Turning wealth into health

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Topic Author
Sleepless
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Turning wealth into health

Post by Sleepless » Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:44 am

It's time for me to shed off quite a few pounds!
From your experience, what is the most effective use of money in the effort to do that?
Here are a few options that I am considering. I would appreciate sharing experiences.
  • Buying a treadmill
  • Gym membership
  • Coach
  • Weight-loss camp
  • Go on a 30-day trek...
I was tired yesterday and I'm tired again today. I'm retired.

stoptothink
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by stoptothink » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:01 am

Sleepless wrote:It's time for me to shed off quite a few pounds!
From your experience, what is the most effective use of money in the effort to do that?
Here are a few options that I am considering. I would appreciate sharing experiences.
  • Buying a treadmill
  • Gym membership
  • Coach
  • Weight-loss camp
  • Go on a 30-day trek...
Start off cleaning up your diet and just being more active. I don't know your particular situation, but simply walking each morning is a great start for those who are currently sedentary. Also http://www.simplefit.org/ is a great resource for resistance movements which can be done at home with little or no equipment. There is a number of things that can be done(for free) before progressing to the listed options.

imagardener
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by imagardener » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:03 am

Why do you need to spend money to lose weight?
A low-carb diet will do that and you can get any number of books from your library to tell you what meals to fix (Atkins, Paleo, South Beach diets are similar).
You can also find books that tell you about cardio exercise such as walking (free) or muscle-increasing exercises.
Several years ago my DH and I went on a 12 week program from the book "Body for Life" and lost 12-20 lbs each, never gained back.
The author does promote his nutrition shakes but it's not necessary for success. Low carb is a way of life for us and that is the key.
Change your habits and change the way you eat. It shouldn't be a temporary change, it should be a way to live.

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dmcmahon
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by dmcmahon » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:26 am

It's not cost-effective exactly, but I like the gym because:

1. I can cross-train on lots of different machines - the treadmill gets boring
2. I can get exercise rain or shine (versus walking/jogging)
3. I can do weights (bulky to keep around the house)
4. There's a pool if you like swimming; there's a hot tub and steam room for after your workout
5. I socialise with "the regulars" - this is vital!

Colorado13
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by Colorado13 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:28 am

I'm guessing you may not be near enough to make this feasible, but I can get you started on the "shovel the driveway" health improvement plan later today if you would like. It's a full-body workout. You dress warm, I'll supply the tools, everybody wins. :-)

Topic Author
Sleepless
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by Sleepless » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:29 am

imagardener wrote:Why do you need to spend money to lose weight?
A low-carb diet will do that and you can get any number of books from your library to tell you what meals to fix (Atkins, Paleo, South Beach diets are similar).
You can also find books that tell you about cardio exercise such as walking (free) or muscle-increasing exercises.
Several years ago my DH and I went on a 12 week program from the book "Body for Life" and lost 12-20 lbs each, never gained back.
The author does promote his nutrition shakes but it's not necessary for success. Low carb is a way of life for us and that is the key.
Change your habits and change the way you eat. It shouldn't be a temporary change, it should be a way to live.
I'm a vegetarian, eating quite healthy. I avoid most starches. No bread, no pasta, no potatoes. No processed foods. Mostly veggies, lentils, fruits, nut, olive oil etc. A daily quare of dark chocolate (Lindt 90%) is my daily treat. An Atkins-style diet is all but impossible for a vegetarian.
The pounds just don't come off. I need the exercise.
By the way, a high protein-based diet has its own risks, e.g. kidney damage.
I was tired yesterday and I'm tired again today. I'm retired.

mongo
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by mongo » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:36 am

The best investment I've ever made was to hire a personal trainer.

Harold
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by Harold » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:37 am

Buy running shoes -- and run in them.

Buy a bicycle -- and ride it.

I can't identify with the options you presented. I don't really think of being healthy as costing money and requiring special equipment or programs, though that 30 day trek sounds fun.

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Exige
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by Exige » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:41 am

I would have to agree with the Diet to start I have been working on my health for about 2 years I am down 106lbs. I started with a 100$ walmart bike and walking well fixing my diet. Once I dropped about 35 I joined a local rec center gym and began to go about 3-4 days a week at night. Now I am there 5 days a week at 5am and training for a triathlon going at night to swim and weekends. It has become an addiction, anyways start slow fix the diet and realize it takes time to come off you didnt put weight on over night it wont come off over night.
‘I found the road to wealth when I decided that a part of all I earned was mine to keep. And so will you.'

