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martin_05
August 12th, 2011, 12:01 PM
NOTE: After review it is obvious that my original calorie intake estimate was wrong. I've edited this post to revise it to 2,000 calories. I originally said that it was 1000, which makes no sense.


I am looking for dietary advice in order to maximize my results. Prior to getting into swimming I was consuming about 2,000 calories per day and trying to favor protein. Considering that I was sitting in front of a computer most of the day even 1,000 calories may have been too much. My weight pretty much stayed around the same 220lbs (lean weight target being somewhere around 185lbs).

Now that I am swimming I probably need to change my dietary intake. I do want to get rid of the extra pounds as soon as possible. However, with these 1 1/2 hour workouts and only 2000 calories I felt out of energy for the first couple of days. My lack of conditioning probably had a lot to do with it.

Some of the questions I have are:

Should I try to remain close to 2000 calories in order to expedite weight loss and then stabilize at a higher caloric intake?

My workouts are at 5:30AM. I can't have breakfast prior to the workout. This means that I am working off of energy from dinner and stored fat. Should I favor certain foods for dinner?

Also, what would be the best distribution of caloric intake throughout the day? Should I front load (heavy breakfast) or have a larger dinner to put some energy away for the morning workout?

Any other thoughts/advice would be appreciated.

Thanks.

swimmieAvsFan
August 12th, 2011, 12:19 PM
I am looking for dietary advice in order to maximize my results. Prior to getting into swimming I was consuming about 1,000 calories per day and trying to favor protein. Considering that I was sitting in front of a computer most of the day even 1,000 calories may have been too much. My weight pretty much stayed around the same 220lbs (lean weight target being somewhere around 185lbs)...


1000 calories is way way way too little intake!

making a few assumptions (and sooo sorry if i'm way off on them :) )- that you're a 45 YO male who is 6ft tall and weighs 220lbs, you need in the neighborhood of 2000 calories just to keep your body going (this is called your basal metabolic rate). by consistantly only eating 1000 calories, you're essentially tricking your body into thinking it's starving, so no matter how hard you tried to lose the weight, your body will be working against you.

and now that you've added in swimming, you definitely need to add calories.

i'll leave your other questions to folks who are more versed in the nutritional aspects, rather than the physical aspects
:)

martin_05
August 12th, 2011, 12:38 PM
1000 calories is way way way too little intake!

making a few assumptions (and sooo sorry if i'm way off on them :) )- that you're a 45 YO male who is 6ft tall and weighs 220lbs, you need in the neighborhood of 2000 calories just to keep your body going (this is called your basal metabolic rate). by consistantly only eating 1000 calories, you're essentially tricking your body into thinking it's starving, so no matter how hard you tried to lose the weight, your body will be working against you.

and now that you've added in swimming, you definitely need to add calories.

i'll leave your other questions to folks who are more versed in the nutritional aspects, rather than the physical aspects
:)

Close: 48, 5' 8"

I should say that the 1,000 cal number is more of a target than a scientific fact. I would not be surprised if I am consuming 3000+ cal per day on the weekends. This isn't hard to do when you consider that most meals at restaurants are in the 1000+ calorie range by themselves.

After about six months of eating with care I haven't really lost a lot of weight. If the basal metabolic intake calculation is correct, then, I must have been consuming an average of 2000 calories per day. Otherwise I should be thin as a toothpick right now.

Now that I am working out maybe I should make a concerted effort to actually keep real numbers on my intake and see where I am. Data is always a good thing.

I guess the more general question might be: Do I stay at the basal metabolic intake of around 2,000 cal per day in order to push weight loss right now or do I up my intake to some number below what I should be consuming due to my workouts and accept a longer slim-down phase?

What's a good way to estimate calories burned during my workouts? Using various calculators on the 'net I estimate that I might be in the 750 to 1000 calorie range right now. My workouts are 1.5 hours but right now I am probably resting 20 to 30 minutes of that time.

Jazz Hands
August 12th, 2011, 12:47 PM
I should say that the 1,000 cal number is more of a target than a scientific fact. I would not be surprised if I am consuming 3000+ cal per day on the weekends. This isn't hard to do when you consider that most meals at restaurants are in the 1000+ calorie range by themselves.

If it's stupid/impossible to eat 1,000 kcal per day (which it is) then why would you try to do it? You need to be about 1,000 times smarter about this, every day.

qbrain
August 12th, 2011, 12:48 PM
I got bored after an injury last year that took me out of the pool and prevented me from lifting, so I decided to loose some weight. My diet, six days a week, consisted of all the green vegetables I could eat, boneless skinless chicken, protein bars and egg whites. One day a week, I ate about 3-4k calories of pizza, cookies, alcohol, whatever.

