I hate dieting

It used to be so easy. I used to weigh 302 with about 35% bodyfat so i decided ‘lets lose some weight’ so i got down to 262 and about 26% bodyfat pretty easily over maybe 4 months. All i did was exercise on a stationary bike about 40 minutes 5x a week, eat around 2800-3100 calories a day in low fat foods (my normal metabolism w/o cardio is about 3500 a day. With 40 minutes stationary biking it is 4300 or so a day) and the weight came off. I went from a 50.5" waist to a 42.5" waist, this started in june/july of 2003. If i wanted a wendy’s hamburger i went up and got one, and i didn’t feel deprived or hungry. Then around late October the weight loss stopped. Around early dec i decided to really push myself so i did 2400 calories a day, a few weight loss drugs and 60 minutes of cardio a day. I dropped to about 253 in a week (mostly water naturally) and when i quit i went up to 259. So i lost about 3 pounds doing that, not bad. Around Dec 12th i quit altogether. I was only going to quit for a couple weeks to reset my metabolism before dieting again but due to severe stress and problems at the time i quit everything as i didn’t have the mental energy to keep at it. I quit dieting, quit working out and ate whatever/whenever i wanted to from mid-december until late March. In that time i didn’t gain any weight but my waist went up to about 45". So i figure since the stress is gone why not try again. So i do the same thing and i get down to the same point i was at before when i hit my plateau (42ish waist). Weight stays the same the whole time. I guess that is good, i only gained about 1 lb a week because in my experience 5lbs = 1" on the waist. Over maybe 12 weeks i gained maybe 3".

So now instead of easy dieting i have to virtually starve myself and do alot of crap with my biochemistry. Now i try to eat 2400 calories a day and do 60 minutes of cardio on the elliptical. The elliptical says i burn 1200 calories an hour at my weight.

Im not concerned about the dieting, just the fact that its not working painlessly anymore. Like in the old days i would do cardio whenever i felt like it. 3pm, 9am, 7pm, all good. Now i try to do it first thing in the morning (when you are supposedly more likely to use fat stores for energy since you haven’t eaten in 10 hours). and i take an alpha 2 antagonist to release fat stores in the abdomen. And i have to take my supplements in the morning ‘but’ you can’t have an insulin release at the same time you take your alpha 2 antagonist for fear it will reabsorb the fat so i have to find a food that has no/low carbs. And one of the drugs (one that actually works mind you) can’t be taken with calcium which sucks because i am trying to get in 3 servings of dairy a day to encourage lipolysis. So i can’t take calcium or carbs for breakfast so i guess i’ll have to take the supplements with metamucil or protein powder mixed with water. To top it all off, i’ll bet alot of that crap i just wrote is snake oil and meaningless, but i do it anyway.

I think i am reasonably well educated about weight loss biochemitry buuuuut about 70% of it is old wives tales, snake oil, propaganda, wishful thinking, and downright crap. I post on diet/exercise boards and alot of the info comes from isolated studies, studies with rats, or woulda/coulda/shoulda thinking, or hearsay. I take alot of weight loss supplements. Why you ask? because i bet a few actually work a little bit, and they are cheap only about $3 a month each.

Don’t get me wrong, biochemistry is fun. But the biochemistry of weight loss is about as reliable as psychic phenomena research. One example: I am on one drug that ‘may’ upregulate Beta 2 & beta 3 receptors on white adipose tissue, encouraging fat loss from adipose tissue if you actiave these receptors. So i am looking into adding beta 2 & 3 agonists to my list of drugs but there are so many reasons why it might not matter i don’t have time to list them.

I miss the old days when i ate when i wanted and did cardio when i wanted and lost weight painlessly. I didn’t have to take metamucil with each meal to trick my body into thinking it was full and to lower the GI of foods (GI is another one of those potential snake oil formulas for a variety of reasons). I didn’t have to wade through snake oil or time my meals or have hunger pains or not be able to get a whopper w/o mayo whenever i felt like it (actually i can still do that, i just choose not to unless i have a craving for one. if i have a craving for one i’ll get one). Well, the hunger pains aren’t that bad but overall it sucks more than it did before.

I realize im rambling. HOpefully i will get responses from people in the same boat, people who realize there is alot of crap and snake oil in the diet industry, and that we don’t know nearly as much as we’d like to think we do about the body. I’m doing alot of research on RMR and metabolism and lipolysis and i don’t know whats true and whats not.

