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Is it possible for you to exercise enough to eat whatever you want and not gain weight?

(95 Posts)
VagueButlmportant Tue 26-Apr-16 21:19:13

I don't think it is for me.

I have a very sedentary desk job for 40+ hours a week.

I run 3 x a week approx 5-6 miles each time. I barely do anything else active, although I'm trying to stand up from my desk every hour or so.

I think I generally eat fairly healthily. I don't drink any more. I probably have been a bit too guilty of eating out of boredom at work, but I've stopped that now.

I've been steadily gaining weight with this lifestyle for 5 years (since I went through early menopause age 36). I've gained 2 stone since then. I've recently managed to reverse the trend, but only by calorie counting and restricting what I eat. I hate dieting. It feels totally unsustainable and boring.

I'd love to know if other people have a point where they can eat what they want eg run every day / run 30 miles a week etc?

KyloRenNeedsTherapy Tue 26-Apr-16 21:30:45

It depends what you want to eat!

I find my slim friends who tell me they can eat whatever they want and not gain weight are actually very controlled healthy eaters.

It gets much harder to lose/sustain weight when older, especially post-menopausal - crap isn't it? sad

TheBestChocolateIsFree Tue 26-Apr-16 21:33:48

I think you'd need to be looking into triathlon training sad. Tour de France riders need to eat 8,000 calories a day but I don't think that's compatible with a full time job.

Bellyrub1980 Tue 26-Apr-16 21:36:34

Have you ever used a treadmill or exercise bike that told you how many calories you've burned? None of them are particularly accurate but it gives you the general idea: It can take an hour to 'burn off' a mars bar, but seconds to eat it

I can remember being on the cross trainer, seemingly forever, only to realise I'd burned off the calories in an apple!!

Generally speaking loss occurs in the kitchen, not the gym. But, the best way to work this out is to use an app like myfitnesspal and measure calories in v's calories out and aim for a deficit.

Exercise like HIIT, running and spinning are excellent calorie burners.

Building muscle will also help.

dun1urkin Tue 26-Apr-16 21:37:12

Yeah, unfortunately you'd probably need to be doing a hardcore sport professionally, and even then you can't eat what you want because an appropriate nutritional balance is essential to performance.

ceeveebee Tue 26-Apr-16 21:41:19

I've read somewhere that weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise. So think it would be pretty hard to focus only on the exercise part and not gain weight

mudandmayhem01 Tue 26-Apr-16 21:41:52

I went through a period of doing ultra distance fell running a few years ago. At the peak of my training I was probably running 20 hrs a week. I couldn't eat enough food to maintain my weight, especially as i was often really tired. I now run about 30 miles a week and I am not hungry all the time like I was when training all the time. I am conscious of eating healthily but don't really have to control the amount I eat.

mudandmayhem01 Tue 26-Apr-16 21:45:16

I went to a talk by the Brownlee brothers, they pretty much said they eat a good all around healthy diet but they burn so many calories its fine to have a few pies, burgers and beers on top of that. They do train full time though.

Zampa Tue 26-Apr-16 21:45:52

I could eat anything and everything when I was training for a marathon, running 20-30 miles a week plus 60 minutes strength work a week. Think being more muscle than fat helps burn the calories as well as the exercise itself. But all my spare time was spent exercising or resting, getting ready for the next session. Not much time for life. Certainly couldn't do it now, post children.

pearlylum Tue 26-Apr-16 21:46:08

My DD eats around 3500 calories a day and is slim. She does 18 hours of physical exercise a week though.

Pootles2010 Tue 26-Apr-16 21:52:33

Yep triathlon training! Fil goes out maybe 5 times a week? He said he did 60 miles on bike other day, think that's about average. Physical job too. Eats like a horse! Also have a friend who is weight lifter, he eats mountains of food, but it's a very strict plan iyswim.

Karcheer Tue 26-Apr-16 21:54:55

Weight is something like 80% food,,20% exercise. Exercise is more to do with shape, toning, rather than weight loss.
To be slim, you really need to watch your food intake.
As you get older you lose muscle, muscle burns energy, so the older you get the harder it is to stay slim.

lljkk Tue 26-Apr-16 22:03:33

It's quite easy as long as you don't want to eat very much.

Boleh Tue 26-Apr-16 22:06:14

I didn't gain weight but didn't loose any either whilst training for a marathon so 20-30 miles a week.

megletthesecond Tue 26-Apr-16 22:07:26

Getting up every hour isn't much. I'm up every 20 mins, I plan my toilet, tea and copier breaks around that.

