Fitness Regimen

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Fitness Regimen

Post by TA_Lurker »

Can anyone recommend a workout book or website for me?

A little about myself: I'm a male in my early 30s, I go to the gym a few times a week for cardio, a couple of times a year I'll knock down a 5k in the 10-11 minute/mile range, I play basketball once a week practically year round in an after work league (though my plus/minus is probably pretty bad), my bmi has me as obese and my body fat is north of 20% (had this tested at the gym recently) but I'm not a super-sized tub of goo (5-9, in the 210s). Other than looking terrible with my shirt off I'm pretty healthy. A few years ago I took up running and as of summer 2011 I was down under 190, but then I changed jobs and ruined my workout routine. It wasn't until recently that I restarted the gym habit at a new gym much closer to my new job than the old gym.

My goals would be to lose weight (hopefully faster than before) and build muscle while only being in the gym for 75-90 minutes at a time three times a week. I'm ashamed to admit this but I recently tried to go four days a week on the treadmill and one night of basketball and it had me popping daily Advil just to get through the soreness. Getting old sucks! 8-)

I think I have a good grasp of the nutrition end of this. When I'm being good I count calories on my iPhone and do all the recommended stuff: I cook a lot, I shop the perimeter of the supermarket for fresh food, eat only whole grains and no white grains, limit carbs, limit red meat, I don't regularly drink juice, soda, sport or energy drinks (though I'll have a small daily cup of home brewed morning coffee and an afternoon caramel macchiato a few times a week), eat green vegetables.

So does anyone have any experience going from totally un-awesome to less un-awesome? I know the simplest advice is to just get out and move, any exercise is good exercise, but if anyone is familiar with a program with some structure that is targeted for someone with my meager athletic abilities (for example, I tried to do the 100 pushup challenge with some coworkers and after a week or two had to bow out, even the easy track was too challenging) and my limited interest in becoming a gym rat that would be fantastic.
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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by ramsfan »

Best of luck to you. Some things I learned in some time that I hired a personal trainer and had the best results.

Weight training is key, build lean muscle. Keep reps at the 12,15,18 range, you don't have to lift heavy weights to get results.
Pass on running, and move to lower stress cardio like walking incline on a treadmill.

For nutrition, protein, protein, protein, also NO carbs other than veggies after 2pm.

Example of a perfect eating day.

Breakfast - 3 eggs, bowl of plain oatmeal, coffee
Protein Shake post workout
Snack - berries, almonds, walnuts nut butter
Lunch - Lean protein, veggies, avocado, and complex carb like brown rice though not a ton.
Snack - Protein (hard boiled eggs, plain greek yogurt, peanut butter, almond butter, shrimp, chicken, or maybe another protein shake)
Dinner - lean meat and veggies
Late Snack - cottage cheese or another cassein protein.

This is just an example, and not the only way to do it, but there are tons of great things to eat.

You have to get really nutso about stripping out ALL the bad carbs. That Caramel thing might be more damage than you realize. My weakness is beer, which leads to eating chips, pretzels, etc...
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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by CaliJim »

Wheat Belly is a good book to read. Gives you something to think about with regard to your comment "eat only whole grains no white grains".

Visit and read his book if you haven't discovered him yet.

Mark Rippetoe rocks:
-calijim- | | For more info, click this Wiki
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My take

Post by Marmot »

What is listed above is very good. We decided to get a Cardio point (VO2 test)and Calorie point asssessments performed. Not a lot of places will perform these. We found ours at a local gym - Lifetime Fitness. We wanted to get to know the science behind everything. Part of the cost was a meeting with a dietician. We got the excellent lecture on the carbs, etc (outlined by an above poster). With this particular test, Lifetime fitness also put us on a email workout plan. We get workout plans three days for 90 days...until out next test. I am not sure I will continue getting the test, but I just had my second one and showed really good improvement. Obviously Heart Rate monitors are important if you are really going to subscribe to this as a lot of the training is in Heart rate zones.

