mileage or speed to loose weight

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13/06/2010 at 22:00
GymAddict wrote (see)
 I don't agree with your last paragraph MF, I have not read a single thing (and I have read widely on this subject) to suggest for a second that the body reacts in this way. 

Well, that's fair. I have no evidence for it, it was just a hypothesis (as indicated by the word "may").  The body is pretty good at adapting to the demands we place on it. If such an effect occurred, it would be hormonally mediated. The only evidence I have is anecdotal (such as Nam's) that interval training tends to take fat off and (my own experience) long slow runs tend to keep it on.
13/06/2010 at 23:29
GymAddict wrote (see)
Bit of a pedant.
Doing less exercise overall will not help matters - you need to ensure that you are running approx same mileage if you want to burn the same amount of cals.

The crux of the argument with regards to the type of training you do and weight loss is whether you believe the total number (sorry, pedants are fair game) of calories burnt is all important or whether the source from which the calories are burnt is important.

If you only do hard intervals it's highly unlikely that any of your actual workout is fuelled by calories derived from fat.  Does that matter?  What are the implications of the type of calorie burnt on fat loss in a diet? 

Edited: 13/06/2010 at 23:30
13/06/2010 at 23:40
It is unlikely that a person will control the macronutrient proportions of their diet enough to mean that the types of fuel used in the exercise significantly affects their weight loss. IMHO

There will be some that manage it (and I am thinking here of competitive body builders)

The evidence I have read leads me to believe that the total number of calories is what counts in terms of calorie balance in the diet.

BUT the type of exercise that you do affects how you feel/how hungry you are which affects your calorie intake and therefore has a bearing on how easy it is to lose weight.

I am not going to do it here - but I have in the past calculated the grammes of fat you will work off during a typical session of approx an hour. It was not significant and would be dwarfed by the recommended daily fat intake for a man or woman. Even one on a diet.

Don't forget that the bodies energy systems are always in flux.
13/06/2010 at 23:40
Moraghan wrote (see)

If you only do hard intervals it's highly unlikely that any of your actual workout is fuelled by calories derived from fat.  Does that matter?  What are the implications of the type of calorie burnt on fat loss in a diet? 


Well, at the risk of repeating myself, it MAY be that if the calories burned come more from glycogen, then there's a higher risk of "dietary non compliance" ie hunger and more calories IN
13/06/2010 at 23:41
(x-post)
13/06/2010 at 23:42
I think we agree MF
13/06/2010 at 23:43
Correction happily accepted M.
15/06/2010 at 10:25

Funny how there is no definitive answer to this question and there is a great deal of room for debate, even within the sports science community.  I think there are a few facts that you can't get around:

fact (1) If you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight

fact (2) distance covered determines how many cals you burn on any run, not how fast you do it, within reasonable limits. (I believe if you walk, you are doing less work as you do not propel yourself into the air as much and burn fewer cals per mile, but running is more or less the same action regardless of speed.)

fact (3) muscle burns calories when you are not doing exercise

So, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn.  Doing exercise helps but can make you very hungry.  Building muscle will put weight on but burn fat.  Regardless of (3) you need to find the balance between (1) and (2) plus the right diet that allows you to have a daily calorie deficit and not feel hungry.

Personally, I find not feeling hungry is the secret.  Can the exercise type help here? LSRs do seem to make me starving, so perhaps I should try shorter slow runs or even shorter fast runs.  I once lost a stone in a couple of months simply by walking to work (3 miles each way) and didn't even think about diet, so maybe this is relevant.

Obviously diet choices help in terms of feeling fuller for longer on fewer calories, but this requires as much, if not more, discipline as introducing exercise into your routine, especially if you have a family and eat together.

15/06/2010 at 10:38
MikeFrog wrote (see)

Well, at the risk of repeating myself, it MAY be that if the calories burned come more from glycogen, then there's a higher risk of "dietary non compliance" ie hunger and more calories IN

My view is slightly different I suppose.  Whether you are hungry or not is irrelevant.  Your statement reads as though "dietary non compliance" means the dieter has no choice in the matter.

The bottom line is that in any situation where the dieter eats more than they should to compensate for the workouts it's not the type of workout to blame it's the dieter's lack of discipline.  Which is often the reason for being overweight in the first place.  And so it goes.....

15/06/2010 at 10:43
Couldn't agree more - you have to manage your life to live with a calorie defecit.  Whether that is pure diet or a balance of exercise and diet depends on the individual.  Obviously exercise helps, but with caveats - I too gained weight training for VLM.
15/06/2010 at 11:55

 I used to have a theory about the reason why I am not at all hungry after very intense interval training on treadmill: I felt very nauseous for about an hour afterwards, and that's not from lack of food/carb after the exercise, as I would force myself to eat a banana. So, the feeling is very comparable to being drunk, i.e. a stress on the liver, and both of these physical feelings put my off my food completely. My theory therefore is that high intensity training would be better for weight loss, although it would mean that alcohol should be avoided completely for the duration of training weeks. Any thoughts?

15/06/2010 at 12:39

The bottom line is if you eat to much,you get fat, I should know

and with any diet, weight loss does slow down after a while.

So be happy with your weight loss so far  and keep doing what your doing and you'll get there in the end.

