General Diet Plans and Questions - not sure what to do help please

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02-16-2005, 05:31 PM
im not sure if this is where im suppost to post a question like this but here i go any how...
i dont want to do the diet thing counting calories pts carbs ect... it all ends up to a little loss then gaining it back.
i want to loose about 40lbs before my 21st b-day aug 25 this year is there anything i can do other than all of this diet fad stuff or do i need to choose one? and if i do need to do one wich one would you recomend? thanks ~ :dizzy:

02-16-2005, 06:21 PM
It's not necessary to choose a "name" diet to lose weight. Nor is it absolutely necessary to count calories, carbs, etc. You can do it on your own by cutting portions, eliminating desserts and sugary things (that includes fruit juices) and generally eating three balanced meals a day with emphasis on protein and vegetables. For me, personally, following those guidelines and counting calories works best. Of course, you need to have an exercise program. You may not lose the whole 40 lbs by August, but you will have achieved a healthier lifestyle. Hope this helps.

02-16-2005, 07:01 PM
Okay, newmommy, I'll give you a few suggestions what you need to do. This may not be the usual advice you have received or are accustomed to getting. First, it's fortunate that you "don't want to do the diet thing counting calories pts carbs ect... it all ends up to a little loss then gaining it back". You have a starting point because you know from experience that approach doesn't work. So what does?

First, you have to realize that your body can be divided into two main tissue types - fat and lean. Lean tissue is your muscles, bones, organs, tendons and all that type of thing. Fat is the rest - it's self explanatory. Of course, there are two types of fat - maintainence fat which you need (in the organs and for body protection), and storage fat which you don't need and want to get rid of.

The first thing you need to do is have a body composition analysis done. This is a way of determining what percentage of your body weight is lean and what percent is fat. You are fortunate to live in SLC as it should be easy to find a gym, dietician, or sports med clinic that can give you the numbers.

Now what you have to do at all costs is to maintain your lean weight. You can't afford to lose any muscle tissue for the simple reason that muscle burns fat as fuel. This is where traditional dieting falls down. Progress is measured by the scale, which is all wrong. The scale measures pounds lost, but doesn't answer the all important question of what those pounds lost are made of. Again I stress that you have to keep as much muscle tissue as possible. And the only way to do this is with resistence exercise and keeping enough protein in your diet. I would suggest a mix of 40% protein, 40% good carbs and 20% healthy fats. You can adjust the carbs and fat but not the protein. It has to stay high.

Now you say you want to lose 40 lbs. You will lose a good deal of weight with the plan I've outlined. But maybe not as much as by the traditional "lose weight at all cost" approach. Here's why. By exercising, you may gain a pound of muscle as you lose a pound of fat. The scale wouldn't show any progress and you would become discouraged. But muscle is more dense than fat. If you lost 10 lbs of fat and gained 10 lbs of muscle, you would be a much smaller person and see a noticeable visible difference - even though the scale wouldn't show a change! That's why it's good to use the body composition analysis method and get it done regularly. Watch as the percentage of fat decreases and use that as a measure of your progress.

I won't go into any more detail at this time, but think of what I have said and see if you don't agree it makes sense! This is the modern approach to weight loss. Any questions, please feel to write. Good luck!

02-17-2005, 10:06 AM
I agree with just about everything that you said...but I think that while eating within those guidelines-that it is also 100% important to limit your caloric intake. Calories DO count as well.
I also think that the quality of food is important. Choosing fruits, vegetables, and whole grains over refined carbs like qhite bread, white pasta, and sweets. Choosing lean protein like chicken or fish instead of a processed "high protein diet bar".

thenewmommy-I think that to successfully lose weight and to keep it off, that you must change your mindset. Most people (including myself) who have lost a lot of weight and kept it off without yo-yoing back up the scale-don't treat what they are doing (whatever plan they follow and their exercise routine) as a "diet". Diets have a beginning and an end. Once you end one and go back to your regular lifestyle-you gain the weight back. Whatever plan you decide to do-it has to be something that you do for life-a lifestyle change, not a "diet".

I have exercised consistently and journaled my eating habits for the past 3 years. I will continue to do so for the rest of my life. Whatever you decide to do it has to be a lifestyle change in order to keep off the weight you lose.

02-17-2005, 10:56 AM
Absolutely. Calories do count, I don't believe I said, or implied, they didn't. But even more important is where those calories come from. As Aphil also says, "the quality of food is important". The word "diet" simply means the foods and liquids you consume during the day. As it's used by most people, "dieting" implies that it's a temporary strange way to eat, then you go back to your former habits. Again, as Aphil says, we're talking about life style changes. Agreed. Just that I didn't want to get too bogged down in details in my previous post!

02-17-2005, 05:34 PM
While I also agree with just about everything you've said, I want to caution against the overly optimistic statement:
If you lost 10 lbs of fat and gained 10 lbs of muscle, you would be a much smaller person and see a noticeable visible difference

For a woman to gain 10 pounds of muscle is an heroic accomplishment. I've been doing heavy resistence training for nearly five years and doubt that I've put on much more than 10 pounds of muscle in those 5 years. I have lost 50 pounds of scale weight and dropped from a size 18 to a loose size 4, however.

I'm a personal trainer and I do body fat analyses on heavy women daily. Heavy women usually already have a fairly high amount of muscle mass, in addition to high body fat. To put it bluntly, carrying a two-hundred pound plus body around all day long is a workout. Upper body strength is usually low, but heavy women usually have plenty of lower body muscle. Even with heavy resistence training, most women will lose muscle if they lose a significant amount of body fat. Arm, chest and back muscles are just not big enough to make up for the loss of lower body mass even when training to failure for maximum muscle hypertrophy.

Exercise and resistence training is very important! I agree 100%. But if you need to lose a significant amount of fat, you need to look at calories, the scale, measurements. Don't throw the scale out the really can't exercise yourself to a smaller you without the proper nutrition and tools.


02-17-2005, 08:54 PM
I'm a personal trainer and I do body fat analyses on heavy women daily.

Curious, Mel, but what method do you use to do the analyses?

02-17-2005, 09:07 PM
I use both a 9 point caliper test based on the Jackson-Pollock algorithm and a hand-held eletrical bio-impedence device. The accuracy of the caliper test is generally regarded as being +_ 2% when done consistently by the same person. The bio-impedence method is far less accurate. It can measure with the same accuracy, but it's highly influenced by hydration level and temperature.


02-18-2005, 07:14 PM
Interesting. Thanks. Didn't realize that calipers were that accurate. I take it hydrostatic is the standard against which they are measured?

I have another question, seeing as you do fat analysis on a daily basis. Don't know whether I should ask this in a PM, but since I have your ear...

Take that 200 lb individual you mentioned. I'm talking a female here for the purpose of this question. Assume you did a body composition analysis and found she was carrying 40% fat weight. Assume also that you decided on a target weight of 180 lbs to shoot for. This individual goes on a sound nutrition plan and includes correct resistence exercise in the program. Now when that individual reaches the 180 lb level, if she maintained her original LBM, she would now be carrying a body fat percentage of around 34% or so.

But we know in real life that doesn't necessarily apply. What has been your experience that the 20 lb drop in this case would be made up of? I'm sure they would lose some LBM, but what percentage could be expected, from your experience? In other words, what I'm asking is, realistically, what %age of the 20 lbs would be fat, and what %age would be lean, in real life?