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    • There's no point beating around the bush, sugar coating it, being "pc" about it. A lot of people, and definitely me, are grossly overweight.

      No one likes being fat but how do you turn things around? The web is full of quick fixes but do they work.

      My, continuing, journey below, perhaps others will weigh in ( pun intended),

      On 16.4.2014 I joined a gym. My goretex motorbike trousers no longer fitted and I was on the way to buy a new pair, costing around €400, when I had a mini epiphany. I turned the bike around and joined the local gym.

      I was 132 kilos when I started. I was too heavy to walk further than a mile without getting shin splints. I couldn't run, couldn't climb stairs without feeling like I was going to have a heart attack.

      I was heading for an early grave, without exaggeration.

      I started swimming 5 days a week, doing about 40 lengths of a 25m pool. I lost 10 kilos quite quickly but, after that, I had to work hard to maintain the weight loss and to keep losing weight.

      My GP is a good sports doctor. His advice was to make an hours exercise, 5 days a week, a lifestyle choice. Don't change my diet, don't try to cut out carbs / fats, just exercise and the weight will gradually fall off you. Doing this means you will lose weigth very slowly but, what you lose, will stay off.

      Crash diets can mean very quick weight loss but it's impossible to maintain that sudden loss.

      I had two good years, got down to 112 kilos but 2017 was a bad year.

      I had a back tooth extracted and the dentist ripped a hole in the sinus floor. My sinus was now pushing into my mouth and I was on antibiotics for about 5 months until the hole in the sinus floor healed.

      I was also on 2 long periods of steroids in preperation for having my broken nose / polyps fixed.

      The net result was a weigh in of 118 kilos in September after my nose op and finishing all meds.

      I'm back to 4-5 days a week in the gym, I do light weights and about an hours cardio, split between a cross trainer and bicycle. When the weather is reasonably warm, I go outdoors and cycle for about two hours and love it.

      I'm on shift work so have to fight the tendancy to give in to being tired after a night shift and get off my fat arse and do some exercise.

      I have cut back on sugar intake, recent theories suggest sugar is the real enemy, fats / carbs are ok.

      I eat smaller portions of food, measure how much pasta i cook, try to eat a lot more chicken, but... my personal theory is that the only way to lose a lot of weight is through exercise. I don't particularly enjoy being on a cross trainer for an hour but when I see the belt moving in a notch, it's worth it.

      The doctor's advice to make regular exercise part of my lifestyle is what I have followed. I do eat junk food / takeaways but limit them to once or twice a week.

      For me, the hardest part of regular exercise is walking out the door. I can find so many excuses to stay at home, watch one more episode on netflix, go for a nap, etc.... Once I'm at the gym I'm fine.

      Would be interested to hear others thoughts, stories?

    • Oh man, I'm so sorry to hear about your struggles. It's pretty much the plague of the modern Western world, no? That and diabetes and heart disease.

      On this topic, I am a man of strong opinions for many reasons. One is I had my own struggles with weight. Another is my family is pre-disposed to obesity and heart disease.

      The most important thing is, I am a scientist by background so it makes me crazy to read popular articles about diet because they are so influenced by food companies and our own desires to believe you can lose weight on something like the donut diet. I always read the scientific papers and the respectable science is remarkably clear and simple.

      The simple thing is there are 4 macro nutrients, not 3. Fiber is the fourth and it's non-caloric, filling, and associated with all the healthy foods. And critically, it feeds your microbiome, the most important breakthrough in medicine in the last 10 years. Unlike fat, carbs and protein where you have good and bad sources of each, there are no bad fibers. There are the water soluble ones in apples and oatmeal, the non soluble ones in many other foods, and unique ones like the lignans in flax seeds.

      Fiber slows digestion, it pushes digestion lower in the digestive tract, if you get enough you never have to worry about constipation the rest of your life or the complications it causes. It's associated with lower rates of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

      The food companies know the best way to make foods more addictive is to remove the fiber. White rice instead of brown. White bread instead of whole grain. Remove the fiber, combine fat, sugar and salt in the right proportions and the world can't eat just one.

      If you want books based on real science that can really make lasting change, I recommend How Not To Die and The End of Overeating. Both authors are immensely credible.

    • About three months ago, my friend had me try a diet based on macronutrients. It has taught me a lot more about what I was putting in my body than I ever could have imagined. The first thing, and I'm guessing a lot of people experience this, is that I wasn't consuming even close to enough protein. All of the snacks I was putting in my body were straight carbs, and while they may have been "good" carbs like apples or whole wheat fig bars, I was snacking constantly because they weren't filling me up. So I changed the types of snacks I was eating (ex. hard boiled eggs, low fat cheese) and started my day with a protein shake and overnight oats, and the weight fell off. Exercise plays a role - I was walking more and still doing my couple of workout classes a week - but I am 100% convinced a more balanced macronutrient diet made all the difference for me.

