Moderator's Note: OK, so this probably isn't a tip from a FitDay member (there's an earlier upload floating around the internet dated December 5, 2010). But it was posted by a FitDay member and is excellent advice. If anyone objects, I'll consider removing this post, but then again I probably won't.
The thought of losing weight may be overwhelming. Especially if you have a goal to lose over 15 pounds. I've made a list of ten things you should do to help you lose weight. ( in no particular order)
Orient yourself with servings sizes- there's nothing quite like portion distortion. Get to know what ounces , cups, and grams look and feel like. At a restaurant you're served at least twice as much as you're supposed to eat. Do yourself a favor and share a meal with a friend/spouse. Here are a few ways to remember portion sizes : A cup is approximately the size of your fist. 3 oz (protein) is just about the size of your palm or a deck of cards. a tablespoon of butter is the size of the ditstal (from knuckle to tip) of your thumb. 2 tablespoons is the size of a ping pong ball.
Eat Breakfast- It's important to eat breakfast, you don't have to eat it first thing in the morning. Eat breakfast when you feel a little hungry. Your breakfast doesn't have to be a feast either, just give yourself enough food so that you won't empty the fridge by lunchtime
Read food labels- "low fat", "diet" , " low carb" and "zero calories" Don't mean a damn thing !!!!!! An item may claim to have less fat , but does it tell you that more sugar or salt was added to compensate for the loss of flavor ? A food item may claim to have zero calories, but does it also claim to have Zero nutritional value ? Don't believe the hype , look at the Nutritional facts label on the back to really see what your eating , make note of the serving size and read the ingredients.If you don't know what the ingredients are google it !
Plate your food- Cows don't eat from a plate , they graze all day, there's no telling how much they eat. Don't be a cow ! Plate every food item so that you can visualize how much you're taking in. The easiest way to consume way too many calories is to mindlessly eat out a container. Be aware of how much you're eating.
Grocery shop on a full stomach- You are less likely to buy junk when you're at the supermarket when you aren't hungry. First and foremost you should make a grocery list and stick to it. Not only does this method help you save money, it helps you save your waistline
Make fiber a part of your diet- Foods like whole grains, Bran, leafy green veggies, apples ( with skin), pears, peaches, citrus( with pectin- the white stuff), beans, legumes, nutsand seeds are foods high in fiber. Fiber helps you feel fuller longer and slow the absorption of fat and cholesterol into the bloodstream.
Avoid canned and/or processed foods- they are full of sodium, fat and sugar. These " food" items tend to be void of any nutritional benefit. Stick to wholesome fresh foods. " If it comes in a box , tell it to kick rocks ".
Prepare your meals- Put the power in your hands. When you go to a restaurant or eat processed foods others make the decisions as to what you're eating. When you prepare your own meals you're in control of what goes in your mouth, you're also in more control of your weight.Besides , cooking is fun. If you have children , make them a part of the process.
Follow the 80:20 rule- It would be unreasonable to expect you to cut out all your favorite foods. On a diet like that you're 100% sure to fail. the 80:20 rule says that you should eat 80% healthy foods and let you have a little fun 20% of the time. It's like work, monday through friday from 9-5 you're on your best behavior, on the weekends you let yourself loose. There's no need to be stringent about what you eat all the time. ( unless you're on the "reduced joy diet")
Make smart substitutions- Lets say you're following the 80:20 rule, on those 20% foods be wise about your choices. Instead of ice cream have sorbet, you still get to enjoy a nice cool treat without the excess fat and calories. If you want to have a beer make it a light one. If you crave chocolate , try dark chocolate- it has flavinoids and antioxidants.
Bonus *11* Write down everything you eat and drink for a week- include calories if possible. Try to also record how much vitamins and minerals you're getting from your food. You'll be able to look at your eating habits and make a change immediately. If you feel bad throwing food away, donate those canned/processed foods to your local pantry for the needy- you'll be feeding the hungry and improving your health.It's holiday season we should all be willing to give.
Last edited by VitoVino; 02-18-2012 at 10:52 PM.
Reason: added title and note
Try not to think of losing weight as a diet, but as a lifestyle change
I have been heavy as long as I can remember. I've seen pictures of a skinny me at 3 years old, but that's it. I also had a brief period in my early twenties when I was in better shape, but apart from that it's always been like this.
