AIBU to ask what is the best exercise for me to lose weight?

(96 Posts)
Latara Tue 18-Jun-13 14:25:05

I'm nearly 5'4'' weight 12st and i need to lose 2 stone at least.

I like the gym and have just started warming up by walking 10 mins to the gym; then work out for 15 mins on the rower followed by 20 reps of the (not v heavy) heaviest weights i can manage on each of the weights machines.
Then 5 mins on the cross-trainer and 5 mins on the sitting bike, followed by 10min walk home and some stretches.

At the end of this i'm very shaky and dizzy because i'm not used to exercise.

I like it though and heard that a mix of weights and some cardio is best for weightloss.
Is this true and is eg 4 times a week enough? I work 2 days a week on my feet all day walking around the ward.

I eat 1500 cals a day inc lots of fruit and veg, no alcohol.

Opinions please!

Latara Tue 18-Jun-13 14:26:34

Btw i've already lost 1st 10lbs by diet alone (the 1500 cal diet).

Latara Tue 18-Jun-13 14:27:39

PS: i take 4 types of medication that make me drowsy so i have to be a bit careful.

squeakytoy Tue 18-Jun-13 14:28:47

Swimming and fast walking, so long as it elevates your heart rate. If your heart rate is faster, you are burning fat.

4 times a week is plenty

I lost 3 stone on a low carb diet, gym/swim 3 times a week, and doing the Shred each day at home.

stepawayfromthescreen Tue 18-Jun-13 14:30:12

Cardio and strength training are best for weight loss.
Swimming is great for toning but not weight loss.
Doing half an hour every day is better than doing a 90 min session in the gym 3 times a week.
And what you eat plays a far bigger part in weight loss than how much you exercise, unless you're training for the Olympics or something!

Boosterseat Tue 18-Jun-13 14:32:59

Squats, squats and more squats. Best whole body exercise there is.

heard that a mix of weights and some cardio is best for weightloss
That's all true but it's really what works for you.
Any exercise is good for you so you need to do what you like doing and enjoy or you won't keep it up for long.
You seem to be doing all the right things so just keep going.
You've lost loads already so well done.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
I tend to do low carb more than anything as this is what works for me.
If you have found your weight has plateau'd a bit then you need to shake up your menu a bit.
Keep going and good luck.

Ijustbluemyself Tue 18-Jun-13 14:34:29

It's probably best you stick to just one cardio machine, switching between them doesn't really make much difference, so pick your favourite and you can tailor specific workouts for it.

When lifting you don't really need to go for the heaviest weight, just go for one you can lift 12-15 reps, 2-3 sets with a 60 second rest between. This will improve your muscular endurance and increase your metabolism. Also make sure you do a balance of exercises, so legs, back, chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps, in that order

Swimming is bad for weight loss. Studies have shown that on average people gain weight regularly swimming if nothing else is tampered with. You're already walking a lot which is great.

Ijustbluemyself Tue 18-Jun-13 14:36:59

For weight loss also you want to do your resistance training first, so do a quick 5 minute warm up, hit the weights, and finish with your cardio.

You can try interval training (not necessarily high intensity) but short bursts of high effort followed by shorter bursts of recovery. If you're building up your fitness you can try and just do endurance, but change your plan every 4 weeks to make it hard ie workout for a longer time or at a higher speed.

Ijustbluemyself Tue 18-Jun-13 14:38:44

I love swimming, it's a good cooldown though. The difference compared to other cardio training is that your core temperature doesn't increase, so you don't get the increased in metabolism for the rest of the day

Cailinsalach Tue 18-Jun-13 14:39:06

Diet is 70% of weight loss, exercise is 30% (so my PT told me). Calories are burned off more quickly by using the big muscles, legs and arms. Try lunges and weights. However a 45 min walk every day you don't go to the gym and one complete day of rest per week should shift a few pounds.

You are going to be FABULOUS!

MadeOfStarDust Tue 18-Jun-13 14:43:01

You are doing really well - my doctor told me the best exercise for weight loss is the bit where you actually get your bum off the chair to go do some..... he is soooooo right.....

Latara Tue 18-Jun-13 14:43:28

Thanks for the replies so far, i'm not going today (too many housework jobs) but will go in the morning.

The most frustrating thing about the gym is finding the best time for getting on the weights machines before the men settle in there for hours!
I've found that so far 4pm (before they all finish work) is a good time; but i want to find a good time to go in the morning (as long as there aren't too many retired men on the weights).

arabesque Tue 18-Jun-13 14:43:48

I've been going swimming recently to try and tone up and lose a bit of weight. I heard it was one of the best exercises for shifting calories (after running and cycling). Was I mis-informed?

ephemeralfairy Tue 18-Jun-13 14:44:17

Spin (exercise bike) classes are what worked for me. 45 minutes with an instructor guiding you through sprints, climbs etc. Works like interval training but because you never stop pedalling your heart rate doesn't drop.
Also good cos you can regulate what you do, ie drop a couple of gears/go slower at first as you increase your fitness.
You get fabulously toned legs too! Good luck!!!

