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DAWDLIN Posts: 69
2/21/13 1:54 P

Wow ARCHIMEDESII... thanks for taking the time for that info. Last week I was forced to eat out with in-laws and it was at a buffet no less.. UGH. I started with salad and tried hard to be good. But, that was the main reason for the two days last week where my calories were higher than usual. I simply have avoided eating out for now as it's just too hard for me. I'll have to address that down the road I'm sure. But, at least I didn't go for the usual nachos, right?

I am doing high number of reps and 3 sets for each arm exercise. I am exhausting the muscle. I've avoided higher weight in the beginning because I read that someone with high blood pressure should do lighter weight and higher reps than the reverse. I'm a bit scared to be honest. I'm using 5 lb weights for shoulders and 8-10 for other arms. I'm doing presses and lat pull down with 20 right now. I will say that it's working. I'm really pleased with my arms and my husband has even noticed the difference.

I'll work on getting more fruits and veggies in. It's funny, I'm pretty hungry at meal time and I tend to want protein to hold me over. Veggies just don't seem to cut my hunger very well. Baby steps here.

Thank you so much for your feedback!

DAWDLIN Posts: 69
2/21/13 1:44 P

What a good reminder. The last thing I want is to break down what is good about my body. I want to be stronger and healthier. Of course I'm going to push forward, I am just at a loss about my lack of "loss". LOL. I figure I have to be reducing body fat, right? LOL. Thanks again.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (199,935)
Fitness Minutes: (298,868)
Posts: 27,311
2/21/13 1:43 P


It's difficult to say why some people seem to shed weight quickly and others take more time. I can assure you that if you continue to eat right, watch your portions and get some regular exercise that includes some strength training, you will see change with time. The fact that you have been noticing some changes like increased energy, clothes fitting a bit better, etc... means you are making a difference. When with the scale move ? Hard to say. weight loss is not an exact science.

Now, I hope you don't mind, but I did sneak a peak at your food diary. One thing that stands out to me is that you need to eat more fresh fruit and veggies. Some days, you barely get 1-2 servings. for optimum health (and weight loss), a person should try their best to eat 6-9 servings each and every day. Not only will eating that many servings help maintain a person's health, it will help reduce their waistline too.

Also, your calorie intake seems to be all over the place. Some days you barely get 1,000 calories and other days you get 2,000+. It seems to be feast or famine. You should try to stabilize your caloric intake i.e. staying within the general range that SP set. Don't go too far above or below. if you go over or under a 100 calories here or there, no biggie. the wild calorie fluctuations might not be helping your overall weight loss.

Now, let's talk about strength training for a moment. I know that doing some light weights while you work on the cycle may seem like you're killing two birds with one stone, but in truth, it's not productive. Unless you're doing a circuit training weights class like Body Pump, try to keep your weight training separate from your cardio.

You'll have a more productive strength training session if you can concentrate strictly on strength. When a person strength trains, they should use a weight that causes their muscles to fatigue in roughly 2 sets of 8-12 reps. And some muscles are stronger than others. You may find that 5 pounds may fatigue you when you do shoulder presses, but it won't for a chest press. You're going to need a variety of weights to challenge your muscles. If you can't afford heavier weights or have access to a gym, buy a set of resistance bands. Resistance bands are a great way to strength train and they are very challenging. You can buy a set of three for cheap at any Target, Walmart, Sears, etc...

My advice would be to increase the amount of fresh fruit and veggies you eat. If you can't eat 6-9 servings, then start with 2-3 and keep adding a serving each week until you are eating 6-9. Try to moderate your eating habits so that you don't have those feast/famine days of eating.

take things one day at a time, like I said... this isn't an exact science.

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
2/21/13 1:35 P


As tempting as it may be to drop below 1200 calories (and trust me, I once considered doing the same), the deal is, when you do not eat enough to support basic biological functions, your body will break down a larger percentage of lean body mass (bone, connective and organ tissue and the metabolically active tissue muscle) in order to function.

Remember weight loss and fat loss are not the same. I can lose 3 pounds doing an hour run in the hot summer sun, but that is not the same thing as fat loss which requires a 3500 caloric deficit (which can take me a solid 6 weeks to achieve because of my current running training schedule).

