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The 6 Year Gut

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
When I went to Uni I was a fine figure of a man - a gleaming adonis carved from rippling muscle, a vision in masculinity.

However, 6 years on I have a beer belly. This was fun for a while, I invested a lot of time and money in this bad boy. But now it's time to lose it. It's not huge, but I'm certainly carrying a few extra pounds below the belly button and round the waist.

How do I lose it. i've heard long slow jogs are the fat-burning business, but any other tips from you seasoned pros?

Pass me a bottle, Mr Jones...
post #2 of 62
I'm not the fitness guru here, but I'll provide my personal program.

I try to mix long slow runs and long bike rides with intense exercise (sprints, soccer, fast paced mountain biking, or ultimate frisbee). On top of that I do circuit weight training. I find that the long/slow stuff burns fat and the intense stuff/circuit weights jack up my metabolism.

I guess my best piece of advice when exercising is to keep your body guessing. If I do the same thing day in and day out, my body adapts and I don't get the most optimal benefits. The key for me is to constantly change my exercises, and activities.
post #3 of 62
what Gill said. if you're not in the best condition, you might work up gradually to the more intense stuff. The best thing IS the long, slow jog or bike ride. If the extra poundage is considerable and the jog isn't feasible yet, at the very least get in long walks at a brisk pace. The key is sustained aerobic, whether it's walking or jogging or riding. And watch out for the crash course. Oftentimes our enthusiasm is ahead of our bodies and we want to do too much right away, which can lead to fatigue or burnout or injury. Give yourself a long-term game plan allowing for your body to adapt to the new "stress." It will if you plug away. Personally, a good item to toss into that salad is a bit of work in the weightroom. That doesn't mean bustin' out bench presses lookin' for big pecs or whatever; it's more about strenghtening those weak links in the chain. And while things like crunches, etc., are nowdays aimed at producing "six-pack" abs, I wouldn't give that much thought. The best part of that is that you're strengthening those muscles, your core, helping the lower back AND providing the necessary strong(er) middle, crucial in skiing. But, to stress, start somewhere NOW and think in terms of where you'll be one year and five years and ten years from now.
If you start in on this and feel just sick of it one day, take that day off. A lot of people get caught up in thinking they HAVE GOT TO DO IT everyday. If you can, great. But better to give yourself a recess day than to think you aren't "allowed" that, just to say Screw This and drop the whole thing entirely. This gets back to the "freshness" angle Gill spoke of. Be creative. Start TODAY(?) with a long (an hour?) walk.
Don't worry about the Adonis bod. The most important parts you wanna address now are invisible; namely your heart and lungs. All else will follow in its own time.
post #4 of 62
I'm told avoid the jogging/running until the gut is minimized. Running or other impact aerobics bounce the gut up and down will cause stretching of muscles and ligaments/tendons and make the "beer belly" worse. get it to a non bouncy state before starting the jogging/running...
So, walking, biking, swimming are the good starting points. <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by dchan (edited May 15, 2001).]</FONT>
post #5 of 62
Thread Starter 
OK, time to clarify. I may have made myself out to be some kind of blob. I'm not.

I'm 23, I play squash or tennis at least three times a week. I could probably squeeze off a 8 - 10 mile run if need be. I have no fat anywhere on my body except round the middle. And that's what I want rid of. The main thing for me I think is the booze.

i haven't pur any weight on in a while, but I know that if I stop the drinking I'll lose it easily with the amount of exercise I'm doing right now.

The problem is that I like drinking. It helps me sleep, to be honest. Is there another part of my diet I could cut out instead?

Pass me a bottle, Mr Jones...
post #6 of 62
other fatty foods. cut down on the hamburgers, steaks and red meats, fried foods.
You did not state what your diet is like.
Also sweets.
You don't have to stop eating these things just cut back. eat more natural sweets like fruits. and more veggies..

