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Cardio and fat loss

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Old 10-13-2011, 02:37 PM   #1
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Default Cardio and fat loss

I have kind of posted this question on another thread but maybe someone can help me with this..

I am very close to my goal weight (~10lbs) and have been experimenting with some methods to get those last few pounds off. I track everything on Fitday and am very meticulous wih counting calories...So, what I have discovered for myself is that the weight comes off if I stick to ~1200-1400 calories a day and exercise here and there but nothing structured so my total burn is only ~1800..However, if I increase my activity via running, aerobics, weight training and daily dog walks and burn about 2200-2400 calories, I am more hungry so I eat a bit more 1500-1700 calories and keep the same deficit, yet my weight does not change and sometimes I even see my fat % increase ( I have a body fat scale and did some self-testing over the summer)

Does anyone else have this experience that a deficit created through calorie restriction/diet is more effective than one through activity (also, I wore a heart rate monitor and even have a bodybugg so there was no room for human error)

Thanks for any feedback!
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:55 PM   #2
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Old 10-14-2011, 08:55 AM   #3
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Well, even though you have a HRM and a bodybugg, I've heard that they're not 100% accurate. I've heard MULTIPLE instructors at my gym say that those devices can be off by up to 200 calories (during spin class).

Also, if you're exercising more, it may be that you're retaining some water, and that could contribute to your weight not moving.
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Old 10-14-2011, 01:35 PM   #4
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I've read many, many times that what we eat is 90% of the weight loss equation, regardless of the "numbers" that we're told we burn on various gadgets. One reason for this [again, that I've read] is that when we do more formal exercise, we tend to "make up" for that by moving less in our everyday activities---whether we are conscious that we're doing so or not. So, on a day when we put in an extra hour of formal, gym-type workouts, we might be inclined to sit more than we usually do or even move less while we're sleeping. I remember reading this one study that compared two groups of teenage boys in different schools. One school had an hour or so of planned physical activity during the school day. The other one did not. However, after tracking each group of boys for a while (can't remember how long), the researchers discovered that the boys who didn't have the forced physical activity at school were more likely than the other group to engage in some sort of physical activity on their own after school (e.g., basketball, etc.). The other group, by contrast, went home & didn't do any more real physical activity. So, in the end, the amount of activity that each group did was roughly comparable. I wish I could link you to this information, but I can't find it now.

So, in short, if you want to lose more weight, your deficit will probably need to come from diet rather than exercise, IMHO.
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Old 10-14-2011, 04:19 PM   #5
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Hi! I haven't posted in a while, but I wanted to chime in to say I AGREE with lin43 100%. Exercise does NOTHING for weightloss on the last ten pounds. I am living (and very sore) proof of it. I've been hiking about 30 miles per week up mountains and doing the P90X workout (6 days a week to the point of being drenched in sweat - 1 to 1.5 hrs/day, even on days I hike) for over two months. At 1800 calories/day, I have lost maybe 2 pounds....maybe.... I'm not getting any smaller at all.

This is not meant to depress you. 8) Just to reassure you that you're not alone in the last ten pound endeavor and to save yourself a zillion hours of exercise (unless you enjoy it, like me). I think it's safe to say that you basically have to be kind of hungry all the time to lose the last pounds. I hate feeling hungry!
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Old 10-14-2011, 04:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flippychick View Post
Hi! I haven't posted in a while, but I wanted to chime in to say I AGREE with lin43 100%. Exercise does NOTHING for weightloss on the last ten pounds. I am living (and very sore) proof of it. I've been hiking about 30 miles per week up mountains and doing the P90X workout (6 days a week to the point of being drenched in sweat - 1 to 1.5 hrs/day, even on days I hike) for over two months. At 1800 calories/day, I have lost maybe 2 pounds....maybe.... I'm not getting any smaller at all.

This is not meant to depress you. 8) Just to reassure you that you're not alone in the last ten pound endeavor and to save yourself a zillion hours of exercise (unless you enjoy it, like me). I think it's safe to say that you basically have to be kind of hungry all the time to lose the last pounds. I hate feeling hungry!

interesting!
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:58 AM   #7
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Wow! Thanks for the responses!

I do know that it wasnt bc I was compensating by being less active throughout the day bc my sensewear would have graphed this and my activity/schedule was very consistent.

Flippychick! That is so refreshing to hear! I am sure it is frusturating but your story is so familiar. I was discussing this with some female friends over the last few days and we all have the same experience. Diet=fat loss and exercise helps shape/health/energy but does not really change rate of weight loss.

I have come to the conclusion that to get to my goal I am going to have to consistently eat 1200-1400 calories a day and then when i am at goal I can use activity to assist with maintenance.
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:56 AM   #8
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On my 2nd round of P90X (starting just after Thanksgiving) I'm going to use a meal replacement shake for 2 meals/day and see if I can't shed these last 10-15 pounds (or whatever amount it takes to make my clothing comfortable).... Other than the fact that my calves are getting too big for high boots, I'm really having a good time pushing my body this hard and seeing that it can handle it. Lol! Twisted!
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Old 10-24-2011, 01:08 PM   #9
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I have always lost more consistently and effectively using caloric restriction and a low-carb lifestyle. Exercise is necessary, but all my life it didn't seem to affect my weight loss very much, whatever the "experts" might say.

Then a few years ago, I discovered that, for me, exercise CAN help, but, strangely, not necessarily aerobic exercise, nor the usual moderate weight training recommended for women by the "experts".

That is to say, I still include aerobics for their other health benefits, but the main thing I found that contributed to my weight loss was muscle-building exercise. And by that I mean not regular women's weight training, but heavy weight lifting; high weight, low reps. I have lost a lot of weight on high-protein/low-carb with moderate aerobics and the addition of bodybuilding techniques rather than the usually recommended weight training for ladies.

Weight training will build endurance and a little strength, but it will not improve my metabolism anywhere near what adding real muscle mass will do. And contrary to my fears, I didn't bulk up excessively. Women usually don't unless we decide to do so intentionally, take steroids, etc.

Four years ago, I lost four sizes and didn't lose a pound, at first, as the more compact muscles replaced the blobby fat. Then suddenly the weight started falling off. And I wasn't starving myself, just eating moderately low-carb and high protein.

So if you asked me, I'd say either a) focus on reducing your calories/carbs for a few more weeks and keep up an ordinary "women's" workout to get rid of those last ten pounds, or b) up your protein dramatically and start a serious weightlifting program.

My plan is when I reach my goal, to switch to a high protein plan and start bodybuilding again, so I can add muscle to a slim frame and build back a metabolism which has been destroyed by years of yo-yo dieting. I figure, if I can build a base of serious musculature and then switch to a muscle-maintenance workout, I will be able to maintain my weight easier without worrying for the rest of my life about every bite of food I take, because my BMR will be way, way higher than it was before.

That's my goal, anyway!

Good luck an congrats on almost reaching yours!
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:31 PM   #10
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I have the same experience. When I'm working out really hard (mostly running, kickboxing,step 2+ hrs a day 5 days a week), I find that I lose barely anything. Even when I sustain it enough to stop feeling sore and like I'm retaining water AND drop my calories to 1200-1400. But if I stay at 1400-1500 calories and exercise only moderately, I lose weight pretty steadily. I find that if I take it a step further and don't exercise at all or exercise maybe one day a week, the weight loss seems even faster. It's weird, I agree. I don't really know what causes it.
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