New to fitness. Need to lose some weight..where to start?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle, Health, Fitness & Food' started by lewis, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    3,337
    Likes Received:
    466
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    This is an unreal reply that I just honestly would not have been able to type better myself.

    This is precisely why Im not going to the gym or want to hit the gym.

    Very well said!
     
  2. Ibanezsam4

    Ibanezsam4 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,304
    Likes Received:
    213
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    the problem is you can lose all the weight you want but if your fat percentage stays the same you'll still be at risk for a couple medical problems.

    i understand not wanting to go to a gym - i initially didn't like the gym until my goals could only be achieved by weightlifting - but i read through your OP and i see a lack of motivation to do anything difficult.

    that's going to be a problem regardless of what you do.

    change comes through persistent challenge; whether that means trying to beat your best running time or swimming farther or whatever.

    i saw this quote on either youtube or instgram, but i think it's true: "Motivation follows action, action rarely follows motivation."

    pick an activity you don't think you will hate for the rest of your life (everything will suck at first) and then push your limits in that activity. eventually your body will start to reward you with endorphin release and your motivation will show up out of nowhere.
     
  3. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

    Messages:
    3,946
    Likes Received:
    473
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Gatineau, Quebec
    Outside of literally starving yourself, I don't know how you'd manage to lose a significant amount of weight while maintaining a high fat percentage. And even if that's an easy mistake to make, the kinds of mistakes you can make outside of a gym, regarding things like nutrition, still apply regardless of where or how you get your exercise (or lack thereof).

    That's 100% doable without a gym.

    Don't get me wrong, I understand the value of a gym, the value of personal trainers, access to proper nutritional guidance, the safety factor of having people around if you make mistakes with the equipment, etc. If you're going to do anything particularly athletic or extreme, then there's definitely value there. But that is NOT the only way to be healthy, lose weight, etc. People's personal goals are different - some people's goals and motivations are supported by a gym environment, and some are not.

    At the end of the day, when you break it down, a gym is just a room to exercise in. You can exercise anywhere. You don't NEED a gym to be healthy or to lose a bit of weight by any stretch of the imagination.
     
  4. phugoid

    phugoid SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    41
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2012
    Location:
    Dubai, UAE
    I dropped almost 25 lbs (210 -> 185) since last summer, and I'm easing up a bit this month to stabilize my weight before pushing it downward again.

    The struggle is mental. The best I can explain is that it required changing my relationship with food, and also accepting that I'll spend a significant amount of time feeling hungry.

    I needed a simple strategy that I could implement right away, with no hassle, so I decided to eat whatever I want for breakfast and lunch but skip dinner. It was that simple. (Keep in mind that I'm not shabby in the kitchen, and my wife is a trained pastry chef: simple but painful.)

    Hunger is interesting - your thoughts start drifting to food, you get itchy/cranky, then stomach pains and more grumpiness. Eventually your body stops complaining so loudly. Through all this you feel gradually more hyper-aware and energetic than usual. What irony that less food equals more energy: must be evolution telling us to get off our asses when we need a meal.

    It gets easier as your stomach "shrinks", and you can't handle huge meals anymore. I'm realizing how little food it takes now to prevent hunger.
     
  5. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

    Messages:
    3,946
    Likes Received:
    473
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Gatineau, Quebec
    ^ Agreed that the relationship with food is a huge factor.

    I'm not sure that feeling hungry all the time is a good sign- especially if you're skipping meals entirely. If you're putting yourself in a state where your body doesn't feel like it's getting what it needs when it needs it, I would guess that might cause you to store what you eat instead of just burning it. I know very little about the science behind that, so don't quote me on anything.

    From personal experience, I feel like I've made the most progress by trying to be very deliberate about how much I eat and when. What worked for me was to think of lunch as being the "meal of the day" instead of supper. I don't skip breakfast, I always have something (not a lot) to start the day with. When lunch comes around, this is when I try to get when I think I need for the day, since most of the day is still ahead of me. When I get home, I don't really need a big "meal" because the day is done and I'm probably just going to be lazy from then on, but I still have something- a small salad, some fruit or something, to keep the metabolism going, and keep me from feeling hungry. If I get to the end of the day and feel hungry because I didn't have enough for lunch, or was particularly active that day, supper is an opportunity for me to correct that. Assuming you're eating roughly the right amount of food in a day, I don't think you should feel hungry all the time if you distribute it right. Feeling hungry sometimes I think is normal, especially if you're in the process of altering your diet, but it shouldn't be a constant.

    The takeaway, I think is this:
    - Yeah, portion control is very important
    - But distributing what you do eat across the day I think is also very important
    - If you're feeling hungry, it's probably because you should eat something. That doesn't mean eat a lot, and I don't mean a "craving". I mean, legit, "feeling empty" kinda hungry. Ignore cravings, but don't ignore when you're legitimately hungry.
     
