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Work outs are a waste of time?

This is my situation, I got all disheartened cause I was getting up early and working out and nothing was changing.I have been working out on average 5 days a week for the past 2 years. I would go up and down 5 pounds. Never getting out of the 190's. My measurements stayed the same, so it wasn't even like I was getting fimer and shrinking. I decided forget it, waste of time, and stopped working out. I dilluted myself into thinking the workouts were the only thing keeping me from blowing up. Well, since I stopped working out, I have lost 6 pounds in the past 2 weeks. I currently have no plans of EVER working out again. I did enjoy working out, but it seems now as if it was counter productive.

Wed. Mar 12, 10:42am

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I lose a lot of weight when I don't work out for awhile, too, and it comes right back on when I start working out again. I always just assume it's because I lose muscle and then add it back, or possibly because I'm eating too many calories when I work out hard.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 10:43 AM

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You've probably lost some muscle, which has resulted in your weight loss. Exercise has other benefits besides weight loss, like keeping your heart healthy and strengthening your bones. You shouldn't stop. If weight loss is your main concern, maybe you should see a trainer to make sure you're doing the right things.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 10:44 AM

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10:42 you are wrong

If you exercise you will live longer and better...

My parents are approaching 65 and 70 and they have always had outstanding exercise and food habits and they look, feel and act 20 years younger - I look at people like that and I say, that is where I want to be when I am in my late 60's so I've got to be good now!
Regular moderate exercise can extend your disability free years by 6 and add 3-4 years to your life span. Highly active people can double these benefits.
Research findings (from the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital) show that a healthy weight and regular exercise are closely related to longevity!
Bottom line, it is not about how much you weigh but about body composition. When you excersise you maintain bone density and muscle and you will have more energy. If you are not losing weight through excercise eat 1500 calories a day and then you definitely will.
Otherwise you will be in a wheelchair at 65 instead of hiking through the woods at 75

Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 11:17 AM

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Check the amount of calories you're eating. Often people are either eating too much or too little. Too much (body gains weight) too little (body's holding on to weight for dear life).

Also, what kind of workout's are you doing. How long, what is your heart rate at during your workout.

Are you doing strength training.

If you answer these questions, we should get a better picture.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 11:20 AM

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In my experience I don't lose weight with exercise alone, only by reducing how much I eat, but do I think exercise is a waste of time? Not at all! I feel so much younger, stronger, better with regular exercise. I felt like an old woman before (I'm 53). Plus it really helps me be able to cope better with chronic stress. The benefits of exercise can't be duplicated by a pill.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 12:46 PM

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OP here

OK, 2 years of diet and exercise. 5 cardios a week and 2 strength training days. I gained 20 pounds over that 2 years. GAINED 20 POUNDS! OK, took measurements, clothes getting tighter and tighter. Stopped working out while continuing to watch what I eat and finally losing weight. I have absoluely NO intention of EVER working out again. EVER! A lot of time and energy and money was wasted over that 2 years and I was upset all the time cause nothing was happening for the good. Maybe if I hit a plateau I will jog for a week or two. Probably not. At this moment I have lost more weight in 2 weeks then I did in all of the 2 years. That of course does not count the 5 pounds lost and gained over and over.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 1:27 PM

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Okay, OP.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 1:58 PM

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Wow OP I am really sorry for you. Sorry that your body has done this to you, but even more sorry that you don't intend to work out anymore.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 2:13 PM

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It's really quite simple.
You are either clueless about what you're eating;
Or you think you're burning way more than you actually are;
Or you have a relevant, undiagnosed medical problem, eg. metabolic syndrome or PCOS.

Take your pick and start working on it, because exercise isn't the culprit.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 2:35 PM

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OP here

Obviously not clueless about what I am eating. I am finally losing weight. I don't have any undiagnosed anything. I know this because I have been diagnosed. Doesn't matter. Not working out has shown more results then working out for me. Not everybody is the same. I know what has worked and what hasn't worked for me.
I am sorry too. I can honestly say that I used to look forward to my work outs. I always felt good about them and good about myself for doing them. They however were doing me no good. Even my husband used to brag about my dedication to it. However, I would prefer my husband brag about how thin and sexy his wife has become.
It is really quite simple.
If you eat donuts everyday and you get fat
then you stop eating donuts and you lose weight,
donuts were the culprit.
If you work out and gain a bunch of weight,
stop working out and lose weight,
working out was the culprit.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 3:15 PM

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Please don't give up just yet!


I assume you are here for encouragement, so don't give up.