Any chance you can walk to work? I know only the lucky few can though. Can you get out every lunch for 30 min walk?

oldlaundbooth Tue 26-Apr-16 22:10:27

From what I have seen, women who are around a size ten and 5'5 (averagely slim let's say) don't eat much at all.

Around 1200-1400 cals per day.

The only people who can eat a full English breakfast, pizza for lunch and burger and chips for tea are men with physical jobs.

oldlaundbooth Tue 26-Apr-16 22:11:38

It's just easier to eat less.

StrapOnDodo Tue 26-Apr-16 22:15:39

I eat nearly 3000 calories a day BMI 18.5. I eat what I like but I do like eating healthy stuff, it tastes better and I feel good on it.

When I didn't exercise and ate crap I felt crap and had loads of health problems.

Which is why I decided to get fit.

StrapOnDodo Tue 26-Apr-16 22:33:14

Forgot to say I walk a lot, run a fair bit and cycle twice a week.

anotherbloodycyclist Tue 26-Apr-16 22:45:20

I eat what I want, probably between 2,500 to 3000 calories a day. I cycle 20 miles a day on work days, and run 15-20k a week. 1 hour of Pilates. Walk a lot. Sedentary job. Late forties. Bmi is 20. I can't imagine surviving on a thousand calories a day, I'd starve! I've been the same weight pretty much all my adult life and getting older hasn't affected my metabolism.

VagueButlmportant Wed 27-Apr-16 00:03:54

Sorry - posted this then went out!

Basically I want to eat a lot! I've got a very sweet tooth and I love baking so there are often cakes in the house. I'm trying to lose weight at the moment by reducing my snacking and cutting out added sugar. It's working OK but it's making me grumpy today.

I do walk to work, but sadly it's only about 400 yards away so that's not doing me much good! I try to stand up and walk around at work but really my job is on the computer and it's easy to get drawn in to what I'm doing and forget to stand up. I can go 4 hours without standing up sometimes. I am trying to go for a walk at lunchtimes but I don't always get a lunch break.

I think I just need to adjust to eating in a more controlled way. I know what I can eat to stay slim and it's not awful, it's just that I need to skip the cakes and biscuits most of the time.

ouryve Wed 27-Apr-16 00:08:56

Never, with a sedentary job.

I'm a SAHM with a joint condition that makes exercise dificult to contrive. DH is a desk bound geek. We both have fitness monitors.

Despite DH's propensity to pace as he thinks, reaching 5000 steps is rare for him

I reach 10K most days.

Still not enough to stuff myself silly, though. <eyes belly tyre>

mommybunny Wed 27-Apr-16 13:47:52

I've been running now for over a year, first I trained for a half marathon in September and now I'm training for a 10K. I don't have a consistent distance I run every week - I just do what my training program tells me but I probably do between 25 and 35K per week, over 4 days, more when I'm doing the HM training. I don't do any other exercise - I struggle enough to fit this in!

I don't weigh myself but I suspect my BMI is somewhere around the high end of healthy/low end of overweight. I'm in my late forties and peri-menopausal, but a pretty consistent size 10-12, 5'3 1/2, and have been since I've been running. I don't count calories, but I try, during the week, to eat only vegan before dinner, at which time I have a normal meal. I am sure it's helped me keep my weight relatively stable, and a bonus is that I never have to be hungry. The foods I'm eating keep me fairly sated until it's time for the next meal, and I eat less at dinner even though I can then eat "whatever I want". I got the idea from Mark Bittman's book "Vegan Before 6" and recommend it highly.

It's good that you picked up on cutting out the boredom eating - there was just today an article in the Times that made this same connection!


Frostycake Wed 27-Apr-16 13:52:30

Depends entirely on what your metabolism is like.

If you have a RMR (resting metabolic rate) that' really low like mine (1030) then you'll never be able to out-exercise a sloppy diet.

if on the other hand you have a really high RMR (say 3,000) then you should be able to eat a reasonable amount of lovely food and not gain weight.

Get it tested and you'll have your answer.

suzannecaravaggio Wed 27-Apr-16 14:42:49

.in our obese-ogenic environment/culture the majority of people will need to exercise some self control if they are not to gain increasing amounts of adipose tissue as they age

I think your question might be re-phrased as
'is it possible to bring your appetite in line with your physiological needs'
I think it is but you will need to avoid highly palatable foods which stimulate rather than satiate the appetite

if your appetite is already out of sync with your need for sustenance then that is the underlying problem and exercising probably wont address may even make it worse

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