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Katherine
September 6th, 2002, 01:34 PM
I swam for years and always kept in great shape.

I quit for 2 years. After turning 41, which was 7 months ago, I started back up again. I swim 5 days a week for an hour, mostly freestyle. I'm in great shape again everywhere except for this stomach fat I can't seem to lose. Can anyone recommend any good workouts that can get rid of this?

pbsaurus
September 6th, 2002, 07:59 PM
I workout fairly regularly too (excessively in February) and still have tons of fat around my middle. The triathletes on my team tell me that running will take it off. Problem is I don't like running so I've resigned myself to being happy with my spare tire.

SupaFly
September 8th, 2002, 03:23 PM
Crunches maybe...

mattson
September 24th, 2002, 03:33 PM
I remember reading that sometimes people *look* fatter than they are, because of poor posture. If you have swimmer's slouch, stand with your back against a door or wall. Don't suck in your gut, but make sure your back is flat against the surface (esp. the lower back).

The exercise suggestions that people mentioned should be followed, but no need to make things harder than necessary by sticking your gut out. :)

Katherine
September 24th, 2002, 04:58 PM
Thanks guys for your help. Ya know Mattson, I'm always being told to sit up straight because I'm tall and developed a slouch when I was younger. Putting my back against the wall *laugh* made me realize it wasn't so bad after all.

valhallan, I have tried the carb thing, and oh yeah, I lost 10 pounds within the first week, but ate a hamburger bun and drank a glass of wine and gained it back in one night. I was only losing water and don't really want to give up pizza crust in return for water weight. I do realize this diet works great for some folks though and best of luck to your wife.

Motivation may hit me for another type of exercise, but swimming is my one true love, until then....I'll put my back against the wall!

cinc3100
September 25th, 2002, 12:16 PM
Besides your diet, try sprint swimming a little bit more and breastroke and butterfly in your workouts, they burn more calaries than does freestyle.

Bert Petersen
September 25th, 2002, 03:03 PM
I'm a flyer who trains 365 x 5, every age-group. However, I only get REAL intense for the last 6 months of the age-group and the first 2 or so years of the next. That is all I can stomache of the rigors of training really, really hard.
I notice that swimming, by itself, does not seem to attack the belly problem. Oh, by the way, for Val: it is not a matter of weight, it is all about fat vs muscle and the distribution thereof.
So-when I start to notice that my toes are harder to see in the shower, I know it is time for something supplemental to swimming.
A friend, Bill Muter, who is an ex-Marine, once told me that the key to swimming fitness is in the core of the torso, specifically the abdomen.
I believe it. I hate to do it and I hate to prescribe it, but crunches, sitting cycles, bends and twists, and my old Ab-Slide machine have worked very well for me in getting rid of MOST of my built up tummy flab.
Interesting note: when I am in REALLY good shape, I weigh quite a bit more than when I am not.
Sure hope this helps ! Bert

Phil Arcuni
September 25th, 2002, 03:48 PM
There are no exercises that will remove fat from one part of the body over another part of the body. That's why we have liposuction.

If you want to lose fat, consume fewer calories than you use. If you want to get bigger/stronger muscles, exercise. It is easy to do one without the other, and the results are what you would expect.

cinc3100
September 25th, 2002, 06:21 PM
I agree with you Bert, eventually its becomes harder to lose weight with swimming. The reason I lost 16 pounds is because I'm obese. Even as a teenager, I was more likely to weight more than most swimmers for my height. I think at 16 years old I was only 5'3" and 3/4 at 130 pounds. I didn't eat more junk food than the other swimmers as a kid, I'm just a heavier bone person.

mattson
September 26th, 2002, 09:56 AM
Current research shows that swimming can burn off more calories than running (at the same intensity levels), but that swimmers tend to eat more later.

So you just need to be conscious of why that happens:
1) Running is more stressful on the inner organs (bouncing around), so you will have less of an appetite than if you went swimming.
2) Since you are burning more calories at the same intensity levels, your hunger will kick in.
3) Water will cool your body down more. The body will try to build more insulation, by trying to get more food.
4) The body's signals for thirst and hunger can be confused. Since the exercise is in the water, not all people remember to hydrate during the workout.

aquageek
September 26th, 2002, 01:12 PM
Mattson, are you a doctor? If so, I will defer but where are you getting items 1,3 and 4 from? I would be especially interested in the bouncing organ theory. And, are you stating that because you swim, your body thinks it is not thirsty? I don't understand.

mattson
September 26th, 2002, 01:41 PM
Busted! :) I am a doctor, but not of medicine (or anything related to sports medicine).

So let me say that the information comes from someone who is an amateur, but has read a lot of health and fitness articles, and has tried some of the ideas.

So... for (1) I'm taking that one on faith. I think it is a natural continuation of the idea that, if you ride a roller coaster or get car sick, it is the stress from the motion/vibrations that cause you to lose your appetite. I was just reading (3) in TI, I think, about the appetite/body temperature thing. (4) is actually two parts. The first has to do with *some* overweight people who do not hydrate. Their bodies send thirst signals, but the people are mis-interpreting the signal as hunger. Eating is making them thirstier, and they wonder why they still feel *hungry*. Second, when I still hear people asking if you sweat while you are swimming, I don't doubt that not enough people hydrate while doing a swim workout. If you do not notice that you are sweating buckets, you may not pay as much attention to the water fountain.

Did you have conflicting ideas/research? I would be very interested if you do. (This is not a challenge, but a plea for help. :) ) If you are just checking how much of this is hearsay/opinion, versus real research, I can try to find the articles I was looking at.