For exercise I road a stationary bike averaging about an hour a day, but that was an average. One day I did 3 hours taking a short 10 minute break to refill water and have some coffee. My injury prevented me from doing ANYTHING that involved the upper body, so even riding a real bike was out.

IIRC I lost 24.x lbs in 6 weeks, 190ish to mid 170s, ~15% bf% to upper single digits. I lost a ton of muscle mass during this time, but there wasn't any way to maintain it either.

If you limit yourself to protein and green vegetables, I really don't think you need to starve yourself.

The unlimited green vegetable and protein diet with lots of exercise is certainly effective, but if you have 50 lbs to loose, the most effective diet and exercise program is going to be the one you can stick with.

orca1946
August 12th, 2011, 12:52 PM
It's easy to lose BUT hard to maintain !! Cut back on the not good stuff & work out lots.

martin_05
August 12th, 2011, 01:02 PM
If it's stupid/impossible to eat 1,000 kcal per day (which it is) then why would you try to do it? You need to be about 1,000 times smarter about this, every day.

I think my point is that the number I provided is not accurate. I have not been counting calories. I've been eating a couple of scrambled eggs for breakfast. About a cup-full of protein (fish or chicken) for lunch, sometimes with a cup-full of beans for lunch. And, whatever my wife decided to make for dinner (which is usually heavier than breakfast/lunch. Then weekends are usually heavier for all meals.

My guess now, given the calculation and the fact that I have not really lost any weight in six months, is that I've been consuming an average of 2000 calories per day. let's start from that point. The 1000 calorie number isn't supported by any evidence at all.

qbrain
August 12th, 2011, 01:24 PM
I think my point is that the number I provided is not accurate. I have not been counting calories. I've been eating a couple of scrambled eggs for breakfast. About a cup-full of protein (fish or chicken) for lunch, sometimes with a cup-full of beans for lunch. And, whatever my wife decided to make for dinner (which is usually heavier than breakfast/lunch. Then weekends are usually heavier for all meals.


I am afraid you need to continue to eat at dinner and the weekends like you do during breakfast and lunch. If that is not an option, find yourself a small plate and measure you dinner servings/weekend servings like you do for breakfast and lunch. 4 oz of mashed potatoes made with cream and butter are not as good as a salad, but 4 oz is a lot less calories than 12 oz which I would guess is a normally ends up on a plate.

A dessert plate has about half the surface area of a dinner plate, an easy way to cut your portions.

aztimm
August 12th, 2011, 04:42 PM
I'm wondering where that target weight came from. If you're 48 and 5'8", I'd guess a healthy weight would be around 150.
I'm 5'11" and my weight is 165-170.

As for diet, I think you have to find a plan that works for you. You can buy all the broccoli in the world, but if you won't eat it (unless it is slathered in cheese sauce), then it does you no good.

I try to be mostly sensible with my diet. I swim (or run) mornings too, and I don't eat prior. I'll eat a protein bar shortly after, then a low-fat breakfast sandwich after I get to the office. I generally snack much of the morning, granola, pretzels, etc. Have a decent lunch (usually leftovers from a dinner),some snacks in the afternoon. Then I usually do my 2nd workout (gym, etc) after work. After I get home some days I just have a big salad for dinner. Sometimes a smaller salad with a small portion of a pasta-type dish.

I've been doing this for about 4-5 years. I was flirting with 200# before I began, dropped to 150-155 for a while (people asked if I was ok), and mostly hover 165-170 now (lower when I'm peaking for a marathon, higher in the 1-2 weeks after).

aztimm
August 12th, 2011, 04:50 PM
A dessert plate has about half the surface area of a dinner plate, an easy way to cut your portions.

That's a great suggestion!
I just started using smaller plates a few months ago, and it really helps. For some reason, if I have a big plate, I'll fill it. Then once I have it at the table, I feel compelled to eat everything.


Another thought... Not that I condone eating chips, but if you do want some, put some on a paper towel or napkin. Close up the bag. Take your napkin-full to the couch. That's usually enough to satisfy me, especially when I see all the grease on the napkin afterward.

martin_05
August 12th, 2011, 05:24 PM
I'm wondering where that target weight came from. If you're 48 and 5'8", I'd guess a healthy weight would be around 150.
I'm 5'11" and my weight is 165-170.

I know that at 185 I feel great. That's where I was when reasonably active in martial arts. I have not been there in a while. I want to shoot for somewhere in that vicinity as a first step. Yes, 150 to 170 would probably be a better sustained level.


As for diet, I think you have to find a plan that works for you. You can buy all the broccoli in the world, but if you won't eat it (unless it is slathered in cheese sauce), then it does you no good.

I'll have to experiment. I am not used to early AM workouts, when I was in martial arts it was always late afternoon to early evenings so you'd run on what you had for lunch. I need to find out what works for me with the new schedule.

bud
August 12th, 2011, 08:09 PM
I like morning swims. I usually skip breakfast till after I swim, but may eat something light (a piece of fruit, maybe some almonds, etc).

