Weight Loss Support - Advice Needed Please

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08-19-2004, 01:22 PM
I'm new here and hope I'm doing this correctly. I am 53 years old. About a year ago I had a total hip replacement. I have been trying to do The Zone diet and it just is not working. I even walk 30-40 minutes a day, 4 days a week on my treadmill at a moderate intensity. I have to do this for fitness of the new hip implant, but have found I enjoy the physical activity after years of being very sedate with the arthritis progressing. Have any of you tried The Zone and also NOT had results with it or am I just not trying hard enough?

Is it EVER possible to diet the old fashioned way with success? By The Old Fashioned Way, I mean, eat less, more controlled portions of good foods and exercise more and get results?

I would appreciate so much any advise, help, input as I need to lose the weight for the longevity of this new hip and to preserve my other joints. I am almost desperate!

To the Moderators, if I have posted in a manner that is difficult or I'm doing something wrong, I apologize. I am a member of different forums but this one is new to me.


08-19-2004, 02:02 PM
Is it EVER possible to diet the old fashioned way with success? By The Old Fashioned Way, I mean, eat less, more controlled portions of good foods and exercise more and get results?

I've lost 145 pounds this way. Many diet programs -- those that don't lump food groups into "bad" and "good" anyway -- are simply structured ways of doing just that. I know Zone is a low-carb plan that says food has to be combined in a certain way. But, in the end, it's calories in and calories out that determine weight loss. If Zone isn't working for you, there's a lot of possible reasons because so many factors go into the rate at which our bodies burn fuel and maintain weight.

How much weight are you trying to lose? How long have you been exercising on the treadmill? How long have you been following Zone? Have you lost ANY weight? If so, how much? Do you have any other health issues/conditions? Are you taking medications?

08-19-2004, 02:42 PM
I'll be happy to answer any questions about my delimma!

I weigh approximately 227# now and I am 5'4" tall. I would love to get down to 150#, less would be better but I would be delirious with 150#!

I have been using the treadmill since last September. My new hip will be 1 year old on September 8 of this year. Oh sure, there have been times when I've only got on it 2 x a week but for the most part I average 4-5 days a week on it, at 2.3 - 2.5 mph with an on and off 2.5 degree incline, for 30 - 40 minutes at a session. I do it right! I drink 3+ cups of ice water while I work out and take care of what I'm doing. Otherwise my Otrhopaedic Surgeon would have my haad on a platter if I undid his great work!

I took training in the Zone in 1997. It did not work for me then and it isn't working for me now. I've been on it this time for 6-8 months. I have lost 10 or so pounds but I'm also rebuilding muscle which I know weighs more than fat. My leg muscles are getting so strong. I notice a tiny bit of difference in the way my clothes fit.

I also take Benicar for hypertension, Bextra for arthritis and Clariten for allergies. I know on the Zone if you take a beta blocker for hypertension, the Zone will not work. They stress that. However, Benicar is an angiotensin receptor blocker so I don't think that is the same as a beta blocker. I could be wrong. My BP is excellent, running if anything a bit low at 107/64 on average. Sometimes lower.

Congrats to you on your weight loss! Outstanding funniegirl! That is so impressive. How long has it taken you to lose that? Did you do it the "old fashioned way" of eating regular food, only less of it and moving more?

Do you think that me counting calories would be the better way to go? After my hip replacement, the hospital dietary lady gave me a food plan to follow and I put it up when I got home (whoo, heavy pain meds of Oxycodone and Hydrocodone had me spaced for the first 4 weeks to where I didn't know a diet from a hole in the gournd, plus I was anemic extremely after the surgery, from blood loss. I'm fine now.) and maybe need to get it out and start there?

If I use a formula posted somewhere here on the boards, I could reasonably consume up to 1700something calories a day and still lose approximately 2# a week.

Thank you, thank you for answering my post. I so appreciate it.

08-19-2004, 02:59 PM
Go with the calorie counting. If you weigh 227 atm, times that by 10 which gets you to 2270cals. Im pretty sure thats what your body calorie needs are for no exercise. Exercising and you can add a little more. Iv seen on many sitres you times by 10 to loose 1 pound a week, and times by 8 to lose 2pounds a week. If you lose 2pounds a week on 1700, well this may sound weird, but maybe you will lose a bit faster if you have about 2000cals a day. If we reduce our calories 2 low for our body weight then we plateu or whatever the word is. For all that exercise your doing, i reckon eat around 2000cals a day and see how you go. Iv lost 24lbs by timesing my weight by 10. i lost 1pound a week. I put all my weight back on after i stoped calorie counting so im geting back into it and doing weights and cardio at the gym.

08-19-2004, 03:04 PM
I think that the "old fashioned way" is the best way. My simply limiting your caloric intake you don't feel as deprived if you like certain foods. It sounds like you have the exercise part down pat, so I would focus on the amount of food you eat a day!

08-19-2004, 03:05 PM
if by the old fashioned way, you mean counting calories and using portion control, that is exactly what i do and i think a lot of people on this site also do, i knew i would not be able to successfully change my life with a low carb diet or any of the fad diets so I read through a lot of the posts on this site and found that a lot of people count calories, so i decided to try that. i started the last day of April this year and have so far lost 27 pounds, so i guess it works... :) i stay between 1200-1400 cals a day and it seems to be working for me. good luck to you on your weight loss!!!

08-19-2004, 03:08 PM
Hiya J and welcome! I just had to jump in and answer since we're so close in age -- I'm 49. ;) I also lost all my weight (122 pounds) by counting calories and exercising. I agree 100% with Funniegrrl -- in the end, it's calories in vs. calories out that determines weight loss. So if the Zone isn't working for you, my advice would be to ditch it and try something new (like counting calories).