  6. Ibanezsam4

    Ibanezsam4 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,304
    Likes Received:
    213
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    or, y'know, increasing your muscularity appropriate to your physical activity :cool:

    all i'm saying is skinny-fat should not be considered a healthy alternative. because it's not. if the body is skinny but lacking athletic musculature (i'm being very careful to draw a line between weightlifting and a physique attainable through other exercise), it is made up of fat.

    pretty sure i didn't tell him to join a gym. i referenced my need for a gym and then used to non-weight room examples of training. all forms of training are acceptable, so long as a challenging effort is placed on the activity.

    even walking, with the caveat of needing to very fast or for great distances (hiking several miles a day).

    here's the real issue: does the OP want the easiest way to lose weight and best maintain his current lifestyle (which is unhealthy)? or does he want a better lifestyle?

    homo sapiens grew to dominance as a species because of our ability to run all day long and not die. we are the only creatures who can do this. so our genetic and biological legacy is one of prolonged, challenged movement through space. simply losing weight and being sedentary is not a solution. look up the studies of humanity + 16 hours of sitting and read the consequences.

    the OP needs to move. a lot. and then feed himself accordingly to power his movement.

    any advice to the contrary leads to more of the same. even vegans experience a ton of medical problems (never ignore our omnivore heritage) because they think their lifestyle replaces their key genetic purpose; prolonged, challenging movement through space.
     
  7. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

    Messages:
    3,946
    Likes Received:
    473
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Gatineau, Quebec
    I hear you, as far as the gym vs training anywhere thing goes.

    To be honest, I don't really understand the whole skinny-fat thing though. If you're comparing a person who has x amount of muscle and lots of weight, having the same x amount of muscle but less weight (ie less fat) would be better, wouldn't it? Having low muscle and low fat would be preferable to having low muscle and lots of fat, unless I'm completely misunderstanding something.

    I can't really think of a scenario where losing fat is bad for you if you don't bulk up at the same time.
     
  8. AxeHappy

    AxeHappy SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    2,955
    Likes Received:
    232
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Location:
    Guelph
    Skinny fat is what happens when people do aerobic exercise without any anaerobic exercise. Especially when combined with extremely calorie deficient diets.

    They lose a lot of weight yes, but a not negligible amount of that is muscle and bone tissue. Which leaves their body fat percentage typically much higher than one might think based of of our society's perception of health and fitness. High enough to be well into the unhealthy range despite having a "healthy" BMI (Don't get me started on how meaningless BMI is).

    Meaning, they are skinny but they are also rather fat. It depends whether you care more about being healthy or having an aesthetic that is culturally acceptable when you're clothed.

    It is actually better to be fat and have a fair amount of muscle mass than to be skinny fat. Ideally you want (for a guy) a BF% between 10%-15% (15%-25% for a woman) and a fair amount of muscle for the best health.

    I Hate gyms, the people at gyms and the fact that 99% of personal trainers are ....ing morons who don't know .... all, so I bought my own equipment.
     
  9. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    26,343
    Likes Received:
    1,876
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    I'm another guy in the "the gym isn't necessarily always the answer" camp.

    I think you're on the right track - try to eat reasonably healthy and with appropriate portion size, and while this changes evbery year or two, current thinking is that sugar is a bigger issue than fat, so maybe give a try looking for ways to cut that out of your diet - if you drink soda, for example, try cutting down or stopping for a couple months.

    Over and above that, find an activity you like, and do that. If that's the gym, awesome. If it's not, awesome too. Finding something that you ENJOY doing is going to get you further than forcing yourself to do something that someone else thinks is effective that you don't like much, because motivation will never be a problem if it's something you want to do anyway.

    For me that was cycling - I started to get into long distance riding in 2012 when I signed up to do the Pan Mass Challenge, and between training for a two day 190 mile ride and quitting a job I hated to prep for the CFA exam and spending six months out of the workforce, I dropped a fair amount of weight. I then blew out my knee in a skiing accident, spent all of 2013 immobile, started rehab after surgery in 2014, and then that winter in a span of a few weeks Boston set an annual snowfall record and I spent all my time holed up in my condo drinking beer and cooking comfort food. By February, my weight maxed out around 206, which isn't morbidly obese for a 6' guy, but was way higher than I was comfortable with it being.

