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Question: Exercise vs. Calorie Intake??

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Old 04-10-2007, 12:10 PM   #1
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Question Question: Exercise vs. Calorie Intake??

I have a question with just starting out. I'm wondering how many of you did when starting out with exercising and your calorie intake? Is it better to first get your calories under control for awhile and then add exercise in, or do both right from the beginning? It doesn't seem like I'm going very far yet, and I started with both from day one. Thanks for any help!!
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Old 04-10-2007, 12:33 PM   #2
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When I initially started, I started exercising then that basically drove eating right. I would say almost always exercise is my main driver for eating right. I couldn't imagine not doing both at the same time.
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Old 04-10-2007, 12:42 PM   #3
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JMPO, but, I think that taking it one step at a time is important. It doesn't matter whether you exercise, then add caloric consumption or vice versa.

I am currently "dieting" and doing very little exercise (due to some health issues.) In the past, I have exercised my BUTT OFF & then dieted to some extent.

I've always maintained that "I cannot lose weight if I cannot exercise!" - which I've recently learned is NOT true. My body IS responding to the diet-only approach, just not as quickly as it has with the exercise.

My doctor told me that losing or maintaining weight is 80% diet/20% exercise. I'm not sure if I totally believe that. But I can say that I have noticed a difference in my body between dieting WITH exercise & dieting WITHOUT. I've currently hit the 18 pound loss mark. I have only gone down ONE clothing size. I feel very positive that if I were exercising 1.5 to 2 hours per day 4 days a week like I used to, I'd be nearly 3 clothing sizes down by now.

Or maybe I'm just dreaming. But my point is that I think when most people first begin a weight loss program, if they 'gung-ho' on it, they'll burn out quick & give up.

Baby steps.... baby steps... baby steps.
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Old 04-10-2007, 12:46 PM   #4
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I seem to have more success with concentrating on diet alone for losing. I know that once I make my goal, exercise will be important to maintain the loss (because I plan on upping my calories a bit to maintain). I've tried many approaches and this works for ME. It is not for EVERYONE. I don't know about Beach Patrol's doctor's 80%/20% notion. I just know what works for me and what my doctor has recommended for me.
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Old 04-10-2007, 12:50 PM   #5
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Hi Michelle!

When I first began, I worked on diet. I was more comfortable adding walking AFTER I had lost some poundage! After I began walking daily and increasing my time and my distance, I further adapted my diet strategies. I continue to add different exercises and use all kinds of DVDs. I also continue to change dieting strategies and calorie amounts.

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Old 04-10-2007, 12:51 PM   #6
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Well, all I know is that I always started with exercise because that was the easy part for me. It wasn't until I changed my way of eating that I actually began to drop weight. Even though I am a big believer in fitness and exercise, I have to agree with the 80/20 thing.

I don't think it matters what you do first as long as you are building healthy habits and sticking to them. Knowing how to exercise and how to eat are both components of losing weight and keeping it off. Some people lose weight and don't exercise, of course, but that fact that you are doing that now will only help you in the long run, no?
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Old 04-10-2007, 12:52 PM   #7
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I'm like Nelie. I try to do both, without going to extremes. But I know that when I'm exercising, I'm just more naturally inclined to make healthier food choices. So for me, they go hand in hand.

Not to mention that exercise keeps your metabolism from slowing down as a result of reduced food intake. So what you do eat gets burned off faster. But that doesn't mean you have to jump right in with killer workouts. Just going for a 20 minute walk is great, and completely doable for most people.
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Old 04-10-2007, 12:54 PM   #8
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I am the opposite! Exercise is essential for me. I have tried just dieting and found that very quickly, I would plateau OR gain weight (a phenomenon I am still scratching my head over). When I started again, this time I added in exercise 5 times a week. For me it is probably a 50/50 ratio. I do watch my calories but I allow myself to eat higher in calories at least one day a week. Since exercising, I am building more lean muscle and it continues to burn calories as it restores itself and therefore I am burning more calories, even when resting.

That, and I love the definition in my calves!
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Old 04-10-2007, 01:14 PM   #9
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I was just thinking how this would make a VERY interesting study.

I've read articles about studies done on the exercisers vs dieters vs exer-dieters. They all pretty much say the same thing: Dieters lost more weight than exercisers, but those who dieted AND exercised were more likely to keep the weight off.

