How the advocate for yourself at the doctor's office

In most cases overexercise won’t help people lose weight more permanently. While cutting portion sizes read cutting calories is a much better approach for a longer-term weight loss.

Yo-Yo dieting with exercise is worse than staying the same weight.

Who …other than you … has mentioned over exercising? Certainly not I. That would make no more sense than an ultra low calorie starvation diet.

It’s totally possible to build a sustainable energy deficit with exercise, or calorie restriction or a combination of both. Granted, it’s harder with exercise but still totally possible without overexercising.

We are talking about very overweight people. I have seen hundreds of them attempting to lose weight. It is obsessive in its nature. When a majority of them focus on exercise it remains an obsessive goal.

If what you’re describing is totally accurate, it’s not an indication that exercise doesn’t work or that " inactivity makes very little difference to weight gain" (your words) … but rather you’ve witnessed a bunch of people who haven’t found a way to exercise appropriately. DOIN’ IT WRONG, in other words. Rarely a recipe for success in any venture.

The exercise is not so much the problem. The hunger pains are the problem. That is why the drugs now used are working they cut the hunger down. Exercise often increases hunger.

In the scheme of things if I exercise for an hour and burn 250 calories give or take my hunger increases. I can very easily eat more than 250 calories and not be satisfied.

Again in a room full of obese people very worried and obsessed over their weight that is a recipe for disaster or failure. Even if weight is lost it is not a new eating behavior.

“Just doing it right” does not exist for most of them. Appropriately in my case would have been that 250 calorie burn for walking over two miles. It still has be done. Do not get me wrong. But doing it obsessively would be totally counter productive.

Now trying telling hugely overweight people not to be obsessive. That is even harder.

Oh, given the right circumstances, so could I…so I don’t put myself in a situation where it’s likely.

I tried a diet once. A real, gen-U-ine weight loss diet. Specifically a “cutting” diet designed to preserve muscle and lose fat in preparation for a figure competition.

It was back in about 2008/9 and it started as a discussion on a fitness instructor/PT online forum I used…at around this time of the year, as it happened … and concerned strategies to help class members/clients who were focused on weight management to “holiday proof” their bodies with the upcoming Season of Excess just around the corner. Lots of useful back and forth concerning exercise/lack of/unaccounted-for sitting etc. Lots of stuff I hadn’t even thought of.

Anyhoo, along with the different backgrounds we all came from, a few of the GRRRLZ were registered dieticians and the convo turned to their experiences with “diets” and it turned out that, for each of them at their different schools, it was mandatory for them every semester to follow “a” diet for 3 weeks. Whether they needed to or not. Just to experience what they were prescribing for patients/clients. One of them suggested that, if any of us hadn’t dieted, we should give it a shot. Never one to turn down a challenge, I did

Long story still long, it was a diet plan from Oxygen magazine…1600-1700 Cals a day, 120 gms or so of protein, remainder healthy fats and non starchy veg and fruit. Suited me fine (protein higher than usual for me, but no big deal) Or so I thought. I prepared by purchasing and wearing a cheap pedometer (no wearables back then) and logged my daily step count from about 11 am onwards for a few days beforehand.

Started the first week of January…and gave up before the second week was done. Although I couldn’t rightly claim hunger (highish protein and adequate fat) food was on my mind all the time. Also, my daily background movement…non exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) dropped by about 5000 steps without me even being aware. I lost about 1lb. A miserable experience…but, does it mean that “diets don’t work”? Of course not.

What it does mean is that changing behaviour and the Cals in:Cals out equation provokes compensatory behaviour change which, if it’s not compensated for can scupper even the best, most rational weight loss strategy.

So, WRT exercise and increasing hunger…don’t overexercise for your fitness level. Get fit first…and then get fitter. For someone straight off the couch, if an hour of exercise provokes hunger, start with 20 minutes (or 15…or 10)…and at an intensity that’s manageable. Burning the 250 extra Cals in an hour can wait until it’s doable. Cope with any residual hunger pangs or urge to eat (not necessarily the same thing) in exactly the same way that you do when cutting calories. Pre plan and, if necessary, pre prep.

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Never one to turn down a challenge…

So, starting the beginning of last month, I discovered and joined a Facebook group …The Strong Bones Challenge. It’s a mixed group of mainly women, a good many with diagnoses of osteoporosis/osteopenia who’re looking for “safe” bone loading exercises and a good many without, but who are being proactive with their exercise regimen and bone health.

I’ve picked up a lot of tips in just one month …and also learned that, even when you’re fit (and nowhere near even osteopenia, thank gawd), it’s still possible to do too much too soon where a new exercise is concerned.

Appropriate exercise prescription, appropriately dosed=😀

Any variation on that =☹️

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This might shock you but I am fit.

I have worked diets for decades not just a one-week effort.

Most diets fail entirely.

I have successfully dieted during the pandemic.

Your writing though brought up something. When I am stubborn I have higher levels of success. I did not known what to do with my stubborn side at the current time. That connection to my successful dieting efforts matters.

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Well, to be honest, it does…but only because of the way you refer to exercise and, most recently, your concern over your upcoming stress test (not the result but the execution) among other things.

Mind you, “fit” means different things to different people. At one point a few years ago, my husband…in order to suggest that my level of fitness wasn’t necessary…would say that he was “fit for the life he leads” (having been very athletic in his youth). Which, in fact, included a lot of time sitting (in meetings, with patients, at the lab bench/computer etc) or standing (procedures)…and occasionally walking. He reckoned he was active enough.

So, I called his bluff and bought a FitBit Zip for a Christmas stocking stuffer. He fired it up and wore it for a few days and was hugely impressed with his step count of around 3000 steps. I do believe he thought I was kidding when I told him that was darn near sedentary. Got something of a light bulb moment when we went to Costco at the weekend and he put it on and was amazed that just walking around racked up 6000 and an extra walk around the nabe in the evening topped 10,000 easily.

Only got truly converted when he faced down the Grim Reaper nearly 5 years ago and his spell of barely being able to hit 200 steps without setting off alarms in the hospital after his bioBentall procedure. Then he realized that the gift of being able to move freely was a privilege not to be piddled on…and fortunately it wasn’t too late.

Having a little bit of extra reserve under the hood is no different from having a well funded retirement portfolio and a decent emergency fund.


I stretch endlessly. I strengthen endlessly but with low resistance. I walk a lot.

I am very demanding for much more out of myself that colors what I am saying.

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Someone must be stalking me because, right on cue, this drifts across my radar screen…

That was interesting. Very possible and still not an either/or. It is a partial answer.

I had so much muscle when I began to lose the 50 pounds I could afford to ride. Meaning lose say 37 pounds of fat and 13 pounds of muscle.

Afterward, I went back in the gym and put on a quick 5-plus pounds of muscle. Going further I began to gain 5 pounds of weight against my 50-pound drop. So I was only down 45 pounds. I stayed there.

Over 1.5 years later I had insomnia for the better part of 6 weeks with a topic for psoriasis. That is where the other 7 pounds crept in. I have been stable at 38 pounds down net now for months.

I am going back to the gym now. I will do high rep, high set, and low weight resistance so as not to bulk up and to gain a lot of strength back. I am hardly weak do not guess that. I am strong. I can increase my strength a lot.

The idea is to bring my hormones and metabolism into a younger state with weightlifting. The PT guided my weightlifting program.

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