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MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 14,172
7/18/13 6:42 A

JKW,

The 'fat burning zone' is highly misleading. Where energy is coming from during your workout is largely irrelevant for fat loss. What matters is the overall balance between calories burned and calories consumed.

To maximize fat loss, aim to maximize the calories burned, rather than targetting a particular heart rate.

M@L

JKW1957 Posts: 170
7/17/13 9:37 P

I think one key is to do cardio and get your heart rate in the correct zone to burn fat. A heart rate monitor has really helped me. I lost 40 lbs over the last year and I am currently trying to maintain my weight loss.(I'm over 50) I find I have to challenge my self to work harder, it is easy to slack off. Also make sure you are counting calories correctly.

FABTEMP Posts: 32
7/17/13 6:56 P

Bob240, thank you for your reply. I had to blush a little at this though:

"Many of the things you are doing (walking, low speed running)..."

I've only been jogging for two months. That 12 minute mile takes the wind out of me because I only just last week gained the ability to jog for longer than 3 minutes. Yesterday, that became an 11 minute mile and I was stunned by myself because it was in a heat wave with high humidity. LOL

I understand what you're saying though. I have to get higher intensity. And I suppose that answers my original question as to whether that 6 hours of walking was really burning anything for me. My current pace of jogging actually does get my heart rate up and as soon as this heat wave passes I'll be retrying my jogging for 20 minutes like I was able to do last week.

And thank you for the recommendation of lifting heavier weights. I'll be starting my program this week at a gym and finding my weight limits on the machines. (I checked the free weight room and it didn't have much under 40 pounds which will be trying for me as a start.)

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (3,758)
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Posts: 1,176
7/17/13 3:51 P

I don't think I'd count walking like you describe explicitly as exercise. IMO it's more like you've converted yourself from "sedentary" classification to "active" classification for the day, but the intensity is so little above just normal living/hanging around the house/running errands/whatever that it seems wrong to count it as very much exercise.

For example, the other day I walked 7 or 8 miles (and swam a little) over the course of 4 or 5 hours. (Hike to a lake and back.) But the walking, which was done with my own six year old and his 5 and 8 year old cousins, was so slow that except for on one big hill I don't think I ever even raised my heartrate significantly. If I had been tracking exercise for that day I wouldn't have put it down as more than perhaps an hour or 90 min walk at 3 mph. 300ish excess calories burned, maybe, not twice that much or five times that much. It's hard because it clearly does count for something (ask my appetite afterwards), but nothing that can be easily quantified.

However, I do think it's possible that greater duration to your exercise overall might help. Ten or twenty minutes of low/moderate intensity activity isn't very much for someone who's already in moderately acceptable shape and not that heavy -- it burns very little. An hour of moderate exercise or half an hour with some intense periods might be what you need.

You could also try strength training to break out of the plateau; that seems to work for some people. (Though expect an initial gain from water weight.) And double/triple check what you're eating, that it's not more or less than you think and is in an appropriate range for weight loss. If you post it here maybe you'll get some good comments.

BOB240 SparkPoints: (5,906)
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7/17/13 3:38 P

Looking at your image you look to be a healthy shape. Certainly very close to it :)

The thing is much of your routine seems to be very low intensity. You might remember that by watching TV for an hour you burn 80 calories. Many of the things you are doing (walking, low speed running) will shed the pounds if you weigh 280 pounds to start with. Not least because of the extra load you are carrying. BUT at your weight your body will be efficient enough to say "so what!"

And this happens.. the "last ten pounds is hardest to lose" is a common saying. And it's true.

If you want to lose weight you might focus a little on your diet (trying eating 100 calories a day less than maintenance. AND up the intensity of your workouts. Run faster.. aim to run a mile at 8 mph. Lift heavy. Get the "new rules of lifting for women" - use a routine there.
Yoga.. walking... is no longer enough..at the stage you're at-- this is a good thing.. :)

Edited by: BOB240 at: 7/17/2013 (15:40)
FABTEMP Posts: 32
7/17/13 1:42 P

I have been at a plateau as well. not as long as you, but up and down within the same 7 pounds for the last 2 1/2 years.
I keep wondering if part of it is age (40) and this is as far as my body wants to go. Today I am at 153 pounds. And just can't seem to break and hit that 149 mark at ALL. no matter what I do. I have to be happy I am in a size 8 jean, and last year I bought a dress size S!!!

Beckie



I'm actually around the same spot weight wise. At my height, it's between 26 and 27 BMI when using the charts or calculators. I was 148 lbs when my son was two weeks old. After he passed his first birthday, I have bounced between 142 and 155 for the past five years. It's so frustrating!

FABTEMP Posts: 32
7/17/13 1:00 P

Additionally, to M@L: you said that speed doesn't matter as much as duration, but what about prior conditioning?

Like I explained in my OP, I walked as a way of life. And my natural pace is quite fast. So, for 35+ years I would spend hours walking at a pace of up to 3.7 MPH and - barring later pregnancy - was able to continue that until my son rejected the stroller. I used to be an exercise junkie. Once I got back into exercise I was dismayed to see that it took all that much longer to get back into shape because the workouts I was doing were not intense enough for part of my prior conditioning.

Would walking work the same way? Is it possible that walking at 2 MPH is closer to standing still for me due to all those years of walking much faster?

PS I used the map app that M@L linked: I tried to retrace our steps as much as possible through the whole 12 hours. There was a lot of walking back and forth in the same buildings and paths as I tried to set everything up for our new schedule, dealt with diff depts., found the right place for his camp spot, saw the things we wanted to at the zoo, walking to and from the train, etc. It came to about 8.5 miles and I'm sure I missed a lot of back and forth trips because he'd never been on that campus before and wanted to see everything.

