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Exercise and Fitness: bro science debunked

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7 hours ago, BigFatCoward said:

It is disgraceful how hard you have to train for a couple of beers worth of calories.  I remember when I was cycling for 2 hour a day, I was devastated when I realised how few beers that equated to.  I should be allowed 20 beers if I cycle for 2 hours. 

You're always allowed to pretend that beer calories don't count. 

Now, off to clanging and banging!!! 

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20 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

You're always allowed to pretend that beer calories don't count. 

Now, off to clanging and banging!!! 

Stay thirsty my friends.

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Ugh, been struggling lately. I hurt my back a bit at the gym last week--nothing super bad, just went a little heavier than I should have followed by cleaning my apartment the next day (involving lots of bending over) led to a lot of soreness in my lower back. Several days of icy hot patches, ibuprofen, and my heating pad and I'm feeling mostly alright again. Haven't been lifting but did do some yoga and cardio over that time. I'm going to start a training plan next week for a 10k race in June. Haven't been running a ton lately, so I'm using a beginner plan and not aiming for anything with the 10k except having fun.

The struggle side is with my diet. I was having trouble sticking with my diet and decided that I was being too aggressive (aiming for 1500 calories a day) and that it was causing problems with yo-yoing and feeling tired/cold all the time. So I decided to be patient, go for a small deficit (aiming for 1800 calories a day), and take it slowly but surely. Well I've been doing that for a month and not really losing much weight, which isn't surprising since that's about 250 calorie deficit. But I'm still struggling with feeling deprived and had a few episodes of borderline-binging. And then I feel terrible and feel like I should give up and wonder why I'm putting in all this effort for no results. It's just SO frustrating. I've gained 14 pounds since last year and I don't get it. I'm not eating that differently, I'm working out, I walk a lot...I dunno. I guess it's just getting old. And I'm not like overweight or anything. But I'm definitely packing on some unflattering inches around my waist, getting bigger fat deposits on my love handles and back, and just not feeling as fit and attractive as I'd like. I don't want to give up, but maybe I should. Maybe I'd be happier just accepting that for whatever reason I'm never going to look like I did last year again.

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31 minutes ago, Starkess said:

Ugh, been struggling lately. I hurt my back a bit at the gym last week--nothing super bad, just went a little heavier than I should have followed by cleaning my apartment the next day (involving lots of bending over) led to a lot of soreness in my lower back. Several days of icy hot patches, ibuprofen, and my heating pad and I'm feeling mostly alright again. Haven't been lifting but did do some yoga and cardio over that time. I'm going to start a training plan next week for a 10k race in June. Haven't been running a ton lately, so I'm using a beginner plan and not aiming for anything with the 10k except having fun.

The struggle side is with my diet. I was having trouble sticking with my diet and decided that I was being too aggressive (aiming for 1500 calories a day) and that it was causing problems with yo-yoing and feeling tired/cold all the time. So I decided to be patient, go for a small deficit (aiming for 1800 calories a day), and take it slowly but surely. Well I've been doing that for a month and not really losing much weight, which isn't surprising since that's about 250 calorie deficit. But I'm still struggling with feeling deprived and had a few episodes of borderline-binging. And then I feel terrible and feel like I should give up and wonder why I'm putting in all this effort for no results. It's just SO frustrating. I've gained 14 pounds since last year and I don't get it. I'm not eating that differently, I'm working out, I walk a lot...I dunno. I guess it's just getting old. And I'm not like overweight or anything. But I'm definitely packing on some unflattering inches around my waist, getting bigger fat deposits on my love handles and back, and just not feeling as fit and attractive as I'd like. I don't want to give up, but maybe I should. Maybe I'd be happier just accepting that for whatever reason I'm never going to look like I did last year again.

I'm not sure I have a solution for you, but I would advise not taking too much importance on age and how it effects weight. I'm 42 and I went from 140 pounds to 220 from 2012 to near the present. Now, I realized that beer, and some other mistakes, were a good part of the cause, but I also blamed my age, since I'm on the cusp of middle-age. I started to fear I was trapped at this weight forever, and doomed to get only larger. I was eating 600 calories worth of croissants for breakfast for a year and a half or so, but did not realize it was this much calories, so that was another thing that contributed.

Age is definitely a component, but I think I definitely placed too much importance on it. I guess I'm semi-young though. I am kind of shocked/chagrined to be 42 years old.