"5 cardios a week and 2 strength training days" is great and is beneficial... You definitely just need to tweak what you are doing with your diet. I know you are frustrated, but it is simple math. If you burn more calories than you are taking in you WILL lose weight. Figure out your BMR (what you naturally burn w/o exercise) and eat just 100-200 calories less than that per day.

Just take in a few hundred less calories every day (and keep exercising!) and you will lose weight. (How many calories do you eat now?)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 3:21 PM

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What ? Op that doesn't even make sense. Fine you lost six pounds over the past two weeks ... analyze what else you did differently over that time ?

Di d you cut back on calories because you weren't working out ? Working out can not cause you to be fat. Its you and your eating habits.

i used to think the same thing. I worked out consistently for years and never lost weight ever.

This past November I joined peertrainer kept a log of my foods... controlled my emotional eating... increased my speed/endurance on the treadmill/ did more weights and more reps.... added interval training.... and finally varied my workouts.

Well low and behold I've dropped 5 pounds. The same 5 pounds that I WAS NEVER ABLE TO LOOSE OVER THE PAST THREE YEARS OF WORKING OUT FIVE DAYS A WEEK. And yes I gained and lost weight also.

It wasn't my workouts that was the problem It was the lack of creativity in the gym routine.

You sound like you really want to do this so go for it.

My suggestion is to take your measurements now.Come back in six months... you may weigh less but I bet you anything you've expanded by a couple of inches.

And jesus I hope your not an older caucasion female becuase when your older and your bones are brittle you'll think back on this decision your making and regret it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 3:25 PM

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Your equation is missing a factor

Your equation:

cardio + weight traing = fat gain is not possible.

It is cardio + weight traing + too much food = weight gain (not necessarily fat gain) You might get a little more muscular, but who cares...Food is the only "culprit" here.

I started running and eating less and lost 50 lbs in one year.
You have to do both.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 3:28 PM

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OP, be realistic! No one in the world looses weight in a healthy way by not working out. Your looking for a cop-out, regardless of what you say. And since it's fairly recent, are you even open to the possibility that it is just muscle you lost? Where are those calories you take in going to be burned off? They can't be unless you move it! Logic, honey.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 3:30 PM

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You need to add more strength training... try three days a week and less cardio. Or do a circuit.

5 days a week of cardio will not make you loose weight. Unless you are burning 700 calories per workout to burn 3500 calories to loose that pound and then you are eating exactly the same all the time (or less) you will not loose the weight with that alone.

Unless you were doing hour + workouts 5 times a week and eating like a celebrity you wouldnl't loose the weight. I bet you mainted it though for two years!

Two days of strength are ok but did you change your routine ? Add more weight ? Do supersets ? Interval training in between sets ?

The advice that we are giving you is to help. You WILL regret your decision. THATS A PROMISE

Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 3:31 PM

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I'm not sure there's a point in engaging this OP. She "knows what she knows" and that's the end of it. What a great homelife for that husband who used to be proud of her.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 3:36 PM

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This woman didn't believe what she wrote... she's playing the victim. Her real question was "Why did I loose six pounds the past two weeks when I stopped working out?"

The rest was just for drama... man I feel bad for her husband.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 3:48 PM

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At least I'm not the only one confused about the point that the OP is trying to get to.

OP - look at your logs - or tell us your username and make your logs public. I'm sure it's your diet. There's no other possible reason; except for medical reason or you literally burn almost no calories while working out...which is unlikely.

We are here to help you. We're not attacking you here...we are truly concerned. If you'd like some help...we're here for you.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 3:51 PM

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OP - Can you tell us what you are eating...1800 calories a day? 2800 calories a day??

Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 4:59 PM

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Most people who are working out and not seeing results are eating WAY too much. It's human nature to assume because you are working hard in the gym you are entitled to eat more.

I bet this was the OP's problem but he/she doesn't realize it. Or eating too large of portion sizes.

But I agree with a previous post, it doesn't sound like she's looking for answers, just wants someone to tell her she must be right and it's OK to stop workout out completely. Which I hope nobody does...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 5:04 PM

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That sucks OP. I felt the same way for so long, so I quit working out. Then I watched the scale go down 10 pounds and gravity took over! I lost 10 pounds of muscle and the fat fell became loose and ishy!

I try not to focus so much on the scale numbers. But when my measurements go down, my pants get bigger, and I feel better--that's my proof that exercise works.

Good luck to you.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 5:07 PM

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The OP has spoken...

she ain't workin' out. Next topic!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 5:15 PM

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OP - Why post a comment like this in this type of community?

1. This is a "be healthy" website - you know that not exercising is a bad idea if you want to be healthy end of discussion.

2. Are you looking for advice, support, or just want to make a statement that you know is not true to see what people say?


Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 6:13 PM

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OP here.

First off my husband has a fine homelife.
Secondly, my post is true, it is exactly as I say it is. Stopped working out and finally lost weigh.
Third, the last poster was right, I just wanted to see what you all had to say about this situation. I am as confused as you are all. I thought I was doing everything correctly by keeping it to 1200 calories and working out. I was mistaken. if this weight loss is temporary I will be the first to admit it. But for now it is what it is.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 8:16 PM

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I'm currently taking a cardiac rehab class in college. Forget about what exercise does for your ass and think about what it does for your heart. Cardiovascular disease is still the number 1 killer or women in this country. 50% of Americans will die of heart disease. Of those 50%, half of them will be completely asymptomatic, until one day without warning they keel over dead. All Americans should exercise at LEAST 30 minutes per day every day to maintain good heart health. Decide now which 50 percentile you want to be in.

Exercise doesn't have to be drudgery! Pick something fun like dancing and keep your heart rate elevated for 30 measly minutes a day. Your future self will thank you decades from now.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 9:09 PM

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OP - what's your height, age, weight ?

Maybe you're not eating enough calories. On average, how many calories were you burning during your workouts?

Your body tends to hold onto weight if you're not eating enough...maybe this is true for you.

If you provide the above info, I'd be able to help to see if you're eating enough calories.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 10:32 PM

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Maybe you weren't losing any weight because you were only eating 1200 calories with all the activity you were doing? So your body thought you were starving, thus put itself in starvation mode?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 11:11 PM

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I know a number of Registered Dietitians, and one of their biggest and most common struggles when dealing with weight loss patients is to get them to stop thinking that 1200 calories is a smart, healthy amount of food to lose weight on. It's detrimentally strict for almost everyone.

So in the case of the OP, she continues to blame working out for her lack of progress rather than the unnamed medical issue or undereating. All she has really found out is that 1200 calories "works" when you don't work out because your intake isn't so ridiculously removed from your output. If she went back to the gym and ate 1600 calories a day, she'd probably do just as well on the scale and actually look better in the end.

But if all you want is an excuse not to work out, you don't have to justify it to anyone but your disappointed husband. And down the line, your doctors.

Thursday, March 13, 2008, 12:15 AM

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11:11 here

You're absolutely right, 12:15. I just didn't want to add more to my post because if I did, people would start attacking me about the 1200 calorie issue...and I've had countless arguments w/ ppl here regarding 1200 calories. I mean think about it, did ppl gain weight because they were eating 1800 calories? NO! When I eat 1800 calories, I lose weight! Sure, it's slow weight loss..but I'm not feeling miserable.

Thursday, March 13, 2008, 12:45 AM

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OP here

12:15-DROP DEAD and stop saying my husband is disappointed ! Knock it off. You ass! Self righteous sanctimonious jerk. Worry about your own spouse or lack there of.
Yeah, you can all stop posting on this thread cause I am done reading it. Yeah and by the way I am down yet another pound today so, enjoy your workouts, I am going to the beach this weekend!

Thursday, March 13, 2008, 9:58 AM

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OP - I tried to encourage you but you are not willing to listen b/c you are frustrated with your experience and some jerks...
Jerks aside we want you to be healthy..not exercising at all is just not healthy (as any physician would tell you).
Tweak your diet (Maybe a little more, maybe a litle less, maybe different foods) and tweak your exercise (maybe a little more, maybe a little less, maybe different things) but don't stop exercising.
Good luck!

-3:21, 3:28, 6:13

Thursday, March 13, 2008, 10:36 AM

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OP, I had a very similar situation! I had lost 18 lbs., and then the scale didn't move for over 6 months (a lb. or two, but never permanent). When I moved, I planned on joining a gym or working out 5x per week. After a few weeks, I noticed my weight dropping. I have lost another 7 lbs. in the last 3 months and I feel great! I think several things can be factored in:
-I was eating too little and working out too much before
-I have a new routine and a new, healthier diet (I've cut out meat and dairy)
-I have a job that keeps me pretty active
-when you build muscle, you hold onto a few lbs. of water weight

I, now, have added strength/resistance training 4-5x per week because I want to look great in the spring and summer.

Do not look at exercise as the reason you weren't losing! It was probably your own different combination of things. Try to take a look at all the differences between then and now.

Thursday, March 13, 2008, 11:19 AM

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OP..Please read

I joined a gym and worked out religously 5 days a week, a mix of cardio and weight training and never lost weight. I actually put on more body fat. I am careful about my diet. I attributed it to hormonaL fluctuations (in my late 40's) and the inevitable middle age spread. Then last year I started working out with a personal trainer. No change in my diet and I have lost 10 lbs, lost inches AND put on more muscle.