Ijustbluemyself Tue 18-Jun-13 14:44:29

Set yourself smaller goals to help your motivation. What you have done so far is fantastic, but "lose 2 stone" can be quite daunting. Break it down to "I will lose 1 pound this week", or "I will run for 10 minutes without walking", it will all build up.

Ask the fitness instructors at your gym for help if you need it, that's what they're there for. And if you can, get down to some classes, always a huge range of abilities and there are always options, this helps prevent boredom imo.

Ijustbluemyself Tue 18-Jun-13 14:49:30

About the weights, those men will almost certain be doing sets, just be confident (I know it's scary) and ask if you can hop on while they're resting. If not just ask if they can let you know when they're done. Also, free weights are amazing, I know this can also be scary, but you can look up some easy moves on the net, then ask an instructor to give you some points.

chloesaidfred Tue 18-Jun-13 14:53:45

On the exercise that you are doing (at least on the days that you are exercising) I personally don't think you are eating enough calories (particularly if you have been on that restriction for a long time)

What I would do (and have done with success!!) is to up your calories to around 1600/1700 and cut out sugary things.

Drink shit loads of water. Like 3 litres+ per day.

Limit your cardio to once or twice a week and just keep a steady moderate heart rate for 40/50 minutes. The rest of the time LIFT LIFT LIFT. As heavy as you can. Stick to basics (squats with barbell over your head/ lunges with dumbells/ deadlifts with a barbell) and do 3 sets of 10 reps most days on each exercise.

The myfitnesspal app is very good at giving you a breakdown of how you are eating. Aim to keep your carb percentage low, and your fats/ proteins high. And don't be scared of fats - they burn fat!!! (not saturated ones though)

Good luck grin

EuroShaggleton Tue 18-Jun-13 14:56:32

arabesque/MrsTP I think it depends on how you swim. If you really go for it, it is great exercise. If you pootle about at a leisurely pace and then reward yourself with a cake because you ahve heard that swimming is great for burning calories, I can see why people put on weight.

chloesaidfred Tue 18-Jun-13 14:56:53

Oh, and don't worry about men and weights machines. Just grab a barbell and a couple of dumbells - find a quiet spot - put your headphones in and off you go. I take the weights out of the weights area and use them on the mats where it's quieter and there is less testosterone flying about wink

Oh... and sleep well!!! I was really surprised how my weight shifted when I started getting in to a proper sleep routine.

Trazzletoes Tue 18-Jun-13 14:58:25

The best thing I ever did was get a heart rate monitor. You have quite a small range where you are burning fat and you may be surprised how little effort it takes you to get there.

When I started losing weight a few years ago I got to the right range just by walking on the treadmill at 6.0(!!!!!). No need to run!

It's something like 200 - your age, then 70-75% of that number. I think. I would check though!

arabesque Tue 18-Jun-13 15:03:58

Thanks eURO just been frantically googling and there seems to be more proof that it does cause weight loss than that it doesn't, so will keep it up.
I agree that swimming can make you hungry but I'm alert to that and don't eat any more after a swim that I would normally.

Ijustbluemyself Tue 18-Jun-13 15:05:06

Not true about the not burning fat at certain levels, you're just burning proportionally different amounts of fat and carbs

Ijustbluemyself Tue 18-Jun-13 15:09:17

You do want your HR to be between 55-90% of your maximum heart rate (220 - your age, close hehe). Whilst you will burn proportionally more fat at 60% you will burn more fat overall at 90%, you'll just also be burning a higher proportion of carbohydrates

Trazzletoes Tue 18-Jun-13 15:09:46

Sorry, there is an optimum heart rate at which to burn fat.

And of course swimming can help you to lose weight(!) it just might not be as dramatic as some other forms of exercise.

ButternutSquish Tue 18-Jun-13 15:10:06

rowing intervals! It's bloody hard and makes you sweat loads!

Trazzletoes Tue 18-Jun-13 15:10:33

Hence why I said it would be best to check hmm

Ijustbluemyself Tue 18-Jun-13 15:17:46

Be warned as well if you do go for heavy lifting, this will lead to more muscle growth than if you just go for endurance (again, this is totally your choice, benefits of both) so your weight not might fall as much you think it should as.