If anyone wants some advice from a noob, I can say, try not to think of losing weight as a diet, but a lifestyle change. It has to be something you really want to do, and something you want to do for you. You have to find your reasons and think in terms of the rewards of your success rather than scolding yourself into "doing what you should." Try to think in terms of making healthier food choices and getting some exercise. Start as slowly as feels right to you, but try to make goals and keep commitments to yourself.
Find a calorie goal that you're comfortable with and use the resources here to log your food and activity. It will engage you in a way that for me has been miraculous. Also, rely on this great community of people who have been and are in your shoes when you have questions. They will come through with the information you need.
For me, eating five times a day instead of one or two huge binge meals has made a real difference for me. I never miss breakfast, have a mid morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner. I'm over 340lbs, and am never hungry on 2,000 calories a day.
I can also say that I have greatly benefited from hugely increased water intake. I shoot for about 160oz a day, and I know it has a lot to do with how good I feel.
In the month I've been at this, and having lost only 12lbs in a 190lb journey, I can say that the benefits and rewards have been endless. Yes, it will be a long road, but it has already been full of rewards, from fitting into clothes that were too small just last month, to improved health markers at the doctor's, to my absolutely favorite part, energy that lasts all day. It's important to know there are rewards for doing this.
Best of luck to all new members. You deserve to feel better and will feel better if you stick with it.
I also understand that my metabolism will slow and and muscle could be consumed thus reducing my calorie maintenance. Aside from the that, what are the reasons that the weight goes back on? is it psychological or just habitual?
When people approach weight loss as a short term 'diet' rather than a longterm lifestyle change many people have the weight come right back when they stop 'dieting' and return to their old habits. This is the definition of YO-YO dieting and why so many fail to keep the weight off. Lets look at the cycle:
*People eat too many calories and excercise too little creating a calorie surplus. They gain weight.
*They decide they need to lose weight.
*They restrict their foods and add activities to create a calorie deficit.
*They lose weight with the mindset that the diet is only temporary.
*They hit their goal weight or can no longer live with the restrictions of their diet.
*They return to their old habits, eating too many, and the wrong type, of calories and not getting enough exercise.
*Surprise!!!! The weight starts coming back.
I believe this is because they never changed their habits and thinking. They saw the diet as something they only had to do attain their goals. I would advocate that you develop a mindset that you are changing your lifestyle to eat healthier and exercise more for your longterm health and well being. I (and many others who have had success here on Fitday) have come to the realization that I must change my habits (the holiday season has reinforced this) or the weight will return.
Originally Posted by dggriffi
My plan is to drop 10 and start run/walking. Then at 20, i plan to hit the free weights. I want to wait as long as a can for the weights because i think it might warp my persecption of pounds lost.
If you diet without exercise 50-75% of your weight loss could come from muscle! I personally would not wait to start lifting. While the weight might come off slower you will be losing more fat by incorporating lifting. So the question becomes do you want to lose fat or just weight?
Last edited by VitoVino; 01-30-2012 at 07:59 PM.
Reason: added title
For one thing you cannot really increase your metabolism, it goes up for that particular day if you do exercise do to the calorie cost of the exercise. If you gain significant muscle it would increase only slightly. It should be thought of as the calorie cost to keep your cells functioning, dropping below this number completely for days on end can potentially lower it long term. After your crash diet when you resume normal eating with a reduced metabolic rate, weight gain can be quicker than it was before.
You are better off just reducing your intake by 10-25% and reducing your weight slowly.
Also exercise is not the best way to lose fat, its only a necessary component to retain your lean mass while you lose weight. It is possible to build small amounts of muscle on a calorie deficit but not as much as you might think.
Contrary to popular beliefs exercising itself won't make you lose weight. Think about this one: have you ever gone to the gym for a long period of time, say a few months and you see the same people there day in and day out, making no changes to their body. Well is exercise helping them lose weight? It would not appear so. The harder work comes in the kitchen, sticking to a plan of making healthier food choices and eating less along with the exercise is how you make those changes.
In short eat better, eat less, lastly move more. Each of these three are all integral to making a body transformation.
Crash diets are set up to crash and burn imo. I lost the weight slow but if you asked me if it took a long time I would tell you it was probably the fastest 5 months of my life.
Last edited by VitoVino; 02-03-2012 at 02:03 PM.