Remember too that weight is very seldom a linear process--there may be some weeks where you lose, some you gain and some you maintain, but you if you stay the course, your body is changing. It just takes time for the changes to catch up so you can see the results on the scale.

Take care!

Coach Nancy

DAWDLIN Posts: 69
2/21/13 1:29 P

Thank you for all of that info Nancy. Interesting... I calculate that I'm burning about 450 calories during my workout. That's 2250 average per week. If I keep my calories around 1450 (my average) that would be a deficit of 150 from my BMR per day or 1050 per week. That should put me right around 3300 calories per week. I'm hoping for 1 lb per week. UGH. Now, I do work from home, at a computer, all day... 5 days per week. So, I'm not getting much activity outside of my morning workouts. I'm afraid to increase my calories for fear it will get worse for me. LOL. I've really focused on healthy food and good exercise this time hoping to lose the weight the right way and address my blood pressure. But, it seems that in the past, the only way I ever manage to get the weight moving is to reduce my calories below 1200. I just don't think I can do that with my workout.

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
2/21/13 1:18 P


It's hard for any of us to say, but if you just started watching your diet, it may still take some time to see the changes on the scale. That being said, is your SparkPeople program set up accurately? The reason I ask is if you are exercising an hour a day place strength training, there is a chance you may not be eating enough to support your activity level.

Your body expends calories via many ways.

1. Basal or resting metabolic rate (This is the largest percentage of caloric expenditure for most people). These are the calories you burn if all you did was stay and bed and do nothing. Your body requires calories to keep your heart pumping, the brain thinking, your eyes blinking, your cells growing, your temperature regulated, etc, etc.

2. Active daily living activities-These are the calories expended by doing such things as sitting at the computer, shopping, working, cleaning, yard work, etc. (if you are quite active this, for many, is the second area that people expend calories).

3. Thermogenesis of food (calories expended to digest your food)

4. Exercise (cardio, strength training and flexibility workouts).

The body needs calories to do all three, therefore your goal is not to expend every calorie you consumed via exercise because it would put you in a severe deficit.

The goal is in order to lose 1 pound a week is to cut back your calories on your maintenance meal plan by 250 calories and expend 250 calories via exercise. This leads to a daily deficit of 500 calories. Since it take 3500 calories to lose one pound of fat this should put you on the right track.

I will say this looks good on paper, but it doesn't always work that way in the real-world. Because our body is mostly water, we can see a shift on the scale just be eating more fiber, higher sodium foods, etc. This is why following a healthy diet and getting in some sound exercise will allow you to move in the direction of healthy living.

Know too that it can take the body as long as 4-6 weeks for changes to start showing up. We should always give ourselves at least 4-6 weeks of consistency before deciding if something works or doesn't.

Hang in there and happy to hear this is a lifestyle change in the making!

Coach Nancy

DAWDLIN Posts: 69
2/21/13 1:13 P

Hi everyone. I have been the typical "up, down, up, down" dieter. Last November I decided enough was enough. I started getting up earl to get on the treadmill. I do 45 mins of intervals (walk 1 min, run 4). Then, I get on the recumbent bike for 15 and do light weights at the same time for my arms. Then, I alternate some other light weights or lower body leg lifts, stretches, etc. Basically it's 1 1/2 hrs in total, 5 times a week. I've cut out all of the sweets. I'm watching diet carefully. Starting February I began tracking all food on Spark. I'm staying in the recommended range for my goals (need to lose about 40 lbs). In reality, this time I'm looking to improve my overall health. I'm eating fruits, healthy protein, complex carbs only. My calories range from 1200 - 1500 per day. My resting BMR rate is estimated to be 1600 calories per day. The good news is I feel so much better. I look better, still overweight, but better muscle tone. 175 lbs on a 5'3" body is heavy. I am working to reduce my blood pressure too. Heart disease is a big problem in my family and mine is showing to be pre hypertensive. Here is the bad news.... Since November 1st I've only lost 5.5 lbs. In fact this month, since I really started tracking everything I put in my mouth, I've lost NOTHING. SO discouraging. What could be wrong with this picture?

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