If you get a chance get on one of those machines that does BMI and fat% even couple of months, that way you can see if you're changing your body composition

And I wasn't making fun about the HR, just helping smile

themaltesecat Tue 18-Jun-13 15:21:02

This lady.

Every time you're about to die, the exercise changes.

If you follow her, you WILL nearly kick the bucket, but you will see some serious changes in your body shape within the first few sessions. It's hugely motivating.

ephemeralfairy Tue 18-Jun-13 15:23:53

I've found that most branches of Boots have the BMI/body fat weighing machines, think it costs 70p and you get a print-out which is useful to compare the next time you weigh yourself.

Ijustbluemyself Tue 18-Jun-13 15:24:12

I second the more calories thing, your metabolism will slow down if you undereat too much and you might plateau

sarahtigh Tue 18-Jun-13 15:25:50

just one note of caution drinking too much water is very bad for you, unless doing really hard exercise over a long period 2 litres a day is plenty,

one of the newsreaders nearly died running a marathon because she had been drinking water at every stop

stepawayfromthescreen Tue 18-Jun-13 15:27:51

I agree, Sarah. The water myth is an odd one.
We don't need to drink water constantly to stay hydrated. 1.5-2 litres max per day is plenty. 3 litres would be too
much for most.

wickeddevil Tue 18-Jun-13 15:28:06

Mrs T P - wow that's really interesting re the swimming. Do you know why? just wondering if its because swimming makes you hungry.
Wow. Best avoided then. Can't take the risk.....

Ijustbluemyself Tue 18-Jun-13 15:30:02

Also reading back, a word of warning on the low carb, high fat/protein diet. I follow this kind of diet but I am a very regular trainer and I have the right metabolic type. If you're just trying to do weight loss ignore all the metabolic type specifics, just eat lots of fruit and veg and cut down on the processed foods, anything else at this stage isn't really relevant and might cause you nutritional imbalances.

wickeddevil the research didn't give any reasons why. My theory is that there are many reasons. One, you get cold rather than hot so don't burn as efficiently. Two, it makes you ravenously hungry. Three, because you don't notice if you are sweating, people take it much easier than they think they are. I used to overtake men in the fast lane doing crawl when I was in the middle lane doing breaststroke. I bet they thought they were really going for it. Lastly, most impact exercise is directly proportional to what you weigh. If you are 18 stone and running you carry 18 stone. If you are 7 stone, you carry seven stone. With swimming, you are weightless so you don't have the proportional effort benefit.

BTW the idea behind the research is not that swimming isn't good. It is great for your tone, fitness, brain, all sorts. But, the average person who takes up swimming and doesn't diet or do any other exercise gained a pound or two. Running, walking et al. they lost.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 18-Jun-13 15:49:51

Can I just big butt in and ask something? I do want to shift some weight but more than that I want to get stronger - upper body/core mostly - to try to keep up with my watersporty 14yo, and not give into the decline of being over 50. I took a quick glance at that shred link, looks like it might be a good combination ... or might there be something more apt? I don't do gyms - mostly I prefer 'real' activities but might be able to do that sort of thing with weights at home.

Ijustbluemyself Tue 18-Jun-13 15:57:12

Press ups, pull ups and planks are very effective! No equipment necessary. Also rather than doing press ups on your knees, try doing full press ups at an angle, then working your way down so eventually you'll hit the floor, this is more effective.

Core strength is another easy one to do at home, but make sure you hit all the different core muscles (abs, obliques, transverse abs, and your back muscles). Youtube are good for find little routines.

I weight lift a lot in the gym, I have dumbbells at home but I never use them, so I'm always wary advising people to get them because they often just sit there confused

GrimmaTheNome Tue 18-Jun-13 16:01:25

I'm sure I can't do a pull-up, but surely you need some sort of equipment, a bar or something to pull up onto there some part of a normal house you can use for this that I've not noticed? grin( DD might want to try some!)

Ijustbluemyself Tue 18-Jun-13 16:03:56

You could find a tree? grin When I go out with friends we do them on those things in car parks with the height restrictions.

Or maybe just stick to press ups, and military planks, that would hit your arms and core together

wickeddevil Tue 18-Jun-13 16:05:56

Thanks mrs TP. I actually used to swim a lot pre DCs. Used to do 20 -30 lengths, though at a leisurely pace, so I get what you are saying.
At the time I wondered why I didn't lose weight though...

