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So! It's a new year and we all probably want to recover from holiday overindulgences, if not actually turn over a completely new leaf.

How's everyone doing at that?

For me, I gained twoish pounds from mid-November through today, which isn't bad, but is on top of the several pounds I gained while recovering from the latest annoying health issues (started in July, worst in August, at "mostly pain free" right now). I got a FitBit for Christmas and have been enjoying learning how different activities affect my overall level of activity for the day. It also tells me how well I slept, something I have wondered for a long time. (Answer: Like a rock when no one else is in bed with me, more restless when DD or DH or both are hogging the covers.)

I have returned to regularly tracking WW points and activity, and am going through the sugar and carb withdrawal that is requisite and common for this time of year. The goal for the month is to figure out what 10,000 steps a day looks like, and to get back to eating only the points WW says I need. Another goal is to return to eating the way that really helped my blood chemistry numbers. I've got a ways to go on that, but am slowly rebuiling habits. (It's TOO COLD for smoothies, darn it!)

So, how are you all doing?

ThyPeace, thought a change of pace might be a good idea.
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OK except I gained weight over the holidays. So I'm taking the bus to work more, so I can get in a little more exercise.
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I've only allowed myself 4 days of 'overindulgence' over the Thanksgiving thru New Year's holiday season--Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve. So back to normal eating since Jan. 1, only difficulty I've had is finding my favorite gluten-free hoagie buns and I'm hoping the flu won't end up derailing my workouts at some point.

Good luck to all in staying on track with whatever you're doing!
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How's everyone doing at that?

Hanging in pretty well. December 2011 - December 2012 saw a 15 lb loss overall. I'm pretty happy with that and will plan to lose another 10-15 this year.

Just found out that my gym is offering a Zumba/CORE combo class at 4:45 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. My new work schedule has me off work at 4:00 every day, so guess where I'll be rigth after work?

Learning to eat and cook Paleo has been a challenge, but it's also fun. We've added a ton of color to our diets and I've found all sorts of ways to dress up fish and wild game meats.

I'm back in school this semester so work, workout, school will keep me hopping.

LWW
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The goal for the month is to figure out what 10,000 steps a day looks like,

The FitBit will help you do this (provided you wear it, mind) One tip I'd offer is to forget what number it gives you for calorie burn. These have been judged to be univerally unreliable.

This time last year was when I started my little experiment with my online trainer buddies to test the effects of a *diet* on our daily energy expenditure (or, more accurately, movement) It's an eye opener.
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[H]ow are you all doing?

Pretty well, thanks ever so much for asking. I gained about eight pounds over the holidays. Before Thanksgiving I was 173 pounds on the scale at my gym (on a 5'10" frame). As of a couple days ago, the same scale registered 181 pounds.

I think most of the weight gain is muscle, however. My tape measure says I've only put on a half-inch on my waist. My clothes still fit, though the jeans that were already tight are now a bit tighter.

I think I was about due for some weight gain. I'd been lifting heavier weights over the course of the year without much weight gain. I actually was able to continue working out regularly over the holidays. The BodPod at our gym is broken, so I don't have an objective measurement of how much of the extra weight is fat versus muscle. My mirror and camera suggest that it's mostly muscle, particularly in chest, back, shoulders and arms.

I did eat more over the holidays, though. I did pretty well at avoiding breaking my diet at the big holiday meals - eating mainly protein, and avoiding the high-fat side dishes. I didn't do so well at avoiding the ubiquitous sweets. The bulk of my extra calories were in cookies, cakes and candies.

Having "bulked" a little bit, I'm now ready to get back to "cutting." I'm trying to get rid of all the sweets. I did get a late gift basket from one of the other practices in town today - mostly cookies. Gift baskets on January 10??? Either I was on the "B" list and they had some leftovers, or some marketing person told them they'd stand out by gifting on the shoulders of the holiday season. I put it in the lunchroom and my co-workers helped my dispose of it.

