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aylala 05-29-2010 06:03 AM

just in need of a little help
Hey everyone,

I'm new to this site, and I'm trying to take everything one step at a time.
Over the last 4 years, I've gained about 50 pounds, and I'm only 20 years old. I do have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, which definitely plays a huge role in my weight gain, but I've also been lazy and a frequent customer at every local fast food resturant.

My goal is to get back down to a healthy 130 pounds. I know that body suites that weight, and I think it's quite realistic. I'm giving myself a good year to get there. I'm going to officially start on Tuesday, June 1st. Then I'm going to be strict, and really follow through with my plan. I have read some forums, and you guys have truly inspired me!

I was wondering if you guys could give me some tips and if you could answer a few simple questions.

1)Do you think it's realistic to safely and healthily lose 50 pounds in one year? I heard it's do-able to drop that amount in 7 months, but I rather be patient and see permanent results.

2) how long should i stay at the gym for? i do enjoy going and i'm fortunate to have the spare time to go. I was thinking 1.5hours at a time, 3 days a week. just start with basic cardio (tredmill/elliptical) and then work myself up. i don't understand what it means to get your heart rate up, and what the significance of incline is?

I could go on and on and on.. but this is already getting too long. I'd love to hear from you all. thanks for listening. xo

rpmcduff 05-29-2010 06:53 AM

50 lbs in a year is very acheivable. That would be just under 1 pound a week. 2 pounds a week is considered a healthy rate. Since a pound of body weight equates to approximately 3500 calories you will need to have a calorie deficit of about 500 calories a day. Whether you acheive the deficit through excercise or diet or a combination of both is up to you. I would encourage you to visit and search for exercise routines beginners. I will also encourage you to incorporate weight/resistance training in your routine. Cardio is great for burning calories but it also tends to reduce muscle mass. Since your muscles are what burn the calories you eat you need to preserve and even build on your current base or you may find yourself having to consume less and less calories to continue your weight loss. Get your diet right! Read about balancing your fat, carbohydrate and protein intake making sure you get enough protein. There is a lot to learn. But also alot of help and information. Good luck.

almeeker 05-29-2010 01:32 PM

Yes, I think 50 is totally possible. Keep in mind the first 6-8 weeks will feel brutal. Well at least they did to me. It's all about habits, and forming good habits takes willpower, consistency and dedication.

As for the exercise I don't have any clue as to your physical condition, but 1.5 at a time sounds like a lot if you're out of shape, but about right if you are in decent shape. You don't want to get to the gym and "phone-it-in", if you know what I'm saying. Getting your heart rate up is all about getting the burn on, when your heart rate is up you burn more calories. It's also a really good workout for your heart (which is after all a muscle), at 20 "heart health" probably not on your radar for concern, but at my age you start to worry a little more about these things... Personally I do a lot of cardio, an hour/day 6 days/week, since I'm female I'm not really interested in big bulky muscle, I'm interested in weight loss so I need to burn a lot of calories. It all depends on what you're after. Core strengthening is also pretty critical for people trying to lose weight, so you want to make sure you're getting in a good weight lifting/strengthening workout at least once a week, twice even better.

aylala 05-29-2010 07:33 PM

hey guys, thanks for answering.

i'll definitely check out, thanks for the heads up.
i always get confused with "weight/resistance training".. is that just when you incorporate more weights and heighten the intensiity? obviously i have a lot more googling to do!

i heard that up to the first 8 weeks i might not see amazing results right away, and to also put that at the back of my mind and to just stick wit my rouitne, and then the pounds will eventually come off. so i'm going to try to not let that discourage me! also, when ever i go to the gym, i just do my thing and after an hour and a half i end up leaving exhausted, but i'm starting to think i'm not pushing myself hard enough... so i might try an hour of grueling elliptical work outs for now.

even tho i'm 20, heart disease runs in my family big time. my mom just had a triple by pass a few years ago, which was a big eye opener.
hope you all have a good weekend. xo

buffalo66 05-30-2010 01:53 AM

weight/resistance training
These terms refer to free weights and what are commonly known as Nautilus machines. Free weights are always better, as far as results and weight loss go. Use the trainers. !.5 hours is too long. Start small, mile walk on treadmill, light weights. New Rules of lifting book has some great workouts to try.

bsaz 05-30-2010 10:41 AM

some great advice above. I'll add 2 little things:

1. Get some exercise daily, even if it's just a long walk. This (IMO) is important when you are first starting out to get in the habit of moving.

2. Fast food DOES NOT EXIST. Nor does soda.

3. If you don't already, learn to cook for yourself. Then you know what is in your food.

Good luck!

tandoorichicken 05-31-2010 02:12 AM

Originally Posted by buffalo66 (Post 12110)
New Rules of lifting book has some great workouts to try.

I'll second this, and add that there's also a New Rules of Lifting for Women. Free weights are preferable to resistance machines, but you can use the machines to build up a base level of strength. The important thing is that if you choose to go this route you literally have to use every machine. With free movements, you naturally use multiple muscles at a time to achieve a lift.

I'm also going to suggest something that's completely antithetical to what's written in Health or Prevention: lift heavy. Once you are comfortable with free weights, pick a weight that you can only lift 5 times - that is, if you try to lift it a 6th time, you just can't do it physically (in other words, no pink dumbbells). Do 3-5 sets of 5 reps; this will help you build strength while keeping your muscles relatively tight and close to your body, i.e., not "bulky." Do this for 3-5 movements ("lifts") every other time you're at the gym.

Building strength not only will help you burn way more calories than using a light weight with high reps, but it will also help your confidence and self-image. Muscle only really grows one way, so if your friends (not you, since you'll always view yourself through your own perspective; it happens to all of us) think you're becoming too muscular you can back off to a lighter weight and your muscles will back off appropriately.

Ideally, this won't take more than 45 minutes. Then you can have your cardio for another 30 minutes, and set aside 15 minutes for stretching sometime after lifting - this will help with recovery and soreness.

Hope you're having a wonderful long weekend :)

aylala 06-04-2010 01:26 AM

thanks for the advice, once again. i really appreciate it.
every little bit helps right.
lately i've been obsessed with movement, just because i know every little bit adds up at the end of the day. i'm thinking about going for an hour long walk every day, and then going to the gym 3 days a week. 2 days based on just cardio, then the third day can be for weights. i don't know yet, i'll play around with a routine. and then your supposed to switch it up every so often right? so your body doesn't get used to the same routine...

Also, is it true that you will only start burning calories after you reach your target heart rate?

Thanks guys! ;)

blackrhino2 06-04-2010 01:32 AM

hey there aylala,

you'll burn calories with any activity even if you don't reach your target heart rate. the trick is to want to keep doing an activity and to try and not get burned out.

I'm not sure what the target heart rate really means--I thought it might be more of a heart health goal--but I really don't know.

If you put lots of energy and get super sweaty you'll likely be burning more calories and be near your target heart rate, but smaller activities also do a whole lot of good---like the walking that you mentioned.

Keep up the momentum! It sounds like you are off to a great start.

aylala 06-04-2010 01:04 PM

thanks blackrhino,
last night i went for a random hour long walk. it felt soo good just to get up and not be lazy for once!
that's another thing that was on my mind, when i go to the gym i try to push myself a little out of my comfort range and i get sooooooooaked with sweat. i literlly ppur sweat, while everyone else at the gym only has a glisten of sweat on their face. is that because i'm just really out of shape!? ahah, i just keep telling myself it means i'm burning calories ;)

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