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#51 Posted by nutter (1608 posts) -

@rahf: Good to know, especially that last bit...and even the stuff that I’ll need to look into and process, frankly. Thanks!

I rarely drink, only smoked for about a month to get someone to quit (it was dumb, but it worked), and generally watch my eating...generally. So soda is kinda my big vice.

My wife gave up soda for her first pregnancy. I did it with her out or solidarity. It was hard enough to leave caffine behind that I knew I had to at least cut down. I don’t mind the odd craving for something, but daily cravings make me kinda uncomfortable and leave me feeling the need to take charge and address them.

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#52 Posted by fuzzypumpkin (431 posts) -

For about 5 or 6 years I was lifting 5-6 days a week and running 20-30 miles in a week. I’ve found it hard the last 6 months to get myself to the gym, however. It sucks but I know I need to do it because I feel and look better which helps my mental well being. Not sure why it’s been so hard as of late.

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#53 Posted by OhBabes (147 posts) -

I’ve always been slim but I do work out regularly now and I’m definitely getting stronger.

I’ve found diet to be so key....to the point where I (feel like at least) I can feel it at the gym when I’ve had just one fast food lapse, or have gobbled down a bag of Haribo in a shameful incident.

I got this occasional pain in my side a while back - seemed to be my liver. I had all sorts of tests a couple of years back and the conclusion from the doctor was that I needed to switch to a high fat low carb diet (“keto” I guess). It changed my life - couple of big promotions at work since then and I’m the fittest I’ve ever been. The difference in energy and focus is staggering. I kept a food diary and also noticed that I seem to have digestive issues when I eat certain breaded goods. Nothing too profound but cutting that out has obviously also changed things for the better.

I’m a bit of an outlier I think, but if I cheat on carbs for a few days then I can tell in the mirror straight away. The fat piles on pretty quickly.

Artificial sweeteners give me that pain in my side even more than carbs - I guess something to do with the way my digestive system recognises them as sugar (although I know they are not sugar). As mentioned, I’m a unusual case but because of that I avoid sweeteners - if I’m really wanting a coke then I just have a normal sugar coke as a rare treat.

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#54 Posted by Rahf (472 posts) -

@ohbabes said:

I’ve always been slim but I do work out regularly now and I’m definitely getting stronger.

I’ve found diet to be so key....to the point where I (feel like at least) I can feel it at the gym when I’ve had just one fast food lapse, or have gobbled down a bag of Haribo in a shameful incident.

I got this occasional pain in my side a while back - seemed to be my liver. I had all sorts of tests a couple of years back and the conclusion from the doctor was that I needed to switch to a high fat low carb diet (“keto” I guess). It changed my life - couple of big promotions at work since then and I’m the fittest I’ve ever been. The difference in energy and focus is staggering. I kept a food diary and also noticed that I seem to have digestive issues when I eat certain breaded goods. Nothing too profound but cutting that out has obviously also changed things for the better.

I’m a bit of an outlier I think, but if I cheat on carbs for a few days then I can tell in the mirror straight away. The fat piles on pretty quickly.

Artificial sweeteners give me that pain in my side even more than carbs - I guess something to do with the way my digestive system recognises them as sugar (although I know they are not sugar). As mentioned, I’m a unusual case but because of that I avoid sweeteners - if I’m really wanting a coke then I just have a normal sugar coke as a rare treat.

Kudos to keto working for you. I want to point out a few things here:

- Cheating on carbs does not pile on the fat. Overeating does, but still not to such a dramatic effect. Most likely it is a naturally swinging occurrence with some water retention and lack of muscle tonus, due to overeating and having a rest day. That comes and goes.

- Artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, do produce reactions in the body. But their concentration in any given type of food is much lower than the amount of sugar needed to produce a similar level of sweetness (aspartame is roughly 200x sweeter than sugar). It needs to be actual energy -- calories -- for the body to actually produce a proportionate response (insuline secretion, glycogenesis, liver metabolism, etc).

- It could be that you have a sensitivity to gluten, or other proteins found in grains. But your doctor should know more about that.

- You would definitely feel mentally sluggish if you're sustaining ketosis, then gobbling down a bag of carbohydrates. It sends mixed signals to the brain, telling it that ketones will no longer be needed and a better source of energy hath arrivéd.

