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to think eat less, move more isn't as simple as it sounds

(223 Posts)
starshaker Sun 13-Jan-13 13:53:45

People say to lose weight you need to use more calories than you eat. This is obvious. However metabolism plays a big part too. How do you know how much calories you actually burn so you can work out how many to eat? Ive never been slim and yes, i probably need to exercise more but i have so much other stuff going on that getting the chance to isnt that simple.

So AIBU in thinking that its not as simple as what people say

meadow2 Sun 13-Jan-13 14:19:41

I eat what I want when I want but I'm slim but I'm moving pretty much constantly during my waking hours.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Sun 13-Jan-13 14:19:55

It is simple. There isn't a vast amount of difference between fast and slow metabolisms but there is a vast difference in the calorific intake of someone eating 3 meals a day pus a biscuit 2-3 times a week and someone eating 2-3 large meals a day plus sweet drink plus sugar in tea and coffee plus yoghurt (cos its low fat, innit) plus a few biscuits a day plus a handful of sunflower seeds for the good fats. You don't need to know how many calories you burn to know how many to eat, if your trousers are getting tight then you are eating to much.

insancerre Sun 13-Jan-13 14:20:49

try the 5/2 diet
I have been doing it since August and have lost the extra pounds that i had put on over the years
DH has lost nearly 2 stone but he goes to the gym twice a week
i do lots of walking as I don't drive
It is easier to think of it as a lifestyle change rather than a diet

porridgewithalmondmilk Sun 13-Jan-13 14:21:39

I think it's a bit of a silly turn of phrase to be honest (and patronising.)

I am a healthy weight, but gained 3 stone over the three years I was at university (my mother had died the year before so some of it was still grief from that.)

When I left, I wanted to be a teacher and didn't want the children calling me fat. I did quite a dramatic diet to lose most of the weight (Cambridge.)

When I had a BMI of 25, I ate more than ever before - but in the form of vegetables, salads and fruits. I don't exercise because I find it boring and I don't like it - I'd rather take the car! But even when I was a member of a gym I didn't find it made any difference to my weight loss.

starshaker Sun 13-Jan-13 14:22:08

Well we dont live on salads, but i cook most meals from scratch. Im following the tescos Gi diet to the letter. Today for example i have had a small (30g) portion of special k with a banana. Lunch was carrot, spinach and pea soup and dinner tonight will be grilled chicken and veg.

EarnestDullard Sun 13-Jan-13 14:25:55

Losing weight is exactly as simple as eating less and moving more. But finding the willpower and motivation to actually start eating less and moving more can be very hard. Then you've got to factor in overcoming bad habits, sugar addiction, emotional eating etc.

There are some really good exercise DVDs out there OP. And websites/apps like MyFitnessPal which will add up your calories for you.

JumpingJackSprat Sun 13-Jan-13 14:29:17

yabu. it is simple, not easy. i lost three or so stone over the last two years by bringing about a change in my eating habits. i eat only at mealtimes usually but if i do feel hungry in between i eat a low fat snack. i have reduced my portion sizes and eat more veg and less chocolate and crisps. if i feel like eating something i ask myself if im really so hungry i cant concentrate until my next meal. if the answer is no, i dont eat. i eat things that will usually fill me up. i never eat so much now that i give myself that bloated uncomfortable feeling. i do use my fitness pal but its about identifying and changing bad habits. i also do more exercise - this doesnt mean working out at the gym but taking up dance, horse riding and cycling. theres no reason you cant go cycling or swimming with your children. it can be done it just takes some willpower and being honest with yourself. at the end of the day nobody else is going to do it for you wink

EarnestDullard Sun 13-Jan-13 14:29:23

That sounds like a very low-calorie diet starshaker, in fact I'd say you could add a bit to that, especially protein. A yogurt mid-morning and a handful of dried fruit and nuts mid-afternoon would keep you from getting hungry, keep your metabolism steadier and make you less likely to want to reach for unhealthy snacks.

thebody Sun 13-Jan-13 14:30:22

As others have said its simple but not easy.

lot of old crap about metabolism. There are no fat people in areas where there are little food and there were no fat people in concentration camps.

Eat lots of salads and veg. Cut out all cakes biscuits and bread.

Excersise as part of your daily life.

Don't lie to yourself about how much you eat and don't make excuses of why you are fat.

Your fat because you are eating too much and not burning it off. End of.

starshaker Sun 13-Jan-13 14:34:44

Thats the thing, im not hungry in this meal plan. I average about the 1200-1300 a day.
thebody i dont even have cakes and stuff in the house now. Bread is wholemeal but im not a big bread fan anyway.

starshaker Sun 13-Jan-13 14:40:48

The reason i cant go swimming or cycling with the children is dd1 cant ride a bike yet and neither can the twins and the pools around here wont allow me to take them all swimming cos 1 adult cant take 3 children

MammaTJ Sun 13-Jan-13 14:42:44

I actually eat more when sticking to Slimming world. More but the right foods!!

GiveMeSomeSpace Sun 13-Jan-13 14:51:46

Of course it's that simple. I agree it's sometimes hard to change habits, but it really is that simple.

Yes people have different rates of metabolism and those rates can change throughout our lives. BUT the differences in metabolism rates are minimal when compared to the wider factors in our lives.

Anyone who blames their metabolism for being overweight simply isn't being honest with themselves.

StephaniePowers Sun 13-Jan-13 14:52:08

Eat less: this isn't really hard. Smaller portions on your dinner plate will do it. Less processed food is better (no shit sherlock). Don't snack. Just ingest less at a healthy level. Be honest about your food intake.