I believe in quality over quantity ("empty" calories just don't cut it). If you only eat high quality foods as close to their natural state as possible (i.e. minimal processing), you will eventually get to your optimum weight (but hey, I like my cookies and ice-cream too!). When I stick to quality only, and swim 4-5x/wk, I can eat as much as I want, and maintain (or reach) an optimal weight very easily.

king corn film - Google Search

The documentary "King Corn" is one of the more profound one's I've seen (plus it is fun and entertaining) that helped me truly understand the food situation we face today. I highly recommend it.

:)

qbrain
August 12th, 2011, 08:51 PM
I just started using smaller plates a few months ago, and it really helps. For some reason, if I have a big plate, I'll fill it. Then once I have it at the table, I feel compelled to eat everything.


I have the opposite experience that lead to the same conclusion. Our normal dinner plate have the 1.5" of dead space along the edge of the plate, but my in-laws have plates that are the same size, but do not have this dead zone (kinda like really shallow bowls). Given the same type meal, say roast and mashed potatoes, at our house a plate full is fine, at their house it is gut busting meal. Visually it looks like the same amount on the plate.

Plate size matters.

martin_05
August 12th, 2011, 09:37 PM
The documentary "King Corn" is one of the more profound one's I've seen (plus it is fun and entertaining) that helped me truly understand the food situation we face today. I highly recommend it.


The book "The Omnivores Dilemma" is pretty good too. Kind of scary when you realize that most foods are industrial products.

Jimbosback
August 12th, 2011, 11:24 PM
I'm wondering where that target weight came from. If you're 48 and 5'8", I'd guess a healthy weight would be around 150.
I'm 5'11" and my weight is 165-170.

Depends on body type. I'm 5'9" and my balance point seems to be about 180 when swimming (I just seem to hold onto a little more fat). I am going to try to be 175 for spring, but I just can't be lower than that. There'll be nothing left to lose.

The key is to find your own balance point. Clearly it's not your current weight or you wouldn't be asking about this stuff.

I went through this a few years ago. I decided to figure out how to lose the weight before getting back into swimming, though. I found that, for me, counting calories was the way to go. But if you are going to count them, you need to accurately count them -- weigh food and get a reliable source for the calories. (I used the CalorieCount web site). You also need to accurately determine how much you burn in an average day. Lots of sources are out there. It took me a lot of trial and error to figure it out -- when you're not 'hungry' and you don't put on weight at that calorie level, your at your breakeven point. Once this is determined, you can make a plan to shed the weight.

I also try to maximize my nutrition per calorie. I was a nut about it while losing weight, and now I just wing it. But I used World's Healthiest Foods (http://www.whfoods.com/foodstoc.php) to figure this out. It also helped me get a variety of foods into my diet instead of the same old 'healthy' things which I got tired of.

I was about 225 at my heaviest, btw, so I know what you've got ahead of you. It will be worth it. Good luck.

gaash
August 13th, 2011, 10:27 AM
Caloric intake is by far the most important thing in weight loss.. Since you are exercising a lot I would suggest low calories + high protein as you initially did. I think ~1500/day for the first couple weeks while your body still won't have time to adjust it's metabolism and if you see good results up the calories some. IF you barely had results (which is highly unlikely at 1500) it means your metabolism is really quite slow and you may need to cut even more calories. Try to maintain high protein to preserve muscle if you can.

Also, cheat days are not bad like once a week after a few weeks of steady diet maybe, but remember calorie intake is what matters so still count what you do on those cheat days so you know how much you 'gained' on them. They will help prevent your metabolism from slowing down though.

lastly, count ALL your calories. I've seen way too many people not count that pretzel or potato chip here and there or the pack of gum etc. etc. It ALL COUNTS.

orca1946
August 13th, 2011, 02:53 PM
I really need to eat lunch. I never had lunch when I worked full time, I would go out & run on lunch time. 40 years of doing this is a hard habit to break!

cheakamus
August 13th, 2011, 05:50 PM
Counting calories never worked for me. What worked was changing my diet, permanently, rather than dieting. Read up on insulin response and the glycemic index. Cut your carbs. No White at Night (get the book). I lost just under 100 pounds about 7-8 years ago by following these precepts and have kept it off since. In the past year I quit eating wheat and my body composition, though not my weight, changed remarkably (the change was noticeable after only two weeks, and no, I'm not celiac). I'm a lot more muscular and have far less flab around my middle than I used to. Sure, I'd still like to lose another 10-15 pounds, but I'm not sure that's going to be possible (my BMI is now within "normal," just). What I do know is that I'm healthier than I have been in decades, an opinion my doctor and a raft of sophisticated lipid tests confirm. A good place to start is http://www.marksdailyapple.com/
Don't miss the success stories, which are incredibly motivating.

jaadams1
August 13th, 2011, 09:44 PM
I don't worry about diet or counting calories...I just work out and eat when I'm hungry. Like tonight, I just spent 3+ hours yanking out a large pine tree stump from my front yard (this is called dryland training), and then near the end I called up Pizza Hut to fill up on calories!!! I'll probably get a 44oz. Mountain Dew later too to rehydrate. The good part of it all, is that I really won't increase my bodyweight any. :banana:

Jimbosback
August 13th, 2011, 10:35 PM
Counting calories never worked for me. What worked was changing my diet, permanently, rather than dieting.

