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AIBU?

Do you think it would be easier to lose weight if you had more time ?

268 replies

kitchenlover · 06/01/2024 12:11

I am really really struggling to sort myself out with this.

Are these all just excuses though ?

I have lost weight successfully in the past, but I've also been exhausted by the whole thing.

I need to be super strict and spend around 2 hours in the gym a day, ( 5 days a week at least ) in order to see a change in my body. It's exhausting.

I have a full time job, two preschool aged children and a completely absent H, due to his work.

I also suffer from a condition which causes fatigue. So I start off with less energy than most people anyway. That is not even taking account the fact that I do all night wakings with my kids.

I just can't do all of this AND spend the time shopping/ meal prepping and going to the gym a lot.

How do people manage ? I really need to get back to a healthy weight and the only way I can see this happening is if I just don't work for a bit. I can afford to do this and yes I posted about this the other day. However I keep thinking- what if I take some time out from work to sort myself out and then I don't even manage to lose weight ?

Am I just making excuses ? How do people with so many responsibilities do it ??

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MsCactus · 06/01/2024 12:45

To add to the OP - I said I lose weight by just skipping a meal - I also found the only time I ever gained weight consistently was when I started exercising (which I did by cycling for a month or so)

They've done lots of studies on exercising and it doesn't correlate with losing weight. Obviously it's very good for you to exercise for other reasons - health, wellbeing, MH etc - but if you're purely looking for weight loss why not count calories?

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withthischoice · 06/01/2024 12:45

you seem to have this view that rhe only lway you could possibly lose weight is by giving up work; working out 2 hours a day and living off lettuce.


Which is patently daft and it is that thinking that is stopping you lose weight. Not lack of time and having a job.

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Allywill · 06/01/2024 12:46

I do actually agree. The times I have lost weight most successfully have included 2 hours in the gym 3 -4 times a week. It’s very hard for me to even remain “active” during the working day. I have an 80 mile commute on 4 motorways so walking or cycling is not an option and I am sat at a desk all day. It also means I leave home at 730am and don’t get home until after 6. I also look after my elderly parents and drive my dad 6-7pm Mondays Wednesday and Fridays. So for a large portion of my waking time I am either sat in the car or at a desk. When I went to the gym I was doing a mixture of walking/running on treadmill and light swimming for around 45 mins each - add in getting changed and showered and it took about 2 hours out of my day. Weekend this is obviously easier but it is very difficult to fit this in weekdays. I would not consider not working but more working from home would obviously help as it’s the commute for me that is the time stealer.

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Alalalalalongalalalalalonglonglilong · 06/01/2024 12:46

Also OP bear in mind that resource of energy you once had for gym work is needed for your little ones. You have so much more responsibility and domestic chores now and no free time. Its a very tough demanding stage of life. I don't think comparing what you achieved in your child free days is a good idea, your circumstances have completely changed.

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anothernamechangeagainsndagain · 06/01/2024 12:47

No because you fill the time available quite frankly!

Loosing weight, whatever national gym chains would like to persuade us, is mostly about consuming less calories than we expend, pretty simple in fact. Exercise is good but a 15-20 minute home workout daily and running 3 times a week for 30 mins is actually far more doable as target.

2 hours isn't realistic or necessary unless you are a professional athlete

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peanutbutter00 · 06/01/2024 12:48

Do you think you are putting pressure on yourself to lose weight too quickly? Often people fail diets because they go too extreme because they want fast results, but consistent weight loss takes time and can be much slower than a lot of people are willing to accept

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anothernamechangeagainsndagain · 06/01/2024 12:50

Get a personal trainer for a couple of sessions to help you build a sustainable exercise route that fits with your available schedule, if they are trained in nutrition even better

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Filthyslattern · 06/01/2024 12:51

Eating very little is not how you lose weight.
You need to eat lots of nutrient rich, calorie low food. Loads of lean protein- chicken, eggs, fish, tons of lovely vegetables, small amounts of carb and dairy. Lots of nice fruit.
Fill yourself up , don't starve yourself.

Eating tiny amounts and exercising for two hours a day is insane.

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ApolloandDaphne · 06/01/2024 12:52

I have masses of spare time and I have never been fatter.

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LivingDeadGirlUK · 06/01/2024 12:53

What is your current weight and height OP? What are you trying to lose?

