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Iskaral Pust

Exercise and Fitness: bro science debunked

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8 hours ago, Starkess said:

I started back into a gym routine last week. Counting calories has worked well for me in the past, but hasn't been effective at all in the past few months, so I think I am going to try some different strategies. Probably going to cut out drinking for at least a month, not buy any new desserts (I have plenty of chocolates on hand), and just generally try to opt for healthier options. Then see where I am in a month. Also been toying with the idea of intermittent fasting, but I think that might backfire on me as I can eat a *lot* even in short amounts of time.

How as the counting not worked? Have you counted but realised you have been going over and not cared?

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We arrived home late last night (so restaurant delivery was needed, on top of a week of restaurant food) from our short vacation.  As usual, a week of restaurant food has ruined me.  I had maintained a steady weight of ~183lbs all the way up to and including Christmas, but now I’m 188lbs this morning.  Good news is that it cannot possibly be all new fat added that quickly, so I hope to shed some of it quickly as I revert to a normal diet with a lot less sodium and more fiber.  Restaurant food for every meal of the day is by far the worst thing about vacations, even though we enjoy trying great new restaurants each time. 

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17 hours ago, Heartofice said:

How as the counting not worked? Have you counted but realised you have been going over and not cared?

It's not worked because I haven't achieved my goals with it.

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9 hours ago, Iskaral Pust said:

We arrived home late last night (so restaurant delivery was needed, on top of a week of restaurant food) from our short vacation.  As usual, a week of restaurant food has ruined me.  I had maintained a steady weight of ~183lbs all the way up to and including Christmas, but now I’m 188lbs this morning.  Good news is that it cannot possibly be all new fat added that quickly, so I hope to shed some of it quickly as I revert to a normal diet with a lot less sodium and more fiber.  Restaurant food for every meal of the day is by far the worst thing about vacations, even though we enjoy trying great new restaurants each time. 

Just out of curiosity are you basing the 188 and the 183 on consistent measurings?  I've mentioned this before, but I continue to be amazed at how often I fluctuate ~5 lbs within 24 hours.  I really don't understand how that's possible.  

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New year new fitness goals.

Last year was a bit mixed for me. Hit some pretty good running times (5km in 19:21, 30k in 2:17:33) but missed my major goal of a sub 3:30 marathon. Climbing I hit the goal of climbing at >20 grade in the gym (5.10c in US grade terms).

This year I'm going to try for the 3:30 marathon again, and see if I can push a 10k in sub-40min. Climbing I'm going to aim for being able to climb at a >24 (5.12a) grade.

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4 hours ago, Starkess said:

It's not worked because I haven't achieved my goals with it.

I'm a big fan of counting calories, because really it does all come down to calories. Any strategy that doesn't involve doing that on some level if designed to fail as far as I'm concerned.

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8 hours ago, Starkess said:

It's not worked because I haven't achieved my goals with it.

My obsessive calorie counting was not for healthy reasons  but I do think it can be somewhat misleading to think counting calories is a sure fire weight loss technique. I mean, you could calculate that you need, say, 1,200 calories a day for weight loss then eat all of those calories entirely from, say, a stick of butter. Not helpful, probably not conducive to weight loss (though I’m sure someone more knowledgable is about to come along and tell me actually I’m wrong :P ). 

As for me, back on a weight gain diet. I hate it so much as it feels like I’m cramming food in my mouth every second of the day with the stupid meal plan my dietician has me on. May see if I can shuffle it round a bit so it’s more manageable.

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2 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

My obsessive calorie counting was not for healthy reasons  but I do think it can be somewhat misleading to think counting calories is a sure fire weight loss technique. I mean, you could calculate that you need, say, 1,200 calories a day for weight loss then eat all of those calories entirely from, say, a stick of butter. Not helpful, probably not conducive to weight loss (though I’m sure someone more knowledgable is about to come along and tell me actually I’m wrong :P ). 

I think if you also break down calories into macronutrients ( protein, fat , carbs) then you tend to get better results. Honestly I think if you accurately count calories and macros over time and stuck to the right numbers it would be almost impossible to not lose weight, and good weight. Thermaldynamics makes it so!

This issue is that mostly it is tedious to count calories, people are generally bad at estimating what they ate, and miscount. Eating a slab of butter would probably make you hungry for other foods and you'd go and binge on something else.. thats not even mentioning the lack of vitamins from just eating something like butter! 

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13 hours ago, Triskele said:

Just out of curiosity are you basing the 188 and the 183 on consistent measurings?  I've mentioned this before, but I continue to be amazed at how often I fluctuate ~5 lbs within 24 hours.  I really don't understand how that's possible.  

Yes, consistent.  I weigh myself in the morning just after waking.  I’ve noticed intraday fluctuations too — I’m generally a couple of pounds heavier later in the day, but it’s variable.

I was back to 186lbs this morning.  I’m pretty sure water retention from all the salt in restaurant food is a factor, which normalizes quickly.  But total calories were a factor too and that takes a bit longer to fix.

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Accurately counting calories is difficult unless you use a scale for everything and cook everything from whole ingredients.  Any restaurant food is impossible to estimate (so many stealth calories from added butter/oil/fat).  Even when calories are posted on processed foods or restaurant menus, they are unreliable and often have a margin of error of 20%.

I find it’s better to focus on % of TDEE (total daily energy expenditure), e.g. if my weight has been stable lately then my current calorie intake matches my TDEE.  From there a 5-10% deficit in TDEE is a reasonable sustainable deficit without compromising metabolism or exercise, so all I need to do is shrink my portion size by 5-10% at each meal or remove any junk calories like dessert up to a similar level.  At the same time if I increase fiber, reduce high glycemic carbs/sugar and increase % of protein within that calories budget then it should help avoid catabolism of muscle.