Phil M.
September 26th, 2002, 03:47 PM
With all the flip turns we do when swimming, simulating crunches, there is no reason any of us should have poochy stomachs. When you throw in "swimming with the core" that gives us even more stomach muscle stimulation. I guess it all boils down to weight and where our bodies choose to store it!

About drinking water when swimming. I have tried this and found that it tastes bad. Unless it is significantly colder than the pool it seems that I'm just drinking pool water. I'd rather put up with confused hunger signals!

effi
September 26th, 2002, 04:42 PM
Thirst signal misinterpreted as hunger? The thirst signal is pretty strong. I wonder if some people might choose to ignore the thirst signal, and choose to eat, since it is more interesting. Sometimes hydrating seems a chore, and we get easily distracted from it. I doubt very many people seriously have difficulty interpreting the thirst signal, though.
Anyway, it would be nice to see fitness as the focus, rather than fat issues. Swimmers have so many strengths and qualities, and bouancy and insulation number among them.

Katherine
September 26th, 2002, 05:28 PM
I'm quite proud of myself! After all the years of having a membership to the sportsplex I swim at, I never stepped foot into the fitness center/weight room until today. Btw, I'm not a competition swimmer.

Told the trainer I was interested in abdominal exercises and ended up getting fully orientated on all of the machines. Worked up a huge sweat and surprisingly really liked lifting weights. Think I'll mix things up a bit, every other day lift weights for a 1/2 hour before swimming.

Phil, this has to be less expensive than liposuction!

pbsaurus
September 27th, 2002, 01:51 PM
Much cheaper since the health club membership is already a sunk cost. Good luck to you.

Bert Petersen
September 29th, 2002, 08:14 PM
Note to Phil: I understand the logic to your statement, but follow this.......
On Sept. 1st, I began the long grind into the end of the age-group; you know, getting in the best shape you can for the Jan. 1st age-up. What I have been doing is a daily series of minor calisthenics, starting easy and adding 3 reps each week I do crunches, sitting cycles, twists, bends and use my Ab-Slide machine.
I have made no change whatsoever to my diet, in fact I may be eating more because I was afraid of losing muscle along with fat.
Honest to Ted Williams, my mid-section is noticeably smaller, even to be noticed by team-mates !
What's the deal ? Am I just tightening up those muscles? It surely seems more than that. What would be your explanation ?
Bert Petersen ~~~^o^~~~

Phil Arcuni
September 30th, 2002, 02:40 AM
There are several factors that can get involved, especially something as emotionally sensitive as stomach fat. Anyway, I think I am correct that the body does not remove fat from a particular area because of exercise of that area. Fat can be removed, as we all know, and excercise will increase the demand by the body's muscles for the body's resources, when compared to fat. Thus, Bert, you lost fat and converted it to muscle (or just lost the fat.)

The confusing thing is that fat is not lost equally from all parts of the body; some parts of the body tend to keep fat no matter what you do, other parts lose it at the first sight of diet or activity. For example, I have a nice little place of fat storage on the sides/back of my waist (you know, the love handles). I had it when I was 21 and swimming 10,000 yards a day, and doing several hundred situps a day, and I have it now. On the other hand, the fat on the front of my stomach went away pretty quickly when I started swimming again. But swimming, situps, running, or cycling, I would have lost the same fat from the same areas.

But abdominal exercises help in other ways. As mentioned, they tend to improve posture and the ability to hold the stomach in - that improves appearance and has the appearance of removing stomach fat, and may even reduce waist size. Also, the muscles may become more prominant - that six pack may overwhelm the remnants of the six packs you drank during the off season!

But I hope this is my last comment in a diet thread.

pbsaurus
September 30th, 2002, 06:04 PM
Phil, you're not fat at all.

As for where fat is stored and which fat stores get used first, I think that it is different for each individual.

Phil Arcuni
September 30th, 2002, 06:11 PM
I didn't say I was fat; I'm not. when I started swimming I had more fat tissue than I wanted, though I did not and do not consider myself fat at the time.

And I agree completely that fat loss isindividual, both in where it is lost and how easily it is lost.

jim thornton
October 5th, 2002, 09:30 PM
Visceral fat, which collects around the internal organs and underneathe the muscles, is arguably A) easier to lose--it's sometimes called labile fat, B) less healthy for your heart and longevity (apple vs. pear considerations--probably has to do with the fact that because it is easier to mobilize, it can get into the blood stream and from there into artery walls, and C) more likely to be a problem in men vs. women (think of all those rail-thin guys you've seen who would have great bodies were it not for the enormous beer guts they sprout).

Subcutaneous fat, which classically collects around the hips and thighs and is a prime target for liposuctionists everywhere, is arguably A) harder to lose--it's sometimes called stabile fat--possibly because its blood supply and overall temperature tends to be lower than that seen in visceral fat, which (see above) resides closer to ones core, B) less of a health threat (again, pears don't seem to have the same heart attack risks as apples) and C) is more likely to be a probem in women vs. men (think of those women who diet to the point of becoming skeletons above the waist but still have robustly sturdy earth mother nether regions).

The sad gender fact about fat is that men do tend to have an easier time losing it through exercise than women, possibly because men's "labile" fat is designed as an easily portable food source, and women's "stabile" fat is designed as a last-gap anti-starvation device for developing embryos. Fat men, however, are much more likely to suffer premature cardiovascular demise than fat women. So in the final analysis the question becomes this, in my mind: look better or live longer? Pick one.

Sylvia
May 30th, 2009, 10:11 PM
Can't anyone suggest a specific swim stroke that may help reduce belly fat?

tjrpatt
May 30th, 2009, 10:26 PM
Do all of them!

jim thornton
May 30th, 2009, 11:13 PM
Interesting salvage of a 7 year old thread!

