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For those of you who started at 250+, I'd love some feedback on my plan

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Old 06-21-2011, 12:56 AM   #1
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Default For those of you who started at 250+, I'd love some feedback on my plan

Right now I'm thinking I'd like to keep my calories at 1600 and burn at least 1200 calories a week over 4-5 days at the gym. My roommate and I have been going together, and we're pretty committed to keeping each other going. That plan would make my average daily calories (net) about 1430. Should I start a bit higher on calories so I have more room to decrease?

I appreciate any advice in advance
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Old 06-21-2011, 01:00 AM   #2
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That sounds fairly reasonable. You could, of course, always start higher (17 - 1800) and then for two weeks see what happens. But, I don't see anything wrong with how you have it set up.
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:28 AM   #3
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For me, I eased into it. I had no set goal of when this weight needed to come off, just that I needed to start moving and cutting out simple carbs. So, for the first month I ate between 1800-2000 calories which was far less than I had been eating and I worked out 6 days a week in my basement for an hour a night.

As my appetite decreased (and your stomach does shrink), I decreased my food intake - just never allowing myself to feel too hungry because being too hungry leads to bad food choices.

I've been doing this for almost 6 months now and I tend to work out 5 days a week for an hour a day and my calories are now around 1200 calories a day and I'm not feeling deprived. When I eat more than that, I actually feel too full! (Now mind you, I'm not eating bread, pasta, rice, cereals or sugars as those things tend to make me hungrier and aren't good for my blood sugar).
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Old 06-23-2011, 12:29 AM   #4
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Thanks for the advice! I think I'll try this out and see how it works for a couple of weeks.
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:01 AM   #5
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Should I start a bit higher on calories so I have more room to decrease?
Some people would say yes but I would personally advocate not worrying too much about going too low at your size. Contrary to popular belief around here the more fat you have the bigger deficit you can sustain over a longer period of time.

Thus - I'd say start at 1600 but focus on changing your diet to primarily lean proteins, vegtables, and fruits and if you find that you can go lower without driving yourself crazy with hunger - go lower.

Also - in my opinion - you're better off spending your time at the gym doing weights than cardio. If you have time - do both.

Whatever plan you do - try to stick with it 100% or close to it for 30 days before making any changes.

Goodluck!
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:04 AM   #6
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Thanks, JohnP. Why do you suggest doing more weights than cardio? I was thinking it should be the other way around since I have so much fat to lose.
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:23 AM   #7
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Thanks, JohnP. Why do you suggest doing more weights than cardio? I was thinking it should be the other way around since I have so much fat to lose.
with weight training, you're (hopefully) gaining muscle, which in turn means that you're burning more calories while at rest. with a cardio work out, you're burning lots of calories all at once depending on what you do, but with resistance training, you continue to burn calories at an increased rate even after you're finished. at least, that's how it's been explained to me.

that said, i've lost the bulk of my weight through cardio and i'm just now ready to start resistance training.

your plan sounds like a good one imo, but i did start out right away at 1200 calories on top of 4 days of exercise for 2-2 1/2 hours. that's a little extreme, but i spent so much time at the gym in order to avoid my roomate.
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:24 AM   #8
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Thanks, JohnP. Why do you suggest doing more weights than cardio? I was thinking it should be the other way around since I have so much fat to lose.
There are a lot of reasons.

A) Retains muscle
B) Builds strength
C) Promotes fat oxidationn
D) Burns a lot of calories (If done with proper intensity)
E) Builds your work capacity
F) Increases cardiovascular health
G) Increases insulin sensativity
H) Makes sure you don't end up skinny fat
I) Increases bone density
J) Is not as boring as cardio

I'm sure there are more but those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. If you're not interested in becoming a body builder at this point I would suggest a full body routine 3x a week to get you started. Machines is fine. Start lighter than you think is useful and increase a small amount every workout.

If you follow your 1600 calories plan, keep protein high, and lift three times a week and increase weight every workout in three months you'll be stronger than you ever thought possible. You'll probably want to find a new routine around that time. Keep it up and by Christmas you won't even resemble what you look like now.
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:54 AM   #9
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Thanks for explaining that. We had our orientation with our trainer, and he started us at 2x per week full-body workout with a little cardio, and then half an hour of cardio three times a week. It works out to us going to the gym M-F and doing resistance T and Th. First four days down, and I'm down 4 pounds I should have been doing this a long time ago instead of pretending I could stick to crazy calorie limits.
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:56 AM   #10
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Keep it up and by Christmas you won't even resemble what you look like now.
That would be an excellent Christmas present!
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Old 06-25-2011, 02:31 AM   #11
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Paradise, you and I began with very similar stats and have very similar goals. My path has been much like berryblond described - I started out targeting a higher number, but after a few weeks I found that I really didn't need that much to feel satisfied and energetic as long as my calories were coming from good, nutritious foods that I enjoyed. My target calorie range has been 1200-1500 since early February, and there are days I have trouble getting 1200 and days when I am hungry or eat calorie-dense foods and end up closer to 1500. My average intake over the past few months has been about 1250/day, and I exercise 5-6 days/week. Your plan to start with 1600 sounds perfectly fine to me.

I wouldn't even worry about the actual number of calories you burn at the gym each week - it's hard to know exactly how many you're burning unless you're using a heart rate monitor that tracks it, and the number of calories you burn doing the same types of exercises will change over time as your body learns to do them more efficiently. Just keep up with going to the gym, and the benefits will be obvious. I was really glad to read that you'll be doing some strength training - I love the results I've gotten from it. As John suggested, make sure you're getting enough protein in your diet - it will definitely help increase your strength and prevent muscle loss. If you track your measurements and see small increases in some of them (like biceps or thighs) due to the strength training, don't stress and definitely don't stop the weight training!! It's a little weird, but because we can't choose where the weight comes off and are gaining some muscle, you can gain inches in some places even while losing weight. My upper arms had increased in circumference by an inch after my first month of strength training (I tend to put on upper body muscle pretty easily, and so saw a nice newbie gain), and only moved below my January measurements about a month ago. But in the meantime I got a lot stronger, and other parts of my body got much smaller.

Congratulations on your great loss so far, and good luck!
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Old 06-25-2011, 04:00 PM   #12
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I'm sure there are more but those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.
it changes the shape of your body and makes you look better
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