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Avatar image for matoya
#1 Posted by matoya (775 posts) -

Hi friends,

Over this last year, I've realised that I've suddenly become fat as fuck. A big part of it is that I'm on 2 medications that both have the side effect "Increased appetite and weight gain" which blows. It doesn't help that I graze constantly throughout the day, eating something really small about every hour, and I drink a can of Rockstar Energy drink a day.

My plan for the new year was to cut out soft drinks completely, moving back to fizzy water, and to only eat at the big meal times a day (The plan is to eat something for lunch at around 1pm then dinner at around half 6). I walk 5 miles a day to and from work too, so I guess that's at least SOME excersize.

The big question though: Is this feasable? I can't really get to a gym because I have really severe anxiety problems, and I know if I went to the gym, I'd constantly feel as though I had eyes on me, combined with the fact: I wouldnt have a fucking clue what to do in a gym to lose weight.

Basically, I've developed a big fat belly, and I'm pretty disgusted with myself. Would diet alone be enough to drop 40-50pounds (about 3 stone) or would I need to develop some sort of excersize program? I'm open to anything here folks!

Cheers!

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#2 Posted by A_Cute_Squirtle (892 posts) -

Have you tried at-home exercise? The combination of the two is obviously going to be far more effective than just a diet alone and would be far more efficient to reach the goal you've set. I would recommend yoga, as it's personally become a great workout when I don't feel like running and gives a nice sense of calm for my own anxiety issues when I go through a routine.

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#3 Edited by ripelivejam (13131 posts) -

on a not really closely managed sort of keto diet and not heavily exercising i've lost 70 lb since july. granted i'm also not getting fast food 2 or 3 times a day now, so that definitely helps. keto/atkins is about the most successful i've been with dieting, personally; strangely it doesn't feel as restricting.

exercising for me now is biking to and from work every other day so maybe close to what you do already.

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#4 Posted by matoya (775 posts) -

Have you tried at-home exercise? The combination of the two is obviously going to be far more effective than just a diet alone and would be far more efficient to reach the goal you've set. I would recommend yoga, as it's personally become a great workout when I don't feel like running and gives a nice sense of calm for my own anxiety issues when I go through a routine.

I feel like I'm too fat for Yoga. I don't bend at all. And I'm not sure how I'd learn it either. Is it easily learnable from home?

Avatar image for alistercat
#5 Posted by AlisterCat (8065 posts) -

@matoya: as someone with anxiety, and going to a gym seems impossible, I bought a low cost exercise bike. I haven't used it in quite a while for other reasons, but it helped solve the gym problem a bit. You can do some basic exercises like sit ups that don't require a gym, and some short uses of the exercise bike to start and you should be fine. Proper diet and exercise are required, but you can definitely reduce your weight long term but sorting out what you eat but it depends entirely on how much you actually need to eat vs what you're eating.

The thing I hear the most is not trying hard, but finding something you won't just give up on. Don't burn yourself out on some unsustainable diet or an amount of exercise that you can only keep up for 2 weeks.

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#6 Posted by Picky_Bugger (241 posts) -

This may sound harsh but just go to the gym, no one gives a flying fuck that you're there. In fact the majority of people that go to gyms will have a lot of respect for you going. You don't need to talk to anyone or do anything that you thinks too much, just stick a podcast or some music on and get exercising.

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#7 Edited by Octaslash (767 posts) -

I lost 60 lbs from going from an all soda and junk food diet to a no soda and slightly less junk food diet. There was some limited exercise involved, but just watching your calories can make all the difference in the world. Try to make easy changes to your diet that you could see as being permanent (no soda being the easy one), otherwise you will gain all the weight back.

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#8 Posted by Humanity (18637 posts) -

You can definitely lose weight from a well rounded diet of lower calorie intake. In fact dieting is a key part of losing weight even when you do exercise. I used to run for an hour three times a week and eat the same trash I always did and the needle never budged. I then started to actually diet - I set a calorie ceiling for myself of about 1200 calories a day (I'm a pretty small guy mind you) and I kept to that limit rigorously. No soda, no candy, minimal sugar, minimal carbs. I'd eat a small breakfast, a plain salad with no dressing for lunch, a dinner of mostly grilled meat and veggies and then maybe an apple for supper. I'd drink water, tea or black coffee. I was able to lose all the spare fat and get into pretty good shape - you just need to have an iron will and when there are office parties or birthdays be able to say "no thank you" when you're offered cake or alcohol.

I mean it's definitely not a fun diet, but it does get you where you want to go.

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#9 Edited by DharmaBum (1747 posts) -

I would recommend yoga for an easy at-home exercise, even something as quick as 20-30 minutes a day on the mat. Classes and instructors are helpful in teaching you proper form, but the beauty is that once you know the basics you can continue to work and improve at your own pace.

I'm 6' 5" with horrible posture from sitting at a desk, and it's honestly the best thing I've done for my body as a whole. You will discover muscle groups near your waist region that haven't activated in years that help support your back and posture, and eventually your whole body is moving like a well-oiled machine.