Whatever happened to Phil Arcuni?

Sorry, Sylvia, but it's a myth to think that any exercise will selectively remove belly fat.

Lose weight, exercise to preserve muscle mass, and it's probably genetic which areas of an individual's body is likely to see the most shrinkage.

Supposedly, lower body weight is particularly hard to lose.

Bobinator
May 31st, 2009, 01:44 AM
"Somewhere?" I read that swimmers who participated in workouts composed mostly of sets of intervals tended to have smaller waistlines than swimmers who just swum laps or easy paced intervals. I wish I could remember more about this article.

dorothyrde
May 31st, 2009, 08:33 AM
Hard intervals of any type of exercise tend to burn more calories than steady state exercise. So if they are leaner in the waist, it just means they are burning more calories off than they eat. On some people, the waist is much more sensitive to processed carbs, especially women as we get older. Eat foods closer to their source(i.e fruits, veggies, whole grains), and stay away from highly processed foods, and it helps. Don't need to go away from carbs, just choose wisely on the types of carbs.

elise526
May 31st, 2009, 04:01 PM
According to the below article discussing belly fat on slim women, cutting the stress out of your life may be more helpful than any diet or exercise program.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1120072314.htm (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001120072314.htm)

frankiej
May 31st, 2009, 04:33 PM
I have the same problem to an extent. My abs are pretty hard but they aren't cut (4 pack or 6 pack).

A diet could help significantly. Through out my years (which isn't long) I've always ran and skated (hockey) before but never really had a proper diet...well unless you consider the "seefood" diet :D. To me working on your abs is more about the diet then the workout. Also, loosing weight is much more difficult if your already trim and in shape.

Running does help though. Burns more calories but is very harsh on the body. I actually picked up swimming since my knees were starting to really feel the stress of running.

Sorry for my incoherent rambling. I think running and a proper diet would get rid of most unwanted fat for almost anyone. Its rather funny because I always work out more/harder when I know I'm going to eat something that's horrible for my body later in the day...tonight its fried bread:):bouncing:

dwlovell
June 1st, 2009, 12:14 PM
I swam for years and always kept in great shape.

I quit for 2 years. After turning 41, which was 7 months ago, I started back up again. I swim 5 days a week for an hour, mostly freestyle. I'm in great shape again everywhere except for this stomach fat I can't seem to lose. Can anyone recommend any good workouts that can get rid of this?

Are your 1 hour workouts "easy" at this point? Eventually your body reaches a plateau unless you are continually challenging yourself. If you are not on a team with a coach, I really recommend it, because when I used to swim solo, I would never push myself like a coach would and I never lost that much weight. Once I started on a team, I have been losing about 5 lbs a week consistently. (Doing 3 practices a week of 1.5 hour each - coached).

Additionally, make sure your diet adjusts with your workout. A lot of people think they workout so they can eat whatever they want, unfortunately, this only goes so far and as someone else noted, if you consume more calories than you burn, you will not lose the fat. If your body has gotten to the point where your current workouts are "easy", you wont even be burning as many calories as when you first started back swimming. Try to cut out all the pointless calories like:
- All sugar drinks (coke, lemonade, sugar-added juices, etc). Gatorade can be acceptable because it has fewer calories, but just make sure you use it to replenish, not as a way to satisfy your hunger all day long
- Get the burger with no bacon and no cheese, it really wont taste that different after the first few times and after a while you will start to feel the cheese/bacon are too rich and you wont like the taste
- No fries or other high fat sides, try to get things that arent modified much from ground to mouth. (ie: black beans and rice over fries, etc).

Those are just some examples. If you can try to evaluate where you are spending calories, you should be able to focus on good balanced meals and avoid all the "toppings" on so many things. Even when you splurge and get a slice of pizza, get chicken and veggies as toppings instead of pepperoni take a paper towel and press it down to soak up all the extra grease/oil you dont need to consume and does not change the taste of the pizza at all.

Anyways, my 2c, hope it helps.

lefty
June 1st, 2009, 01:13 PM
others have said it, but lets say it again, the only way to lose fat is to burn more calories than you take in. Only to the extent that crunches burn calories will they help you lose stomach fat.

I suggest a food log for everyone. I am sure that there are free food logs online that will automatically track your calories. This is invaluable. many people are shocked when they find out that they average 2500 calories per day.

I hired a trainer and we did all sorts of activities where we measured my caloric burn using a Body-Bug. Over 30 minutes I average about 14 calories burned per minute on a bike and treadmill and on a Stairmaster about 15 per minute. However, what really burned calories for me was to do 3 minutes all out on the stairmaster followed by 7 minutes of resistance training. I was close to 20 per minute with that routine.

(oh you cannot use a body-bug in the water)

dorothyrde
June 1st, 2009, 04:03 PM
There is a cheaper alternative to body bug, gowearfit. Made by the same people, and amazon sells it for under 150 at times.

orca1946
June 1st, 2009, 04:58 PM
Get a trainer & let the both of you work on it.

lefty
June 1st, 2009, 05:58 PM
There is a cheaper alternative to body bug, gowearfit. Made by the same people, and amazon sells it for under 150 at times.

I didn't buy the body bug, he loaned it to me. It doesn't work in water so it was basically useless to me other than the experiments that I did with them.

aztimm
June 1st, 2009, 08:14 PM
Supposedly, lower body weight is particularly hard to lose.

It was explained to me something like it is easier to lose weight as a percentage of your total weight. So for someone who weighs 300#, if they lose 10% (30#), it would be comparable to a 150# person losing 15#. But for that same 150# person to get rid of 30#, you're talking a 20% loss.

