Jump to content

No nonsense way to get healthy?

Recommended Posts

Hi guys


Ive been on and off of this forum for over a year now. About a year ago I was on such a mission to get healthy and lose weight (I've got a lot of weight to lose) and was all in for about 5 weeks. I was at gym 5 days a week. I had a weights and cardio plan that I stuck to, and I loved it. As for diet, I avoided junk food, sodas and stuff like white bread. I drank protein shakes (the Diet Fuel kind) and thought I was on my way to successful weight loss. But after those 5 weeks I finally weighed myself and I hadn't lost any weight at all. I thought I had approached the whole thing the "right" way, and I was so disheartened. I gave up and decided being overweight was just something I had to accept.


But I'm on a mission again. I refuse for this to be it. I'm a mom of a toddler, I have my own business and I've got a full schedule. Im exhausted all the time. I've had enough of this. 


What is the best way to change my health for good? What is sustainable? 


Thanks in advance!!

Link to post

No junk food. Lots of vegetables, sufficient protein (most females do not eat enough protein). Cut out hidden sugar. No sodas obviously, but the stuff hides anywhere in processed food. Look at bread in the supermarket: most of the breads will have sugar sirups in the ingredients (why, for fucks sake? What do you need insane amounts of sugar for in a dark bread?!?). Look at barbecue sauces. Look at salad dressings. Look at... whatever. Don't buy processed food. Yes, it may seem convenient... but it really is only a few minutes extra work to do all the stuff yourself, with fresh ingredients and you'll know exactly what's in there.
Now your diet will be ok-ish. That is 80%.

As for training: strength training with heavy weigts and some cardio. Great. Seemes like you  should have nailed the other 20%, too. :-)

Looks terribly close to what you did in your first attempt, right? And indeed, what you reported during your first attempt would have worked. You made only one mistake: you used the scale to measure progress. But your weight may fluctuate wildly, even when your body composition does no change. What you ate, how much salt you took, how and how much you worked out before, an inflammattion et - all that incluences how much water the body holds, and that in turn can skew the weight for several kilos. The heavier and bigger you are, the more. And do not forget that muscle is denser than fat tissue. It is totally possible  that after 5 weeks, you may have already lost 2,5kg (roughly 5lbs) of fat, but you may have also gained some muscle and your slightly different diet with a bit more protein and the inflammation processes from the workputs may have made your body hold more water. Voilà: you lost fat, you got stronger, but the scale did not move a little bit. You did a hell of a progress, but the scale hides it.
Forget the scale! Your weight is only one marker of fitness. One of many. It tells you nothing about body composition. Take "before and after" photos, take tape measurements, use a caliper to "measure" (estimate might be the better word) body fat, or do all of these. But never, ever rely on the scale alone to tell if you are making progress. And if you use a scale, remind yourself of the variances of scale readings.  You want a downward trend. You do not need to see a lower weight every time you step on the scale. That's both not very probable (might happen through pure luck), and just not necessary. Just a downward trend over a longer time frame. 

Some sixteen years ago I coached a girl in my class. She gained 6kg in a few months, but dropped from a very squeezed 42 clothing size (there is a german idiom: "wie Wurst in Pelle" - literally "like a sausage in it's skin")  to somewhere in between a 36 and 38. 
Or just remember NFs own Staci.
I know no better example to demonstrate that scale readings, weight alone is meaningless.

Are you stronger? Is your endurance better? Are you fitter? Do you look better? Does the weight trend slowly in the right direction? 
Congratulations, you're doing everything right. 

So, for this time: just do it. You seem to know how. Just do it. And don't let the scale throw you off after a few weeks. You're in it for the long run. And should you doubt, come back. We're here to help you.

  • Like 6

Rowing, rucking, running, lifting heavy stuff. Why not do it all?

Link to post

Thank you so much for the reply! Time to get down to business. Admittedly I wasn't eating much protein except for the shakes... So will eat more of that. 


Didnt really look out for the hidden sugars, so I need to do that as well.


Thanks again for the response, I'm heading back to the gym tomorrow for the first time in a year :) 

  • Like 2
Link to post

I will respectfully disagree with the last poster. 


It sounds like you took a bunch of things and threw them together without much of a plan at first. Weight is not about exercise, it is truly diet (ask any body builder the hardest part of being a body builder- going to the gym, working out, pushing weights will NEVER be the answer. The answer will always be diet.)


