need help with healthy lifestyle

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeremy Illingworth, Feb 10, 2002.

  1. Jeremy Illingworth

    Jeremy Illingworth Supporting Actor

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    I've decided that I want to live a more healthy, fit life but don't know the first thing about it so help me.

    First, I'm 25 and about 180 pounds, the most I've ever weighed in my life. I'm looking to drop a little fat and firm up what little muscle I have. My end goal is to look more like Bruce Lee that Arnold. My two main concerns are eating right and exercising.

    For the eating I don't eat tons of junk food. I rarely buy chips and drink a dozen or two cans of pop a year. I drink orange juice from concentrate almost all the time with some milk once and a while. I guess I should probably have more variety there. I'm trying to eat more vegetable in the form of carrots. Are canned fruits good? I ate them for breakfast as a child and could get back into that.

    As much as I want to eat healthy, I don't want to start eating crazy hippie food made out of grass. Its still got to be good and easy to make.

    As for exercise, late last year I started doing pushups before bed every night and am still doing them in four sets of ten. I would like to add more exercises but am not sure which ones. I was also going to buy and exercise bike. I don't want to join a gym.

    Any advice?

    jeremy
     
  2. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

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    Well, fluid intake, you should try more water and fruit juices (better range of vitamins and nutrients).

    And, why go with canned fruits? In the summer time, buy it fresh from the guy selling it out of his truck and in the offseason, make do with the store bought fruit. Same with vegetables. Also, nuts, pasta and breads should be mixed in. Find one of those Balanced Meals charts to know how much of each you should be getting. For the body to be healthy, it needs a range of food and supplements, including sugars, fats and salts. Just think moderation and you'll be fine.

    Bruce
     
  3. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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  4. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Diet:

    What you eat is the most important factor of your health.

    Lots of complex carbs are good- this basically means grain, wheat, etc. Low-fat cereal, brown rice, the occassional pasta or potato, beans, fresh green vegetables.

    Start your mornings off with a quick bowl of cereal- Cheerios, bran flakes, Special K- that sort of thing. Use skim or soy milk. It is very important that you eat breakfast, as it helps the metabolism and minimises your cravings at night.

    Keep your evening meals small and simple- salad or soup or a little pasta with vegetables. You don't want to be eating a lot at night.

    Snacks- few and far between. Fruits, low-fat yogurt.

    Avoid: sugar and fat. Try to eat as much fresh food as you can. Don't eat fried.

    Meat: Keep it to no more than once a day. In fact, for most people, the less the better. Don't eat red meat more than two or three times a week. Fish and poultry should make up the most of your meat intake. And keep the portions small.

    Drink a lot of water. Never drink soda. It is the most common poor health practice in the US. A can of Coke has more sugar than what a person should be eating all day.

    The sad fact is, there is no easy way out. You simply have to eat less and you will be hungry. If you want to lose the weight bad enough, you just deal with it. It's tough, but it's worth it in time.

    Exercise:

    Yep, ya gotta get your butt moving. You can lose weight without excersise, but it's much harder.

    Cardiovascular: running, swimming, biking, sports- anything that gets your heart pumping and makes you sweat and breathe hard. At least three times a week. This is what "burns" fat, and with a proper diet, really the only way to lose the pot belly. The key here is to find something you like to do. I personally hate jogging or using a treadmill, so I play racquetball and take group "spin" classes.

    Weight training: very helpful, as it increases your metabolism and keeps your body burning fat even after you're done lifting. Consult a trainer or some kind of professional resource to help get you into a routine.

    The most important things about living a healthy lifestyle:

    1. Avoid "quick fix" solutions and fads.

    If they worked, everyone would be thin, right? They are all nonsense. Even the ones that work really don't, because you gain the weight back.

    2. Patience.

    You won't see results right away, possibly not for a couple of months. That's OK. You're changing the way your body operates. The slower, the better, because you won't gain it back.

    3. Don't consider it a "diet," as in "I'm on a diet."

    All you're doing is correcting your eating habbits so that you're eating normally. It will be different than most people's eating habbits, but that's because they are all eating wrong.

    4. The goal is to make a routine, so that you don't even think about it. Too many people run around worrying about what they eat all the time. This drives them insane, and they end up binge-eating.

    5. Eating out.

    Restaurants usually give you huge portions, so you shouldn't be eating all of it. Take a salad as an appetizer. Fish and pasta are the best way to go in restaurants.

    Good luck, and good health.
     
  5. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    The idea that juice is really good for you is actually a myth. Most store-bought juices contain a lot of sugar.
     