That said, someone could probably find out how much of that 150# is bones and essential organs, etc to get a real picture of what is possible to lose. There is of course an ideal minimum, few get anywhere near it (maybe someone like Paula Radcliffe).

When I increased my running distance last year, I lost weight--from all over my body. My face, my stomach/waist/seat, even my fingers and toes. While I tried to target certain areas, it doesn't really work that way. However, with putting on muscle you can kind of target putting it into your arms, chest, back...wherever you tend to focus. My waist remains that same size or smaller, but my arms and chest are definitely bigger. My weight has increased a little, while my body fat is about the same.

The food log sounds interesting, and with The Fortress sharing hers in her blog, I'm considering adding my food intake to mine as well.

Karen Duggan
June 3rd, 2009, 02:08 PM
This SCY season I had a two week period (in between the weeks I was sick!) where I was working out 5-6 days/wk 2-4 hours per day (weights, bands, swimming, and abs). I was consuming no more than 1200 cal/day (usually around 1000). I did not lose a single ounce. I realize I gained a lot of muscle, but alas, the belly fat did not budge.

I am now thinking that cortisol may be my problem. I have done some reading about it since someone mentioned it. My job is extremely stressful with a whack-job for a principal, and I usually get no more than 4 hours of sleep in a row each night (and that has been for the last 10 years, since having kids).

I am going to the dr today for a neck injury that has been getting worse over the last 2 1/2 weeks, and I am going to ask him if there is a way to find out if someone has too much cortisol.

I'll let you know what I find.

The Fortress
June 3rd, 2009, 02:15 PM
where I was working out 5-6 days/wk 2-4 hours per day (weights, bands, swimming, and abs). I was consuming no more than 1200 cal/day (usually around 1000). I did not lose a single ounce. I realize I gained a lot of muscle, but alas, the belly fat did not budge.

I am now thinking that cortisol may be my problem. I have done some reading about it since someone mentioned it. My job is extremely stressful with a whack-job for a principal, and I usually get no more than 4 hours of sleep in a row each night (and that has been for the last 10 years, since having kids).


Crap, that's a lot of working out, girl!

I wonder if the 4 kids are even more stressful than the job?

I have read that insufficient sleep is linked to weight gain as well. Inadequate and/or ineffective/interrupted sleep is definitely one of my issues too.

Hope your neck is better soon!

knelson
June 3rd, 2009, 02:21 PM
I think the only way to get six-pack abs is to have a very low body fat percentage. There are plenty of guys who look like the proverbial "98 pound weakling" but have definition in their abs merely because they've got no body fat. You can do 1,000 crunches per day, but unless you get rid of that spare tire around your waist you'll never have a six-pack.

DanSad
June 3rd, 2009, 02:55 PM
This SCY season I had a two week period (in between the weeks I was sick!) where I was working out 5-6 days/wk 2-4 hours per day (weights, bands, swimming, and abs). I was consuming no more than 1200 cal/day (usually around 1000).


To workout that much and only consume 1000-1200 calories is very interesting. Did you have to constantly fight the urge to eat? Also, did your performace decline after the first few days? Based on those numbers there'd be a serious calorie deficit each day.

Karen Duggan
June 3rd, 2009, 03:34 PM
I did the P90X WITH the kids, and the bands after they went to bed.
The abs and wts I did at the gym (about 70 min) where they have an awesome daycare.

Dan- I wasn't really hungry. I have a nutrition program that I am doing that is really pure nutrition and doesn't leave me hungry. I used Accelerade and GU as well, and lots of water.

Fort- From what I read, the sleep can also lead to increased cortisol (stress) and keep the fat on. My kids are not stressful really. They are really good, most of the time. Carrick seems to have past the tantrum stage (the only one to have had that, thank God!), and they are really a happy bunch overall.

Kirk- Not that you were addressing me in particular, but I don't have the desire have 6 pk abs. I know my abs are strong, they are just covered in lots of fat! I'm more interested in why the fat won't go away. My belly fat is grossly disproportionate to the rest of my body.

aztimm
June 3rd, 2009, 04:05 PM
I think the only way to get six-pack abs is to have a very low body fat percentage. There are plenty of guys who look like the proverbial "98 pound weakling" but have definition in their abs merely because they've got no body fat. You can do 1,000 crunches per day, but unless you get rid of that spare tire around your waist you'll never have a six-pack.

I'm not sure what you mean by, "very low body fat percentage," but I started getting comments on my abs when my body fat went down to 15%. Don't yet have a 6-pack, but I do have some definition there...

The best way that worked for me to get rid of that spare tire was running. Sure, you can have a 6-pack behind it, many people do. It just won't show until you get rid of that fat layer.

jim thornton
June 3rd, 2009, 08:57 PM
Karen,

I find your report very hard to understand. Assuming you are more or less an average sized woman--somewhere between 5'1" and 5'10"--and you weight from 115-152 lb., give or take, your basal metabolic rate has to be somewhere in the ball park of 1200 + kcals per day. In other words, you need this much just to stay alive, even if you spend 24 hours a day lying around in bed.

Now add in the amount of calories burned from exercise, walking around, doing your job, helping your kids survive, etc., and I wouldn't be surprised to find you were burning close to 2500-3000 kcals a day, especially on the 4 hours of exercise days. Maybe even more.

Thus, your calories in (1000, or so you say!) are not nearly enough to balance the calories out (2500-3000).

Granted, the old chestnut about 3200 caloric deficti = 1 lb. of weight doesn't always apply. But to experience ZERO weight loss during two weeks of this just doesn't make any sense at all.