Undertone Tue 18-Jun-13 16:10:38

<bustles in, self-importantly>

Right! I am a veteran of various types of exercising to lose weight. I find it really tough to limit calories below 2,000 per day. When I do manage a 'good' day eating I tend to sabotage myself with 2 glasses of wine. From a size 22 I got stuck in a rut at size 12 for months and months. I was getting fitter and fitter (getting better personal best times in running half marathons) but the wobble remained. This is basically what I have been up to and how different exercises have affected me (BTW I am 5'7"):

16 stone, very unfit
I got a 2nd hand elliptical cross-trainer and set it up in my flat. I built up to doing 30 minutes on it 5 times a week and eating healthily in the first heady rush of addressing my size. Lost over a stone in 2 months. The good thing about a cross-trainer is that it is low impact for over-loaded leg joints, you can keep going on it for a long period of time at a moderate heart rate (which racks up calories burned without over-exerting yourself), and it's straightforward and easy to stick to. That's why most starter exercise programmes focus on low-impact cardio to begin with.

15 stone, a bit more confident
I started running at a slow pace (with walking intervals) in my local park. Over the course of another couple of months I built up to running continuously for 30-40 minutes, losing another 1.5 stone in the process. This was basically an extension of the above cardio-only approach but increasing the intensity of the workout, burning more calories in effect.

13.5 stone, eyes on the prize
I bought the 30 Day Shred and it was a bit of a revelation. Adding resistance/circuit training to what I was doing meant that I was increasing my strength to push myself harder in cardio sessions - plus increasing my metabolism which accelerated weight loss. I kept up my running (by the end of this 6-month period I could slowly run for 6 miles without having to pause to walk) but did 30DS sessions 5/6 times a week too. I quickly lost another stone and joined a gym.

12 stone, aiming for a half marathon
At the gym I extended the movements I had picked up from 30DS, but did more sets, or with heavier weights. I would do about 20 mins of this after a warm-up and then do cardio like a treadmill, cross-trainer or spin class session 3 times a week. I went for a long run at the weekend, building up to 13 miles. My weight loss continued but slowed down because at this point my diet habits became a bit more chaotic. Getting to 11 stone took a few months. I ran my first half-marathon in 1 hour 55 minutes, weighing 11 stone.

11 stone, the rot sets in
I signed up for another half marathon, and I wanted to do it faster this time. This meant that I mainly focused on running throughout the week and would do resistance training every now and then. Weight loss almost ground to a halt, but I did manage to do a 1 hour 50 half marathon 6 months after my first one. I was confused, because I was burning through SO many calories running, and for long distances and at a decent pace, but as I later learned I was burning the wrong kind of energy.

11 stone, goes to see Personal Trainer
Earlier this year I got a special deal to go and see a personal trainer. She made me stop focusing on the weight on the scales and instead on my waist measurement and my body fat %. To reduce body fat when you're already fairly fit, it's not as easy as calories in vs. calories out. She put me on a programme mainly focused on lifting weights (it's almost impossible for women to build significant muscle tissue bulk, so looking like Arnie will NEVER happen unless you put yourself on special supplements) and short, sharp interval training - I reduced the overall amount of time I spent working out every week by about 30% or more. So far I have lost another half a stone, and look set to hit 10 stone later this summer. My body fat percentage has reduced from 31% to 25% in 3 months. I can see my abdominal muscles (^just^), and I generally look like a total babe.

So - in summary - cardio to start with because you can do it slowly for ages and rack up lots of calorie burn. Then transition through to introduce more resistance training and more intense training. (My interval sessions last only 20 minutes but I am DEAD afterwards - purple faced and totally drenched). I still do long runs at the weekend, but because I am lighter and stronger I am getting faster. I am aiming for a sub-1 hour 45 mins half marathon in September.

Sorry for length of post. It's something I am very passionate about.

MrsLyman Tue 18-Jun-13 16:15:44

I go to an outdoor bootcamp where we do quite a variety of things like squats, lunges, powerjacks, sprints etc. It's really hardwork and it's definitely made a huge difference to my fitness levels and my waistline. I like it because it's social and also because there is an instructor making me do the exercises.

What I would say, is that now you've started exercising you may find that as you build a bit of muscle the weight loss will slow down, this isn't a bad thing as you should still be loosing fat but it can be a bit demotivating. To help keep yourself focused it's worth taking note of your waist, hip, thigh, boob and upper arm measurements and tracking how many cms you loose.

chrome100 Tue 18-Jun-13 16:16:54

Well I have swum a mile 5 times a week (about 30 mins or so) for the past ten years and have never once been fat or gained weight so I think that's a load of old cobblers. In fact, I am pretty toned and in good shape so I think that it is definitely worth doing as an exercise.

Ijustbluemyself Tue 18-Jun-13 16:21:25

Great post Undertone

I agree that in the end don't get all obsessive over the scales, your weight can fluctuate all day, I remember making sure I didn't drink water or tea before I got scale because I knew it would make me look heavier.

