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-   -   TFL Key #7: Move It To Lose It (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/maintenance-library/53765-tfl-key-7-move-lose.html)

Meg 02-20-2005 06:25 PM

TFL Key #7: Move It To Lose It
Key To Success #7 – Move It To Lose It

Hands down, chapter 7 is my favorite chapter of Thin For Life. This week we’re talking about exercise and the first paragraph of the chapter says it all, as far as I’m concerned:

Experts say without hesitation that a critical difference between maintainers and regainers is their commitment to exercise ... Exercise clearly increases the likelihood of weight loss. … In fact, increased physical activity is probably the single best predictor of who will keep off weight. (p 193)

‘Nuff said? I probably would have ended the chapter right there :lol: , but the book thoughtfully goes on to lay out the evidence to back up those claims and has some good advice for starting and sticking to an exercise program.

Not surprisingly, both Anne Fletcher’s weight loss masters and the members of the National Weight Control Registry exercise a lot. Exercise was mentioned more often than any other weight control method in the Thin For Life interviews. 94% of NWCR members exercised to lose weight and continue to burn off an average of 400 calories per day in maintenance. Let’s contrast those statistics with the ‘average American’: only 30% are ‘active on a regular basis’ (whatever that means) and over 40% are not active at all (p 200). :faint:

Studies show that there’s a clear correlation between exercise and weight loss success:

In (one) study, 90% of women who had lost weight and kept it off reported exercising regularly – at least 3 times per week for 30 minutes or longer - while only a third of regainers said they exercised regularly. Moreover, regainers who did exercise said they did so less often and less vigorously than maintainers. (p 201)
Why is exercise so important to weight loss and maintenance? Why can’t we just ‘diet’ our way to health and fitness? There are three priceless things that exercise will do for us while we’re losing weight (p 204-5):

1. Exercise burns calories. It’s very difficult to create enough of a calorie deficit to lose fat through diet alone.

2. Exercise is good for your body because it reduces health risks and diseases.

3. Exercise ’does wonders for your psyche": ‘Studies have shown an association between higher fitness levels and better mental health. Specifically, there is evidence that exercise improves mood and psychological well-being and enhances self-esteem, while at the same time decreasing stress, anxiety, and depression.”

How much is enough? asks the next section (p 207). Any exercise is better than none, of course, but the book cites recommendations of burning 1500 – 2500 calories per week for maintenance and other recommendations of an hour per day of exercise for weight loss. Of course, the book was published before the recent new governmental guidelines that suggest a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise on most days for minimum good health, 60 minutes to lose weight, and 60 – 90 minutes to maintain a weight loss.

The remainder of the chapter discusses how to find the right exercise for you. Factors to consider are what you find enjoyable, cost, if travel is involved – in other words, the day-to day practicalities of making exercise an integral part of your life. The book also lists some of the most popular kinds of exercise and concludes that walking is something that just about anyone can do.

I was happy to see a section on the benefits of weight training (p 216-8). :strong: The NWCR reports that 25% of their maintainers lift weights regularly. One big reason is that increasing your muscle mass is about the only way to keep your metabolism from completely crashing when you lose weight. It also fights the natural age-related loss of muscle that we all experience as we age (otherwise you'll lose 30% of your muscle mass between ages 20 and 70!! :eek: ) However, Anne Fletcher neglected to tell her readers that weightlifting is just plain fun. :D

The next section is the no excuses, just do it section (p 218) and then the book goes on to talk about how little bits of exercise can add up, so figure out ways to grab any chance you can to move – take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further away etc.

Finally, ya gotta stick to it for it to do any good. The book suggests (pp 225-8):
  • Make it fun.
  • Make changes.
  • Give yourself a break.
  • Use positive mind games.
  • Focus on the pay-off.
  • Be realistic about what exercise will and won’t do for you.
  • Don’t make it a catastrophe when you fall short of your goal.
  • Give your self time to get to the point of pleasure.

