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Unread 07-12-2010, 07:29 PM   #1
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READ FIRST!!! Weight loss F.A.Q.s, myths and other important things.

We get a lot of questions here when it comes to losing weight and cosplay. Unfortunately they usually are the same ones. We really couldn't blame this in the past since we only had one thread at the time. Now that we have our own board for this, we can stop this very common issue with this simple FAQ board as well as cover the bases on some common myths and misinformations.

Common posts we often see:

"I am X feet x inches and x pounds. and I am sick of my weight so i started dieting. cosplay has been such good motivation for my goal. I've been eating only 1000 calories a day and am sooooo hungry how do i fight hunger pangs and overall starvation."

Never eat so little ever! people think for some reason the only diet involves you being hungry all the time. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. while it is true you eat a little less. you also should eat more frequently. Eating six or more small meals will increase your metabolism more then eating the same amount of food in three large meals. this is because you body maintains a healthy regular flow of digestion instead of large sums of food at once.

"I am X feet x inches and x pounds. how do I know how much I should eat?"

That is a very good question. nutrition is one of the hardest parts of losing weight because its more of a science. This link provides a free calorie calculator and helps you set up for meals. I will be posting a nutrition thread soon to really get into detail about nutrition soon.

"My body weight is ok but I have big thighs/belly/etc how do I make it go away?"

The sad truth of the matter is there is no such thing as spotted fat loss. you have to work all parts. you can certainly work on that one spot for muscle, but don't expect total control.

"what are some good exercises for my abs, arms, legs, thighs etc?"

working one exercise only will not get you the results you expect unless done properly. In order to gain muscle, you have to work generally everywhere if you wish to see results. Lets say you want a bigger chest, you find the greatest chest exercises ever and get to working out only those muscles. you work them for hours every day until you are ready to collapse. and over the course of a year... It only slightly changes. WHAT HAPPENED you may ask. There were three things wrong with your workout.

The first is you were only doing one bodypart for your workout. In order to get bigger or more toned depending on preference, you have to work the other areas around the that part of the body in order to create the foundation needed to shape the muscle. The second is you cant do the same workout every day, the body needs to recover in that area. give it rest and workout another area of the body. and finally dont workout for more than an hour a day for weightlifting. You will over-train and hinder results.

See also my overtraining article.

"I want to lose x pounds. My target weight is X pounds and i have over six months until the next con."

This one really isn't a problem but we cannot stress enough how little the bathroom scale really matters. Your body does not revolve around numbers. Just go by the mirror. its ok to check the scale once in a blue moon, but looking at the scale once a week can be nerve racking.

"I am over 18. should I use fat burners?'

No! You will waste money, and possibly get hurt in the process. There are only three types of fat burner pills you will ever find; placebos, simple stimulants jacked up in price, and stuff that is NOT safe at all to use. If you want a "fat burner" of your own just try green tea extract or black coffee. it still cant beat healthy dieting and exercise.

Some stupid myths everyone thinks is true, but are not:

1. Dieting is supposed to make me feel hungry, self discipline is always a factor.

NO! never be starving when dieting. Listen to your body's needs just give it something light that's whats important. Remember eat low never no.

2. I'm a girl, if I lift weights, I'll turn into a muscular freak! I don't want that!

Not at all. I can almost guarantee you wont in fact. Here is why:

A. girls eat less then guys.

Food is fuel for the body. less food for muscle growth. moreover weightlifting burns more calories then cardio does.

B. muscle growth takes forever, and will get you toned more then anything.

This means your skin will be tightened and give you a more youthful look. You do want to look young right? :P I have been lifting quite some time and have yet to "grow"

C. To get the amount of growth you are thinking of also requires a lot of testosterone.

3. Fat is my MORTAL ENEMY!!! I fight it by staying away from all fats ever.

Wrong! Life threateningly wrong in fact. your body needs some level of bodyfat to survive. just look for healthy fats. olive oil is a good example. use that instead of butter. just not too much.

4. carbs are my MORTAL ENE-

No it isn't. Carbs are absolutely necessary just like any other food group. taking out any food group is unhealthy. just keep in the low serving department. As your body gets more adjusted to workouts, add more carbs.

5. My great grandpa was big, my dad was big, and I am big too. Gentics clearly are not in my favor!

While I do not ignore genetics in some factors. It doesn't mean that it could be something else. It could be something as simple as eating habits. even if genes are not in your favor, in the long run they can be if you fight the good fight.