The most important thing is how you feel, and you will notice changes in your body (self 4 weeks, friends and family 8 weeks, rest of the world 12 weeks). Check up on the scales relatively regularly, but if you're eating correctly and doing regular exercise you don't really need to

chloesaidfred Tue 18-Jun-13 17:07:34

sarahtigh and stepawayfromthescreen it's not about staying hydrated - we can do this on below 2 litres or whatever the fashionable acceptable amount of water is because of the water in the food we consume, plus tea/ coffee etc. etc. But to really flush out your system and let your body know that it doesn't need to fear dehydration and cling on to water - we need to drink loads. I drink 3/4 litres per day (although I do lift!) plus lots of veggies (and vast amounts of coffee!) and no sign of dying just yet wink a few months back when I started my new regime, I lost 10lbs of water weight in 1 week!! Hence why I'm a huge advocate of drinking it.

Obviously water weight isn't the same as losing fat. But carrying water weight can make us feel like our efforts in the kitchen/ at the gym aren't paying off and cause us to feel we need to lose more than we actually do. 10lbs of fat would take at least 5/6+weeks to lose if done healthily.

plentyofsoap Tue 18-Jun-13 17:26:02

Body attack classes are hard, but really work. I'm pregnant now so not attending them, but I intent to go back after confident that it will work. Pilates shrank my tummy too. Second pregnancy so not expecting too much after though grin

stepawayfromthescreen Tue 18-Jun-13 17:26:38

Chloe, that's way too much water, sorry.
I'd be on and off the toilet all day for starters.

chloesaidfred Tue 18-Jun-13 17:28:32

Yeah, I have become rather familiar with the back of the bathroom door grin

Noideairrington Tue 18-Jun-13 17:43:11

Running, without a doubt the best for losing weight IMHO. Start off with walking, join a local beginners running club, great way to meet others doing the same thing and keeps you motivated. Sign up for a charity run, also great motivation to stick to a training plan. It's also a really cheap thing to do and fits in well around life, just need some half decent trainers and a mega sports bra and the rest is free. Also great to get out in the fresh air, and don't worry about feeling daft, everyone feels like that to start with but it will pass. There are lots of online running plans for beginners, follow them closely to start with - biggest mistake for beginners is trying to do to much/ go too fast too soon. In terms of diet, you can within reason eat pretty much whatever you want when you run regularly, and I noticed I started to choose better foods too as a result of regular running as I knew I needed certain things to fuel me for longer runs. I started off not being able to run for 2 mins and have now run 3 half marathons and although hard at times I am so glad to have stuck with it and found something that just makes me feel so much better all round, the weight loss is just a small part of it all now. Well done for all the weight loss so far and good luck with the rest of the mission!

arethereanyleftatall Tue 18-Jun-13 17:50:10

I know a lot about exercise but see I don't need to post because Ibluemyself has said it all. And undertone. What they said. 5 min warm up, 20 min free weights, 20 min interval cardion. good luck!

ProbablyNothingBut Tue 18-Jun-13 17:52:30

Get a bike. A proper outdoor pedal bike. The weight just fell off me - I'm the same height and weigh 9st. I was 12 six months ago.

Prawntoast Tue 18-Jun-13 17:56:12

grimma 30 day shred by Jillian Michaels is very good for upper body and core, there are lots of press ups and plank work. It's a good all round workout but I personally have found it particularly effective on upper body. I think level one is on YouTube.

Running ages your face.
Bodyweight exercise is the absolute best thing - can you get a free weights routine from a trainer, instead of using the machines? That way you are constantly balancing and using core muscles when you do the exercises.

And yes yes to Jillian Michaels.

mumofweeboys Tue 18-Jun-13 18:09:45

Running burns yhe most calories but iv found step aerobics and body combat to get fat burn and tone muscles.

Latara Tue 18-Jun-13 18:12:31

I walked to the gym after housework at 4.30pm today and started on the weights machines instead as suggested; i will try the free weights as i get more confident.

I did 2 sets of 14 reps on each machine; then did 5 mins on the cross trainer (not my favourite) and 15 mins on the rower - i tried to vary the speed at which i rowed.
Then cooled down with 5 mins on the bike and a walk home.

I can't go running or use a bicycle outdoors as i have epilepsy with photosensitivity and my meds aren't totally effective so it wouldn't be safe.

But i enjoy working out at the gym (and one of the fit male trainers started chatting to me today!) smile

GrimmaTheNome Tue 18-Jun-13 18:28:11

Well done Larara - I must try to do the 'get out of my seat' move and do something now - having just ordered shred (along with American Gods thanks to the Gaiman thread...MN plus amazon is a dangerous combination!)