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cheese_breath
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by cheese_breath » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:44 am

Best advice I can give is whatever you do stick with it. And you don't have to spend a fortune to keep healthy. Expensive equipment, coaches and gym memberships are money down the drain if you don't stick with them. Ditto for weight loss camps and 30 day treks. You may lose the weight, but you'll gain it right back when they're over if you don't adjust your lifestyle. Most people can control their weight and health through diet modification and an exercise program that doesn't require any of the options you mentioned.... walking or jogging, pushups and situps, jump ropes, etc. But if you do choose to buy your own equipment look at second hand, used stuff. There are lots of folks out there who bought expensive training gear and are unloading it for a song because they didn't have the fortitude to stick with it.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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daytona084
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by daytona084 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:49 am

A treadmill works for me. I set up a stand so I can watch tv or movies on the laptop. I prefer outdoor running but use the treadmill a lot in bad weather (I especially don't like wind). But some people just really don't like them. It's a matter of taste I guess. Don't buy a treadmill unless you are sure you will use it. The first question to ask is are you a runner?

gtaylor
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by gtaylor » Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:01 am

For what it's worth, my successful weight loss has been based on continuous feedback. When shedding pounds, I weigh myself daily, plot the 3 day moving average of that; and I count all the calories and graph that. I make no particular change in which foods I eat, I am just more careful to eat less at each meal. Typically at restaraunts one should eat at most half the plate, portions have gotten to be over the top these days. For the love of dog avoid french fries, all snacking, etc. It is also entirely reasonable and in no way unhealthy to fast one day a week.

If you are keen to spend money to do this, you can obtain phone apps to make this trivial; one takes a picture of each meal and some hapless Indian worker looks up the calories for you. There are Internet-enabled scales you can buy. Frankly it's all a bit gimmicky.

More valuable than gimmicks for money would be spending the *time* to get a little fit. Take two+ days a week off work for a while and go for long walks, bike rides, hikes, xc skiing excursions, anything active. Rejigger your commute to include parking somewhere else and walking the last mile. Run errands in walkable areas instead of driving from box store to box store. Etc.

imagardener
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by imagardener » Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:02 am

Sleepless wrote:I'm a vegetarian, eating quite healthy. I avoid most starches. No bread, no pasta, no potatoes. No processed foods. Mostly veggies, lentils, fruits, nut, olive oil etc. A daily quare of dark chocolate (Lindt 90%) is my daily treat. An Atkins-style diet is all but impossible for a vegetarian.
The pounds just don't come off. I need the exercise.
By the way, a high protein-based diet has its own risks, e.g. kidney damage.
Well that is baffling that you are overweight on that diet. Have you had your thyroid checked? Anecdotally I've heard that thyroid malfunction can prevent weight loss even with a sensible diet such as yours. My diet is almost identical to yours plus I avoid most dairy and eat about 6 ounces of protein/day. I used to be a vegetarian (and weighed a bit more then) but had to add meat due to a health issue. I attribute my higher weight as a vegetarian to dairy and much more fruit than I now eat.

brianH
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by brianH » Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:03 am

Sleepless wrote:I'm a vegetarian, eating quite healthy. I avoid most starches. No bread, no pasta, no potatoes. No processed foods. Mostly veggies, lentils, fruits, nut, olive oil etc. A daily quare of dark chocolate (Lindt 90%) is my daily treat. An Atkins-style diet is all but impossible for a vegetarian.
The pounds just don't come off. I need the exercise.
By the way, a high protein-based diet has its own risks, e.g. kidney damage.
Just wanted to quickly note that most modern low-carb diets (modern Atkins) or Paleo advocate for high-fat (saturated and monounsaturated), not high protein. The body actually has a pretty good regulator for protein. Most people will naturally only eat 15-25% of their caloric needs as protein. The only variable is which macro (fat or carbs) you tilt towards with the remainder.

On topic, that's my wealth->health process. I try to watch my diet and keep up with nutritional research. It's probably a bit more expensive to eat healthy, but the largest 'cost' is time to cook, bargain shop, and research. Requires more work than opening a TV dinner.

I no longer belong to a gym, but I have been weightlifting in the basement. I'll add weights or exercise aids whenever I feel the need without feeling bad about spending the money.

The final thing is paying out of pocket for yearly blood testing. I try to match this list: http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2006/may ... ood_01.htm

sscritic
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by sscritic » Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:04 am

Sleepless wrote:It's time for me to shed off quite a few pounds!
From your experience, what is the most effective use of money in the effort to do that?
I would suggest eating less, but that wouldn't cost anything, and you are looking for ways to use your money. This is not meant to be snarky, as I have shed quite a few pounds, several times over, and eating less has always been a major part of the process.

heyyou
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by heyyou » Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:39 am

Being retired and living where outdoor exercise is easily available has helped me to lose 30#, 175 to 145, over a three year period. I started walking, then volunteered with a group that maintains an 800 mile trans-state hiking trail. Many of the volunteers had walked all or most of the trail, so that is what I did. I backpacked more than a thousand miles last year. I'm really liking retirement!

