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BCJCPDX2012 SparkPoints: (64,958)
Fitness Minutes: (86,590)
Posts: 1,448
4/16/14 10:15 P

I have lost 64 pounds in 19 weeks with spark people. I was hoping to lose 72 by October 1 and already I am down 64. I have lost 8 inches around my waist, 6 inches in my chest and my doctor is taking me off my diabetes medications. My blood pressure is back to normal and my cardiologist wants me to be his poster child.

I still have 17 pounds to lose by the end of the year to reach my ultimate goal but I think that will be easy to achieve. I have 8 months to get there.

The trick for me this time around... "understanding deficit calories." I eat 2000 calories a day of anything I want but I walk 5-7 miles each and every day (through rain, snow and heat) to create the deficit. By creating deficit calories, which I average 1,200 a day, the pounds have melted away. Funny thing though, instead of eating whatever I want, I eat more of the healthier foods than what you might expect. My goal is to make 2000 calories last and the more I lose the easier healthier becomes.

I do have questions, though. How do I get those wonderful "I've lost ?? pounds!"

LULUBELLE65 SparkPoints: (33,465)
Fitness Minutes: (25,904)
Posts: 1,048
2/17/14 10:26 A

I lost about 40 pounds before Spark and 30+ since joining. The first 40 pounds were lost strictly through small changes in my lifestyle--trying to walk more, not taking seconds at the table, etc. I did not consciously diet, nor did I do much to increase my exercise beyond a little more walking. The next 30 have been a result of working out and staying between 1,500-1,700 calories a day. My suggested calorie count is 12,500-1,500, but I rarely don't go over. At the same time, I am very conscious about how much I eat, and would rather feel a little hungry sometimes than err on the side of overeating.

I do a one hour Zumba class once a week, and swim 3-4 days a week for anywhere from 40-60 minutes. I also get in about 7000 steps on my Fitbit.

MELO1968 SparkPoints: (330)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 111
2/15/14 3:51 P

I've been maintaining an approx. 45-50 lb. weight loss for more than two years now, and I exercise 1 1/2 - 2 hours per day, 6 days a week. The reason I can get in so much exercise without it impacting my already busy schedule is that I use a homemade tread desk (Google it) to do work at home, and I log 1 - 1 1/2 hours a day on that. Also, several days a week, I take a 5 a.m. Cross Fit class that I love; I am a morning person, and that early time ensures that nothing will interfere with my class. This amount of exercise actually seems easy to me because it's so convenient (& the class is fun). Also, because I exercise so much, it allows me to eat 2000-2200 calories per day and still maintain at a size 6.

Edited by: MELO1968 at: 2/15/2014 (15:52)
TEAROSE22 SparkPoints: (30,671)
Fitness Minutes: (10,050)
Posts: 633
2/15/14 3:02 P

I have lost 180.2 pounds, in new number band, moving ahead. I have been moving forward,
Since June 1, 2010, with a several month stabilization when in radiation. I only found SP in October 2013, down an additional 40 since then. I have left behind every fad, fast, and fix. There is no quick magic cure, I know for the first time in my life that I am living with the proper perspective on food and alcohol. I no longer am controlled by external forces, I am controlled from within. I am thankful for God's grace.

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
2/15/14 1:22 P

Food is the *main* part of it, IMO. (I lost 45 pounds, but close enough.) Studies show that long-term maintenance is more common among people who consistently exercise than not, but IMO that's more likely to be a result of the same mental outlook that is maintaining their loss than it is to be a cause of it. In other words, if you can keep up consistent exercise for years, you can probably also succeed at maintaining; and if you can't handle the one, that may be a sign you can't handle the other either.

But regardless. I personally have never been able to lose a significant amount of weight no matter how much exercise I did. I always just wound up eating more to compensate. Since I've gotten a handle on my eating, on the other hand, it doesn't seem to matter how much or how little I exercise. I've done as much as 90 minutes of easy-to-moderate or 60 minutes of moderate-to-strenuous exercise a day; I've also done pretty much nothing for weeks on end. No effect on my weight. I'm still compensating my calories just like before, only at a more weight-friendly level.

Exercise does have a significant effect on how much you can eat for any given result, and I personally thnk it's better to exercise than not to exercise for a whole host of reasons, but I'm very skeptical of claims that say you must exercise X amount to achieve Y result.

COLOR-BLUE Posts: 11,841
2/15/14 12:16 P

I've lost over 200 lbs. and it was done by God's Grace! He taught me how to eat and got rid of my portion distortion, took me off soda, junk food, drinking a heck of a lot more water, some juices, and milk. Since Sunday, the 8th, I've logged 1,173 minutes of workout time. I did the math and I've averaging 3.25 workout hours per day. Now, I don't always do that many hours in a day. There are days where I only get 163 minutes, which was yesterday, but the day before I had 253 minutes.

