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  1. #1
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    Fall/winter weight management thread

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    Just thought I'd start a conversation for anyone who's working on weight loss or maintenance. As most of us head into the colder months and we face holidays featuring candy, cake, big dinners, parties, etc., it can be tough for most people to stay on track and meet their goals. I can't offer a spreadsheet to help people track their weight each week like we've had in the past, because I know I'll never have time to keep it up to date. But please chime in if you'd like advice or support, need to vent, want to share a success story, etc.


    I won't bore you with the details, but in the past year I've been fighting weight creep -- a few pounds here, a few pounds there, lose a few, gain them back, etc. Right now I'm about 5-6 pounds more than I was, though at times it's been closer to 10 pounds too much. I know that's not a huge gain, but the extra weight is concentrated in one area, making too many of my clothes too tight to wear. And I did not enjoy shopping for a new dress for a wedding that I'll be attending this weekend.

    I try to follow Nancy Clark's advice about fueling well during breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack, then cutting back on calories at dinner. But I guess I've cut too much at dinner, because I end up eating candy afterwards. I've tried not buying any candy, but then I end up eating too much of some other sweet, like dried fruit or granola bars. (I seem to have developed adult-onset sweet tooth, since I never had much of a taste for candy or dessert until the last couple of years.) I've also made an effort to eat more protein-rich foods in the past year or so, to help with recovery after bike rides. I've worked on substituting protein for carbs rather than adding calories, which I would think would be better for weight management. I don't think it's helped, though.

    Anyway, enough of my ramblings. Anyone else have a story to tell?

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  2. #2
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    Feb 2005
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    I've been thinking about this, too. Late last winter/early spring, I went back to the Mediterranean type diet, almost vegetarian, and gave up any return to Paleo. It does not work for me. That, and the onset of cycling season and commuting got me right back to the weight I want to be at. Like you, it's not a lot, but when I get to 109-110 it's the danger zone for me, at 5 foot, almost 1 inch. I do a lot of exercising during the winter, but when I cross country ski, it makes me ravenous, just like long rides. I do eat a lot afterwards, as if I don't, I just feel awful. I do try and eat just the normal stuff in my house.
    So, since I got back from Portugal, almost immediately, my weight has crept up. I was fine when i immediately got back, despite all of the eating, because of the riding AND walking at least 5 miles most days. We've had some rainy/windy days where I couldn't ride and there was nothing at the gym, either. And, my job has me sitting, even despite getting up between each client. It's disturbing for me, because I don't want to deal with this every winter. I don't do a lot of holiday parties and stuff, and I don't restrict myself at Thanksgiving. I think it's the subtle changes in the nature of my activity and I do find myself wanting more food of the comfort variety.
    My gym has no classes I like on Saturday morning, and often when we just do a ski day on Sunday, I end up going for a short hike or snow shoe, or riding the trainer (intervals) on Saturday. I just found out the instructor of my boot camp does an Insanity class at the Boys and Girls Club in another town; it's 10.00 drop in fee. I may try it. I wouldn't go every week, as it's not really close to my house, about 10 miles. It is frustrating, and I am very aware of it, since the scale has not made me happy this week.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Each woman finds the best or better journey that works for them. I say "woman" because most definitely as part of the aging process, menopause/perimenopause can affect our metabolism each decade forward.

    I've accepted (abit resignedly) that this is what one must deal with every year ..for the rest of our lives. I do gain up to approx.5- 6 lbs. by the end of the winter --and each winter it has varied..for the lst 14 years of cycling, I stopped cycling in the winter Nov.-early Apr. and simply walked/took transit daily when I lived in Toronto. This covers lst few years of returning to cycling as an adult.

    Now it seems increasingly harder past few years ... when I'm actually exercising abit more in the winter where I live in Calgary (Alberta) because...I DO cycle several times per wk. even if only 50% less distance because of the pavement conditions and very cold winter temperatures. This is a drastic change from when I lived in Toronto. Where I live, is the coldest winter region I've ever lived in my life so far in Canada with winters that are longer. We still got snow in this early May. A lot of the long-time locals were complaining too.

    When I lived in Vancouver it was the same winter weight gain, but only slightly moderated because I was cycling several times / wk. and longer distances but in warmer winters with more rain. One thing I learned was that I must eat supper no later than 7:00 pm or even earlier because I gain weight. It happened when I lived and commuted to construction job site for 3 years during part of my Vancouver years. I didn't eat anything for lunch beyond a fruit, and couldn't eat dinner until 8:00 pm. after a 1.5 hr. long walk-transit-bike (parked in a locker at a station) commute. And I gained weight! It was a bizarre weight experience.