As mentioned by another poster, social contact with like minded people will help you stay on track.

Weigh every morning and log it, so you can see the trend. A notebook with a monthly calendar per page works for me. Early on, the pounds will go away easily but later, they will be tougher to shed. Yes, there will be set-backs. Eventually you will know how long it takes to recover from a big meal and that will be a deterrent to over-eating. At one retiree forum, there is a Wednesday weigh-in. That is accountability, and if you lie, it hurts no one but you.

Eat an apple every time you can't wait until the next meal. The chewing helps that snack feel like more food than is there. Carrots and celery serve that purpose but aren't as sweet.

About the "wealth to health", you can't buy easy weight loss anymore than buying a convertible sports car will make you look young again. Selling the idea of easy weight loss is similar to the selling of actively managed mutual funds.

For some, being overweight is just a symptom of a problem that counseling would help. Dieting doesn't last long with that group.

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momar
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by momar » Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:45 am

Losing weight is mostly about your diet. I know you say you have a healthy diet, but you must not be paying close enough attention.

I'm pretty sure the peer reviewed literature is conclusive that exercising does not work to lose weight. You can reshape how you look by building muscle, but even that is extremely dependent on your diet.

Note that everyone who talks about exercising and losing weight also talks about how they also cleaned up their diet. NO ONE continues eating garbage and is successful. But plenty of people are successful (at least temporarily, and many long term) with just modifying their diet, but not adding in exercise.

Go to the gym for a while and see exactly how many of the people there look different after 6 months from the time you start going.

Also, I'd love to see a reputable source that lists a high protein diet as damaging to your kidneys. As far as I know, that is a myth.
"Index funds have a place in your portfolio, but you'll never beat the index with them." - Words of wisdom from a Fidelity rep

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englishgirl
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by englishgirl » Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:50 am

You could always look into a group walking/running program, like Team In Training, or the 3-day breast cancer fundraiser (I forget which charity - Komen, maybe).

I have been doing a half marathon program with Team in Training, and it helps to be part of a group to make you go out there and just do it, otherwise it's very easy to think you'll go and exercise tomorrow and then you never do. It makes it more social and entertaining too. Also, if you don't meet your fundraising minimum, they take the shortfall from your credit card, so you can be sure you'll be spending money along the way.

I've actually gained weight, though. Don't use exercise as a license to eat more! I'm finally getting the eating under control again, so maybe for the NEXT half marathon I will lose weight.

Also, look into tracking your calories - there's plenty of websites that will do it for free. You maybe eating too many calories somewhere you don't even realize. Even though healthy, olive oil, avocados, nuts, etc, all pack some calories.
Sarah

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cheese_breath
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by cheese_breath » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:10 pm

Be careful not to equate weight loss with good health. There are a lot of unhealthy thin people out there. Find out the recommended weight range for your body height and structure, and aim for that range. But do it through diet and exercise, not just diet alone. You don't have to become 'muscle bound', but your exercise program should include strength building exercises. Muscles tend to burn calories faster. Also don't expect a steady decline in your weight. Weight loss often happens in spurts. It's not unusual for one to lose several pounds quickly, and then few or none for awhile, and then some more quickly.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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monkey_business
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by monkey_business » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:24 pm

I would strongly advice you not to go on a diet. Diets never work long-term. The thing you have to realize is that your body, as it is now, primarily is a reflection of your lifestyle. If you want to change it for good, guess what, you have to change your lifestyle. All diets are bad because once you lose the weight (if you do), you often gain it back because you revert to your normal lifestyle.

That said, whatever you do, realize you should be doing it for life. Exercise? Pick something you can not only do to lose 10 lbs, but something you can and are willing to do 5, 10, 20 years from now too. Eating/not eating certain foods? Same thing, make sure you can stick with it. The more extreme and restrictive a diet is, the less likely you are to stick with it long-term. Pick a diet that is geared for a lighter person (i.e. will cause you, being heavier, to lose weight), and one that you can eat for life. My advice is, start by simply cutting out the garbage. Do you drink soda regularly? Replace it with water - and let that be the only change in your diet for a little while until you're used to it. Things like that are a lot easier to follow than tomorrow starting something like Paleo, which will probably turn your food world upside down.

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Liquid
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by Liquid » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:36 pm

Sleepless wrote:It's time for me to shed off quite a few pounds!
From your experience, what is the most effective use of money in the effort to do that?
Here are a few options that I am considering. I would appreciate sharing experiences.
  • Buying a treadmill
  • Gym membership
  • Coach
  • Weight-loss camp
  • Go on a 30-day trek...
None of the above.