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#55 Posted by OhBabes (147 posts) -

I suppose to be more accurate my diet isn’t keto, it’s more low carb (but still some carbs). So I don’t think I’m in a state of ketosis day to day, or whatever the parlance is.

As for the fat piling on - I don’t mean to imply that after eating a bag of sweets or plate of fries I can go look at the mirror and see a bunch of new adipose on my waist immediately. It’s more that if I eat junk for a few days, then I notice it a few days after that. In practice it’s probably more that I’ll have a few sloppy weekends with lots of potato and alcohol and then it’s evident to me that there’s weight on my waist. In a nutshell, it happens pretty quickly if I keep slipping.

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#56 Edited by Rahf (472 posts) -

@ohbabes said:

I suppose to be more accurate my diet isn’t keto, it’s more low carb (but still some carbs). So I don’t think I’m in a state of ketosis day to day, or whatever the parlance is.

As for the fat piling on - I don’t mean to imply that after eating a bag of sweets or plate of fries I can go look at the mirror and see a bunch of new adipose on my waist immediately. It’s more that if I eat junk for a few days, then I notice it a few days after that. In practice it’s probably more that I’ll have a few sloppy weekends with lots of potato and alcohol and then it’s evident to me that there’s weight on my waist. In a nutshell, it happens pretty quickly if I keep slipping.

I wasn't claiming you did say that. I'm talking specifically about just the scenario you're describing here. Overeating for a couple of days will inevitably make the body softer, since it's being fed both calories, but also lots of sodium. Any dip or peak in sodium intake will produce a retentive response in the cells, making you look 'chubbier' until it evens out. For most of us, it's simply cyclical and a natural part of day-to-day life. It's the daily mirror-flashing playing tricks, if anything.

Low carb without ketosis sounds counterproductive for both results and physical performance, by the way. But I shall say no more if it actually works for you to maintain the most important thing: a lifestyle of long-term physical and mental contentment.

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#57 Posted by jacjon (21 posts) -

@nutter said:

@jacjon: I had done some powerlifting for a while. Wound up going too low on a squat and messing up my back (still an issue three years later).

Being able to workout kinda quickly, less reps, and having higher calorie needs were all appealing. That back injury left me pretty imobile for two weeks and sidelined fitness for six months.

I’m doing SOME heavy weights, but mostly doing work with 30-50 pound dumbbells, depending on how various muscle groups are doing. More reps, left rest, with some cardio at the begining (and the end, if there’s time). Even the heavy weights that I am using, it’s less weight. I was doing 300 pound + deadlifts, squats, and benching...man...low 200s? Overhead presses were lower, for sure. It was basically as much as I could progress to before hurting myself.

I’ve grown to love working out for 60-90 minutes at a time, sometimes getting two hour sessions in.

That is terrible to hear, but I hope you are feeling better now. I would recommend checking out Jonnie Candito's recent videos--he detailed his comeback from a pretty serious back injury.

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#58 Edited by nutter (1608 posts) -

@jacjon: I’ll have a look. I hemmoraged a disc in a seperate injury about 12 years ago (short version: took a fall in an ice storm, got knocked out, woke up at dawn) and, while I haven’t 100% recovered, I never thought I’d feel this good again.

The lower back squatting injury is an issue, but it’s mostly a dull ache. I don’t sit often, as a result. Hell, I stand playing video games half the time. Sitting just hurts it. Still, I’m in the best shape of my adult life. I just fit into a suit I wore when I was 22 (I’m pushing 40) and I had another suit taken in 4” from a year ago.

Pain be damned.

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#59 Edited by Rasrimra (500 posts) -

Recovering from an injury... :( Like over half a year now.

But in about 2 weeks I'll be back and I will do pilates again (on the mat). I do intense training ^__^ a bit too intense, hense the injury.

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#60 Posted by sammo21 (5932 posts) -

I completely cut out sodas and cut WAY back on sugar at the beginning of January. Also put off getting my back looked at for years (severe, literally crippling pain sometimes) and went to a chiropractor and I literally feel amazing now. Lost almost 30 lbs just walking 8,000-10,000 steps a day and drinking only water. I'm going to start going to the gym during my lunch breaks too so hopefully I can stay pretty consistent with it.

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#61 Posted by jacjon (21 posts) -

@nutter said:

@jacjon: I’ll have a look. I hemmoraged a disc in a seperate injury about 12 years ago (short version: took a fall in an ice storm, got knocked out, woke up at dawn) and, while I haven’t 100% recovered, I never thought I’d feel this good again.