I started at 257 pounds and about 1600 calories/day and dropped to about 1200/day at the end of my weight loss. I think my caloric needs were a little less than some because I'm older and hypothyroid.

If you try a new food plan and still aren't getting anywhere, my next suggestion would be to consider increasing the amount and intensity of your exercise. I know that lots of exercise was (and is) absolutely essential to my weight loss. I did an hour of intense cardio/day and lifted weights five days/week for the year that I was losing (I still do both those things to maintain :) ). I'm not sure how much the new hip limits what you can do and how intensely ... but assuming that you don't have any physical limitations, I'd suggest increasing your cardio to 5-6 days per week and trying for 45 minutes to an hour. And really try to pick up the pace so that you're sweating and your heartrate is up around 120 - 140 beats per minute (that's a good target for folks our age). For me, I have to walk on the treadmill at 4.0 mph and an incline of 10 to get my heartrate anywhere in that neighborhood. So usually for cardio I'll do the elliptical or crosstrainer or a spinning class, which lets me get my heartrate up easier.

And I'd suggest incorporating some weightlifting into your exercise program to build muscle as you're burning off the fat (unfortunately, you're not going to build muscle on the treadmill since it doesn't involve resistance training -- but it is terrific cardio!). Yep, muscle is denser than fat so a pound of muscle takes up much less room than a pound of fat. :D And any increased muscle will boost your metabolism so that you burn more calories every day (and it gets you a nice toned body when you're done losing the weight ;) ).

Good luck and let us know if we can help in any way -- we have a lot of different forums here emphasizing different weight loss plans, like the South Beach Diet and Weight Watchers, so look around and maybe one will appeal to you.

08-19-2004, 03:13 PM
Have you considered the Weight Watchers program? It is great, and it seems right up your alley!! By this I mean, we on WW do watch calories, portion control, and of course exercising is very important if you want to lose the weight and keep it off. I am a lifetime member of WW. I am 56, and although I only had to lose 25 pounds, I have now lost nother 5 pounds in the last month or so. And as you know, the older we get, our metabolism slows down. As a result, the weight does not come off very easy which means we have to work at it pretty hard to get rid of those unwanted pounds.

Good luck in your weight loss. With determination, I know you can be successful.

08-19-2004, 03:15 PM
So far, this is all making so much more sense, the calorie counting. You would not believe the number of Zone bars I've eaten to stay on that plan. They require a "bedtime" snack and/or 1/2 a Zone bar eaten 1 hour before going to bed (it's all about controlling your insulin production over the night hours) but I tell you, I can't make myself eat a bedtime snack because I don't eat like that.

I am not a dessert person at all and you would rarely in your lifetime see me eat a dish of ice cream! I just am not a "sweets" person which is to my advantage I guess. I rarely indulge in sweets and mostly only at holiday or great nieces birthday time.

My food of choice is meats. Lean beef and pork, chicken and turkey and fish. That and veggies and fruits. I'm not even a person that eats a lot of breads. I do like potatoes, rice and pastas in moderation.

Thank you all so much for your advise and help.


08-19-2004, 03:24 PM
To circle back around ...

I am actually on Jenny Craig. Yes, it involves buying their entrees, but that's just "training wheels" for calorie-counting, portion control, and balanced nutrition. I think it's terrific, but if it doesn't appeal to you (or cost is an issue) then I endorse Weight Watchers.

One of the benefits of being on a commercial program is that they will help you figure out the appropriate calories for you. As people have hinted, it's important to eat enough to support your metabolism. The "multiply your weight by 10" formula isn't really accurate. There are a lot of factors that go into what you need, and even the more sophisticated calculations will be off if you have any anomolies. You can actually have your metabolism measured, and at your age, given that you've been on Zone for a while, I'd recommend it. Go to www.healthetech.com and see what facilities in your area offer the BodyGem or MedGem test. It costs less than $100 and is quick and easy. The info you get will be invaluable in planning your program. if you want to try it via calculations first, go to www.room42.com and plug your stats into the metabolism calculator. That'll give you a place to start.

I think you've made a good start, even though it's been slow. A lot of people have to experiment and play with variables before they hit the combination that's right for their bodies. Some people simply do not lose weight on low-carb plans, and you shouldn't feel bad about that. So ditch the Zone and get into a sensible calorie-based plan.

P.S. I also agree with Meg about the weight training. If you're not sure where to start, there are a couple of books/videos I recommend. The first book is Strong Women Stay Slim, which provides a good background as to why strength training is important in health, weight loss, and etc. It also provides some simple routines and even a food plan. Kathy Smith has a great book called Lift Weights to Lose Weight, and a couple of videos by that name. All you need are some inexpensive plain-metal dumbells and you're good to go.

08-23-2004, 01:47 PM
Thank you everyone again. I have done lots more reading about this and I wish I had found you all and this site sooner and not wasted my time with the Zone. It may work for some but it hasn't me and I really needed to have lost some of this weight before now, since I have my 1 year checkup coming for my hip replacement and I'd have loved to have walked in there thinner. But, I will next time! I'm very excited because I found a Pharmacy there that does the Metabolic Readings and I will be having that done and they will help me. I've talked to them and they said they conference with me about my caloric needs and what I should be doing, etc. And, the cost is only $45. for the test and the conference (remember I'm in the midwest so things are often not as expensive here) and it it the BODYGEM method I think they said. So, that will be done approximately September9 and in the meantime, I am counting calories based on the "ROOM42 Metabolism Calculator" link that funniegrrl so generously shared. This has got to work. I am about to the point of being desperate! I've got this new hip and for it to last a long many years, I have to get this weight off. I can see from what all of you have been telling me that I ahve been "starving" my system and it isn't releasing the stored fat because of that. I pray I am now on the right path to safe, healthy, permanent weight loss.