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Old 12-31-2007, 08:11 AM   #21
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In addition to cardio (running) you need to lift weights.

Resting muscle burns more calories than fat, and as we age, we lose muscle. So, as you build muscle, you will burn more calories. You need at least 3 weight sessions per week. And you need to target all muscle groups (e.g. thighs and butt have the largest muscles). There are 2 schools of thought on weights: 3 rep approach is most common but time consuming. I use 1 rep of 8-16 at the highest weight until failure (can't lift it again). Once you hit 16 reps stop, if you do this for 3 sessions, up the weight. Takes 30 minutes to do a full weight workout.

Also, I am not sure that 1.5 miles 3x per week is sufficient cardio. You need a minimum of 20 minutes high intensity cardio every day, preferably longer. Bascially, an 1 hour at the gym 6 days per week,

Plus at our age, a careful diet that gets rid of alcohol and all junk along with low fat. NOT as easy as 20 years ago.
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Old 12-31-2007, 10:58 AM   #22
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eat less calories and do more exercise. No magic... it works... if I could only implement consistently.
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Old 01-01-2008, 10:10 AM   #23
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Strength Training

Yeah, I have to agree that you need to lift some weights and break up your eating into smaller meals throughout the day. Doing both will increase your metabolism (by building lean muscle mass). Sorry, this isn't a quick fix, but I don't think there are really any quick fixes.
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Old 01-01-2008, 08:47 PM   #24
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Alas, the "less calories, more exercise" approach, while it works for many, is a little simplistic.

On the eating side of the equation there have been a lot of studies that show it's not just how much you eat, but also what you eat. For example, in studies where two groups got exactly the same number of calories with one group getting more calcium (from dairy) in the other, the group getting more calcium tends to maintain or loose weight when compared to the other group regardless of activity levels. Other studies have shown that people who tend toward foods with a lower glycemic index, meaning they have fewer processed sugars and starches and take longer to digest so their calories hit the bloodstream more gradually over a longer period of time, are less likely to be overweight than people who are just as active but consume more processed sugars and starches.

Then there's also the case of consuming too few a calories, giving your body the message that it has to conserve energy. People who consume half or less than the suggested number of calories for their body size, build, and activity level loose weight substantially slower than people who consume more food. And just to make things even more difficult, different people's bodies start trying to conserve calories at different dietary levels.

So it's not just about the calories. It's about eating right and about eating the right amounts for how your body works.
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Old 01-02-2008, 04:50 AM   #25
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cardio & weights about 5 times a week , and eat less. In 2008, I'm dropping ab exercises and replacing with more cardio time.
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Old 01-02-2008, 08:04 AM   #26
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Wow....more responses than I expected! Thanks for all the input. I guess it's time to really ramp up my efforts. When I was younger, it took a lot less effort to produce results for me, I suppose that's the way it works, though.
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:01 AM   #27
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The rule of thumb is that running burns about 100 calories per mile on average (of course it will be more for some and less for others) so your running regimen only burns about 450 calories per week.
From my understanding, while that's true, there's also this: After you run, your metabolic rate will be higher for several hours, and you'll burn more calories than you would had you not run. Also, your running is building big leg muscles that burn more calories.

IOW, actual running, small benefit, effects of running, bigger benefit.
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:18 AM   #28
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From my understanding, while that's true, there's also this: After you run, your metabolic rate will be higher for several hours, and you'll burn more calories than you would had you not run. Also, your running is building big leg muscles that burn more calories.

IOW, actual running, small benefit, effects of running, bigger benefit.
To expand a little on what Al said, there was a study done to see whether increasing the intensity of the activity (i.e. sprinting) lead more fat loss. This study found that increasing intensity not only burns more calories during the activity, but increases your metabolic rate up to 24 hours afterward. This study was done with cyclists not runners but I assume the results would be the same no matter the activity.
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:56 AM   #29
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Not to be discouraging but i'm not sure that's always true. I've been on vacation for two weeks and have taken in over 4000 calories per day on average and have done zero exercise of any kind and I still lost 3 pounds. At 6'6" and 156 pounds I can't seem to gain a pound no matter what I do so I assume that there are probably people who are the exact opposite.

