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Does this sound feasible? (Need motivation, guidance, advice)

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Old 10-10-2012, 02:11 PM   #1
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Question Does this sound feasible? (Need motivation, guidance, advice)

10 years ago, I joined the military. I was able to drop almost 4lbs. a week for 6 solid weeks. Granted, I was doing calisthenics, marching drills, and runs 6 out of 7 days and was eating only what they gave me to eat. I was also 10 years younger. I read on LiveStrong that while 4lbs. a week is doable, it's very difficult and takes an extreme amount of dedication (which I don't have, hence my current weight). Short of reenlisting just to go back to bootcamp, I'd like to do better than the 1.3lb. loss per week I'm currently averaging.

According to my calculations, if I burn off 1200 a day and take in 1300, I can lose about 3lbs. a week. (I factored in how much I burn through BMR) The problem is, I don't have enough time in the day to get all that in. The calorie part isn't the problem; it's the time it would take for me to get in several workouts to add up to that 1200. Plus, while I think I could probably do that for the first week, I'm pretty sure I'd just burn myself out and quit completely. So I'm looking for something more sustainable. I think I might be able to build up to this 1200/day goal if I can properly allocate my time for this.

Right now I spend about 40-45 min./night on my Treadclimber which burns about 500-550 calories. I also take an aqua class three times a week---Monday and Wednesday is Aqua-Fit and Friday is Aqua-Zumba. I know that spending any more than an hour at a time working out could be doing more harm than good, so I think for the rest of the month I'll try building up to an hour on my Treadclimber and see how much calories I can get from that. I'll continue with the 3 aqua classes a week 'cause that's where I'm getting my resistance and toning done. At the end of the month I'll assess how much I've lost and I guess make adjustments. Maybe I'll need to try to find some time to work in some time on my Treadclimber in the morning as well? Maybe add on some barbell days twice a week atop of the 3 aqua sessions?

What do you guys think? How often are you guys working out? Is my plan overdoing it? Not doing it enough?? I really wanna lose as much as possible, as fast as possible, as safe as possible and sustain this for at least 4 months straight. So I don't wanna oversell myself, but I really wanna do this.
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:13 PM   #2
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You didn't say why you were in such a race to lose weight. With all the calculations, I still can't answer your question. Weight lose is even more involved than that. You should lose at a nice pace but at some point the body will still decide that pace (slower sometimes, faster sometimes).

I just don't want you to number crunch and then get devasted when the body doesn't respond everytime to the calculations. I myself have eatten 1800 calories a day with no exercise and lost 4 pounds. Then went on to eat 1600 calories a day and burn 500 calories and lost 1 pound. There are more factors then numbers. You can't really predict how the body will respond for the next 4 months. But you can predict that you will lose weight and be a healthier you. There are several forums on here about whatever meal plan you are following and exercise. Best of luck.

ETA: To answer your other question. Right now I work out 2 times a day. Sometimes I take a rest day or workout 1 time on that day.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:55 AM   #3
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No particular reason for the race against time, except I want this fat gone yesterday LOL

I hear you on the setting expectations/devastation thing. My line of work is a really analytical calculated one, and I guess I let that spill into my weight loss plan. It just feels like for the amount of work I'm putting in, I should be losing more and I'm not. And I'm trying not to get discouraged, but I can't help but be so envious of some of the girls here who seem to be dropping weight so much faster than me.
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:14 AM   #4
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I would say if your workouts start interfering with your concentration at work, levels of hunger, social life or leisure time, then it's not really sustainable. Try to strike a balance and find a way to enjoy the journey rather than feeling like its work, faster is not always better. Tweight of water weight bearing exercise if you can it is pretty good. You might also like to try playing with the composition of your diet too, but you are losing so why are you worried? If you keep doing whatever you are doing for long enough you'll get there.

I've lost 13 lbs since I started focusing 3 months ago so just over pound a week. I do moderate exercise 6 or 7 times a week most of which I enjoy. I also still make time for friends and family and generally have a life outside of work and weight loss, which includes the occasional food treat.
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:15 AM   #5
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Sorry that was meant to say "try out of water weight bearing exercise"
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:13 AM   #6
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You can definitely work out too much. Be careful with that.

I do triathlons and even at my most intense training I work out 6 days a week for 60-90 minutes a day. Now that I'm in my off season, I currently cross train 5-6 times a week for 45-60 minutes at a time.

Here's my routine:
M: run + weights (60 minutes)
T: Spin Class (60 minutes)
W: Run + weights (60 minutes)
T: off
F: Run + weights (60 minutes)
S: Swim (45 minutes)
S: bike/rest (based on how I feel that day.)