Before we all talk exercise, I want to list some of my favorite exercise-related Internet resources:

Women’s weightlifting info: www.stumptuous.com/weights.html
Exercise demos (little video clips – click on a body part or exercise): www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html and www.fitsite.com/anatomy.cfm
How many calories do you burn?: www.caloriesperhour.com

OK, gang! Did you exercise while you were losing weight? Do you exercise now, if you’re maintaining? How much/often? What’s your routine? What do you think would happen if you quit exercising? In your opinion, is it possible to lose weight and/or maintain without exercise?

Ilene 02-20-2005 10:31 PM

Firstly, Thank you Meg for the great synopsis to all the chapters in this book.... I know how busy you are and I appreciate it tremendously :grouphug::

Did you exercise while you were losing weight?

Absolutely!! I'd go crazy without it!

Do you exercise now, if you’re maintaining?

I'm not a full fledged maintainer yet, but I will NEVER stop exercising, it makes me feel too good... I've been exercising for 20 years, I'm not ready to stop just yet...

How much/often?

I weight train 4 times/week same with cardio/running ... Sometimes I will alternate with one day of weights one day of cardio, sometimes I will do both, it just depends how I feel... I will sometimes take a full day or 2 off doing nothing if my body tells me to do so... Some weeks I can exercise every single day, other weeks I need the time off, I listen to my body...

What’s your routine?

Let's see,last week it went like this....but it always varies depending on how I feel and my schedule...

Monday -- Legs, no cardio
Tuesday -- Shoulders, 5K cardio inside
Wednesday -- day off
Thursday -- 5K outside
Friday -- Chest & triceps, 5K cardio inside
Saturday -- 9.5K run outside
Sunday -- run to the gym 2.3K, back and biceps, run back home 2.3K...

What do you think would happen if you quit exercising?

:rofl: I don't even want to contemplate that one !! Mentally and physically I'd turn into mush :^: ...

In your opinion, is it possible to lose weight and/or maintain without exercise?

Oh, probably, but I would think the person would plateau pretty quickly... Without excercise I'd be thinking about food constantly :p

4rabbit 02-21-2005 08:00 AM

Meg, thanks again for a great summary.

I think however that there is some preaching to the already converted in this forum...
Did you exercise while you were losing weight? How much/often? What’s your routine?
YES, I am not maintaining yet, and I do have to excercise. I logged my routine & weight for some months, and found out that what works best for me is a minimum of 5 hours excercise a week, 2 rest days, and upper/lowerbody split weightlifting 3 time a week. I do not lift to failure because of the risk of injuries.

What do you think would happen if you quit exercising?
I did that forced by some circumstances at the beginning of this months, and I got depressed. I started excercising because I needed the endorphines that excercise genarates and I rather excercise than use pills. So I keep up the excercise because the depression is awfull.

In your opinion, is it possible to lose weight and/or maintain without exercise?
I think so, but at a higher weight. But I would not like to try it at the moment, because my mood spirals down if I don't excercise.


AnneWonders 02-21-2005 09:42 AM

Exercise is just fantastic! Possibly the best thing I've done for myself. I went from total couch potato to triathlete, and no I didn't even have to get a perfect body for myself to make that happen. I feel so much better, so much more relaxed, and so much more in control when I exercise.

I do have a nit to pick though. It bugs me when exercise is prescribed by time. I can get the same workout (from a calorie-burning perspective) by running 45 min that I can get while walking 90. I worry that beginning exercisers will see a 90 min recommendation and think they need to be out running for that length of time. I actually like that the NWCR quantifies exercise in calories burned. It could take 30 minutes to burn 400 calories or 1.5 hrs! In terms of maintenance, I'm not convinced it makes a difference.

I also think that some exercise is better than none, and that message tends to get lost in the 90 min exercise prescriptions. In other words, if you've got 10 minutes, fabulous, walk for 10 minutes and you are still way better off than if you didn't.