The lower back squatting injury is an issue, but it’s mostly a dull ache. I don’t sit often, as a result. Hell, I stand playing video games half the time. Sitting just hurts it. Still, I’m in the best shape of my adult life. I just fit into a suit I wore when I was 22 (I’m pushing 40) and I had another suit taken in 4” from a year ago.

Pain be damned.

Yeah that is definitely not your average back injury but i think a lot of it may still apply. Only up from here as they say.

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#62 Posted by JPPT1974 (114 posts) -

I try to workout five days a week for two hours to two and a half hours a day. And also tried to eat salads five or six times a week. And really it makes me feel very good.

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#63 Posted by 49th (3865 posts) -
@49th said:

I've been going to the gym 3-4 times a week since January. I don't really know what I'm doing to be honest. I definitely feel stronger and noticed that I look a little more defined, but I think if I was more focused I could have made a lot more progress by now. I eat pretty well and have big meals but I don't calorie count or anything and my routine is just kind of a full body thing. I should start cutting but I really don't feel like doing much cardio or eating less so for now I'm bulking forever.

I guess I'll update my post from 2 years ago. I ended up not making much progress and then taking a year break from the gym until a new one opened very close to where I live. It's a really nice gym though and finally gave me access to free weights like barbells, benches, squat rack ect. which is great. I started a real routine which I did for a few months and put on some muscle, then took yet another break for about 4 months but have finally got back into it for the past 2. It's going pretty well. The numbers are going up although my lifts are still on the lighter side. I get to eat a lot of food which I enjoy. My diet has always been good but I'm not interested whatsoever in tracking calories.

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#64 Edited by nutter (1608 posts) -

@49th: I’ve been tracking for a while and like it. I’m historically a massive overeater, though. Vinny’s Dominos story from a few weeks back...that ain’t shit compared to the damage I can do...

I’ve recently packed on more muscle than I’ve had in the last 37 years and have VERY recently started eating more to feed that growth a bit. I’m wondering if my habits have gotten good enough that I can get my dietary wants in and not overeat without tracking. Based on my Vinny-ain’t-got-shit eating history, I’m little worried about falling prey to a slippery dietary slope...

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#65 Posted by arcadefire (19 posts) -

Soooo I've been a long time fitness buff for awhile. Started out initially with kettlebells and brazilian jiu jitsu and transitioned over to barbell work with powerlifting. If anyone is looking for guidance in regards to weightlifting then I'd be happy to help or point them in the right direction.

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#66 Edited by Nick (1014 posts) -

I'm 32, been working out for 12 years, best shape I've ever been in, i go to the gym every day, sometimes twice, i eat what i want but tend towards healthy. i absolutely hate tracking anything, calories, reps, weight; i never count anything because it turns it into a chore for me. i know my body, my limits, how far i can push myself, how much rest i need. i just go by feel. I'm in it to look good and feel good, i don't care how much i weigh or how much i can lift.

my suggestion is if you're just starting out counting things can be useful to get a sense of where you are and your limits, but don't do it long term.

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#67 Edited by nutter (1608 posts) -

@nick: I’m with you on calorie tracking. It’s great for awareness, especially if you’re unaware of how poorly you’re eating. But long term...once you’re used to eating right, and enjoying what you’re eating, ditch tracking. Stay active and eat well.

The key to eating well, for me at least, has been to eat realistically AND healthy in a way that’s sustainable. If eating isn’t enjoyable, your diet probably won’t stick.

Same for counting your weight, bmi, how much you’re lifting, how often you’re lifting. Numbers are fine, but if you gamify, you can hurt yourself. In my case, it took a few injuries before I understood where that line is between great workout and disastrous workout.

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#70 Posted by deactivated-5b85a38d6c493 (1990 posts) -

So I’ve started doing bodyweight strength training at home, and I’m still trying to figure out how to properly do some of the exercises. I’ve never tried seriously training before and I have literally no clue what the fuck I’m doing.

Luckily there are plenty of good guides on the internet but I’m still struggling with proper posture and technique. Especially with squats, I feel like I’m majorly fucking them up. I’ve tried recording myself and comparing my posture to the training videos I’m following and I feel like I can’t get my back posture right.

