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Old 03-18-2010, 05:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What should I do?

Hi All! I'm new to this website. I just started taking my weight loss goals really seriously recently. I've been blissfully ignoring the size of my rear end for a while now. (Well, maybe not "blissfully"...but ignoring it just the same!) Fortunately, or unfortunately, my last round of blood tests came back and gave me a cold hard slap of reality. Now, I'm not only fat on the outside, I'm fat on the INSIDE too. My cholesterol levels were bad and my C-reactive protein was high. Those numbers scared me silly. It's one thing to need size 16 jeans...another to think about having a heart attack and dying.

Sooooo....in the spirit of getting myself on the right track, I signed up to go to a "fat camp" out in Utah...kinda like being on the Biggest Loser but I had to pay to be there and didn't have to be on television. I was supposed to be there for 4 weeks (I thought enough time to make some good, new habits)...but I ended up having to leave after 11 days. I left with a really bad case of bronchitis and, worse, a messed up left knee.

From what the doctor said today (I'll know for certain after they get my MRI results back on Monday), it seems like I've probably torn my meniscus and will probably need some sort of surgery. I can barely walk right now...let alone do any sort of cardio.

Which brings me to my quandry...It's going to be a while before I can work out at any significant level. At fat camp, they suggested a 1200 calorie a day meal plan (lean protein/complex carbs)....but that was based on doing a LOT of exercise. We were in the gym about 8 hours a day!

Sooooo....Should I reduce my calories to make up for not being able to exercise? If so, by how much? If not, why?

Any advice would be appreciated!

Thanks and nice to "meet" everyone...
Naomi
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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First off your fat camp is crazy, sure 1200 calories a day will make you lose a lot of weight in 4 weeks, then they have your money, you are happy, go home relapse and gain it all back..or keep eating 1200 calories a day and die.

You need a plan you can follow for the rest of your life or it's going to be a constant struggle. Get one solid, reasonable plan and stick with it until you adapt to it and it becomes a lifestyle. You burn more than 1200 calories a day just breathing, most likely double or triple that. Your body needs some energy(calories) to support itself. Don't plan to be slim next month, plan to be slim next year. It's a process.
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sorry I meant to post more useful advice..but I was a bit astounded by the "experts" at the fat camp suggesting 1200 calories a day.

You are gonna be mostly immobile with the knee, if you can roll yourself around in a chair with no motor that would be good, you can also use this as an excuse to buy a nintendo wii, those things get you flailing your arms about wildly.

I've been dieting for two weeks, and using this site for about 1. I'm by no means a success story, but I have lost my first 10 pounds as of today and feel no ill effects. I fight a desire to eat, but it's just a desire, I'm still able to lift the same at the gym, run the same on the track and last just as long at my fighter practices. I'm 344 pounds, and I eat 2500 calories per day, work out an average of 30 minutes every other day or so not counting my fighter practices which are twice per week.

I expect the next 10 pounds won't come as fast, and eventually it will slow down even more, but as long as I stay in control and keep losing then there's a thin future there somewhere.
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default wow

I have to agree with the other poster 1200 calories mixed with 8 hours of working out is pretty nuts...Did you lose a lot of weight while you were there? I am curious how your body reacted to that extreme of a calorie drop off.

The good new is that cardio is not necessary for weight loss. It is an awesome tool that has a ton of other health benefits, and it definitely assists with weight loss. It would seem that you would also need the cardio to help with your cholesterol levels as well. However, when used for weight loss, it is simply a tool to burn calories.

Just like the other poster said, you can focus on your food intake and control your calories that way as well. What I would suggest is use the free calculators on this site:

Free Diet Plans and Weight Loss Programs

There is one that will help you determine your daily calorie needs. It will give you your BMR which is the amount of calories that you need to take in just for your body to get through the day. Once you know what those are simply manage your diet in a way that you are consistantly eating less then your BMR.

For every 500 calories that you come in below your BMR you should lose roughly a pound a week. This is where cardio comes in. Some people will use cardio for their weight loss to help create the deficit they need to loss weight. It can also be achieved through decreased calorie intake as well.

Because we are all different, no calculator is perfect. I would go with the numbers given to you be the calculator and start there. If you aren't losing weight, simply adjust your calories a little lower.

Good luck and I hope your recovery goes quickly.
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi Glenn and NCJB...Thanks for the responses. I hadn't thought that number of calories was too restrictive. When I was there, they tested my RMR (resting metabolic rate) and it was just over 1900 calories a day. I'm not sure how that number compares to BMR. The test I did involved coming in the morning fasting and lying down breathing into a machine for about 20 minutes or so. My RMR is supposedly a little high for a woman my age/height/weight....but that's most likely because I'm on a suppresive dose of synthroid to keep from getting cancer again.