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#10 Posted by sammo21 (5967 posts) -

Yes, but look at it this way, "You lose weight in the kitchen but you get in shape at the gym"...so basically, exercise and diet are two parts that are important but for different reasons. You're right that sodas are a big deal. You might want to look into something called Honest Fizz. Some of the flavors are pretty decent and they have 0 sugar and the can sizes are small. I've started using those flavors inserts for water and even infusing fruits. There are some delicious tea flavors as well that don't require any sugar for flavor.

If you play games for long sessions or just watch TV look at getting an exercise bike to use when watching your shows. You don't have to go to the gym to lose weight and if you don't change your diet then you might not see any results at all depending on your metabolism and other factors.

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#11 Posted by coldblood (211 posts) -

At 60 years old my mom lost 30 lbs by simply cutting out snacks and breads. She is not huge so 30 lbs was a big difference. She was so proud of herself.

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#12 Edited by Jaalmo (1747 posts) -

I think you will definitely feel better for it regardless of exercise or not. Diet and just exercise at home when you feel up to it. You don't need a gym.

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#13 Edited by DharmaBum (1747 posts) -

@matoya said:
@a_cute_squirtle said:

Have you tried at-home exercise? The combination of the two is obviously going to be far more effective than just a diet alone and would be far more efficient to reach the goal you've set. I would recommend yoga, as it's personally become a great workout when I don't feel like running and gives a nice sense of calm for my own anxiety issues when I go through a routine.

I feel like I'm too fat for Yoga. I don't bend at all. And I'm not sure how I'd learn it either. Is it easily learnable from home?

A class or two might be a good idea for starting out as it's easier when someone is there guiding you rather than trying to imitate poses in a book or something. It might also be what you need to get over the "not sure I'm cut out for this" hump, because yoga is extremely modifiable per person and even if you aren't folding into a pretzel on your first day, you should still be sore in the morning.

Maybe even consider a solo class where your individual needs are being focused on. I've also found letting go of the whole social anxiety "what are these people thinking of me" mindgame we play with ourselves is part of the process.

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#14 Edited by razzuel (399 posts) -

You can totally lose weight just by watching your calories. That's where you're going to lose the majority of your weight anyway. Exercise is fantastic for your health and it can help with weight loss, but exercise doesn't burn many calories. What you eat is the main determining factor.

I recommend not thinking of it as a "diet" though. This needs to be a lifestyle change, not some temporary thing you do when you feel bad. You should calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR) to get an approximation of your daily caloric needs. Use that number as your ceiling and any deficits will lead to weight loss over time. Take note though that as your weight gets reduced, your caloric needs will be reduced as well, so you'll want to recalculate your BMR after hitting a weight milestone.

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#15 Posted by cannoli (46 posts) -

@matoya: Hey, got a couple little bits of advice that I wish I had when I started working out about five years ago. Used to be about 260 lbs and today I'm at around 170. I've done a ton of different workout routines and I can tell you there are many different ways to drop the weight, depending on your preferences. I'm sure I've left something out, but these are just some tips to get you started.

1. No one at the gym cares about how you look. Everyone is there to work out for themselves, not judge other people. The only time you'll get stares is if you're not using the equipment properly or breaking gym etiquette. Just ask for help rather than trying to guess at how a particular machine works. Everyone was new at some point, and you may end up finding a gym buddy in the process.

2. You can't work off a bad diet and you can't diet away a sedentary lifestyle. It is widely regarded that if you want to lose weight, you need to eat better, be more active, and get a good night's sleep. If you don't have all three, you won't be able sustain a healthy weight. Simple as that.

3. There are no magic fixes or simple answers. Everyone's body is different and you should consult a doctor or trainer to find a workout plan that is best for you. That being said, there are some major exercises that you should know: dead lifts, squats, pull ups, and push ups.

4. You can't spot weight loss a certain body part. What I mean by that is you can't simply target one part of your body (i.e. sit ups for belly fat) and ignore the others. That's not how the human body works. You need to work all parts of the body for a well-rounded workout and maximum effectiveness.

5. Don't target a specific weight. One thing I learned over time is that you can't just say, "I want to get to 180 lbs and be done with it." If you want to get healthier, then you're going to be working at it for the rest of your life. It is a lifestyle that requires a certain level of commitment. Don't let that scare you off though. Adding little things to your daily routine (like going to sleep earlier or swapping out breadsticks for salad) will become second nature after a while, and add up over time.

6. Losing weight and keeping it off is not easy, and you will absolutely want to quit at some point. Don't. Just keep going. It's up to you to stay motivated, and I'm sure there are plenty of articles out there on how to do so.

7. Most importantly, have fun with it. If you're not enjoying yourself, then you're not going to stick with it. Find a buddy or a group to work out with. Mix up your workouts to break up monotony (there are plenty of free resources like Youtube coaches and whatnot). If you're dead set against going to the gym, get a military training book that focuses on body weight-based workouts.

I hope this helps. Like I said, there are so many ways to go about losing weight, so I'm sure I left some stuff out. If I had known this stuff when I first started, it would have made my life so much easier. Just remember to have fun with it as best you can. Thinking along video game-related lines, maybe make some achievements for yourself with rewards tied to them. Like a peanut butter cup for logging a certain number of workouts each week. Best of luck.