Not discounting what you're saying, and calorie monitoring is not for everyone, but counting calories, done right, is not the same as dieting -- it's a proven way of figuring out the best way to eat. After a while, eating the right amount becomes habit.

cheakamus
August 14th, 2011, 12:07 AM
Not discounting what you're saying, and calorie monitoring is not for everyone, but counting calories, done right, is not the same as dieting -- it's a proven way of figuring out the best way to eat. After a while, eating the right amount becomes habit.

I agree with you to a point, but it seems as if the people who count calories are the ones most often complaining of hunger pangs (I was always hungry on a calorie-restricted diet). Now that I've incorporated a much higher proportion of saturated animal fats into my diet (butter, cream, cheese, bacon and other fatty meats, all from pastured animals), I'm almost never hungry and often go all day without eating between breakfast and dinner. Although much of the food I eat tends to be expensive, I eat a lot less of it, so it probably balances out in the end, cost-wise. Nowadays, when I think of what I used to eat, I can hardly believe the quantities I put away.

Interestingly, I experienced a lot of my initial weight loss when I stopped drinking Diet Coke (or any other soda). I used to drink probably six to eight cans a day. Obviously, at zero calories, the Coke itself wasn't responsible for putting on the pounds, but I noticed that whenever I drank a Coke, I immediately sought something to eat afterward. It may have been that the food was neutralizing the acid in my stomach.

Here's a story that I think is quite typical of a lot of people who join Weight Watchers to lose weight: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/i-started-to-take-measures-into-my-own-hands/

gaash
August 14th, 2011, 01:03 AM
I agree with you to a point, but it seems as if the people who count calories are the ones most often complaining of hunger pangs (I was always hungry on a calorie-restricted diet). Now that I've incorporated a much higher proportion of saturated animal fats into my diet (butter, cream, cheese, bacon and other fatty meats, all from pastured animals), I'm almost never hungry and often go all day without eating between breakfast and dinner. Although much of the food I eat tends to be expensive, I eat a lot less of it, so it probably balances out in the end, cost-wise. Nowadays, when I think of what I used to eat, I can hardly believe the quantities I put away.

Interestingly, I experienced a lot of my initial weight loss when I stopped drinking Diet Coke (or any other soda). I used to drink probably six to eight cans a day. Obviously, at zero calories, the Coke itself wasn't responsible for putting on the pounds, but I noticed that whenever I drank a Coke, I immediately sought something to eat afterward. It may have been that the food was neutralizing the acid in my stomach.

Here's a story that I think is quite typical of a lot of people who join Weight Watchers to lose weight: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/i-started-to-take-measures-into-my-own-hands/


Count yourself lucky you found a method that works for you and doesn't make you hungry. For the majority of people (despite what diet advertisements led you to believe) being hungry from time to time while dieting is going to happen. For me personally, I find that calorie restriction is easier than worrying about healthy food/cutting carbs/etc. I can eat 1500 calories a day, but not if I can't satisfy my craving for a twix bar every once in a while. Besides, most diets that don't involve directly counting calories still work via calorie depletion. i.e. if you don't eat carbs you are probably eating much less calories as well. (Yes, ketogenic diets work on more than calorie depletion but people even on "ketogenic" diets rarely actually get into more than 'barely ketosis')

swimlong
August 14th, 2011, 01:32 AM
one way of combining calorie counting and dietary change is to figure out how many calories it will take to maintain your target weight, then just eat that amount. For you, at a moderate activitely level, that would be about 2250 calories. So if you eat that many calories a day, you will eventually weigh 185 pounds with the bonus that you will have practiced eating to maintain that weight already. Any exercise you do above a moderate level will be a bonus weight loss! And allow for the inevitable alcohol/junk food sessions.

