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Unread 04-09-2015, 01:39 PM   #1
KittytheSheGeek
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In need of advice

Ok so here is my dilemma. I have gained easily 20 pounds over the last year, which sits very uncomfortably on me. I'm not overweight, but I've certainly gotten... doughy. So I want to loose that weight and slim down again. I have cut out pop and chips entirely, I've even cut down on how much juice I drink and have been drinking water instead. I do have a coffee addiction though, and I'm particularly fond of lattes which have lots of milk and sugar. I've also tried really hard to cut back on sweets and pizza, which are basically my favourite things ever.

My diet right now largely consists of a lot of carbs; I usually eat pasta, or rice and chicken for dinner, and for lunch I often make eggs and toast. I try to include vegetables as well, but I'm fairly picky about the vegetables I eat. I'm unsure if I should just cut out pasta altogether, or if rice is a good choice... Should I basically be eating meat and veggies, and nothing else?? lol I really don't know which carbs I should be eating, and which I should stop.

My other problem is exercise. I don't drive, so I do a lot of walking every day, but I don't do much beyond that. The biggest reason is because I have a really bad respiratory system and I get winded/asthma attacks quite easily, so I avoid running or intense cardio. I will also admit, I really am not fond of working out. It's not something I enjoy. So my question is, are there any easy, low-key exercises I can do that won't trigger my asthma, and aren't going to make me hate life?

I would ideally like to loose approx. 10-20 pounds (or just slim down) by the time summer hits, but I am okay with a gradual process as well. I understand the best way to slim down is constant exercise, but I'm not a 'go to the gym 4 times a week' kind of person ><

ANY advice would be super appreciated.
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Unread 04-09-2015, 04:10 PM   #2
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Complex carbs are considered better for you than simple carbs, I believe because the body has to work harder but receives more nutrients in the digestion process. Here is a page that has more info on complex carbs.

I want to recommend myfitnesspal to you. it's a free app you can install on your apple device or access from any web browser. Because you will lose weight if you take in fewer calories than you use, it can be very beneficial to knowing how many calories you've taken in. It can even help you estimate how many calories you've used.

Developing a target calorie total amount means figuring out your BMR and TDEE. It's not a perfect system, but you can use it to select a number and see how that works for you, then adjust up or down based on your results.

If you do this, you can still keep the simple carbs in your diet, but you'll see that they use up so much of your allotment that they start to not feel worth it, when you can eat so much of healthier foods instead.
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Unread 04-09-2015, 04:25 PM   #3
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I have exercise-induced asthma, which means I only experience symptoms when I exercise hard. As a result, I can actually walk faster than I can job, and I can't run/sprint more than 15 seconds without sending my heartrate into dangerously high levels and cause my throat and lungs to burn like I imagine napalm would, even under the effects of my inhaler!

Not everyone agrees, but it seems to me I had the best weight loss results when I divided my exercise time between cardio and muscle-building. They say that muscle burns more calories than fat, so if you made your muscles bigger and stronger, you would theoretically look slimmer without changing your diet (Since muscle weights more than fat, you might not weight less on a scale, even if all your clothes become too big!). Apparently some people are worried about looking too muscle-bound, but there are ways to build muscles without looking bulky and lumpy.

For cardio, I find that my favorite exercise is a long, fast stride. I pretend that I am cross-country skiing, and walk as stretched out and fast as I can.
I also find the elliptical machine to be one that gets my heart rate up without winding me as bad as the treadmill does.
I enjoy biking, which is a moderate workout without ever making it hard for me to breathe. I don't like the stationary machine, but just because it doesn't feel like I'm going anywhere.
I find that the stairclimber machine at the gym gets my heartrate up long before I get winded, but a lot of people find it too strenuous.
My new very favorite machine at the gym is the rowing machine. If you give it your all, it's a nearly full-body workout that doesn't upset my lungs until I've pushed waaaay too hard.