There is a book called Power foods (my wifes trainer suggested it): ... 0307465322 . If you are really interested in the science: Advanced Sports Nutrition by Dan Benardot.
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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by mhalley »

I started a workout regimen after being very sedentary and not eating well for a few years. I have so far dropped 48 pounds, and feel that I am the best shape I have been in for many years. I used the resources at the website I used the website to help figure out my bmi, how many calories to eat, etc. In addition to the cardio I do at the gym, I started a weight training routine. I started out with the machines, and once I felt I was up to it I progressed to doing free weights. The two regimens most often talked about on the website are Starting Strength and Stronglifts 5x5. These have the advantage of having only a few exercises that are compound, so you don't have to spend a lot of time doing a lot of smaller muscle groups. There is an android and iphone app for myfitnesspal and for the weight training programs. Do a google search for the two weight training programs. Starting strength has a book, ... g+strength , where stronglifts is more a web based program. They start you out with only using the bar in the gym, which is 45 pounds. If you can't do that, then you might start out with the equivilent machines until you can build up to be able to do that amount of weight.
In addition to the regular cardio, I also started doing a HIIT program once I could go for an hour on the elliptical. This stands for High Intensity Interval Training, where you go all out for a brief period such as 10-30 seconds, (depending on your level of fitness) then go slow for a minute, for a total of 8 repetitions. There are many different ways to do this, again a google search of HIIIT will give you many examples.
Here is one example routine:
Disclaimer: do not start any exercise program without ok from your doctor.

I see someone else has recommended the starting strength program.
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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by steve roy »

I'm 64 and have worked out since age 18. I'm 6' 2 1/2" and weigh 170. Here's what I know:

You can work out until the moon melts and not lose much weight if you pack on calories at the same time. The trick is to restrict calorie intake and do an exercise program you're comfortable with. Currently I'm heavy on vegetables, fish and chicken and severely limit the desserts. I walk 1-1 1/2 hours seven days a week, and once a week spend an hour in the gym lifting weights. (I've done this for years.)

What's important is consistency. I weigh myself every morning, and if I gain three pounds I back off the food and increase the exercise. I know if I let the weight get away from me I get unhappy and out-of-sorts about the deep hole I've dug for myself, so I strive not to dig very much. Exercise and eating right have to be day-by-day, long-term strategies if you expect them to work.

And I can tell you it's highly possible to live this way, because I've done it for fifteen years. When my kids were small, I weighed 207 and had cholesterol of 240. If I managed to turn things around, anybody can turn things around.
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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by Helloeeze »

What Steve Roy said is how I feel. Dieting is 80 percent of it and exercise is 20 percent. I recommend Weight Watchers online diet. You account for everything you eat. That's when you find out you need to eat "whole" food, fruits and veggies, meat without sauces, lots of fiber and very little bread and sugar. I typically lose a pound a week on Weight Watchers. It forces you to hold yourself accountable for everything you put in your mouth. You can actually eat quite a bit, never go hungry. It's all about what you eat.
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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by FRANK2009 »

Mark Rippetoe rocks:[/quote]

I found Starting Strength a few months ago; great program! Not big on cardio though.
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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by david99 »

I agree that you can spend a lot of time in the gym and not lose much weight. The food that you eat is the key to losing weight. Read The Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall---- this is a book about eating a vegan diet. I eat a vegan diet about 80% of the time( to keep the weight off) and the other 20% I eat fish, eggs and some meat. I think that the important thing about a vegan diet is eating whole foods and not adding oils to the food (to keep the food low fat) and you can lose a lot of weight. The other thing about a diet using The Starch Solution is that you can eat as much of this food as you want so that you are not starving all the time.
I hope this helps.
Last edited by david99 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by englishgirl »

Stop the caramel macchiatos.