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#16 Posted by sqrabbit (177 posts) -

Depends on your age. Generally if you're under age 30 diet alone can produce results within 30-60 days, sometimes earlier. As you get older, seeing results from diet changes take longer, 90-180 days sometimes.

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#17 Posted by corijo (25 posts) -

@matoya I've lost 35 lb mostly by dieting.

In january 2015 I weighted 205 lb, now I'm at 170. Back then I was eating a couple of pizzas and chugging 6 liters of soda per week.

My plan was to go out for a 7 mile bike run every other day, but I ended up doing that only once or twice a week. Anyway, cutting all that pizza and pepsi, and also ballancing my meals, worked for me. I'm shure you can do it, especially if you walk 10 miles a day.

ps: Sorry for the engrish

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#18 Posted by Jovafy (29 posts) -

@matoya: I've been trying to lose weight for the last 6-ish months and from my experience you can definitely lose weight by dieting. Getting my diet fixed was the first step. I started eating smaller at set times and made the portions smaller: 2 pieces of bread and a fruit for breakfast and evening snack, light lunch (tomato soup with some bread, sandwich, salad, or something like that) and a "more proper" meal for dinner). My exercises were nothing spectacular. I walked about 4-6 kilometers a day (which would translate to about 3-4 miles I think) and sometimes I stretched that to 10 kilometers (about 6-7 miles) or more. Sounds like you're doing roughly the same amount of exercise. And this has been working for me.

So yeah, I'd say it would be possible for you to lose weight by just dieting. Just a couple of very important things to consider:

1. Enjoy what you're doing. Don't pick a diet that you hate. Eat a balanced and a smart diet that you like. I approached this by looking at my current diet, considering what could I drop or cut down and what I should introduce to my diet. Basically I'm eating mostly the same food as before but in smaller portions with added healthier stuff.

2. Accept the fact that this probably won't be a fast process. And it sort of shouldn't be. Losing weight fast gives you more chance to bounce back to where you were. Slow and steady wins the race here. In all honesty I didn't think of this as a diet or an effort to lose weight; I considered it to be a new way of life. I've been at this for 6 months and I probably have another 6 to go until I'm at my target.

And I would recommend you to count your calorie intake. I know it's a chore but it's also very helpful when you're starting out. There are some apps to help you with it. I personally used Lifesum and thought it did the job just fine.

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#19 Posted by kopcik (98 posts) -

Don't count calories it's bullshit. Avoid sugar and increase your intake of high-protein foods such as whole eggs, fish, seafood, legumes, nuts, meat, dairy products and some whole grains. These are the best protein sources. Don't buy 'light' products.

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#20 Posted by colourful_hippie (5894 posts) -

@kopcik: Counting calories helps so long as you look at the kinds of food you're eating because counting calories is a waste of time if you eat a bunch of junk that represent empty calories.

You need to do both diet and exercise. Diet will account for most of your weight loss and/or weight maintenance where you won't start going back up. Exercise takes it further in getting you past the plateau that a good diet can leave you at once you burn off the easy excess fat

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#21 Posted by ghost_cat (2249 posts) -

Diet is a big part, but how effective it can be also depends on your metabolism rate. Definitely stick to healthy-prepared meats, fruits, and veggies.

As far as exercise is of concern, I wouldn't bother much with walking, as it hardly does anything to stimulate your metabolism. Instead, a mix of different muscle-compression workouts (like push-ups), and sprinting does a great job in stimulating your metabolism. The best part is, as long as you push yourself to give it your all in those areas, they are often better on the joints and take less time out of your day compare to a long walk or jog.

Add all of these together with some yoga, and you'll be set to becoming thinner and healthier!

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#22 Edited by lachrymoses (193 posts) -

Dieting will definitely help you lose weight. Interval training can also be done with no equipment which will help you burn more fat and build muscle. Intervals are basically doing exercises as quickly as you can for 30 seconds and then resting for 30 seconds and repeating until failure. If you just do a google search for interval training you will find a whole bunch of exercises and routines you can do without any equipment.

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#23 Posted by alwaysbebombing (2692 posts) -

100%. It's a numbers game. More out than in and you're all set.

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#24 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7512 posts) -

Home exercise is fine- IF YOU DO IT. If you have a bit of cash see if you can find a USED recumbent bike ($150+). I say a recumbent bike not because it burns the most calories but because ANYONE can do it. The cost is not the high if used. And, the general quality of builds is better than most other exercise equipment that do other things. A good use elliptical or stepper machine will be 4x as much and be more likely to break. A recumbent bike is cheap, simple, sturdy. Look online for some recumbent bike exercise routines and stretching and what setting to use. It is all online. If you have cash I still start with a bike...anyone can ride a bike. (As I said above the real secret to gym equipment you might not know is STRETCHING. Always stretch before and after getting off equipment - ALWAYS. Again look it up online for instruction and routines. Stretching is boring! Stretching is uncomfortable! But that's how you take care of your body to make workout actually work. Five to 10 minutes of stretching prevents 8 hrs of pain from tight muscles.)