Also tennis and squash are pretty good sports (I guess depends on how hard you play) but an activity that will sustain the high aerobic levels like cycling or walking/running are probably better fat burners. <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by dchan (edited May 15, 2001).]</FONT>
post #7 of 62
HEY, nothin' wrong with a brewski once in awhile. after my workouts, hell, i've earned it. (just have to make sure to keep up the water intake.) sounds like just eating better and maybe cuttin' back to a six-pack a night might be the ticket.
post #8 of 62
Thread Starter 
Well that all sounds like good advice, thank you all.

I eat fairly well. Low fat mayo etc... no chips (fries to you!), very few burgers etc, a lot of meat, fish and vegetables (forced on me by my girlfriend!). Breakfast - cereal and/or toast, tea and OJ.

Lunch - sandwiches with cheese/ham/salami/salad etc. Three cups of green tea in the day. Dinner - as above, and pasta now and then.

I play squash pretty hard and tennis not so hard (social game really).

I think a month of no booze will give me the boost I need. Damn, that sounds awful. Maybe two weeks. And I'll have to start running again. Want to be in top form for next season!

Pass me a bottle, Mr Jones...
post #9 of 62
A lot of the advice above is good, but it took you a while to cultivate that gut so it will take you a while to lose it. You could dump your girlfriend and then you would stay out late looking for another one, skipping meals, guaranteed to get you rat thin.
post #10 of 62
Being a drinker myself I can feel your pain in the absence of sweet fluid. But it is one thing you must back off on if you desire to shed some extra pounds.
Here is the story.....
Sun Valley March '99
At a friends house pounding down the cocktails, eating a feast. Scale comes out, I jump on the bad boy and read 227!! Christ my license says 190, what happened to me???
SO start the program. Basketball three days a week, bike ride two days a week (my job allows me to do these things during lunch). Get home, arobics for an hour at least three nights a week. There were nights that I could not even muster any sweat cause I had worked out so hard that day. I did cut out the booze except for weekends. Another thing did was that I was drinking about 100oz of water per day. December '99 got the flu and dropped all the way down to 180lbs. A little to light for my frame. and bounced back up to 190lbs. Part of the whole deal was that I was getting married in May of '00. Since I was about to put myself in front of the world and god I wanted to look good. So now I'm sitting around 195lbs. The hard part is maintaining it. Cannot get lazy but sometimes injury interfers with your exercise. It is during these times you must watch what you eat.
SO as far as eating goes, lay off all junk food, especially fast food which has more fat than Rosanne. No snacking, and do not over eat except on Thanksgiving. In the evening if possible have your food down no later than 7pm. Give it a few hours to digest before going to bed.
Beer, switch to good old Bud or Coors Light. Micro's will kill you and so will wine. Hey one a night won't kill you but it will not help you either.

I am not a fitness expert, this is what worked for me. No weights, no gym, just focus on the goal.

Thing is now I am sitting at 195 and want to drop back down to 185 cause I feel fat. Yes men can be vain too.

Good Luck......
post #11 of 62
Cut down on the serving size of the meats and stuffings in the sandwitches. Also unknown to most people bread is pretty fattening too although I don't know of a good substitute for a good slice of bread. I'm not saying you need to cut out these things just move towards smaller portions.
Also Lucky mentioned something very important. It took you 6 years to put that gut there. It will take time to get rid of it permanently. So take the time...
post #12 of 62
One of the best ways to lose weight (fat, actually-you might gain weight) is to start a strength program. It will raise your basic metabolism so you'll be burning more calories even if you're just sitting around.
post #13 of 62
Thank you everyone, I don't have to write a screed! All of the above are correct. Some additions: Have someone evaluate your postural alignment. There is no way your abs will look flat, no matter how slim you are, if you are sway backed or hunched.
Go easy on the dairy products, too much of it creates excess fat.

Stay hydrated. And I mean by WATER! If you are dehydrated, your cells will store fluid, making you bloat.
Do Stability Ball workouts. Infinitely better than mindless crunches.

Interesting abdominal fat trivia: Gut fat is called "beta receptor" fat, triggered mostly by male hormone.
The good news: It is pretty receptive to aerobic training.
The bad news: Excess can lead to diabetes.

Alpha receptor fat: caused by female hormone, predominately in hips and thighs.
Bad news: Not very receptive to aerobic training.
Good news: Not a serious health risk unless extremely excessive.

