Living the Lifestyle -- Tuesday Sept. 4

savignr Posts: 711 Member
We meet here to explore, share, celebrate, and (sometimes) agonize over how we do (or don't) incorporate weight loss guidelines into our daily lives. "It's a lifestyle, not a diet" is easily and often said, but sometimes not so simply put into practice.

This is a thread for everyone. If you're new to GoaD, or to weight loss, your questions and comments are always welcome. If you're maintaining, or a long-term loser, your thoughts on the topic may be just what someone else needs to hear. If you're reading this, join in the discussion!

Each weekday, a new topic is offered up for discussion. Thread starters for September are:

Monday - Imastar2 (Derrick)
Tuesday - savignr (Bob)
Wednesday - 88olds (George)
Thursday - misterhub (Greg)
Friday - Jimb376mfp (Jim)

Today's topic: Tipping the scale

We've heard it again and again - weight loss happens in the kitchen, fitness happens in the gym. We have a full spectrum here - people who have lost weight and kept it off without any exercise, and we have others that are serious lifters, runners, and exercisers, and have also kept their weight off. Given that both approaches can be successful, should we consider increasing exercise to help speed progress; in other words, some of each is better than all of one or the other? Or is making a commitment to calorie reduction AND exercise more likely to make your weight loss efforts fail because you don't do either well?


  • savignr
    savignr Posts: 711 Member
    Here's my story. First time through, I lost almost 40 pounds without doing a whit of exercise. I tracked, counted points, and lost weight. At about 235 pounds, I decided to start running. I really enjoyed it, kept expanding my distances, and continued to drop weight, but not at a significantly faster pace than without exercise.

    My downfall was trying to do too much. I couldn't find enough time to get my running in, so cut back a bit on my hours at work. Which created stress, which resulted in stress eating. Then I cut back cross training, so I could work more, which resulted in a couple injuries, which resulted in stress because I couldn't run, which resulted in stress eating. In the end, I ended up not running, not tracking, and gaining back about 25 or the 40 pounds I initially lost.

    This go around, I have been more strictly focused on the kitchen side of the equation. I'm losing weight slowly but steadily. I'm walking daily, but that is mostly for the health benefits. I'm retired now, so the time constraints are pretty much gone, and the associated stress along with them.

    At least for me, not getting honed in on an exercise plan is working, and the way I will continue to approach things.
  • Rachel0778
    Rachel0778 Posts: 1,701 Member
    Exercise to me is about maintenance. You can lose weight without exercise, but based on the National Weight Control Registry (94% of individuals increased activity) you need exercise to help keep the weight off.

    Plus, for me, a huge part of losing weight is staying healthy as I age. Exercise is a key component to making sure I make it to my 90s!
  • misterhub
    misterhub Posts: 6,051 Member
    You can lose weight without exercise. But, for me, the question is my blood pressure. Moving helps to keep my blood pressure down - without meds. That is very important to me. Right now, all I can do is walk. But, walk I do.
  • 88olds
    88olds Posts: 4,447 Member
    Speed kills weight loss plans.

    Lots of benefits to exercise. Does a lot for brain chemistry. A good idea I had was that I wanted to become “the kind of person who works out every day.” Exactly what I thought, and what I did. Well, 6 days, my program called for 6 days. My first “workout” was 8 minutes on the stationary bike (aka clothes rack) in my basement. That was all I could do.

    But exercise is way overrated for weight loss. I was already exercising regularly when I started WW. We didn’t have all these Fit-Bit gadgets then. Fortunately. But using a HRM, I figured out my workouts were moderate at best. Gave up the idea of exercise for food. A good move.
  • countcurt
    countcurt Posts: 593 Member
    In my experience, the only way exercise has ever helped with weight loss is that any time spent exercising is time I can’t spend eating.

    There is probably a marginal contribution of exercise to weight loss. My observation is that it’s just not been a reliable tactic for achieving that goal.

    On the Weight Loss Registry, I caution, it’s a correlation, not a causation.
  • Jerdtrmndone
    Jerdtrmndone Posts: 5,587 Member
    Years ago when I lost Over 100 lbs. I was an exercise fanatic. Now I have major back issues so it needs to be the pool or very low impact moves . walking is difficult. I am some what lost on what to do. I am maintain but with struggles and need to lose.
  • imastar2
    imastar2 Posts: 5,858 Member
    edited September 2018
    My WW journey started 7/11/11 @ 400.8 lbs age 64. I then preceded to lose 100 lbs and it took me 22 months. I couldn't exercise because I barely could get to the mail box some 50 feet away on a level driveway. I had taken a bad fall a couple of years prior and both my thighs were crushed in the fall leaving me in a lift chair recliner for 3 months. No exercise period during my loss phase. At the same time I did get a few steps in my work so I was not totally sedentary after I got out of the recliner.