Second, it has been proven, rock solid proof in many studies, that hand weights with a lot of reps at low weight is equal to less reps at a heavier weights. 15 to 20 lb hand weights can give you a good workout if you follow some simple instructions for how to do correct form for half a dozen exercises. Again look online for routines and exercises using small hand weights.

Diest: The human body adapts, it is the most rugged/adaptable machine ever devised. It was well-designed for being very good at taking any sort of calories and making you function. That why diets seem to work for a while, any sort of diet works well for about 2 month - before your body adapts. It does not matter what they diet is unless ist TacoBell: lower calorie intake, more protein, no protein, no wheat, only wheat, no sugars, only Kool-Aid etc. Whatever diet you throw at your body (above malnutrition) your body will adapt to and start saving calories as fat to use later.

The only sensible diet is one where you watch portions of a balanced variety of foods and exercise. Feel free to change it up every few months because your body will lose some weight as you switch from diet to diet....but it is most useful for not being bored and trying new things. Learning about Vegan food is useful for having fun with new foods you would not think to try. Learning how to make Raw Food dishes like ceviche fish or raw veggies is fun...if you like fish and raw vegetables! As you work out your body, have some fun by working out your hand in the kitchen...it makes life less boring.

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#25 Posted by LawGamer (1481 posts) -

@kopcik said:

Don't count calories it's bullshit. Avoid sugar and increase your intake of high-protein foods such as whole eggs, fish, seafood, legumes, nuts, meat, dairy products and some whole grains. These are the best protein sources. Don't buy 'light' products.

I kinda disagree with this. Not from a perspective of counting calories being the end-all-be-all, but when I was trying to lose weight after law school, I found it helpful to count calories just a means of reminding myself how much I was eating. Like OP, I'd kinda fallen into the habit of "grazing" in between classes or when I was doing a bunch of reading (which was pretty much 100% of my life for 3 years) and that adds up over time. Counting calories, at least initially, is a good way to make yourself mindful of just how much you are eating. You need to be conscious of it before you can modify the behavior.

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#26 Posted by Sysyphus (183 posts) -

@matoya said:

I can't really get to a gym because I have really severe anxiety problems...

This is a major problem.

Avoidance is not going to help you in any positive way, instead it will further cement the idea the gym is a threat. By allowing these negative thoughts to dictate your behavior you are also cementing an idea that you are helpless and are at the mercy of your mind, thus creating a vicious cycle. You need to master your mind and not be a slave to false beliefs. This takes courage but i know you can do it!

What you need to do to conquer this fear is exposure, dive face first into whatever you are afraid of, look deep into the abyss and stand resolute and you will realise the only power it holds over you is ultimately what you allow. It cannot hurt you unless you allow it to, it is not a tiger that is going to rip your throat out.

Do not let this erroneous fear control your thoughts, else it controls your actions and you will be incapable of manifesting your will in reality. Literally. The fight or flight stress response directs oxygenated bloodflow away from your digestive system and towards your arms and legs. This uncontrolled fear directly impacts your desire to lose weight.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/emotions/fear2.htm

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#27 Posted by cikame (2765 posts) -

I've never been a fan of the idea of diets, instead i just eat less.
People will come back at me and say that doesn't work and for them i'm sorry but i can only speak from experience, every time i've wanted to lose some weight i just reduce my portions, i have access to an awesome canteen at work and as a result i'll often slip in an extra full meal + dessert during the day, so when that catches up to me i just stop and the weight starts falling.

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#28 Edited by kcin (1003 posts) -
@broccolirob said:

@matoya: Hey, got a couple little bits of advice that I wish I had when I started working out about five years ago. Used to be about 260 lbs and today I'm at around 170. I've done a ton of different workout routines and I can tell you there are many different ways to drop the weight, depending on your preferences. I'm sure I've left something out, but these are just some tips to get you started.

1. No one at the gym cares about how you look. Everyone is there to work out for themselves, not judge other people. The only time you'll get stares is if you're not using the equipment properly or breaking gym etiquette. Just ask for help rather than trying to guess at how a particular machine works. Everyone was new at some point, and you may end up finding a gym buddy in the process.

2. You can't work off a bad diet and you can't diet away a sedentary lifestyle. It is widely regarded that if you want to lose weight, you need to eat better, be more active, and get a good night's sleep. If you don't have all three, you won't be able sustain a healthy weight. Simple as that.

3. There are no magic fixes or simple answers. Everyone's body is different and you should consult a doctor or trainer to find a workout plan that is best for you. That being said, there are some major exercises that you should know: dead lifts, squats, pull ups, and push ups.

4. You can't spot weight loss a certain body part. What I mean by that is you can't simply target one part of your body (i.e. sit ups for belly fat) and ignore the others. That's not how the human body works. You need to work all parts of the body for a well-rounded workout and maximum effectiveness.

5. Don't target a specific weight. One thing I learned over time is that you can't just say, "I want to get to 180 lbs and be done with it." If you want to get healthier, then you're going to be working at it for the rest of your life. It is a lifestyle that requires a certain level of commitment. Don't let that scare you off though. Adding little things to your daily routine (like going to sleep earlier or swapping out breadsticks for salad) will become second nature after a while, and add up over time.

