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    Where do I start?
    An_246922 posted:
    Tried to post this already and it got erased...darn
    Anyway, 34 y.o. female, 5'11, 235 lbs- overweight, out of shape. Have been doing bootcamp classes off and on for a few months but stopped due to injury. Injury is better so I want to start up again. Joined local Gold's gym this week (super nice and brand new!).
    Anyway, obviously I want to lose weight, tone up and eat better but starting all at once is way too overwhelming (I've done it before, works for a few months, then I spazz out). So I want to start by getting my cardio game back and lose some lbs in the process. I like the elliptical, rowing machine, bike and swimming (new gym has a pool!). Not a huge fan of the treadmill but can bite the bullet if need be.
    Right now thinking 30 minutes 4 days a week at target heart rate....anything else I should be doing? Should I up that to an hour? More days a week? I think 4 is prob my max realistically. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Tomato05 responded:
    I hope you will enjoy the gym. It can become a part of your routine quickly if you just keep going there!

    If it was me I would have gone 4 times a week like you suggest, but I would go for an hour at a time, and split the hour between cardio and weight training. That half an hour on the machines and using free weights will be just as valuable as the cardio.
    brunosbud responded:
    Exercise is like marriage or pizza. If you don't do it the way you like it, you'll spazz out. Its only a matter of time...

    I worked out inside a gym, once, and it wasn't for me. I don't like a lot of noise. I don't like to socialize when I'm trying to focus and concentrate. I get easily distracted when I can hear multiple conversations, at once. I prefer to be cool or cold vs. warm or hot. I don't like bright lighting. So, gyms are pretty much the last place I'd like to be. No problem, I do something else, instead.

    Really, where it "starts" and where it "ends" is when we stop doing what other people say we should do and we start doing what we like to do. Find something you really like and you'll never have to worry about spazzing out, again. Guaranteed!
    "Dogs: A medicine for mental health problems?"

    "Show me a happy dog and I'll show you a healthy dog..."

    I take my dogs on my two, 30 minute walks, each day. Its fun, the dogs dig it and when they're having a blast it makes me happy. Combining dogs with exercise is powerful medicine. This is why lifelong dogwalkers, rain or shine, seldom "spazz out".
    Rich Weil, MEd, CDE responded:
    There's a real risk of frustration from lack of weight loss if you're counting on the exercise alone to help you lose weight. You asked 'where do I start?' and my suggestion is to do the cardio if you want ( 30 minutes 4 days a week is more than enough), and I would add 30 minutes of resistance exercise 2-3 days a week to build muscle and preserve it during wt loss (you can lose as much as 35% of your weight from muscle which slows down metabolism), but you must focus on your calorie intake if you want to lose significant weight.

    Since you sound serious I suggest the following:

    1. Continue with exercise. It burns calories, it will keep you fit and strong, and it's the best predictor of keeping your weight off.

    2. For the next week write down every single morsel of food you eat, and every ounce of beverage with calories you drink. Estimate the portion sizes as accurately as possible, and weigh and measure everything. Get a food scale and measuring cup to do it accurately.

    3. Then go to the following site to figure out how many calories you are consuming

    4. Then to this site to estimate how many calories you burn all day (called the 24-hour energy expenditure (24-hrEE)

    5. Then here to estimate your metabolic rate. Use the "Inactive" activity level for an additional cushion for underestimation of calorie intake.

    Once you know your 24-hrEE, and how many calories you consume, you can modify your intake accordingly, and/or increase exercise, so that you burn more than you consume. For instance, if you consume 2000 calories in a day and burn 1500, then you know you have to either cut back on your calories and/or increase your exercise to turn it around.

    If all of this is too confusing, then just do #1 and write down everything you eat. If you do just that you'll lose weight. Feel free to post back if you have questions.

    You can post your diet-related questions to the Diet Community:

    Finally, weight loss can be difficult on your own. WebMD has excellent resources to help people lose weight. You can get all the support and expert guidance on your diet that you need by checking out the Diet Community and the Weight Loss Clubs. The support and guidance will be extremely helpful to you.

    Here you can select one of the Diet Clubs based on how much weight you want to lose.

    You'll find everything you need to lose weight on these sites. And of course, feel free to post back here if you have more questions.

    Take care, Rich

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