6. Healthy foods are expensive!!! I cant go past a fast food budget!

Quite the opposite actually. Your saving your money when you pay for groceries instead of junk. the difference is you pay for the food in one week. you can feed a family on five bucks if you play your cards right. (though I'm not suggesting you should)

7. This takes forever! >:'( These goals and results I expect are unrealistic.

While I will more then agree that for some things are harder then others, It certainly does not mean you will take forever to get there. When I started out, I was having a hard time with ten pound weights. now I'm bench pressing more then my bodyweight. This took me less than a year. Like I said before results always vary, but you really don't know what you can do until you try.

I will add more stuff later. for now I hope this helps filter out repetitive questions.
My workout
What to eat

I'm not a trained nutritionist/fitness instructor. But I hope to give you any help I can. PM me If you want someone to coach you.

Last edited by Kasinator : 09-02-2010 at 11:54 AM.
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Unread 07-12-2010, 07:35 PM   #2
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Unread 07-12-2010, 08:39 PM   #3
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This thread is very useful and has answered most of the general questions but I think there is one common myth you left out and that is the myth that you can loose weight by not sleeping. I found that being an insomniac has made it harder for me to keep my weight and found that I gained 20 pounds in a short period of time just from extreme lack of sleep. People always assume insomniacs are suppose to look sickly thin but the truth is lack of sleep creates stress which in the end creates cortisol, a hormone which stimulates fat.
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Unread 07-12-2010, 08:52 PM   #4
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fkl;hf;lhkfh;g Thank you!

You have good fitness advice Most of this stuff is basic to me, as I've long since started on my lifelong labor of love to be nice to my body with good food and plentiful exercise. But there are so many newbies that need to hear this!!

2. I'm a girl, if I lift weights, I'll turn into a muscular freak! I don't want that!

Also, generally speaking girls have less testosterone-the male hormone that more easily induces muscle growth.

But that girls eat less than guys is not universally true! I personally am a 6' tall female with an often voracious appetite, which can and has beaten that of smaller males, XD

Although...I do lift heavy and often, so that too might have to do with it! People usually tell me I look a lot lighter than I am-so I am in no ways big. (Then people are often agape at my strength, and that's when I look smug and thank myself for putting in time on the weights XD)

3. Fat is my MORTAL ENEMY!!! I fight it by staying away from all fats ever.
THIS! I thank you so much for mentioning this often neglected point. FAT IS NOT EVIL. In fact, its better to eat fat to lose fat! Personally, eating Chinese food at home means it is very low fat. I see a better change for the week if I add in a few avocados-and sometimes even butter(the best type I can find-preferably organic, from pasture fed cows), so long as I don't make my own fast food death combination of salt/sugar+carbs+fat.
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Unread 07-12-2010, 09:07 PM   #5
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Unread 07-13-2010, 11:53 PM   #6
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Great stuff. I'm glad someone out there knows what they're talking about (aside from me, haha).

I'd like to add that "toning" is kind of a misunderstood thing. Lifting weights with sufficient resistance only does one thing to your muscles, it makes them grow. It doesn't really do a direct spot reduction of fat. Say, doing triceps work won't make the under arm jiggle go away. Getting a leaner body is way more about eating properly, and sticking to a healthy lifestyle for the long haul. Of course, exercise still plays a role. If you have a balanced routine of strength training and cardio, you'll slowly see yourself getting more definition and less flabby. Key is to be intense with your workouts. A brisk jog for a long time will do far less for you than 5 sprints at full speed. You don't have to slave for hours at a gym if you train intelligently.
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Unread 07-15-2010, 12:45 AM   #7
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Pretty informative FAQ, and I'll add a little more details (all coming from an Athletic Trainer). If you have a smartphone, get a calorie counter app or something along those lines. It'll help. If you want to use the net, I know for a fact that sparkpeople.com (I'm not advertising it, just know that it's free and it works. I have 2 friends who used the site to help monitor their progress and they lost a good amt of weight).

As long as you're informed and you know what to do and how to do it (and actually do it), losing weight and getting toned isn't too difficult.

Results are not instant and will take time. Anything that says you can get instant results without any work is not true (unless you have surgery or things like that).

Your diet is the most important thing. On avg, most people should be eating around 2000 calories a day, about 5 meals a day. Most people tend to have a light breakfast (if they even eat it), a small lunch, then a lot for dinner. Instead, your 3 major meals should be about the same w/ 2 snacks in between.

A sample 2000 calorie meal day to maintain/lose weight
Breakfast - Egg whites, pb sandwhich on wheat bread, 2% milk
Brunch - greek yogurt (has less sugar and more protein)
Lunch - tuna sandwhich on wheat bread w/ some fruit
Afternoon Snack - Protein bar
Dinner - brown rice, grilled salmon, cup of steamed vegies

The reason why you want to eat smaller meals is that it helps keep your metabolism up. Also, you want your diet to be filled with "healthier" options such as
  • lean protein - chicken, fish, egg whites, peanut butter
  • whole wheat - brown rice, wheat bread, whole wheat pasta

For those who wish to bulk up (like myself), you need A LOT more than 2000 calories. You still need to eat healthy, but you also add in protein shakes and add in a larger serving of each (i.e. instead of just a cup of brown rice, a grilled chicken breast, and a cup of vegies, you up it to a cup and a half of brown rice, 2 grilled chicken breasts, and a cup and a half of vegies along with your protein shake).

