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I too am tired, but confused

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning' started by indigent, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. indigent

    indigent Bamboozled

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    Ok fitness gurus, I am currently 6'3 310lbs and want to loose weight/gain muscle. I have googled and read till my head spun and am still confused.

    Do I.......

    Eat a strict diet, lift weights w/ no aerobics ie. bowflex diet

    or

    Eat a strict diet and include weights and aerobics????



    Someone here can help me I'm sure


    TIA
     
  2. DBradD

    DBradD

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    Not claiming to be a guru, but I personally like option 2 better. I'll type what I know about the subject, again not claiming to be authoritative. Rule 1 is that you need to start reading a lot about the subject of diet and fitness. What works for one person might not work for another.

    My personal experience is that losing fat is about 80-90% diet, with exercise playing a small role, so I recommend that you get that under control as the first priority. If your diet is good, then addition of exercise can make a huge difference, but no realistic amount of exercise can overcome a bad diet. The problem is that most people eat unbelievably bad diets so exercise is futile for losing weight. Might get stronger, be healthier, and have more endurance, but the fat won't come off. Stick with the plan a few months, get frustrated and quit - the common cycle.

    The first step is figuring out how many calories, grams of carbs, protein, and fat, your foods have. There are gobs of websites that give this info, plus most foods have labels nowadays. Every major restaurant publishes this stuff also.

    The first thing you'll notice is that you can only very rarely eat out because 99.9% of restaurant food will obliterate any sensible meal plan. I went through the menus for all the restaurants at which I might eat, and selected a thing or two that is at least partially sane (usually something with grilled chicken). That way, if I'm out and must eat, I have SOMETHING that I can get and not fail for that day. It's not tough to memorize this stuff over a few weeks, and you can write it down, or better yet, start an Excel file to help. I have one of these that I find extremely helpful. If you're interested, I can e-mail it to you, and I'd be willing to bet that freeward exists for this purpose also. Mine's cool because it's extremely easy to add new foods and it's very simple.

    You need to figure out how many calories you need to maintain your bodyweight. Again, there are lots of resources for helping with this, but they won't predict the same number of calories. You'll have to use some trial and error. For me, the websites give anywhere from 1800 calories to 2300, depending on what parameters they take as input, so I have no clue what I need to maintain bodyweight.

    My wife and I started about 3 months ago with the goal of getting in shape and losing weight. I started at 202 and wanted to get to 170-175, which should put me under 10% bodyfat. At first, I didn't do anything except count calories, trying to maintain a strict 1500/day diet, hoping to maintain about 500 calories less than my "best guess" at my base metabolic rate. I think a larger gap than this is probably too much. I added cardio and weightlifting after about a month. At this point, I'm 176, down 2 belt loops and two waist sizes (35 down to 33). I'm doing the stairmaster on my highest level ever (level 8 for 60 minutes, EASY) and quickly getting back into good weightlifting shape. I'm really psyched about the plan so far. I haven't been this lean since half my life ago when I was 17. When I can't pinch any fat anywhere, I'll go to Stage 2, which will emphasize muscle gain - more calories and more weightlifting. I really like the 2 stage process - lose the fat first and then start packing on muscle.

    I failed several times over the years at getting this junk under control. Being formerly athletic, like when I was in high school and undergrad, I emphasized exercise and didn't pay much attention to diet. I'd never needed to worry about that before, so I figured worrying about diet was only for girls and pro bodybuilders. I could get in better shape, but the fat would not come off. Diet first, then exercise actually works.

    Good luck.
    DBD
     

  3. indigent

    indigent Bamboozled

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    Thanks for the reply DBD.
    This is part of my "reading process" and when I feel I have researched enough I'm going to start and not look back.
     
  4. Slotback

    Slotback Glock 35 Millennium Member

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    If I may suggest the following:

    SET A GOAL, AND WRITE IT DOWN. You must see it every day. Then do the following....

    1) Eliminate all sodas.
    2) Eliminate startchy carbs such as potatoes and rice. But do not eliminate all carbs.
    3) NO PROCESSED SUGARS! This is very bad for you.
    4) Lifting weights is fine. Pushups are good too.
    5) Walking is absolutely your friend. Like you would not believe. Get a good pair of walking shoes. Get a second pair. Eventually you'll work up to jogging/running/skip rope and so forth.
    6) Keep a training journal of all your workouts. You have to know where you started from and where you are going. This is why you keep a journal. Remember, small gains and small successes become big gains and big successes. Look at this as a long term plan. Much like a cross country drive. You have to get out of the driveway first and get on the road in order to get to the end.

    Good luck to you.
     
  5. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

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    What helped me get started was following the "Body For Life" book/program.

    At least check it out.

    Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.
    Jack
     
  6. DBradD

    DBradD

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    Although I'm not the OP, I very much appreciate the book recommendation. I'll put that in my large queue of books I want to read.

    DBD
     
  7. indigent

    indigent Bamboozled

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    Thanks for the replys guys. Today is my first day of eating better and working out. I had NO soda today, all water, and this evening I biked about 1.75 miles and walked a little under a mile after that.

    Today I feel great. I have more energy than I have had all week and am more motivated than ever.
     
  8. Slotback

    Slotback Glock 35 Millennium Member

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    You are off to a good start. Be sure to keep track of what you did. One day at a time. Keep it up.
     
  9. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

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    DBD,

    I think this book is for someone with less experience than you. I think you may be dissapointed. It is a basic weight 3x weekly weight training ; typical upper body lower body split. Three times weekly cardio is HIIT-like. Nutrition is to eat 6 times daily. Each meal is to consist of a palm sized serving of lean protein and fist sized serving of complex carbs. Bill Phillips uses this book to push his supps though.

    It is a smplistic book for newebies. It wasw a good entry point for me.

    Jack
     
  10. DBradD

    DBradD

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    Jack:

    Understood. I still appreciate you posting it because somebody will read it.

    DBD
     
  11. Eagle78101

    Eagle78101

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    +1000. Brilliant post! Follow this plan faithfully and you cannot possibly fail.~2 ;D
     
  12. thaddeus

    thaddeus Millennium Member

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    I am definitly a guru and I can tell you that there is no one right answer in these things.


    The most effective method I have seen and used (do you want to see my before and after pics?) was to watch strictly what you eat (South Beach Diet is a good guide), do as much low-intensity cardio as you can (up to two, 40 minute sessions a day of cardio or one one-hour session per day 6 days a week), and lift weights to reduce the loss of muscle mass. Do high-rep descending sets on weights to get a quick muscle workout to tell your muscles to stay put while you drop body mass. If you don't lift a little weights you will probably lose more muscle mass while dieting. Lifting weights burns fat off too.

    Specifically: Strict diet, 60min cardio per day, and quick weights for each muscle group.