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence

<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Lisamarie (edited May 15, 2001).]</FONT>
post #14 of 62
Hey LM,

I must have gotten away from the Alpha line in time. I still don't have much in the hip department but my dad called me "chicken legs" once. Now I call him bird legs (he's got a gut like a bird with sticks for legs; this would be heredity, in my case).

I've never had a tight stomach, though. Doesn't matter what I weigh. And I don't drink beer, even. What is up with that?


Dante non ha mai immaginato questo cerchio dell'inferno!
post #15 of 62
Well Johnny Boy you certainly have received a lot of advice. So here is my input.

I think getting a physical to make sure you can diet is a good idea.

Then you need to think about making calories or grams count. Sugar, white bread, most pastas,candy bars, bottled or canned juice products all have too many carbohydrates which provide little or no nutritional value for the grams or calories they provide.

Emphisize fruits and vegitables. Avoid using salad dressings high in fat or carbohydartes [ carbies ]

Understand that if you think you are eating low or no fat prodcuts that advertise themseves as that, it could be true. Most yogarts, say they are no fat, then check out the fact they 10 or more grams of carbohydrates.It's all that sweetened fruit that you stir up from the bottom. Cocoa cola has no fat, but it is loaded with carbies. Unused carbies turn to fat. Unburned fat becomes fat. Fat is fat, whether you eat it as fat or it becomes fat from unused carbies. Drinking alcohol of any kind is drinking carbies. No nutrition, just carbies that if they don't burn off become fat.

Now if you drink and munch potato chips, pretzels, or have an order of nachos covered with cheese, the alcohol will burn off first, because it is esiest for the body to use, but those other things you are eating will probably turn to fat.

Bottomline, fat is fat whether from fat or unburned carbies.
You must be on a balanced nutritional diet, and start walking for 30-45 minutes a day at least 3-4 times a week. If you loose between 1.5 and 3 lbs/week that's good. You may even loose as much as 7lbs the first week. Normal weight loss that is healthy should be about 2-2.5 lbs/week.Some weeks a little more some less. Weigh yourself only once a day, I like the mornings before I eat anything. If you go off the diet, don't quit, everyone goes off the diet once in awhile, but stay with it, eventurally the beer belly will go and you will have lots more energy.

Now here is the key. Want to keep it off, after you loose it, then you have to change your eating habits and life style, otherwise you will just put the weight right back on. Might as well do that while you are on the diet.

Finally, you have to read labels. If it has too much fat you don't want it. If you think of carbies as being the same as grams of fat, then you also don't want too many carbies.

Figure 1500-2000 calories a day.If you are over 200 lbs, you may need more. No more than 500 grams or fat, though 200-300 would increase the rate of weight loss. Use olive oil instead of butter. Never use margarines of any kind unless they are liquid.
You must have some fat in your diet, going without it, will be harmful.

Try to eat only complex carbies, but mostly protein if you can. The final idea is find a diet you can stay with, live with, and won't harm your health.

Good luck
post #16 of 62
Lisamarie and Argus touched on some things that need to be restated.

Some fat just does not come off easily
you can be healthier with some fat.

I followed a path similar to Argus.

Fit 205 when I graduated high school,
205 at 27 but much weaker,
215 at 30 and things were starting to bounce - not a good feeling.
185 at 31 hardly any body fat veins visible all over, chest, legs etc, but still had the remnants of the love handles. But at 185 I got sick easily and when I did get sick it was worse than normal.

Moved up to 195 and stopped getting sick.

I'm now hoovering at 200 and need to get more exercise.
post #17 of 62
Yep, good point, harpo, and I dealt with this alot in my "Anorexia" thread. Pssst, secret, Wanna know the way to flat abs.......
Choose your parents very, very wisely.
Uh huh. Its the big "G" word for genetics. Not that we can't go beyond it, but sometimes it poses limitations. But nobody should ever try to adhere to a weight that imposes health threats, no matter how esthetically pleasing they think it is.

