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Exercise concerns

  1. Jul 27, 2006 #1


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    About three weeks ago, I decided it was time to get my lard butt out of the computer chair and start exercising again.

    I've been swimming three times a week in the mornings before work. I have gotten myself up to about 150m at a moderate pace before I start feeling winded at all, and this morning I swam 750m total in about 15-20 minutes. My general energy level is higher and my day actually seems to go more quickly. All this is good.

    Here's the but...

    I am hungry all the time.

    Before I started, I generally ate one fairly large meal at lunchtime and then (most of the time) a smaller meal at dinner. Occasionally, the sizes switched. Occasionally, I just had one large meal. I generally don't eat unless I'm hungry which is why I wasn't in horrible shape even after almost a decade of a sedentary existance.

    Now I need to bring a breakfast bar and a piece of fruit with me for after I get out of the pool. My stomach starts rumbling two hours later. I eat a large lunch. My stomach starts rumbling two hours later. I eat a snack. My stomach starts rumbling an hour or so later. I eat a large dinner. I usually need a snack before I go to bed as well...

    Ultimately, I'd like to shrink my waistline down a little, but I'd be happy with just having more energy. I'm really getting worried that I'm going to end up putting on weight because of the eating.

    Has anyone experienced this? Should I be doing something differently, or will my metabolism even out?
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  3. Jul 27, 2006 #2
    That's very normal. When I started working out, I ate all the time as well. As did my friends. Just try to cut back on snacks, even if you really crave one. A couple of months from now all this will stop, and although you won't go back to your previous eating routine, it'll be reduced quite a bit.

    Also, from my experience, swimming makes you hungry more than any other sport. (As a side note, I've found that any activity that involved lots of water made me hungry - like taking a long shower, for instance. But I think swimming makes you hungry because of the amount of muscular activity your body undergoes.) I highly recommend you eat something after you get out of the pool. Maybe something more than just a breakfast bar and a piece of fruit.
  4. Jul 27, 2006 #3


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    Just eat 5-6 mediocre meals a day. Eating a few large meals slows down metabolism, so if you want to reduce the waistline, eat smarter.

    Getting hungrier is normal. You are being more active which takes more energy, hence more food.

    Eating properly and exercising increases the metabolism, so the rumbling is normal. Just the body asking for food because it needs it.

    Anyways, I suggest that you keep a calorie count. I can't say much about you're diet, but remember dieting does NOT mean eating less. Dieting is about eating right and smart. Eating less doesn't mean you will lose weight, so becareful about that.

    Anyways, again I don't know you're specific situation. Try using FitDay.com and keeping track of calorie counts. I eat about 2800 calories a day on average and I feel fine with that. Try checking out other websites about how much you should be eating to maintain your weight because that's important. Then add in your activities, and therefore that's what you should be eating on days you are swimming. If you want to lose weight just reduce the total calories by like 15%.

    Anyways, here is my journal on FitDay for the past 2 weeks or so.


    I'm currently just trying to lower my sugar intake. Just so I can lose a bit more fat so the you know can show more. You will see that my weight is at 148 pounds, but it will increase because I am now allowed to workout. (Just recovered from surgery.) My goal is 160 pounds, which I probably won't hit until like next spring.

    Anyways, keep up what you're doing. Do some reading for yourself and you'll be on your way to feeling great.
  5. Jul 27, 2006 #4


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    You're just revving up your metabolism and burning a lot more calories. If you weren't gaining much weight while being sedentary, then you weren't really consuming much excess calories in the first place, so now you need more to keep up with the extra that you're burning with the exercise and overall higher energy metabolism all day long. Just try to be careful that when you're craving a snack that you don't hit the high fat stuff in a vending machine, but instead grab something healthy. You might gain weight initially anyway, but not necessarily because you're getting fatter, but instead because you're replacing fat with muscle.

    You might want to have that breakfast bar and piece of fruit before you go swimming so you'll have a little extra energy to get you through your workout. It might also help to even out the meals throughout the day. Instead of just having a big lunch, eat only half of it and have the rest as your snack a little later.
  6. Jul 27, 2006 #5
    I wouldn't be so concerned with eating a little more, but be concerned with what your eating. As long as you avoid sugars and white breads etc, you should be all set.

    General fitness is fun! Keep it up!
  7. Jul 27, 2006 #6
    WTG, yes, keep up the great work! And follow the good advice of eating less large meals, but eating more often.
  8. Jul 28, 2006 #7
    Like what was said earlier, just drop down the calories of each meal, and eat more of them. Also, eating something high in carbs (good carbs) will help curb your hunger. A bowl of oatmeal, or my personal preference steel cut oats. Actually you can eat quite a lot of the following foods and be alright:

    * Brown rice, oatmeal, steel-cut oats, rye or whole wheat bread
    * Eggs
    * Canned tuna
    * Lean protein such as chicken, fish and beef
    * Green vegetables such as peppers, broccoli, celery, green beans and cucumbers
    * Bagged salads when on the run
    * Fruits that are low on the glycemic index such as strawberries and melon
    * Low sodium soy sauce, salsa, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, non-stick cooking spray
    * Sweet potatoes
    * Non-fat cottage cheese and yogurt
    * Non-fat milk
    * Almonds
    * Sugar free popsicles when in a pinch