I like the idea of playing with the Wii. We have one already and I hadn't really thought about using it...or doing any upper body work at all. I've been so bummed about my knee and barely being able to walk. I can't even swim right now. It blows.

I was at the camp for almost 2 weeks but was only about to work out for about 7 days worth of that...partly because I got sick towards the end...and partly because in the middle I had a really bad allergic reaction to some Stevia that I put in a cup of hot tea. I didn't know what it was. It's related to ragweed....learned that lesson the hard way! In that time, I lost 11 pounds. I was never hungry. It actually seemed like I was eating too much....so I don't know what's right.

I haven't gained any weight back since I've been home. I haven't continued losing at the same pace as I was losing at camp, but I'm down another pound in just shy of a week. I've been sticking to the 1200 calories a day (estimating prior to finding this site to log my calories)....that seems to jive with the RMR they told me. It would be nice to hit more like 2 pounds a week...but beggars can't be choosers.

Sigh.

Thanks again, Naomi
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Old 03-19-2010, 01:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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BMR, basal metabolic rate, is what your body burns just to breathe and keep your heart pumping, basically what you'd burn in a coma. Resting metabolic rate assumes you are conscious, but doing no pysical activity. Basically what you'd burn sitting in bed watching tv all day. So if your RMR is 1900 and you are eating 1200 calories, you should be consuming 700 calories less than you burn and dropping weight just sitting in bed. Add 8 hours of intense physical activity...yeah, insane calorie restriction. I'd ask your ortho or regular doctor how many calories you should be consuming to lose weight right now. Your doctors may want you eating a higher calorie diet and higher protein because you have some healing to do, especially post-surgery. I'm assuming synthroid is synthetic thyroid hormone? If it is, yeah that's gonna raise your BMR. They may have to do some calculating to give you good numbers since there's multiple medical issues here.

This came up in another post the other day about exercising with limited mobility. Google "Sit and Be Fit", it's a public TV exercise series that's done mostly from a chair. Good luck
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Old 03-19-2010, 02:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Lizzycritter...Thanks for the explanation about BMR and RMR. From what you said, it sounds like they mean almost exactly the same thing...almost. I guess RMR assumes just a wee bit more activity (i.e. changing channels on the tv!) than BMR.

Synthroid is synthetic thyroid hormone. There are some natural ones out there that people supposedly do really well on. Armour thyroid is one. I haven't been able to try any of those because my doctor has to be able to very closely regulate my numbers.

Sitting in bed and losing weight sounds kind of nice. I think I've seen the infomercials for that "sit and be fit" program. I think there might be some sort of chair apparatus that goes with it or maybe that's something else. I know I almost ordered one or the other for my Mom after her first hip replacement. At any rate, the idea has got my brain kicked back into gear. I can certainly do abs (need that probably more than anything!) and upper body stuff w/o having to be able to walk. I've always wanted arms like Linda Hamilton's in Terminator 2....maybe now's my chance! LOL

I'll ask my docs about the calories and let everyone know what they say.

Thanks for the support....I'm soooooooo glad I found this website!

Best wishes, N
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Old 03-19-2010, 02:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Hey Naomi...

Love your blog; you are very witty and also determined. A kick-butt combination ! Best of luck to you!

I have read that boxing moves are good for folks who can work out their upper body but not lower body, if that's any help. You can actually get some cardio in that way.
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Old 03-19-2010, 03:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I suggest you read the Biggest Loser books. It says that for weight loss you should eat 7 X your current weight. For me, that is around 1200 calories. I have lost 20 lbs. in about 2 1/2 months. I don't feel like I am starving, and I don't feel like I am deprived.

I am a huge Jillian fan. She says one way to get in some cardio "with a lower body injury", is to just do some "boxing". It gets your heart rate up there and burns some calories.

Good luck with your knee injury. I deal with a bad left knee too (I need a partial knee replacement, but I am too young). I was told not to run, but I plan on doing a 5K in two months.
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Old 03-19-2010, 03:35 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I must say that I had very good results with the calculator that Glenn posted. That one takes into account your height and current weight, as well as your age, rather than just a simple formula applied to everyone. I also like the idea behind zig-zagging calories and have used that since January with good results.

Keep in mind that all of the calculations you use should pass a "common sense" test. For example, I am on the short side and close to my goal weight...and the "7X your body weight" calculation has me eating 805 calories a day; that's just ridiculous. Jillian's workouts kick my butt and produce results, but I'll leave that piece of her advice alone.

It's all about personalizing it for yourself.
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