Weight Loss Advice

Soldato
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Hi folks,

I put on a significant amount of weight due to a psychiatric medication (common side effect). Now that I've nearly come off it, my weight is dropping (naturally).

I lost 3 stones (in a space of 3 months) - without exercise, mostly down to controlled eating and the fact I am nearly off medication.

I wanted to get some advice around losing the rest. Should I avoid weight training, shakes and creatine, and replace it with pure cardio?

A few years ago I used to do half and half but now my objective has changed, I wasn't sure if introducing weight training would help with the lose?
 
Man of Honour
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First off, forget anything you have ever read in Men's Health or whatever. You DO NOT need shakes, creatine or anything additional if you have a balanced diet that gives you a calorie deficit.

Secondly, get a structured routine involving both compound lifting (more than one joint) and High Intensity Interval Trainng for cardio. Weight training in a calorie deficit will help the weight fall off, and stop you wasting away into a maration runner. ;)
 
Caporegime
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Combining compounds and HIIT.
Sounds suspiciously like crossfit. Have a look and see if there is a 'box' near you then check online for reviews.
Some people sneer at crossfit but when done right it's bloody impressive :)
 
Associate
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HIIT :rolleyes:

I suppose if you run around like a maniac until it almost kills you you'll burn enough energy to help create a calorie deficit, although it's not exactly scientific.
 
Man of Honour
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HIIT :rolleyes:

I suppose if you run around like a maniac until it almost kills you you'll burn enough energy to help create a calorie deficit, although it's not exactly scientific.

Whilst there is very good science to backup high intensity interval training, what you're describing is something else. Use Google, PubMed or ScenceDirect if you're struggling. ;)

Crossfit gets a bad rep because a lot of it is odd, other bits of it are not well thought-out, and it can encourage a deleterious competitive atmosphere. This can be seen through the instances of rhabmyalosis that are actually boasted about by the Crossfit founder.

If you want a routine, I'll get back to you once I have more time. :)
 
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Surely the first question should be what is your current weight and what is your normal weight.

Take it slow.. wouldn't want you to injure your joints or be left with saggy skin!
 
Man of Honour
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Combining good weight training and HIIT is as simple as doing a good 3 day weights programme (don't make one up yourself, there are lots of good examples even on this forum - ask if you want suggestions) and doing 2-3 days with 20 mins of HIIT with the exercise of your choice (my preference will always be sprinting, but I know that isn't for everyone).


Edit:
Other examples of good weights programmes:
Stronglifts 5x5, the routine from Gordy's "beginners guide to bodybuilding"

Also,
HIIT :rolleyes:

I suppose if you run around like a maniac until it almost kills you you'll burn enough energy to help create a calorie deficit, although it's not exactly scientific.
lol
 
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Associate
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Whilst there is very good science to backup high intensity interval training, what you're describing is something else. Use Google, PubMed or ScenceDirect if you're struggling. ;)

Crossfit gets a bad rep because a lot of it is odd, other bits of it are not well thought-out, and it can encourage a deleterious competitive atmosphere. This can be seen through the instances of rhabmyalosis that are actually boasted about by the Crossfit founder.

If you want a routine, I'll get back to you once I have more time. :)

There isn't actually good science to back up HIIT for fat loss over other methods. I'd be happy to look at your peer reviewed papers but I'm sure you'll come back with Tabatas and what not. try this one to start with: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18379212

Crossfit gets a bad rap because it is crap. It is not designed to illicit specific anatomical changes in response to specific stimuli. It takes an inefficient scatter gun approach that will not address a specific weakness for the individual that may be holding back their performance.

HIIT is the same really. It does have it's uses but "HIIT" as a concept has minimal benefits over anything else and can actually have a negative effect without context of why you are using certain work and interval lengths and what these should achieve. The problem is, 95% of HIIT programs out there are just cobbled together broscience and have no explanations based in reality, not to mention they're not specific to the individual who will have different needs in a program than someone else.

Furthermore when you take someone who's in particularly bad shape and get them doing anything that's high intensity, if you don't kill them they're at the very least going to not be able to repeat it for days as the recovery would simply be too long which both hinders their desire and ability to do it at their next scheduled training session. In that instance something easier that can be done more consistently, while building up muscle mass which will naturally burn calories may be a better approach.
 