    This list above was taken from,

    It's a fantastic listing of food to buy when going to the grocery store.
  9. Jul 28, 2006 #8


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    A load of old hog wash :biggrin: my mom is 83 and still takes benji out for walkies, she smokes, loves beef dripping sarnies and keeps the house spik and span, i love bacon sarnies eat fruit very infrequently and can leave some kids standing when it comes to stamina, every time you eat eat some thing (according to the experts) you are reducing you life span,
    so eat what the heck you want to , in moderation, and enjoy life :tongue2:
    The BIG problem is with artifical food, addatives and what not, eat as natural as you can.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2006
  10. Jul 28, 2006 #9
    Well, you can thank your genetics for that :bugeye: I know that I can't eat whatever I want and stay thin:frown:
  11. Jul 28, 2006 #10


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    Being active gives you more energy.

    Healthy people eat less.

    afaic, they're the only 2 things you need to know :smile:

    (apart from the eating part not involving anything that comes ready prepared :tongue: )
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2006
  12. Jul 28, 2006 #11
    Healthy people eat less than unhealthy people, i can see that, but i suppose unactive and unhealthy people still eat less than healthy active people?

    That is, the healthy person that is inactive will eat less than the unhealthy inactive person for period untill becoming unhealthy......errr...nevermind..

    Nice going on the fittness thing, ive recently started getting more excersise myself, and with this heat im thinking of doing a few wet laps also.

    I wouldnt worry too much about the appetite, when i gave up smoking i was eating non-stop, i was worried about being able to buy enough food, but i did the math and the fags(cigs) were alot more expensive than the extra pies!

    PS: i love your sig line
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2006
  13. Jul 28, 2006 #12
    New studies tells me that exercise can potentially make you fat because of the resistance exercise gives you against...well exercise...:/
  14. Jul 28, 2006 #13


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    I can see diets making people fat - you go on them, nothing happens, you resist against them, you become fat.

    The best diet is eating smalling portions of healthy food :shrugs: - that's the way the French ladeez do it :biggrin:
  15. Jul 28, 2006 #14
    Feeling hungry is also an indicator that your body needs water. Since you're exercising you are sweating a lot and losing water (even if your exercise is swimming, you just don't feel the sweat) so you need to compensate for that and drink plenty.
  16. Jul 28, 2006 #15


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    That's a very good point - drinking lots of water also makes you want to snack less.
  17. Jul 28, 2006 #16


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    But what if his body wants more food? We do not know that. That's why I said do a calorie count.

    Never advise people new schemes on eating less because that isn't dieting. Dieting is eating properly. If you start eating less, you may/will start slowing down the metabolism and trust me you don't want to try losing weight with your metabolism slowing down.

    Also, to the posts above about which foods to eat. I wouldn't go overboard as to writing a list for crying out loud. Going into it too quickly and creating all these rules usually causes people to quit because they feel so darn restricted. They don't have to be.

    For god sakes, I eat fries everyday. I just eat them in moderation (1 serving) and I bake them. Look at my link above. I get all my nutrition and my calorie counts are normally where I want them. I keep my saturated fat low too, which is another key, but DO NOT let it go too low. For the past 2 years I got my cholestrol checked and so far LDL and HDL are in good shape.

    Anyways, don't go overboard enigma. You are simply just trying to get in better shape and you have it all good. A slight improvement in diet is all you need right now. If you want to improve even more, you can so later on. Progress in steps and things will fall into place.

    Keep at it. :approve:

    Note: I wish I can swim rather than jog everyday.

    Note: 1 serving of fries is smaller than you think. Most Americans/Canadians get served 3-5 servings at restaurants.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2006
  18. Jul 28, 2006 #17


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    If the water is cold, your body wants to build up a layer of insulation. Have you ever seen a long distance swimmer (not a pretty site)?

    Depending on the level of activity, calorie intake will increas without weight gain. Top level bicycle racers weigh around 155lbs and eat 3000 to 5000 calories of food and supplements a day.
  19. Jul 28, 2006 #18


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    I wouldn't worry about a layer of insulation. You'd have to train and diet specifically to get that kind of body.

    I wouldn't worry about that at all if you're only doing swimming and what not. I see lots of people who do lots of swimming at the canal near the park I jog and they are all pretty thin.

    You must be thinking of those who swim across lakes or something.
  20. Jul 28, 2006 #19


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    All good advice! Eat what you enjoy, just have small portions of it if it's particularly fatty or cholesterol-laden. And, yes, good point about serving sizes too! I love fries, but I know I love them enough that if they're put in front of me, I eat them until they're gone, which means I often skip ordering any in restaurants unless I have about 4 other people to share with, because what they serve to one person is what my mom used to make for the family of four!

    The best part of starting to get into shape this time of year instead of when everyone does their New Year's resolutions is there is plenty of fresh fruits and veggies available, so you can find lots of yummy things to eat that are good for you to get you in the habit of eating that way before you wind up with the tasteless tomatoes and canned peaches in winter.
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