  6. Andrej Dolenc

    Andrej Dolenc Stunt Coordinator

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    Lots of good advice already, I'll only add a little tidbit - you gotta keep pushing your body when you're exercising. That's how you're going to promote muscle growth. If 10 pushups is starting to feel comfortable, try doing 4 sets or 13 or 15 pushups. Same for when you get started with weights, keep pushing to stimulate muscle growth.
    Also, there's lots of good resources on the web, I read a chat the Washington Post has on a weekly basis with a former Olympic powerlifting coach, there's lots of wisdom on the matter in his chat transcripts. Check it out here.
    Andrej
     
  7. Brad_W

    Brad_W Screenwriter

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  8. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Instead of buying an exercise bike, wouldn't a real bike and a liquid trainer be a more flexible idea? You can buy a mountain or road bike and something like this:
    http://www.cycle-ops.com/
    And then use that if you don't want to go riding or it's too dark out or if it's raining. I'd personally find bike machines (and gyms for that matter) boring and dull. But with a bike and a trainer, you have the option of riding outside, in parks, on rail trails, etc. And you can get those trainers for times when you don't have the time or desire to go outside.
    Perhaps even join a cycling club or join any kind of club (football, soccer, ultimate frisbee, whatever) that has a good schedule cause that helps you get out there and is a nice weekend workout that is fun. You wont even know you're exercising.
    I bike to work and back, 10 miles each way, sometimes on the road and sometimes off-road, depending on my mood and the weather and some co-workers and I sometimes spend lunchours having quick impromptu volleyball games or games of b-ball so that is a good way to get exercise and not lose anytime with friends or family. There's no excuse as "there's no time to exercise" if you can incorporate exercise into your lifestyle.
    Jay
     
  9. Max Knight

    Max Knight Supporting Actor

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    Lots of good diet information above, but I'll add one more:

    Cook more.

    When you go out, you never know what's in your food. Something may look light and lovely, but could have huge amounts of oil or fat in it. If you cook more you will save money, become a better cook (always a useful skill!), and have the advantage of knowing exactly what you are eating.

    As for exercise, you are going to need to do more than just some pushups. Are you sure you can't join a gym? It can really make all the difference. Whether or not you join a gym:

    1. Take the stairs. Why take an escalator or elevator when you can walk?

    2. Walk. Never drive a short distance if you can help it. Walking more will help a lot.

    3. Try to make exercise fun. Take a class (yoga, martial arts, etc.), or go play basketball or soccer with friends. Go for bike rides on the weekends, or just try to go on long walks. Make physical activity a part of your life rather than a task to be done.

    You mentioned your interest in a leaner Bruce Lee type look, so I can't recommend martial arts or yoga enough. They are both fun and very challenging.

    -Max
     
  10. ikiru

    ikiru Stunt Coordinator

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    Before starting any diet/exercise program, always consult with a trained physician.

    There are three key things to weight loss:

    1. Water - You body is composed of mostly water. Water is the necessary ingredient for your body to function correctly. How is this related to weight loss? Well first of all, your kidneys need water to do its job. If your body is dehydrated, your kidneys require help from your liver to process your blood. The main job of your liver is to metabolize fat. If it is busy helping your kidneys, the liver cant do its primary job efficiently. Second, if your body senses that it is not getting the water it needs, it starts to store it, primarily in the hands and feet. Water storage can account for as much as 10lbs! By properly hydrating your body, you can release that extra store of water. For your weight, you would need in the neighborhood of 10 8oz glasses of water a day. The more water the better. Yes you will have to go to the bathroom alot, initially, but your body will adjust. Try to limit your intake of sweet juices. They are high in sugar and calories. After a while, youll find that you wont crave sweet drinks as much.

    2. Diet - You really are what you eat. Try staying away from high fat and/or high calorie foods. Stay away from pizza, fries, burgers, and especially taco salads (dont be tempted because the word salad is in it). Dont eat too late at night and try to eat a big breakfast. Eat lots of fruits and veggies. Keep a conscience about you as far as comfort foods. A balaced diet is much better for you than any fad diet (i.e. low carb diets). Try to eat more smaller meals throught the day as opposed to a big lunch and/or big dinner. You gotta keep the metabolism going.

    3. Exercise - In order to lose fat, you must exercise. Keep your heart rate up, but not too high. You dont have to kill yourself every day to lose fat. Get yourself into a routine slowly so that you do not introduce injury. Go at a comfortable pace where you can still talk without being too winded. Youll find yourself gradually increasing your workout as you go along.

    Good Luck!

    -ikiru
     
  11. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Re: stationary bikes

    I have started doing Spinning. This is basically group stationary cycling under the guidance of an instructor. It's about 45 minutes, includes stretching, warmup, cooldown, and a set routine depending on the instructor. He/she will dictate the speed, the resistance, when to stand, etc. Even though it's directed, you still go at your own pace.

    I absolutely hate using a stationary bike at all- I get so bored. But this makes the time fly by. You get a great workout and after a couple of sessions, it can actually be fun.

    Most gyms offer it.
     