I get easily bored working out, and I need someone to push me. So for me, doing classes, or having a personal trainer, really help keep me going. On my own in the gym I tend to get lazy. And changing things up every few months helps me too - I think doing the same workout routine over and over again can become stale. For you to get the maximum benefit in the shortest amount of time, I'd invest in a few personal training sessions. Then you can keep doing what the trainer suggested for a few months. Then rehire the trainer (or a different trainer) to push you to learn something new. And rinse and repeat.
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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by Tim_in_GA »

My wife & I have each lost a good deal of weight over the past 2 years (me 30 lbs and her 47 lbs). We started simple with just our Wii console and EA Sports Active with resistance bands. When we got used to that program we switched to their "More Workouts" program, then upgraded to Sports Active 2. Now we have moved on to video/DVD based workout programs. We try to switch programs every 2-3 months so our body doesn't get used to one thing (and you will notice the calories burned getting less for the same workouts).

Earlier this year I went through the BeFit in 90 program on Youtube and it was pretty good for something free. Now we are using some of the Beachbody programs and really enjoy those. My wife does Turbo Fire and Chalean Extreme and I am doing RevAbs and soon will start P90X. I prefer following a structured program at home as opposed to going to a gym. Plus it helps when the both of us are working out and pushing each other. We both just started training for running 5K's and 10K's next year too.

The weight loss didn't really kick in for us until we got smart about tracking our calories burned/consumed. As mentioned above, MyFitnessPal is a great free tool for tracking what you eat. After running calcs on several websites I determined my resting metabolism and found out I wasn't eating enough. I actually needed to eat more to lose weight! We bought Polar heart rate monitors to track our calories burned and plug those numbers into MFP. Now we eat 5-6 times a day but smaller meals and more natural stuff (home cooked food, whole grains, veggies, protein).
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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by tdirgins »

Great advice so far. Diet will have the biggest impact on your body--it's the thing I struggle with the most---I LOVE to eat. That being said, a regular fitness regimen will definitely help. I started P90x back in April and the body transformation has been amazing. I have since added in a little Insanity cardio to step things up a little. Yes, the infomercial is annoying--but I can't argue with the results ... /229382950. Lots of support on their forums as well. Workouts are 6 days a week, and there are three phases, with workouts differing slightly in each phase. The last week of each phase is a "recovery week" with additional yoga and less strength training. Most weeks look like this:

mon: chest/back
tues: plyometrics (cardio jump training)
wed: shoulders/arms
thurs: yoga
fri: legs/back
sat: kenpo (karate-like cardio)
sun: rest or stretch

Most workouts are around 60 min, with yoga being the exception--it's 90 min.

on strength days (mon/wed/friday) you do a second 17 min workout that is abs only. It's no joke. I do it immediatelty before my strength training.

Good luck!
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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by carolinaman »

I gained a lot of weight after high school and balooned up to 200 lbs on 5'9" frame. I was very uncomfortable with that much weight as it dramatically affected my health, activity in sports and adjusting to being a fat guy was no fun. I trimmed down to 160 in late 20s as result of a minor illness and building my own house. I am now 68 and still weigh 160. I was able to do this with daily exercise and sensible eating. I jogged 3 miles about 5 times a week for more than 30 years but had to give that up about 5 years ago due to worn out knee cartilage. I now walk 2.5 miles almost every day and have some stretching exercises I do to maintain range of motion. I have never had to diet. I have a good varied diet but do not overeat, do not eat much meat or fried foods, do not snack a lot, avoid late evening eating and rarely consume alcohol. The key to me is moderation, consistency and discipline. I do weigh myself regularly and if I gain a few pounds, I try to moderate my eating or increase my exercise. It has worked for me and I feel blessed to have my health. One of these exotic diets might help you reduce your weight, but keeping it off requires long term life style changes. Best wishes.
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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by MP173 »

Steve Roy and johnep offer great advise from the more mature members here. I will also chime in.

You are at a great point in your life where you can influence your overall health and well being. I am 57 and just completed my workout featuring 45 minutes on stationary bike (heart rate up to 135), 3 sets of pushups (24,14,14), situps, a couple of sets of machine weights at the YMCA, and then returned home to finish with kettlebell and resistance bands (about 12-15 different exercizes).