Celestial
August 14th, 2011, 04:34 PM
Hi martin - I am not the sleekest cat in the pool, but I do counsel people on weight loss a lot - In our office we recommend the South Beach or Dukan Diet, because they are sensible diets that include carbohydrate & fat reduction, and are physiologically friendly. They are actually probably ADA type diets. I have tried myself to go totally protein, and let me tell you, those carbs come in handy when you want to do a hard set. Do NOT eliminate them entirely! Simply by returning to the swimming world, if you will work out & write down every morsel of food that goes into your mouth (the idea being that you may not want to write down that you ate an entire box of Oreos, and so you don't eat them) you will naturally lose weight. It may seem at first as if you are toning your body more than losing weight at first, but both will happen. Someone here said that you didn't put the weight on over night, so don't expect it to come off over night either. Cross Training, or mixing it up is also helpful. Someone once suggested you change the activity you cross train with every six weeks for maximum weight loss. Swimming is not the activity of choice for weight loss, unfortunately. Running is - but of course, it's not necessarily as much fun!! Buena Suerte!!:D

gaash
August 14th, 2011, 05:11 PM
Hi martin - I am not the sleekest cat in the pool, but I do counsel people on weight loss a lot - In our office we recommend the South Beach or Dukan Diet, because they are sensible diets that include carbohydrate & fat reduction, and are physiologically friendly. They are actually probably ADA type diets. I have tried myself to go totally protein, and let me tell you, those carbs come in handy when you want to do a hard set. Do NOT eliminate them entirely! Simply by returning to the swimming world, if you will work out & write down every morsel of food that goes into your mouth (the idea being that you may not want to write down that you ate an entire box of Oreos, and so you don't eat them) you will naturally lose weight. It may seem at first as if you are toning your body more than losing weight at first, but both will happen. Someone here said that you didn't put the weight on over night, so don't expect it to come off over night either. Cross Training, or mixing it up is also helpful. Someone once suggested you change the activity you cross train with every six weeks for maximum weight loss. Swimming is not the activity of choice for weight loss, unfortunately. Running is - but of course, it's not necessarily as much fun!! Buena Suerte!!:D

Why do you think running is any better than swimming for weight loss? For someone who is only doing one exercise provided they can swim reasonably well I would argue swimming is by far superior as it burns similar calories/hr and builds more overall body muscle which will in turn raise metabolism etc. The reality is though, calories in vs calories out is pretty much all that really matters.

jaadams1
August 14th, 2011, 05:17 PM
Why do you think running is any better than swimming for weight loss? For someone who is only doing one exercise provided they can swim reasonably well I would argue swimming is by far superior as it burns similar calories/hr and builds more overall body muscle which will in turn raise metabolism etc. The reality is though, calories in vs calories out is pretty much all that really matters.


I think whatever exercise will burn more calories depending on the individual who is doing them.
I, for example, probably would burn more calories attempting to run, than I would swimming. I base this on the fact that I am very efficient in the water, and will burn calories, but not at the same rate as something less effiecient such as running (for me). This is where cross-training and rotating what you do can have more of an effect that just doing the same thing day after day. Your body has to readapt to the changes with each different exercise routine/sport.

Celestial
August 14th, 2011, 06:43 PM
I believe the idea that swimming does not generally promote weight loss is common knowledge - especially for those who are fairly good at it. However, I do believe that coming back into or starting the sport would initially promote a moderate punt of weight loss. Whether you diet or not.

gaash
August 14th, 2011, 07:26 PM
I believe the idea that swimming does not generally promote weight loss is common knowledge - especially for those who are fairly good at it. However, I do believe that coming back into or starting the sport would initially promote a moderate punt of weight loss. Whether you diet or not.

Anything that burns calories and promotes some muscle gain is good for weight loss. It's quite silly to think otherwise. Also, the amount of comparisions on this site of swimming to walking (which is essentially what you compare it to if you think it does not promote weight loss) are quite crazy.

Jimbosback
August 14th, 2011, 10:06 PM
Anything that burns calories and promotes some muscle gain is good for weight loss. It's quite silly to think otherwise. Also, the amount of comparisions on this site of swimming to walking (which is essentially what you compare it to if you think it does not promote weight loss) are quite crazy.


It might be silly, but there is tons of anecdotal evidence. I can't explain it, but when I just swim and lift weights, it is really hard for me to lose weight. If I add a couple of days of treadmill at 45 minutes in the 140-160 heart rate range, fast walking, I can lose a few pounds fairly easily. YMMV.

bud
August 14th, 2011, 10:19 PM
The book "The Omnivores Dilemma" is pretty good too. Kind of scary when you realize that most foods are industrial products.
Thanks for the tip on The Omnivore’s Dilemma, A Natural History of Four Meals (http://michaelpollan.com/books/the-omnivores-dilemma/)... my Mom loves The Botany of Desire (which I saw as a PBS documentary... very interesting)... I'm for sure going to check this out.

;)

bud
August 14th, 2011, 11:21 PM
...I lost just under 100 pounds about 7-8 years ago by following these precepts and have kept it off since....
WOW! That is amazing... Thanks for posting that... and the link.