I was in maintenance, as I was down to 170 lbs., but as we tend to do, I went on vacation, and ate. I didn't eat anything unhealthy, it's just that I age too much. I didn't know that even if you ate too much of a healthy thing, you would gain weight. So now, I'm back in the losing mode again, to get back down to 170 lbs.

I do HIIT, Body Basics, and The Smart Card Training at Curves, Monday through Friday and on Saturday I do Zumba with them. If the weather is good enough for me to walk outside, I have walking DVDs of Leslie Sansone, the Walking Queen, and she works me over. Her pace is anywhere from 3 to 5 MPH, and she also has HIIT in her DVDs, which I do. I do weight training with Richard Simmons, with his Tone & Blast DVD, I also do different exercise videos here on SP and today, I'm going to attempt to put Richard Simmons, Sweating to the Oldies, into my mix. I haven't done any of his DVDs like that, since the car accident, as I didn't feel like I would be able to handle it. I will give it a try today!

Be blessed,

- Nancy Jean -

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (188,501)
Fitness Minutes: (279,253)
Posts: 26,365
2/14/14 11:02 A

I lost 50+ pounds by modifying my eating habits. I learned to eat more healthfully and watch my portions sizes. Like many Americans I sufferred from portion disortion. At the time, I had no idea part of the reason I was over sized was because my portions were oversized.

When it comes to weight loss, what matters most is what we eat. Good nutrition is what takes the weight off and keeps it off. Exercise is what keeps us fit. In short, you can't outrun a bad diet with exercise. If you want to lose weight, you have to eat right first.

Some of the things I did for exercise included kick boxing, spinning, weight training as well as walking on a regular basis. I did take up running not because I wanted to lose weight, but because I wanted to complete some local 5k and 10k races.

What you do for exercise really does depend on what your fitness goals are. How often should you exercise ? There really are a lot of different opinions. Because many Americans have become extremely sedentary, some experts say that person should do a hour a day. If you're fairly active during the day, you might do 30 minutes. Who is right ? They all are because our needs and goals are different.

The person trying to run a marathon has very different needs than a person who just wants to be a bit fitter.

So, my question to the OP would be, what is your fitness goal ? Why do you want to exercise ? Because in order to be fit for our entire life, we need to be active in some way.
That's why you should enjoy whatever it is you decide to do. When we enjoy doing something, we look forward to doing that something each and every day.

GOOSIEMOON SparkPoints: (233,235)
Fitness Minutes: (105,935)
Posts: 6,680
2/14/14 10:09 A

I lost 60 pounds by 1. tracking everything I eat, 2. portion control of any food I want and 3. a minimum of 10 minutes of exercise a day (3 years later, now that I'm in the habit I exercise about 45 minutes, 4-5 days a week and 10 minutes all other days).

Oh, the most important thing is to forgive yourself when you "mess up" and move on to the next day. Beating yourself up is miserable and a waste of your precious time and effort.


KNEEMAKER SparkPoints: (104,663)
Fitness Minutes: (27,787)
Posts: 1,336
2/13/14 9:02 P

103 lbs

2/13/14 8:52 P

I've lost 90 pounds. When I started, my doctor told me to cut out most refined sugar and flour, eat a high-fiber diet, and exercise an hour a day. GULP. I had to work up to an hour a day. Now I walk or cycle an hour a day at least six days a week.

And calorie reduction is part of the equation, but not all. The doctor also told me if I dieted but didn't exercise, I would lose some weight then eventually my body would adjust to the reduced intake and I'd stop losing. She also repeated many times that slow weight loss was ideal, it didn't need to be fast, and was more likely to be permanent if I took it slowly. So took all the doctor's advice and the weight came off, fast at the beginning and slower later, as it does for everyone.

Incidentally, now that exercise is part of my life, I wouldn't stop even if I were at my goal weight, because I like the mood-elevating aspect of it and I just like feeling fitter.

Edited by: CALLMECARRIE at: 2/13/2014 (20:54)
TACDGB Posts: 6,136
2/13/14 1:34 P

I lost 60 lbs. by........ emoticon . I walked 5 to 6 days a week around 3 miles each time I did it. I am a big believer in working out as an important component of a healthy life style. It is so good for so many things including your heart and lungs. Just remember that strength training is important too.

GIPPER1961 Posts: 734
2/13/14 12:41 P

I have lost around 60 pounds. I think exercise is crucial, but at the same time I think exercise has little to nothing to do with weight loss. I know some will disagree, but the calories you burn cannot override a bad eating plan.

Exercise keeps my mind focused and keeps me feeling good about myself. All that is for my brain. If I binge eat which has been a problem of mine my entire life I can consume between 5000 and 7000 calories in a day. The most I have ever burned according to my bodymedia device is 5600. Quite a difference.