  12. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    I'm 5'10 and right now weigh a pretty healthy 175. In college I got up to as high as 195. When I got out of college, I actually rededicated myself to improved health and got down to a very low 158. I think perfect for my body type is 165.

    Here's how I did it.

    1) keep a log of everything you eat. When trying to lose weight, keep your calorie intake to no more than 2000 calories a day with no more than 30% fat (60 grams). I would literally write down everything I ate. You would be amazed at what goes on your log if you aren't careful.

    2) I avoided most types of high fat foods and would really be careful not to cheat too much. One serving of Ice cream a week and maybe one moderately high fat meal a week at most. You have to reward yourself once in a while for your dedication but any more than that and you negate your progress.

    3) I kept a weight log, weighing myself every morning. Don't expect much change in the first 21 days. It can get discouraging if you go to the gym 4-5 times a week for three weeks and don't see a weight change. That's because your body is losing fat and gaining muscle and the trade off leaves you at the same weight. Once your muscle mass evens off a bit, the fat continues to come off and your log will motivate you to keep going at it.

    4) EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE!!!! Even when you feel less than optimally motivated, you have to get your heart rate up to 70% of maximum for 30 minutes at a time at least 3 times a week to lose body fat. Push yourself. Like the previous poster said...if you can do 4 sets of 10 pushups, do two sets of 20 the next night to shake things up a bit. Your body responds to variety. If you do the same thing every day, you will plateau. This goes for cardio as well. One day run, next day bike, third day jump rope.

    Good luck! I know you can do it. I did it. You will feel so much better about yourself, your clothes will fit better and your self-esteem will skyrocket!
     
  13. Jeremy Illingworth

    Jeremy Illingworth Supporting Actor

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    What is a good breakfast? I eat a lot of cereal and am trading in the Lucky Charms for Cherrios. How about yogurt? At work I get paid lunches and the healthiest place in walking distance is Subway. I have no dressings and so many green peppers that they look at me funny.

    I want a stationary bike so it can be near the tv so I'll want to do it. Plus it is a frozen wasteland here many months of the year. I'm currently in a bowling league but I know thats not much exercise. Where do you look to find other sports leagues? I could live with soccer. I've done Judo and Kung Fu in the past but haven't found a school here I like.

    Thanks for the advice.

    jeremy

    oh yeah, taking the stairs; my house is the only multilevel building I'm in all day
     
  14. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    re: stationary bikes,
    http://www.computrainer.com/
    Sounds cool, until you look at the pricetag, but certainly will make the stationary bike more fun..
    Anyway, make sure you try to see if you can try out the stationary bike before you buy it cause some of them (especially the wind trainers, the ones that use a fan) can be very loud.
    Jay
     
  15. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Jeremy, as I said, a bowl of Cheerios and skim milk is a fine breakfast, which you say you're doing anyway. The morning is a good time to eat those carbs, because you'll burn them off during the day and it will give you energy.

    Some people like to eat a bit of protein before they workout, too.

    If you're getting into exercise, I would just like to point out that the vast majority of people who purchase home exercise equipment (stationary bikes, treadmills, Bowflexes) do not use them. For me, at least, riding a stationary bike alone, even if there is a TV or radio or other such distraction, is painfully dull, and I can't do it. It would be perfect if you could convince some friends to play sports with you, or join a class in your local gym or YMCA.
     
  16. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    Jeremy, pick up this month's Playboy Magazine. There is an article on Brett Boone of the Seattle Mariners in there. In it, he describes (in detail), how he went from 182lbs and 17% body fat to 204lbs and 4% body fat and the rationale behind how that helped him to have a career season. By the way, his methods were unorthodox and didn't require lifting heavy weights (if any) and almost entirely centered around changing his diet and eating habits. Very intriguing and informative.
    Plus the centerfold is hot.[​IMG]
     
  17. ikiru

    ikiru Stunt Coordinator

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    There is certainly nothing wrong with cheerios for breakfast. Add a bit of bread (I love pancakes) and fruits and you have a great breakfast. Eggs are great too, but they do contain a lot of cholesterol.

    -ikiru
     
  18. Ryan Witt

    Ryan Witt Agent

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    Did you know that riding a bike burns fewer calories than jogging?
    Excerpt from The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding by Arnold Schwarzenegger:
     
  19. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Of course, this is assuming your knees are OK, if you do take up jogging, make sure you are good at it, smooth and steady with good shoes. Running/jogging can be tough on the knees. And who rides at 10mph? [​IMG] I'm averaging 19-20mph on my road bike. The only time I'm riding at 10mph is on my mountain bike and then I'm sure I'm burning much more than 360-420 calories per hour.
    The only exercise thing that seems fun to me is one of those rowing machines hooked up to the internet through some broadband connector so you can virtual race somebody on the other side of the globe through a PC..
    Jay
     

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