    So, since I enjoyed cycling and wanted to do it anyway, I hit the road hard that spring. I didn't really make huge dietary changes (on an average century - 100 mile ride - I burn about 4,000 calories, so getting *enough* calories was more of a problem than cutting them), but I started riding more often, doing a lot of solo rides when my buddies weren't around, signed up for Strava, a ride-tracking app that ranks you on leaderboards for any user-created "segments" you ride across and gives you useful analytic information to track your progress, and started to log some series distance. 2015 I rode a little more than 2,000 miles (double the 1,000 I did the year I rode the PMC), and then last year I rode 3,500, including my first 20+ mph century, and a 163 mile one day ride. I also started to get rather fast - I'm thinking about entering a few races this year, as I ride with a few fairly competitive Category 5 guys (where you start off as a new racer) and I have a feeling I could hang with a Cat 5 pack with no problem.

    I'm up a little bit from my end-of-summer low (181-182 or so), up to about 185, but I shed about 20 pounds from my early 2015 high, and while both winters I've put a couple pounds back on, I've generally kept my weight at a stable to downward trajectory since I got serious about riding. I've also made a bunch of new friends through riding, have had some pretty damned cool experiences, and generally feel better than I did before I really got hooked. I also own a bike that's worth more than my car, but that's a different story. :lol:

    In general, cardio CAN be a great way to lose weight. It's more effective at higher heart rate levels - running is an awesome way to shed fat, though it's not something I really enjoy, because virtually the whole time you're in Zone 4/Zone 5 (heart rate monitors rule, btw, maybe look into one), which is really where you're shedding fat. It's hard to sustain that on a road bike just given the way terrain changes impacts the intensity (I don't think I COULD get my heartrate up to anerobic territory on a downhill), but interval work is a great way to periodically slam your system, and will make you a faster sprinter, too, which helps you build speed and drop your riding buddies.

    Walking works to an extent, but you'll get a lot more progress if you can find some way to seriously elevate your heart rate - hiking up steep trails, for example, rather than just walking down the street.

    Personally, for me going to a gym holds no interest. The whole gym culture is a turnoff, I don't really have any desire to have ripped biceps or anything, and increasingly as I'm getting back into good riding shape (I'm closing on the weight I was in back in high school when I was a competitive cross country skier), things like my power-to-weight ratio are going to make an increasingly big difference on my performance - a guy I ride with, a Cat 5 racer at that too, IS a weightlifter and is pretty damned jacked. And, he's fast as hell on the flats and has a higher FTP (functional threshold power, the maximum output you can sustain for an hour's effort) than I do, but as soon as we hit any hills, I drop him simply because he has a LOT of extra weight to haul around relative than me, and his ripped arms and shoulders do nothing to power a road bike. On the flip side, they make him an awesome guy to draft behind. :lol:

    Anyway, though - general message here is, find SOMETHING you like, then work hard enough on it that you're getting some real cardio (or whatever) benefit from it, and you'll make progress.
     
  10. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

    Messages:
    3,946
    Likes Received:
    473
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Gatineau, Quebec
    I don't personally think it matter which one is the "bigger issue", but cutting excessive amounts of sugar will definitely help, I think. I dropped pop/coke/soda/whatever you call it, and it immediately helped. Of course, I didn't improve THAT much until I stopped eating meals fit for 2-3 people at a time, but that's a whole other story. :lol:

    What about drumming as an added activity? It's musical, and depending on what you're playing, you're getting tons of movement out of it.
     
  11. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    26,343
    Likes Received:
    1,876
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    Drumming, especially faster stuff, is a surprisingly good workout, even BEFORE you talk about setup and breakdown. :lol:
     
  12. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

    Messages:
    3,946
    Likes Received:
    473
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Gatineau, Quebec
    ^ I've read in some places that it's not a very good workout, but I agree with you on this one, especially depending on what you're playing. Because it's too cold lately, I don't spend as much time outside, but powering through a couple of power metal tunes on drums instead has done a great job of making up for that lack of activity sometimes.

    When I was in much worse shape, I'd play through two or three songs and be pretty much drenched in sweat. It always surprises me to see really large drummers (I'm thinking Gene Hoglan) since it's such an active instrument to play.
     
  13. Ebony

    Ebony Mr Sunshine

    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    46
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2016
    Location:
    Fetsund, Norway
    Unfortunately, even as just an added activity, drumming doesn't help anything with weight loss.
    If sweating, concentration and labored breathing equated to weight loss, all obesity would end at puberty. ;)

    You gain superior dexterity and your forearms looks yolked, but that's about it.

    Just look at guys like Nick Barker, Gene Hoglan and pre-weight loss Eric Moore.
    No amount of high intensity drumming has made them any lighter.
     
  14. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

    Messages:
    3,946
    Likes Received:
    473
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Gatineau, Quebec
    ^ How is the added activity not helpful in weight loss?

    I mean that as a legit question.

    If you look at weight loss as being a matter of caloric deficit (using more than you consume), then it shouldn't matter what the activity is, as long as you're doing something. The added activity means you're burning a bit more, and balancing that with what and how much you're eating, should make some small difference, I would think.