Pleasecansomeonereply Tue 18-Jun-13 19:02:19

does anyone know if the regimen recommended on here are suitable for utter chubsters like myself? 6 stone to lose. scundered.

sarahtigh Tue 18-Jun-13 19:15:43

chloe 3-4 litres of water a day is medically dangerous unless you live in a place where it is 35-40C itis called hyperhydration or water intoxication (hyponatremia) and it can be fatal it resulted in the newsreader Sian Williams being hospitalised

on top of the coffee etc and yes coffee does count as liquid while the kidnes generally are perfectly capable of processing more than 2 litres of liquids it is a myth that they need more than this to flush out system, that is just pseudoscience unfortunately just like most detox ideas the specific function of the kidneys is detox which they do perfectly well unless health problems or large intake of toxins

water retention is a medical problem that is not solved by just drinking more water

sameoldIggi Tue 18-Jun-13 19:15:48

Undertone - have copied and saved your post thanks

KittensoftPuppydog Tue 18-Jun-13 19:17:01

Walking away from the fridge.

sarahtigh Tue 18-Jun-13 19:19:19

the body needs about 1.5 litres of fluid a day and this includes liquid in foods such as soup cucumber and any other drinks milk, coffee fruit juice etc, obviously heat and exercise means a bit more than that may be needed but to drink more than 2 litres of water on top of other fluids is too much and just not necessary

Ijustbluemyself Tue 18-Jun-13 19:21:44

For Pleasecansomeonereply, firstly get your blood pressure checked before you do anything. I'm away tonight and tomorrow but pm me and I'll give you some tips

Pleasecansomeonereply Tue 18-Jun-13 19:29:57

thanks Ijust

Ijustbluemyself Tue 18-Jun-13 19:39:19

That's great Latara! Even better that you're talking to the trainers (especially if they're attractive). Try and do that routine 3 times a week and you'll be on your way. And when it starts getting a bit easier, maker it harder <grin>

BsshBossh Tue 18-Jun-13 19:43:11

Undertone fantastic post!

Latara I had 5 stones to lose and lost the first 3 stones on diet alone. Like Undertone I don't believe in low calorie eating so I determined to eat just a little bit less than I normally did, which came to around 1800-2000 calories a day. Then when I had 2 stones left to lose I hit the gym. I started powerwalking only for a few months gradually increasing speed to 6.5 and incline to 6.5 which really worked up a good sweat, then I added in a few minutes alternating walking and running (at a lower incline!) until I could run non-stop 30 minutes plus added in 15 mins stepper = 45 mins cardio at high heartrate.

I lost 2 stones this way. But noticed that all the women in my gym who only did cardio looked slim but flabby yet the women in the weights room looked fabulously svelte and toned. I realised I needed to shift my exercise focus.

When I reached goal weight I started lifting. For two days a week I did machines, increasing the weights, getting used to the strength in my body. Then I decided to bite the bullet in May and only use free weights, increasing weight progressively and limiting reps to 10 (the last few reps to be hard). Weighted squats, lunges, deadlifts, shoulder press, bicep curls etc. I studied loads of routine and form on YouTube.

I've had to increase my calories to 2000 and more since lifting free weights three times a week (running reduced to 2 times a week). I love eating more! And I'm still at goal weight, two months later.

Good luck! And enjoy!

Ijustbluemyself Tue 18-Jun-13 19:54:06

BsshBossh also a fantastic post. It's good because you had one goal at a time, and they all naturally progressed. I think a lot of the time people try and change everything all at once, which is totally impossible, fail and then feel disheartened.

As I said set little goals, and keep doing what you're doing

LondonMan Tue 18-Jun-13 20:01:52

It's hard to lose weight by exercising. I would say rely 100% on eating less for your weight-loss, and treat any contribution from exercising as a bonus.

It takes me 24 minutes on a rowing machine to clock up 300 calories, according to rowing machine computer. That's fewer calories than a palatable sandwich contains.

You need to permanently change your habits to get your weight off, its far easier to achieve and sustain change on the eating side than the exercising side. Apart from there being more scope for adjustment on the eating side, on the exercise side you will occasionally have to take time off due to injuries or illness. However exercising has other benefits, it will make you feel happier, so you should do it as well.

BsshBossh Tue 18-Jun-13 20:01:54

Yes, I also have alot of non-exercise, non-weightloss goals going on in my life so I need to keep it simple Ijustblue smile

Trazzletoes Tue 18-Jun-13 20:08:41

* LondonMan* true and SO depressing to do some exercise and then realise you've burnt off all of 1 packet of maltesers!!!!!!

But then so uplifting to realise that you hadn't eaten that packet in the first place and are now 1 packet of maltesers less fat.

