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This is about my fitness and my effort to make it right.

Current Fitness:

Working male 24 years with 214 pounds in US. I have a male breasts and also a big tummy. I suffered from asthma for a long time. Did gym for a brief period of 2 months and left it afterwards because of work pressure.
Now 2 years after my last effort I went to gym and I ran @4mph for 30 mins burning 220 calories on the treadmill. I did it for 3 days and left it as I felt too tired to do anything afterwards. In an effort to control diet I did my best to limit calories for a while (just limit not on a hunger strike). It went well for some time, but then my diet, work, gym efforts all messed up together and fell apart.
I read many diet articles and completely messed up. I have nobody to guide me in weights. The only exercise I can do is treadmill and cycling. I am not sure which exercises I should be doing. I am just not confident of looking into websites for guidance because I don't follow what they say and also not sure at what weight to begin with and what pattern to follow.
My life is a mess now with no friends and no one to share. But luckily I don't drink and eat cheese. So I have nobody to ask for help except you. I feel sometime difficult to breathe after like 3 floors of steps

These are my problems;

When I come back after work 7-7 Including travel I am too tired to even walk to gym.
With all my efforts if I go to gym I do very little and nothing else other than treadmill.
After that when I come back my life is a pause as I am totally tired I am not sure what to eat what not to eat on a daily basis.

My problem is 3 phased:

  1. Mentally i feel I am not worth of anything except work. So my priority goes to at least sticking to my job and I feel just too tired after work to go to gym
  2. I don't eat vegetables at all and I tried several times. I can be without food but cannot eat veggies. I like only spicy foods. (my diet includes rice or frozen chapatis, chicken, bread and some side has little oil and eggs and coffee with milk 3 times a day. but don't drink any carbonated drinks). Some days I feel like not to eat and someday to eat a lot.
  3. Gym - I just don't have any idea of what type of exercises to do. I am not sure what and where to start. Specially what weights to begin and what types of exercises are available.

Solution:

  1. I feel only if someone gives me confidence any body who can give me confidence and how to prepare mentally to go to gym.
  2. I want to hear from YOU what is the correct diet to follow. Give me exactly in terms of actual food. I am so confused with so many diets around. Please specify, I will follow blindly all these everyday, something I can take into confidence directly. (e.g never eat rice - OK I will stop; eat 1 egg everyday without oil - OK, done)
  3. Give me a good gym routine like:
    run 30 1day.
    do 40 pound exercise of this every other day etc then increase by 5 after a months.
    eat this before gym so that you can do gym.
    or I read somewhere we should eat half out immediately after gym something like that.
  4. How to feel energized to gym after coming home. Sleeping for one hour is not an option as it affects my sleeping pattern.

I know this is too much to ask for. I am just confused and I am not doing anything at all. Help me if possible else please don't abuse me it will only let me down in trying to get better. I have tried and failed several times but don't want to give up. I was thinking if someone with true knowledge can tell me something. I can believe it better than my own research and do it blindly. Then get some results and get some confidence and I can build myself later.

I am not in a position to consult any physician or somebody. Its just you, me and Internet.

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Take a look at this answer to a similar question, it might help. –  Baarn Nov 9 '12 at 6:37
    
You have some good answers here. In addition, be sure to check with your doctor esp. given that you have asthma. Your doctor can give you a specific diet to follow. Your doctor may also find other reasons for your fatigue that can be treated. Also, because you say you feel confused, lack confidence and feel worthless except for work, these would be important to tell your doctor. Getting help from your doctor in addition to following the suggestions here should have you well on your way to getting back in shape. Good luck. –  BackInShapeBuddy Nov 10 '12 at 3:25
    
I think you would be interested in joining our nutrition proposal here: area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/44550/nutrition –  Mew Jan 1 '13 at 2:31
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4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I am pretty much in your position and can understand where you are coming from. If you are ready for some straightforward answer than you can read on.

Step 1: Get yourself checked for all possible tests and diagnosis to confirm if you have already done some damage or not. I was diagnosed with Impaired Glucose Tolerance.

Step 2: Start hating yourself plain and simple. This is part of mental conditioning that will help you pick up a routine and continue it.

Step 3: Choose smart work-outs which can help you burn more calories in less time. Most important you need to do weight and strength training unlike most who will only do cardio. Try to hit 10 calories per minute in whatever you do whether treadmill or elliptical and do no more than 200 at a time.

