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To despair at how hard it is to lose weight?

193 replies

Angel1983 · 02/07/2015 20:29

I know I need to toughen myself up and it's my own fault for letting my weight get so out of control in the first place but my word how hard is it to lose weight?

I have just been to the gym and worked my backside off on the cross trainer (amongst other things). After ten minutes of really going for it (sweating and panting) I had burned only 50 calories. This is not even enough for an apple!

AIBU to feel disheartened? How do you keep your motivation? Help!Blush

OP posts:
eckythumpenallthat · 03/07/2015 07:05

Exercise plays it's part but it's the kind of exercise you do. Endless hours of cardio is t going to do it. After all the bodies you see you want aren't caning it on a x-trainer. Weight training will make the biggest difference.

Then cutting out simple carbs and keeping complex (brown rice, sweet potatoe) lots of protein, fruit n veg will get u results

Runningupthathill82 · 03/07/2015 07:07

Another MFP convert here.

Lots of people over-estimate how much exercise they do and underestimate how much they eat. MFP, if used properly and honestly, stops you from doing that.

Like the poster upthread, for example, who describes themselves as "super active" because they walk an average of 4 miles a day, jog three times a week, and do yoga. You're probably only burning around 300 to 500 cals a day doing that, so you'd put it all back on with a couple of large glasses of wine. Hence the "super fit" person would then think exercise doesn't work.

When I started doing MFP I was properly active - in marathon training running 20+ miles a week, running or walking to and from work and doing weights/circuits as well - and eating pretty much what I wanted, as long as it was healthy.

But I was obviously eating too much to lose weight.
On MFP I went from a BMI of 24 and a size 12 to a BMI of 21 and a size 8/10, just through sticking to my calorie allowance of 1200 a day, plus an average around 800 additional "exercise" calories.

I wasn't fat before, and was very fit, but knew I'd be happier - and faster - if I was slimmer. When I lost the weight I felt fantastic. And even though I'm now pg, I'm still a stone below my starting weight, and my old size 12s are still huge on me.

So that I never felt hungry - and because I think it's important to eat well - I avoided sugar as much as poss while trying to lose weight, and still do. I ate all food groups, loads of fruit and veg, but avoided anything low-fat, anything that says diet on it, any fizzy drinks or other crap.

Physical exercise is vital, but it's the balance with eating well that will make you lose weight rather than maintain.

To prove how effective exercise is, go to any fell race. There's hundreds every night at this time of year. You'll struggle to see any runner over a size 12 and, among the front of the pack, you'll struggle to find one over a size 8.

Or a parkrun, in most major parks at 9am each Saturday. Look at all the women and men doing decent times - barely a fat one among them. Then compare that to people doing light exercise in a gym - on a crosstrainer, or in a Zumba class. Far more large people. And there's a reason for that. Hard exercise works, temporary gym obsessions don't.

And it's a two way thing too. Once you get good at running, for example, you want to be lighter to make it easy to run faster. Since I did MFP I've shaved more than two minutes off my 5k time. An overall healthy lifestyle is the key, not a fad diet.

Sorry, that was long!

LumpySpacedPrincess · 03/07/2015 07:09

Eat nutritious foods and ditch the cakes and booze. As ecky said, use weights. Work out in a smart way, interval training and toning to change your body shape. Don't weigh yourself, ever, just go by how you look and feel in your clothes.

Runningupthathill82 · 03/07/2015 07:09

Oh, and one pp got it spot on when they said you don't see many slim and fit people drinking coke! Fizzy drinks give me the rage. Unless it's gin and tonic. Or prosecco ...

puffinrock · 03/07/2015 07:13

I think slim people drink fizzy drinks(personally I drink energy drinks a lot), but normal full fat ones whereas overweight people drink diet. I believe in same way as you it is pointless doing exercise a few hours a week it has to be constant from getting up until bed.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag · 03/07/2015 07:14

Only time I've ever managed to lose weight (and keep it off!) was simple calorie counting. I used MFP and stuck to 1400 calories a day. A massive eye opener was portion sizes for things like pasta. I still ate them, just less of them. Lost a steady pound and a half a week, until I'd lost the stone and I half I needed to lose. I've never put it back on as I now know what constitutes a portion (well I'm currently 39 weeks pregnant so obviously have but that doesn't count!)

flanjabelle · 03/07/2015 07:15

All this calorie in/ calorie out stuff is massively simplistic imo. You need to not be hungry and for your body to need to work to get the nutrition . For me lean protein and wholegrain is the key..... rather than cutting carbs entirely but we are all different.

