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Old 05-10-2009, 11:54 PM   #1
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I need help with making a lifestyle change.

First of all, I'm posting on an alt because I am going to post some personal details about myself and would rather not have them connected to my main account. If this is an issue, let me know and I'll make a post with fewer details on my main account.

I am 23-years-old, 5'8", 245 pounds. I have a very bulky, athletic build, so I am not as overweight as it might seem. I would guess I am around 45-55 pounds overweight. 190-200 lbs is the optimal weight I want.

While I am a friendly and sociable person, when it comes to physical activity I lead a sedentary lifestyle. I have strength trained very successfully every summer for the past 4 years, but always quit in the fall when I go back to school. A couple years ago I dropped 35+ lbs over the summer and quickly gained it back in the fall.

I need to make an overall lifestyle change. I need to make permanent changes to my diet and physical habits. I have a plan and would love the input of many of the smart people on this board.

I have a considerable amount of time to train over the summer, but that time will be cut drastically short when the fall comes. I'd like to take advantage of the time I have now to "jump start" myself.

In the past I have successfully done the 5x5, starting strength, total body strength (from t-nation), and Meltdown (from t-nation). When it comes to losing weight, Meltdown (lactic acid training) was by far my most successful training regimen. It is, however, hard to do at a busy gym. 5x5 was my most successful strength training program. I've done little to no cardio.

My basic workout plan, at this point, is to do this:

Start out doing the 5x5 3 times a week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
Cardio train doing HIIT (on a track outside) and long distance swimming 3 times a week: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I hate cardio machines in the gym and would like to avoid them, but I'm willing to use them if anyone has any good suggestions.

My basic diet plan:

This is the hardest part. I successfully dieted on a 5-6 meal/day diet with lots of protein, moderate amounts of carbs and low fat. I could not sustain the diet. The food I was eating was terrible, and it was simply impossible to take the time to prepare 5-6 meals a day on a busy schedule. I'd like to find a diet where I can still eat 3-4 meals a day (with some snacks in between) of food I can enjoy.

I need more than a diet. I need a way I can eat for the rest of my life comfortably and still be healthy. Here will be my diet focuses:

-Lots of proteins: steak, fish, chicken, etc
-Cut the sweets: this won't be hard for me. I'm not a huge fan of sweets.
-Cut the carbs: This will be hard. I love potatoes, breads, etc. Any suggestions?
-Cut the fat: anything with lots of fat calories, saturated fat, etc out of my diet.

I'd like to keep a food journal, but I know myself, and I know this will only last for 2 weeks. But that might be enough?

I also want to give myself 2-3 meals a week where I can stretch the rules a little. That doesn't mean I go and destroy a buffet, but I moderately enjoy something that I might not eat the rest of the week. IE have a few slices of pizza with my friends during the football game Sunday and maybe enjoy some hashbrowns with breakfast on Wednesday. Is that acceptable?

My biggest struggle right now is structuring a doable and sustainable diet change. I need to be regimented (at least to start), but it has to be something that I can eventually follow with little thought and effort during very busy and stressful times.

Thanks for your help guys. My weight loss goal this summer is 35 pounds. Doable? I have 4 months...
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:10 AM   #2
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Re: I need help with making a lifestyle change.

F*ck! Pics! You must be a fkn tank at 5'8 and 245...
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:15 AM   #3
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Re: I need help with making a lifestyle change.

While I am certainly overweight, I doubt anyone would look at me and call me obese. I have extremely broad shoulders and muscular, large legs. I really think this is why I've been so comfortable with my weight for so long... simply because I really don't look terrible, but I realize underneath it all... it's still unhealthy.

Either way, that's not the point here. I'm trying to lose 45-55 lbs and keep it off. I'd love any encouragement or comments on my plans that you guys have.
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:35 AM   #4
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Re: I need help with making a lifestyle change.

get a workout partner so you're less likely to get lazy and do a "oh I don't feel like going to the gym today" thing

giving cash freerolls to people you know if you don't go to the gym X times, etc also works
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:46 AM   #5
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Re: I need help with making a lifestyle change.

yeah its acceptable to "cheat" every now and then if you dont go crazy. good even. you will never be able to make the changes permanent if you know that means no pizza ever again, plus it stops your body getting too used to a low carb diet.

cutting carbs is a bitch. i find eating lots of healthy carbs from veg makes me crave bread etc way less. beans/ lentils might help too.

gl
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Old 05-11-2009, 05:15 PM   #6
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Re: I need help with making a lifestyle change.