...it seems as if the people who count calories are the ones most often complaining of hunger pangs.... Now that I've incorporated a much higher proportion of saturated animal fats into my diet (...all from pastured animals), I'm almost never hungry....
Yep... I'd agree. When I eat high quality foods, I can eat my fill and maintain a good weight... IF I exercise enough, and I mostly just swim... usually not more than 6-9K yds/wk. I know for most folks this is not easy to achieve, but if you can, it seems to be a healthy path.

I'm convinced that the industrialized food processes used in most common food market items are a key source in obesity. Another eye-opener documentary I saw recently was Killer at Large (2008) (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0903660/).

:-|

cheakamus
August 15th, 2011, 12:22 AM
The reality is though, calories in vs calories out is pretty much all that really matters.

Not everyone agrees:http://www.amazon.com/Good-Calories-Bad-Controversial-Science/dp/1400033462

Here's a more succinct version of Taubes's argument: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/07/magazine/what-if-it-s-all-been-a-big-fat-lie.html

And more recently, Taubes wrote this: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?_r=1&ref=sugar

cheakamus
August 15th, 2011, 12:55 AM
if you don't eat carbs you are probably eating much less calories as well.

Actually, I don't count calories or carbs. (For anyone wishing to do so, fitday.com is an excellent tool.) When I started my new way of eating, seven or eight years ago, I merely tried to go easy on the rice, potatoes, bread, pasta, etc. while increasing my intake of fresh fruits and veg. I also tried to consume the bulk of my carbs early in the day ("No White at Night").

Last year, I stopped eating wheat, as an experiment initially. I was responding to the challenge here: http://www.trackyourplaque.com/blog/2007/07/wheat-belly.html
Because I liked the effect this had on me, an effect that was noticeable after only two weeks, I have continued to not eat wheat ever since. But I have never figured out whether those effects are directly attributable to the absence of wheat per se in my diet, or to the drastic reduction in calories (and I would argue "bad" calories) I now consume. I am neither celiac nor wheat sensitive as far as I know (so if I eat a slice of bread or a French pastry I suffer no ill effects). My wife, on the other hand, believes that for her, cutting out wheat has cured a number of long-standing medical conditions, from plantar fasciitis to gerd to joint pain (and she has also lost a lot of weight).

cheakamus
August 15th, 2011, 01:20 AM
When I eat high quality foods, I can eat my fill and maintain a good weight... IF I exercise enough, and I mostly just swim... usually not more than 6-9K yds/wk. I know for most folks this is not easy to achieve, but if you can, it seems to be a healthy path.

I totally agree that exercise in an important component of overall good health. I swim almost every day. In the winter, when my team is in session, it's mostly aerobic sets, and I tend to put on a pound or two because I'm usually quite hungry after a workout. In summer, I swim mostly open water, so it's mainly for endurance, and I usually lose those same couple of pounds so by fall I'm ready to start the cycle again.

True paleo people, like Mark Sisson, don't hold with aerobic exercise. They believe that paleolithic man sat around most of the time, waiting for his next meal to wander by, whereupon he acted with sudden, explosive energy to make the kill. Sisson therefore advocates building strength by "lifting lots of heavy things."

Personally, I couldn't live without the "high" I get from a good hour-and-a-half aerobic workout.

gaash
August 15th, 2011, 09:22 AM
All these differences in 'good' and 'bad' calories are minor despite what these fad diets would like people to believe and try to argue. There's a reason no serious bodybuilder uses anything other than calorie restriction or ketogenic (but cyclic ketogenic which is also a caloric deficit diet). I trust professional dieters over books that try to convince people they can lose weight without ever being hungry and eating all the food they love to eat. BTW, I am speaking about weight loss pure and simple, not healthy eating.

martin_05
August 15th, 2011, 11:55 AM
I guess one concern that I've always had with regards to diets is what I've come to call "sustainability". In other words, can you do it for an extended period of time as you work, travel, go out with friends, have family gatherings, go to a ball game, etc.

I did the the super-low-fat approach years ago when I was active in martial arts and also going to the gym for lunch every day. It worked very well while it lasted but it was not sustainable. It is hard to eat like that every day regardless of the setting and circumstances.

The low carb diet, in some ways, seems to be a little more sustainable. You might not be able to avoid carbs 100%, but it would seem to me that it is relatively easy to go into just about any restaurant or fast-food joint and buy a meal that is reasonably close to the intent of the program.

What does concern me greatly in any diet these days it how hard it is to avoid all of the chemicals, corn products and, to generalize, "junk" that our industrialized food system feeds us. That is hard. If you eat out, good luck, it ain't gonna happen. At home you have to be careful where you shop and avoid nearly 90% of what is in supermarket shelves. Is this sustainable? I don't know.

I got to tell you though, I still love a nice, fat and greasy chili cheeseburger with chili fries once every month or two...

KatieK
August 15th, 2011, 12:13 PM
I weigh myself regularly. If I am 2 pounds over my ideal weight, I count calories. (The LiveStrong app is great.) If my weight is within range, I don't even think about it. That's been working for me for a very long time.