You should be focusing on intensity rather than length. Listen to your body.

You should also be focusing on creating a sustainable lifestyle. Once you drop your weight your workouts shouldn't stop. You need to find something that you enjoy doing and will enjoy doing for a lifetime. If you burn yourself out you'll be less inclined to do it.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:09 AM   #7
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Default WOW. No.....

Ok sweetie. I mean this is the nicest possible way, so please dont take offense--> you dont understand fat loss and have no idea what you are doing or what it takes to achieve it. <--- (smiley face makes it ok to say mean things)

No one here exercises 4-7 hours a day to achieve fat loss. no one in the world needs to do that. That is not even remotely sustainable or realistic. *Most* people losing weight will exercise an hour (ISH) most days of the week. but to be perfectly honest, even that is not necesasry to lose fat. Exercise is not necesary to lose fat. You dont have to train for fat loss. Diet is where fat loss happens.

So, these numbers that you are coming up with..... Im going to break em down real generally to make a point, ok?

Your BMR- approx 1800 cals. Your BMR is the amount of calories your body burns NO MATTER WHAT, just existing. Breathing, digesting food, blinking, sleeping. This number is not gospel, everyones is a little different, and theres no way to know for sure, but 1800 cal is a good ballpark for the average woman of your height/weight, and im assuming 30ish years old.

ANY MOVEMENT you do IN ADDITION to that, is more calories burned. ANYTHING. Not just exercise, but typing on the keyboard, cooking your food, folding laundry, going to the bathroom, fidgiting, and of course, exercise.
Its important to note, that there is no accurrate way to know the real nnumber of cals you burn, especially through exercise. Dont even bother trying to guess how many you burned at the gym. It wont be anywhere near what the machine says, or your heart rate monitor, and i GUARANTEE its a lot less than you think. Devices like the fitbit, bodybugg, or a pedometer can give people a VERY GENERAL idea of how much they move in a day, and can be a useful tool. but once again, even these numbers and devices are not the gospel.

Lets just assume, for arguments sake and for simplicity, that you are basically bedridden, and only get out of bed during the day to go to the bathroom and get food/drink from the kitchen. You dont exercise. you basically dont move. Even under those circumstances you are probably burning, in the ballpark, of 2000 cals/day. If you then only consume 1300 calories a day, you would be creating a daily deficit of 700 calories. That means you would lose (in theory) 1.5 lbs of fat per week. Thats with nothing. thats without exercising or moving AT ALL.
You created that deficit through food restriction, and nothing more.

But in the real world, you do move.You go to the grocery store. You work and clean your house. You even go to the gym for an hour a day. So your total daily burn is prob more in the 2500-3000/day mark. These are just guesstimates, and there are calculators im going to link you to to give you a *better* best guesstimate of your daily burn based on your activity level.

So, assuming 3000/day with ALL of your activity AND BMR factored in, if you still chose to eat at 1300 cals per day, that would give you a daily calorie deficit of 1700 cals per day, which is 11900 calorie deficit PER WEEK, which equals 3.4 pounds of fat per week.

Of course, life is never so simple and textbook cut and dry, but i hope you get the picture now?

Harris benedict activity multiplier
http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-ca...dict-equation/

Just plug your already Known BMR number into the equation given based on activity factor. Ie; lightly active/sedentary activity multiplier is 1.2 so you would multiply 1800 (BMR) by 1.2 to equal 2160 calories per day. This is an estimate of how many cals you burn per day, including activity based on the numbers i came up with. Your numbers will be different.

Clear as mud?
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:53 PM   #8
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I understand how calories work; I get the whole BMR thing and calories in/calories out concept. I know I'm taking in below what I burn on a daily basis. I also know based on personal past experience that there's a correlation between my calorie intake and working out a solid 4 hours a day and losing an extraordinary amount of weight fast.

My OP was asking what I could do to speed up my weight loss. There was a reason I was losing 4lbs. a week back then and 1lb. a week now. My diet consists of mostly raw veggies and fruit with some fish and lowfat cheese for protein. I don't have a problem with calorie intake. I wanted to know what I could do exercise wise. I don't have a Drill Sargent barking down my neck anymore, I don't have time to march and run 4 hours a day anymore. I wanted to know whether or not my time on my treadmill was enough, what I should do that would be effective.
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Old 10-13-2012, 03:57 PM   #9
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I think your answer may be in WHAT specific exercise you are doing. You said you are doing the tread climber and aqua fitness classes of a couple types. Perhaps the answer is in going back to doing what you did in boot camp. Go for a fast-paced walk, or jog if you are up to it (and definitely work up to it!) and don't forget to work your muscles, fit muscle increases your metabolic rate. Which means, fit muscle helps you burn more calories simply sitting still. Start doing the pushups (even if you have to modify them to begin with) and the crunches/situps and any other exercises you were doing in boot camp.