Do you drink coffee? Do you put milk or sugar in the coffee? Is it possible you were getting hidden calories in some other way? How many GUs, for instance, were you taking (those are 100 kcals each).

The only thing I can conclude is that you either overstated your exercise dramatically, understated your food intake dramatically, or are a medical oddity that defies all known laws of physics.

A famous weight researcher conducted studies on restricted calories and increasing exercise on identical twins. Interestingly, he conducted these studies in the Canadian wilds where there were no vending machines or other sources of food where the volunteers could consciously or unconsciously boost their intake of food.

BTW, what he found is that decreasing food and increasing exercise both helped to lose weight--but not in a predictable way. Some people are diet responders, other exercise responders, and some respond well to neither. It seems to be genetic in some regards, because if your twin was one way, you were the same way. High congruence within twin pairs, low congruence between pairs.

Not sure about the cortisol business. The sad fact is that weight control is like a vaudevillian set of drawers. You close one, and another pops open to clout you on the shins.

We evolved to contend with starvation; we are not well adapted to contend with all you can eat modernity.

ALM
June 3rd, 2009, 10:43 PM
Assuming you are more or less an average sized woman--somewhere between 5'1" and 5'10"--and you weight from 115-152 lb., give or take, your basal metabolic rate has to be somewhere in the ball park of 1200 + kcals per day. In other words, you need this much just to stay alive, even if you spend 24 hours a day lying around in bed.

Here is a basal metabolic calculator:

http://health.discovery.com/tools/calculators/basal/basal.html

Mine is 1178 calories/day. I'm 5'1", 108 lbs.

Couroboros
June 3rd, 2009, 11:20 PM
So, to finally get rid of the spare tire... I should go do another two weeks of starving like I did back in November?

I have been doing an interesting exercise recently... I place a foam roller in such a position so it fits snugly between my shoulder blades. Then I have to lift up my legs and arms and try to balance my back on the foam roller. Great for straightening it out, supposedly. It's also great for the stomach. And every morning after you get the joy of waking up to a vertical line of soreness running up the center of the your back. Always a refreshing feeling.

Of course, I don't know if it does diddley squat about the ole tire.

3strokes
June 4th, 2009, 12:51 AM
Of course, I don't know if it does diddley squat about the ole tire.

You mean "diddly" crunch (not squat, that's another bunch of muscles):)

Karen Duggan
June 4th, 2009, 01:14 AM
Jim- You are exactly right. I do not understand it either. That's why I'm asking.

I did not overstate my working out, not understate my food intake. The nutrition program I'm doing is: a shake of 238 calories, a regular lunch that is usually a turkey/cheese bagel sandwich and water, and a shake for dinner, again 238 calories. All said that is probably around 1100 calories? When I was hungry I would have a regular dinner with the family and that may have bumped me up to around 1500 calories for the day. I was swimming all of those days on average of 3,400yds. I usually has one GU before workout and Accelerade at the gym.

I do not drink coffee. Some friends I know suggested that maybe my body went into starvation mode.

I went to the dr. and was not at all pleased with his neck diagnosis as it may take up to a year to heal :badday: I did ask about cortisol. He said that measuring cortisol is like measuring any other hormone and that it fluctuates from day to day, so it would be hard to get an accurate reading. He also said that he didn't know what we would do with that information, as "treating" too much cortisol isn't something that is done. There hasn't been much, if any, medical research done on this according to him. He told me to concentrate on my neck for now.

Anna Lea- cool calculator. Mine was 1593. Maybe my body was in starvation mode?

knelson
June 4th, 2009, 01:51 AM
The nutrition program I'm doing is: a shake of 238 calories, a regular lunch that is usually a turkey/cheese bagel sandwich and water, and a shake for dinner, again 238 calories.

I thought torture was illegal? Between this diet plan and waterboarding I think I might take the waterboarding!

nYcSurfer
June 4th, 2009, 09:11 AM
Hi!

First, let me start by saying that in the nutrition/fitness industry, there is a saying that says "abs are made in the kitchen." Meaning you can exercise until you are blue in the face and if your diet sucks, you will just be sabotaging yourself. So with that said, you want to make sure your diet is in order. Fats, lots of veggies/fiber, whole grains, quality proteins, etc. You also want to make sure you are eating at the right calorie levels. You don't want to eat too much OR too little. A good calorie calculator is: http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm#. Once you get you calorie requirements, you want to eat a little less (this is called cutting) but too much less (aim for about 500-1000 calories less). Once you begin cutting, you will start to loose fat and unfortunately, a little muscle.

Second, the type of exercise you do is very important for burning fat. Swimming requires a lot of energy and will therefore aim for the fastest burning source... that is glucose. The body's glucose stores are used up quickly during a swim practice, so the body uses the next fastest source -- muscle. Fat is the last energy to be burned. So, two things will help prevent muscle loss and promote fat burning. 1) Drink a peri and post workout drink w/ carbs and protein. This will feed your body and stop catabolic muscle loss. 2) Get in the gym and lift. The more you work your biggest muscles, the more fat you will burn and the more muscle you will maintain. In the gym, I find deadlifts, squats, and bench to be the best fat burners.

Finally, you cannot spot reduce fat. You can do all the crunches you want and you may have six pack abs, but if you have a layer of fat covering them, they will never show. Doing crunches also doesnt mean that you will burn belly fat. Your body determines which fat on your body to remove.

pwolf66
June 4th, 2009, 09:56 AM
You mean "diddly" crunch (not squat, that's another bunch of muscles):)

Actually, not it's not. Squats require strong core for stabilization during the entire movement. :)

pwolf66
June 4th, 2009, 10:05 AM
Here is a basal metabolic calculator:

http://health.discovery.com/tools/calculators/basal/basal.html

Mine is 1178 calories/day. I'm 5'1", 108 lbs.