Find something you enjoy that requires physical activity.... Mountain biking, sailing, cross country skiing, spelunking, etc. Have fun, eat in moderation, and watch the pounds melt away.

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monkey_business
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by monkey_business » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:41 pm

cheese_breath wrote:Be careful not to equate weight loss with good health. There are a lot of unhealthy thin people out there. Find out the recommended weight range for your body height and structure, and aim for that range. But do it through diet and exercise, not just diet alone. You don't have to become 'muscle bound', but your exercise program should include strength building exercises. Muscles tend to burn calories faster. Also don't expect a steady decline in your weight. Weight loss often happens in spurts. It's not unusual for one to lose several pounds quickly, and then few or none for awhile, and then some more quickly.
Good points. What people should really focus on are body fat, not body weight.

A 5'10" man weighing in at 190lb, would have a BMI of 27.3, putting him square in the overweight category. Interestingly enough, those are the proportions of Rich Froning Jr, the winner of the 2011 CrossFit Games. If you look him up, I doubt many would say he is unhealthy, unfit, or needs to lose weight.

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Noobvestor
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by Noobvestor » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:05 pm

imagardener wrote:Why do you need to spend money to lose weight?
Bogleheads value money, perhaps more than most folks. Thus, having invested in something, we're more likely to use it (?)
"In the absence of clarity, diversification is the only logical strategy" -= Larry Swedroe

psteinx
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by psteinx » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:20 pm

My first serious attempt to lose weight was buying an elliptical - maybe 3-4 years ago, putting it in a nice space with a TV and a Tivo to make workouts reasonably pleasant.

But my weight kept going up.

My second serious attempt was signing up for Nutrisystem circa September 2010. This worked. Overall, I lost around 30 pounds over the course of 8 months or so (using, I think, 5 months of Nutrisystem food that I interspersed with other stuff).

I pretty much stopped the Nutrisystem circa maybe last May, did OK for a while, and then started regaining weight faster. I've now regained close to half of what I had lost. So I signed up today for a new batch of Nutrisystem food and will make a go of it again for a while - maybe 2-3 more months.

===

Some thoughts:

Of course, eat less, exercise more. I know that, as I assume do you. But in practice, this is hard stuff.

Nutrisystem makes it a little easier, IMO, because:

1) It's fairly brainless. They send you a bunch of food, you put it in your pantry/fridge. Morning time? Pick one of the NS breakfast things and eat it? Lunch, snack, etc? Pick one and eat it. (Note, IIRC, they also encourage some supplementation with fruits and stuff you buy on your own).

Anyways, it really is a system, and it just feels easier to follow than a purely self-disciplined approach. I'll try to be fairly rigorous for the first month or maybe two, then gradually wean off again.

2) It's somewhat expensive. Yeah, this is a downside, but it's also a subtle upside. You've spent the money on this somewhat overpriced food. Now you feel the obligation to stick to it and eat it.

3) Reinforcement. They'll start sending you all kinds of e-mails. There are phone counselors available (I didn't really use those, but still). They even send you little teddy bears at certain weight loss thresholds (can't remember if I got 1 or 2 or more of those). I'm a 42 year old man. I'm not really into teddy bears. But it brought a smile to my face the first time I got one.

===

As for the food itself: It's ok. It's better at first then gets a bit tiresome - sort of the sameness of it all. The frozen stuff they introduced a little over a year ago is generally better than the room temperature stuff. The breakfasts and snacks are better than the non-frozen lunches and dinners. Much of the food now has ratings on it - user driven I assume. Sample a variety of the more highly rated stuff and you should be ok.

stoptothink
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by stoptothink » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:42 pm

momar wrote:Losing weight is mostly about your diet. I know you say you have a healthy diet, but you must not be paying close enough attention.

I'm pretty sure the peer reviewed literature is conclusive that exercising does not work to lose weight. You can reshape how you look by building muscle, but even that is extremely dependent on your diet.

Note that everyone who talks about exercising and losing weight also talks about how they also cleaned up their diet. NO ONE continues eating garbage and is successful. But plenty of people are successful (at least temporarily, and many long term) with just modifying their diet, but not adding in exercise.

Go to the gym for a while and see exactly how many of the people there look different after 6 months from the time you start going.

Also, I'd love to see a reputable source that lists a high protein diet as damaging to your kidneys. As far as I know, that is a myth.
Spot on. Nobody wants to hear it as exercise is usually fun, but it's the truth.

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Post by Curlyq » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:53 pm

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sunnyday
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by sunnyday » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:58 pm

Do you want to transform your body quickly or have long term lasting results? If it's just a body transformation I'd recommend something like P90X and following the nutrition plan. However, most people don't enjoy going to the gym and changing their diet so those typically fail.

If you're looking for something long term, I'd recommend finding something active that you enjoy doing and getting addicted to it.