But, the key is to control your caloric count. I was guilty of exercizing to eat. I joked about it, but my weight hovered around 280 pounds (I am 6'7"). Two years ago on this forum I sought out advise and received it...and it worked. This morning my weight was 245 and while disappointed (239 is my goal), it is difficult to achieve with the Thanksgiving holiday season.

Find an online calorie counter...I use Livestrong My Plate, but with all the negetive publicity surrounding Lance Armstrong I doubt if the foundation will last too long. The calorie counter allows you to quantify your caloric intake and offset with workouts. During the spring, summer and fall, I bike outside for about 70 minutes at a high (for me ) pace (HR = 110 thru 160 based on hills). During the fall/winter I move inside. Perhaps after New Years I will swim. The important thing is to find something that works for you and make it part of your life. The calorie counter then will force you to decide whether or not you really want to eat or drink. My downfall lately has been 10pm snacks.

What I am trying to say here is that there are great workouts and programs out there, but it doesnt have to be "all in". It certainly isnt for me. I couldnt do the workouts described, but I can bike and do a few other things.

BTW, my wife woke up one morning this summer and went for a walk with her friends at 5am. She joined WW at work and so far she has shed 18 pounds. She went from looking good to looking great....and feeling great. She is up every morning at 430 to go.

Find a way to do it. The people on this forum have incredible advice. Find what works for you and watch the great improvement in your life.

Best of luck,

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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by TRC »


It's hard, but it works.
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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by tyrion »

As almost everyone has suggested, eating habits are the most important aspect of weight loss.

I'm probably not much different from you, although a bit taller. Through my 30s I have continued to exercise regularly. Sand volleyball once or twice a week, a weekly hike or bike ride. Yet I still seemed to gain a few pounds every year. After turning 40 my wife and I substantially changed our eating habits by going mostly vegetarian. I highly recommend the movie 'forks over knives'. We still give ourselves some leeway and definitely are not vegan, but in general we try to eat fresh fruit and vegetables. I have lost 10-15% of my weight and my wife lost 20% and is under her pre-kids weight. And best of all, it's pretty easy to maintain.

On the exercise side, my advice would be to do more of the fun stuff. Going to the gym or doing a structured program works for awhile, but eventually you will lapse and fall in to inactivity. The work basketball league is perfect. You probably look forward to the competition and the comraderie. So see if you can get that somewhere else. A rock climing club. A mountain bike ride. Cross country skiing. Whatever you can figure out that you enjoy and look forward to. Also, see if you can get it scheduled regularly. Monday is my mountain biking/hiking night. Tuesday and Thursday I play volleyball (work permitting) at lunch. Friday I swim (okay, not really, but I would like to!).

Good luck to you! Try to build some habits that you can maintain for the long term.

I have a friend group that is constantly talking about exercise and diet. They all yo-yo back and forth when following each new 'fad' (p90x, body for life, insanity, etc) but each lapse seems to move them to a new all-time high weight. These programs all work, but they take a lot of perserverence.

Also, not sure if you're married or have a significant other, but incorporating them in the lifestyle changes is critical for success.
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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by 4stripes »

I suggest finding something that has a real method and plan behind it so you don't get bored, which is all that running and reading fitness media did for me until I found a real training program (after a wander through CrossFit). Also, watching every NetFlix food doc is a good way to spook yourself to better eating, though it sounds like you're doing ok there.

I don't count, measure, or weigh anything. I only do 6 exercises (lifts). I follow Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength novice program 3 days a week for 1 to 1.75 hrs (depends on where you are in the progression) and that's all it takes for me (32, 5'6", 5 months into the program: 150 lbs, 200 lb x 5 squat, 225 x 5 deadlift, 150 x 5 bench press, 10 x 3 pull ups, BP is 112/75. Started all lifts at around 85 lbs, BW 140 lbs, BP 129/85). So I gained 10 pounds, more than doubled lifts, BP went down, and I never ran a meter!
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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by JupiterJones »

ramsfan wrote: Pass on running, and move to lower stress cardio like walking incline on a treadmill.
I say if the you like running (as the OP seems to), then you should keep running.