When I first started swimming I felt ravenous all the time. That made it hard if I ever needed to restrict my calorie intake. There were three things I did to fix this:
1.) Never swim on an empty stomach, unless it's first thing in the morning. Have a snack or a regular meal shortly before swimming.
2.) Drink something with electrolytes while I'm swimming. I like an 8:1 mixture of water and juice. Diluted Gatorade or PowerAid would be fine too.
3.) Have a recovery snack right after swimming. Ideally, that should be about 75% carbs, 25% protein. I keep a thermos of chocolate milk in my swim bag and drink it in the locker room.

Since doing those three things, I have a perfectly normal appetite.

aztimm
August 16th, 2011, 01:11 AM
Depends on body type. I'm 5'9" and my balance point seems to be about 180 when swimming (I just seem to hold onto a little more fat). I am going to try to be 175 for spring, but I just can't be lower than that. There'll be nothing left to lose.



I was about 225 at my heaviest, btw, so I know what you've got ahead of you. It will be worth it. Good luck.

175 for your height is considered overweight:
http://www.everydayhealth.com/toolkit/weightcalculator/index.aspx

I know a guy who is 6'2" and weighs 160. Now he's an extreme case, but still out there. I don't understand the, "nothing left to lose," statement. Unless you just have bones and organs left, you can always drop weight.

gaash
August 16th, 2011, 08:10 AM
175 for your height is considered overweight:
http://www.everydayhealth.com/toolkit/weightcalculator/index.aspx

I know a guy who is 6'2" and weighs 160. Now he's an extreme case, but still out there. I don't understand the, "nothing left to lose," statement. Unless you just have bones and organs left, you can always drop weight.

What about muscle? That weighs something. BMI is an inappropriate indicator for athletes as it does not account for muscular people.

martin_05
August 16th, 2011, 12:32 PM
BMI is an inappropriate indicator for athletes as it does not account for muscular people.

And that begs the question: What does BMI really account for? What is it good for?

smontanaro
August 16th, 2011, 12:43 PM
What does BMI really account for? What is it good for?

Other than collapsing multiple fitness-related variables (height, weight, body type, etc) into a single "figure of merit", not much in my limited experience.

Skip

martin_05
August 16th, 2011, 12:57 PM
Not everyone agrees:http://www.amazon.com/Good-Calories-Bad-Controversial-Science/dp/1400033462

Thanks for the recommendation. I got the book and dove into it right away.

knelson
August 16th, 2011, 01:07 PM
What does BMI really account for? What is it good for?

It's good for evaluations of obesity trends among populations because it works pretty good for most people and the only data you need is height and weight. If your BMI is over 25 it could mean you are overweight. It comes with some caveats, but it's better than nothing.

gaash
August 16th, 2011, 01:12 PM
It's good for evaluations of obesity trends among populations because it works pretty good for most people and the only data you need is height and weight. If your BMI is over 25 it could mean you are overweight. It comes with some caveats, but it's better than nothing.

agree w/this but has very little place when it comes to athletic people.

knelson
August 16th, 2011, 01:16 PM
agree w/this but has very little place when it comes to athletic people.

The NIH specifically addresses this on their BMI web page:

Although BMI can be used for most men and women, it does have some limits:

* It may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build.
* It may underestimate body fat in older persons and others who have lost muscle.

aztimm
August 16th, 2011, 02:20 PM
It's good for evaluations of obesity trends among populations because it works pretty good for most people and the only data you need is height and weight. If your BMI is over 25 it could mean you are overweight. It comes with some caveats, but it's better than nothing.

I think a combination of height, weight, BMI, body fat %, together with input from a doctor, and genetics, are all great factors in any fitness plan.

I certainly wouldn't say BMI doesn't apply to athletes, but perhaps it needs to be proportional. I'm at the high end of the 'healthy' BMI range, around 24. Yet at 168, 5'11", body fat 9-10%, I certainly don't think I have much to be alarmed about. Of course family history/genetics plays a large factor for me too.

Jimbosback
August 16th, 2011, 03:01 PM
175 for your height is considered overweight:
http://www.everydayhealth.com/toolkit/weightcalculator/index.aspx

I know a guy who is 6'2" and weighs 160. Now he's an extreme case, but still out there. I don't understand the, "nothing left to lose," statement. Unless you just have bones and organs left, you can always drop weight.

No doubt I am heavier than most people my height. However, at 15% body fat, there is not much lower for me to go without losing muscle mass, which, actually, I would like to do; but if I am active, I thicken up. It's my genetics. I'd also be willing to bet my waistline is smaller than most guys my age and height, even many with a 'normal' BMI.

