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Losing Weight, interesting odyssey

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Onhell, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. Onhell

    Onhell Mexican Revolutionary

    I am a true believer in that there are basic components, or a foundation, to basically anything. From math to language to exercise. When it comes to losing weight I believe that foundation is fairly simple, burn more calories than you consume. How you go about that is your business and in part that is why I chose to start this thread. I want to share my specific journey and invite you guys to share what has worked for you, or if you don't care about weight loss and why.

    I think we have all seen this video at some point:



    I'd like to address each point as it has related to my journey.

    Step 1: No Beer.

    I no longer drink in the quantities I used to. 12 years ago I used to go out A LOT and get drunk often. even up to 8 years ago I was able to drink a beer every night with dinner and be fine. But starting about 5-6 years ago I noticed that if I had a beer everyday with dinner by the end of the week I had a little belly. So I cut back. I hardly drink now, can't even say how often like once a month, because I have completely lost track. It has been about 6 years since I started cutting back and it is usually relegated to special occasions like watch a sporting event with friends or dining out with family.

    Step 2: Portion Control.

    This is a big one. In the U.S portions are HUGE, not to mention the quality of the food isn't the greatest. combine that with late, heavy dinners and it is a recipe for fatness. Since moving back to Mexico 6 months ago to the day, portion control has been easier, finding fresh foods/ingredients has also been easier and cheaper. Our heavy meal is lunch, not dinner, between 1 and 3pm instead of the 6-9 dinner schedule in the U.S. Thus eating smaller portions, culturally being able to have lighter dinners, etc. has aided in that regard to.

    Step 3: Get your heart broken.

    I'll be the first to admit, this is more for the sake of humor in the video than a necessary step. Hell in theory they are all unnecessary as long as you burn more than you consume. Your diet is different than that of an athlete as you don't burn as much as they do. Also, people handle depression very differently. For some it can be counterproductive as they "eat their feelings" to cope with it and eating MORE instead of less and usually junk food with little to no nutrition and high empty caloric content.

    I am of those that when depressed doesn't want to do ANYTHING, including eating. I don't even get hungry. I force myself to eat even if the food doesn't have any flavor, because I have to for survival, not because I want to or am hungry. I am currently going through a divorce which will be finalized in just a few days and in a way, because of the depression, it has helped in eating smaller meals.

    I do have to go off on a tangent here. Again, everyone reacts to their depression differently. Also, there is a difference between being depressed due to an event (break up, death of a loved one, losing your job, etc.) and SUFFERING from depression. People who suffer from depression are depressed with seemingly no apparent reason. They have a job, a good relationship, friends, etc, but are still depressed (not sad, there is a difference). It is a constant demon that one has to learn to live with and channel as it can never be slain, only kept at bay. Thus dealing with situational depression while already suffering from depression makes it extra difficult difficult. [/tangent]

    In the video, to deal with the depression the narrator says to get your shit straight and join a gym. I don't fully agree with that. The point is not to join a gym, the point is to do exercise and KEEP BUSY. Exercise and social interaction (hang out with your friends) releases endorphins and make you feel better. But you don't have to spend money on a monthly membership.

    My exercise has been taking public transportation. Walking to the bus, holding on to dear life while on the bus (Mexican public buses are like riding roller coasters and can be a full body work out), then walking to the light rail station then to school/work and back home. I walk so much my legs are rock solid. Something that hasn't happened since i did track and field in high school. Even my arms and chest are slightly defined from just riding the bus. I also take my dogs out for walks.

    6 months ago I was 220lbs (100kg) and Have lost 39lbs (18kg) in said 6 months just doing the above. This week was the first week in 3 months I worked out consistently and at home with cheap dumbbells I got at Wal-Mart and using my home's staircase for inclined workouts (push-ups, triceps, etc.) I only do 30 minutes to compliment the 2 hours of walking/riding I do a day and only after a week I can see results, not to mention feel GREAT.

    Step 4: No Fruit Juice.

    This one I don't follow. I decided to cut down on sugar, but it is VERY hard to eliminate it as it is EVERYWHERE. I like to joke that even salt has sugar, because of how pervasive it is. It is easier to just cut it down than eliminate it. So, no point in not drinking fruit juice if you are still eating chocolate/candy bars, drinking soda, eating ice cream, etc.