If I had been gaining weight (fat) lately, then I’m switching from a calorie surplus to calorie deficit.  First I estimate the surplus as a % of TDEE, e.g. gaining 1lb per month on average means ~115kcal/day surplus, which is a 5% surplus above a TDEE of 2500kcal/day (TDEE will vary depending on size, lean mass % and level of activity).  I would still use 90% of prior calorie intake (which would be 95% of TDEE in the example above) as the largest reasonable, sustainable reduction in calorie intake, but after six months at the new lower level then becomes the baseline for a further 5% reduction, if needed.

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I'm doing a serious calorie count diet for the first time in my life. I gained almost 7 kg (15 lbs) last year, which I'm not really ashamed of - I needed those ice creams and beers to get me through a tough time in my life - but now I really want to get fit again. 

Weighing in at 90 kg (198 lbs) and doing a decent amount of exercise I've calculated that 2500 kcal/day should be enough to lose about 0.5 kg or 1 lb per week. I weigh myself once a week and tomorrow will be the first time since I started, so that'll be exciting. If I don't lose any weight this time around I'll simply reduce the calories a bit further. 

The goal is to get down to somewhere around 82 kg (181 lbs). I used to weigh that 12 years ago when I was the most fit, so it seems like a good goal. In addition to restricting the calories I try to keep up the protein intake (counting grams) and do a lot of weight lifting to avoid losing too much muscle. 

In some odd way I think it's kind of fun so far, and I'm learning a lot along the way. 

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, I really didn't want to get into this argument about calorie counting again. Suffice to say, I know how to count calories, and I have a very thorough understanding of "thermaldynamics" (assuming that was a typo for thermodynamics :lol:). The issue is not how well I am counting calories. But the past 6 months it hasn't been working for me, so I'm trying something else.

Edited by Starkess

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Counting calories works for me, but only if I'm eating very specific sets of foods. As soon as I break from that it's all bets are off. 

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I got back to the gym yesterday and today.  Our first couple of days back from our trip were busy with post-Christmas chores.  Plus we’ve been catching up with friends almost every evening, so yet more restaurant food — when I was looking forward to some cleaner eating at last.  

Bench press and rows went very well yesterday with increased workload, although my pecs have lots of DOMS today.  Squats and deadlifts today also went really well, but only a minor increase in workload.  No time for workout tomorrow though. 

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The good news: I'm back onto a workout schedule and it feels really good to be back in the gym. Lifting 3x a week and doing some running ~2x a week (although it finally snowed today so I'll have to transition to indoor cardio). I've also had no problem stick with a "dry January" or whatever you want to call it.

The bad news: I cannot seem to stop eating. I do fine all day and then after dinner I stuff my face with chocolate, ice cream, whatever. I don't understand it. I've actually gained weight since I got home from vacation!! I feel so fat and unhappy with my body and it's so frustrating feeling like I can't control myself.

I guess just keep on keeping on. One thing at a time.

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Random observation, Isaac Newton-style:

I have been fairly consistent in recent weeks in doing leg day, and leg day consists of dead lift or squats.  Well, this is s a relatively recent development in terms of consistent leg day.  Not like I haven't had leg day in recent years.

Anyhow. I've been surprised at the amount of weight that I can do deadlifts v. squats.  I would have thought that they'd be the same, roughly, but I can deadlift way more than I can squat so far since consistent leg day.  Is that how it goes?  

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Yeah it's pretty normal to deadlift more than you squat. I deadlift like 200lbs more than I squat. 

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My shoulder is proper mullered and has been off and on for past 2 years. i can't do chest or shoulder exercises at all, which makes me want to not do the rest of my body as who wants to be all out of proportion.  Gym at work has decent cardio kit so i'm running, rowing, cycling and cross training for 15 mins each.  it keeps me ticking over but really unsatisfactory.  

i have found my alcohol intake massively reduced since fatherhood so it not so important for self esteem anymore as the weight is staying off by itself better than previously.  

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Ugh. After reading the last page I decided to check my weight for the first time in like half a year. I went from, 133.6 lbs to 130.6. I really need to start working out again before this gets any worse.

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10 hours ago, Starkess said:

The good news: I'm back onto a workout schedule and it feels really good to be back in the gym. Lifting 3x a week and doing some running ~2x a week (although it finally snowed today so I'll have to transition to indoor cardio). I've also had no problem stick with a "dry January" or whatever you want to call it.

The bad news: I cannot seem to stop eating. I do fine all day and then after dinner I stuff my face with chocolate, ice cream, whatever. I don't understand it. I've actually gained weight since I got home from vacation!! I feel so fat and unhappy with my body and it's so frustrating feeling like I can't control myself.

I guess just keep on keeping on. One thing at a time.

Dealing with hunger has always been my biggest problem as well, and I recognise the problem of being hungry after dinner. For me cheating helps some. That is, drinking diet coke or similar stuff to satisfy my craving for sweetness. Protein bars are also a life saver. I find I can use them as a late night snack instead of ice cream or cookies. The extra protein and chewy, "heavy" nature they have reduces the hunger feelings for me, plus I think they're pretty tasty.

Also planning my meals and sleep so that I don't have loads of time after dinner helps. If I eat at six and go to bed at eleven that's five hours of fasting. Of course I'll get hungry then. It can be better to, say, eat a (healthy) snack at 5:30, have dinner at 8, another snack at 9:30 and then go to bed at 10:30.

If you (or anyone else for that matter) have any other tips on how to combat hunger during a diet I'd love to hear them. 

Edited by Erik of Hazelfield
What's with the "white background" text? Can't figure out what I did or how to remove it.

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