Thanks for the advice guys. I picked up some beans today.

I have been eating really well, but I'm encountering an odd problem:

I'm not eating enough. I was operating on (this is a guess) a 3000+ calorie diet before.

I have been counting my calories very carefully and eating only healthy foods... and I am coming in at 1500-2000 calories for the day. That can't possibly be enough. Where should I be looking to pick up calories? Bigger lunch/dinner? Bigger snacks? I'm afraid my body is going to start going after muscle, and I am going to run out of gas while training.
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Old 05-11-2009, 05:55 PM   #7
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Re: I need help with making a lifestyle change.

if you want to lose fat you are going to have to operate on some sort of calorie defecit. if you are not hungry i wouldnt worry too much about this, until you have lost the fat you want to get rid of.
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:54 PM   #8
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Re: I need help with making a lifestyle change.

Again, thanks for all the help guys.

I ended up eating around 1400 calories today, and I kept a very close eye on everything I ate and logged it. I'm going to try to add an extra protein shake in tomorrow, as well as have a much bigger breakfast.

Here's a problem: keeping carbs down. I ended up consuming 140g of carbs today. I lifted and swam today, so I feel like that's not terrible, but I'd rather keep it around 100g.

However if some of the carbs are dietary fiber, should that count against my carb counter? Also my biggest source of carbs today was a banana. Are those really "bad" carbs?
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Old 05-12-2009, 12:03 AM   #9
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Re: I need help with making a lifestyle change.

Carbs are carbs (lolz /runs)... Where it hurts is when they add nothing to your diet... i.e. eating a banana as a carb source is way better than eating a piece of bread because at least you get some nutritional value from a banana.

I don't know sh*t about nutrition, so I could be way off the mark.
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Old 05-12-2009, 12:21 AM   #10
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Re: I need help with making a lifestyle change.

00snitch, you are ignoring stuff like GI and GL

basically different carbs keep you full for different amounts of time per cal, and trigger different insulin responses.

so carbs are not just carbs.

that being said, nothing wrong with eating a bannana. fruit is not the greatest food for weightloss, but they are great for you in general, and since you are aiming for a lifestyle change, it is good to have some fruit in your diet.

you only really need to cut down on fruit if you are eating it by the ton or you are a bodybuilder trying to get in contest shape.

i dont really know about net carbs, but my understanding is they do have some basis in reality.
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Old 05-12-2009, 12:24 AM   #11
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Re: I need help with making a lifestyle change.

Word. Sounds good.

Also I ran some calorie calculators and found my maintenance level of calories is around 4000/day.

So obviously eating 1500/day is not going to be healthy for me.

I am going to aim to eat 3000-3500 tomorrow (of good stuff, mainly protein) and cut down 500 calories or so a week. Is that the correct play here?
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Old 05-12-2009, 12:29 AM   #12
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Re: I need help with making a lifestyle change.

4000 kcals is alot for maintainence.

like seriously a fricken ****load, and i would be surprised if it is actually the case.

not sure about the exact correct play though.
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Old 05-12-2009, 01:42 AM   #13
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Re: I need help with making a lifestyle change.

Yeah, 4k cal is a f*ck load... Even 3k cal is quite a lot... Sure you're a tank... but that is a lot of food...

What you are doing in recording what you eat and counting the calories is good. Keep doing this for a while and keep recording your weight. Adjust as needed. Your plan on going for 3k cal for a while and adjusting down if needed is good.
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Old 05-12-2009, 09:13 AM   #14
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Re: I need help with making a lifestyle change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by workinout View Post
Word. Sounds good.

Also I ran some calorie calculators and found my maintenance level of calories is around 4000/day.