But this is the part people just dont seem to get. Weight loss is all about calories. For weight loss (note I have not said health) as long as you have less calories going in than out then you will lose. That is the answer to weight loss, not cutting out whole food groups.

I follow cico, but I eat a varied diet of healthy foods. if I ate all my calorie allowance in crap processed food, I would be hungry, feel ill etc. But I would still lose weight.

The ultimate answer to how do I lose weight is less calories in than out. It really is that simple.

GeorginaWorsley · 03/07/2015 07:31

I lost 2.5 stone and have kept it off using mfp.
The key for me was eating less and moving more, sorry Grin
I log my foods and do interval training classes 3 times a week,strength training,run and walk.
I don't cut out any food group and I have a glass of wine most nights,which I know I shouldn't Blush

WorldsBiggestGrotbag · 03/07/2015 07:32

Eating less and moving more worked for me too!

RufusTheReindeer · 03/07/2015 08:09

If I reduce my portions of bread/carbs I have less bloating and water retention and therefore lose a few pounds.

Slimming world doesn't work for me as its too carb heavy...I gain weight

My TDEE is 1600, if I don't go down to 1000 calories I don't lose any weight

My thyroid makes it very difficult to maintain weight loss

I appreciate all the comments on here, lots of suggestions are very, very helpful

I don't think eat less, move more is, although I absolutely agree that the theory works for lots of people it doesn't work for everyone.

Some people need to eat less of certain things, everyone is different

Maybe more helpful than "just eat less it worked for me" would be suggestions on how to do so, like the poster ate from smaller plates, someone else may have cutdown on alcohol, or meat, or carbs

RufusTheReindeer · 03/07/2015 08:11

Should say that it's only the "just eat less" posts are the one I'm referring to

Most people have said eat less...this is what I do and that's great Grin

NorahDentressangle · 03/07/2015 08:20

I would say find a hobby or interest that you REAlly enjoy. Something to throw yourself into and spend time doing and more time thinking about, something creative.

No, not easy. But I've found that it's easier not to think of food if you are sidetracked by something you find much more interesting. Also get some good stuff on an ipod to listen to and distract you when exercising, not just music. Look online. Then exercising becomes 'me' time when you listen to a great book or programme not some chore that you Have to do.

pinkstinks · 03/07/2015 08:21

6stone 3lbs down now a mixture of WW filling and healthy, binge eating a hell of a lot less and being honest with myself.
box fit insanity and the "seconds" HIIT app have helped too and are fun now. Honesty my whole life has changed and I feel so much better. Apparently still two more stone to lose to be a healthy BMi though..Hmm

puffinrock · 03/07/2015 08:35

Just look at what slim people eat when you see them. I have friends that are overweight they put pasta, rice, roast type meals on a plate that would be the size of 2 meals for me. Don't do that thing where your food stops going upwards as people pile it on.

It is your mindset I suppose. When you see those threads saying is a sandwich a decent sized lunch and everyone piles on and acts like that is a starvation diet. Hmm

WorldsBiggestGrotbag · 03/07/2015 08:43

The only thing I did differently in order to 'eat less' was weigh things. So I had a proper portion of pasta rather than the 2 massive handfuls I used to have, for example.

silverstreak · 03/07/2015 08:44

Haven't read the whole thread sorry so don't know if someone's already said this but after reading your post I have to say that's NOT the way Rioto look at exercise (as in retrospectively, input vs output) - regular exercise will boost your metabolism in general as it will increase/improve muscle mass which in turn will then require increased did intake to power, iyswim.... I remember my ex FiL used to regularlyscoff at me when I used to do a lot of running, saying it was a waste of time as running a whole marathon wouldnt even burn off a jar of mayonnaise (usually said while stuffing his face!)... Would never listen to the argument it was all about the above metabolism boosting! On the exercise front it's also worth saying that whilst cardiovascular exercise is very good for you toy should also include strengthening exercises as they will increase & improve muscle tone much quicker! Smile

Wrt diet, I am a big eater and struggled with my weight in my teens until I realised the worst culprit WAS carbs, but not all carbs, just the "fillers", complex starchy "calorie heavy" ones - eg pasta, bread, potatoes, etc - & as a big eater they are definitely the enemy! It's no point people saying "everything in moderation" - in my experience if you have an eating 'problem' that's like saying to a drug addict to just have one line/spliff, etc.... If you need to have a large meal (obviously try not to too often!) make it a huge salad or mountain of veg! If you're a huge "carb" fan maybe just have a 'treat' day to look forward to?