I would like to get to where I am stable at 10 percent body fat. IDK what that weight is, but I bet the BMI will still say I'm heavy, and I am pretty sure a part of that 'fat' weight will be replaced by muscle weight.

My point was, if Martin says he should be 185, without knowing him, you can't be so sure he is wrong.

cheakamus
August 17th, 2011, 01:52 AM
I got to tell you though, I still love a nice, fat and greasy chili cheeseburger with chili fries once every month or two...

No reason you shouldn't enjoy a fat, greasy cheeseburger with chili fries whenever you want. As long as the meat is from pastured animals, the greasier the better. As for the cheese, try a Kerrygold (Irish) or New Zealand cheddar, made with milk from pastured cows. Personally, I'd probably lose the bun, but one bun won't kill you. For the fries, try tossing your potatoes in olive oil and baking them in the oven at 500° for 20 minutes or so, turning them once. Or if they absolutely must be deep fried, fry them in beef tallow. If you use ketchup, I highly recommend Trader Joe's organic — no HFCS.

My wife keeps a food diary on Fitday.com. It shows the composition of her daily food intake to be approximately 60% fats, 20% protein, 20% carbohydrates, i.e., a far cry from the recommendations of the USDA food pyramid, now called the food "plate," I believe. Yet her blood chemistry is stellar and she continues to lose weight. She also no longer experiences the extreme highs and lows in blood sugar she got when we both ate SAD (standard American diet). Although I don't keep count, my carbohydrate intake is probably a little higher than hers, especially when I'm swimming, and I also take sugar in my coffee.

Bottom line is, both of us have lost significant amounts of weight, and our doctor confirms that we are both much healthier than in the past (but we knew that). We don't consider ourselves to be "dieting," merely following a diet we have chosen and expect to follow for the rest of our lives. As they say, YMMV.

jaadams1
August 17th, 2011, 10:20 PM
No reason you shouldn't enjoy a fat, greasy cheeseburger with chili fries whenever you want. As long as the meat is from pastured animals, the greasier the better. As for the cheese, try a Kerrygold (Irish) or New Zealand cheddar, made with milk from pastured cows. Personally, I'd probably lose the bun, but one bun won't kill you. For the fries, try tossing your potatoes in olive oil and baking them in the oven at 500° for 20 minutes or so, turning them once. Or if they absolutely must be deep fried, fry them in beef tallow. If you use ketchup, I highly recommend Trader Joe's organic — no HFCS.

Awesome...this is almost a daily ritual for me. Wendy's, Taco Bell, etc. at lunch. Gotta get some grease in me to stay happy! :bliss:

cheakamus
August 18th, 2011, 12:20 PM
Yeah, but the key word is pastured!

jaadams1
August 18th, 2011, 10:43 PM
Yeah, but the key word is pastured!

That means things off the dollar menu?? :D HEHE

:banana:

pwolf66
August 23rd, 2011, 03:22 PM
And that begs the question: What does BMI really account for? What is it good for?

BMI was a measurement created to....and really pay attention here class.....compare the relative health between......here it comes.....individuals who observe a SENDENTARY lifestyle. In case anyone missed it, Sedentary lifestyle is a medical term used to denote a type of lifestyle with no or irregular physical activity.

But due to all things easy and quick - it seems to have become the de facto measurement of everyone's health with no modifications for frame type, activity level, body composition. But now it's moving towards becoming THE universal yardstick of health.

I love that I'm considered borderline morbidly obese, at least per BMI and now my company is using this to charge me a much higher hea;th insurance premium. I have to get below 215 pounds to be considered 'normal', the last time I was under 220 was when I was 17. Get real. Can I stand to lose 10-15? Sure. Can I lose 40? Not a chance unless I drop at least 15-20 pounds of lean body mass.

Celestial
August 23rd, 2011, 07:29 PM
[QUOTE I love that I'm considered borderline morbidly obese, at least per BMI and now my company is using this to charge me a much higher health insurance premium. QUOTE]

My husband has the same problem. They can also raise your premiums for taking anti-depressants, even though those medications may actually be prescribed for pain management, such as Cymbalta & Amitriptyline. But weren't insurance companies the main culprits behind theoretical ideal body weights back in the '50s?

Robert Strand
August 23rd, 2011, 07:45 PM
Balance is critical. For each glass of wine have a decent helping of cheese. Always remember to top off any night with "peach pie" or "spomini ice cream". As you get closer to your critical meets increase your desert intake!!!!

Chris Stevenson
August 23rd, 2011, 07:53 PM
Balance is critical. For each glass of wine have a decent helping cheese. Always remember to top off any night with "peach pie" or "spomini ice cream". As you get closer to your critical meets increase your desert intake!!!!

This place really needs a 'like' button...

cheakamus
September 2nd, 2011, 12:15 PM
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/hypertension-prediabetes-metabolic-syndrome-and-75-pounds-all-gone-in-6-months/#more-22756