Reason: added title
The best "diet" is the one that you design for yourself
Originally Posted by ArtDzign
I have taken a test (Jillian Michaels) that says I am a high oxidizer. This means that my daily intake should be 50% Protein, 30% Fat and 20% Carbs. I have a list of foods that I am not supposed to eat and a list of foods that I am allowed to eat. I am seeking recipes for the High Oxidizer. Anyone want to share theirs?
The best, most effective diet is the one that you design for yourself. I have about the same ratios, but have taken months to determine what works for me, based on my routine, my likes/dislikes and moods. Think of today as the beginning of your own journey. I would recommend being cautious of anyone labeling you - especially based on a questionnaire. Our bodies are complex, and ever-changing. I would be especially careful if you're given a list of foods you can't eat. That's ridiculous, and setting yourself into "dieting" mentality, which causes more harm than good in the long run. Just my 2 cents worth! Congratulations on your decision to become healthier. Expect to have some challenges along with successes along the way.
Fitday start date: 6/21/2010
Start weight: 158#
Goal met Spring 2011
Last edited by VitoVino; 02-15-2012 at 09:53 PM.
Reason: added quote, title
I am having good success with weightloss this time around. I have switched out eating beef, pork and chicken with eating all different types of fish. Fish is cheaper than deli meats and beef these days.
I have discovered the tuna pouches that are flavored now. They do not have added fat and calories and are quick and easy to measure into the diet. Eating sweet and spicy tuna in lettuce wraps with some carrots and pepper strips on the side to dip in a little hummus makes a great lunch. Lots of flavor, good omega three low fat protein.
Tilapia is cheap and very easy to make. It can be made in the microwave in a matter of minutes. My twelve year old loves this fish. What I do is brush it with fat-free diet salad dressing. The cooking makes it a nice sauce and he asks me to make this for him. Baked, microwaved or in a pan on the stove, it's quick, low fact and easy. Very calorie friendly.
Scallops are everywhere now. The sea scallops are sweet, dense and three or four make a filling meal. I cook them simply and put a little lemon-pepper seasoning on them. Eat them with brown rice or this stuff called zany grains which I love.
Salmon is my least favorite, but when I'm hungry, I eat it knowing I'm doing something healthy for myself. Making a baked potato in the microwave, mashing it up, adding shredded carrots, onions to this with flaked salmon canned or fresh plus some lemon pepper makes a tasty salmon patty. If it doesn't hold together, then just call it salmon hash.
I buy what is on sale at the store. Even canned oysters are inexpensive. I was raised on oyster stew and I make a low-fat version with skim milk, celery and onion and the oysters. If I must have the floating butter in it, I use Smart Balance.
When I'm not eating fish, I eat the Omega three eggs, turkey or occasional bison.
I have a life long struggle with weight and get tired of dieting like anybody else. When this happens, I just tell myself that I'm getting too fixated on what I'm eating, it's just a meal and stop whining about it. Potato chips got me here having to do this, and they will not be part of the solution.
Keep at it everyone. We're here to save our lives. Processed food is not our friend.
Last edited by VitoVino; 02-16-2012 at 05:48 PM.
Reason: added title
Hi everyone! I wondered if you had any advice for me in losing a few pounds!
I'm a 22 year old female, 5'5, medium frame, and my weight tends to hover around 140lbs. I've been going to the gym 5-7 times a week, burning off around 750 calories each session (according to machines) with an hour of cardio followed by weights. I also do a keiser cycle class and body pump once a week with others thrown in occasionally. Using the 'fitday.com' calorie and activity tracker i am currently getting a calorie deficit of 1000kcals per day, (eating 1800, burning off 2800 for example).
I feel like I am following all the fitness advice I can find online but don't seem to be losing much weight.
I measure myself with a tape measure and weigh myself regularly and the losses im experiencing are not very impressive (I have been following this routine for a month now, where previously i went to the gym 4-5 times a week and didn't count calories, and would estimate that i've only lost around 2lbs in total, and 0-2cm in measurements). Occasionally I have a weekend off (visiting friends etc) where i dont go to the gym or watch what i eat for a couple of days and drink alcohol. Could this be what is setting my weightloss back?
I only want to lose around 5-7 for the time being, do I need to lower my calorie intake further? Or am I just being too impatient?!
I have to agree on the upping your protein I find that it helps me a lot. Try to get it up over 25% at first and ekeing it towards thirty, if you can. Also, get a HRM - I too use the machines at the gym for "calorie burn" estimates, but I think they're probably off (I enter my age and weight, but it doesn't ask for height, for example) and I will be getting a HRM at my next paycheck
Also, when are you weighing yourself? I often find that if I weigh myself the day after a lot of weight lifting, I'm mysteriously up a pound from fluid retention. Try to figure out a day when you might be retaining less fluid, perhaps?
