Ninety Minutes Of Daily Exercise Needed For Maintenance?

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  • Meg,

    Thanks for a great article! Wow, 60-90 minutes daily to maintain. That's impressive!

    Just wanted to ask you about what you said here:
    "While I was losing the weight and since I've been maintaining, I average between 90 and 120 minutes of intentional exercise per day, counting both weightlifting and cardio (I'm sure that they mean all kinds of exercise). I'm not losing weight at that level (despite also restricting my calories) though I should be according to all sorts of metabolic formulas -- this is maintenance level for me."

    Did you lose weight before at 90-120 minutes daily, or were you exercising even more during that phase?

    And did you find that as you lost weight, even with restricting calories, you had to up your exercise to keep losing?

    Thanks!

  • 60-90 minutes daily. that means every day. how can i do that? does anyone here do that? i would like to do that though.
    do i need to work out more to maintain than to lose? that would seem weird to me. right now i'm maintaining but i'm not happy about it, rather be losing
    this is very interesting. 2500/7= 357 calories burned per day. the cardio machines at the gym say i burn over 200 calories for a half hour at a pretty high intensity. i know they aren't exact but i thought maybe a rough guideline. that would leave me aout 150 cals to burn weight lifting. thing is i've managed to cut my weight training part down from an hour to a half hour by being more efficient. we do the same amount of exercises and at the same weights but we waste less time standing around and we double up on some, like supersetting instead of waiting for the other to finish a set. maybe we need a stop watch to really see the amount of time we spend lifting. so i don't know how many calories we are burning while weight lifting.
    it's hard to say how many minutes i should log and i can really only manage working out five days a week. so i would need to put in between 84 and 126 minutes aday then. 84 i can handle, 126 i think not.
    but i shall keep plugging along.

    gen
  • Sarah -- it took me a year to lose the weight and what I've discovered since then is that I pretty much have to keep doing everything that I did for that year -- food and exercise-wise -- in order to keep it off -- which is why I always say that maintenance doesn't look any different than losing to me.

    When I walked into a gym at 257 pounds, I was a total couch potato and was doing ZERO minutes of exercise a day. I started working with a personal trainer, lifting weights for an hour three days a week. He also had me start doing cardio. At first, I could only do 20 minutes, three times a week (and I thought I was going to DIE! ) but I quickly added in more cardio so that I was doing an hour per day, every day. Then I added in an extra hour or two of weights per week, so that in all, I was doing an average of 90 - 120 minutes of exercise every day.

    The exercise didn't change as the months went by -- what changed was the calories as I lost weight. I started at 1600 calories and gradually dropped to about 1200 in order to reach goal. Maintenance level on calories for me now is about 1600/day, if I make good food choices (bad stuff instantly blimps me up ).

    Now that I'm at goal, I'm doing pretty close to the same amount of exercise per day. I might not hit an hour for cardio, though it's usually between 45 minutes and an hour. Occasionally I'll skip a day. I still lift weights five days a week (for at least an hour and often more) and that's probably more intense than it was two years ago, just because I've improved as a lifter. And I do a Pilates class once a week, so it still averages out to 90 - 120 minutes per day.

    So that's my story -- I hope it answered your question.
  • Thanks for the article, Meg. During a good week, I probably spend about 70 minutes a day exercising, but that's only because that's the only way I could get in all three things that I consider essential to good physical fitness: cardio, strength training, & flexibility. And even then, I think that I give strength training short shrift (I'd rather do cardio any day!!). I change my routine around when I get bored, but here's how it looks now:

    Sunday - 1 hr cardio (treadmill, elliptical trainer, etc.), 1/2 hr yoga/stretching

    Monday - 1 hr upper body strength training, 10 m. stretching

    Tuesday - 1 hr lower body strength training, about 10 minutes of abs, 10 m. stretch

    Wed. - 1 hr. 15-20 minutes circuit w/o (usually a home workout video)

    Thursday - 1 hour cardio (treadmill, etc.), 10 m. abs.