    So for the past few years I eat around 6:00 pm or earlier because my job ends at 4:00 pm and I live a few km. from work.

    My diet changes over the years: ....I'm eating more sweets than I did 20 years ago. So that's habit I have to watch. I haven't been eating white rice much (except 5-6 times annually) for the past 7 years because its high GI causes a sugar crash (which I don't feel when I have a cookie...maybe I'm not paying attention). I've cut down my white bread consumption overall in the last 25 years..down to maybe equivalent of 1-2 items per wk.

    This year, my annual cycling mileage is probably a lot less by several hundred km. because I haven't done a cycling loaded tour than ran more than 3 days long ..and just less longer trips locally but still cycling daily because I don't have a car. I am not certain why my weight kept @ right level. Not clear. I often cycle daily....because I must...to work, to shop and do errands. Cycling just for fitness tends to happen by adding on extra km. after work or on weekends by extending a bike ride while I'm heading towards a shopping mall at the edge of the city from downtown where I live. Often I am cycling with pannier weight. This alone is probably the happiest "deception" for myself, in terms of combining chores + exercise/cycling out of utilitarian necessity. It keeps my body gently stoked for cycling during the winter.

    So I keep wearing certain pairs of dress pants, jeans and shorts..um...sorry..for past decade or so, to remind myself subtly instead of just relying on weigh scale. Honest, it keeps me on weight management path in the right direction ..if I still want to wear my black jeans (which I do 50% of time on the job), walking shorts, etc.

    I have never counted calories in my life and could not live via weight watchers points (which I hear about from someone at work). For me, it would add another "counting" obsession which would suck the joy of eating just good, tastefully prepared food. I stress that's just me. If it works for you, great! I just gravitate towards food that is generally (though not always perfectly) healthy. I probably prepare home dishes to eat...that are based on about 25 different recipes which I vary a lot in terms of certain ingredients/techniques on a whim/creative urge. I don't even call half of what I prepare "recipes", because much of it was taught by my mother. Over 50% of what I prepare..is what I was fed...as a child/teen which was Asian healthy. Thank you mother!!! I'm just too lazy to try 50 more different recipes because half of this stuff works for me already. But hey, always open to a new healthy dish to memorize and add to my repertoire.

    Right now, it's snowing big fluffy flakes. First snowfall of..mid-autumn here.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 11-01-2014 at 01:39 PM.
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    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  4. #4
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    Shootingstar - like you, the joy of eating good food plays into it for me as well. Where my downfall is weight wise is all the other, not great food... the day to day "what am I eating for lunch/I am so sick of sandwiches/ none of this sounds good" stuff. I found an organic raw meal replacement shake I'm going to try this winter. I'm so sick of trying to plan for/decide on/and consume most breakfasts and lunches that I'm going to give this other stuff a try... at least if it's not great tasting stuff I didn't have to expend any energy prepping it.

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  5. #5
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    And every year, it has been cycling longer and more frequently after each winter to burn off the extra lbs. On a small person like myself, every lb. added on every year, becomes noticeable very fast.

    But I know I won't be able tocycle off as a weight maintenance activity, for the rest of my life..ie. cycling into my um...80's. Yea, well...who knows. I'm not going to bank my future on that one.

    So I haven't figured out yet other exercise stuff that I love. I've been very inconsistent on the yoga, stretching exercises.. In terms of snowsports, I only go out snowshoeing several times per winter in the mountains..so I don't really see that as keeping me fit in a way to manage my weight. In fact, it's cycling in the winter, that helps in snowshoeing fitness and endurance in the mountains. I'm not keen to snowshoe here locally...it's flat land and blowing snow across prairie land!

    Hence, my earlier ramble about my eating habits and changes I've made gradually over the years --both good and bad. Pax, I try to approach cooking creatively. I don't take it uber seriously..and hence, I allow myself to be creative with certain dishes. We end up with some weird food dish combinations for some meals. For me, part of cooking....truly to me is abit of cultural retention....I've lost so much of Chinese speaking fluency, born in North America, yet I have parents where mother can only speak Chinese. So what is my cultural connection/retention when they die? It is how I look racially and.... food and how I prepare it. So part of it is ME wanting to practice something that is intuitive to me because I grew up with it...but I do stuff my mother wouldn't do...sauteeing fennel with tomatoes flavoured with a bit of soy sauce, etc. It's a lovely gentle sour-sweet take.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 11-01-2014 at 04:42 PM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  6. #6
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    I grew up with Midwestern and Southern cooking, neither of which I learned other than cook a lot of meat and starch and use a ton of fat - bacon grease/butter/lard etc.