Apparently the members of my family all agree that we are endorphin junkies, so that's probably why I know I only have to stay with my cardio about 10 minutes before I start to love the fact that I'm doing it. I have a bunch of music that makes me want to dance, and that helps to get me going until the endorphins kick in. Before I know it, I've spend 30-60 minutes and it's time to stop. So I definitely recommend using a distinct playlist of fast, engaging music to help you put up with the boredom and discomfort of cardio.
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Unread 04-09-2015, 04:31 PM   #4
KittytheSheGeek
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Awesome, thank you so much! I will try all of that xD I've actually been on an elliptical before and had no breathing issues, so I will try that for sure. I'm not too worried about losing the number as much as the actual... dough as I call it lol so that would be really awesome if I just built muscle, especially if I could still eat pizza xD

I have the same thing actually; I can walk at a really fast pace and be fine, but the second I start jogging or running I get winded. So I will definitely take your advice.

Thanks again!
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Unread 04-09-2015, 10:42 PM   #5
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Had some of the same diet choices as you, so I can help.

Coffee will be a big deal - I switched to black and a bit of skim from lattes, and it cut the calories down by ~150-200. Big deal, especially if you have multiple coffees.

For carbs, just cut it in half - it'll be tough to eliminate it entirely and you'll still need carbs to function and have energy.

last - yoga does wonders!
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Unread 04-10-2015, 12:28 AM   #6
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You don't have to stick to meat and veggies that would give you faster results but deprivation can back fire. So I just better carb choices sweet potatoes, jasmine or brown rice, wheat pasta or tbh spaghetti squash is great and you can eat as much as you'd like because there are less carbs per gram than normal pasta. Cauliflower can also be gratted into rice just add some soy sauce or liquid aminos and it taste like fried rice.

Since high intensity cardio sets off your asthma I'd suggest weight lifting. Weight lifting is great cuz you burn calories in and out the gym. You can do max effort or 5 by 5 bodyweight route when at home and lift heavy at the gym. That way you're still able to workout but don't have to go to the gym everyday.
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Unread 04-10-2015, 04:46 PM   #7
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Thank you everyone! I will definitely try all your suggestions. I really appreciate the advice
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Unread 04-11-2015, 07:55 PM   #8
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Get your lattes as " skinny " or " non fat. "

A venti skinny vanilla latte at Starbucks is only 160 kcal and very easy to burn off with the amount of walking you say you do.
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Unread 04-14-2015, 08:10 PM   #9
Kevinhy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akiyhrah View Post
My other problem is exercise. I don't drive, so I do a lot of walking every day, but I don't do much beyond that. The biggest reason is because I have a really bad respiratory system and I get winded/asthma attacks quite easily, so I avoid running or intense cardio. I will also admit, I really am not fond of working out. It's not something I enjoy. So my question is, are there any easy, low-key exercises I can do that won't trigger my asthma, and aren't going to make me hate life?

I would ideally like to loose approx. 10-20 pounds (or just slim down) by the time summer hits, but I am okay with a gradual process as well. I understand the best way to slim down is constant exercise, but I'm not a 'go to the gym 4 times a week' kind of person ><

ANY advice would be super appreciated.
Surprisingly exercise is NOT the best way to lose weight. Intense cardio is also unnecessary from a fat loss perspective as its all about calories in and calories out, IE your metabolic rate in relation to the amount of calories you eat. On average, people below 200lbs can expect to burn only a few hundred calories during an exercise session (200-500). To put that in perspective, one bagel is about 250 calories, 1/4 c dry rice is 160 calories. Its easier in my opinion to just reduce that amount of food in situations like yours. The amount of physical activity you get just from walking around burns wayyy more calories than you might think too. I've done experiments with different devices and even indirect calorimeters to determine the amount of calories I would burn in a sedentary vs minimally active environment and my caloric burn was magnitudes higher simply from walking around and doing chores around the house. This isn't to say exercise is irrelevant for fat loss, it just has other primary benefits (resistance training spares muscle breakdown).