For instance: While walking/jogging on treadmill always walk at the maximum incline with slightly lesser speed, you should never run on top inclination though to avoid damaging knee. While in elliptical always go for maximum resistance.

Target burning around 100-150 calories in less than 10 mins. I do about 200 in 10 mins on elliptical.

Cardio (100+ cal/10min) - Weight (4 sets) - Cardio (50+ cal/10min) - Weight (4 sets) - Cardio (100+ cal/10min)

You need to work out each body part daily instead of doing isolation exercise. 1 exercise each for Legs, Back, Chest, Shoulder, Triceps, Biceps, Abs and Calf.

Step 4: Drink Right: As far as possible drink lukewarm water and enough of it to keep you well hydrated. Preferably start your day after drinking mixture of lime and honey in warm water.

Eat Right - Have around 5 meals per day and never skip breakfast and not eat beyond 8 pm. Avoid sin foods. Once in couple of weeks pig-out at whatever you want and again re-inculcate the guilt feeling and hatred.

Step 5: Weigh yourself daily. Weighing is also an art, you need to weigh yourself at the same time every day after similar routine. I prefer weighing after every workout. This gives me instant feedback and motivates me.

Step 6: Keep a gym log. You can use your smartphone to track your progress and also your routine. I use jefit

Step 7: Remember every one has a unique body and it responds separately so you need to keep evolving your routine.

Step 8 Sleep well at the very least 7 hours per day

This is not run of the mill advice and has many things which goes against the so-called norms.

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+1 for the right tone and covering all the bases. I personally would do whole-body movements instead of separating the body parts into different exercises, but that's quibbling. Nice answer. –  Dave Liepmann Nov 9 '12 at 17:54
    
This is good if you want to turn "healthy life" into a mission. I'd rather go with solutions that solve the problem without actually "mind"ing the whole process. I like to develop a healthy life... instinct. Less intrusive than keeping logbooks. I'd rather use that part of my attention to keep a diary or write poetry or code. –  unmircea Nov 10 '12 at 8:29
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The reason for logs is to create an exercise routine and then simply follow it. Keep mind uncluttered from remembering what exercise to follow next on the gym floor. Healthy life is the sole motto. –  PravinCG Nov 10 '12 at 8:47
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I'll be blunt. Your true problem is lifestyle. It's your lifestyle, your behavior, that causes your body to be the way it is.

You won't be able to see this reading your own text, because you are instinctively looking for one solution, or two... or six while the actual real fix would require several partial solutions applied consistently throughout.

Rule number 1:

  1. Diet. When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use, when diet is correct, medicine is of no need.

No processed foods of any kind. That includes many cooked foods, that use white flour, any kind or machine or human processing... Once you start doing this, you will see that without processed food, there isn't that much "to eat" out there. There are only vegetables and fruit, meat, animal products (milk eggs etc). You should eat mainly vegetables and fruit, some meat, little animal products.

Don't think... It's a modern illusion that you have to LIKE what you eat. Everything has it's own taste, it's own "like". There is no particular reason to choose one over the other unless you use your brain to make reasons (i like spicy, i only eat red fruit, more sugar).

Eat everything and anything, try something new every time. No processed foods of any kind. You should eat mainly vegetables and fruit, some meat, little animal products.

Not all the food has to be cooked. One, maximum two cooked meals a day, the rest should be raw. A carrot... buy it, clean it, peal it, eat it. In the middle of the day... one tomato... buy, wash, eat. Raw broccoli... buy it, wash it, eat it raw. One of each... buy, wash, eat. No brainer, if you don't think about it.

Rule number 2:

  1. Exercise. Pick up sports.

Avoid "meaning"less exercise, like going to the gym, running circles around. There is no point or meaning in this behavior other than "a quick fix to the weight problem".

People know this instinctively, that's why they add meaning to their exercises! => with sports.

That's right... Playing soccer with friends beats waving your hands and feet pointlessly with extra weight on them while thinking "i'm doing this to lose weight". I'm not saying you won't get results from going to the gym but it's only your body that gets fixed, your mind will be bored, while looking at the same stuff every second.

Play sports, see people, meet people... who knows what might happen. That's the reason why the "mind" takes the "body" for an exercise... who knows what might happen.

If you go to the gym... the "mind" already knows what might happen... "nothing"... does happen... you move in a room 2 hours every other day.