What I tended to do, before PG, running 2x/week, cycling 3x/week, swimming 2x/week, and lifting 2x/week. Yes, that's more than 7 and I usually doubled up on the days I lifted. Also the weekends tended to have long bikes (> 3hrs), long runs (>1.5hrs), or double workouts. Bear in mind, that I used to train for long-distance events, so this was pretty normal to me. I got to eat a lot on those weekends!

I'm still exercising now that I'm pregnant, but I've dropped the frequency, intensity, and duration quite a bit. I used to exercise at an intensity that burned 500-600 cal/hr for each sport, now I'm down to about 350-400/hr, about 45 min/day, 5-6 days/week depending on my fatigue levels. I make sure I eat enough to cover that, but honestly, that's never been a problem for me!

Once you get started exercising, it is so tough to quit. Even when I broke my foot last year, I still managed swimming and pool running with a floaty belt. I think it is possible for people to maintain weight loss without it, but I also think that I'm not one of those people.


Only Me 02-21-2005 10:57 AM

Exercise has been important for me, not just for the calories burned, but also for helping change my body image/self-perception and giving me goals beyond losing weight.

Buying a double stroller last spring so that I could easily get out with my 2 dds while dh was working and ds was at school (or he could ride along on his bike) was hugely important to my weight loss. It was only after a couple of weeks of daily (weather permitting) walks with the girls that I was motivated enough to start improving my diet as well. Getting out and moving makes me feel better, so I want to treat myself better.

Then I wanted to challenge myself, so I started running last summer. I took a yoga class in the fall. I've been doing a pilates abs dvd a couple times a week for the last couple of weeks. Now I'm running for longer times/distances, with a goal of a 1/2 marathon in May. I run 3X per week currently, 40-45 minutes 2X, and a longer run on weekends, last weeks was 90 minutes. I still try to get out just walking regularly, although it's a challenge during winter--at least 2X a week currently(min. 40 minutes, up to a couple of hours in warmer weather), but was more like 5X per week in better weather. I can't wait for warmer temps and clear sidewalks so walks can become a daily thing again. I miss exercising when I don't do something daily.

If I was to quit exercising, I'd probably go back to my old, crappy eating habbits. Part of my motivation for eating well is to fuel my activities. Part of my slight regain this winter has undoubtably been because I'm less active, more out of circumstance than choice. I'm sure it is possible for some people to keep weight off without exercising, but they're missing out health wise and are probably more the exception than the rule.

karynlee 02-21-2005 11:38 AM

I LOVE this chapter, too. :) Thanks, as always, Meg for doing a fantastic job of summarizing it for us. :cp:

My Weight Watchers meeting yesterday was about exercise. SO many people in that room said they didn't have the time to exercise. I just wanted to jump up and and say, "If you let those words come from your mouth, you're keeping yourself from successful long-term weight management!!!!"

Did you exercise while you were losing weight?
Right from the start. At 189 lbs with zero activity in my life, walking on the treadmill for 30 min was difficult! But, it was amazing how fast I built my endurance. After about 3 months, I added resistance training with The Firm. From then on, whenever my weight would plateau or I would get bored, I changed something.

Do you exercise now, if you’re maintaining?
It is a natural part of my day. I used to think I didn’t have time for exercise, but it was just an excuse. I had to make it a top priority – a non-negotiable appointment. Now, I look forward to it as my “me time.”

How much/often?
6 days a week: 3 weight lifting, 5-6 cardio sessions (40-60 min ea) using the elliptical, treadmill, recumbent bike, swimming, step aerobics and kickboxing

What’s your routine?
Mon – Step Class (1 hour)
Tue – Weights routine #1: Biceps, Triceps, Quads, Hams + 40 min cardio
Wed – Kickboxing Class (1 hour)
Thur – Weights routine #2: Chest, Shoulders, Back, Calves, Abs + 40-60 min cardio
Fri – 40-60 min cardio
Sat – REST
Sun – Weights routine #1: Biceps, Triceps, Quads, Hams + 40 min cardio

Then, the following week I’ll do weights routine #1 only once and do #2 twice.