Disclaimer: I know that's not exactly how it works but its like that in my mind, ok?! grin

Ijustbluemyself Tue 18-Jun-13 20:19:47

I'm a totally clean eater and I think diet is more important yes, but it's a negative way to look at it to say exercise does nothing for weight. You can easily burn off 500 calories a session, for women that's 25% of her daily calorie intake.

I agree though don't treat yourself after the gym with biscuits, does defeat the point somewhat, hehe.

BsshBossh Tue 18-Jun-13 20:35:51

And research has found (though off hand I can't link to any right now) that weight training and HIIT cardio raise metabolism up to 24 hours post exercise. But agree, diet is key.

chloesaidfred Tue 18-Jun-13 21:38:35

sarahtigh I think 15 litres is the amount of water that we can process in 24 hours. I'll check but I'm fairly sure.

theoriginalandbestrookie Tue 18-Jun-13 21:53:07

Brilliant post undertone and a good reminder why different types of exercise work for different people.
Also explains why I'm not losing any weight although I do qauite a lot of exercise.

Mimishimi Wed 19-Jun-13 00:41:29

Running and monitoring your calories through MFP. Add two or three sessions of weights each week (building muscle means you burn more calories even whilst not exercising). I am the same height and have got from similar weight to just under 10 stone. My goal is 9 stone.

quoteunquote Wed 19-Jun-13 01:00:10

If you walk the west coastal path from Minehead to Poole or Poole to Minehead, you loose about four stone, and you are very toned and tanned, no matter what the weather.

t's only 630 miles, but because it is such rough walking, it totally gives your whole body a work out,

my dad is just into his seventies, and he does it one way(alternates each year), once a year, so he can eat what ever he likes the rest of the year,

he does other walking but the SWCP is his "diet" , stuffs his face with crab sandwiches and pasties all the way round, he rates and marks them on the map, so he knows where to find the best ones the next time round.

walk and swim and it will all go, start filling in on the map the bit of coastal path near you,

more fun than a gym.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Wed 19-Jun-13 01:12:43


Wouldn't it be good if we came with a manual for optimum care.

Anyway - pleasecansomeonereply - come and join us on the BIWI Bootcamp threads. Many of us have a significant amount to lose and are all doing really well smile

mercury7 Wed 19-Jun-13 01:53:10

I think it's a mistake to look at exercise only in terms of the calories burned whilst doing it, the effects are much more far reaching.
For instance, it improves insulin sensitivity, reduces your propensity to store calories as fat, instead they are used to replenish glycogen stores in the muscles & liver.

Angloamerican Wed 19-Jun-13 02:05:35

Best way is to do high intensity interval training - eg shorter, harder bursts of cardio rather than longer, slower (e.g. Sprints rather than long jogs). Agree with the posters who said that what you eat is critical - and not just the overall calories, but rather the kinds of food you eat. I read a fabulous book called "This is Why You're Fat" by Jackie Warner. A bit of tough love, but excellent. Remember - sugar is the devil, long slow cardio is wasting your time...

Angloamerican Wed 19-Jun-13 02:09:57

undertone Congratulations, that's very impressive.

Technotropic Wed 19-Jun-13 08:46:02

Diet is 70% of weight loss, exercise is 30%


Personally I would say diet makes up a much higher percentage but that's just my opinion.

I tend to work on the basis that exercise has no effect whatsoever. This is not true (obviously) but it means that I do exercise for fun rather than to lose weight. Strictly speaking exercise does very little (or less than we think) so I find it better to get your diet down and the rest follows.

This is one of the most interesting articles I've read in a long time and sits well with me. May be worth a read:

WallaceWindsock Wed 19-Jun-13 09:42:41

I genuinely find I'm healthier and my weight is lower when I'm generally more active. Things like spending ten mins running up and down the park with DD and the dog, running several loads of laundry up be down the stairs, hoovering the whole house lunge style, leaping about dancing with DD. Things like that on top of regular exercise and a sensible diet seem to make a difference, plus they make you feel energised. It's not always about the serious slog of running on a treadmill, it's about leading a more energetic life.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 19-Jun-13 09:54:57

quote - that sounds fantastic... not sure it quite fits into the lifestyle of yer average MNer though! grin

maternitart Wed 19-Jun-13 09:58:13

Sorry if I'm repeating as I haven't RTFT but:

Yes definitely focus on weights starting with the bigger muscles first - your ass and upper legs
If possible see a PT who can make it more fun/challenging for you - I love medicine ball "games"
As soon as you get comfortable and used to your routine, change it
Don't fall into the trap of overeating or eating more because you're exercising - I did this by "treating" myself to a Starbucks after every gym session. Needless to say I was fit but overweight!

quoteunquote Wed 19-Jun-13 11:37:14

not sure it quite fits into the lifestyle of yer average MNer

everyone has good walking places near them, I just do sections, as I can't take the whole time off, my children love marking off on their map which bits they have done,

I've never met an overweight munro bagger either, one mile rough walking is worth ten in the gym, and far more satisfactory.

surfing great, brilliant work out, and as you are having fun you do not notice you are working hard,

find your local indoor climbing wall, an hour on the wall twice a week makes you really fit, arms, legs and tummy, you improve really quickly, and you get a skill and a qualification.

our local wall is packed with women of all ages who have worked out that it is far better than an aerobics class,

it makes me giggle when there are sleeping babies on crash mats in the bouldering rooms, with mummies hanging on overhead.