6. Losing weight and keeping it off is not easy, and you will absolutely want to quit at some point. Don't. Just keep going. It's up to you to stay motivated, and I'm sure there are plenty of articles out there on how to do so.

7. Most importantly, have fun with it. If you're not enjoying yourself, then you're not going to stick with it. Find a buddy or a group to work out with. Mix up your workouts to break up monotony (there are plenty of free resources like Youtube coaches and whatnot). If you're dead set against going to the gym, get a military training book that focuses on body weight-based workouts.

I hope this helps. Like I said, there are so many ways to go about losing weight, so I'm sure I left some stuff out. If I had known this stuff when I first started, it would have made my life so much easier. Just remember to have fun with it as best you can. Thinking along video game-related lines, maybe make some achievements for yourself with rewards tied to them. Like a peanut butter cup for logging a certain number of workouts each week. Best of luck.

This is the most comprehensive starting advice here. My only real addition is this: STARTING IS THE HARDEST PART. Once you start a rhythm, whether it be exercise, diet, or both, it is much easier to sustain that rhythm than it is to get it going in the first place. You haven't yet committed if you've only exercised one day, or had one good meal. Pushing through the malaise around starting may be more difficult than actually doing what you need to do. You're scheduled to exercise at 2PM. 2PM comes around, but you're sitting on the sofa, and don't feel like it. You'll have to just make yourself stand up, walk over to your equipment, turn on your timer, and do the first rep.

As far as the gym goes: When I'm at the gym, I don't stare at overweight people, or think they don't belong. In fact, like most people, I don't look at anyone else at all, really. People at the gym do everything in their power to isolate themselves from one another, including avoiding eye contact, because quite honestly, everyone there is concerned with being judged. There is, however, one type of person I will advise you not to be: don't be the person who has no plan at all. Find a routine, and write that routine down in a small notebook. Before you go, watch some videos on the form for the exercises you are going to do, and practice them at home. Form is the key factor in determining whether or not the exercise works, and whether or not you hurt yourself while doing it. Bring that notebook and a pen, along with a bottle of water and a towel, with you to the gym. When you get to the gym and you are doing your routine for the first time, start with a very low weight. If you are using an Olympic bar for an exercise, start with the bar. This isn't going to look lame; warming up is very common, and using an empty bar or very light weights to do so is practiced by top athletes, all the way down to regular joes. This will allow you to understand the form, and how much weight you'll be able to add. From there, just keep your head down and do your routine. Write down how much weight you are using for each exercise, and whether or not you were able to complete the set. This information will inform your next exercise day, and as an added bonus, will make you look like you know what you're doing. Lastly, read about gym etiquette. It's just shit like put your weights away when you're done, wipe down equipment when you're done, etc.

Although I've never done it, as @ripelivejammentioned, I have two friends who have successfully employed ketosis to lose weight very quickly. It's a super weird diet and involves carefully monitoring glucose levels with some equipment, but it totally works. No matter what, though, whatever you do, you WILL need to eat fewer calories than you burn, and as such you WILL need to monitor your food intake. An app like MyFitnessPal is a great and easy way to do that. It can be sobering seeing what the things you eat contain, and you may be surprised how easy it is to quickly cut down your caloric intake by eliminating a few key things.

Finally, if you don't want to go to the gym, an easy and, in my opinion, fun exercise routine can be setup using a single kettlebell. For example, kettlebell swings are a full-body workout that you can do standing in one place.

No Caption Provided

You can order a kettlebell on Amazon, and if you don't like it, they have high resale value on places like Craigslist. Just be sure you don't get one that is too heavy, or you won't be able to use it. 10-20 lbs is probably a good place to start, but find out for yourself what suits you. This route is cheaper and much smaller than an exercise bike, if that's a concern of yours.

Anyway, it's important you find something that you like to do. There are lots of overweight heavy lifters; maybe lifting is your thing! Or maybe you like boxing! Just find something you don't hate. It's much easier to motivate yourself to do it that way, and a couple weeks in, you won't even need to motivate yourself. Good luck, and feel free to come back and ask for tips! Looks like everyone's willing to help.

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#29 Posted by Kidavenger (4417 posts) -

Weight loss is almost 100% based on diet, workout out may help to accelerate the weight loss and it will be a huge factor in keeping the weight off over the long term.

I wouldn't worry about going to the gym, as long as you are clean and wipe the equipment down after you are done, everyone will be happy.

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#30 Posted by Amingo (23 posts) -

Man forget the gym. Go run outside and buy some weights so you can work out at the comfort of your home. If you're really swimming in cash and you have the room, buy a treadmill.

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#31 Posted by dudeglove (13707 posts) -

I wanna say (though in a Vinny sort of voice) that there have been studies whereby if you are one of those people who actively pay attention to what you eat (in terms of calorie count), you are more likely to lose weight.

If you are too lazy to try controlling your diet by yourself, weight watchers and Jenny Craig do work. Yes, they are unsexy as hell, but they'll give you a schedule and real world coaching, and set up all the meals for you.

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#32 Edited by ProfessorEss (7961 posts) -

I found dieting helps, but exercising creates a cycle of motivation.