Your metabolism is "burning" more than you consume, over a span of time. Those three lost pounds could have been water weight, dumping a load, etc.

It is a law of physics---burn more calories than you consume---inexorable to lose weight. The hardest way is to eat less only. A more sustainable way is to exercise more combined with eating less calorie-dense food choices, but allowing yourself some "forbidden" foods in small quantities once in a while to slake the psychological craving.

Very simple, no big trick: exercise more and eat less = lose weight
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:57 AM   #30
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If anyone finds the "secret",I'd be willing to pay for it. Rich, isn't it true that our metabolism changes as we get older, making it harder to keep that midsection taut??
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Old 01-03-2008, 10:24 AM   #31
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trim your waist? easy, just work more on your shoulders and chest (it will make your waist look trim). also if you work on your abs and pretty much all the torso muscles your posture will become more upright thus creating the illusion of a trim waist. the battle of the bulge: if you can't beat'm, cheat.
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Old 01-03-2008, 10:44 AM   #32
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Another way to control weight is to get enough sleep. The amount of sleep affects your hormones and that in turn affects your appetite. Here's a link to an article that explains the theory.

The Dream Diet: Losing Weight While You Sleep
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:11 AM   #33
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the battle of the bulge: if you can't beat'm, cheat.

I'm thinking LG4NB has found "the secret"!
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:35 AM   #34
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. . .
It is a law of physics---burn more calories than you consume---inexorable to lose weight. The hardest way is to eat less only. A more sustainable way is to exercise more combined with eating less calorie-dense food choices, but allowing yourself some "forbidden" foods in small quantities once in a while to slake the psychological craving.

Very simple, no big trick: exercise more and eat less = lose weight
Not to take away from your comment, one of the challenges people hoping to loose weight suffer from is the very simple, no big trick mentality. The simple truth is that you have to consume fewer calories than you burn to loose weight, but "the truth, the whole truth" is much, much more complex.

The simplified view of metabolism suggests people have a set point somewhere, a "high" or "low" metabolism that they are genetically programmed for. The truth is much more complex; the body's metabolism is an intricate dance that's controlled by hormones created in the intestines, pancreas, thyroid, liver, adrenal glands, and by the same fat cells we're trying to reduce in size, and this hormone brew has a dramatic effect on both how quickly or slowly we burn calories and on how much or little we crave calories.

I'll give you two quick examples that demonstrate how variable our metabolisms are: breakfast and exercise.

Research into weight loss shows that people who eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthy weight than people who skip breakfast, even they consume the same number of calories. The same phenomenon occurs when people involve themselves in heavy exercise and don't eat shortly after they finish their workout: people who consume a healthy snack after they workout are more likely to maintain or loose weight than people who don't, even though they consume more total calories.

Both these examples demonstrate that there is some complex metabolic calculus going on beneath our skin. So, while the simple truth is that you'll loose weight if you just eat fewer calories than your body burns is true, the whole truth is that it's not just how much you eat and exercise, but also what, when, and how you eat and exercise, and those what, when, and hows vary from person to person.
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Old 01-03-2008, 12:32 PM   #35
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Research into weight loss shows that people who eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthy weight than people who skip breakfast, even they consume the same number of calories. The same phenomenon occurs when people involve themselves in heavy exercise and don't eat shortly after they finish their workout: people who consume a healthy snack after they workout are more likely to maintain or loose weight than people who don't, even though they consume more total calories.

Both these examples demonstrate that there is some complex metabolic calculus going on beneath our skin. So, while the simple truth is that you'll loose weight if you just eat fewer calories than your body burns is true, the whole truth is that it's not just how much you eat and exercise, but also what, when, and how you eat and exercise, and those what, when, and hows vary from person to person.
i've heard this likened to stoking a fire, of keeping the fire hot so that it can better burn fuel. i've also read similar info on types of food. sugars for instance mess with insulin levels and prevent fat from being burned.
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Old 01-03-2008, 10:05 PM   #36
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If anyone finds the "secret",I'd be willing to pay for it. Rich, isn't it true that our metabolism changes as we get older, making it harder to keep that midsection taut??
I'm not Rich (although I am rich--(enough)), but there is something to the metabolism bit.