You can add meaning to your exercise by:

  • Walking... to work.

  • Running... from work, on your way home.

  • Bike... to and from work

  • Play sports... with friends and strangers alike. Most sports have strict rules. These, believe it or not mean you won't get into awkward situations while playing with strangers.

PS. It's not about confidence, this is just your brain finding even more reasons to avoid changing it's ways. It's not about anything, don't think about it and all "something" goes puff into thin air.

PPS. Believe it or not... the best advice one can give is "Don't think, do!". If you want change.... change your behavior... rewrite your brain with new experience, new movement, new friends. Some will tell you it's hard or easy, but it's not either hard NOR easy... it just IS... it takes time... it takes space... it takes YOURSELF to change you, both mind and body.

So... get in there! Everybody's waiting on you!

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The formating of your answer makes it hard to read. Uppercase and bold type drag the attention away from the rest of the sentence. For me personally, your answer is nearly unreadable, as my eyes always jump to the next uppercase or bold part, even if I try to read the stuff in between. –  Baarn Nov 9 '12 at 7:14
    
I care. I even took the time to change my ways... –  unmircea Nov 9 '12 at 7:26
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Thanks :) I agree with the part about liking food, I actually convinced myself to like everything some years ago, there really is no food I dislike. Of course there are some foods I fancy more than others but even things I hated before, like caraway, are OK now. (I actually like caraway a lot now) –  Baarn Nov 9 '12 at 7:30
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I find strict nutrition and exercise plans not very helpful because they are often very bias toward the personality of those who give them. That's nothing bad but sometimes it can get somewhat religious (don't touch processed food it's the devil work).

The best approach for loosing weight I have found till now is "The Hacker's diet" by John Walker. It's available for free with everything you need provided. I used some of the approaches to drop 20kg over 1 year (while eating all kinds of stuff basilmir would send me to hell for ^^).

A short summary of that approach: The premise is the known fact that to loose weight your body needs to use up more energy than it gets from the food you eat. So you can either reduce what you eat and try to burn more. By a simple comparison of effort it's much easier to reduce food than to try to burn enough calories to drop weight ("I ran @4mph for 30 mins burning 220 calories in tread mills" thats less than 5 oreos provide for). The only way to make sure you eat less than you need is to measure it. Calorie counting is tedious and calories are also not a very good measure for food (my personal opinion). So the approach of the hackers diet is to measure the thing you want change so the basic weight control measure is to check your weight regularly and act accordingly.

To sports: Sports are great to make you feel better, probably live longer and maybe make your overall life easier (stairs) but not for loosing weight (see comparison above). So I would agree with basilmir on that. Play sports you like, use it to meet new people, join a club do it for fun. There is no use in running to an expensive gym in order to loose weight when you don't change your diet or just don't go because you don't like it. If you don't want to go anywhere to do sports there is a simplified version of the 5BX program in the hacker's diet which I didn't do (I played sports) but it's a very time friendly program (10-15min per day) with an included progression and has been used by the RCAF from 1961-2008.

Summary: Exercise can help you feel better about your body and help you loose weight but it's not key to loosing weight. From my experience it doesn't matter what you eat as long as you eat less energy than your body needs (provided your diet includes all nutrients you need).

@basilmir I agree with most of what you said I just think dogmatic rule hurt more than they help. If I don't like to eat something why should I spend my precious time on this earth forcing it down my throat just because someone said it's healthy? And why when I sometimes eat something that tastes good but is condemned as unhealthy should I feel bad? Where is the fun in that?

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There are some good advice above so I'll be short. I think you should take a look at http://www.bodyrock.tv/. If you haven't tried this before, it could be a good option for you. They have good, free, short but intense workouts that you can do at home (no need to drag yourself to the gym!) with little equipment needed. A lot of people (including myself and my boyfriend) have lost weight doing only those workouts when getting back from work. It's usually 8-12 minutes and your done! They also have a section on food and diet and there's a community of "bodyrockers" which can be inspirational for you.

I know there is a lot of other website like this one, but I can tell you from my own experience and my academic background that their workouts are well structured. The videos are easy to follow (and I'll admit, nice to look at!) and the trainers take the time to explain the exercices. If you can find the workouts done by Freddy, they are probably going to be the best for you. Start with the beginner's level.

As always, start slowly, maybe every other day, listen to your body and don't push too hard the first time, since you seem to be deconditionned. And most of all, have fun with it!

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