    In other words if you switch from eating junk and sitting on the couch all day, to eating a bit better and playing some drums for an hour each day, I have trouble believing that's not an improvement. It's not about the activity itself, so much as choosing to do something vaguely active instead of doing nothing at all.

    Yeah, drumming on it's own isn't going to magically make a person healthy, but no activity is going to do that. If you play drums all day but eat horribly, then it won't help anything.

    If I'm wrong, then feel free to correct me, but I don't think I'm that far off.
     
  15. GregoryP

    GregoryP SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2016
    Location:
    Belgium
    Something I haven't seen in this thread (maybe I missed it, so sorry if i did)

    Take babysteps!
    Which of the methods or advice mentioned in other posts you decide to use, is your own choice, but take it slow.

    If you want to keep the weight off and actually change your lifestyle, you're better off losing 1 pound per week by molding yourself into a new person rather than trying to lose 20 pound in a month by going full out the first few weeks/months and fall backinto old habits after you reach your goal.

    Set small achievable goals and make sure you reach them before moving on to the next. For example:
    week 1: 1 snack a day only (if you are used to snacking more often)
    Week 2: still 1 snack a day, and only 1 unhealthy drink a day (be it soda or beer or whatever)
    week 3: 1snack, 1 unhealthy drink and start moving 15 minutes a day (walk, home workout, whatever)
    ...

    Keep moving on until you have the lifestyle you think is ideal for yourself and your family. Your daughter will pick up your good habits just by watching you live by them.

    If you fail your goal for one week, or you relapse into old habits: don't worry, pick yourself up, keep going strong for the rest of the week and start your goal again the week after.

    You can make the period longer and take it one month at a time, instead of adding a new goal per week. Each person is different and incorporates habits at their own pace.

    In the beginning you'll not see big changes happening on the scale or in your pants size, but you'll have to persevere and then the changes will start happening more quickly and more easy.
     
  16. Ebony

    Ebony Mr Sunshine

    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    46
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2016
    Location:
    Fetsund, Norway
    The added activity of drumming is great for many, many things in the body.
    Just the concept of moving and being active is very beneficial to our bodies in almost every way imaginable.

    But the sum of calories burnt from an hour of drumming with proper technique is so slight, its effect on body fat composition is not worth measuring.

    One might compare it to walking 1 kilometer a day in a steady tempo.
    Is it a good thing to do versus being stationary all day?
    Yes, offcourse.
    Does it make a measurable difference in daily caloric expendature that in turn should lead to losing a few extra grams? No.

    No amount of caloric management is going to fix a broken metabolism (aka being fat). Proper diet and stress management needs to be implemented before any regime of physical activity should be considered.
     
  17. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

    Messages:
    3,946
    Likes Received:
    473
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Gatineau, Quebec
    Given how little activity some people get in a day, I don't think that's too bad. :lol:
     
  18. big_aug

    big_aug SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    974
    Likes Received:
    38
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio
    Just start walking. Go for time, not distance. 45-60 min a day. Increase effort as you are able to do so. Eventually things will feel easy and you'll be able to go harder for longer.

    Do push-ups, sit ups, and chin ups. Easy to do them in the morning when you get up. Start small. Add one or two reps as you can. It'll get easy then do more.

    It's not rocket science ;)

    If you get serious and go to the gym, you can transform your body in less than 6 months. You don't even have to be crazy about eating clean all the time.
     
  19. Mordacain

    Mordacain 1-watt brigadier

    Messages:
    5,421
    Likes Received:
    419
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2010
    Location:
    Lexington, SC
    It's going to be tough, no bones about it. However, I would find a decent local gym that offers group workouts and has a fitness director. Typically, group sessions are much less expensive and offer much of the benefits of a dedicated personal trainer. It's infinitely better to have some guidance (even if only for the month trial most gyms offer) than not.

    Of course, a diet rework will be necessary as well but the simplest first step there is to just cut out fast food and force yourself to cook every meal. You can gradually replace food items with healthier options as time goes on. Personally, I think a good workout ethic is more important at the start assuming you want to make a total life-change and do so more quickly.

    Of course, as others have said, if you are not in a super rush to lose weight / get fit quickly you can implement a healthy diet and just increase basic activity like walking and cycling regularly.
     
  20. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    26,343
    Likes Received:
    1,876
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    Devil's advocate, that some drummers are larger doesn't prove that extreme metal drumming doesn't burn calories - it's only one part of a lifestyle, and for all I know, Gene Hoglan's typical lunch is three double cheeseburgers, a large fries, a Coke, and a giant milkshake. It's hard for ANY amount of exercise to offset that. :lol:
     

Share This Page