Also, the muscle/fat thing is not as much as people make it sound. The density is not a huge difference: 




I saw you said you cut out junk food and stayed away from bread- but added protein shakes. That doesn't mean you didn't over-eat. Figure out if you want to measure calories, try paleo, keto or any other tried method rather than randomly trying 'healthy' things and hoping they yield results. Make a plan. Do the research. Make measurable goals every few weeks (4 week challenges are excellent for this) and make it happen!

  • Like 4

Spaz Ranger


You can have results or excuses. Not both

Link to post

Just to comment on how my wife and I did what you are wanting to do.  We started January 5 2015, all we did was start by going to the gym 3 days a week for 30 minutes, we did the stair mill (it looks like a reverse escalator that you walk up and it goes down) and started to watch what we ate closer.  That's it, as time pasted we tightened the diet and raised the level of the stair mill.  The Stair Mill wasn't to help us lose the weight it was there just to give us a bit or room to adjust our calories, the saying is you can't out run the fork and it's true 80% - 90% or weight loss is done in the kitchen.  After almost a year we added weight training and then swimming.  Start slow like we did and make yourself do it for 3 months, if you do that and you are honest about how many calories you are taking in and using I think you will see some progress in 3 months.  You should only lose 1 or 2 pounds a week and you won't see that every week, there were many weeks we didn't see the scale move at all and sometimes it went up but over time you should see a downward progression.  


Things that helped me was looking at calories as a budget so those chips became very expensive and wouldn't fill me up but that 1lb bag of baby carrots became very cheap and would be filling.  Also if you don't want to throw food away (I have an issue with that, I just can't toss food) you can put an actual dollar amount on it (we did $50) and if we would eat it then we would give the other person the money and when my wife reached her goal she celebrated by having that pizza that was in the freezer.  Also if you get stuck, feel down, lost, or want to give up make a post and people here will do their best to help.   



  • Like 4
Link to post

There is a lot of great advice in this thread, but @mdwill gave the perfect example of the right way. 

First off he didn't dive in with a crazy time commitment, the right way is to find an activity you enjoy enough to do at least a few times a week.  It can be a gym, enjoying walks with the stroller, yoga classes, or dance lessons.  It's a surprising snowball, first make an activity you enjoy into a habit, then you'll find a bunch of other enjoyable activities.

He also made changes in the kitchen, but small scale.  You're not doing a science experiment, so you don't have to count every calorie.  You don't need to join a diet based religion either, you just need to feel better.  The right way is to just make healthier choices... often enough and long enough to see the changes.


Make small, good changes, then make the changes into habits.  Then as you make more small changes, the first ones aren't even habits anymore, they're just how you live.  That's the right way.



Easeful, Peaceful, Useful... "An easeful body, and a peaceful mind, allow you to become a useful person" -Swami Satchidananda


Link to post

Hey, love your enthusiasm and drive for change. Like the others said, small and CONSISTENT changes generally prevail over drastic, short term changes.


Secondly, changing your food choices is great, but first and foremost you must create a caloric deficit (Consume less than you expend) in order for any weight loss to happen. What I find is that we mostly UNDERESTIMATE the amount of food we eat.

I find it is helpful to jot down a detailed, 2 week food log using a food scale to document how many calories you're actually taking in. Note that this is NOT something you'll have to do for the rest of your life, but merely a great way to educate yourself about food portions. You'll be surprised how the most minute things can really pile up your calories in the long run.

Peanut butter on toast, these photos look nearly identical but the one on the left has 10g of peanut butter and the one on the right has 50g of peanut butter.

Your eyes can be deceiving!


  • Like 3
Link to post
9 hours ago, Rose Erick said:

That peanut butter really shocked me. Wow! never thought their that big difference in calories. 

Nuts and nut spreads can really add up the calories quickly. I try and always measure them before I eat. I just bought some  cheap tablespoons so I can easily measure it out. And no eating out of the jar like I used to.:redface-new:

  • Like 1

Wisdom- 13 Dexterity- 10 Charisma- 11 Strength- 12 Constitution-10 

Elastigirl Just Living Life - January 3 to February 6 New Year Challenge! - Nerd Fitness Rebellion

"The chief goal of living is not to merely stay alive" Mike Rowe

Link to post

First, I would start on fixing your mentality: drop using a scale; its irrelevant - go by how you look and how your clothes feel.