Move more: I'm inclined to think this is harder because of the ways in which life has changed and because of our climate. However there is research which points out the very obvious fact that people who don't spend hours sitting around (as we are doing now, pootling on MN and FB etc) are slimmer/healthier. The more you stand in your day the better apparently.

Just planning schedules which don't allow as much time for sitting about = moving more. DO those jobs in the house which you tell yourself you don't have time for. GO for a ten-minute stroll, with no aim at the end of it. Get the right footwear so you can walk into town instead of taking the bus. Buy food which needs a lot of time standing at the chopping board. Climb stairs slowly and don't take the escalators. Don't take your most sedentary days of the week as representing your life: if you have a desk job Mon-Fr then walk a lot at weekends.

Your metabolism isn't the issue, eating less (within reason of course) and moving more is just good.

It's very individual though; my father, myself and dd only really need one meal a day and a few light snacks. My boys would starve on that little food. We're all thin.

It's about listening to your body and learning what it actually needs as opposed to what you feel you should be eating.

I have never in my life eaten 3 meals in one day other than when I was pregnant. Any other time I'd be far too full and uncomfortable to eat that much. My portions when I'm not overeating are quite small compared to most people I know.... But I'm full and know fron experience if I eat more I will gain weight.

That being said, I eat what I want.... I never calorie count or worry about fats. I just eat what I enjoy but make sure not to overeat.

Making food into an obsession is no good either, you need to rake in data ans protein or your body goes into starvation mode and begins hoarding fats.

*take in fats

MadBusLady Sun 13-Jan-13 15:09:48

YANBU. I know, for example, that exercise improves my body composition and my overall health, but I've never lost any weight doing it even in my most intense periods. Some people manage by eating like sparrows, some people by eating a lot but making most of it vegetables, some people by avoiding fat, some by avoiding sugar, and some people eat what the hell they like and spend hours in the gym.

Probably a lot of what makes a particular regimen successful is psychological - otherwise why would people (in this thread and elsewhere) be so attached to their own particular successful plan.

Unfortunately the only way to find out what works for you is to try different things.

EndoplasmicReticulum Sun 13-Jan-13 15:31:17

I don't exercise. Not in the "going to the gym" sense, anyway - which surprised my doctor when I registered at a new practice and she did my BMI (right in the middle of normal).

But - I'm a teacher - although it's not really a physical job I don't sit down much during the day and the big site we're on means I'm always walking about at speed trying to get to the next lesson. At home we do a lot of walking / geocaching - did about 5 miles this morning.

I eat big meals, but I don't snack in between - I suspect this is partly down to my job again - I just don't get the chance.

mercibucket Sun 13-Jan-13 15:38:19

yup metabolism plays a part
mine is fucked now and i can tell if i need to up my meds by the way my weight goes up - all on my stomach whuch never ever happened. it also governs how hungry i feel. mad but true.
hypothyroidism - it's a bummer

crashdoll Sun 13-Jan-13 15:38:59

I really hate "eat less, move more". I have lost 3 stone before purely eating healthily and not exercising. Some of us with mobility problems manage perfectly well without exercise thank you!

StephaniePowers Sun 13-Jan-13 15:40:54

I feel as though a lot of people take one aspect of their lives/bodies and use it to excuse a near-total lack of movement and an unhealthy amount of rich food.

I do it, I say 'I have to sit a lot at work therefore I am a sedentary person with no time to exercise' but I've just spent 3 hours sitting here doing sod all except compiling the Sainsbury's shop and MNing blush I could have walked to Sainsbury's and done half that shop in some of that time, lugged it back: a good chunk of exercise.

DH does it: apparently he does 'quite a bit' of exercise because he walks from the bus stop up a slight incline for two minutes ten times a week. And his weight has stayed the same for years therefore his extremely rich diet is just fine. I assure you it isn't grin

melliebobs Sun 13-Jan-13 15:47:00

Simple. Calculate your BMR (basal metabolic rate) that's how many kcals your body needs to maintain weight if you were to sit there and do nothing all day. Work from there u can't go wrong

scaredbutexcited Sun 13-Jan-13 15:55:08

It's not easy but it is that simple. The good thing though is that it is totally under your control to do something.

If you find change daunting, even tiny things will add up; Dance round the kitchen with the DCs while cooking, walk around while your on the phone, do a few tricep dips/squats while watching the TV etc.

Also, you can alter your metabolic rate by increasing your muscle mass. Even just a few minutes of toning exercises a day will help with this.

Not easy but worth it if it is bothering you. smile

Actually, I think it really is that easy.

There was a program on TV where families who believed they hardly ate anything but couldn't lose weight as they had slow metabolisms were spied on with secret cameras. They were horrified by the footage which showed they ate far more than they claimed, and were basically in denial.

I am thin, but I am active (as a minimum I walk 5 miles a day, and have an active outdoor job), and my portion sizes are what I call normal i.e about half a restaurant portion. That is how people who are thin and healthy live naturally.

In countries where food is scarce or in times of rationing everyone is thin. There are no random fat people with 'slow metabolisms'.

As an aside very over weight people actually need to eat more calories than slim people, just to maintain their size. So a 20 stone person will lose weight on 3000 calories a day, whereas if I ate 3000 calories I'd gain.

I appreciate this is not a popular view.....

CoteDAzur Sun 13-Jan-13 16:01:11

"some people eat very little and don't lose weight"

They should start eating more but with less sugar and fat.

Also, they should start walking & running.

If they don't lose weight while eating low-fat & low sugar foods and running at least half an hour 2-3 times a week, then we'll talk. Except we won't need to

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