I think I need a RELIABLE tracker. I've had them in the past and they were too sensitive or died without reason - you name the gadget fail that can happen.



Edited by: FABTEMP at: 7/17/2013 (13:38)
FABTEMP Posts: 32
7/17/13 12:42 P

A rough rule of thumb is that you burn about 100 calories per mile walked - speed doesn't make a huge difference. While your sons walking pace may be 2 mph, I am guessing that over 6 hours you were stopped for a good chunk of time looking at animals, flowers, etc. So almost certainly you didn't cover 12 miles. You may want to use the fitness maps www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness
_maps_home.asp to retrace your route and work out how many miles you did cover. If you cover 6 miles, you may want to track this as 3 hours actual walking @ 2mph.

Also, the standard convention for calculating calories is to include your underlying metabolism calories as well, which is technically a double count. For a short (eg. 30 mins) intense workout, this double count is small and can be ignored. But for long duration less intense cardio it can become substantial.

So I'm not surprised you are gaining weight by eating as though you are burning 1450 calories - because almost certainly you are not burning anywhere near that.
- - M@L



We were actually out for 12 hours. When I gave the total of 6, I'd already subtracted the time we'd sat for lunch and dinner, etc. For example, he was at camp for 2.5 hours and I spent that time walking around running errands and also even jogged (to and from his tram stop). We walked around for an hour before his camp even started (arrived early). After I picked him up, we had to wait for the event at the zoo we were attending, so we sat for lunch for only about an hour, but then spent the intervening time walking around the campus and through the buildings. (It was my alma mater). The building in which we spent over an hour is a very old building with a single elevator, so we walked up and down its stairs a few times too.

I did not eat as if I'd burned up 1450 cals. I've never done that in any of these years. I ate as if I'd burned up an extra 200-300 - tops. When I said I ate additional calories on such days, I'm talking about when I couldn't stand the hunger any longer.

To give a better picture. I don't own a car. I lived in NYC all of my life until I moved to this nearby suburb. It's walkable to me - but likely only because I've walked for transportation for so many years. So, ALL of our adventures wind up being well over 9 hours because it's never easy to get back home for a brief period. At least when we've traveled to someplace special.

CUDA440 SparkPoints: (64,276)
Fitness Minutes: (56,112)
Posts: 7,237
7/17/13 12:09 P

I have been at a plateau as well. not as long as you, but up and down within the same 7 pounds for the last 2 1/2 years.
I keep wondering if part of it is age (40) and this is as far as my body wants to go. Today I am at 153 pounds. And just can't seem to break and hit that 149 mark at ALL. no matter what I do. I have to be happy I am in a size 8 jean, and last year I bought a dress size S!!!

Beckie

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 14,172
7/17/13 11:26 A

A rough rule of thumb is that you burn about 100 calories per mile walked - speed doesn't make a huge difference. While your sons walking pace may be 2 mph, I am guessing that over 6 hours you were stopped for a good chunk of time looking at animals, flowers, etc. So almost certainly you didn't cover 12 miles. You may want to use the fitness maps www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_maps_
home.asp
to retrace your route and work out how many miles you did cover. If you cover 6 miles, you may want to track this as 3 hours actual walking @ 2mph.

Also, the standard convention for calculating calories is to include your underlying metabolism calories as well, which is technically a double count. For a short (eg. 30 mins) intense workout, this double count is small and can be ignored. But for long duration less intense cardio it can become substantial.

So I'm not surprised you are gaining weight by eating as though you are burning 1450 calories - because almost certainly you are not burning anywhere near that.

M@L

JENSTRESS Posts: 1,460
7/17/13 10:43 A

I guess because they aren't part of a true exercise routine, I don't bother with those days. If I am famished then I might have another healthy snack, but I still try to stay in my ranges.

LEKSIPATSY Posts: 380
7/17/13 9:45 A

Maybe try a FitBit or other monitor that tells you how many calories you burn a day? That way you can set yourself up for a safe calorie deficit. I haven't tried this because I'm trying to not get obsessive but it sounds like so much fun (I'm a gadget dork LOL) and the answer to your problem.

FABTEMP Posts: 32
7/17/13 9:41 A

I'm currently exercising regularly. Most days, I jog for at least a mile (est. 12-13 min) and interval train for another mile (14-15 min). I'm doing low intensity strength workouts for now, but have just begun a schedule that will allow me to do at least 3 days a week of 20-30 minute sessions of weight/strength training. I'm 48 years old and have been at a weight loss plateau for over 5 years - unable to lose weight no matter how few calories I eat or how much I exercise.

One thing has been a persistent mystery for me. I have a son, currently 6. I do a lot of different activities with him, including adventures and field trips that often involve walking for hours. Yesterday, I was walking for over 6 hours while we visited the zoo, a botanical garden and a college campus. One calculator I used estimated that I burned an additional 1450 calories because of it. Days like yesterday become an even more frequent occurrence in the summer months.

The problem is that I don't know whether I should count those as additional calories burned - as if they were NEAT minutes. The pace is at my son's pace, which is much slower than my natural walking pace. Additionally, walking has been a way of life for me for my entire life. Before I had my son, I regularly walked for hours each day - but at a MUCH faster pace than I can do so now. (Estimate 3.7 MPH, vs. the less than 2 MPH I typically do now.)

So, I have both of those factors playing against the notion of counting these as calories burned for a deficit calculation. The walking I'm doing now, while at the same duration I used to do it is nowhere near the same intensity of which I'm capable.

In the past, I've eaten when I felt hungry on these days. And I GAIN weight when I do so. But if I manage to not eat the additional calories, I stay the same weight - and have for years. I really wish I knew how to count these additional cals. Not knowing the answer to this has likely played a significant factor in my inability to lose weight for years.

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