I have come to love exercise and shoot for 60 minutes a day of cardio and do resistence three times a week, but I don't think it is necessary for weight loss, but it is necessary for heart health and brain health. The amount I think is up to you.

SKNYMOMWANNABE SparkPoints: (15,306)
Fitness Minutes: (17,158)
Posts: 1,163
2/12/14 4:36 P

Age comes into play-I used to be able to eat anything as long as I put my sweat equity in, now the diet has to be in check, no crap and I have to sweat.

To change my shape i HAVE to lift weights, to burn fat it can be cardio and can be a fast walk/jog or elliptical? Bootcamp or HITT worked really well but over 40 it's been diet/sweat equity equally if not diet more, so unfair!

NANLEYKW SparkPoints: (76,157)
Fitness Minutes: (31,130)
Posts: 867
2/12/14 3:13 P

I lost about 70 lbs., almost entirely through watching my food intake. I did start running (Couch to 5k), and for the first six months (50 lbs, give or take), I was averaging about 30 minutes 3-5 times a week (three days of running and one or two days of strength or cross-training). So that's, what 90-150 minutes/week of exercise.

(I actually do a lot more than that now, in maintenance, not because I have to, but because I fell in love with running and have been training for endurance races.)

FITWITHIN SparkPoints: (456,672)
Fitness Minutes: (287,593)
Posts: 24,308
2/12/14 1:29 P

For me being mindful of what I ate and portions. Not drinking my calories and find exercises that I love doing. I keep the variety of workouts to prevent boredom. I also, keep my gym bag packed and ready to go at any given time in my car at all times. On most days I'm exercising 2 hours a day. My personal preference, however if I don't have the time I will do a HITT workout. It's all about finding that balance that works for you.

2/12/14 1:26 P

Thanks everybody! Your answers have been so helpful. I am going to aim for 500 minutes per week. I am almost there already and that gives me incentive to get there.

I do think there are two types of people, because some people tend to mostly change their eating and do well with that. Others can't seem to stay lower calorie long enough to lose it. That is me. The problem is that I also have been sedentary and changing that is what is helping.

I have cut out the junk food and am eating healthy foods now, but I tend to get hungry at less than 2200 calories and when I try for less than that I end up wanting to binge.

Exercise is like a miracle, because I feel better and don't crave extra food and I know that it is the difference between losing and gaining for me.

FLORADITA SparkPoints: (60,784)
Fitness Minutes: (37,548)
Posts: 537
2/12/14 1:03 P

Exercise really does add to the weight loss and to the firming up of the body. The health benefits are endless. I lost 40 pounds over two years with just increasing by working out daily. I now have upped my exercise and carefully tracking my calories in order to lose 40 more pounds.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (80,958)
Fitness Minutes: (85,538)
Posts: 2,489
2/12/14 12:36 P

I've lost 60 lbs. How many calories you eat is the key. Not exercise. Losing weight comes down to calories in vs. calories out. Burning 600 cals is all fine and dandy but if you eat back those 600 cals (go home and eat 2 crispy crème donuts) you've just out done all your hard work.

Weight loss comes down to a mathematical equation.

You burn calories just to keep your body alive. This is called your basal metabolic rate. You can estimate yours based on your age, gender, height and weight. Let's pretend yours is 1600 cals.

You burn calories through activity. Daily chores, errands, walking to your car etc. Some people are more active than others so the amount you burn may vary. Let's say you burn 400 cals through every day activity.

Add these two numbers together and you burn 2000 cals a day before you ever step foot in the gym.

Now lets say you eat around 1500 cals a day. You are eating -500 cals less than you burn. It takes a deficit of 3500 cals to lose approximately 1 lb of fat. So if you ate this way for a week. You'd lose 1 lb.

Ok so now you go to the gym and you hop on the treadmill for an hour and burn 500 cals. You are now burning 2500 cals that day and you eat the same amount, 1500 cals. Your deficit has become -1000 cals instead of -500 cals. If you did this every day, you'd lose 2 lbs/week. Sounds good, right?

The only problem is; the more calories you burn, the hungrier you're going to feel. You may be able to maintain a 1500 cal intake for a couple days or week but eventually your hunger catches up with you and you find yourself starving, miserable and prone to overeating. Many people find that it is necessary to eat back some of the extra calories they burn through exercise to prevent this from happening. Maybe you find you need an extra 200 cal snack and have to eat 1700 cals. That will cut into *some* of your extra calories burned through exercise.

Bottom line; it's about finding the right balance between exercise and your calorie intake.

To answer your question. When I was losing weight I burned around 2000 cals/week through planned exercise and ate around 1500 cals.