* I’m in the process of adding Pilates twice a week on my cardio only days just for the stretching benefits.

What do you think would happen if you quit exercising?
If I don’t exercise, my mood gets blue, I don't feel compelled to eat healthy foods (thus gaining weight quickly) and my body actually hurts.

In your opinion, is it possible to lose weight and/or maintain without exercise?
Of course, BUT you lose muscle along with the fat and your long-term health suffers as a result. Without that muscle mass, you put yourself at risk for many a disease and injury. I don’t weight train to get “ripped,” I do it so I can walk strong when I retire!

Sashenka 02-21-2005 08:38 PM

Great part of the book. Here are my answers:
Did you exercise while you were losing weight?
Yep, I actually started to exercise to lose weight and ended up changing my nutrition to reach my goal.

Do you exercise now, if you’re maintaining?

Yep, though I have to admit that I am not doing enough right now.

How much/often?
I used to have 2 aerobics classes, 4 yoga classes and 2 weight lifting sessions a week. Now I am running/walking (I am asthmatic and it all depends on the weather) 2x5-8K/week, I walk the dog 2 hrs/week, yoga 1 hour/week, weight training 1h/week.

What do you think would happen if you quit exercising?

I dont' think, I know I will gain weight. I think that without exercise weight just piles on my body.

In your opinion, is it possible to lose weight and/or maintain without exercise?
Probably by starving yourself. But I can not starve myself, I'd rather exercise.

Reg4242 02-24-2005 08:49 AM

Hi Group:

This book is the best. I refer to it when the going gets rough and it always smooths out the bumps.

When I was losing weight I began to exercise the same day. I would watch a Richard Simmons video will on a exercise bike to keep me going. I was unable to do the video alone, and had to stop on the bike often. My first"goal was doing the video from beginning to end'.
My maintence exercise requriments are about 45 to 60 mins six days a week. I can adjust it a bit to about 5 days for 45 but when I let it go lower the scale responds upward.
In my case contintued weight management without exercise is not possible. I have tried believe me(lol). Possible because of the amount of weight I have lost over 100 pounds. I am not sure but I do know that 1500 calories and about 45 to 60 mins of exercise keeps me at my goal. So its a formula that I need to follow, long term.

boiaby 02-26-2005 06:29 PM

Exercise is such an important part of this process. I know that I wouldn't be where I am today without it. I also know that it is something that I will continue to do for as long as I am able, if I want to be fit and healthy. It just goes hand in hand with a healthier lifestyle, our bodies need exercise just like they need good nutritious food, and it's up to me to take care of this body so that it can take care of me. That being said, I started exercising right from the start. Of course it wasn't a lot at first because my body physically couldn't do a lot, but I did try to walk every day, if possible. Later on I added more to my routine, and still try to change it up now and then to keep my metabolism revved up. My routine now is pretty much the following:

Gazelle (no resistance) for 30-35 min. every morning.
Light upper body workout w/5 lb. weights for 15-20 min. every day.
Lower body workout (crunches and legs) for 15-20 min. every other day.
Pilates for dummies workout for 30 min. every other day.
Gazelle (with resistance) for 20-25 min. every evening if possible. (I'm not always able to fit this one in, but I usually do it at least 5-6 times a week)

I think if I ever stopped exercising I would start feeling like crap! I would lose muscle tone, endurance, stamina, etc. Plus, it's a great stress reliever and I know I sleep much better now than I ever did without the exercise.