The recent weight gain is one of the reasons I felt strongly about BMI in the previous couple threads, since I'm now solidly back into the "overweight" range. It's hard not to react emotionally to a rising number on the scale. We have a cruise coming up in a couple months, so I'm going to try and let my body settle into this new weight, either maintaining it or dropping a couple pounds.

martybl
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The FitBit will help you do this (provided you wear it, mind) One tip I'd offer is to forget what number it gives you for calorie burn. These have been judged to be univerally unreliable.

Or save the money and just work a 5 mile walk into your daily exercise routine.

LWW
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Or save the money and just work a 5 mile walk into your daily exercise routine.

Well, one of the advantages of these daily movement trackers....or just a basic pedometer which is what I usually recommend..... and programmes such as the 10,000 steps is that they also record (or more accurate don't record) lack of movement.

One of the reasons that folk like Gary Taubes, for instance, insist that "exercise doesn't work" is that there's the assumption that an exercise programme....or a walking programme.....is automatically going to create a calorie deficit. Well, it will if it's vigorous enough....but not so vigorous that you cut down on the unconscious movements that take place during the day (NEAT.....non-exercise activity thermogenesis).

What you don't measure, you can't track or control.
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I don't think anyone is saying 'exercise doesn't work' just that you can't outtrain a crappy diet and that it is more practical to create a caloric deficit via the 'calories-in' (i.e., diet) side than via the calories-out' (i.e., exercise) side of the equation. And the NEAT issue just underscores this. It's simply easier to forgo the jelly-filled donut to begin with than it is to try to exercise away the excess calories it contributes to your fat stores.

There was a show about the Mayo Clinic Diet on one of the PBS stations that alluded to this--and I found this from the site which reiterates the point:

Which is better for weight loss — cutting calories or increasing exercise?

Answer
from Donald Hensrud, M.D.

Cutting calories through dietary changes seems to promote weight loss more effectively than does exercise and physical activity. But physical activity also is important in weight control in that regard.

The key to weight loss is burning more calories than you consume. Because 3,500 calories equals about 1 pound (0.45 kilogram) of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose 1 pound. So if you cut 500 calories from your diet each day, you'd lose about 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories).

For most people, it's probably too difficult to eliminate the amount of calories through exercise that you could through dieting. That's why cutting calories through dieting is generally more effective for weight loss. But doing both — cutting calories and exercising — can help give you the weight-loss edge. Exercise can help burn off even more calories than just dieting.

Exercise also is important because it can help you maintain your weight loss. Studies show that people who lose weight and keep it off over the long term get regular physical activity. If you lose weight by crash dieting or by drastically restricting yourself to 400 to 800 calories a day, you're more likely to regain weight quickly, often within six months after you stop dieting. Getting regular exercise also can help prevent excess weight gain in the first place....


http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/weight-loss/AN01619

I, for one, am not saying you shouldn't exercise--of course you should--if for nothing else but general conditioning--not to mention lean muscle preservation while dieting, but it's not the more practical approach when it comes to weightloss. It is diet that is most critical.
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I don't think anyone is saying 'exercise doesn't work' just that you can't outtrain a crappy diet ...

Well, actually, Gary Taubes does say that. Categorically and unequivocally, overandover again .....at least, as far as his experience goes. A heck of a lot of people believe him too!. Of course, I think he's trying to portray the notion that his pre-low carb weight loss efforts included both a high quality exercise programme and a "high carb" diet (as opposed to either a "crappy" high carb diet or just eating too much)......but given what he routinely portrays as the standard alternative to low-carbing, I have my doubts.


...So if you cut 500 calories from your diet each day, you'd lose about 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories)....

This holds pretty true as long as cutting 500Cals a day from one's diet doesn't precipitate any compensatory changes like moving less. It does for most folk. That's where the notion of "dieting slows your *metabolism*" comes from. This time last year, when I was doing my experiment with my trainer buddies.....and with an energy intake deficit of fewer than 500 Cals....I dropped from a daily average of approx 12,000 steps to around 7-8,000. Didn't make me a couch potato by any means, but the reality is, I don't know where those "steps" disappeared to (well, I do!)......but I wouldn't even have known if I hadn't tracked the phenom with my pedometer.