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As for fat loss specifically, if you aren't getting enough sleep, are completely stressed out from work or family or whatever, and aren't eating the way that you should then no amount of exercise is going to fix your problems. For the OP these don't seem to be a problem given that what caused the weight gain initially was medication so without it he should lose weight no matter what he does. To speed this up is rather simple:

1) measure your normal calorie intake over a week and then cut it by 300-500 a day to a slight deficit such as 2000 and stick to it. Too big of a cut too quickly will cause hormonal problems with your body trying to slow it's metabolism down to compensate. Reevaluate this every few months.

2) Slowly change your eating habits which for most people means eating more protein and fruit and vegetables and less processed food. Most people aren't able to suddenly change their diets overnight after years of habit so changing 1 or 2 things a week such as drinking water instead of carbonated soft drinks or making sure you eat breakfast each day and build these up over time.

3) Lift weights two or three times a week to maintain muscles during the weight loss as if you're using them your body will try to maintain them instead of wasting away. good beginner programs are stronglifts 5x5 and Starting strength.

4) be overall more active and do something you enjoy two or three times a week for 60-90 minutes. This could be swimming, jogging, cycling etc. personally I would do lsd (long slow distance [not Acid although it could make your workout more interesting:p] ) to start out with if your not particularly active at present. This will create a good aerobic base to aid recovery and also improve your ability to do higher intensity stuff later on if needed. The only time HIIT would be advisable in initial stages is if time is a limiting factor and you can only manage 20 mins twice a week.

The key is to build everything slowly and make it enjoyable so it's not too much of a chore, a sudden shock to the system and unsustainable. Ideally it'll be something you can continue for the rest of your life to some extent to keep the weight off and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
 
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Soldato
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Thanks, Krono.

Fortunately enough the weight will drop off (it has been for the last few months). I just cannot believe just how much I put on with it (this particular one had a reputation of inducing the most weight).

As you can imagine, I'm quite reluctant to almost kill myself at the gym (as I've had this habit before, where I just lose motivation later on).

With regards to weight training, what compound exercises should I stick to? And is it possible to lose weight while gaining muscle (I remember reading from the sticky that this simply doesn't happen)?
 
Man of Honour
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To be fair Krono, that's a decent argument against HIIT. It's definitely important to implement it correctly, and it's important to remember that it won't always be straightforward for an untrained individual to jump straight into high intensity anything.

I think it's partially advocated because it seem like the tendency of the majority is to plod along on a treadmill for 45 mins, which is far from ideal too.


OP, you've been given a few examples of good routines to follow.

As a beginner, provided your calorie deficit isn't too drastic, you might find that good training will allow you do build *some* muscle, but don't expect to be anywhere near your goal when you finish your cut.
 
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http://s3.stronglifts.com/stronglifts-5x5-report.pdf

Behind all the marketing BS is actually a fairly decent beginner program. Skip to page 41 for the actual information.

You won't put on loads of muscle while cutting as you would eating like a powerlifter but as long as your getting a good amount of protein you'll put on a very small amount. However the main advantage physiologically is with CNS activation and muscle utilization, not to mention learning proper technique. Put simply it'll allow you to maximise your strength with the muscle you currently have.
 
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*sigh*

My premise for HIIT is just the same as every other routine: done badly and it's pointless; done well (and stuck to) and it works. Just like a weight routine, strangely enough. So please don't put words in my mouth, particularly if you're making a really bad straw man. :) I just had a cursory glance at PubMed and found a number of studies explaining the relative benefits of HIIT to different types of cardio, but as I agree with your tangent, that's cool. ;)

And I explained my reasoning for not agreeing with Crossfit, but if you want to argue every point, then that's your choice.

My issue with 'cardio' is just what icecold has outlined: walking on a treadmill for 45 minutes at 4km/h is utterly pointless, in the same way as doing lat pull downs and bicep curls with 6kg is pointless.

HIIT is preferable from my perspective because I find regular vigorous cardio exercise very dull, in the same way that other people find weight training dull. Simple. It's the reason why having a programme review every few weeks is an important part of each programme: find out what works and what doesn't. ;)
 
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