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  1. #1
    Indecisive rookie
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    wanna slim down!

    I posted some stuff on other forums, but i realize there are a lot of people "in the know" in regards to fitness, dieting etc etc etc, so here goes:

    The short version: im 23, 5'8, 195lbs, not lean at all (I dont know my bf%) doc says for my blood pressure etc etc, I should be looking to drop ~20 lbs.

    I know to say 20 lbs doesnt really sound right, as that could be muscle etc, but im pretty sure its just the fat (duh).

    Anyways, I'm a very busy university student, couple weeks ago i started a new routine, which is much better than my old one, but I would like people here to critique it, and tell me what im doing wrong. I really dont have time to go to a gym, i have tons of schoolwork and i also volunteer at 2 research labs which takes up time too.

    my routine:

    wake up 6am, take 200mg caffeine (pills).
    I hit the treadmil for about 30 minutes, on an interval program which is usually 1 min run, 1 min power walk, alternating.
    After this, I usually just do situps, pushups and squats, bodyweight only, usually 2 sets each exercise each to fail (until i cannot complete with good form).

    when im done, i usually get a scoop of whey in ~1l of water. I then shower. After my shower, i have breakfast, which is about 1 cup of oatmeal, some scrambled eggwhites, a glass of 1%milk, and an apple, or some other type of fruit.

    In class, i usually snack on things like: carrotsticks, babyspinach (raw), cellery, grapes, apple, oranges, raw broccoli etc.

    lunch usually consists of previous dinner leftovers : ie chicken breast, with yogurt, fruit etc on the side.

    dinner: fish, chicken, lean red meat... with veggies etc, my startch here is usually from wild rice.

    I really dont get a lot of carbs in before bed, not sure what else i am supposed to discuss.

    i welcome criticism, suggestions, any feedback really.

    I don't want to lose weight fast, but i want a total lifestyle change, i plan on doing this for life from now on, as im tired of being the chubby kid, but more of a healthy trim adult.

  2. #2
    Banned. $ick3nin.vend3t's Avatar
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    I got just as much respect for cyclists who use cycling as a mean of gaining better health & losing weight, just as much I do for Professional Tour riders.

    Your definitely on the right track. Crank it up, watch the calories & don't worry what anybody thinks. Take it steady, don't kill yourself, stay strong, look better, feel better, you'll come good.

  3. #3
    But on the road more MTBLover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by *****3nin.vend3t View Post
    I got just as much respect for cyclists who use cycling as a mean of gaining better health & losing weight, just as much I do for Professional Tour riders.

    Your definitely on the right track. Crank it up, watch the calories & don't worry what anybody thinks. Take it steady, don't kill yourself, stay strong, look better, feel better, you'll come good.
    I agree. OP, I'd use FitDay or some other nutritional tracking system to help you monitor your caloric intake and expenditure. I'm glad to hear you don't want to lose weight fast- that's a common mistake and usually leads to long-term failure. About 1-2lbs/weeks is perfect. BTW, on your intervals, don't powerwalk during the rest phase- instead go as slowly as possible while still moving. The differential between exertion and rest phases of each bout is critically important- the more difference, the better. If you haven't already check out the Tremblay papers on this.

  4. #4
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    Good job on deciding to get healthy! Your food choices look healthy, but you do need to track calories to lose weight.

    Aim for about 500 fewer calories / day than you need to maintain your weight, to lose a pound or so a week. When you estimate your calorie needs, estimate on the low side. A lot of calorie estimators ask how active you are to figure out the calories. If you say you are active, and it gives you a number, then you can't add on more calories to "account for" the exercise you do. I think a lot of people make that mistake.

    And honestly, 20 pounds doesn't sound like too little weight loss. At 6'3" my boyfriend weighs 175 and still has a little tummy.

    Why caffeine pills & whey?
    ...