Although there's certainly nothing wrong with throwing in some walking as cross-training (although I personally would do it outside rather than on a "dreadmill" :P ). Or, for that matter, it can be helpful to mix in walking with your running (walk one minute out of every mile, for example).

I've also recently discovered the benefits of doing a bit of bicycling. I find that it works the leg muscles that running doesn't use as much, and that balance can help reduce injury.


P.S. One exception to my treadmill aversion would be a "walking desk". I'm intrigued by the idea, and it seems to be gaining in popularity:
Stay on target...
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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by Booper »

I think that setting a goal of passing the army fitness test is a good goal that would qualify you or anyone else as being "in shape". The standards decrease for age and are easier for women than men: ... tness_Test
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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by vesalius »

Completely agree with everyone here that already posted with regards to Diet being 80% or more of the equation to get leaner.

Keeping things seperate makes things much easier and much less frustrating.

Eating habits = fat versus lean
Weight training = muscle size
Cardio = Heart and endurance

I was almost exactly your size when I turned 40, but decided enough was enough. I recommend 2 websites.

Lyle McDonalds Body recomposition website

Exercise and Weight/Fat Loss: Part 1 and Part 2

The Fundamentals of Fat Loss Diets: Part 1 and Part 2

and his beginning weight training series part 1, 2, 3, and 4

Finally, If you would like a jump start on the weight loss then following his Rapid Fat Loss Handbook, which my wife did recently, is a great way to do it.

Another website I like with a wealth of information is I really like the the leangains way of eating (diet implies it a short term thing to many) because it fits in with my lifestyle and makes it easy for me to manage calories without the craziness and frustration of planning 5-6 smaller meals a day. I am not all certain there is any special magic to intermittent fasting, but like I said it works for me both physcologically and physically.

Best of luck to you. At 5'9" and now between 170-175 lbs I have maintained approximately 10% BF for over 2 years now. Halved my life insurance premium and just enjoy life more. I did have to spend money on new clothes though.
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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by KyleAAA »

Do less cardio, lift more heavy weights. There is NO reason to be in the gym for 75 minutes 3 days per week. You can do 15 minutes of sprints 2 or 3 days per week and 30 minutes of weightlifting. Add in a 10 minute warm-up and you're in the gym less than an hour per visit with much better results.

Also, eat more vegetables and fewer starchy carbs.
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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by dgdevil »

I'm the world's laziest + worst sportsman - can't catch/throw a ball to save myself. Swimming is my only saving grace, though it's not great for losing weight. Butterfly and breaststroke - my specialties - are the best calorie burners. As others state, the best workout is the one you enjoy.

Similarly, as stated, it all boils down to calorie intake. Being 6-2, aged 44, I lost a lot of weight (15-20 pounds; now at 177-180) very quickly on a fiber-heavy diet -- organic Nature's Path cereal (Bran flakes), or shredded wheat with dabs of Vegemite. No milk in either case. I also dropped the bread. That made a big difference. Nothing wrong with regular coffee -- it has no calories. Creamed honey, again dabbed on the shredded wheat, is my weakness.

PS -- In addition to the suicidal caramel macchiato, you are not doing yourself any favors with ANY consumption of juice, sodas, sports drinks. When I think of the Gatorade I used to knock back after a killer swim in the midday sun, I shudder, or all the G&Ts when I got upgraded on a flight.
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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by MP173 »

Tons of great advise here. One thing that I do is limit the number of calories which I drink, limiting to a glass of milk daily. Not sure if that is healthy or not, but it seems to be working.

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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by gatorman »

Read this book: ... by+science

and do what the author recommends, work out intensly but briefly one time per week and eat paleo, with a slight caloric restriction- the muscle will come on, basal metabolism will go up and fat percentage will decline.

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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by roymeo »

You may want to be careful with the "protein protein protein" approach.