OMG, they put this up and have this comment in the text? "However, a regular routine of cardiovascular exercise can increase your BMR, improving your health and fitness when your body's ability to burn energy gradually slows down" That's borderline irresponsible.

Cardio can help burn calories that the body will most likely get from stored fat. 1 Pound of fat takes roughly 5 calories per day to maintain while 1 pound of muscle takes roughly 60 calories per day to maintain. Hmm, burn 1 pound of fat, that actually reduces my BMR by 5, but say burn that pound of fat and replace it with a pound of muscle, increases BMR by 55. So the real truth is that to burn more calories per day (i.e increase your BMR), you need to build more muscle mass and that takes resistance training NOT cardio.

Karen Duggan
June 4th, 2009, 11:34 AM
One thing I have noticed with the yo-yo-ing of my weight over the last 10 years from 140-230!(due to pregnancies) is that the last place I put on fat is the first place it comes off.

I talked to an accupuncturist recently for my !@#$% neck, and he said that my core body temperature was uneven (my yin and yang are whicked and whacked!). He mentioned that if I am cold (and I usually am, and my feet are usually like icicles- ask my hubby!) that my body will react by trying to warm my important organs first. Since most of those organs are in the belly area, my body is making me a nice, fat blanket. My body is so thoughtful! Ugh.

So many pieces to the puzzle.

I am aware of a lot of the information posted on this thread. I guess, in addition to my nutrition program, it really isn't a diet because my body isn't deprived of any nutrients or minerals, I need to run and lift more to increase my muscle mass to burn more calories. Eventually, I guess it will get to my stomach? And, I have noticed that when I am lifting (over a period of time) that I do tend to be warmer overall.

Unfortunately for me, I won't be doing any running or lifting any time soon.
:badday:
:cane:

I looked at surfers calorie burner and for me it said: to maintain- 2400 cal to lose fat 1900 and extreme fat lost 1450 cal. That seems really high to me. Did I check that I was female?!

jim thornton
June 4th, 2009, 12:09 PM
Karen--

Weight maintenance is one of the most important physiological systems for our species, and because of famines and the hardscrabble existence of our ancestors, we have a bewildering array of redundant mechanisms that seem to conspire to send us this basic twin message:

When food is available, eat as much as you possibly can, then take a nap.

Obviously, some of us have stronger doses of these "survive starvation" genes than others, making weight loss a fiendishly difficult proposition.

I spent 24 hours once in the indirect calorimetry chamber at LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center (one of the top obesity research facilities in the world), and wrote about this experience and the various elements of metabolism for Men's Health. If you want, I can send you and anyone else interested a copy of the story-- drop me a line at jamesthornton1@comcast.net

Some people, it seems, are preferential fat burners, while others burn their glycogen first in an effort to hold on to fat as long as possible. Though I suffer no end of genetic anomalies predisposing me to less than great conditions, from migraines to pathological whininess, I seem to have been spared some of the excessive fat-guarding that may be one of your genetic legacies.

I think the big picture here is that we live in a can-do culture that lionizes self-reliance and control over your own destiny. Weight problems seem to be one of the last bastions where the "thin" are free to express their general condescension and criticisms of the plump. What a lazy pig? Etc.

I think if the population at large had any idea just how incredibly difficult it is to lose weight and maintain this loss long term, there would be a lot more empathy for one another's respective plights.

I am not saying to give up or surrender to the hopelessness of your situation. I am urging that you cut yourself a little slack, applaud your efforts, and don't criticize yourself for the difficulty you are having contending with physiological systems that never tire in steering you in the direction of eating and sleeping.

nYcSurfer
June 4th, 2009, 12:13 PM
I looked at surfers calorie burner and for me it said: to maintain- 2400 cal to lose fat 1900 and extreme fat lost 1450 cal. That seems really high to me. Did I check that I was female?!


That actually doesnt sound too high to me. Mine is around 3300-3500 maint and 2700 to lose! The activity multiplier makes the big difference.

Karen Duggan
June 4th, 2009, 02:59 PM
Thanks Jim.
I guess my problem is that I am too competitive, with myself above all. I'm a perfectionist unfortunately. I know to swim faster that this stomach needs to go away- it's as simple as that, and not so simple!

I am an extremely healthy person. In fact, whenever I see my doctor and complain of my stomach she reminds me that my health is great and not to worry. (My HR is usually low 100s/high 60s, and my resting pulse is in the upper 50s). I can work out at a very high HR (in the upper 180s for a long time) and then it comes right back down. So, I know I'm healthy, and I attribute it lately to this nutrition program, however, the battle of the bulge rages on!

Maybe I'll try eating more, although now that I can't work out that's probably not a good idea!

Jtzura
June 4th, 2009, 04:51 PM
This site has free food log as well as a ton of other health tools if anyone is interested.


http://www.sparkpeople.com/

As a person who has always fought the battle of the bulge I have a few thoughts. Mind you I am not a doctor or expert, just someone who has had fought weight issues for most of his life.

First, your body is very smart and it reacts to everything you do. Eat too much, eat to little, work out to much, work out to little, sleep too much sleep to little...it all has an effect and I think the effects are slightly different for different people. Bottom line we all have to learn what works for us.

I have been thin (under 10% body fat) 2 times in my life, playing football with 2 a day workouts or basically expending very high amounts of calories daily, and after a personal loss which gave me such a knot in my stomach could barely eat for months or very low calorie intake.

But, these were not my healthiest times, just my leanest. My healthiest time I had a belly bulge, but great muscle mass, doing 3-4 3000m swim workouts a week with some weight training, but not a ton.