Good luck!

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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by sunnyday » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:10 pm

momar wrote:Losing weight is mostly about your diet. I know you say you have a healthy diet, but you must not be paying close enough attention.

I'm pretty sure the peer reviewed literature is conclusive that exercising does not work to lose weight. You can reshape how you look by building muscle, but even that is extremely dependent on your diet.

Note that everyone who talks about exercising and losing weight also talks about how they also cleaned up their diet. NO ONE continues eating garbage and is successful. But plenty of people are successful (at least temporarily, and many long term) with just modifying their diet, but not adding in exercise.

Go to the gym for a while and see exactly how many of the people there look different after 6 months from the time you start going.

Also, I'd love to see a reputable source that lists a high protein diet as damaging to your kidneys. As far as I know, that is a myth.
I agree with the importance of a healthy diet, but I think you're mixing up diet with calories. If you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. Simple as that.

There was a nutrition professor who ate nothing but twinkees and junk food for 10 weeks and lost 27 pounds. Not the healthiest lifestyle but he proved his point.

epilnk
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by epilnk » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:14 pm

Sleepless wrote:It's time for me to shed off quite a few pounds!
From your experience, what is the most effective use of money in the effort to do that?
Here are a few options that I am considering. I would appreciate sharing experiences.
  • Buying a treadmill
  • Gym membership
  • Coach
  • Weight-loss camp
  • Go on a 30-day trek...
I think the 30 day trek is an excellent idea, if you actually have the time and ability to do this. A vacation from your own life is not a bad way to make a change. It will cut you off from your daily routine, which isn't working even though you appear to have the diet side under control. It has its own momentum once you start, unlike a treadmill or gym membership that can gather dust after the initial burst of good intentions. And it keeps you inside your own head and gives you time to reflect on what you are accomplishing - good for retraining habits, and probably better than a "fat camp" where you cede temporary control to someone else. But if you can walk for 30 days, continue to eat a vegetarian diet, and the pounds are still there, that might be a sign that those pounds are yours to keep in good health. Obesity is strongly associated with reduced health, but not everyone who is obese is unhealthy.

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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by KyleAAA » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:16 pm

sunnyday wrote: There was a nutrition professor who ate nothing but twinkees and junk food for 10 weeks and lost 27 pounds. Not the healthiest lifestyle but he proved his point.
I can't seem to find that study, but I do believe he did NOT eat only twinkies and junk food. He just ate a regular healthy diet and dumped a bunch of empty twinkie calories on the top. This may work in the short term for weight loss, but it's not a long term solution. The research is clear that it's not as simple as calories in/calories out. The composition of those calories matters a great deal in the long run, because losing weight is not the goal. You want to lose FAT, not weight. Sometimes that means you actually end up weighing more, just with more muscle. With a twinkie-only diet, you are probably going to lose as much muscle as fat.

But to the OP, you don't need to spend much money to lose weight. Just get a good set of dumbbells and a good pair of running shoes. Maybe a kettle bell and medicine ball if you want to get fancy. All this should cost you a few hundred dollars at most, but it's a one-time expense (except for the shoes, of course). I would recommend avoiding things like treadmills and the like.

MidnightX
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by MidnightX » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:23 pm

Get a dog... one who needs lots of exercise. On those days when you just don't feel like walking or hiking, your pup will not give you an option once you look into those big pleading eyes that say, please, please, let's go somewhere fun or I'll make your life miserable by giving you guilt for disappointing me, especially after all the loyalty I show you. :D There are online sites that list hiking trails for dogs and other adventures that you can do with your new best friend.

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Post by Curlyq » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:26 pm

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stoptothink
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by stoptothink » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:26 pm

[quote="sunnydayThere was a nutrition professor who ate nothing but twinkees and junk food for 10 weeks and lost 27 pounds. Not the healthiest lifestyle but he proved his point.[/quote]

You really should read that actual study. I did the first time it was brought up in another thread. What a joke.

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momar
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by momar » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:33 pm

KyleAAA wrote:
sunnyday wrote: There was a nutrition professor who ate nothing but twinkees and junk food for 10 weeks and lost 27 pounds. Not the healthiest lifestyle but he proved his point.
I can't seem to find that study, but I do believe he did NOT eat only twinkies and junk food. He just ate a regular healthy diet and dumped a bunch of empty twinkie calories on the top. This may work in the short term for weight loss, but it's not a long term solution. The research is clear that it's not as simple as calories in/calories out. The composition of those calories matters a great deal in the long run, because losing weight is not the goal. You want to lose FAT, not weight. Sometimes that means you actually end up weighing more, just with more muscle. With a twinkie-only diet, you are probably going to lose as much muscle as fat.