I don’t think I curl my back any, it seems pretty straight, but the guys and girls I’m watching keep their backs more vertical when going down, while mine is more leaning foreward, if that makes sense. I also feel a lot of tension in my upper back specifically, like just between the shoulders almost and I don’t know if that’s an indication that I’m doing it wrong?

This shit is hard. I’m not giving up but it’s frustrating not knowing if you’re doing it correct or not.

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#71 Edited by rayne117 (209 posts) -

TDEE: 3300 kcal/day, I'm eating a huge bowl of whole grain spaghetti and peas and tomato sauce 800~kcal, a huge green smoothie with 6 cups of mixed greens (no iceberg) and half a pound of peanut butter and seeds and some chocolate plant powder and it's 1800kcal. Then I eat fruit, a Lara bar, and a bowl of whole wheat cereal. Which altogether is 3300kcal.

And that's still not enough food, I need at least 3600-3700 to really grow. It's like once I hit my supposed TDEE I just can't keep eating. But I can gain muscle while at this weight so I should be doing that at least. I have a good bit of muscle and very low BF even though I basically haven't worked out consistently in years (my cheap scale puts me at around 7-10%, and I believe it).

Anyways I'm just venting my frustration at having to eat a lot of food to gain weight. I should be happy because I do like all this food it just fills me up to get all these calories in and not just feel too full all day.

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#72 Edited by cmblasko (2842 posts) -

@boonsong: I suck at squats too, so I am not going to give you advice but rather point out some things:

There are two variations of barbell squat I typically see, "high bar" and "low bar." "High bar" is where you hold the bar higher and your back stays more vertical, "low bar" is where you hold the bar lower and lean forward a little bit. So that might explain why you think your form is wrong.

I'm assuming you are probably following a plan that has you squatting 2-3 times a week. A thing that helped me get better (again, I am still not good at them so grain of salt) was to just take all the weight off the bar for a week or two and pause my reps at the bottom to force myself to concentrate on form. It's something that I picked up from Alan Thrall on YouTube, he's a starting strength guy and has a lot of good advice if you don't already watch him.

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#73 Edited by deactivated-5b85a38d6c493 (1990 posts) -

@cmblasko: I should specify I’m doing just regular squats without any weight equipment. Which is also why it’s especially weird to me that I’m feeling a soreness and tension between the shoulders.

I’m trying to do exactly what this dude does at 10:15 https://youtu.be/zJBLDJMJiDE

It seems fairly simple but when I try it it looks all wrong. I dunno maybe I’m not going down low enough even though I think I am.

I’m supposed to do 2 sets of 30 three times a week.

What you mentioned about pausing at the bottom is a good tip, I should try and get comfortable and used to that position while focusing on the back.

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#74 Posted by cmblasko (2842 posts) -

@boonsong: Oh geez, I completely missed that you said "bodyweight," like I said don't listen to me lol.

Are you keeping your chest up and shoulders back? Try to puff out your chest and squeeze your shoulders almost like you are doing a cable row. I am not sure about the back pain, though, and I don't know your overall physical condition but keep in mind that you might have weaknesses in your muscles that will affect your form until you strengthen them so don't fret too much if the alignment of your back isn't perfectly matching people who are in very good shape. And the squat's a tough movement to do efficiently, too; people spend years improving it, so I think the most important thing is just to get your reps in and try not to overthink too much. But at the same time if you spend awhile doing it and that back pain doesn't stop then maybe schedule an appointment with a professional to see what the problem might be.

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#75 Edited by deactivated-5b85a38d6c493 (1990 posts) -

@cmblasko: No worries, I really appreciate you helping me out.

I’ll try keeping my chest out more and squeezing my shoulders, thanks for those tips!

I would say my physical condition is fairly normal. I’m 6’2’’ weighing about 171 lbs. I’ve changed my diet and started eating a lot more in order to gain weight and I’ve gone up about 6lbs since. I wanna try getting to 190. But in terms of muscles I have very little.

I should mention I have this one thing in my left shoulder where if I roll my shoulders all the way back and down I can feel and hear a faint “pop” in my left shoulder. It’s been like that for years now. It doesn’t hurt and I normally do not have back problems, but I don’t know what it is.

It’s reassuring to hear you say that squats are not the easiest thing because I’ve felt a bit embarrassed failing to do them right. In any case like you say I’ll try not to worry about it too much and if the back/shoulder problems do not go away I’ll definitely see someone about it.