It's good if you can exercise, but as was discussed earlier, it takes an enormous amount of exercise to get anywhere. I would guess it also makes it more likely you get hungry due to energy expended. I had zero luck losing weight with exercise. I also tried a 1600 calorie diet and this failed. I'd guess because I wasn't actually sticking exactly to 1600. I think there are often little increases in calories. For example, even now I tend to chew on saltine crackers in the evenings sometimes. I don't really count this in my calorie count. It's just kind of necessary to not make larger mistakes. 

Something I read when I was researching near the time I started to try to diet that seemed important. The point of exercise is not to lose a certain amount of calories per day. It's to gain muscle, which in the future will let you do more. Now, this sounded exhausting to me, as I have never been much of an athlete. What I took from that is I do not have the fortitude to put up with that shit and I took the dieting route. I'm going to do some light cardio and light weights later though, just not for weight loss reasons.

 

 

Edited by Martell Spy

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5 hours ago, Starkess said:

The struggle side is with my diet. I was having trouble sticking with my diet and decided that I was being too aggressive (aiming for 1500 calories a day) and that it was causing problems with yo-yoing and feeling tired/cold all the time. So I decided to be patient, go for a small deficit (aiming for 1800 calories a day), and take it slowly but surely. Well I've been doing that for a month and not really losing much weight, which isn't surprising since that's about 250 calorie deficit. But I'm still struggling with feeling deprived and had a few episodes of borderline-binging. 

I'd say you just need to find a strategy that works for you. Reducing your calories is really hard and gets quite boring so you have to find ways to adjust your eating patterns to make them more interesting or less painful.

I'd suggest fasting for a start. Not eating till midday and then having 2 meals during the day, then fasting again till the next day is a really great way to mentally prepare yourself for not eating. When you have 4-5 meals throughout the day its easier to get calories wrong or over eat. Other fasting methods work too.

I'd also consider food choices, eating large protein rich meals with vegetables should be the basis for most of your meals, and only adding in carbs like rice or potatoes to things once in a while. Stick to that, with fruit for snacks and your hunger goes away a bit too.

5 hours ago, Martell Spy said:

I'm not sure I have a solution for you, but I would advise not taking too much importance on age and how it effects weight. I'm 42 and I went from 140 pounds to 220 from 2012 to near the present

I'm basically the same age as you. The only major difference I've noticed over the years is that my stamina is not so great and my muscles tend to ache a lot more than they did after exercice. Other than that being 42 should not influence your weight loss

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17 hours ago, BigFatCoward said:

It is disgraceful how hard you have to train for a couple of beers worth of calories.  I remember when I was cycling for 2 hour a day, I was devastated when I realised how few beers that equated to.  I should be allowed 20 beers if I cycle for 2 hours. 

Get one of those massive German-style beer glasses that holds a few pints. Fill it. Not ony are you drinking your beer, but you're lifting weights too!

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6 hours ago, Starkess said:

Ugh, been struggling lately. I hurt my back a bit at the gym last week--nothing super bad, just went a little heavier than I should have followed by cleaning my apartment the next day (involving lots of bending over) led to a lot of soreness in my lower back. Several days of icy hot patches, ibuprofen, and my heating pad and I'm feeling mostly alright again. Haven't been lifting but did do some yoga and cardio over that time. I'm going to start a training plan next week for a 10k race in June. Haven't been running a ton lately, so I'm using a beginner plan and not aiming for anything with the 10k except having fun.

The struggle side is with my diet. I was having trouble sticking with my diet and decided that I was being too aggressive (aiming for 1500 calories a day) and that it was causing problems with yo-yoing and feeling tired/cold all the time. So I decided to be patient, go for a small deficit (aiming for 1800 calories a day), and take it slowly but surely. Well I've been doing that for a month and not really losing much weight, which isn't surprising since that's about 250 calorie deficit. But I'm still struggling with feeling deprived and had a few episodes of borderline-binging. And then I feel terrible and feel like I should give up and wonder why I'm putting in all this effort for no results. It's just SO frustrating. I've gained 14 pounds since last year and I don't get it. I'm not eating that differently, I'm working out, I walk a lot...I dunno. I guess it's just getting old. And I'm not like overweight or anything. But I'm definitely packing on some unflattering inches around my waist, getting bigger fat deposits on my love handles and back, and just not feeling as fit and attractive as I'd like. I don't want to give up, but maybe I should. Maybe I'd be happier just accepting that for whatever reason I'm never going to look like I did last year again.