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Ilovelurchers · 06/01/2024 12:53

OP, I think what people are objecting to is your assertion that this is the only way you "could" lose weight.

Perhaps what you mean more accurately is that this is the way your prefer to lose weight.

Few people can spend this amount of time in a gym (most people can't afford gym membership at all) so of course there are other ways to lose weight, but they may not be ways you wish to explore, and that's fine. It does sound strange - spending all that time at the gym when you have a chronic fatigue-causing condition - but you've done it before you say and we must assume you know your own body best.

You don't need our permission to leave work and focus on gym attendance. Do so, if it makes you happy and doesn't negatively impact your dependents. Maybe the issue here is what's stopping you - do you feel guilty about the prospect of not working?

(I ask because I have worked pretty much all my life, and felt horribly guilty when I took time off for mat leave or for my health. Irrational I know but it was also intense).

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kitchenlover · 06/01/2024 12:53

peanutbutter00 · 06/01/2024 12:48

Do you think you are putting pressure on yourself to lose weight too quickly? Often people fail diets because they go too extreme because they want fast results, but consistent weight loss takes time and can be much slower than a lot of people are willing to accept

I don't know. I just know that it's important something changes and I just can't do it right now.

I keep trying and it's not working. When I think back to when it did work, that's what I did. I had way more time then, so I assume that will also help this time.

I think it's really really important that I get this under control.

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5128gap · 06/01/2024 12:53

I only managed to lose the two stone extra I'd carried for ten years because of lockdown. Having nothing to do but focus on my diet and health as a 'project' was an absolute game changer. I had time to research the foods that were best for me, to look into the sort of excercise that would be most beneficial, to cook properly, to go on long walks, to get enough test and sleep. I've managed to keep all but 7lb of the weight off since normal life has resumed, but its a real struggle now I've less time and more to do.

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Okitten · 06/01/2024 12:56

withthischoice · 06/01/2024 12:21

you started a thread asking about giving up work in order to lose weight?!

Where did you see the OP say that? Just out of interest.

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PurpleQualityStreetDress · 06/01/2024 12:56

Excuses! Some people lose weight from stress and tiredness and some react by eating more sugary fatty foods and gain weight in times of stress.

Whether you sag depends on how fast the weightloss was and your genes. Exercise doesn't stop genuine skin saggyness nor does it get rid of it.

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kitsuneghost · 06/01/2024 12:58

You said you did it before
You need to look at why you gave up
Was it unsustainable?
If it was unsustainable then it will be unsustainable now.

You say you don't get results without 2h at the gym daily. How long before you see results generally? Do you need a quick win? Maybe you need to change your mindset to slow, steady and sustainable.

Set your goal for next Christmas not next Tuesday.

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kitsuneghost · 06/01/2024 13:00

Okitten · 06/01/2024 12:56

Where did you see the OP say that? Just out of interest.

Second last paragraph, line 2 and 3

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Cherrysoup · 06/01/2024 13:01

You really don’t need to spend 2 hours in the gym a day, that’s ridiculous and over the top. You need to change your eating habits and walk everywhere, you won’t get ‘saggy’, unless you have a lot to lose and you do it really quickly eg through surgery. It’s difficult if you have a sedentary job, but use your lunchtime to walk, I’m going to do this now I can’t do big dog walks because I’m back at work.

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kitchenlover · 06/01/2024 13:01

5128gap · 06/01/2024 12:53

I only managed to lose the two stone extra I'd carried for ten years because of lockdown. Having nothing to do but focus on my diet and health as a 'project' was an absolute game changer. I had time to research the foods that were best for me, to look into the sort of excercise that would be most beneficial, to cook properly, to go on long walks, to get enough test and sleep. I've managed to keep all but 7lb of the weight off since normal life has resumed, but its a real struggle now I've less time and more to do.

Unfortunately this is how it's worked for me in the past. I find losing weight exhausting. It takes over everything. Once I've lost the weight, I find maintenance much more bearable.

I was doing well while on maternity leave, I was exercising a lot but since being back at work for about a year now, it's just so bad.

I work from home exclusively, so I'm used to being at home all the time. It doesn't help.

I would go to the gym after dropping kids off at nursery etc and then I plan to go to shops, come home and cook and then pick them up again. I would try not to eat anything ' big ' until I've picked them up. I may have a protein shake after the gym.