In maintenance I am far more fit and energetic and burn a lot of calories through exercise, activity and my job. I run 45-80 mins 6 days a week and lift weights 3x a week but even though I'm small at 5'2 and 115 lbs, I have to eat around 2500 cals to maintain my weight. If I were to lose weight now, I'd only want a small deficit and would eat around 2200 cals.

imo, exercise is to increase fitness and all the wonderful health benefits it provides. It also allows you to eat more and still lose or maintain your weight.

How many calories you eat determines whether you lose, maintain or gain weight.

Hope this helps.

NSMANN Posts: 976
2/12/14 11:40 A

I have tried all kinds of diets but I never had success losing weight until I started working out 60 minutes every day.

MIAMEOWS SparkPoints: (5,524)
Fitness Minutes: (11,553)
Posts: 187
2/12/14 8:52 A

For me, diet was more important than exercise in the beginning. The first six months I was probably doing 15-20 minutes for 3-4 days a week.

Now that it's been a year and I am down 64 pounds (woohoo!) I do cardio 4-5 times a week anywhere from 30-60 minutes (or longer) and strength training for about 10 minutes every day.

But I still honestly think dieting is the most important aspect of weight loss. The exercise is shaping my body and helping me lose - and feel amazing.

Good Luck!

EABHA70 SparkPoints: (62,065)
Fitness Minutes: (40,967)
Posts: 1,121
2/12/14 8:47 A

As of yesterday, I have lost 80 pounds.

The first 40 came off just by stopping drinking so many calories (I gave up pop and most juice) and by starting to walk as much as possible. But I wouldn't say I walked more than 30-40 minutes a few times a week. So maybe 90 to 120 minutes per week of walking and no other exercise.

The next 30 came off by increasing the walking a bit, and by adding in a few 30 minutes sessions on the exercise bike. I also added in some tough yoga classes. So, then I was up to 270 to 330 minutes per week.

The final 10 have been the hardest. I've been doing about 400 to 500 minutes of exercise per week: on the elliptical at the gym and my stationary bike at home, strength training with machines and free weights, and yoga. I workout 6 or 7 days per week.

Edited to add: I am not yet in maintenance. I've got another 70 pounds to go. Eating right is certainly the biggest part of my success, and will probably become even more important as I get closer to my goal.

Edited by: EABHA70 at: 2/12/2014 (08:52)
DEANNA0725 SparkPoints: (22,611)
Fitness Minutes: (13,947)
Posts: 2,072
2/12/14 7:59 A

When I started exercising in July 2012 (after quitting smoking) I was walking 7 days a week around 45 minutes to an hour a day. By doing that and change the way i looked at food things started to change. I had lost 15 pounds in 3 months by not eating crappy food and by walking. I started WW in Oct 2012 and stayed on it until June 2013 and lost another 55 pounds. I really think that getting up and walking was the thing that really helped me. My highest weight was 230 and I am still shooting for another 10 to 15 pounds weight loss, but man it is getting harder...

TWAINNY Posts: 55
2/12/14 4:32 A

I think there are too many variables! Depends on your fitness level to begin with. My aunt lost 30 pounds by just getting active (no diet change). I did 500 minutes of exercise last week, 3400 calories burned (per my HRM) and I gained weight. Could be added muscle, could be the chocolate I ate at work!! haha I think if you keep at eat and watch what you eat, you will lose weight. But along the way you will need to change your exercise amount to keep up with your new fitness level.

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (66,733)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
2/12/14 1:10 A

This is a great question!

For me, exercise is more important than food. I didn't change my diet at all until I had already lost 55 pounds...I just got back to exercising again after an extended illness.

I generally do around 500 minutes per week and have done so for a couple of years. Last week I think I had 900 minutes though, so it varies. I love to exercise, so this really is not a hardship for me--when I have more free time, I work in more exercise.

LADYSTARWIND SparkPoints: (78,595)
Fitness Minutes: (59,613)
Posts: 4,373
2/12/14 12:27 A

" I know the food part is part of it, "

I think you will find the Food Part is MOST of it!! Your weight loss comes from a calorie deficit...and you have to be missing 3600 calories to lose one pound! Its far easier to limit your intake, than do enough exercise to use 3600 calories....! Take your favorite exercise, and calculate it out for yourself....

I will leave it to others to answer the specifics on how much exercise they've incorporated into their lives (as I haven't ever lost 50lbs...)

2/11/14 11:46 P

I am wondering how many minutes people who have succeeded with losing 50 pounds or more exercise per week.

I have been steadily increasing, and am loving it, but haven't decided what to really shoot for long term.

One article said that an hour a day may only get maintenance. Another said, 250 minutes a week is for clinical weight loss. I know the food part is part of it, but I am just curious what the people who have succeeded and are maintaining it are doing.

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