Don’t feel you actually have to answer this, i’m just posting it so you can consider it, but do you have anything going on in your personal life? Are you struggling with depression, anxiety, mental disorder etc? Do you have a lot of stress at work/in your life right now? I ask this only because you could follow all the diet tips in the world but when the issue isn’t actually not getting enough calories to feel sated, packing a little extra protein into a meal isnt going to help. With the binge/near binge episodes in particular this is quite often the case, speaking from my own experience

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Just a bit of a counterpoint to everyone saying you can't lose weight by doing exercise, that's pretty much the only way I've ever lost weight. If your sole goal is to lose weight I'm sure cutting calories from your diet is the easier and quicker way to do it (I've never bothered actually trying to do it) but I've definitely lost weight a few times by increasing the amount of exercise I'm doing.

The point being not to discount the value of dieting but I wouldn't completely rule out the contribution of exercise. I'd say taking up a sport that involves a decent amount of running would probably help, it's a quite a good way of doing a fair amount of pretty intense exercise without it feeling like a real grind. :dunno:

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Struggling a bit with gains lately. I'm very disciplined with my workouts and meticulous with my diet (though, truly, I must admit I find it very hard getting to 3,800 calories a day eating clean!) but even so I'm plateauing. The third leg is of course sleep which has often been an on/off problem for me. I just find it difficult to fall asleep. So I have 3-4 nights of very poor sleep, then crash out of exhaustion and it then repeats itself. Obviously this affects my energy as well as recovery. I don't think it is stress - I genuinely don't feel any more stressed than usual - or depression. It is just something that comes to haunt me in periods throughout the year. 

I don't like taking sleeping pills and very seldom succumb. Tried quite a few off-the-shelf sleeping aids (e.g. Unisom but also natural remedies) but nothing seems to have much effect. 

If anyone has thoughts or suggestions around this, I'd appreciate the feedback. 

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2 hours ago, ljkeane said:

Just a bit of a counterpoint to everyone saying you can't lose weight by doing exercise, that's pretty much the only way I've ever lost weight. If your sole goal is to lose weight I'm sure cutting calories from your diet is the easier and quicker way to do it (I've never bothered actually trying to do it) but I've definitely lost weight a few times by increasing the amount of exercise I'm doing.

The point being not to discount the value of dieting but I wouldn't completely rule out the contribution of exercise. I'd say taking up a sport that involves a decent amount of running would probably help, it's a quite a good way of doing a fair amount of pretty intense exercise without it feeling like a real grind. :dunno:

Yeah this is the way both my wife, and myself have lost weight. 

I maxed at 96kg a few years ago, after 5 years of regular running half marathon distance plus I'm down in the mid 70s. Have never watched my diet.

My wife, similar, started doing triathlons!, now a track cyclist. We both eat a lot. But we're hugely slimmer than we ever have been. But I guess our 7hr+ of cardio/week would be pretty intense for most?

 

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Doing my half hour runs with no walking now. Not really lost any weight in a couple weeks but not put on any either and definitely think I’ve gone down a clothes size. 

Edited by Theda Baratheon

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I love exercising, it definitely has a lot of benefits and I have no intention to stop working out. But I don't think it's hugely helpful in losing weight for me. In general the only times I've lost weight were either going through a serious breakup or when I made a dedicated effort to count calories over a long period of time. But unfortunately the latter one doesn't work all of the time. So I feel very frustrated when I do it with no results when I can clearly see (thanks, data!) that I'm doing the same things as the two times that it has worked.

16 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

Don’t feel you actually have to answer this, i’m just posting it so you can consider it, but do you have anything going on in your personal life? Are you struggling with depression, anxiety, mental disorder etc? Do you have a lot of stress at work/in your life right now? I ask this only because you could follow all the diet tips in the world but when the issue isn’t actually not getting enough calories to feel sated, packing a little extra protein into a meal isnt going to help. With the binge/near binge episodes in particular this is quite often the case, speaking from my own experience

Yes, I do have depression and anxiety, and it hasn't been super well-managed lately. That's a good point, and an extra incentive for me to be a bit more proactive about that. And I'm definitely stressed in some ways, but in general my life is going pretty great so I don't really have an excuse.

 

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17 hours ago, Heartofice said:

I'd say you just need to find a strategy that works for you. Reducing your calories is really hard and gets quite boring so you have to find ways to adjust your eating patterns to make them more interesting or less painful.