Just to reiterate the two hours gym thing- I am not in there for two hours at maximum effort level. I do slow and steady exercises as it's better for my body. So that will be maybe an hour of different weight exercises and then more LISS style cardio at the end.

Food wise, lots of lean protein.

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minipie · 06/01/2024 13:02

I have a full time job, two preschool aged children and a completely absent H, due to his work.

I also suffer from a condition which causes fatigue. So I start off with less energy than most people anyway. That is not even taking account the fact that I do all night wakings with my kids.


I was in this position. I had put weight on but it wasn’t due to not exercising as I never did any exercise pre kids either 😳. It’s due to the stress and the exhaustion and reaching for quick comforting food as a pick me up. Also thyroid in my case (have you had yours tested?) which I suspect was exacerbated by stress.

The exercise is a red herring. The weight is a red herring too except that it’s a symptom of being overloaded. You need to reduce your load somehow or you will break.

Your H needs to share more of the load. He is working FT so are you, you are a parent so is he, why the hell are you doing all the night wakings and why does he get to be completely absent.

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kitchenlover · 06/01/2024 13:03

kitsuneghost · 06/01/2024 12:58

You said you did it before
You need to look at why you gave up
Was it unsustainable?
If it was unsustainable then it will be unsustainable now.

You say you don't get results without 2h at the gym daily. How long before you see results generally? Do you need a quick win? Maybe you need to change your mindset to slow, steady and sustainable.

Set your goal for next Christmas not next Tuesday.

I had two children and it was very difficult after that tbh. I just don't have enough energy to do it all and the gym stuff is what slipped.

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NigelHarmansNewWife · 06/01/2024 13:04

If you already suffer from a condition which means you have fatigue then a long cardio session every day is sure fire way to get burn out and make it worse. It will also make you hungry without contributing very much at all to your weight loss.

Concentrate on lifting weights/bodyweight exercises and increase your walking where possible, no need to go mad. Consume fewer calories than you expend and you will lose weight whether you eat a diet with lean protein, veg and complex carbs or just eat several chocolate bars a day. Eating a varied diet, counting calories and macros will be easier and more enjoyable. Do not exclude foods you like because you think they are "bad", instead learn how to eat them as part of your diet.

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devildeepbluesea · 06/01/2024 13:04

If you need to spend 5 x 2 hours per week in the gym, you’re doing the gym wrong. Ask a PT, lift heavier weights and halve your workout time

However I undoubtedly lose weight more easily if I have time to think about my diet more. My job is so bloody manic I never have time to make food (wfh) so end up snacking on crap all afternoon. I really need to focus more on prep.

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kitchenlover · 06/01/2024 13:06

minipie · 06/01/2024 13:02

I have a full time job, two preschool aged children and a completely absent H, due to his work.

I also suffer from a condition which causes fatigue. So I start off with less energy than most people anyway. That is not even taking account the fact that I do all night wakings with my kids.


I was in this position. I had put weight on but it wasn’t due to not exercising as I never did any exercise pre kids either 😳. It’s due to the stress and the exhaustion and reaching for quick comforting food as a pick me up. Also thyroid in my case (have you had yours tested?) which I suspect was exacerbated by stress.

The exercise is a red herring. The weight is a red herring too except that it’s a symptom of being overloaded. You need to reduce your load somehow or you will break.

Your H needs to share more of the load. He is working FT so are you, you are a parent so is he, why the hell are you doing all the night wakings and why does he get to be completely absent.

This is definitely true. The stress and exhaustion and reaching for quick food that's there.

I swear when my son was going through this stage when he was around 1, where he needed to be picked up around the clock, otherwise he'd scream - I would just quickly eat whatever was near and it would calm me down from the anxiety and stress of all the screaming.

It's better now, I am able to control myself a bit more as the screaming has stopped. Same with night time wakings.

Any attempts I've made at losing weight through diet alone have failed. Or only lasted a few months. I need a radical lifestyle change.

H cannot do more. It's just the situation right now.

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fastingworks · 06/01/2024 13:07

Look up Dr Eric Berg OMAD on YouTube.OMAD means one meal a day.The health benefits will be explained.
It will also save you time & money.
I have much more energy since I started intermittent fasting.

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