I wanted to lose fat on my gut. I tried dieting but saw limited results so I thought maybe I'll make everything else bigger to make my gut look smaller in comparison. I went with with pushups, pull ups and random dumbbell lifts. My shoulder went bad so I had to ditch the push-ups but my unstructured pull-ups and random dumbbelling produced surprisingly quick changes - including the gut reduction I had given up on.

I got into a cycle where having sore muscles equalled feeling good, so when when my muscles weren't sore I worked out to get that good-sore feeling again. I'll admit I've been on yet another hiatus as of late, and I'm getting fat, again, but doing it once and seeing how real and possible it is is a fascinating experience that stays with you.

If you don't like the gym, fuck it cause you won't go if you go. Walk, jog, run, bike, push-up, pull-up, plank, whatever. If you can do any of this for 20 minutes every or every other day you'll feel it - and it will probably help you naturally diet as a result.

PS: If you have a Kinnect and don't hate pop music, Dance Central helped me dump pounds too.

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#33 Posted by OurSin_360 (6133 posts) -

You can lose weight by dieting but it may not be 100% healthy weight. The fact the gain is caused by medication may also make it a lot more difficult to lose by diet alone so thats something to think about to. Maybe contact your doctor and see your best options.

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#34 Posted by personandstuff (640 posts) -

At long last, I'm kind of an expert. I'm currently in the middle of losing weight. I've lost about 67 pounds in the last 7 months. Got another 33 until my goal. I get the gym thing and have felt the same at certain points.

First off, you can totally lose weight without exercise and, either way, you should eat like you're not losing any calories from exercise. You should still exercise because it helps you lose weight, especially early on, and being in good cardio shape feels great. Being able to run for more than a quick second feels like cheating. How should you exercise depends on you. Try to find something that best fits into your life. I got an exercise bike and ending up putting 200 hours on it -- mostly while playing Overwatch.

Also, calorie counting is the least bullshit thing you can do. My app sits in judgement of every clif bar and I need that.

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#35 Edited by Pilgore (315 posts) -

At first, yes. Long term? No, you will eventually plateau and stop losing weight.

1. Count calories: use the app MyFitnessPal to scan barcodes, weigh everything. The first thing you need to start doing is lowering your daily caloric intake. Counting calories isn't "bullshit," it's the most important thing there is.

2. Go the the gym: whether people care or don't care about you at the gym, it doesn't matter. You're there for YOU, YOU want to lose weight and get in shape. So fuck everyone, put on some tunes and burn those cals.

3. Keep your protein up: cutting calls without keeping up protein intake will result not just in fat loss, but muscle loss. Muscles burn calories, even when you're not working out. You don't want to lose muscle, ever. Don't be like Dan and shove "all those fancy diets away and just stop eating bad stuff." It doesn't work, you need to be smart. So read up on diets.

4. Push through: Nothing is going to happen if you stop cutting calories or going to the gym a month in. You need to do this for at least half a year to get long term results. Stick with it, integrate it in your daily lifestyle and it becomes normal, routine.

Good luck.

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#36 Edited by Christoffer (2374 posts) -

Some say weightloss is mainly due to your diet. Watch the calories, stay slightly below your threshold, and you WILL lose weight. But yeah, if you have the willpower, do some workout (even slight workout) on top of that. You will feel better and move along faster.

And of course, patience is key.

Edit: To clarify. With "lower calorie diet" I mean smaller portion size until you feel happy with your weight. Don't get fanzy with some fad starvation diet. Always think long term.

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#37 Posted by Carryboy (1098 posts) -

@cikame said:

I've never been a fan of the idea of diets, instead i just eat less.

People will come back at me and say that doesn't work and for them i'm sorry but i can only speak from experience, every time i've wanted to lose some weight i just reduce my portions, i have access to an awesome canteen at work and as a result i'll often slip in an extra full meal + dessert during the day, so when that catches up to me i just stop and the weight starts falling.

Nobody should ever come back at you for that, its literally the perfect thing to do if you already have a ballanced diet of pro carb and fats.

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#38 Posted by Carryboy (1098 posts) -

@kopcik said:

Don't count calories it's bullshit. Avoid sugar and increase your intake of high-protein foods such as whole eggs, fish, seafood, legumes, nuts, meat, dairy products and some whole grains. These are the best protein sources. Don't buy 'light' products.

I disagree completely sir, calories are king.

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#39 Posted by Humanity (18637 posts) -

@lawgamer said:

@kopcik said:

Don't count calories it's bullshit. Avoid sugar and increase your intake of high-protein foods such as whole eggs, fish, seafood, legumes, nuts, meat, dairy products and some whole grains. These are the best protein sources. Don't buy 'light' products.

I kinda disagree with this. Not from a perspective of counting calories being the end-all-be-all, but when I was trying to lose weight after law school, I found it helpful to count calories just a means of reminding myself how much I was eating. Like OP, I'd kinda fallen into the habit of "grazing" in between classes or when I was doing a bunch of reading (which was pretty much 100% of my life for 3 years) and that adds up over time. Counting calories, at least initially, is a good way to make yourself mindful of just how much you are eating. You need to be conscious of it before you can modify the behavior.