I'm sure it is possible for some people to do this without exercise, although I think it must be very difficult, but I know that it wouldn't work for me. So, hey, whatever works, right?


thin-n-strong 02-27-2005 11:19 AM

This was my losing routine:

Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday: 20 minute leg workout (free weights)
Monday-Weds-Friday: 20 minute upper body workout (free weights)

Sunday through Friday: 25 minute level 2 Gazelle

This is my new maintenance routine:

Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday: 20 minute leg workout (free weights) + 10 minutes Gazelle to warm up
Monday-Weds-Friday: 20 minute upper body workout (free weights) + 10 minutes Gazelle to warm up

Sunday through Friday: 35 minutes level 2 Gazelle

So...routine basically unchanged except I've added 20 minutes cardio each day. I am also going to give running a try in a few weeks as soon as it warms up a little bit.

srmb60 09-16-2005 02:40 PM

I've been driving myself nuts this morning trying to remember where I read something about the cumulative effects of regular exercise. By that I mean that there are more long term effects other than just burning x number of cals today ....
And it was in Anne Fletcher's book.
I must get it back from my daughter.

srmb60 03-14-2006 10:41 AM

Because I'm approaching maintenance and because I've been there before and had that awful flash of "What the heck do I do now?" ... I hunted for just this sort of reading.
I found it and I'm bumping it.

Jayde 04-21-2006 09:38 PM

:running: :strong: :bike2:

This was a cool chapter with cool vocabulary. :cool: Jim says, “When I feel I’m getting lackadaisical, and I need a jump start…..” After reading that I walked around all day with that word in my head.

I’m still working on building a routine. The cardio is coming along, so is yoga. :yoga: My next step is to add more variety of cardio and to work out a good strength training plan. Right now I am really just playing around with the strength training. Like a kid who doesn't know what to do. :workout:

I know for me exercise is crucial to weight control. More importantly it is vital to my overall physical and emotional health. :sunny:

I believe that a certain amount of exercise is necessary but more importantly as stated on page 193: .. what’s most important about exercise is consistency and enjoyment…” I am focusing on these two aspects now knowing that the amount will fall into place as I grow more and more to love it and make it a non-negotiable part of my day. Just like sleeping and eating.

Karen925 02-11-2010 10:57 AM

Of all of the strategies for losing/maintaining weight loss for me exercising consistantly the most difficult habit to develop. I have relied on walking daily which I haven't been able to do the past 2 weeks due to rainy cold weather and a medical emergency with our son. This would be 20-30 min every day it is possible.

I do lift weights (4#) each day for about 15 minutes and I look for ways to include more steps during the course of my very busy day. I also ride horses each week, including tacking and cleaning it.

I had a membership at a gym for many years and found it to be very draining on my time and purse. Now, aside for once per week, I don't see it fitting in.

Question, what suggestions do you have for exercise that doesn't involve the gym or buying equipment (lack of house space)?


Bright Angel 02-11-2010 09:30 PM


Originally Posted by Karen925 (Post 3147156)
I do lift weights (4#) each day for about 15 minutes and I look for ways to include more steps during the course of my very busy day. I also ride horses each week, including tacking and cleaning it.

Question, what suggestions do you have for exercise that doesn't involve the gym or buying equipment (lack of house space)? ,

Don't underestimate the value of what you are already doing.
15 minutes of daily strength training is good.
Your riding and activity of caring for you horse is valuable exercise.
Including more steps daily is also valuable activity.

I like to vary my exercise. I use my Treadmill, Gazelle, and stationary bicycle,
and I do a bit of Strength Training.
BUT also, sometimes I use DVD evercise like: Walk Away the Pounds etc.
Sometimes I use the Wii, and make exercise into playtime.
Sometimes, I'll set my kitchen timer for 5 or 10 minutes,
and then just jog around the house till the timer dings.

Sometimes I listen to old Rock and Roll tunes,
and dance all over the house for a while.

Sometimes when I'm walking from one end of the house to the other,
I'll pick up my two 5lb dumbells, and carry them with me.
Then I set them down in an obvious place, and later, I carry them back through the house again. Sometimes I do this frequently throughout the day, back and forth inside the house as I'm performing my daily tasks.

Any kind of activity is good. Sometimes it is easier to fit in 5 or 10 minutes at a time. It is surprising how fast one can get in an hour of exercise throughout a day in just those simple ways, 5 to 20 minutes here and there.

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