    I stayed at that plateau for quite some time and have since that period bounced around the 300 lb area for the last 5 years coming up on the 13th of this month September. I also have stumbled and messed around started a new venture since January of this year and paid little to no attention to my food intake except to know and realize that I was not eating correctly and not exercising but staying extremely busy.

    So what I have concluded is that while I am extremely busy I am now 8 years older and just past age 71 in July. I have more aches and pains than ever before but know one thing that I must get up get going go to the gym which I prefer and walk and get on a stationary bike and do some exercise. I do not think it will help me in my weight loss campaign but rather my attitude about food and just plain help me to tone up some very tired old muscles.

    I believe in exercise am a proponent and think it is a wonderful thing but I know from a fact of the past running 6 miles daily for over 20 years that you can not out run the fork.

    SW 400.8
    CW 343.2 :/
    Next GW 300.0
    Final GW 185.0

    57.6 lbs Total lost

  • minimyzeme
    minimyzeme Posts: 2,708 Member
    I did the majority of weight loss with little to no exercise other than what came with hiking for work and pleasure. As I transitioned from a field-based job to a more sedentary one, even that was scaled back. Today, I'm one of those that does light exercise--mostly walking at this point.

    Because of my experience, I cringe a bit when I'm around people coming from sloth mode and thinking (and acting) like now, all of a sudden, they've got to devote 16 hours a day to exercise in order to lose weight. Obviously and simply--not true. And as others have mentioned, it seems like the first step in a road to failure.

    Maybe it's because I read through the GOAD archives when I first started or maybe it's just common sense, but the benefits of 'enjoying in moderation' seem to have the highest likelihood of success for this journey in the long-term--and that's what it's about IMO.

    I question the need to speed through the journey because in the long-term, I think an accelerated rate of loss can actually hinder one's ability to sustain either the process or the desired outcome. It's a personal choice of course, but I was / am more comfortable with the tortoise approach of slow-and-steady than the hare's of hurrying to the finish line, but worn out by the time it arrived. I knew I needed an approach I could sustain and that it would take adjustments and tweaks along the way to reach my goal, let alone maintain it.

    All that said, I think exercise is a fine way to improve health, but it wasn't and wouldn't be my choice to accelerate the rate of weight loss.
  • Rachel0778
    Rachel0778 Posts: 1,701 Member
    countcurt wrote: »
    In my experience, the only way exercise has ever helped with weight loss is that any time spent exercising is time I can’t spend eating.

    There is probably a marginal contribution of exercise to weight loss. My observation is that it’s just not been a reliable tactic for achieving that goal.

    On the Weight Loss Registry, I caution, it’s a correlation, not a causation.

    Certainly correlation not causation, but that is a very strong correlation to disregard, especially since there are so few studies on long term maintainers (likely because it is such a small portion of the population that keeps the weight off long term). Any habit tips I can get from successful maintainers to increase my odds, I'll take!
  • countcurt
    countcurt Posts: 593 Member

    I don't mean to suggest one shouldn't exercise as part of a maintenance routine. I simply mean that the choice those successful maintainers make to exercise may be borne of some other trait, attitude or behavior that's really the key to successful maintenance. Because there are also a lot of people who don't maintain weight loss who exercise.

  • podkey
    podkey Posts: 5,045 Member
    edited September 2018
    Well it is true that "I can outeat my legs". It is true too that being bedridden greatly reduces my caloric needs.
    Whereas SOME activity benefits weight loss and maintenance, this may be due at least in part to the control of blood sugar. It is well known and demonstrated that DAILY movement equivalent to lets say 10,000 steps will improve the A1C level (a long term measure of blood glucose) in the majority of individuals who previously were doing less than 5000 steps. A more even blood sugar could very well help in making the lifestyle work. Not a cure all but help. Yes one can reduce A1 through diet alone with rigorous restrictions. One can also do it with exercise alone.
    Honestly for folks like me doing some of both is just easier than trying to eliminate carbs.
    I do think that a "no excuses" attitude followed by "shrugging off" the small excursions helps. I will give ya that.
    Ridiculous amounts of exercise alone without a plan normally does lead to failure when one gets injured or bored with it. There are many minutes in a 24 hr day and as pointed out many successful maintainers move for 90 minutes of them. Formal "exercise" is totally not needed but I do need to move.
    I can miss the gym for months on end but I do walk daily and bike daily for errands,fun, and more.
    Some may say some of things I do "count" as exercise and some not. Really for the body it all counts.
    It is true as Countcurt says that "exercise" (self-defined) is a correlation in the National Weight Control Registry. My only thought is that the moderation of blood sugar may be useful to success by some of these folks.
    As Curt points out I was fat to the border of obesity in the close to 220 lb range and was very active at the time. I just had no real plan for eating. Sure I ate some healthy foods but needed an actual plan to get portions and treats under control.