My advice, use something like myfitnesspal as recommended above as this is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing in regards to fat loss. I would also recommend buying a food scale so all measurements are as accurate as possible. Use an online calculator to determine your baseline metabolic rate (or use the goal feature in myfitnesspal) and adjust accordingly based on your results.
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Unread 04-15-2015, 09:28 AM   #10
Lucisferre
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akiyhrah View Post
I have cut out pop and chips entirely, I've even cut down on how much juice I drink and have been drinking water instead. I do have a coffee addiction though, and I'm particularly fond of lattes which have lots of milk and sugar. I've also tried really hard to cut back on sweets and pizza, which are basically my favourite things ever.
I'm pretty sure its been said before, but you should kind of have an idea of how much calories your body expends while in an inactive state. To do that you need to calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR). This will give you a better overview on what BMR is, how its affected, etc.

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/calrmr.htm

It isn't your fault, however it's difficult for us to gauge what advice we can give when there are a lot of unknown quantities about how much you walk in terms of miles, how many calories you eat, what calories make up the majority of your diet, etc.

It's also not bad to eat pizza or some other less nutrient dense food as long as its limited to something that occurs about once a week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akiyhrah View Post
My diet right now largely consists of a lot of carbs; I usually eat pasta
Hey, you. Stop that.

If you were doing resistance training, and everyone should do a little bit of that, then complex carbs even some simple carbs wouldn't be so bad, in fact its almost completely necessary. The problem with simple carbs is that its ability to immediately turn to sugar is exceptionally high, making the body respond by storing fat typically a certainty.

Pasta is usually really bad about doing this, white rice is almost just as bad, but brown rice is a healthy alternative. Quinoa, cous-cous, and oatmeal are also really good choices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akiyhrah View Post
I do a lot of walking every day, but I don't do much beyond that. The biggest reason is because I have a really bad respiratory system and I get winded/asthma attacks quite easily, so I avoid running or intense cardio. I will also admit, I really am not fond of working out. It's not something I enjoy. So my question is, are there any easy, low-key exercises I can do that won't trigger my asthma, and aren't going to make me hate life?
I have/had asthma. I don't know if it still affects me as much, but I do remember when it was one of my fears when I first started out. The problem is cardio and fat loss almost go hand in hand. The solution is, it doesn't have to be as intense for it to still take effect. Depends on the person, but a consistent heartrate of somewhere around 65% to 85% of your max heartrate is good for fatloss.

The good thing is that resistance training hardly ever, ever affected my asthma even when I was lifting quickly or with heavy weight. Also, a little bit of muscle will help increase your bmr, so you can be slightly more lenient on diet, and it looks good. The most efficient types of resistance training for fat loss are going to be ones that target the larger muscle groups like your legs, butt and back.

There are a couple of things I did to limit my hatred of cardio and/or the chance of asthma attacks:

Doing cardio I liked; swimming.

Using my rescue inhaler 20 minutes before exercising/cardio.

Jumping rope, I could stay in one spot, if breathing became an issue, I can stop and start immediately, and unlike walking/sprinting/running/hatemoving, I don't have to trek back from anywhere after I think I've finished.

Depending on how you feel about it, you could put on leg weights or a weighted vest while you walk around. It'll activate more muscle fibers than walking normally, burning more calories.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akiyhrah View Post
I would ideally like to loose approx. 10-20 pounds (or just slim down) by the time summer hits, but I am okay with a gradual process as well. I understand the best way to slim down is constant exercise, but I'm not a 'go to the gym 4 times a week' kind of person ><

ANY advice would be super appreciated.
I can tell you that a pound of fat is about 3500 calories, and that if you reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories each day, you should, in theory with diet and exercise, lose about a pound a week. Eating less than 1200 calories a day is bad though, for a multitude of reasons, so don't do that.

What you are trying to do can be achievable with diet alone, but might be difficult depending on the circumstance (we don't know your caloric intake, expenditures, macros). It is much easier to obtain with diet and exercise.

off topic, has anyone ever mentioned you kind of look like Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica?