    My honey is primarily vegetarian and is quite happy eating whole raw foods; needless to say, there is very little cooking going on in our house.

    Electra Townie 7D

  7. #7
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    I love to cook, and I am very disciplined when it comes to eating. However, I am not a total control freak about it, either. I go out a lot, but I try to plan for it, with exercise and lighter meals the next day. I can't imagine not enjoying food, eating, cooking, going to restaurants. I plan 4-5 meals a week, mostly vegetarian, fish, or chicken. I hate eating the same things over and over and I dislike having a lot of left overs. If I make extra, it will be OK for lunch, or frozen, but not for dinner again in the same week. The only pastries I eat are for really special occasions, or when I am in Europe. I only eat dessert once a week, if at all, but I do have 2 squares of dark chocolate daily and I have a glass of wine probably 5X a week. It doesn't seem to make any difference if I stop both of those things.
    I go to boot camp 2X a week at the gym all year round. It's a complement to riding, as well as x country skiing and snow shoeing. Shooting Star, I do go snow shoeing locally, right out of my door. It's not flat, but not the same as being in the true mountains. But, it's better than nothing. I used to go to spin class quite a bit more in the winter. Now I only go occasionally and use my trainer at home. I do 30-45 minutes of intervals, which is all I can stand. I just have to up the intensity this year. It's really frustrating.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    I am in :-)

    I spent between 30-50 between 50-90 pounds heavier than I am now. I am 5'3, small frame, and carry MOST of my weight in my belly (and b*obs) so I looked far heavier than I was. Several autoimmune conditions, NO thyroid (removed at 25), and a sedentary lifestyle all contributed. As I look back, my diet wasn't all that bad and things wouldn't have gotten out of control if I hadn't driven a taxi between 1998-2003. The more I tried to work with the traditional American "low-fat" diet that everyone recommended, the heavier I became and eventually developed diabetes 2. The jury is still out whether I crossed that line or not - but I was able to reverse the condition. I know, however, that I need to be vigilant to prevent the return.

    For me, I found that the Paleo/Primal lifestyle worked for me. I've been between 125-128 consistently for over 3 years now, and am currently exploring/researching dietary impacts on autoimmune disease - there has been a lot of good research on this recently. I also would like to cut my weight a bit for a competition I have on Jan. 31. I am unsure how realistic it is for me to cut 10 pounds between now and then and still be able to perform. The weight classes for the particular Kettlebell Association (there are several, each with different weight classes) competition are large. I would prefer to be at the top of my weight class rather than the bottom 4th as I currently am. I've also noted that I can't seem to get my weight below 125 and keep it there at my current activity level - so it is probably an unrealistic short-term goal. Retaining my strength/endurance/improving both are move important that hitting the 54 KG weight class, if I remain in the 59 KG class then so be it.

    I train in kettlebell lifting 3 times a week, an hour each time. One day a week I focus on cardio-endurance - which normally involves a kettlebell or two OR features a rower/stair-mill combination. Wish my neck would allow riding, but that is life. I am thankful to still be able to do all I do!

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Do you know your body fat percentage Catrin? I find that to be a good tool to decide how much weight I can realistically lose for a particular event. If you're 128 and 20% BF losing 10 pounds of fat (because you don't want to lose your muscle you need that for your event!) would put you at 12%. Not realistic. But if you're at 25% losing 10 pounds of fat would drop you down to about 17% - not so unrealistic.

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  10. #10
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    Yup, my weight may go up and down 5 lbs., but when my bodyfat goes above 18% I know I'm in serious trouble. It's very consistent, always between 15 and 18%.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pax View Post
    I grew up with Midwestern and Southern cooking, neither of which I learned other than cook a lot of meat and starch and use a ton of fat - bacon grease/butter/lard etc.

    My honey is primarily vegetarian and is quite happy eating whole raw foods; needless to say, there is very little cooking going on in our house.
    Kudos to you, Pax because you've had to turn away from the past to something more healthy for self.
    Guess what? I seldom make salads. It's a carryover...from past where I grew up, seldom eating homemade salads at home. It's dearie, he's the one that can throw together salads in all sorts of combinations (rarely without a recipe) and it tastes good. Includes his homemade yogurt dressings. Most of the time it tastes great. Some weird combinations. I try it anyway.

    Salad making doesn't come naturally to me. I actually cook lightly a lot of veggie dishes. So yes, I can invent a light stir fry out of whatever veggies and it does taste decent. Some of the veggies just aren't conducive to raw eating: boy choy, gai lan, all the different Chinese mustard greens, bitter melon (which is healthy in small doses), etc. Even lotus root or butternut squash, needs cooking. Pax, maybe your partner knows something.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 11-02-2014 at 08:06 AM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veronica View Post
    Do you know your body fat percentage Catrin? I find that to be a good tool to decide how much weight I can realistically lose for a particular event. If you're 128 and 20% BF losing 10 pounds of fat (because you don't want to lose your muscle you need that for your event!) would put you at 12%. Not realistic. But if you're at 25% losing 10 pounds of fat would drop you down to about 17% - not so unrealistic.