Kayaking is a fab workout, you really notice your whole body changing.

my motto is never diet, just go out and have more fun, all of the above are my idea of fun.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 19-Jun-13 11:49:16

Up to a point - we live near good walking country but its a car ride to get to the hills and walking on the flat really doesn't do the same trick as hill (or glorious SW coast path...I'm just jealous!) walking.

Those 'real' things are great for weekends/holidays, but don't tend to fit into the normal working day well for most of us - whereas a run straight out of the door can.

(my main aim in exercising at the moment is to allow me to lift a windsurf rig and to regain some ability to 'hike out' on a dinghy... abs are absent!)

Latara Wed 19-Jun-13 12:17:29

I am counting calories and following a diet because i think that - with 2 stone to lose - exercise alone won't shift it.

It's very hard though because at work we get tons of chocs, biscuits and sweets in the office from patients and from the clinical leader; if you're starving and breaktime is late then the chocolates are SO tempting...

I take grapes to snack on at work instead and i'm asking friends and relatives not to encourage me to sabotage my diet (which they tend to do unfortunately).

maternitart Wed 19-Jun-13 12:29:34

Just make sure you have a load of healthy snacks - not just grapes which are sugary - available (and can you take your lunch in)? Almonds are great, I also like rice cakes, celery and raspberries.

Give yourself one day a week when you can enjoy the biscuits etc if you fancy, and every time you refuse a biscuit or choc the rest of the week mark it down somewhere - it will show you you really DO have willpower! When you get to, say, 20 marks, give yourself a (non food based) treat.

I should point out that I ate three pieces of cake yesterday so I'm not someone who can always maintain self control!

Ijustbluemyself Wed 19-Jun-13 12:34:35

It does take a lot of willpower when it's available like that, sounds like you're doing really well though!

My failsafe snacks are carrots, cucumber, cottage cheese, peanut butter (no salt of sugar) and oatcakes. Also radishes, they fill me up loads.

I try to eat every 2-3 hours, I know this is not possible for some, not full meals it'll be like, handful of nuts, crudites or something. Keeps your metabolism up and also (hopefully) prevents you feeling so starving you end up gorging. I do this with peanut butter, I have an addiction

YDdraigGoch Wed 19-Jun-13 12:38:27

I've bought a trampette - about £25ish from Argos. I've built up to 30 mins a day over couple of months, and the weight is now falling off me (though I did virtually no exercise before that). It's also toning my legs, thighs and bum - I can tell by my trousers, which fit on the waist, but which are now very baggy round the bum area.

arabesque Wed 19-Jun-13 13:52:54

To be honest, and maybe I'm talking shite, but unless you're seriously overweight surely just developing healthier eating habits and incorporating a bit of exercise into your day (most days!) is going to have an effect.

I'm not very overweight but I need to lose some weight from my stomach and boob area so have just switched to wholegrains, cut down big time on dairy products and sweet stuff and keep a box of rice cakes in my drawer at work to avoid eating rubbish at coffee break or during the afternoon. I'm also going swimming 2-3 times a week and going walking other times. Surely that will have some effect?

mercury7 Wed 19-Jun-13 14:37:09

I agree Arabesque, improve your diet and bit and increase activity levels and the 2 things combined should improve body composition.

Obviously if you want the body of an elite athlete you'll have to do the things that elite athletes do, but I suspect many of us would think that is no way to live!

LillethTheCat Wed 19-Jun-13 15:50:19

Good motto Quote. Also loving your ideas.

Some excellent posts up there

<goes off to google 30 day squat challenge and weight routines>

vintageclock Wed 19-Jun-13 15:56:32

I agree with Mercury and Arabesque. I want to lose a few pounds but was a bit put off when I started reading this thread as I just thought 'blimey' shock.

But I have found in the past that making healthy changes to my diet and getting out for four or five good fast walks a week really made a difference to the way I looked.

moonmanic Wed 19-Jun-13 16:15:41

I would recommend Zumba classes. They are fun, so you feel more like it is an hour of dancing as opposed to a "exercise class" iykwim? And its very energetic. I found the weight just fell off after just a few weeks.

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