Remember, muscle weighs more than fat, and if you have been exercising more and altering your diet to a more favorably nutritious one, you are likely to have lost fat and gained muscle which is a favorable adaption and one we want to achieve! However, from a pure scale it would look as if 'nothing has changed'. 

You also have to remember that weight fluctuates depending on the amount of water you've drunk, the amount of sodium you have consumed, the amount of carbs you have eaten etc - scale weight is highly controversial. If you look at fighters who need to 'make weight' you'll notice how they manipulate these very things and dramatically change in a couple of hours/days. 


I also think it would be best to adopt a longer-term approach, definitely longer than 5 weeks. 5 weeks is a very short time frame and not one in which you should judge the success of your health. The longer you lose weight the more likely you will keep it off, not run into metabolic issues and not bounce back to a previous weight. You also have more room to play with in terms of a calorie deficit as your metabolism would be higher and more efficient.



Secondly, I would ensure that your lifestyle is ass stress free as possible and you enjoy the process. Make sure you are sleeping soundly and make sure that you are getting adequate recovery and rest. The more you see weight loss as a challenge, or a period of restriction, the harder it will be to comply. So change some of your lifestyle habits, i.e. walk more and sit less, and the whole process will become easier and weight loss can become a by-product of your actions. 


Also ensure that you are eating out of genuine hunger and not boredom; sit down at meals and be present. do not watch television at the same time. 



I think if you based your meals on whole foods, and not processed foods such as the Peanut Butter as shown above, it will be easier to keep yourself in a deficit. Stick to foods with a high satiety e.g. coconut chunks over coconut oil, cottage cheese over protein shakes, potatoes over white rice etc. This will ensure that you remain fuller longer. Keep liquid calories down to a minimum. The vegetable suggestion above is great , purely because they will fill you and provide you with a host of vitamins and minerals.


There is a free nutrition guide and template on our website that you can download to help structure your meals. www.shirtandtiefitness.com/free-nutrition-guide/. This would be a good place to start.


Any questions let me know!



Link to post

You've gotten a lot of responses, so I'll keep my input short:


1. Eat real food ONLY. Vegetables, fruits, meats, nuts. Nothing else. Drink water, or natural loose leaf tea, maybe black coffee.


2. Consider intermittent fasting. Eat for 8 hours a day only, and skip breakfast.


3. Lift heavy. High weight low rep free weight routines. Doesn't matter what the numeric weight is, as long as it's heavy for YOU.


These three things alone have made a massive difference in my life. If you're looking for no nonsense, that's it. Eat real food, eat for 8 hours, lift heavy. Simple.


Link to post

What resonated for me in your comment the most was: "  Im exhausted all the time. I've had enough of this."
exhausted : Maybe you miss something in your diet , do you consume enough meat?

Had enough: that's a major issue, if your only goal is to lose weight then your in trouble, but if your goal is to workout/train/practice improve yourself physically and mentally then it wouldn't seem like a chore and the weight loss will happen a long the way. 

Athletic Culture - AthletiCult

Link to post

I found the easiest way to start with is to use a Calorie Tracker app.  This allows you to input everything you eat and show you exactly how much you are eating Nutritionally (calories, protein, carbs etc)  Over time you will get to grip with what adds up and what will push you over.  I don't tend to use it to track exercise and I feel it over estimates how many calories you burn so to be on the safe side I set my self a limit and stick to it.  I find cutting carbs out really helps as they are so calorie rich and it also allows you to keep eating the "star" of your meals (think steak and chips... which would you rather eat out of the two?)

  • Like 1
Link to post

This is my story.  I found for me cutting out carbs, intermittent fasting, and exercising regularly was the best way to drop a bunch of weight.  I lost almost two hundred pounds following this plan.  I stuck to a diet of meat, eggs, low starch vegetables, occasional fruits. Typically I would only eat two meals a day.  I lifted weights 3 days a weeks doing 5-7 exercises 3-5 set with heavy weights only 3-5 reps finishing each workout with some sprints on the bike or rowing machine.  Opposite days of lifting of biked at the gym for as long as I could fit in at a nice and steady pace.  Everyday, I tried to walk as much as possible and climb as many stairs as possible.  I know this might not work for everyone but it's what worked for me.  Good luck.

Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

New here? Please check out our Privacy Policy and Community Guidelines