    Veronica
    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    Yup, my weight may go up and down 5 lbs., but when my bodyfat goes above 18% I know I'm in serious trouble. It's very consistent, always between 15 and 18%.
    That is what is SOOOOO frustrating to me about all of this. No matter what I do, no mater how hard I work, or how clean I eat, my BF% remains between 29-30%. I still have an apple shape. I don't have a thyroid (though I do take a replacement & we keep an eye on that), and I've had two abdominal surgeries - the first one involved an old fashioned style open surgery where all of those muscles were cut all the way across. I've also had people ask me how accurate the BF tool was because it doesn't make sense that someone my size/weight has that much BF. A BodPod was used for that analysis, and the same one was used over a couple of years and always had the same basic reading. At what point do we have to accept that perhaps our genetics won't allow us to go where we want? I CAN do much more than the average 55 year old woman...

    I also know what happens when I add more carbs and cut my dietary fat - my weight skyrockets, my weight is MUCH more stable (and my energy levels) as Paleo. It is also very possible that food sensitivities are responsible, so I am currently working on some elimination experiments. Food sensitivities typically lead to inflammation which leads to other problems - one of which is hanging on to stubborn body fat. So, we will see.

  13. #13
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    Shootingstar - I think she must, she's 55, post menopausal, 5'1 and weighs 102. She's not as strong as she was at 30 but she's in the best shape of her life. Her one big dietary change after eating vegetarian for several several years was to stop eating most grains and dairy, and not eating dinner. She's really happy with her energy levels and stable body weight... I hope to join her in that at some point.

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  14. #14
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    I could not give up dinner (or any meal). I know my limits with grains and I am ravenously hungry when I totally cut them out, even when I up my protein. Catrin, I do think genetics play a role (as I sit here waiting for DS and DIL to meet me for brunch). Have you thought of having the real scientific body fat test? I know it's expensive, but maybe just getting an accurate reading once would help.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    I could not give up dinner (or any meal). I know my limits with grains and I am ravenously hungry when I totally cut them out, even when I up my protein. Catrin, I do think genetics play a role (as I sit here waiting for DS and DIL to meet me for brunch). Have you thought of having the real scientific body fat test? I know it's expensive, but maybe just getting an accurate reading once would help.
    I agree with Crankin, I wouldn't give up any meal. Now, it is also true that some in the Paleo community have found Intermittent Fasting to be helpful - but the idea there isn't to cut calories but to decrease the "eating window", so to speak. Some who practice this do it daily, some do it a couple times a week. For example, someone may choose to only eat one meal or two meals a day, but to get in all of their calories in that time. Research appears to indicate that this approach works better for men than women, although some women swear by it. I tried it once and my body couldn't seem to handle the increased calories for the meals I did eat.

    Crankin, yeah, I suspect my Eastern Euro & Scot genes are partly to blame here, and the rest likely to do with not having a reproductive system (no HRT), and no thyroid. I've always had to work harder than the average bear to get my body's attention. I agree that getting the real scientific test would likely be helpful and at some point I may do that. Right now my approach is to make certain that my diet is what it should be, fuel my activities, as well as to uncover and deal with any food sensitivity issues that may still remain. I've a few that are known about and not all have symptoms that would seem related to diet. In the end I may just have to accept that I will always be a bit....fluffy, but I want to do all I can within reason first. Abdominal fat deposits are known to be correlated with nasty things like diabetes, and worse.

    I AM adding an additional kettlebell workout on Sunday afternoons that targets metabolic drive and body fat. Also, with winter coming, I don't want my Sunday workout to be something that I MUST go to the gym for - I've enough toys at home and I want to take advantage of them when the snow flies. My coach has given me a workout that revolves around 500 single arm kettlebell swings that are mixed with low rep body weight exercises with my Jungle Gym/TRX in between sets. I would LIKE to work out 5 days a week, but I've noted that at this point in my life that 5th day makes it difficult to recover properly. With an impaired shoulder, I need to be smart about all of this. It is all well and good if I go to the competition in January and dominate in my class (assuming there are any other women there at my weight who are lifting as light as I will be), but destroy my shoulder by not allowing enough rest would not be good...
    Last edited by Catrin; 11-02-2014 at 10:17 AM.

 

 

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