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#76 Posted by MightyDuck (1963 posts) -

I've been ramping up my running regiment. Unfortunately our treadmill broke recently so it's back to running outside after the heat dies down.

I've been trying to alternate distances each day in order to hopefully lose a few pounds here or there. I've been maintaining an 8 minute mile when I run 4 miles, and trying to dip further into a 7 minute mile when running 3 miles.

Any tips for losing weight when it comes to running? I'm trying to avoid hitting another "plateau."

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#77 Posted by Deo_Brando (27 posts) -

I recently went in for fitness, I really like it. Most importantly, the load should be regular, even if it`s small. It greatly improves the well-being.

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#78 Edited by TheRealTurk (360 posts) -

I've been ramping up my running regiment. Unfortunately our treadmill broke recently so it's back to running outside after the heat dies down.

I've been trying to alternate distances each day in order to hopefully lose a few pounds here or there. I've been maintaining an 8 minute mile when I run 4 miles, and trying to dip further into a 7 minute mile when running 3 miles.

Any tips for losing weight when it comes to running? I'm trying to avoid hitting another "plateau."

I realize this is a little after the fact but - when it comes to weight loss in running, it's mostly a matter of (1) distance and (2) consistency.

The thing about running is that unless you are running really, really fast, you are not generating enough wind resistance to significantly increase your energy usage/calorie burn over a given distance. In other words, running 4 miles while at a certain body weight will burn the same number of calories regardless of whether you are running those 4 miles at a 10 minute mile or a 7 minute mile. Obviously, you will burn more calories in a given period of time if you run faster, but that's because you run farther in the same amount of time, not because you are running faster.

That brings me to the second point. Consistency is really the thing here. I listened to a fitness podcast about a year ago that said you should really never work out to the point of being really sore the next day. If you get too sore, it means you need more recovery and are less inclined to exercise every day. I've been following that advice and it's really worked for me. I get in more workouts and my calorie expenditure while exercising for a given month has gone up by about 20-25% since I started doing it because while I'm not running as hard, I am running almost every day.

So to use your example, if you can run the 4 miles at 8:00/mile like 5-6 days a week without wearing yourself out, then do that. But if you are needing to take days off in between because you get sore, you are probably better off backing off the pace and just running farther (assuming weight loss is the goal. The answer might be different if you are training for speed or looking to compete).

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#79 Posted by Damenco (15 posts) -

There is a separate forum devoted to bodybuilding. There is a subject where food is discussed. Look on the Internet:)

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#80 Posted by Deo_Brando (27 posts) -

I am new to fitness. I want my body to become more prominent, muscles appear, but I do not want to gain extra weight! Advise what to do?

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#82 Posted by Nick (1014 posts) -

@mightyduck: sorry this is a bit late. in terms of burning fat, low-intensity cardio is better. apparently high-intensity cardio burns short-term energy stores whereas low-intensity cardio burns long-term energy stores (eg. fat).

keep your hear-rate roughly around 130 bps. there's a formula, something like (220-{your_age})*0.7 so for me it would be (220-32)*0.7 = 188*0.7 = 131.6

it doesn't have to be exactly that, you could probably be fine with +-5 (ei. between 126.6 and 136.6).

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#83 Edited by MightyDuck (1963 posts) -

@nick: @therealturk: Thank you both for the feedback! I appreciate it. I'm in the process of trying to vary my cardio a bit as well. Somedays I'll try to focus more on a brisk jog for a shorter period. Other days I'll run on an incline but for a longer period of time. I'm hoping not to full in a rut where I plateau as well.

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#84 Posted by Deo_Brando (27 posts) -

Have you ever had such a thing that you simply can't force yourself to go to the gym?

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#85 Edited by PatODay (375 posts) -

@deo_brando: like an injury or more of a mental block? If it's an injury then obviously don't push yourself, just listen to your body. If it's a mental block sometimes doing something like going for a walk or a hike can help you to be active without feeling the stress or pressure of going to the gym if you aren't feeling like it.

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#86 Edited by lokihellfire2008 (147 posts) -

@therealturk: I second this. Distance > speed when it comes to losing weight and running. I'm fat now, but when I was in the military I was quite fit and ran a lot and I had the best results running at a medium pace for longer. If however speed is important to you, obviously sprints at full speed will best build those kinds of muscles, just be careful as this is more anarobic and can lead to injury.