    What I have done is I eat as much candy/chocolate as I drink beer, VERY rarely. I water down the fruit juice by filling half the glass with juice and the other half with water. This lowers the sugar content I am consuming and makes the juice last longer. Also careful with brand and packaging of the juice. As an example, when I was still in the States, Wal-Mart brand Guava juice had 40 grams of sugar per serving. Yes you read that right, 40 grams. The Mexican brand JUMEX Guava juice in a carton package had 22. However the JUMEX aluminum can version had 30 grams. Still less than Wal-Mart's, but still fairly high.

    In Conclusion, do you HAVE TO go to the gym to lose weight? No, just burn more than you consume, I am currently working out for definition, more than weight loss. Do you have to have your heart broken? Of course not, but correctly channeling negative emotions like depression and anger can be very productive. What I'm saying here is, you don't have to QUIT anything, cut back on it, modify it sure, but you can still eat and drink what you love AND lose weight. It does, however, take commitment and self-control.

    What do you guys do or don't do?
     
  2. Brigantium

    Brigantium Work Geordie for hire Staff Member

    I'd totally agree with lifestyle changes (if possible) that will help you reduce stress and have less reliance on or cravings for unhealthy food. So many people only get through the week with the help of coffee, full sugar soft drinks, energy drinks or high fat/high carb/high protein foods. And that's not just those with depression.

    I did do a commercial diet at one time, which resulted in very fast weight loss, but I felt abysmal and ended up with a few minor health problems. I think they totally underestimated how much energy I was using for exercise. I did two hour-long swim sessions a week but they only counted breaststroke as light exercise, regardless of how far and how fast I was swimming in a cool outdoor pool. And they classed any horse riding other than a flat out gallop as light exercise, when a dressage schooling session can be more like an hour of yoga and aerobics combined. I don't have a car so I walk places a lot.

    Portion control is good, but I don't like the trend for practically eliminating carbs, especially complex carbs. Reducing portions of carbs works just fine over a longer period of time. Fruit juice is still a far better choice than full sugar fizzy drinks, although water is better just for quenching thirst.
     
  3. jazz from hell

    jazz from hell Ancient Mariner

    Whenever I realize I've gained some weight, I either just eat less or only salad and/or fruits for some time, and no alcohol.
    Latest diet was a few weeks ago, only ate once a day for a week.
    Not very sophisticated, but it works for me.
     
  4. Onhell

    Onhell Mexican Revolutionary

    Oddly, the first thing I found when reducing sugar was that I have more energy. People think they need the coffee/sugar to get through the day, but not really. I enjoy a Coke or a cup a coffee as much as the next person, but they are no longer part of my morning or even daily ritual. Not to mention coffee stains your teeth much like cigarettes do.

    Many of the articles I have read over the years insist "diets" don't work, that they have to become "lifestyle" changes as you mentioned. As you pointed out these crash diets give quick results, but many times with detrimental effects on your health.

    I agree, that's why I mentioned technically you can still eat all you want as long as you burn more than you consume.
     
  5. Onhell

    Onhell Mexican Revolutionary

    I don't doubt it works, and good thing it isn't often. Skipping meals makes your body go into starvation mode and actually starts storing fat instead of burning it. I'm guilty of it too, ocassionally skipping dinner, but I don't let it go for more than a couple of days.
     
  6. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    I started dieting on and off a couple years ago and have lost about 30 pounds since. I find the first couple weeks of portion control are the hardest but it's pretty easy once my appetite adjusts. I also used to eat a bowl of cereal before bed every night, now that I don't do that I've seen much better results. So it can come down to a simple eating habit too.
     
    Onhell likes this.
  7. Onhell

    Onhell Mexican Revolutionary

    My usual dinner is a bowl of boring, sugarless "adult" cereal LOL. My one rule is no later than 7pm, as I plan (doesn't always happen) to be in bed by 10. But I agree, eating habits go a long way.
     
  8. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    I have the exact same rule, except I go to bed around 11. Not only does it help with dieting, but I also sleep better and wake up feeling more energized.
     
    Onhell likes this.
  9. Perun

    Perun Climbing like a monkey Staff Member

    I just want to barge in and say that it's not true that sugar is in everything. It's only a staple in processed foods. You can drink coffee without sugar too. In fact, you can cook meals without sugar, if you decide to cook yourself. The reason why so many diets fail and so many people get overweight (myself too, in both cases), is because it's much more convenient to put the blame on outside factors which are allegedly outside of your control rather than take matters in your own hands and take responsibility for what you're eating. I know it's difficult, and that's why I'm in a very sad physical state, but it's the truth. Sugar is in everything? Toss some carrots, peas, onions and rice into a pot, put some herbs or spices in and tell me how sugar magically appears there. Put some lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and cheese in a bowl - bam, no sugar there. If you think sugar is in everything, you're not looking hard enough. In fact, you're not looking, full stop. Learn to cook.
     