There's also other small things you can do to increase your daily calorie burn. Walk more. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Spend as much time as you can on your feet. Even simply working standing up vs sitting can made a difference- 35 calories per hour in fact, so if you work at a desk for 8 hours a day that really adds up.

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Old 10-13-2012, 04:00 PM   #10
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Be careful -- the quicker you lose weight, the quicker you will likely gain it back. Experts advise against losing more than 2 lbs/ week as any more than this will increase your likelihood of saggy/extra skin.
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Old 10-14-2012, 10:51 AM   #11
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Hi Lakilaulea
On any diet (and in basic training) the first weight you lose will always be water weight. It's especially true if you are used to eating foods with a lot of sodium (high-sodium foods are everywhere these days). That's probably why you lost so much weight in the beginning of basic training. Also, basic training is extremely stressful (at least it was for me) which adds to the calorie burn and probably reduced your appetite also. But it's also very, very hard on the body. I ended up with a hip stress fracture when I went through army basic training.

I would strongly advise you not to work out so much, or you will end up injured or burned out. Aqua classes are good because there's less chance of injury. But you will get sick of it and give up after awhile if you overdo. Even the ultra-marathoners and triathletes will take an easy week now and again to let their body recover and heal. Maybe if you put a few rest days into your program (like make every 3rd week an easy week) it will help. Losing 3 pounds a week is not sustainable for every week - maybe for some weeks it will be.

Do you have an end goal or reward for all your hard training and weight loss (like a race or special vacation or event)? I find that end goals and rewards keep me on track.
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:02 PM   #12
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as said before your time on the treadclimber is enough. it doesnt matter. your fat loss comes through diet. end of story. if you want you can quit your job and exercise 8 hours a day.... basic training was your first time losing massive weight. you were younger, and it was a huge shock to your system. it is impossible for you to replicate those kind of conditions at this point, and even if you could, i doubt youd have the exact same success rate--> not that you wouldnt reach goal, but it wouldnt be as "easy*. if anyone here knew what to do to lose 4 pounds a week we'd prob all know it by now
your fat loss success is not defined by your training. it id defined by your eating
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"All the Secrets of your foundation shall come to light.... and when you lie, uprooted and broken in the sun, then shall your lies also be separated from your truths" Nietzche

"I do not workout. I TRAIN.
I do not eat. I FEED.
I do not sleep. I RECHARGE.
My greatest fear in this life is the fear of being ordinary
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10K- 44:42
1/2 Marathon - 1:50:48
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Old 10-14-2012, 03:35 PM   #13
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Kakers - That's what I was thinking. I'm trying to replicate the calisthenics part of basic training and am hoping that'll add to my workout regimen.

Alena - You're probably right. My diet pre-military and once I hit basic training was totally different and I'm sure the bulk of my weight loss came at the beginning. But when I averaged out my rate of loss between my starting and ending weight and how long I was there, it came out to just about 4lbs. a week. I already know I wouldn't lose that much that fast at this point (I've aged a bit and have other things to do besides work out all day), but I was hoping to at least somewhat mimic that. I know that's pie in the sky dreaming Basic training for me was the exact kind of motivation I needed to lose and get in shape. Sure, I hated it going through, but by the time I realized how in shape I was, I loved it. I hate the fact that I completely through that mindset to the wayside and lived off a diet of fastfood for the next several years.

mkroyer - I understand what you're saying, but I don't think you get what I'm trying to say. I understand how calories work. I'm not looking to get thin just to be thin. I'm looking to lose weight faster. Diet alone isn't going to accomplish that. I'm not trying to end up looking like an Auschwitz survivor with saggy skin by eating one potato skin a day. I don't think diet alone matters. I'm sure physical activity has some kind of play in what I'm trying to accomplish. I was merely asking for advice to see what else everyone else is doing. There are some other members at this site who lost an enormous amount of weight relatively quickly and I wanted to know what their secrets were. I'm sure it wasn't just eating less. I came here for some advice, but your responses have been more snarky than anything. Advising I "quit my job" to work out all day isn't the kind of help I'm looking for. Telling me to just eat less also isn't helping, especially since I already said more than once that I was. I'm not looking for something easy. I know what I'm asking for would be a difficult undertaking. I'm ready for that. I'm very impressed by your running times and that's something I'd like to hear more about. Like, how long did it take you to accomplish those times? What kind of training did you do?
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