It bugs me when i see someone on tv say ‘just cut 500 calories of food and do 500 calories of exercise and you will lose 2 lbs a week’. Mathematically that is true, but i don’t really buy it personally. It works, yes but only within reason. I also don’t buy the whole ‘if you eat an extra 100 calories a day you can gain 10 lbs of fat a year’ line. They have done studies with identical twins and overfeeding them. Some twins converted almost all the extra food into fat while other sets of twins, when overfed, started doing things like tapping their fingers or shaking their legs nervously and burned off the extra calories.

Overall i guess this is a rant about our ignorance about the body (my ignorance included), all the snake oil, and the fact that everyone wants to think its just simplistic math when there are so many other factors that come into play. ANd the fact that now i have to do all this crap now with cardio, drugs and diet when in the old days i just ate a little less, did exercise, and the weight came off painlessly.

PS: ive only been on this new diet scheme for a week or so. I have been dieting for about 7 weeks now. The first 6 weeks were easy and i did them the same way i did my weight loss last year (2900 calories, eat when hungry, 40 min. cardio), in the first 4 i got down to the same place i was when i hit my plateau back in october waistwise. The next 2 weeks pretty much nothing happened, so in the last week i’ve changed. It will be a few weeks before i find out if all the stuff im doing now actually works. If not, i think i will just laugh about it and try something else.

I do think that one problem with Low-fat approach to diet is that it tends to leave you hungry. Have you tried bringing some fat calories back in, as in The Zone or “balance” approach of 40-30-30 (carbs-fat-protein). So… for example celery w/ cream cheese as a snack. 1 stalk +2 tbsp cream cheese = 96 calories, but it leaves you feeling full longer than 96 calories worth of popcorn (that’s only 2 cups microwave popcorn or 3 cups plain airpopped).

Feeling full=less cranky. Less cranky=easier to stay on plan. Staying on plan=success.

Just a thought.

BTW, I’m a little confused by your “base caloric needs” I think they’re a bit high. Are you 6’3" and heavily muscled? Or a Triathlete? Where did you get your numbers? I believe 2500 calories (what you descibe as “practically starving yourself”) is considered the “base caloric need” for a male by the FDA. IANAFitness expert. But when I see 4300 calories I think of someone in round-the-clock training for a major athetic event.

Good luck, I know it is very frustrating trying to do everything “just right” and still your body doesn’t do what it is “supposed to.”

Allow me to make a suggestion that’s worked very well for me–don’t do “cardio,” do a sport!

Instead of making excercise a chore, seriously persue it has a recreational activity–get off that stationary bike and get thee a decent road bike! If you don’t know where to ride, what to buy, etc., try and hook up with your local cycling club. Cycling culture can be brutal and cliqueish, but at least in my experiance they take it easy on beginners. :slight_smile: Find some good routes and try and make cycling something that you enjoy and look forward to. Focus on the sport, and let your weight take care of itself (of course, don’t neglect your diet–and ditto Hello Again on the amount of calories you’re consuming).

FWIW, I weighed about 220 pounds when I started college (I’m 5’7")–I joined the cycling team and got down to 156 or so. After college (and my cycling “career”) had ended, my weight stabilized at 165, and it’s currently at 148 now that I’m starting to take running seriously…

Amen! Biking, ultimate frisbee, soccer, hiking, trail-running, etc. Fantastic workouts, and in my experience, even better than a plain old “trudge for 60 minutes on the treadmill” workout, because since you have fun, you can do it longer.

Ugh, I feel your pain dude.

Since I’m a girl it is a little harder for me to lose weight (or so I’ve noticed amongst my circle of friends) but I was able to shed 75 lbs in less than a year. I was swimming and lifting weights 3-5 days a week. I was following low carb but still pretty low cal (about 2000 a day).

After 75 lbs things just grinded to a halt. No changes in eating or exercising, so of course I STOPPED exercising with the same vigorousness as before because…well, why?