Yah err counting calories is very important when you start to diet. I used to never read labels on anything and I had no idea how much energy I was getting from what, whether they be empty calories or not, calories are calories and that stuff isn't just going into thin air. When I started to actually look things up it helps ATONwhen you know how "worthwhile" something is. An apple is like 70 calories while a regular sized banana is 130, so in my personal experience I rather eat two apples than 1 banana and I still get the same amount of calories and apples have less sugar in them. When you realize just how many calories are in junk food you stop wondering why you put on that weight to begin with. A bag of chips is around 700 calories when your diet recommends about 1500 per day? A slice of pizza is around 300-600 calories, a small candy bar is nearly 300. It's super important to know how much something is worth.

I will agree that lowering your intake is important though. Also depending on what kind of person you are, having a "cheat day" might be detrimental to the whole process. A lot of people recommend it so you don't "go crazy" but personally I thought it weakened my resolve. It's hard to diet 5 days out of the week and then suddenly indulge in all the stuff you've been trying to ween yourself off. Going cold turkey and simply not eating any snacks and stuff like that worked better for me, but just like with smoking, some people can quit just like that and others need to cut down their intake over time - you need to find your own balance.

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#40 Posted by kopcik (98 posts) -

Do you really think calories in apple are the same as in pizza? Calories are big lie, it definitely helps to keep track of them, but in psychological point of view.

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#41 Posted by Pilgore (315 posts) -

@kopcik said:

Do you really think calories in apple are the same as in pizza? Calories are big lie, it definitely helps to keep track of them, but in psychological point of view.

The hell are you on about? Sure, a pizza has far more fat and carbs most likely than an apple. But at the end of the day, losing weight means lowering daily caloric intake. Calories aren't a "big lie" (whatever that means) or help from a "psychological point of view." Lowering calories means losing weight.

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#42 Posted by MillaJ (286 posts) -

Technically, if you keep a calorie deficit, you will lose weight, but if you're not exercising, you'll lose more muscle mass and the weight probably won't come off as prettily. Basic bodyweight exercises would be a good way to maintain some general conditioning with no gym or serious equipment required (although I really think weightlifting is great if you can and want to do it). That 5-mile walk is already a good thing. Good luck!

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#43 Edited by Carryboy (1098 posts) -

just drop your calories by 100 a week untill you loose a couple pounds a week, when thats happening keep the calories the same untill your not longer loosing weight then drop by 100 cals rinse and repeat. Its really not that difficult the problem is there is so much bullshit out there and so much bro science that people have bought into that its hard to sift through the shit when you start. To give you an idea of myself, I lost 30 kg over a year through just diet, not the best idea because i lost all muscle mass. I then started going to the gym and whilst at the moment im carrying a little holiday weight over the summer I was 86kg and about 8% percent body fat as much as i could test for. Id recommend doing weights purely so you dont get skinny fat.

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#44 Posted by Zevvion (5965 posts) -

I usually try to stay away from this, but given that I'm a sports dietitian I think I should chime in here with some facts since this thread offers some good advice but is also full of nonsense. I won't address anything specific, I'll keep it short and to the point. Contrary to many statements in this thread this is scientifically and professionally proven.

Yes, you can lose weight just by altering your eating habits. If you consume less kilocalories (energy) than you expend, your body will get the deficit from your fat stores, resulting in weight loss. You expend energy in several ways. Merely being alive expends a bunch (the beating of your heart, the functions of your organs, the heating of your body, even the growing of fingernails all requires energy), then you also expend more energy based on your daily activity level (cycling to work, the type of work you do, cleaning, going up the stairs, carrying groceries etc) and lastly you expend a bunch more if you work out. Every single activity has a different metabolic equivalent associated with it that dictates how much energy it costs. Keeping things simple, the more intense the activity, the more energy it requires.

This means you can sit still on the couch all day and lose weight if you wanted to. In reality, the less food you consume, the harder it is to maintain that pattern for a longer period of time. In addition you'll quickly start to feel less optimal.

There's two answers to give you. The first is flat scientific fact: yes, you can. The second is nuanced through my own experience in the field: while possible, it will most likely be very hard to do. Nearly all of the clients I've had who tried to lose weight without working out ultimately failed for one reason or another. In my profession I always advise someone that exercising more is preferable to eating less. Not to say I've never seen someone go super-strict and make it work, but it's just so rare that it's hard to give that as standard advice.

When I look at myself, I'm the same way. When I need to stay on weight for a tournament, I never eat less. I take that bar of chocolate, I take that pizza when I'm at my friends and then just plan another workout accordingly. It works much better for me than avoiding food. What works for you, you will have to find out yourself. But phenotype also comes into play that may make things harder for you and the medication you describe surely won't make things easier either.

First step is to see if this road you want to take will work for you. If it doesn't, or even if it does, I recommend you should look into working out at home. Learning about how to properly work out is a good life-long lesson you won't regret learning.