  5. #5
    Fred Wannabe breakaway9's Avatar
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    I have found that in the initial 2-3 weeks my weight doesn't change much, that period is mostly building some muscle and losing a little bit of fat. And the body stays roughly the same size. In the next couple of weeks the clothes really start to get loose, and the muscle built in the previous weeks really starts to consume some of the fat. I also agree with Valygrl though why the caffeine (coffee would give you caffeine and some anti-oxidents) and whey? the couple of eggs you eat for breakfast should be plenty of protein to rebuild from the morning workout and fuel your body. And Why throw out the yolks? nature has put them in there for a reason. It sounds also like you are focusing on better overall health than strictly weight which, I believe, is the correct way to go about it. i think the best plan is if you are not happy at your weight and you have a decent diet (like the one you listed above) then you need to either eat just a little less of the same things or exercise just a bit more.

  6. #6
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    You could probably lose 20 pounds in about 3 months eating healthy and exercising. It will be tough though. At 23 you should definitely try to bring your weight down so that as you get older and work increases and metabolism decreases at the very least you'll have a nice buffer. You didn't put it in there but cut back on alcohol consumption or go for low cal drinks if you drink.

    I would cut out the caffeine pills, use coffee instead (with a paper filter). It has antioxidants & caffeine, and supposedly when you sweat it out it helps decrease blemishes. Diet seems healthy, just keep it that way, cut out simple carbs (sugar, white rice, white bread, etc.) and only go with whole grain carbs. I always recommend the basics when dieting: whole grains, dark greens, beans, fruits, and fish (sardines & salmon). If you cut out the processed/synthetic foods (chips, cokes, white bread, snacks, etc.) then I wouldn't worry about carbs. Key is to eat food that looks like food and usually you can't go wrong.

    As far as weights, if you're on a treadmill you should already be in the gym. Do a quick 30 minute weight exercise followed by your cardio. Try to do 4 sets of 8 to 15 reps with a moderate amount of weight and little rest in between. This should help you build muscle and keep your heart rate up so you're in a "cardio" mode. Your current weights routine seems more cardio, and will not grow as much muscle. Muscle growth should help burn more calories throughout the day. If you want to notice a difference in body form target your chest, shoulders, triceps, biceps, upper back, and abs.

    I weighed 160 when I was 23, and at 27 was at 185 because of office jobs/travel/per diem/eating out, started eating healthy and exercising 2 months ago and now I'm at 172. It's become a lifestyle for me as well, I don't want to die of cancer or any other disease that a healthy lifestyle could potentially prevent.
    Last edited by JMallez; 04-06-10 at 04:13 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    Exercise more and eat less always works. Eating healthy just makes you feel better and makes it easier to consume fewer calories without feeling starved. But don't fall into the trap that many do which is to try to lose weight too fast. 500 Cal/day deficit is about the max that I can handle without being really hungry all the time.

    Depending on your goals (do you want to be a cyclist, or just be "in shape"?) you can adjust the amount of weight training vs cardio. Cardio done at a sufficient intensity will burn calories than weight training but weight training will build or strengthen muscle, which you may need or desire depending on your goals.

    Carbs (complex carbs, not sugar) are good if you're doing a lot of cardio. 30 minutes is not a lot.

  8. #8
    Indecisive rookie
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    I was afraid of losing muscle, so thought a lot of protein after my "cardio" would help.
    I was taking caffeine pills after reading several things similar to: http://fitnessblackbook.com/weight-l...ce-and-health/
    I guess i can cut down the caffeine by 100mg, and drink a cup of black inplace.

  9. #9
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    Whey protein after exercising, whether weights or cardio is usually recommended. I try not to go over 50g in one shake (2 scoops). Sometimes I do a scoop (24g) before and a scoop after working out to spread out the protein. I started using Optimum Nutrition brand whey protein since it didn't have other additives that could be harmful (i.e. NitroTech).

    I think people recommend coffee or tea/green tea over caffeine pills because caff pills are a little more dangerous, depending on the brand, caffeine blend, and amount; and i believe coffee has the added benefit of antioxidants. Back in the day Hydroxycut was sold as a diet pill and caffeine/energy pill, and we all know how that turned out.
    Last edited by JMallez; 04-17-10 at 12:33 AM.

  10. #10
    Faster than yesterday
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    About your exercise: intervals are good, but you do need some continuous exercise in there, too. I'd be working on bringing up the time of your work intervals (intensity will come down, obviously). If you really want to lose weight, it'll likely take more than 30 min a day of cardio. You can do your exercise in blocks, too. 30 min in the morning plus an hour at night and you're there. If you always do two-a-days you'll probably start to skip workouts, though. We do have to mix it up and keep ourselves honest.