    MrKnickerbocker likes this.
  10. Cornfed Hick

    Cornfed Hick Electric Eye

    Perun's right, of course, but sugar is still pretty pervasive, and if you dine out, you have no idea what you're eating. I was amazed to learn how much sugar is in BBQ sauce, for example. Onhell's basic formula (calories burned > calories consumed) is exactly right. The Wall Street Journal surveyed a bunch of popular diets to find commonality, and the first two were: (1) avoid alcohol, and (2) avoid sugary drinks like sodas and juices. Portion control is a good idea too. I also think that regular exercise is essential: I've never seen a frequent runner or swimmer who is fat. Even a brisk walk a few times a week would help. I can't stand going to a gym, it's too boring, but I love competing at sports. I'm not skinny or ripped by any means, but I'm in better shape than I would be, given what I eat, primarily from coaching youth sports. Throwing 300-400 reasonably fast pitches to Little Leaguers every few days is quite a workout.
     
  11. Zare

    Zare Dream of broken citadels

    Never understood that sauce thing. Ok for something dry like pork fillet, but for proper beef steak in Mediterranean cuisine (sirloin position) that would be a sacrilege.
     
  12. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    I'm in the opposite side of the weight issues. Trying to gain weight.

    I'm 1.83m - 6'0'' tall and I currently weigh 70 kg - 154 lbs. Weighed 66 kg - 145 lbs at the beginning of June, so I'm progressing.
     
  13. Onhell

    Onhell Mexican Revolutionary

    @Perun, I did say "I like to joke," meaning I understand it isn't, but it is in A LOT of things.
    @Cornfed Hick, Exactly, some exercise is a must. In one of the articles I bumped into it said something as simple as 150 minutes a week, A WEEK! That's about a 20 minute walk everyday.

    My brother has always had that problem. Not as tall (1.76), but to this day has problems gaining weight.
     
  14. Cornfed Hick

    Cornfed Hick Electric Eye

    You're young. The weight will come when you hit your 30s.
     
  15. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    Doubt it. My dad has the same problem.
     
  16. Night Prowler

    Night Prowler ɹǝlʍoɹԀ ʇɥƃᴉN Staff Member

    I've dropped below 70 kg for the first time since 2010. It's not as skinny as I used to be back then, but it feels like it to me. I didn't really plan on it, but it's good that I did it. I'll now go to the gym and consult with the trainer over what to eat and how to exercise while gaining back weight. 80kg would be ideal for me. Without exercise it all goes to the stomach though :p
     
  17. Zare

    Zare Dream of broken citadels

    Don't. Metabolic processes change at this age.
    One noticable Turkish fenotype is akin to Balkan peoples - less weight and more height, however you are going to have tendency to retain more fat once you hit certain age.

    I'm in mid thirties and I need to 'work out' daily in order to not think about what I'm eating, when I eat and how much. I leave that to my body to say, when I need sugar I'm grabbing a chocolate, if I feel like eating meat I'll eat meat regardless if I ate a dozen kilos of meat that week. Sometimes, all you crave is a nice stew full of veggies, preferences change :) What I've figured out till now, is when you're younger, you're active without giving it much of a thought. When you get into circle of working life, you're going to have to think about active exercise. If you still think you're right, once you hit late twenties or so, stay home for a week and just eat anything that's in the fridge...see how it comes out ;)
     
    Onhell likes this.
  18. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    My dad was 63 kg - 140 pounds throughout his 30s and 40s and he didn't really exercise. Not a picky eater, either. Just could not gain weight.

    That's unhealthy though. I'm not talking about unhealthy weight gain. I'm sure I could gain weight in an unhealthy manner if I tried to. Not just in my late 20s or 30s, but now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
  19. Zare

    Zare Dream of broken citadels

    Healthy/unhealthy is a hot debate and it won't be settled for a long long time, e.g. what belongs in each category. What's healthy for you might not be healthy for me. Eat what you desire and burn it all out. I don't know you man, in person, but I somehow have a feeling you're looking too much into it.
     
  20. Brigantium

    Brigantium Work Geordie for hire Staff Member

    Guys who are very slim when they're young often look trim and athletic into their 40s or 50s. The ones who 'fill out' by 20 can be prone to a constant battle with weight from 25 onwards.
     

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