    Friday - rest

    Saturday - 1 hour cardio, 1/2 hr. stretch

    I do remember reading that one of the traits of maintainers is that they burn 2,000+ (can't remember the exact #) calories per week by exercising, so I shouldn't be surprised by this article.

    BTW, I am maintaining at 140 by doing some version of the above exercise routine and eating approx. 1900-2000 calories a day. I'm wondering how many calories I could maintain with if/when I finally get down to 135, which is my goal weight.
  • thanks for that, meg. i've read this info as well - somewhere or other. and got really angry about it. i felt so betrayed by my body!!!! it requires so much more care and maintenance than i EVER want to give it. but that's always been a major issue with me. and i'm dealing. sort of.

    but every blessed day of my life - more than once during the day - i marvel at how easily i move. that i fit into chairs. through doors. small spaces. i fit in this world!!!!!

    and i REFUSE to go backwards.

    soooo i'm coming to terms with the fact that i walk/hike for at least 60 minutes a day for at least 6 days a week. about 30 minutes in the morning, and AT LEAST 30 minutes in the evening, and sometimes 20-30 minutes at midday. and this is over and above any weights.

    i'm not happy about all this, but i STILL fit in this world.
  • That is an interesting article, what it says to me is that there is something in our brain telling our body we are meant to be overweight once we have been overweight before. That is a pretty cruel joke if you ask me

    Anyway, currently I do 60-120 minutes a day 5-7 days a week and I do like it that way so it doesn't scare me that I may have to continue like that for the rest of my life. Of course I do plan to have some slack days food and exercise wise but I do see myself continuing on this way for the rest of my life. Also I'm hoping that some exercise gets easier the more weight I lose.

  • ok so let's say you eat 1500 calories a day, that's 10500 a week. and if you have to burn off 2500 calories per week to maintain that leaves you with only 1142 calories in basal metabolic rate per day for maintanance, which seems pretty low to me. when you calculate your basal meatabolic rate and add in you exercise and subtract you calories eaten it never seems to make much sense. something is missing here, something those that study these things aren't considering. what is it i wonder?
    i use diet power and it's suppose to track your metabolism and adjust your budgeted calorie intake accordingly. i think it's great for tracking calories and nutrients but the numbers never seemed to add up if i was over or under according to how much weight i gained or lost, same for my sister.
    so to whom could we address this dilema, this decrepency?

    confused,
    gen
  • I lost my weight on about 1500 calories a day and approximately 60-90 minutes/day of exercise including weight lifting (3xweek).

    I'm now maintaining and for the last three weeks have been eating 1800 calories a day with approximately the same volume of exercise -- the exception is that I have dropped some of the cardio and added one extra split for weightlifting. I haven't gained even a fraction of a pound so far.

    However, my calories are either too few or my exercise too much as I remain with amenorrhea (two months) so I will probably up my calories again or decrease the cardio - I do think I'll eventually be able to maintain at around 1800-2000 calories/day, 60 minutes of exercise 6x/week. So they are probably right on -- I think it's good to take a day off now and then, however.
  • GREAT article Meg

    Gatsby: My answer to your queries would be this: don't try and overanalyze this, otherwise it'll drive you absolutely nuts! I've never used DietPower, and I don't really pay attention to the calorie readouts on the cardio machines I use. Most days, I spend a little over an hour in the gym (sometimes an extra 45 min-hr if I have time to do the am Spinning class). Note that the study says moderate intensity exercise - I would consider that to be more than just a leisurely stroll around the mall, but not running at breakneck speed for an hour Of course we're all at different levels of fitness - my typical gym cardio session generally consists of a five minute warm up, then 25 minutes of intervals (one minute jog, one minute all-out, one minute jog, one minute all-out - repeat) then a five minute cooldown. Besides the gym, I also ride at least 2/3 x a week (I'd call that moderate - it's really more exercise for Dakota - even though posting the trot can get a bit tiring after awhile, I'd definitely call it moderate!), Pilates and yoga classes 2/3x a week, and walking to as many places as I can. However, if I overanalyze things it'll just make me cuckoo, so I don't. I just know that as long as I'm eating right and exercising, this works for me (and right now I feel I'm in the best shape of my LIFE, definitely!).

