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Depression: How do I lose the resulting weight gain?
clrmepink posted:
I was in my late 20s; I had a full-time job and a regular fitness routine. I exercised 5-6 days a week at a women's health club. Then, I spent over 5 months in Europe. I walked so much I was in better shape that summer than the summer I paid for a personal trainer. At 5'8" with a medium build, men needed a warning sign that said, "Danger: Curves Ahead." I literally stopped traffic with men hitting the curb, stopped construction at construction sites, had men following me around like lost puppies through the city of Madrid and received more cat calls in one day than Duchess Kate has pictures snapped of her in one day by the paparazzi. (NO, not kidding, not exaggerating.) Then, I was diagnosed with depression... I lost my job. I was for the most part bedridden from fatigue and muscle aches and pains. I lost the curves and lost the muscle and gained the FAT. My life consisted of a combination of depression medications and eating without exercising that lead me to expand to an obese size 3X. I have progressed from the bedridden level to the couch potato level to the low activity level. When I write "low activity level," I mean: I can wash and iron clothes now, load the dishwasher, and maybe vacuum. A year ago, my doctor and I decided to change my depression medication and I lost 30 lbs in one year. I repeat I only changed medications. I did NOT change my diet habits. I did NOT reinstate exercise. So, I'm guessing my metabolism has not been shot to pieces. Six years later, 5 different depression medications tried and tested later, my doctor and I decided to stop my depression medication altogether. I am seeing my energy level very slowly increase to my current "low activity level." I want to have energy again! I want my figure back!!! Where do I start??? How do I lose all of the weight I gained in a course of 6 long excruciating years??? Has anyone else lived through this experience? How did you increase your energy level? How did you begin an exercise routine? How did you lose all of the weight?

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brunosbud responded:
Re-read your words...

Walking. I wish there was more to it but there really isn't...

I started at less than 5000 steps/day. Presently, I average roughly 13,000. I could easily add a couple thousand more steps; it ain't a big deal. With a pedometer, it's not hard to track (& add) steps, daily.

What's the average number of steps American adults walk daily? About 5,000.

Upon waking, completely relaxed, dogs by my side, I complete 5K steps before 5:30AM, daily...365

Live in America, just don't live like an American...
Rich Weil, MEd, CDE responded:
It's true, your metabolism is not shot. That's not what happens. So for you to lose weight, it won't be any different than anyone else. To lose you must burn more calories than you consume. You are obviously serious about it and so I suggest you do the following:

1. You don't need to start exercise right now. Instead, you can start once you lose some weight. Too may changes all at once can be tough. You'll lose weight without exercise once you cut back your calories. Exercise burns calories, it will keep you fit and strong, and it's the best predictor of keeping your weight off, but to lose, you can do it by reducing calories without exercise.

So I suggest you follow these suggestions.

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. Go to the following site to figure out how many calories you are consuming

4. Go 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 #2 and write down everything you eat. If you do just that you'll lose weight.

Post your diet-related questions to the Diet Community:

Finally, I suggest you check out the Diet Community and the Weight Loss Clubs. The support and guidance will be extremely helpful, even if you have your fianc? as help.

Here are the diet clubs based on how much weight you want to lose.

You'll find everything you need to lose weight on these sites. Feel free to post back if you have any questions.

Take care, Rich

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