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Most of you know, I've been getting my slimfast on for quite a while. It's actually been almost a year now. I have a can for breakfast and one for lunch, and usually have a nutrigrain bar with each. By the time I get home, I am usually starving. For dinner, I usually eat whatever I want.

When I first started running this past Jan, I lost 30 pounds in the first 3 or 4 months, and I've just been hovering around the same weight since. I would like to lose another 20, but I am not sure what to do from here. Cutting out some of what I eat for dinner is a tough option, but could be doable. Any ideas? Should I stick with the slimfast?

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How many calories are you getting in a day?

Would you consider cutting out the beer? Beer = lots of empty calories.
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If I do have a beer, it is usually light. Weekends I usually have a few more, though.

Let's see, breakfast and lunch together equals 720. Dinner varies. I'll try to give you an estimate sometime. What should I be looking for (caloric intake-wise) for dinner, considering I want to lose a bit more weight, but still get enough to keep running well?
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The best way to lose weight, as you know, is through behavior modification. Making it a lifelong process instead of a 'quick fix'. You're doing that with the running and with the food changes. But there's more to it than that. Weight loss is best achieved when one increases their metabolic rate, as opposed to just cutting out calories, which is done by combining the following three things. 1. Increase cardiorespiratory exercise. ANY type of cardiorespiratory exercise is good, but running is really the best. Every time you exercise your metabolic rate increases due to the physiological demands of exercise. Once you have finished exercising, your metabolic rate is still burning at a higher rate for a couple hours. So, over the course of the day, your average metabolic rate is higher when exerercise is included. If you were to exercise twice a day, again your metabolic rate would increase for a longer period of time, thus burning more kcals over the course of the day. This second exercise period could just be walking for 30 minutes after dinner. With your wife, of course. 2. Eat more often during the day. Every time you eat, your metabolic rate again increases due the activity of the digestive system. And again, once finished eating, your MB continues to burn at a higher level. Eating more often burns more kcals over the course of the day. So, eat breakfast, then a snack at 10ish, then lunch, then another snack at 2ish, then dinner. Snacks = healthy stuff, not junk food! And remember that no portion of food should be larger than your fist. 3. Weight training. The more dense your muscles, the more kcals you burn at rest. For example, two women sitting and talking, both the same height and the same weight: 5' 6" and 150 lbs. One of these women is an Olympic athlete, the other a magazine journalist. The Olympic athlete will be burning more kcals during the conversation than the journalist, due to her greater density of muscle mass. Now, this doesn't mean you need to go out and turn yourself into "twisted railroad steel" (please don't!), but rather a general overall body weight training program that works the major muscle groups. The idea is to increase muscular strength and endurance as opposed to increasing muscle bulk. When I first started running this past Jan, I lost 30 pounds in the first 3 or 4 months, and I've just been hovering around the same weight since. This is an indication that you've reached a plateau and your MB is in need of a jolt. We all need a certain amount of calories to live, which is known as our Basal Metabolic Rate. If we cut down on the intake of calories too much, our bodies go into what is known as 'starvation mode' and doesn't lose any more weight because it tries to protect itself. By the time I get home, I am usually starving An indication that you're not getting enough food (aka energy) during the day. So, rev up your metabolic rate instead of cutting out food. Now, how to determine what you need. Do an online search for Basal Metabolic Rate. Check out about 6 or so sites, because there are two basic calculations for determining BMR, which causes a difference in answers. Do them with the calculations for height and weight and exercise amount. Find your range. Once you know how many calories you need per day to live, the rest is easy. I have BMR calculations along with the Food Pyramid and also the Dietary Guidelines if you want to see them.
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Mindy covered it very thoroughly, my experience has proven that meal replacements are not a good way to lose weight over the long term, nor are they good for keeping the weight off. As she states, your metabolism adjusts itself to compensate for the reduction in calories and it actually becomes harder to lose weight the longer you do it. Bag the slimfast and just eat sensibly. You may see a temporary gain until your metabolism readjusts itself, but don't panic. Once you start eating normally again, the weight WILL come off. And stay off, as long as you are being consistent with your exercise.

A good reference book that has helped me a lot:

Endurance Sports Nutrition by Suzanne Girard Eberle
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Wow! Mindy...excellent advice/knowledge! Would you suggest that Rando begin lifting weights as well?

joel
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Wow! Mindy...excellent advice/knowledge! Would you suggest that Rando begin lifting weights as well?

joel

Are you saying I am flabby and weak? Was it that noticeable???
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The formula of weight loss is simple.You must burn more calories than you consume.You can start so many forms of exercise.Walking, running, swimming really helpful for weight loss.

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Are you saying I am flabby and weak? Was it that noticeable???
tee hee hee! Just talking about increasing metabolism and such...plus, it helps your running. Bonus!!!
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Are you saying I am flabby and weak? Was it that noticeable???
tee hee hee! Just talking about increasing metabolism and such...plus, it helps your running. Bonus!!!
Oh yeah, lifting weights would help with increasing metabolism, and therefore reducing fat weight, and with the running. And with the flabby and weak thing too! Not that that was noticeable or anything...
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Don't listen to Joel, Randy......he's just jealous of all that twisted railroad steel....;) Seriously, though, weight lifting would be a big help in reducing your overall body fat, and the extra bonus to your running could only help. Just work more on toning rather than heavy lifting and bulking up. Lighter weights, higher reps.......and don't neglect your upper body, as runners often do!

But you know we love ya just the way you are....... :pinklove:
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And remember that no portion of food should be larger than your fist. Is this refering to snacks or your entire meal?
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And remember that no portion of food should be larger than your fist. Is this refering to snacks or your entire meal? And what if you're a woman with 'man-hands'? Talk about a disadvantage!
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I would totally cut out the slim fast!! Some of the ingredients are not allowing you to lose those last pounds. canola oil NOT good. i think if you reached a plato, then i would completely eliminate dairy products till further notice :)

I know the slim fast is convenient and easy to take as a meal replacement but there are really good quality protein (meal replacement) powders that will keep you full for a long time and you can whip up in a few minutes with a blender or magic bullet. 

I would recommend that. Im sure you will see results. good luck!

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And what if you're a woman with 'man-hands'? Talk about a disadvantage!
Yeah, I have very large hands so more food for me!
Akern, check out the latest issue of Runner's World magazine, the November 02 issue. It has a great article by Liz Applegate on nutrition entitled: Size Matters. It goes over what the sizes of your portions should be. And to answer your question, both snacks and each item in your entire meal.
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