In Nutrition for Serious Athletes ... sreadinglo there's an anecdote about a body-builder in a sports nutrition class struggling to slim down because he's bought into the common knowledge of the gym that he needs "protein protein protein". Some protein is needed but it tends to be required more for aerobic than anaerobic muscle repair--and whatever extra you take over the repair needs is burnt or stored.

But I'm relying on one book for my knowledge and I wouldn't be surprised if someone who knows more will disagree. (And I know someone who's heard it around the gym will disagree.)

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Baby steps and HIT is the way to lose weight

Post by Tigermoose »


To reduce caloric intake, take baby steps.

1. Stop eating after 8:30pm (do this for 3 weeks), then...
2. Stop eating desserts (do this and #1 for another 3 weeks)
3. When eating, only eat vegetables and fruits as "seconds" (do this, 1+2 for 3 weeks), etc....
4. Add more baby steps...

Don't try and do it all at once. You have to develop healthy, achievable habits.


Again, don't over extend yourself early on. Build on small successes and work towards better habits.

1. Dumbell workout 2x a week (20 reps of each, 2 circuits), Cardio 2x a week. To start, feel free to rest between reps.
2. Once #1 is achieved, make this H.I.T. (High Intensity Training) -- keep your heartbeat elevated and don't stop between reps. For cardio, do 1 minute intense, 1 minute walk, 1 minute intense, 1 minute walk, 1 minute intense, 1 minute walk, etc...for 10 minutes to start your workout. Then do the dumbell HIT -- 2 circuits to start.
3. Make the H.I.T Dumbell workout 4 x circuits, and the HIT cardio 20 minutes.
4. Add another day of HIT dumbell and cardio -- total of 3x a week.

If your goal is to improve strength rather than to lose weight, then you will want to do slower barbell strength training like that in Starting Strength.
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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by tetractys »

Everyone's different, so you have to design your own regime depending on your personal health and situation. And you have to stick with it and stop wimping out whenever it gets tough. Working with a team or partner might help. -- Tet
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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by vesalius »

roymeo wrote:You may want to be careful with the "protein protein protein" approach.

In Nutrition for Serious Athletes ... sreadinglo there's an anecdote about a body-builder in a sports nutrition class struggling to slim down because he's bought into the common knowledge of the gym that he needs "protein protein protein". Some protein is needed but it tends to be required more for aerobic than anaerobic muscle repair--and whatever extra you take over the repair needs is burnt or stored.

But I'm relying on one book for my knowledge and I wouldn't be surprised if someone who knows more will disagree. (And I know someone who's heard it around the gym will disagree.)

Regardless of what macronutrient you prefer, overeating calories, whether they be from bacon, granulated sugar or protein powder, will result in fat deposition.

People are different and trying to generically shoe horn any extreme (no carb, no fat, or all protein) can obviously have repercussions as well. Some people find that eating a carb heavy diet makes them crave more food, while others do not. Some find that eating breakfast results in feeling hungrier throughout the day than if they fast through until lunch, while others have exactly the opposite response. Some find that eating 5-6 smaller meals per days works well, whereas others can’t tolerate it and have more long-term success eating 1 or 2 larger meals during the day. In dieting there are also many roads to Dublin, but to be successful they all require some form of calorie constriction or maintenance.
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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by johnkidding »

I have searched far and wide for something that works for weight loss. Have lost 30 lbs in 3 months easily with diet alone.
Or /paleo

For working out i did p90x a whole ago but did not have 2 hours a day for it anymore... So I do 20 min 3-4 times a week of HIT / burst training. Just ordered
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Re: Fitness Regimen

Post by LadyGeek »

Diet discussions fall under medical conditions, which is off-topic for this forum. See: Forum Policy

I don't think it's possible to separate diet from exercise as evidenced here and in previous threads; this topic is locked.

Medical Issues

Questions on medical issues are beyond the scope of the forum. If you are looking for medical information online, I'd like to suggest you start with the Top 100 List: Health Websites You Can Trust maintained by the Consumer and Patient Health Information section of the Medical Library Association.
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