But to the OP, you don't need to spend much money to lose weight. Just get a good set of dumbbells and a good pair of running shoes. Maybe a kettle bell and medicine ball if you want to get fancy. All this should cost you a few hundred dollars at most, but it's a one-time expense (except for the shoes, of course). I would recommend avoiding things like treadmills and the like.
Yeah, pretty much.

Calories in/calories out is obviously true, but it is also trivial. Because the kind of calories going in have a large effect on the number of calories going out.
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Rodc
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by Rodc » Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:42 pm

Get rid of all your chairs, couches, etc. :)

What works will be very person dependent.

But if you want to lose weight, despite everything that you read that wants to make this complicated, it is 93.72% simple:

Eat less than you burn. Almost no one wants to hear this and so when someone says it they get slammed.

Exercise helps. But 15 minutes a day is not enough. Make it an hour a day hard or 90 minutes easy. Park a mile from work, there is an easy 30 minutes, 15 minutes each way. Walk for 30 minutes at lunch. Now you are up to an hour and you have not broken a sweat. Run or jog, go to the gym work hard for a mere 30 minutes and there is your 90 minutes. Take a 5 min walk break every hour at work, something like 40 minutes, combined with that 30 coming and going to the car and you 70 minutes without hardly trying. The key is don't just sit for hours; keep moving.

Eat less. I have dieted twice in my life, doing so currently because over 15 years or so I drifted up at the all too common 1lb or so a year, starting from 143lbs, 5'8", 3:39 marathon at age 40). I am down 11lbs without too much work due to a modest increase in exercise above my background rate (I exercise hard frequently in general) and eating less/better. Simply trying to be a little "better" about eating does little for me. But if I track calories I have a daily goal and for me that makes actually cutting back much easier. YMMV.

But simply running more and eating less can also help you lose muscle mass. So, I started lifting. Actually started that before dieting. Hard to get much stronger while restricting calories, but I find I am gaining a small amount, so at least not losing muscle while losing weight. Also, large group of muscle lifting (as opposed spot lifting like curls, etc.) increases metabolism, so that helps too.

So in summary, near as I can tell, there is no easy way, but there are three clear steps that if you follow you have a very good chance of some success.

1) Keep moving, a lot. Don't sit on your fat butt and you won't have a fat butt. :)

2) Modest restriction of calories, eat healthy foods, skip junk.

3) LIft weights to maintain muscle mass.

This is not rocket science, but is hard because we as a society are too sedentary, and think huge portions of calorie rich foods are normal portion. You work, get tired, have a nice comfy chair in front of the TV with a bag of chips right there on the counter, and points 1-3 can wait until tomorrow. If that is you, an exercise buddy can help, or a personal trainer. Having a spouse also living the exercise and healthy food life is very helpful, "Honey are you sure you don't want a third helping? It is your favorite and I worked hard to make it just for you!", not so helpful. :)

That is my 2 cents. Might only be worth 1 cent. :)
Last edited by Rodc on Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

Rodc
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by Rodc » Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:51 pm

A 5'10" man weighing in at 190lb, would have a BMI of 27.3, putting him square in the overweight category. Interestingly enough, those are the proportions of Rich Froning Jr, the winner of the 2011 CrossFit Games.
I always love these examples because they apply to no one who asks about losing weight, or asks about having a high BMI, etc.

If one is in the same class of athlete as Mr Froning (or pick your favorite pro tight-end, etc.) they can skip the entire thread because they are in the top 0.01% and normal rules do not apply . :)
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

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GregLee
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by GregLee » Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:11 pm

Sleepless wrote:
  • Buying a treadmill
  • Gym membership
  • Coach
  • Weight-loss camp
  • Go on a 30-day trek...
I think any of those might work. Committing money or letting others know about your regimen are ways to keep yourself at it, day by day, decade by decade. And keeping it up for the long term is what is hardest and most important, for me and others. (However, that's just my theory, since I don't do any of those things, myself. I much prefer just an hour's calisthenics and run every morning.)
Greg, retired 8/10.

SPG8
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by SPG8 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:30 pm

Agree that >80% of weight loss is diet. Then from your list;

30 day trek - you might lose weight, but you'd probably put it back on after resuming your normal life, better to lose within your normal life

gym/home - no right answer, just figure out which one you are, need both aerobic/resistance, can do both at home or away, dumbbells and a pull-up bar give you access to the "5 main lifts"; squat, deadlift, bench, overhead press, pull-up (row?), if you graduate to the olympic bar, great, if you don't have room at home you'll be a gym guy eventually

aerobic - I like the stationary bike, it dried a lot of laundry before
1. got a heart rate monitor
2. put a TV in front of it
I'm extremely injury adverse, and philosophically don't like accruing "unnecessary" footfalls, so don't run/treadmill, would prefer bike/eliptical/swimming, do sprint on track, though

A good coach is probably invaluable if you're able to budget that.