So obviously eating 1500/day is not going to be healthy for me.

I am going to aim to eat 3000-3500 tomorrow (of good stuff, mainly protein) and cut down 500 calories or so a week. Is that the correct play here?
"
Another potential culprit is thinking you can preset your calorie levels with a general formula you found in a physiology book or on the internet, and then apply it in a static fashion. The body doesn’t work that way – or more specifically, the world doesn’t work that way as most of us have a great variation in how many calories we expend on a daily basis from moving around and exercising, compounded with the fact that calorie intake will vary hugely even if we try to measure and weigh everything we eat. Error margins in nutrient labels and measuring inaccuracies add up and under controlled conditions it has been documented that people will over- and underestimate both their caloric expenditure and –intake by 50% or more! -Borge Fagerli "

FAQ

In a Nutshell
Q. I'm too lazy to read the whole FAQ. Could you give me cliff's notes?
A. Here you go:
(1) Eat when hungry, and eat reasonably
(2) Eat adequate protein (1-1.5g/lb lean body mass)
(3) Remove as much processed food from the diet as possible
(4) Train intelligently and avoid being sedentary if possible
(5) Supply adequate nutrients around training
(6) Make sure you are recovering reasonably and getting good sleep.


In other words, you are doing your training and trying to be healthier. Get a good PWO shake or meal and make sure your sleep and recovery/lifestyle is in order. Try eating "healthy" foods and not gorging on any particular meals, eating when hungry and to satiety and waiting after the meal (or at any point you are hungry) to reevaluate on hunger, obviously allowing some deviation for the conveniences of life.

Adhere to this type of approach and you honestly won't have to worry about presetting calories for a long time, if ever, depending on your goals. Seriously. No one believes it, but it holds for most.

When I looked for the answer to these questions, I found the vdiet and technical advice that was useful at the time and what I wanted to hear, but not what I needed at all. If someone had presented me a pamphlet called Reasonable Dieting for Idiots that explained what now seems unbelievably obvious I would have benefited immeasurably.

Last edited by ActionJeff; 05-12-2009 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 05-12-2009, 09:28 AM   #15
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Re: I need help with making a lifestyle change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ActionJeff View Post
"
Another potential culprit is thinking you can preset your calorie levels with a general formula you found in a physiology book or on the internet, and then apply it in a static fashion. The body doesn’t work that way – or more specifically, the world doesn’t work that way as most of us have a great variation in how many calories we expend on a daily basis from moving around and exercising, compounded with the fact that calorie intake will vary hugely even if we try to measure and weigh everything we eat. Error margins in nutrient labels and measuring inaccuracies add up and under controlled conditions it has been documented that people will over- and underestimate both their caloric expenditure and –intake by 50% or more! -Borge Fagerli "

FAQ

In a Nutshell
Q. I'm too lazy to read the whole FAQ. Could you give me cliff's notes?
A. Here you go:
(1) Eat when hungry, and eat reasonably
(2) Eat adequate protein (1-1.5g/lb lean body mass)
(3) Remove as much processed food from the diet as possible
(4) Train intelligently and avoid being sedentary if possible
(5) Supply adequate nutrients around training
(6) Make sure you are recovering reasonably and getting good sleep.


In other words, you are doing your training and trying to be healthier. Get a good PWO shake or meal and make sure your sleep and recovery/lifestyle is in order. Try eating "healthy" foods and not gorging on any particular meals, eating when hungry and to satiety and waiting after the meal (or at any point you are hungry) to reevaluate on hunger, obviously allowing some deviation for the conveniences of life.

Adhere to this type of approach and you honestly won't have to worry about presetting calories for a long time, if ever, depending on your goals. Seriously. No one believes it, but it holds for most.

When I looked for the answer to these questions, I found the vdiet and technical advice that was useful at the time and what I wanted to hear, but not what I needed at all. If someone had presented me a pamphlet called Reasonable Dieting for Idiots that explained what now seems unbelievably obvious I would have benefited immeasurably.

Jeff I forgot, what was your final opinion of the Rapid Fat Loss/PSMF diet? I'm thinking of trying it.
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