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Old 07-15-2009, 10:29 AM   #1  
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Default Help! I don't know what I'm doing!

hey all-

i'm a 20-something who FINALLY realized that denial is no longer an option. i need to lose weight. but i have no clue what i'm doing.

how did i gain weight in the first place? i blamed it on medication (which could be the case - when i was on it, i jumped 10 pounds in like a month or 2)... but it's really extra meals & inactivity. sigh.

so a couple of months ago, i quit (1) smoking (again), (2) switched to Lean Cusines, and (3) started going to the gym at least 4 times a week. my poor lungs can't handle much. i do a walk-walk fast-jog slow intervals for 30 minutes, and then abs. but i'm realizing that's probably not enough, and am going to extend it by walking for another 30 minutes.

but frankly, i don't think i'm losing a darn thing... what's a girl got to do to lose some weight around here?!?! i would really appreciate any advice you may have to offer - thanks so much!
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Old 07-15-2009, 10:51 AM   #2  
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For someone who is first starting out, it can be very helpful to record your calories for a week to see what/how much you are REALLY eating. The Lean Cuisine meals aren’t bad, but frozen dinners pack a lot of extra sodium which isn’t great for you (plus it will cause you to retain more water, which will reflect on the scale). You can use a calorie calculator (such as this one: http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm) to help you get an idea of how many calories to aim for. I’m not saying you need to record calories everyday (I certainly don’t) unless that is what works for you, but you need to know what is going into your mouth!

Basically, as far as food you should focus on eating FRESH fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy to start with. Limit your sugar intake, but DON’T completely deprive yourself, or you might set yourself up for failure. Think of this as changing your eating habits for life, not as a “diet.” You should eat when you are hungry, but stop as soon as you’re full; if it works better for you, try eating 4-6 smaller meals per day instead of 3 larger ones. Just remember to listen to your body so you can find out what works for you.

You are off to a good start exercise-wise, but try mixing it up so you aren’t bored doing the same thing every day. Stationary biking, the elliptical, group classes, swimming – there are lots of other options at the gym that will help you keep on track!

Hope this helps a little bit…there is a lot of support available here, so if you have any other questions ask away!
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:06 AM   #3  
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Well, your diet plan sounds exactly like mine! I eat pre-packaged foods (Lean Cuisines, Smart Ones, etc) and snacks (100 calorie packs) as well as fresh fruits and vegtables. I write everything I eat/drink (though to be fair I only drink water now so I don't write that down) in a food journal and count my calories. It's amazing how quickly it can all add up! I try to stay around 1,200 calories a day but some days I go over and some days I'm a little under.

As far as the exercise, I used to walk for like an hour everyday-at least. Eventually I built up to 2+ hour walks outside (meaning there are hills and stuff). So just keep slowly building your endurance and you'll be ok.

So basically what I'm saying is that if you keep counting your calories, watching what you eat, and walking, I think you'll be fine. I say that because as I said, you and I are basically on the same diet path and it's been good to me thus far!
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:09 PM   #4  
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hey - i just want to thank you two so much for your great advice! btw - what's a "normal" (or should i say healthy?) pace to lose weight?
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:20 PM   #5  
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every person is different. If you have a lot of weight to loose - ie; over a hundred pounds - you're going to drop a few lbs a week. However, I'd say at your weight it's healthy to expect 1 or 2 lbs a week to loose.

If you want to start counting calories - do some research online about how many calories you should be in taking each day. Every site will give you something different slightly, but hopefully it'll give you a rough estimate. Then go from there, be sure you're getting enough fruits and veggies.

Here's a great place to start - the website is fantastic.

http://www.mypyramid.gov/mypyramid/index.aspx
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:44 PM   #6  
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First, be grateful that you're not *that* overweight, and be grateful that you caught it now and are going to do something about it.

It sounds like you've got the working out thing down, maybe work out more, and count calories and eat more fruits and veggies. I've sort of got the eating thing down and all I need to do is start working out.
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Old 07-16-2009, 02:53 AM   #7  
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I would only do interval cardio twice per week. All other sessions I would do steady cardio at the maximum I could tolerate for 30-60 minutes.
Unless you have portion control issues, I would go with fresh foods over lean cuisines.
Great job on quitting nicotine, hitting the gym, and improving your nutrition!! Every step in the right direction is an achievement in itself.

Last edited by girl81; 07-16-2009 at 02:58 AM.
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