Camp - not sure what a weight-loss camp entails, but I'm really against boot-camp styled fitness if they are taking fat, sedentary people from 0-60. Why risk injury? Those people obviously don't have a healthy lifestyle, and are trying to change that. If they pull a hamstring, how long are they on the shelf? What's the likelihood they give up? At 5'9", went from 205 to 148 over a two year period, wasn't in a rush.

Other - move around a lot during non-exercise periods, even standing at work provides a significant benefit to sitting all day

Good Luck

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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by sunnyday » Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:40 pm

stoptothink wrote:
You really should read that actual study. I did the first time it was brought up in another thread. What a joke.
I wasn't advocating for the study and I probably shouldn't have brought it up -- it was more in response to the comment that losing weight is mostly about your diet. I don't think one should expect to lose weight just by eating healthier. I would argue that the amount one consumes combined with being active plays a much bigger role.

With that said, if someone wants to change their diet to lose weight I'd recommend eating more fiber, vegetables, lean proteins, low GI foods, and good fats over bad. (and to lay off the twinkees :D )

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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by sunnyday » Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:43 pm

Sleepless wrote:It's time for me to shed off quite a few pounds!
From your experience, what is the most effective use of money in the effort to do that?
Here are a few options that I am considering. I would appreciate sharing experiences.
  • Buying a treadmill
  • Gym membership
  • Coach
  • Weight-loss camp
  • Go on a 30-day trek...
How far do you live from work? Could you commute via bike? It would likely help you build muscle, lose weight and save money on gas and car repairs

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JupiterJones
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by JupiterJones » Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:24 pm

Getting back to the original question about how to best to leverage money to get weight loss...

I think exercise is a great way to lose weight. But you can't pay someone to exercise for you. You just have to do the work yourself, obviously. So you can't spend money there.

And you can only slightly buy motivation (by paying a coach/trainer to nag at you). Ideally, you should bring the motivation to the table yourself.

And while you can buy all sorts of fancy equipment and clothes and gym memberships, you don't really need those to exercise.

No, I think the absolute best way to convert wealth into health is by buying time. Exercise takes time, and sometimes lots of it. "Not having the time" is probably biggest excuse you hear. Even just a 30 minute exercise session really takes more like an hour once you factor in changing clothes, showering afterwards, etc.

But if you have the money, then you can pay people to clean the house, mow the lawn, do the dishes, do the laundry, make/bring the meals, pick up the groceries, and so on... freeing you up to exercise.

Assuming you're not already so busy making all that money at work that you're hiring people to do this anyway. :D

JJ
Stay on target...

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norookie
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by norookie » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:13 pm

:oops:
Last edited by norookie on Thu May 31, 2012 4:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Fallible
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by Fallible » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:44 pm

In addition to daily weighing (the scales don't lie, you will) when dieting, I also write down daily what I eat and the calorie count. I then subtract the calories lost to exercise. The resulting combination of weighing and the final calorie count tells me how many calories I need to lose weight and then I aim for that. Simple as that. BUT but it takes willpower, the hardest part of dieting for folks like me who like to eat. Lose the willpower and it's all over. And it's hard to get back, even harder when you get older.

The best dieting advice I've gotten: Never give up.
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ladders11
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by ladders11 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:39 pm

brianH wrote:The final thing is paying out of pocket for yearly blood testing. I try to match this list: http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2006/may ... ood_01.htm
I agree with this. I would see to a comprehensive physical with all of the blood tests. Also, I don't believe in dieting, but I would take a course on nutrition or find a way to learn all about it. Knowledge seems to change people's ways.

Some reasons for the gradual weight gain that people experience from age 18 through middle age are just biological. Aging comes with a decreasing ability to process sugar, loss of insulin sensitivity, and loss of muscle mass.

For both knowledge and motivation, try some documentaries like SuperSize Me, King Corn, Forks Over Knives, and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.

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tuckeverlasting
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by tuckeverlasting » Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:40 pm

An outstanding free tool for tracking your calories, macro- and micro-nutrients is the CRON-o-meter at http://cronometer.com/download/

Another highly effective tool is the Concept 2 Rower. But I lost weight even without exercise by eliminating all processed and refined foods, animal products, oils, salt and sugar from my diet. My BP and cholesterol have never been better. You have to be willing to make permanent lifestyle changes or you will regain whatever weight you lose in the short-term.


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BHCadet
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by BHCadet » Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:23 pm

Sleepless wrote:
  • Buying a treadmill
  • Gym membership
  • Coach
  • Weight-loss camp
  • Go on a 30-day trek...
Coach - I don't have one. But, I've seen personal trainers at the running track and I feel they're really worth their money.