I'm also giving a thumbs up for logging sleep - I was frustrated before because I thought my "burn" was around 1200-1500 daily (and thus I should have been losing 2-3 lbs. per week) before I started logging sleep - now it's averaging more like 750, and that's way more accurate for the amount of weight I'm actually losing (averaging a pound and a half per week).
Female, 31 years old, 5'4 1/2" tall
Starting weight 1/4/11 = 215.2 lbs.
Weight 10/11/14 = 175.2 (net: -40.0)
Last mini-goal: 180 lbs. REACHED! Reward - new sports bra
Current min-goal: 175 lbs.
Next large goal: 165 lbs. by 12/25/2014
Lowest weight: 156.7 lbs.
150.2 lbs. <--- Official "Healthy BMI" weight
Estimated final goal: 130-140 lbs.
"You don't have to change your life today. You only need to change your day today."
Last edited by VitoVino; 01-21-2012 at 04:06 PM.
Reason: added title
Why drinking a lot water is so important for weight loss
Originally Posted by rly123
okay so remind me why water is very important? I know it helps with weight loss but why? I have been drinking 100 ounces of water for the past 3 days (this is my 4th day) and I think I'm losing all my calories just by running to the bathroom every chance I get. lol I just need a little encouragement.
I'm not any kind of physician or anything, but this is what I understand. As the body burns fat, it gives off keytones, when you reach a certain level of burn it's called ketosis. You can actually test for this condition with a strip of litmus paper dipped in urine. Anyway, if your body contains a high level of keytones, they can be reabsorbed into your body helping you to store fat when you do eat. Sort of a way for the body to prime itself for optimal fat storage when does get food. If you drink a lot of water the keytones get flushed out, making your body less able to store fat from the next meal. That is one reason, another reason is that when you are dehydrated the ratio of water to salt in your body gets a little lopsided and you will actually retain water in your cells (or between them?) and show a water gain on the scale. I think it has something to do with the chemistry of salt, whatever free electron it has attracting this or that etc etc. (I took chemistry eons ago, and I didn't remember it well even then). Also when people are trying to create a calorie deficit they tend to workout and bring on a sweat, so you have to replenish that as well.
For weight loss you should be drinking 64 oz baseline + another 8 oz for every 10 lbs you want to lose. So by my estimate you need to be drinking 120 oz. Sorry, more trips to the potty for you LOL. Actually I try and break my water drinking up throughout the day, drinking it all at once is really hard. I have a 24 oz bottle during my morning workout, another between breakfast and lunch, one between lunch and dinner and another for dinner. At meals I'm either finishing the one that I had between meals or I'm starting the next. Typically I drink 96-144 oz of water per day.
Last edited by VitoVino; 02-13-2012 at 03:52 PM.
Reason: added title
FACT: if you consistently eat less calories than your body burns, you WILL lose weight. Of course, you WILL eventually starve to death as well (think concentration camp victims). This is irrefutable--yes, you may enter "starvation mode", but eventually you WILL lose weight. I've done a 30 day zero cal fast upon more than one occasion (which I don't of course recommend) and lost a ton of weight--"starvation mode" or not.
Now, I'm not saying that super-low cals is the FASTEST way to lose weight--I suspect that a fairly low amount of calories, but enough to keep the metabolism active is theoretically the FASTEST way. But, we need to keep in mind that the goal is to have a sustainable lifestyle change.
We need to pick a calorie level and carb/protein/fat mix that allows us to eat what we like (making healthy choices, most of the time of course) while keeping us satisfied so that we won't be tempted to overeat or binge due to hunger. Finding this point, while keeping the average calorie deficit high enough to allow reasonably fast results is the challenge.
47 M 5'8"
May 4, 2010...... 440? lbs. (Start FitDay Size 60 Jeans)
June 19, 2010.... 393 lbs. (First Weigh-in)
June 19, 2011.... 229 lbs. (164 lbs. gone in one year :-)
Current Weight... 185 lbs. (Size 36 Jeans)
Next Goal 169 lbs. (07/04/12)
Ultimate Goal 165 lbs. (12/31/12)
The best exercises for weight loss are Fork Putdowns and Table Pushaways.