Foods to avoid
  • Anything high in sugar/high fructose corn syrup. Easiest and harest thing to lose here is soda and energy drinks. If you can get away from those drinks then it's smooth sailing for the most part.
  • bleached grains - white bread, white rice/pasta
  • fast/fatty/greasy food - nuff said

Now that you're eating healthier (hopefully), you need to make use of the calories that you're taking in. Start off easy and slowly push yourself. Your body eventually gets use to the exercise you do and it plateaus. You then have to push yourself harder to make it work and not get use to what you were doing before. Work out around 4 times a week and make sure you get some rest in between. Make sure you stretch before any workout and drinks lots of water (Sports Drinks can be helpful, but they're loaded with sugar). Also, if at any point you don't feel comfortable or a pain that isn't from exercising, stop. You know your own limits. You'll have to push your limits, but don't break them.

Cardio - Easiest way to start losing weight. If you have access to a treadmill, bike, rollerblades, great! If not, jog, swim, play some DDR, etc...
Start off easy, a few laps around the neighborhood (10mins). After a week, step it up a notch and add a few more laps (15-20 mins). After another week, add some more time/laps. Cardio is the best way to get your heart pumping and the blood flowing.

Toning - For girls, this is more of your section. The key to toning is low weight, higher reps. Start off simple with 2-5lb weights (milk jugs w/ water work also if you don't have weights) and do 3 sets of 10. For guys, start your weight around 10lbs+. The weight plays a good factor, but your form's even more important. Guys, don't thing you have to prove anything just because you're starting off at 10lbs. Take your time with the exercises you do and make the muscle, not the momentum, do the work.

Bulking - More so for guys. If you want to look more like Ryu from Street Fighter and not like Dhalsim, you'll have to bulk up first then tone. Bulking up is kind of the opposite of toning. You want higher weights and lower reps. The idea is the max yourself and tear your muscles apart and let new muscle tissue grow on top of what you have already. Make sure you have a friend to spot you if you don't have access to machines that help you. So instead of using 10lbs and doing 3 sets of 10. You might want to push yourself and try 30 lbs with 3 sets of 5.

If you don't have access to any weights or equipment, then the three easiest things to do are jumping jacks for cardio, situps/ab/core work outs, then pushup (try to do 5 a day and work yourself up). Pushups are the easiest way to tone your chest and arms w/o any equpiment at all. If you have to start off easy, lean against a wall and do standing pushups. If you want it easy on the ground and have to do them on your knees, start that way. As long as you make an effort, push ups get easier.

Hopefully this gives you a better idea on what to do. If you have any questions, feel free to msg me! Attached is a picture of me to prove I know what I'm talking about. I'm not ripped like Bruce Lee, but I'm still toned and fit (but still too skinny to be Ryu tho... *sigh*)
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Unread 07-19-2010, 08:14 AM   #8
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this is all very very true! ive lost 6 sdtone alotgehter
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Unread 07-23-2010, 01:27 AM   #9
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Thanks for great info! :c
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Unread 08-25-2010, 09:23 PM   #10
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Thank you for the info, I'm actually trying to lose 10lbs for an upcoming convention in November and this info really helped me. I exercise at home at least four days a week, twice a day using a stationary bike at home. I actually used to be 160lbs but I went down to 140lbs.
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Unread 08-26-2010, 02:58 PM   #11
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This was quite knowledgable to read
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Unread 09-02-2010, 11:56 AM   #12
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My workout
What to eat

I'm not a trained nutritionist/fitness instructor. But I hope to give you any help I can. PM me If you want someone to coach you.
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Unread 09-26-2010, 04:20 PM   #13
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This is a wonderful thread, really motivational. A lot of things here I've heard before, but its nice to have it re-enforced by someone who was overweight and lost it, rather than someone who hasn't went through the journey period.

Thanks a bunch ~
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Unread 09-29-2010, 08:47 PM   #14
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Thanks so much for the info!! I am going to write this stuff down so I can work on making myself healthier and happier! ^_^
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Unread 09-29-2010, 10:10 PM   #15
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Thanks for all this info!
I'm really keeping an eye on my body more now!
But I have been going on the treadmill for about two years, everyday!
Of course I missed a few days..when I'm sick. I'm just gonna eat smaller porsions (can't spell)^^;; But I need more advice though! How can I get abs?
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