    • I'm re-reading this and thinking a lot about my diet. In reality, I eat a lot of crap. I burst my lungs yesterday on a cross trainer for an hour but will undo all of the hard work with one bad dinner or snacks.

      I don't over eat, portions are reasonable but, from the above, what I'm eating is a major factor in my obesity.

      thanks for the feedback and helpful suggestions..... It is appreciated.

    • You can do it...

      I used to be the guy on the left wanna be the guy on the right (again) don’t wanna be the guy on the left again

      Before and after, it’s a constant struggle for me, find what works for you.

    • I gained a lot of weight when I started working full time. What helped me a lot was started to set sport related goals for myself, and everything else fell into line after that. Lose weight to get up the hill faster. Eat better to put out more power. I posted a little bit about it here.

      Based on your cover photo, it looks like you are into motorcycles. I'm biased but I highly recommend checking out cycling. I have a lot of racing / training buddies who do both.

    • Hey Becs,

      Can you send some info about that? I'd be very interested.

      The thing about the food industry is they are masters of food engineering and marketing, so when they say things like whole wheat fig bars, they make them sound healthy. What they cleverly don't say is there is more added sugar than figs, and more added oil than figs. That's why they stick together and are so moist.

      When they combine sugar, fat and salt in the right proportions it's super addictive and calorie dense. The thing is, it digests so fast, you get instant satisfaction from rising blood sugar. In a couple hours they are digested, the excess calories stored as fat, and you're ready for more. They give us diabetes and high blood pressure as a side effect.

      Vegetables and beans are high in protein as well, but also high in carbs because they are low in fat. However, along with fruit, they are the food groups most associated with health and long life. Animal and refined foods (like whole wheat fig bars) are the ones associated with diabetes, cancer, heart disease and shortened life.

    • I'm a fair weather cyclist, I do chicken out when its raining and cold, I go to the gym in inclement weather. I do enjoy cycling and get out for around 2 hours when I can. I't so much more fun than sitting on a stationary bike looking at a muted tv screen.

      thanks for the encouragement!

    • Yea, we are pretty lucky in California to be able to ride outside almost the whole year outside.

      I love training indoors all year round. I use trainerroad / zwift on my computer. Pretty much the only time I watch TV these days.

      Here is my setup:

    • Oy. Several years ago I lost 50 lbs. I had time to hike an hour a day (at least) and a friend of mine who is an endocrinologist recommended that I get my 1800 calories a day in a set ratio of roughly 40% protein, 30% carbs and 30% fat calories while keeping the glycemic index to 100 points or less per day. So, carbs but they tended to be brown and enjoyed in moderation. Fruits were chosen carefully so as not to spike blood sugar. Had I not ended up couch surfing while trying to move back to SF I might have been able to maintain it. I never quite found the motivation to get back in the saddle (work, raising a kid as a single mom, etc - the usual excuses). But when I was motivated that ratio helped me consistently lose weight. For whatever that is worth.

    • Here's something to consider about that book:
      There's a different side to everything. Where does a person even begin to sort this out? It's a minefield and it's almost impossible to not go from one fad to another. The trick is to find a variety of foods you like to eat that helps you keep your body weight steady and you can actually stay on it forever. If it's simply a diet to lose weight and not one you can comfortably keep eating, then it's going to lead you down a path to despair. If you have to cut too many things out, be extremely restrictive once you have lost the weight, or exercise more than you can fit into your regular lifestyle, then it's simply not going to be sustainable. It's very unfortunate but the scientific research has found...

      There's a disturbing truth that is emerging from the science of obesity. After years of study, it's becoming apparent that it's nearly impossible to permanently lose weight.

      As incredible as it sounds, that's what the evidence is showing. For psychologist Traci Mann, who has spent 20 years running an eating lab at the University of Minnesota, the evidence is clear. "It couldn't be easier to see," she says. "Long-term weight loss happens to only the smallest minority of people."

      That's not to say losing weight can't happen but most people that do lose the weight simply gain it back and often with less muscle and a higher body fat percentage while at the same original weight. Exercise also isn't the best way to do it and most studies show that restricted diets is the best way to weight lose. Try not to even have junk food in your house. No soda, no candies, no those treats for times you are out. Of course there is the very small minority who do lose weight and exercise even without weight loss is still a good way to make you more fit and healthy. If you can change how you eat permanently and also change your lifestyle to involve athletic activities you enjoy with your family, you'll have the best chance of succeeding.