I'd suggest fasting for a start. Not eating till midday and then having 2 meals during the day, then fasting again till the next day is a really great way to mentally prepare yourself for not eating. When you have 4-5 meals throughout the day its easier to get calories wrong or over eat. Other fasting methods work too.

I'd also consider food choices, eating large protein rich meals with vegetables should be the basis for most of your meals, and only adding in carbs like rice or potatoes to things once in a while. Stick to that, with fruit for snacks and your hunger goes away a bit too.

I'm basically the same age as you. The only major difference I've noticed over the years is that my stamina is not so great and my muscles tend to ache a lot more than they did after exercice. Other than that being 42 should not influence your weight loss

I've tried fasting and it definitely did NOT work for me! At first I was having a really hard time managing to control my eating, because knowing I had a fast coming up made me want to eat everything. I finally got that part down, but it actually caused my TDEE to decrease pretty significantly (I calculate my TDEE on a running average over the previous 8 weeks, so that's not just a feeling, that's actually what the data showed). I did it for 2 months straight (16-8 and sometimes 24) to give it a fair shot, and no joy. I know it works for a lot of people but unfortunately I am not one of them!

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So sorry for the triple post!! Wasn't getting the multiquote to work.

11 hours ago, Scott_N said:

Struggling a bit with gains lately. I'm very disciplined with my workouts and meticulous with my diet (though, truly, I must admit I find it very hard getting to 3,800 calories a day eating clean!) but even so I'm plateauing. The third leg is of course sleep which has often been an on/off problem for me. I just find it difficult to fall asleep. So I have 3-4 nights of very poor sleep, then crash out of exhaustion and it then repeats itself. Obviously this affects my energy as well as recovery. I don't think it is stress - I genuinely don't feel any more stressed than usual - or depression. It is just something that comes to haunt me in periods throughout the year. 

I don't like taking sleeping pills and very seldom succumb. Tried quite a few off-the-shelf sleeping aids (e.g. Unisom but also natural remedies) but nothing seems to have much effect. 

If anyone has thoughts or suggestions around this, I'd appreciate the feedback. 

I used to struggle a lot with sleep (sometimes still do) and also never had luck with sleeping pills or melatonin, etc. What has been really helpful for me is ASMR videos. If you're not used to them, they can be realllly weird, but they are SO relaxing and help me drift off to sleep. Of course, I have had ASMR my whole life without knowing it had a name, so if you aren't susceptible to it, it might not be as helpful. Although I know some non-ASMR-sensitive people still find the videos relaxing. Maria (Gentle Whispering) is one of the biggest names, and I really like Fred and Ephemeral Rift. There are tons and tons of them and often focusing on different triggers, so if you're interested give a few of them a try. These types of videos are usually best with headphones, as they are usually done with binaural microphones and have specific left/right sounds. I got a pair of low-profile ear buds for less than 10 bucks on Amazon that are more comfortable for listening while I sleep on my side.

I also use the podcast Sleep With Me. It's basically a guy with a kind of weird voice ("creaky dulcet tones" he calls it) that rambles on tangents for an hour or so. This one I have found to be super effective, so I keep it in my back pocket for those nights when I really am having trouble falling asleep. Fair warning, the first one or two times I tried it, it didn't help at all, and that seems to be a pretty common reaction. So maybe give it a few tries.

Edited by Starkess

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1 hour ago, Triskele said:

That exercise is questionnable as a weight loss strategy does seem to be the current thinking.

 

I see to have developed a weird injury in my left forearm, and it's frustrating that it's not that easy to say what or exactly where it is.  I think that it might be lifter's elbow, but I'm not `100% sure.  It's much more noticeable with pull lifts than push lifts.  I could give up bicep curls pretty easily and be happy, but I'd hate to have to cut back on back day too much.  I play guitar as a hobby and really notice it there too like to the point that I pretty much can't play.  A spot within my arm gets super exausted quickly around the injury, and this never happened before.  

Wondering if it's anything a physical therapist could help with.  

 

I know someone that has always been just slightly overweight. He got in a job where they do a lot of physical exertion. And suddenly everyone noticed he was looking like he lost weight. He told everyone that he weighs exactly the same. He didn't look extremely ripped or anything, just like he had melted the fat off. I guess he replaced the fat with muscle in his legs and such, from lots of walking on the job.