I still eat good (lowering cals now to 1500 even) and exercise regularly, just now walking and doing yard work instead of going to the gym. I’ve lost about 15 lbs since November - that’s all :frowning:

Metacom is right - sports or yardwork even will take the drudgery out of exercise. My friend and I (who is also dieting) are taking up karate this week as our exercise. When I’m not doing karate, I’ll be walking my dog and mowing the lawn (which, thanks to the rain, is about twice a week!!)

As for dropping weight…it’s a mystery to me. You’d think calories in and calories out would be an instant success. Doesn’t seem so.

My weight right now is about 10 lbs less than when I was THIRTEEN years old!! I am holding onto my fantasy that fat is like dirt - the older it is and the more compressed it is for many years under layers of other fat, the harder it will be to get rid of it.

The REALLY sad part about trying to lose weight is seeing the other folks at the gym. The skinny folks. The OLD skinny folks - people who are still thin and have always been thin (or at least for a long time) and STILL have to go to the gym and eat well to stay thin. That makes me want to take a nap :slight_smile:

Good luck with your “struggle” Wes!! I feel your pain!

I already eat a balanced diet. Around 30% fat, 20% protein, 50% carbs. I enjoy things like peanut butter because it stabalizes blood sugar.

I am 6’0", heavily muscled (about 40-50 more pounds of muscle than most people my height) and 262 lbs. I literally am starving on 2400 a day, and when i lost the first 40 lbs i lost about 2.5 lbs a week when i did 3000 calories a day with about 3000 calories a week of cardio (600kcal a session, 5 session a week). That would make my weekly caloric needs as high as 32750 calories (3000x7 + 3000 + 3500x2.5), or 4680 a day. Of course that is assuming all the weight was fat and i’m sure it wasn’t. And calories weren’t always 3000, they were closer to 2800-3100 a day. Overall im almost certain my non-cardio metabolism is in the mid/high 3000’s when my metabolic rate is going smoothly.

Thanks for your responses guys. I was afraid i’d get a bunch of ‘i bet your stuffing yourself with twinkies and thats why you cant lose weight’ responses.

Oddly enough, I have learned to enjoy the feeling of hunger while dieting - I don’t enjoy the low-blood-sugar-shakes that I sometimes get, so I nibble a bit of fruit or something - but that actual growling, empty stomach feeling can actually be quite pleasant.

Yeah, I kinda enjoy it too. There’s something very austere and pure about feeling hungry. I guess it’s from the sense of accomplishment and denial. And I feel as thought I look skinnier when I’m hungry even though I know it’s not the case.

my calculations above are wrong. I should take the amount of calories i ate, add the amount of calories in fat i lost, and subtract the exercise calories. I added all three. Doing that i get closer to a 3400 kcal a day of pre-cardio metabolic rate.

Oh, I feel your pain. Though my padding of chub.

I’m only about 20, 25 pounds overweight. I used to be a stick figure, could (and did) eat anything I wanted. Then my mid-30s hit and Mr. Metabolism skidded to a halt. Now I eat about half of what I used to, and the pounds slowly add up.

I exercise as much as I am going to, I’ll tell you that. Don’t have the time, energy or inclination. So it’s a matter of starving myself, which I am not good at. But, I am not planning to live past 60, so I don’t care about damaging my health.

That’s quite a morbid sentiment. I consider 60 to be kinda youngish. Too young to be considering fear-of-aging suicide, at least.

I don’t see myself living past 60. Is that what you meant?

I mean I can’t afford to live past 60, and have no desire to, anyway. I’ve already done everything I’ve wanted, and from gere on in, I’m just here for the ride.

And, getting back to the OP, I wanna ride as a size 8, thank you!

That’s here on in. I have no intention of killing myself by stuffing myself up Richard Gere’s ass.

I used to hate that feeling, but now I’m actually starting to enjoy it, much more than feeling stuffed.

I tried a low-fat diet, and lost 45 pounds, but realized I couldn’t live like that forever. I tried Atkins, but my induction phase lasted only 4 days, for many reasons, not the least of which was I felt like deep-fried shit.

I’ve actually gotten inspiration from Alton Brown. Now, I don’t know if the guy eats like that in real life, but I like the way he’ll sit down with a 2 egg omelette, a few greens, and a small glass of wine, and call it a meal. After eating like that for a week, your stomach gets used to it, and eating big or even medium meals are just painful.

Fashion Director at work: “Eve, darling, if you haven’t developed an eating disorder by your age, you’re never going to.”