!?

I think many, many people, certainly not all, think that if they add in exercise and activity to their day, that it frees them up to eat more. It's just not the case :( .

Marseille
12-12-2007, 08:23 PM
I think 80% makes sense, but for most of us good eating goes hand and hand with exercising. I gotta have both! I think one major problem with relying on exercise is that (many) people tend to grossly overestimate the amount of calories they burn with exercise, while at the same time grossly underestimating the amount of calories they are consuming. The calorie intake is pretty easy to monitor if you read labels and measure which is why I think it's a more important metric. Caloric expenditure for activities is nearly impossible for the average dieter to calculate accurately so I just exercise for heart rate and fitness and try not to focus on the calories I am burning. I certainly don't attempt to figure them into my caloric allowance.

lola06
12-14-2007, 06:10 AM
Thanks for the excellent advice everyone! I really do appreciate it. The part about needing to lower my calorie intake really sticks out to me. In terms of exercise, do you know of any good rowing machine brands I should look into? I've never used them at the gym, do they work the whole body? It looks like just upper body to me.

Nelie, In terms of weights, how heavy should I go? I currently have 3's, 5's, 8's, 10's, and resistance bands. Do you know of any good guides or videos to follow?

judojediworm
12-14-2007, 07:09 AM
Funny you should mention that! I JUST read that 70% comes from diet, 25% from exercise and 5% genetics...lol not the same but close. I don't know though...If I diet and DON'T exercise nothing really happens...but if I exercise REGULARLY (lol that's the problem, regularly) and don't diet, I tend to lose weight rather quickly. Of course in the past when I have done both I become a one woman fat burning machine...too bad I am only really good at not dieting and not exercising! ;-)

Steelslady
12-14-2007, 09:23 PM
Then we have the opposite end of the spectrum- both my sister and niece can consume around 3000 calories a day easily, do no exercise at all (unless you consider shopping exercise) and they are both underweight. :D

I truly think genetics and metabolism play a huge role in all of this. More than 10 percent for some people. Both of my grandmothers were obese women. Both had hard lives living during the depression years and food was scarce- they didn't have processed foods back then, everything was homemade.

They ate the same foods and same amounts as their siblings/husbands/children, burned off a heck of a lot more calories than we do today due to having to do everything by hand and foot (washing clothes by hand, stacking coal/wood into stoves, walking back and forth to stores carrying heavy groceries as there were no cars or buses back then for them to ride, etc).

Their lives were constant motion from sunset to sundown, and one of my grandmothers worked the overnight shift in a factory while raising 8 children during the day. Still, they were obese compared to their siblings and other family members, who were thinner. We don't have many obese people in our family, the majority of them are thin, but those that are obese all had/have a hard time losing weight and keeping it off, in spite of low calorie diets and exercise. I refuse to believe that in my case, it is just 10 percent. It doesn't make sense, seeing that I am 100 times more active/athletic than my sister, eat far less than she does everyday, yet the results are extremely different.

Now, that doesn't mean I am excusing my weight- I'm doing everything I can to lose this weight and keep it off for good. However, sometimes it would just be nice to have a break for a couple of years and not have to watch every morsal I put in my mouth, count it, and make sure I burn it off. :(