While it's certainly very easy to forget the jelly-filled donut or underestimate just how much energy is stored in there, it'd be a mistake to think that everyone with a weight management issue has this problem. I'm not so interested in figuring out the problems of folk who *know* to some extent where their excess weight comes from as the ones who don't.....who're actually very diligent about controlling energy intake, doing everything "right" etc...... but who don't understand the impact ithat any change might have on total daily energy expenditure to the extent that their diligent efforts don't pay off WRT losing weight.
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...So if you cut 500 calories from your diet each day, you'd lose about 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories)....

Additionally, physiology trumps physics with these figures.

That 3,500kcals comes from the energy contained in a measured amount of some fat such as palmitic oil. Measrued in some gizmo like a bomb calorimeter in a physics lab. Truth is, even assuming 100% contibution to energy needs of the human body come from "fat", there's still a bit more other stuff like tissue and hormones to account for.

However, there's no level of activity that's so low that energy needs are satisfied 100% by free fatty acids....even when you're in a coma. There's always some contribution from glucose/stored glycogen (carbs) and protein.

It's still Cals in vs Cals out, but the accounting isn't as simple as folk believe.
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I actually agree with your points, viv. It's not quite as simply as calories-in vs. calories out for many of the reasons you state. I think the MAJOR mistake many dieters make is to believe that calories don't matter--at least not as much as macros, or some other mystical, magical food combination. The ubiquitous 'I eat clean' or 'I eat healthy' or 'I cut back on my portions' followed by 'but I haven't lost any weight' is what drives me nuts. 'eating clean' 'eating pretty good' often (not always, but more often than not) just isn't good enough. It is waaaay too easy to underestimate food intake (calorie-wise) and to overestimate energy output--thru whatever method. It's way too difficult to know the output side with precision, and it's easier to know the input side--just use a food journal and a d@mned food scale for pete's sake! And then make adjustments based on what you know instead of what you think, estimate, guess and hope.
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yeah... you can "eat healthy" and all, and still eat a little too much and then you'll feel good but still be fat.

The unfortunate fact is that for me it all seems like a wild guess. I *don't* know that much. So much of what is published seems like complete rubbish - either that or what they tell you to eat is horrendously expensive or unavailable in my neighborhood.
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yeah... you can "eat healthy" and all, and still eat a little too much and then you'll feel good but still be fat.

Well ain't that the truth! I am soooooo sick of the mindset 'but it's organic', 'but it's low carb', 'but it's gluten-free'....'so it must be low calorie'. Or that eating (or not eating) any particular food or food group will magically cause the weight to fall off regardless of that food's calorie content. It simply drives me nuts that minds are this self-deceived.

The unfortunate fact is that for me it all seems like a wild guess. I *don't* know that much. So much of what is published seems like complete rubbish - either that or what they tell you to eat is horrendously expensive or unavailable in my neighborhood.

Absolutely should not be the case. you're overcomplicating it. It really truly is calories-in vs calories-out. It really truly is diet--as is calorie restriction--that will cause weightloss primarily. There's no 'wild guessing' about it--get a digital food scale, weigh the food, read the nutrition panel to determine the calories in your portions (or go to the USDA nutrient database if there is no food label) and add it up to determine your daily totals.

Just set a calorie ceiling and then find foods that will satisfy you and will still accommodate that caloric limiting factor.

Be aware that there is no free lunch (pardon the pun). It doesn't matter if some diet guru told you that you can eat as much as you want of food X as long as you avoid food Y and you will magically, mysteriously lose weight because magically and mysteriously calories in the magic food no longer matter to your body. Just simply count calories (as in decrease them) and you will lose weight.

Is it easy? No. It isn't. Denying yourself of anything never is. But you have to decide which you want more--the momentary taste of the jelly-filled donut (or six) or the body you want to have. Put on your big-girl or big-boy pants and take charge of what you are putting in your mouth. It's not going to happen just because you want it too. Or just because you think you deserve a healthy body as a civil right. You have to fight for it. Work at it. And don't make excuses for why you're eating more calories than you need to.

and paintitblue--most of the above rant and advice was not specifically directed at you--but just general observations as well as a healthy dose of tough love.
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