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence

<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Lisamarie (edited May 15, 2001).]</FONT>
post #18 of 62
hear hear..

eat right, good exercise and let your body find it's balance point and be happy. Your body is smarter than you think and will find it's balance/weight distribution depending on your genetics. We can make some adjustments by changing our exercise and eating habits but it's not always healthy.
post #19 of 62
You know, its interesting, in the past few years, fitness professionals have been making an effort to alter people's motivation for staying involved in a fitness program. There is a big emphasis on functional fitness and sports conditioning. And we try to encourage people to become involved in some sort of athletic activity, rather than spend entire weekends in the gym.

Why was it necessary for us to do this?
Because for some people the "Perfect" body is simply not attainable, unless they choose to spend an obssesive amount of time pursuing it. And even if they do achieve this, they often don't acknowledge it, striving harder and harder to the point of craziness.

But developing a FUNCTIONAL form of fitness, which results in the ability to participate in specific activities, is a concrete reward. Many years ago, we never worked on balance drills in fitness classes, because they didn't make you "look better". Here's the irony: Training the muscles involved in balance, the transverse or deeper abdominals, along with the superficial abdominals is the best way to get a "flatter stomach".
In another thread, John H. mentioned that I was fitter than most people here because I'm an instructor. But there are many components to fitness. My balance skills are nowhere at the par of a ski instructor. And although I have a little bit of dance training, my agility, plyometric strength and coordination is nowhere near that of g-dubs or any of the "New School" kids.
Just my 2 cents.

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #20 of 62
Get smaller dinner plates.

No kidding!
post #21 of 62
Thread Starter 
Great feedback everyone - I appreciate it!

But listen - I am not a porker!! I am about 5'11 and I weigh about 12 and a half stone. I'm afraid I have no idea how many pounds that is. Can anyone do the conversion? I am of athletic build, so I think I don't necessarily need to actually lose any weight - just change it from fat to muscle.

I will avoid too many carbies from now on - I rarely drink anything but water, OJ or beer anyway, no coke. And the beer stays. More salads, more veg, more fruit.

I do yoga once a week, I'll try to up the squash to twice and the tennis to at least one, plus one or two really long, slow runs. Should that do it?

Pass me a bottle, Mr Jones...
post #22 of 62
Thread Starter 
Help!! It's 11:32 am and I'm starving! What do I do? I crave an cheeky mid-morning sandwich.

No, I'll resist. An apple. That's a healthy snack, isn't it?

Right, I'll try that...
post #23 of 62
Thread Starter 

Thanks for that. It would actually be very difficult fo rme to cut down my food intake as I already do quite a lot of exercise and find that I need the energy. It's a case of doing everything sensibly - eating, exercising and drinking. Simple when you say it like that!

Are you still in AUstria? What's the weather like? We've had the most amazing storms here in the Midlands recently - the other night there was thunder like I'd never heard before which set all the car alarms off. Brilliant.

On the abs front, do you just do crunhies / sit-ups or do you have a routine of several different exercises?
post #24 of 62
I think Lisamarie mentioned stability balls earlier. They are GREAT for abs work.
post #25 of 62
Thread Starter 
what are stability balls?
post #26 of 62
Go to my site http://www.LisaFitness.com and click on the link for Resist-a-Ball. Let me know if you have questions.
post #27 of 62

I did NOT say that you were fitter than most, simply because yu are a fitness instructor. Your being a fitness instructor is due to your obsession (not at all a bad thing - quite the contrary) with fitness. This obsession leads to a desire to learn about fitness and be fit, and know what it means to be fit. You are a fitness instructor because you are fit, not fit because you are an instructor.

The same is true for skiing. Those of us that are obsessed by it are good at it and love it. Therefore we teach it. We're not just good at it because we teach it, we teach because we're good. We're good because we're obsessed by it, by wanting to learn more about it, and to become better at it.

It's a vicious frickin' cycle, isn't it?
post #28 of 62
And so on, and so on and scooby, dooby, dooby.
Excellent point, John.
post #29 of 62
Johnny Boy,

What happened to your Counting Crows signature?
post #30 of 62
I'm Thrilled!!!
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