Of course, I've always dieted & exercised & I have YET to "keep the weight off." And now I am dieting with little to no exercise. It feels strange for me to NOT exercise. I actually enjoy it. I enjoy the movement. Pushing myself, reaching another goal.

Ah, the good ol'days of being ABLE to move. Hopefully I'll see those days again!
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Old 04-10-2007, 01:23 PM   #10
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WOW, thank you ALL for your quick responses! I just restarted a little over a week ago, on March 31, and I have been doing my WATP 1 mile every day, and three of the days I did it a second time in the evening, and for about the last 5 days I have added in the 2 pound weights. I have been writing everything I eat down, but have not actually counted the calories. I think I'm going to start counting my calories for awhile to see where I'm at, get that on track, and then go from there. I just had blood drawn this morning to have my thyroid level checked, because I've been hypothyroid since 1992, and my weightloss has been so slow, very frustrating! Lately, with some of my side affects, I've been feeling like my level might now be right, but when they always say your level is in within the "normal" range, even though it's so close that the level could be upped just a little, might help with my weightloss. I go see a brand new doctor one week from today, and she will be able to look my blood work over and we'll see what she has to say. I really appreciate all of your help and advice and it will really help me to think things out better.
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Old 04-10-2007, 01:23 PM   #11
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Well I have to say that I've been struggling for 2.5 years to continue my weight loss and it is hard. Two weeks ago, I made a vow that I was going to exercise every day and I was going to eat right. Two weeks ago, I weighed 10 lbs more than I do today. I don't kill myself with exercise either. 3-5 times per week, I'm doing about half an hour of weight training. Every day I'm doing 25 minutes of cardio on the elliptical. If my weight stalls, I may up the cardio but for now its fairly simple.
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Old 04-10-2007, 01:23 PM   #12
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I started with exercise. In fact, initially my goal was just to improve my cardiovascular health, I didn't really think I would be able to lose any weight. It was the encouragement that I got from my gym and, in particular, my personal trainer, that gave me the confidence I needed to commit to losing weight.

And, although I started with exercising first, I did not lose any weight or inches until I started controlling my diet. For me, although I exercise like a mad woman, losing weight is all diet. Hopefully the exercise will help with maintenance and it definitely makes me look nice and toned.

Also, you say it doesn't seem like you've gotten very far, but losing 25 lbs is a huge achievement. Don't sell yourself short--you are doing great! Weight loss is slow; you didn't gain the weight overnight, you aren't going to lose it overnight. Just keep doing what you are doing and you'll get the rest of the way there. You're already more than half way to your goal!
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Old 04-10-2007, 01:30 PM   #13
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I at first concentrated on the eating and got use to that ,and then threw in the excerising. I think at least for me when I have a good work out I want to eat better that day. You are really doing great with what you are doing. Much success to you.
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Old 04-10-2007, 01:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueToBlue View Post
I started with exercise. In fact, initially my goal was just to improve my cardiovascular health, I didn't really think I would be able to lose any weight. It was the encouragement that I got from my gym and, in particular, my personal trainer, that gave me the confidence I needed to commit to losing weight.

And, although I started with exercising first, I did not lose any weight or inches until I started controlling my diet. For me, although I exercise like a mad woman, losing weight is all diet. Hopefully the exercise will help with maintenance and it definitely makes me look nice and toned.

Also, you say it doesn't seem like you've gotten very far, but losing 25 lbs is a huge achievement. Don't sell yourself short--you are doing great! Weight loss is slow; you didn't gain the weight overnight, you aren't going to lose it overnight. Just keep doing what you are doing and you'll get the rest of the way there. You're already more than half way to your goal!
Thank you for your encouragement! It has taken me over two years to lose the 25 pounds. I have yo-yoed and after my hysterectomy two years ago, that's when I gained back the 40 pounds I had lost before that. I had lost 3 pounds the first week, but after cheating on Easter dinner a little bit, I feel like I've been retaining water and I've been up 1.5 pounds that has not left yet. I know eventually, one day at a time, I will get there, but it's hard when you want to set a goal date, and you want it right now LOL!!
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Old 04-10-2007, 01:44 PM   #15
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In training, a dietitian came to teach us the segment on nutrition. As was tradition at the time ... it was all about calories. We learned about eating them and using them. So I guess I always knew that I had to do both but eating less was easier for a start.
I've never been even remotely sporty. I can think of dozens of folks my from past (phys ed teachers especially) who would be very surprised to find that I work out now.
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