But none of that is my point, just that like most people with weight issues I have been down many roads.

IMHO, it takes 3 things. What you eat, exercise, and rest/recovery. If you can balance those 3 things, everything else will fall into place. I think when we try to tinker too much we fall out of balance or we get focused on one thing and ignore the other two.

You don't have to be perfect, just find a comfortable reasonable middle ground.

What do I find reasonable?

Try and eat as much food that you can grow or kill, (my apologies to non meat eaters) the further away from it's natural state a food is, the more you should try to limit your intake.

Workouts; do resistance for you looks (reduce fat, tone etc) Do cardio for your heart and health. Of course they overlap but these are rules of thumb. Oh and mix it up, I think the body confusion idea is a good one.

Finally, sleep. This is the one area I think is often overlooked. Lack of sleep is like poison to your body, and all the exercise in the world won't help you if you never allow it to properly recover.

Keep it simple, the best plan is the one you will actually do and do on a regular basis. Setting goals is important, but I find for myself if I focus on the process of staying in balance everything else takes care of itself. And when I find my pants getting tight or my chin filling out, it's usually because I have drifted from the fundamentals.

Just my 2 cents, again I am no expert or swimsuit model.

-JT

DianaC
June 4th, 2009, 04:54 PM
Karen - could it be hormonal? Are you on BCP? I have heard from my doc and other docs that this could explain some of the problems women have. Just a thought.

guppy
June 4th, 2009, 05:49 PM
I agree especially with Bert and Dorothy. Do serious core exercises like Pilates or stability (as it's laughingly referred to) ball; and don't eat cookies, pies, cakes, and other pastry.

dorothyrde
June 5th, 2009, 07:16 AM
Karen, you said you are not lifting weights. You have to lift weights, if for any reason so you can lift your body when you are 80! I am a different body type from you, short and muscular, but part of the reason I am muscular is because I have been lifting weights for 25 years. I don't have the tummy pooch, and I think weight training helps a lot. My Mom and my sisters have it....they never lifted, and we all look very much a like, except weight training gives me a stronger body composition.

So, resistance training is where it is at. Fit it in twice a week, somehow.

NYsurfer, in my Exercise physiology class I don't remember them saying muscle is burned before fat. That sounds incorrect. In fact, it was taught that at rest, we burn a mixture of fat and carbohydrates, and exercise uses up your carbs, in the blood and then stored in the muscle and liver as glycogen. I need to look up once that is used up which substrate was used next, but I did not think it was muscle. That can happen on very low fat diet, where the muscle starts getting robbed. Carbs are the most effecient source, and muscle is actually a lot of work to catabolize. Fat gives you the most energy bang for your buck.

nYcSurfer
June 5th, 2009, 08:06 AM
Karen, you said you are not lifting weights. You have to lift weights, if for any reason so you can lift your body when you are 80! I am a different body type from you, short and muscular, but part of the reason I am muscular is because I have been lifting weights for 25 years. I don't have the tummy pooch, and I think weight training helps a lot. My Mom and my sisters have it....they never lifted, and we all look very much a like, except weight training gives me a stronger body composition.

So, resistance training is where it is at. Fit it in twice a week, somehow.

NYsurfer, in my Exercise physiology class I don't remember them saying muscle is burned before fat. That sounds incorrect. In fact, it was taught that at rest, we burn a mixture of fat and carbohydrates, and exercise uses up your carbs, in the blood and then stored in the muscle and liver as glycogen. I need to look up once that is used up which substrate was used next, but I did not think it was muscle. That can happen on very low fat diet, where the muscle starts getting robbed. Carbs are the most effecient source, and muscle is actually a lot of work to catabolize. Fat gives you the most energy bang for your buck.

Hey,

Its true that at rest, you do burn fat and carbs. Also at rest, you are rebuilding any muscle that was worked during exercise. However, during exercise, your body uses glycogen stores (stored glucose in the muscles and liver) and burns it for energy. The body doesn't create glycogen during exercise, it burns it. Also, during exercise, your body is under a lot of stress. So while fat may give you the best bang for your buck in terms of stored energy, its very difficult to metabolize. So you go for the fastest buring energy sources... glycogen - muscle - fat. The main reason for this is that its easier to get the energy out of muscle as it can be converted to glucose.

I think one of the main reasons for this order (under stress, of course) is that the brain wants glucose... its the only energy that the brain can use. So actual glucose goes first, then protein as it can be converted to glucose, then fat because fat turns into ketones, not glucose.

This is the main reason that athletes are so concerned about post workout nutrition. You want to feed your body the proper nutrients in order to stop catabolic muscle loss.

I'll have to go double check my textbooks and notes now :)

P.S. I completely agree on the resistance training! Thats what made the biggest difference for me!

Chris Stevenson
June 5th, 2009, 08:48 AM
This SCY season I had a two week period (in between the weeks I was sick!) where I was working out 5-6 days/wk 2-4 hours per day (weights, bands, swimming, and abs). I was consuming no more than 1200 cal/day (usually around 1000). I did not lose a single ounce. I realize I gained a lot of muscle, but alas, the belly fat did not budge.

Karen, I strongly suspect you were indeed replacing fat with muscle. If you had continued this program, which is extreme -- I'm pretty sure I would starve on so few calories/day -- I have no doubt you would have lost the weight.

Two weeks is simply not very long, PARTICULARLY if you (a) eat balanced meals (protein/complex carbs/fat) and (b) excercise a lot.

Yes, there are some diets where you can lose a lot of weight very quickly, even in the first week. This weight loss is illusory, however (usually water weight). Burning off fat takes time (weeks/months).

