Health & Fitness
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How much excercise should I be aiming for?

I am extremely overweight and recently started exercising and trying to cut back on my eating (I am a horrible snacker). I am doing 2 x 30 min cardio a week plus 1 x 45 min personal training session. But I seemed to have gained 4 pounds in 5 weeks (but my waist measurement has decreased). I'm thinking that I'm not doing enough and should maybe doing longer cardio and maybe adding another day? I am finding it all extremely discouraging.
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Re: How much excercise should I be aiming for?

  • I lost 60 pounds in 2001 and have maintained it since then, with some minor ups I self-corrected (lost the last 5 I could never get off almost 2 years ago.)

    I've never lost weight with exercise alone. I have lost weight with exercise + diet, and diet modification with no exercise. You really want to do both though - when I've lost weight with diet alone I've lost muscle composition.

    I'm not sure how overweight is extremely overweight, but I do think that while many folks recommend 30 min exercise daily you shouldn't do that much if it will discourage you from exercising at all. E.g., at times I have totally dropped off diets and totally dropped off exercise plans because I felt I wasn't doing them in a 'perfect' way and that the entire plan just wouldn't work because of the few small mistakes I made. Perfect is the enemy of good - if you're exercising on a regular basis it's a wonderful thing.

    The equation is simple: less calories in + more exercise = lost weight, but many of us know it's not so simple to put into practice. If you're gaining weight and that amount of exercise is new to you, I suggest checking out your diet too.

    BTW I am a former horrible snacker :) What helped me, and may help you, is to eat on a regular schedule. If I'm at work and it's 3 pm and I'm dying for something, I'll grab a bottle of water and wait it out because I have a 4 PM snack every day (usually a banana or half an english muffin with PB.) Same with 11 am hunger pains - I wait it out because I know I'm going to have lunch soon, and usually water or tea is enough to help me wait it out. Snacking feels a lot less necessary when you rationally know you won't be starved. Also, I take my lunch and 4 pm snacks with a coworker, so there's some social pressure to show up and actually be a little hungry then!

     I wish you the best of luck, keep us posted on your progress!

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  • I lost A LOT of weight -- a huge number that I don't want to say, because it would be easy to approximate how bad my weight was.

    When I first got the motivation to lose the weight, and discussed it with my Dr., he told me my first weeks goal should be to walk on the treadmill 10 minutes - 5 times a week.  He was more concerned with the frequency per week than the length of each workout.  He then had me increase my workouts as I was getting used to everything.

    Good luck!! Remember slow and steady is the way to go.

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