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CaliJim
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by CaliJim » Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:54 pm

Knowledge, discipline, and PERSONAL COMMITMENT, not wealth, that is the important part of this journey you are about to take.

I went from 195 and pre-diabetic to 160 and very healthy over about a year's time once I figured out that the solution is 80% diet and 20% exercise.

I educated myself on the omnivore vs carnivore vs herbivore issue. I noted that humans by nature are predators, not cows.

I read the South Beach Diet book and followed that for a while.

I found this website: http://www.archevore.com/get-started/ and read everything there.

I read "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by G Taubes and LEARNED A TON.

I like this maxim: "eat real food, and not too much of it"

I avoid neolithic foods (cereal, bead, pretzels, cookies, pasta, cake...)

I don't eat starch, grains, or food with added sugar.

I eat lots of colorful vegetables, but not the starchy ones.

I have low fruit intake (too much sugar and fructose), except for berries (anti-oxidants).

I have high protein and good fat (coconut butter, guacamole, olive oil, butter, some animal fat) intake.

I target less than 50g/day from carbs.

I weighed and measured my portions until I got a handle on my food intake. I used the program from fitday.com. There are many such programs available.

I spend more time being active. I spend less time sitting. I participate in group workouts for social reinforcement. I lift or do circuit training 2 or 3 times a week, and I hike or jog or row (on a Concept2) on ALL of the other days.

IMHO - hiring a trainer is like hiring a financial adviser. A good one can truly help the clueless - but if you have the interest and patience to educate yourself, you can do it on your own.

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CaliJim
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by CaliJim » Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:56 pm

JupiterJones wrote:And you can only slightly buy motivation (by paying a coach/trainer to nag at you). Ideally, you should bring the motivation to the table yourself.
Good trainers don't nag, they educate.

I absolutely HATE the personal trainer image fostered by "The Biggest Loser". Losing weight doesn't have to be, and it shouldn't be, painful or unpleasant.

If you are eating enough good quality protein and good fats, after a 2 or 3 week transition to a lower calorie diet, most people can sustain a calorie deficit without feeling hungry and having cravings for a long long time.

All that said - while useful, you don't NEED a trainer if you educate yourself.

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Toons
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by Toons » Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:32 pm

Sleepless wrote:It's time for me to shed off quite a few pounds!
From your experience, what is the most effective use of money in the effort to do that?
Here are a few options that I am considering. I would appreciate sharing experiences.
  • Buying a treadmill
  • Gym membership
  • Coach
  • Weight-loss camp
  • Go on a 30-day trek...

No need to do any of the above YOU CAN do it yourself
Eat bowls and bowls of oatmeal,cans of tuna fish,,,,Drink water all day long,,,a couple quarts.Get up and go for a walk.Stay busy,keep plenty of grapefruit,oranges,carrots,broccoli, celery,tomato juice in the refrigerator.Get used to looking at it. When you get hungry at night eat the above mentioned,drink more water,go for a late night stroll to the end of the block and back.Ride a bicycle,get a pedometer ,try to walk at least 10,000 steps a day,its easy.Do some sit ups ,pushups.Drive by fast food joints,don't even give them a second thought.Carry apples and banannas in the car with you .Eat Pretzels,,,a few handfuls,,,eat some peanuts,,wash em down with more water .Eat baked salmon,brown rice,Lots and lots of boneless chicken breasts(baked no skin),,keep on keeping on and I promise you that you WILL see the results .As with most any successful venture in life it takes many many many "small" disciplined steps day after day month after month(DISCIPLINE)Unrelenting discipline. Take charge,good luck(good luck falls on those that are prepared
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

stoptothink
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Re: Turning wealth into health

Post by stoptothink » Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:43 pm

CaliJim wrote:
JupiterJones wrote:And you can only slightly buy motivation (by paying a coach/trainer to nag at you). Ideally, you should bring the motivation to the table yourself.
Good trainers don't nag, they educate.

I absolutely HATE the personal trainer image fostered by "The Biggest Loser". Losing weight doesn't have to be, and it shouldn't be, painful or unpleasant.

If you are eating enough good quality protein and good fats, after a 2 or 3 week transition to a lower calorie diet, most people can sustain a calorie deficit without feeling hungry and having cravings for a long long time.

All that said - while useful, you don't NEED a trainer if you educate yourself.
Unfortunately good trainers are hard to find. Having been in the industry, I'd venture to say at the very least 90%(in commercial gyms) have no real education or credentials of any kind to be educating people about fitness. It is what it is. Before handing over the credit card, make sure the trainer shows you proof of at least CSCS and NASM-PES and CES certs; those at least require a fundamental understanding of human biomechanics and exercise physiology.

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