Posh x

15/06/2010 at 16:02
I'm 'within my healthy weight range' what ever that means! but unhappy that I have areas of fat  that have crept on over some years (hips, tum you know the stuff).  In an attempt to lose this excess weight in Feb I did two things: 1 joined weight watchers and 2. stepped up my exercise (I've always done 5x45 to 60 mins gym classes per week)  I decided to start doing an actual training programme (mixed easy, long, tempo, speed runs) to improve my 10K time, cycle to work and back each day (6 miles or so) and have enrolled on a kettle bell course at my gym which is great fun and seems to be doing a good job toning muscles I didn't know I had.I stuck rigidly to the weight watchers point system and Fen to April saw 8lbs of weight loss.  April to June however, the eating has been the same but I have felt so hungry that I was getting dizzy and unable to concentrate much of the time and I have put 5lb's back on!  The WW leader didn't know what to advise other than to eat more if I feel ill......  Which of course I did, so now I consume the calories of between 40 and 60% of the exercise I do and I have upped my protein intake.My theory is that either I have a mesomorph body type, after reading GA's description above and I am building muscle, the wobbly bits seem to be depleting but this is quite a subjective measure and the amount depends on what mood I’m in – unlike the scales; the difficulty for me is that there is a sense of failure associated with being on a diet and putting on weight and no matter how much I console myself with the positive messages that weight is clearly not a good measure for shape and improvement of running times, it’s a universally accepted measure of whether one is thin enough or not.  I guess I have to build more muscle to perform more physical activity on a regular basis and to do it more efficiently and improve output but there’s only so much extra muscle I need to do this, so I’m hoping that eventually, once the muscle level is where it needs to be, the weight will be static but irrelevant and the fat will be all but gone.  It stands to reason that I if I were thin because I didn’t eat I would be lighter than if I were “thin” because I was lean and toned with minimal fat - but able to lift my own body weight and able to run 10K 15 mins faster than my current PB.  I also suspect the day-to-day changes we make to our diet and activity levels do not show themselves immediately as weight, muscle, fat deposits etc and they are all subject to the natural cycles of the body acting as a series of different systems – not all necessarily aligned to my the personal goals and targets set by my head!   The bottom line in my experience is that you can diet, exercise lots and gain weight all at the same time, at least over a five month period, what happens beyond that – I don’t know. I’m new to this forum lark so any comments, advise etc will be very gratefully received.
15/06/2010 at 16:29
Debs - well done on everything you have achieved. If you have the body type you think - well you are just going to build muscle and that's all there is to it. If you were not born to be a twiglet then unless you starve yourself and get a nice eating disorder to go with - then you will never be one.


It is difficult to resolve the battle between a number on the scale and the fitness gains that building muscle brings. Been there - got the t-shirt. I have definitely experienced what you describe - watching your diet like hawk, exercising like a crazy thing and putting on weight.

I just stopped weighing myself. I use a tape measure or go by my clothes. Much less stressful
Edited: 15/06/2010 at 16:30
15/06/2010 at 16:34

Thanks Posh I think you have summed it up nicely -

my weight loss has slowed down maybe I am becoming too impatient - i will just have to keep on doing what I am doing and I will get there in the end (after all its worked so far!)

Thanks x

15/06/2010 at 16:48

Just come across this thread yesterday and have found it very interesting - especially the scientific aspect of it all.  I find it a bit difficult to get my head around it all and have no idea what body type I am.

However I would absolutely go with what GymAddict says about stopping weighing yourself.  I threw my bathroom scales out when my daughter became a teenager as I didn't want a contraption on the bathroom floor determining her mood for the day.

According to my doctor I have lost almost 6 stone in the past two years by exercising and eating healthily (not dieting).  In those two years I have only been weighed 4 times - when I visit the doctor - and never get stressed about my weight.  I might put the odd pound or two on, but I never notice it, and then it probably goes off again.  Like GA I just go by my clothes.

Three or four runs a week along with circuit classes and pilates a couple of times a week works for me.  Oh, and by the way, all my running is slow.  Just started working on my speed.

15/06/2010 at 19:38
aah but you do admit to having  just started working on your speed ! ! I am beginning to think that I will never increase my speed (can't seem to get below 11 minute mile !! is that really bad ??)  but like I say what I have been doing so far has worked ie diet & exercise all be it slow running so think I should just be a little more patient & settle myself to the fact that weight loss does slow down but I am heading in the right direction.
16/06/2010 at 08:09

Christie, it sounds from your last post as if you want to increase your speed. This would mean that it is worth chucking in a tempo run every week to see how it goes. I took up running again recently, and was struggling with 11-12 minute miles. I started on speedwork 5 weeks ago and now am running 10 min miles on my slow runs.

Unfortunately the only way to run faster is to run faster - it's hard work, but it works!

16/06/2010 at 09:29
I find a relatively easy way to introduce a tempo run is to use a treadmill for a 20 minute run.  Regardless of how you go on the road (some are faster and some are slower on the treadmill) you can experiment over the first few runs to see where your top speed for 20 mins is.  You can then pace your standard tempo run a little bit slower than this.  Every now and then I take it a bit more seriously, perhaps with a rest day beforehand and a thorough warm up, then I try to set a new benchmark.  I've inched my speed up in this way over the last four years.  Nothing too dramatic annually, but I now have a pb of 15kph for 20 mins vs 14 kph in 2006 - it just keeps inching up.  SImilarly my tempo efforts are now around 14.5 kph instead of 13.5.  You could achieve the same ends with a fixed route that takes about twenty minutes and time yourself over it.  However, I prefer the treadmill as you can see exactly what your pace is and then notch it up a bit if you are feeling good.

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