    One reason cycling is so great is that people who couldn't be forced to run for an 10 min can easily do an hour on a bike. The caloric expenditure per minute is lower, but a lot of people do a lot more minutes on the bike. Running is phenomenal exercise, but I hate it. I like doing centuries on my bike though (5-6 hrs).

    Congrats on starting a new life.
    Last edited by tadawdy; 04-07-10 at 12:35 AM.

  11. #11
    Faster than yesterday
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    I do agree that adding weights to your mix would be a good idea. A very basic, full-body weight workout seriously takes like half and hour if done right.

  12. #12
    Indecisive rookie
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    Quote Originally Posted by tadawdy View Post
    ......... Running is phenomenal exercise, but I hate it......
    THIS!!!!!!!!!

    i geuss i could do a body exercise if i got up 30 min earlier.... i have a bench with a barbell and some weights, aswell as some dumbells, i bet a pullup bar would be a good purchase also.

    Funny bit: im using an old pair of roadie drop bars as narrow grip pushup bars, they allow me to get closer to the ground while keeping my hands a bit elevated! thought it was a great challenge.

  13. #13
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    I was on caffeine pills from 2001 to 2009. With my current diet, my weight is still slowly going down and realized that its a waste of money.

    Just have coffee, caffeine pills might give you GERD or Ulcer...as it did to me. Plus you will sleep better.
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  14. #14
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    Agree with above, forget the caffeine pills. Black coffee or tea.

    With your cardio, you can slowly start to increase the time of your run blocks, go to 2 min run-1 min walk for a week, then continue to increase by 1 min per week until you are jogging/running the entire 30 minutes. That will boost your calorie burn. Add some other aerobic crosstraining in there, bike or swim on some of the days, to keep things interesting. Good luck.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simko View Post
    ...
    After this, I usually just do situps, pushups and squats, bodyweight only, usually 2 sets each exercise each to fail (until i cannot complete with good form)...
    SKIP THIS! It is a waste of your time and will give you no results other then wrecking your nervous system.
    Start doing resistance (i.e. weighted) lifts such as squats, deadlifts, curls, bench or floor press, overhead shoulder press, rows, lat pull-downs and tricep push-downs (using a rope in place of a bar) but focus on the first two as they are the two best compound lifts for working all your largest muscle groups (thus boosting metabolism) and also increases testosterone production thus allowing better gains in muscle mass.
    Intervals are good but, as others have said, focus on doing a high intensity interval training style workout were there is a drastic difference in output between the rest and sprint intervals. Most all of the research I've seen on HIIT suggests that it is a much better means of metabolizing fat then standard endurance cardio. If your only goal is to cut fat then do HIIT in place of endurance cardio as that can come later after you've slimmed down.

    As for the diet: it's critical to keep track of everything. I've been using DailyBurn.com for the past month to track my food intake and the exercises I do. It's really been eye opening to know just how many kcal's I'd consume on any given Friday night due to beer consumption! It's also helped me adjust my diet so that I'm getting more protein and less carbs then before.

  16. #16
    Question Authority JoeMan's Avatar
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    I know your schedule is packed, however, as others said in this post weight lifting helps and for a while anyway I would suggest you consider eliminating alcohol. I am a lot older than you and am 5 ft 8 inches also and keep my weight in the 146-150 zone by swimming, running, biking, weight lifting with no booze.

  17. #17
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    Cutting out empty calories from soda and alcohol is a good way to cut back on calorie intake without feeling deprived.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    Cutting out empty calories from soda and alcohol is a good way to cut back on calorie intake without feeling deprived.
    If you happen to be an every Friday/Sat night bar hopper, you will have to drop this habit. I saw no results with good diet with alcohol when I used to go out almost every Friday for drinks and good times. Oh those are my early 20s...

    if you do go out, just take a light beer and take good pictures of your drunken buddies.
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  19. #19
    Indecisive rookie
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    sorry i never responded...
    im not a big drinker, i havent had soda in months... and not a bar hopper.