    The thing for me is - I have to ENJOY the exercise. Rather than finding it a chore, it is a pleasurable, necessary part of my daily routine. I'd suggest that you find something you LOVE to do. Invest in an MP3 player, iPod, or even a CD or tape player, depending on your budget (I'd go with the MP3 or iPOD as you can cram a lot more tunes on one, they're lighter weight, and they don't skip). I myself could not work out without my tunes (I know that Mel enjoys listening to Books On Tape - gotta try that sometime!). Point is - make it FUN.

  • thanks for that, i've snapped out of it. i guess the key word is moderate and i wouldn't characterize what i do at the gym as moderate. i'm 30 lbs overweight but i've never, ever been more fit in my life. and i have a long way to go before i am as fit as i want to be, i was in pretty bad shape before. sometimes i forget that i am supposed to be losing weight because i'm so focused on my fitness.
    horseback riding is so much fun. i lived on my aunt's farm for a year as a teenager and she had a horse there. i would come home form school and go for a ride almost everyday. it was retired barrel racer so i could get her up to high speeds and then do turns so tight i could almost touch the ground with my hand. that was so great for a city girl.
    come to think of it she had the horse on loan because it was fat and the guy who owned it didn't have the time to exercise it, so it was our job to slim down the horse. we didn't put the horse on a diet but it got alot of daily exercise, i'd say about 60-90 minutes daily! it's true...no kidding! i haven't thought about that in years, weird eh?

    gen

  • I've lost weight pretty evenly on around 60 - 90 minutes of exercise and about 1600 calories a day. UNTIL I hit 150, then I had to increase the exercise and decrease the calories and dropped a little more. Then I went on vacation and went back to 150 and now I'm back to 146 and back to 1200 - 1400 calories a day and around 90 minutes of exercise a day. If I stay at 60 - 90 minutes and 1600 calories, I maintain the weight, but damnit...I wanna lose that last drop! LOL
  • I have faithfully exercised for at least an hour everyday, and most days I look forward to it! I combine power walking with jogging, and so far so good. I have managed to keep all my weight off and then some. It is not easy to maintain! No one ever told me that maintaining is just as hard if NOT harder than actually losing the weight. When I was trying to lose the wt. I made sure I got in an hour every single day. Now most days, I actually am out in the great outdoors for at least 75 minutes. Knowing that I have to do this everyday is no different than our daily shower!! In other words, exercise is something we do to make us feel better! And indeed it does!!

    BTW the next few days may keep me from getting my jog in with lovely Frances headed right into our path!! Once again, I would appreciate your thoughts and prayers as we face another disastrous storm!

    This is a great article, Meg!

    CAROL
  • I've found everything said here to be true for me, also. I guess no one ever said life was fair. I get in at least 60 minutes of INTENSIVE exercise 5-6 days a week, so that probably is equivalent to 90 of moderate.

    I also have found that the fitday and dietpower calculations just don't apply. Based on them and on the BodyGem and Metacheck machines, I should be able to maintain on around 2000 calories. Hahahaha.... wouldn't that be lovely!

    Sometimes I think I was happier- at least less neurotic, when I was fat.

    Mel
  • OOPS!!! We have had soooo many darn hurricanes here lately, I need to keep them straight!!1 In my previous message, I said Frances, and of course, I meant Hurricane Jeanne! Sorry about that-I think I am losing it!!LOL Anyway, please keep us Floridians in your thoughts and prayers as we battle out this latest storm!
    Our electricity has been off, but just came back on. We were lucky this time, as we only lost power for a little over an hour. However, it(lights) are flickering badly now, so I am sure it is only a matter of time before the power goes again.
    CAROL