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10 hours ago, Martell Spy said:

I know someone that has always been just slightly overweight. He got in a job where they do a lot of physical exertion. And suddenly everyone noticed he was looking like he lost weight. He told everyone that he weighs exactly the same. He didn't look extremely ripped or anything, just like he had melted the fat off. I guess he replaced the fat with muscle in his legs and such, from lots of walking on the job.

Not that walking isnt good, but it seems reasonable to wonder if the job also affected his eating habits.

Personally im doing some light deffing, it was kinda weird and exhausting in the beginning to feel hunger, but now im doing fine. My only worry is that eating less will mean slower recovery which could lead to injuries, and im injury prone as fuck, but right now im fine.

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19 hours ago, Triskele said:

That exercise is questionnable as a weight loss strategy does seem to be the current thinking.

 

I see to have developed a weird injury in my left forearm, and it's frustrating that it's not that easy to say what or exactly where it is.  I think that it might be lifter's elbow, but I'm not `100% sure.  It's much more noticeable with pull lifts than push lifts.  I could give up bicep curls pretty easily and be happy, but I'd hate to have to cut back on back day too much.  I play guitar as a hobby and really notice it there too like to the point that I pretty much can't play.  A spot within my arm gets super exausted quickly around the injury, and this never happened before.  

Wondering if it's anything a physical therapist could help with.  

 

With just those details, it sounds like it could be either tennis or golfers elbow.  Mine flares up whenever I overdo pull ups or muscle ups and don't do recovery mobilization, etc. well enough.

make sure you are mobilizing your arms from fingertips to traps - before and after workouts.  when mine was at its worst I was off of pulling motions - rowing, pull ups, etc - for a couple months to let it recover.

A PT definitely could help out - recently i tried dry needling and while it was funky to do, it definitely improved the problem area I was having.

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On 5/1/2019 at 1:11 AM, Triskele said:

Kind of like how before a few weeks ago I'd not tried the pistol squat I'd also not until today tried the so-called goblet squat, but I have that a shot today.  I liked it better than a dumbbell squat in terms of an alternative to the back squat, and I also found that in terms getting low it's easier than the back squat.

I might be off the mark here, but I've always seen goblet squats as more of an alternative to front squat rather than the back squat.

On 5/3/2019 at 2:36 AM, Martell Spy said:

I'm down to 1050 food calories then.

Now that just screams unhealthy to me. That's barely over half my BMR from a few years ago (the last time I checked it). Even if you add the beers, you'd still be working with a huge deficit if you needed to sustain anything even close to serious workouts.

On 5/4/2019 at 1:31 PM, ljkeane said:

Just a bit of a counterpoint to everyone saying you can't lose weight by doing exercise, that's pretty much the only way I've ever lost weight. If your sole goal is to lose weight I'm sure cutting calories from your diet is the easier and quicker way to do it (I've never bothered actually trying to do it) but I've definitely lost weight a few times by increasing the amount of exercise I'm doing.

The point being not to discount the value of dieting but I wouldn't completely rule out the contribution of exercise. I'd say taking up a sport that involves a decent amount of running would probably help, it's a quite a good way of doing a fair amount of pretty intense exercise without it feeling like a real grind. :dunno:

I agree with this. Diet and exercise combined would give the best result, of course, but if I had to pick one I'd always go for exercise over dieting. It's just more fun to me.

On 5/4/2019 at 8:58 PM, Theda Baratheon said:

Doing my half hour runs with no walking now. Not really lost any weight in a couple weeks but not put on any either and definitely think I’ve gone down a clothes size. 

Yeah, the scale can be a lying bitch sometimes. A certain volume of muscle will weigh significantly more than the same volume of fat. If I remember correctly, it's about 30-40% more, but I could be wrong.

Clothes sizes will definitely be helpful to track progress when your weight stays the same for a while.

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I've been struggling with my running the last month or so. Feeling lethargic almost every time and struggling to hit 3 times a week. It feels like I've had maybe 5 good runs since February. Fortunately, today was one of them - Strava says it was my third best 10k at 48:21. I'm not sure if that's my third best, but I'm still pretty happy with it. 

As for the exercise vs diet weight loss question, I personally struggle to lose weight without exercising. The direct calorific benefit is obviously less significant, but without exercise I would not be able to structure my time and attitude in a positive way.

On 5/4/2019 at 7:58 PM, Theda Baratheon said:

Doing my half hour runs with no walking now. 

Being able to run non-stop is the most important feature of a runner imo. 

:thumbsup:

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