  20. #20
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    Wanna drop the weight? Drop the carbs. The makeup of diet is the most influential part of a weight loss plan. Here is a link to some actual research, not just opinions from cyclists and others that are most likely in the same situation as the OP. Many people just keep repeating what we've been taught over the years... But look around, there sure are a lot of overweight people.

    http://zeroinginonhealth.com/Exercise.html

    All diet plans are difficult. However, the low-carb lifestyle seems to be the most effective way to lose weight and not feel hungry all the time.

  21. #21
    Shred the rad
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    You're going to hear a thousand different (and most often conflicting) opinions all on here, all of which could be good advice. There is no one way other than the blatantly obvious calories in - calories out equation. Most of all, don't over train in the first couple weeks because you'll burn out or injure yourself. Going the distance is just that - the distance. Make sure you set goals and are going at a pace that'll allow you to keep ramping up your training as you progress. That's what keeps you going - hitting your short term goals and intensifying your long term goals accordingly. Ride far. Long sustained efforts once or twice a week mixed in with an interval sesh or two will shed fat. As others have said, lifting can burn fat like a mother**** (though I prefer rock climbing and other alternatives). Find what you really enjoy doing and stick with that; I mix up rides between my geared bike and fixed gear and try to vary the terrain. Like I said, rock climbing is a major release for me as well...I become a crack addict for the healthy things that I love, which makes me forget about the unhealthy things I love (cake, cig's, microbrew, pork, etc...). Don't overdo carbs, but don't totally cut them out either if you are kicking it up a notch, especially before a hard ride/workout as they are your most easily burned fuel. You have to learn to love your training program and not completely torture yourself to keep at it. It's kind of like tactically torturing yourself!

    You won't budge the needle on the scale until your metabolism speeds up with more training (the real secret), but you'll start feeling lighter on your feet and notice your body type change (the way you carry your weight) pretty quickly. Once you start shedding pounds, maybe after a couple weeks - you're locked in. This is when your body starts talking to you and it seems like you always know exactly how much and what kind of fuel you need and most of all, when to consume more or less. Listen to your body, take all of the info in here (including mine!) with a grain of salt and know that your plan will be entirely unique to you; you're your own coach so you gotta step up on both ends. I'm 6'2 and have dropped from 195 to 173 since late January without any difficulty and anticipate reaching my triathlon weight of 163 just when the season gets in full swing while still allowing myself the Mexican food dinner or pasta and wine on Friday or Saturday nights. Be reasonable, and be dedicated.
    Last edited by Giants; 04-17-10 at 12:47 AM.

  22. #22
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    I have lost 41 lbs since Dec. 26th, 2009 and I have not tracked a single calorie, I refuse to and never will. I do however keep track of what I'm eating and when. What I mean is I have a comination of protien, complex carbs, starches, and fat with every meal and I eat 5-6 times a day with at least 4litlres of water a day. For me it's all portion sizing, one handfull protien, one handfull starches, two handfull complex carbs. Ride the bike at least 3 times a week, go to the gym once a week during cycling season. I could go into more detail but look inot Eat Clean or Clean Eating. I do change up diet on ride days somewhat as you will require some simple carbs to provide enough fuel for best performance. I still have 21 lbs to get to my goal of 178lbs, I'm thinking at 6'1" that will be a good place to maintain.
    Best thing about cycling is when I'm at work I'm thinking of cycling, when I'm cycling I'm thinking about cycling.

  23. #23
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    Get your diet right. Then start working out with weights (heavy). If you're eating a high protein diet and in a calorie deficit you won't build bulk. Can't happen, it's not how the body works. I've been doing it for 3 months and lost 40 lbs (25% BF to 15-17% so far) and haven't lost any muscle. After the diet and the lifting get the cardio going. Make for dang sure you're getting enough calories though. The initial weight loss will encourage you to eat less but don't do it. Take it slow. 1-2 lbs / week is ideal. You'll have awesome energy, sleep great and be ready for anything. Too little calories and you'll run out of gas.

    I track my diet with dailyburn. It works for me and keeps me motivated. I also have a log book for my workouts to make sure I'm increasing the weight and lifting heavier

    Good luck

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