If you ramp up your exercise and eat a proper diet, there should be a lag time where your weight will not change much, and then will start decreasing steadily, assuming you maintain your exercise level and diet. I think losing no more than 1-2 lbs per week is best.

Here is a typical experience for me...during tapers (3 weeks for me) I usually indulge myself, food-wise. Mostly that means, I still (try to) eat healthy but I won't let myself get hungry when I taper. My exercise level goes down and my food intake probably goes up a little. And yet my weight usually stays steady.

After taper, however, I start hitting the weights and working out longer/harder; simultaneoously I decrease my food intake. But this is where I see a momentary weight gain, before it falls back down to normal levels.

Good luck. And get more sleep!

dorothyrde
June 5th, 2009, 09:07 AM
I agree that carbs are your main source for exercise, but protein is just as hard as fat to metabolize, and I don't agree that the body reaches for that first and then fat. Either way, if you don't use the excess substrates, i.e, excess calories, it will be converted to fat. That would not be KAren's problem, her calorie intake is too low.

This article has a good simple explanation that agrees with my book. Basically if you run out of glucose/glycogen, you are going to basically have to replenish, slow down intensity to use fat and protein stores, or you will cramp up and bonk.

http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/nutrition/a/aa080803a.htm

Karen Duggan
June 5th, 2009, 12:24 PM
I appreciate everyone's input, although it was not my intent to make this my personal thread :)

While I was doing wts 3/wk for 70 min (including abs w/med ball for about 25 of those min), I will try to get back to that, and give it a go for 6 weeks and see what happens. I had also started running, with my long run up to 4 mi, but my neck injury has sidelined me...

Interesting thing has happened in the last couple of days. I saw a friend at the pool I haven't seen since before SCY Nats. She said, "Wow, you look great. You've lost a lot of weight." And this morning, my mom who helps us out on Friday mornings by coming to our house, said, "You've lost a lot of weight." Now what's interesting is: I have not been doing any dryland, and not swimming much at all! The scale too is exactly the same. Maybe I've just lost a lot of muscle and it makes me look thinner? What gives?

dorothyrde
June 5th, 2009, 02:39 PM
Don't know, but smile and say thank you!

I find this discussion interesting, and have to go back and research the order the body uses substrates. It is complicated, and lots of research is done on it.
Pretty fascinating.

Ripple
June 5th, 2009, 04:48 PM
...I have been thin (under 10% body fat) 2 times in my life...
But, these were not my healthiest times, just my leanest. My healthiest time I had a belly bulge, but great muscle mass, doing 3-4 3000m swim workouts a week with some weight training, but not a ton...

A good point. What happened to the set point theory, where everyone has a personal ideal mass that isn't necessarily thin? I think it's still valid. I wasn't very healthy when at my thinnest, either.


...I think one of the main reasons for this order (under stress, of course) is that the brain wants glucose... its the only energy that the brain can use. So actual glucose goes first, then protein as it can be converted to glucose, then fat because fat turns into ketones, not glucose!...
Children with certain kinds of epilepsy are sometimes put on ketogenic diets (very high fat) when they don't respond to medication.http://www.epilepsyontario.org/client/EO/EOWeb.nsf/web/Ketogenic+Diet
After a time on this diet, their brains learn to use ketones for fuel and they can come off again. So, it is possible to use fat as brain fuel, which makes sense when you look at how few carbs are in a stone-age hunter-gatherer type diet.
(Oddly enough, it also works for hot flashes. I tried it after a disastrous experience with HRTs - I ended up in the emergency ward with stroke-like symptoms. It actually did work - I went from 12-16 flashes a day to 3 or 4 - but unfortunately gained ten pounds in the process. It was an unpleasant diet, to say the least.)

dorothyrde
June 5th, 2009, 04:59 PM
Doesn't the body convert the fat to glucose, and that is what the brain is using. Yes the ketones are a by-product, but I don't think the brain burns that does it?

Ripple
June 5th, 2009, 05:21 PM
According to Dr Larry McLeary, the neurosurgeon who wrote "The Brain Trust Book" (from which I got the idea of trying it for hot flashes), it is the actual ketones that get used. The book contains a long complicated description of how the brain uses glucose (or not) which I can't even begin to understand.
I'm just happy it worked. I seem to have a lot more stamina in very long exercise sessions now as well, which could possibly be a side effect of learning to use fat as brain fuel. Apparently it's something you have to teach/force your body and brain to do, it doesn't come naturally as evolution has programed us to hold onto our fat stores as long as possible.

dorothyrde
June 5th, 2009, 06:48 PM
I will look into this more, because from my biology, nutrition and physiology classes I have just taken, I don't know that this is true. Won't disagree absolutely, because my knowledge is just not good enough...yet.

I also reviewed my exercise physiology book and it confirms that fat will be used before protein, that protein is used but sparingly. And of course the much preferred fuel is carbohydrates in the form of glucose.

edited:
There is quite a bit of information about the ketonic diet and how the brain actually changes to burn ketones. Very interesting stuff. There is a local baby that I know about that is on this diet and it probably has saved her life.

JulieMorrow
June 14th, 2009, 01:39 AM
If you haven't heard of Tony Horton's P90x "ab ripper x" you need too. It is one of the best workouts I have ever experienced in my life! I use it on my club swimmers and it has some quick results for them and myself. You can see it and put it on an I-Pod for free if you google search it.

Dominick Aielloeaver
June 18th, 2009, 12:31 PM
I Am 75 yrs old, and do a lot of excerise. But at this age , I do have some body fat on my lower stomach. I think with age I will always have it. Dom. In AZ.