I think a lot of it is explained by the gradual loss of muscle mass as we age. I think it is something like 1% a year, so 10% every decade (or something like that). Anyway, the older we get, if we don't do resistance exercise we lose muscle mass.

As muscle mass burns more calories than the rest of our body, the more muscle mass we lose, the fewer calories our bodies burn. This is a part of "metabolism". The fewer calories our bodies burn, and we keep eating the same, we gain weight. Or the harder it is to either lose weight or maintain the same weight.

The prescription is to do some resistance exercise to help maintain your muscle mass. That way you boost your "metabolism"--the burning of calories by your body.

None of this is contrary to the basic law: burn more calories than you consume to lose weight. To "burn more" means you "exercise more". To "consume less" calories means you eat less.
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Old 01-03-2008, 10:33 PM   #37
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If anyone finds the "secret",I'd be willing to pay for it. Rich, isn't it true that our metabolism changes as we get older, making it harder to keep that midsection taut??
It's extraordinarily complicated and I am not an expert in the field. But, for example your basal metabolic rate drops with age, but so does muscle mass and usually exercise level. Both are important; appetite and intake are regulated by tons of hormones from the gut and the brain. These wax and wane with age.

Robert's thermodynamic reality theory is of course correct in a literal sense (eat less than you burn); it's a bit like saying that to make an atom bomb you just convert mass to energy. Easier said than done, and more complex than the short version implies. On the other hand, it sometimes does seem so simple when I'm counselling an obese patient - a little voice in the back of my head keeps yelling "stop eating so much and get off your butt."

Now here's my personal favorite and often forgotten pearl:

Spontaneous, nonpurposeful physical activity (often called "restlessness" or "fidgeting"), can account burn up to 800 Calories daily -- that's like running 6 miles. Taken along with other congential differences in burn rate, this goes a long way in accounting for the variation among otherwise similar individuals, intake, and lifestyle.
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:18 PM   #38
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This one sounds stupid, and you may feel stupid til you master it----but, try this to harden up the gut.
Stand on one leg and do curls (use a curling bar) as you normally would (on 2 legs).
Start with a very light weight and work up as you can. You will feel it working for sure. I gotta imagine it's good for your balance as well
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:04 AM   #39
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This one sounds stupid, and you may feel stupid til you master it----but, try this to harden up the gut.
Stand on one leg and do curls (use a curling bar) as you normally would (on 2 legs).
There's a core exercise that I do sometimes, curling dumbbells at 2/3 the weight I curl when standing normally while standing on a balance board (easier to do on an upside down balance dome). Not only does it provide a good bicep and core workout, it also strengthens your ankles and helps maintain or improve your sense of balance (something else that deteriorates as we age).

My wife does a different balance/core exercise, knee bends on an inverted exercise dome.

--Peter
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Old 01-04-2008, 01:51 AM   #40
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On the other hand, it sometimes does seem so simple when I'm counselling an obese patient - a little voice in the back of my head keeps yelling "stop eating so much and get off your butt."
I hear you on that. Many times I've stood at the grocery checkout line behind Mr/Mrs Abdominis Stupendous and seen chips and soda and spray cheese, etc running through the checkout scanner with no sign of a fruit or vegetable anywhere. What's even sadder is when the A. Stupendous family, including little Stupendous Jr. are picking up the (at least what looks like) week's groceries and there are no healthy choices anywhere. This happens far more often than I like to think about.

On the other hand, we, as a society, don't make doing the right thing easy, either. Consider grocery shopping: here we are, shopping for and looking at food we'd like to eat for thirty minutes or more, making ourselves hungry, when we come to the checkout line where we're surrounded by candy. That makes for harder-than-necessary choices that try our resolve to make healthy selections. Drives me batty.

Even when you're going to the gym, trying to be good, we don't make it easy. My wife and I go to a community gym and fitness center, and while there's a lot of very good equipment there, there is no one there to tell you how to use it safely or design a workout plan, no one to help you devise a healthy lifestyle strategy. Fortunately these are things my wife and I already know how to do, but we've seen a parade of people who have no clue there, and I think a lot of them get frustrated and leave because of the lack of support. That drives me batty, too.
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