Last edited by Lucisferre : 04-15-2015 at 07:45 PM.
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Unread 08-06-2015, 09:48 AM   #11
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I'm about to say something that's going to blow your mind. Carbs and fats and oils are not bad for you (coming from a nutritionist/personal trainer). The key to anything in life is moderation. For women, it's harder for us to lose weight around our midsection because we need the extra fat there for when we have kids. So, we're fighting against our body's natural want to store fat around our middle.
I personally do the 80/20 method. 80 percent of the time, I eat unprocessed foods like fruits (mainly fruits because I love them too much), veggies, grains (I mainly eat rice), and fish (I'm not a huge red meat fan, but I'll put away some lobster and salmon). Then, 20 percent of the time I eat Milanos (YUM), Peeps (YUM), cookies (YUMMM), ice cream, etc.
Now, I do greatly enjoy exercising, but I make it fun. I do yoga, Pilates, Zumba, and body weight training. I always recommend the site DailyBurn.com because it's seriously amazeballs. It has tons and tons of exercise programs and even has food plans for those super serious about it.
NO you don't have to do only cardio. The more muscle you have, the faster fat will burn.
NO you don't have to calorie count. Calorie counting will just make you have negative thoughts about yourself when you don't meet your count for the day.
GET OFF THE SCALE. Constantly weighing yourself is toxic and can make you go crazy.
The last time I was weighed was at the doctor and he told me I was technically obese. I'm 5'5" and 162 pounds (last time I was at the doctors like a month ago). I also have less than 20 percent body fat and I'm convinced my bones are made out of cement. Numbers are bad when you're wanting to lose weight.
CALORIES ARE GOOD FOR YOU.
Try the 80/20 method for a month and see if you don't lose weight. I lost weight without exercising doing this for a month.

BUT you do have to want it. Change can only happen if somebody is serious about it and wants to change for healthy reasons, not for just cosmetic reasons. As soon as you stop eating healthy and doing light exercising, you'll gain it back.

AND If you like juices and sodas, try tea out. I recently discovered tea and how amazeballs it is. There's hundreds and hundreds of different types and a lot of them are super good for you. Green tea actually speeds up your metabolism and helps you lose weight, and it's favorite fat is tummy fat.

If you want a workout buddy, I can be your workout buddy! Working out with other people helps a lot fer sure.
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Unread 10-09-2015, 03:42 PM   #12
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You don't have to cut out pasta all together to start with. What I do is I eat more veggies than pasta. If want a rough estimate, though I hate estimates but to give you an idea: you have a big plate, right? Half of that is veggies. The other half--- one third is pasta and the other third is meat. Also a trick is to eat the stuff you don't like first and then eat the things you do like last, so A. you'll get full faster assuming you eat the veggies first and B. you'll have a good taste in your mouth. Now when I go back for food I don't even think about it. Most of time I get more veggies and try to keep my pasta intake low. I will get more meat sometimes as well.

I could be considered picky about veggies but whatever it is you like, you should try to get that often. We eat a lot of zucchini. When it doubt we go for that. Broccoli, spinach, greens, eggplant, cabbage (though I'm not overly fond of that).

As for exercise, I feel you. I hate exercise. I don't do well with the "123 let's go treadmill" whoshotjohn. It took me a long time but I finally discovered my happy place with excerise. First off, I do several different things so I have some alternatives, cause I can't focus with just 1 thing constantly. I cycle through yoga, bollywood dance and free-style dancing. And you know what, I actually have fun and love it.

I don't think yoga will trigger anything especially since you can control how soft or hard you want to go at it. I'd start with https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene/videos she's one of my favorite for yoga vids. Everything I have learned I have learned on YT. No classes so you don't have to worry about scouting your local community center.
I love bollywood-ing as I call it. I have learned many dances and have had fun. Even something like putting on my favorite songs and doing yoga moves/dance is fun. Maybe you have a favorite MV, try to learn the dance.

I started yoga, last summer, I think it was and I have lost quite a bit of weight. We also changed our diet as well, so it wasn't just that but it certainly helps.
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