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#45 Edited by NinjaPartTime (79 posts) -

I have bad anxiety, too, to the point where family members were picking up groceries for me. If you have a nearby park that other people go to for walking, jogging, biking or whatever else, you should try walking there until you get comfortable exercising around other people. Then you'll feel more comfortable going to a gym. Walking around a park will be less stressful because there will be less people than at a gym and you're all on a path, so you won't feel like people are staring at you.

If you get to the point where you want to give a gym a shot, call and set up a tour at local gyms so you can see how they're setup. Most gyms I've been to usually have tons of the same equipment set up in a line but will also have a few things set up in corners that are more secluded. Also, if you search the gyms on google you can actually click different days and see times for when they are the most / least active.

As far as your main question goes, you can diet and lose weight. My mother has Multiple Sclerosis and isn't very mobile most days, but she's on a special diet and her and my father have both lost a lot of weight because of the diet. It's very slow, though.

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#46 Edited by Whitestripes09 (917 posts) -

I lost 20 pounds over the summer, but with school I had gained some and now with winter break, I plan to get back into it. The unfortunate truth is that to lose weight and keep it off in a healthy manner you should workout and diet in conjunction. You don't want to start too unreasonable with either. Start off with just limiting your portions first. Instead of eating a bunch of pizza, just have 2 slices or one slice and a side of salad. Then for your workout for the day, do a brisk walk at minimum. The key here is to be more aware of the amount of what you're putting in your mouth and getting you body moving. Don't jump on the scale right away, it will just discourage you. Try on an old pair of pants or shirts that used to fit you. That will give you more confidence knowing that they fit well or don't fit as tight anymore. Once you notice this, then try adding a 2000 calorie limit a day and a workout that keeps your heart pumping for 35 minutes at a minimum.

Keep in mind too that you're looking for a life change, not a momentary change to get results. If you go with just dieting, get ready to keep on that diet for the rest of your life to keep that weight off because the moment you start eating what you want again, all the weight is going to pile on again. This is why it's good to incorporate some sort of workout routine so you're not counting grains of rice and can work off whatever you eat.

Personally, I don't really like the ideas of programs at gyms. They seem cheesy and what I can do there, I can easily do at home or at the university rec center. So for me, there's no point. But for other people that have no idea what they're doing, joining one is probably a good bet and you will meet people who are willing to help you. Maybe you don't feel like you belong there now, but once you lose those few pounds from limiting portions and doing some basic cardio, I guarantee you're going to feel a big confidence boost.

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#47 Posted by CrazyBagMan (1642 posts) -

If you can actually maintain a diet, absolutely.

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#48 Posted by peregrin38 (91 posts) -

Re: calories - I would say that they're a good, generalized metric, but they come with some caveats. Sugary candy will have fewer calories than fatty candy, but that doesn't mean that having 10g of refined sugar is "better" than having 10g of saturated fat. I think it makes sense to count calories insofar as you can control serving size, but I'd recommend working to maintain a balanced meal within those portions. Fibers, fats, and proteins will all help you feel more sated than refined carbohydrates, which will help you control intake. I've gotten into the habit of having large salads of mixed greens at home, which are VERY filling despite being low in calories. The same applies to snacks like nuts, which are calorically dense but better at filling you up.

The bigger point I would make, though, is that exercise will just make you feel better. I don't enjoy the gym and I generally hate exercise, but I can't deny that my habit of spending 30-60 minutes on an elliptical or row machine several times a week does WONDERS for my physiological well-being. Exercise is a great way to lose weight, but it's also a great way to improve your outlook on life and help you feel OK with the food that you eat rather than stressing a bunch about the food you don't think you should eat. Hilariously, the habit that got me to exercise was playing Dark Souls and doing an arbitrary number of pushups/crunches/pullups/whatever every time I died. Basically I made the focus of the exercise something other than "ugh I hate this I want to stop this" and eventually saw that I felt better about my body and was generally more confident. It was also great because I could do it at home with no one around while I was enjoying my normal hobby activities. Hell, doing pushups after frustrating defeats has become therapeutic as much as anything. It also only requires minimal floor-space. It was the best gateway into more regular exercise that I ever had, essentially, and I'd give it a shot if it sounds in any way appealing to you.

Cutting soda is a good idea, though. It's hard to pin down exactly what the cause was, but I attribute my loss of 10-20 pounds in a year to my having stopped drinking skim milk regularly. Same goes for buying fewer dessert and snack foods on grocery store trips. Even if these changes don't make you lose weight, they'll at least help you avoid some of the pathologies associated with poor dietary habits (i.e. Type II diabetes).

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#49 Posted by csl316 (14953 posts) -

DDP Yoga, go.

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#50 Posted by Humanity (18637 posts) -

@kopcik said:

Do you really think calories in apple are the same as in pizza? Calories are big lie, it definitely helps to keep track of them, but in psychological point of view.

I think an apple and a pizza are made from very different things that have different effects on the body. A pizza has way more fat and cholesterol than an apple does and is effectively less healthy for it in the long run. So while the calories in each are the same, in the sense of calories being a base measure of energy your body is receiving from each food, what goes inside your body along with that energy is very different in each respective case. Which is why it's good to read up on what you're eating and decide if you want to fill your body with 300 calories of pizza or 300 calories of apple.