Anyway, much luck op, and DO keep up with the exercise - it's so worth it long term all round! Although.... the cross trainer - really?? Ime gyms are not really conducive to long term exercise as not many people really enjoy them! Find an exercise you like and can maintain long term? Dancing, for eg, out something sociable and fun, and find a short strengthening routine toy can do at home a few times a week (there was a celeb 7min plan everyone was raving about on here a month or so back!)....

Good luck!!Flowers (edible ones!)

Branleuse · 03/07/2015 08:53

Do MFP and go to the gym 4 or 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes a time, or an excercise dvd such as 30 day shred, and you will shrink.

Its harder at first, but your stamina will improve and improve.

If youre so exhausted you feel ill from it from the gym, then pace yourself better. You dont have to go hell for leather to begin with. You need to get yourself into it

WorktoLive · 03/07/2015 08:53

But puffin, sandwiches are very poor value, calorie-wise - many prepacked sandwiches contain 500 to 600 calories and are nowhere near as satisfying as a proper cooked meal (roast, pasta, curry etc), which could easily have the same, or fewer calories - that's why people act like it's a starvation diet.

Most weight loss diets like SW really restrict the amount of bread you can have. To have even one 2 slice sandwich, you would have to use 2 day's worth of bread allowance (and then it must be wholemeal) or give up all your chocolate/cake/alcohol allowance for that day. Shock

I don't really like cold food, so rarely eat sandwiches, but when I am trying to lose weight, faced with the choice of a single sandwich, or a proper meal and a small treat, the latter is going to win everytime.

thegreylady · 03/07/2015 08:57

Slimming World for me too. I have lost nearly 3 stones in a year without exercise or hunger. Dh has lost nearly 2 stones in 10 weeks but he combines SW with the 5:2 diet so 5 days SW and 2 days eating 600 calories. His waist has gone from 46/48 to 40 in that time.

puffinrock · 03/07/2015 09:00

I was talking more of a sandwich you would make yourself. Yesterday I ate ommelette with cheese and mushroom for breakfast, ham sandwich I made myself, then chicken, mash and veg. That would be more than enough not to crave any snacks and it isnt many calories really.

puffinrock · 03/07/2015 09:04

I don't really have a daily allowance of cake, chocolate or alcohol. I drink when I am out and every now and again get those mini wine bottles when I get in. I like ice cream when it is hot, but chocolate I would only eat once a week. I don't really have a sweet tooth in that sense.

tobysmum77 · 03/07/2015 09:09

but flanja the point is if you ate all your calories in unhealthy food you would be starving all the time. After a few days desperation will kick in, so you fall off the wagon no one can live life starving. To achieve a healthy weight you need to find a way to eat where you aren't hungry and can self regulate. So calorie counting is unnecessary. I watch people I work with trying to diet unsuccessfully by eating practically nothing, it isn't working for them.

I always think these threads are interesting not least because we have no idea the weights/ histories of people posting. I suspect many times people who are overweight are giving advice to people who actually arent ...

tobysmum77 · 03/07/2015 09:11

And my in laws are overweight because of sandwiches. They are obsessed with a sandwich 'not being much' so fine as a snack tea if you aren't hungry Confused and don't forget the crisps...

WorraLiberty · 03/07/2015 09:12

Eating less really does work wonders imo

Many people just don't realise they're overeating because they've either grown up that way, or just not noticed the increase in their food intake over a period of years.

After a few weeks/months of putting less on your plate and cutting out snacks, most bodies tend to adjust. Lots of people have done this and say they could never go back to eating the way they used to, because they just physically couldn't pack that amount of food into their stomachs any more.

Yes you'll feel hungry during the first few weeks of adjustment, but hunger is not the mortal enemy some people think it is.

The minute we feel hunger nowadays, we tend to want to instantly stop it for some reason. This is probably due to the snacking culture teaching us that hunger between meals is a 'bad' thing.

If you've eaten lunch most people can wait until dinner time to eat again, unless of course their bodies are used to being instantly fed.

puffinrock · 03/07/2015 09:13

I don't think it is that tobysmum. It is to do with stomach size. I do eat a lot of savoury junk but it definitely fills me up.

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