I don't think the answer is not working out but working out differently. A personal trainer might help. Also, as others have mentioned, there are benifits to working out besides weight loss. Heart health and increaed bone density (esp. for women) are important factors to consider. Also as an earlier poster mentioned it will increase the quality of life as you age. My mother never worked out, was constantly obsessed about her weight and dieted dangerously. She is now in her early 70's and can barely walk across a room. Even at my age she was unable to do the things I do easily (hike, bike ride, swim) that I don't even consider as part of my daily exercise routine.

Good luck.

Thursday, March 13, 2008, 11:59 AM

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Good input here!

OP, I hope you will watch this tread and update in a couple of months from now if your views are still the same.

Thursday, March 13, 2008, 1:31 PM

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The OP is just the sad little drama queen one of the above posters accused her of. She won't be able to stay away from this thread. Or maybe she'll start a new one about how embarrassed her husband was to be seen next to her jiggliness in a swimsuit.

Thursday, March 13, 2008, 3:23 PM

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Not the OP, but just as a fellow PTer and a generally supportive person--Reading the PP comment has made me wonder...

...can we have two community sections? One for Jerks and one for Supportive Members? So, if you are generally an Jerk with Jerk comments, you would want to click on "Community for Jerks" and if you are generally Supportive, you would click on "Community for Supportive Members".

Thursday, March 13, 2008, 3:47 PM

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PP - I couldn't agree with you more!!!

It's quite annoying!

Thursday, March 13, 2008, 3:54 PM

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That is totally normal. They are not a waste of time, they are extremely important. You have to find the right balance. It's food and working out and if you get your diet under control, and gradually workout, you'll get the results. I know when I've been working out for a month or two, and I stop for a week, I usually lose a few pounds and get off a plateau so what has happened is completely normal but don't give up on working out. It's also very important for your health.

Thursday, March 13, 2008, 4:56 PM

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I don't understand where the "husband" references are coming from?

Anyway, OP, I work out a lot and haven't lost weight or inches but I love the exercises I do so I keep doing them. Maybe you could switch your routine to something you'll love? That way, it's just another one of your hobbies and not a grueling task and you'll get the health benefits that working out provides.

Thursday, March 13, 2008, 5:09 PM

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Ahhh...I am so torn right now, I am so happy to have read this thread. I recently came to a similar conclusion about exercise being "a waste of time." I have been trying to lose 15 lbs (that I gained over the past year :( ). I eat about 1800 calories a day and feel that I maintain a healthy diet (not overly strict, but very healthy), and to do this, I just kept upping my cardio. I did this for about 3 mos, to the point where I started to dread working out. As an avid runner, I realized this is because I started to feel like i HAD to workout for hours or else it wasnt good enough. SO...2 wks ago, I had had it. After exercising AT LEAST 6 days a week, I decided to go to my last resort...stop exercising, and focus more on my diet (went from 1800 to 1300 cals). This has been interesting. Its only been 2 weeks...and i have worked out about 4 times...and the scale has not moved. I am so discouraged...I have been so good w/ my diet, but still, nothing. Should I be patient? How long til I can at least lose a half pound??? Even without the intense cardio I used to do everyday, I am certainly not sedentary (i walk 1.5 miles briskly to work)...WHATS THE DEAL?! Its so hard to be patient with the scale. Nothing works :(

Thursday, March 13, 2008, 5:26 PM

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5:26 - hang in there. It's too soon to declare you've tried everything or that nothing works. Fear not - you are not the one person on the planet that defies the science of losing weight. Continue to watch what you eat, consider decreasing your cardio and perhaps add strength training. You can get a good cardio workout with strength training, spend less time exercising, and get good results.

Thursday, March 13, 2008, 6:35 PM

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5:26 - you worked out "at least 6 days a week", meaning that you would work out 7 days a week? And a lot of that was running? Not really sure exactly how it affects weight loss, but not letting your body repair and recover can't be helping, either physically or mentally.

For people with a serious fitness habit, we're supposed to take 1-2 weeks off completely every 8-12 weeks (advice varies) so that our bodies don't get too efficient and burn fewer calories doing the same routine. You might want to read up on it and give it a try.

Thursday, March 13, 2008, 8:48 PM

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I read that weight loss is 10% exercise and 90% I guess this makes exercise important (obviously for other reasons, but im just talking about in terms of weightloss) , but clearlya healthy diet is far more key to losing the pounds.

Friday, March 14, 2008, 10:00 AM

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They say that because it's so easy to consume excess calories than to work them that's why 90% of losing weight is about calorie consumption (also of course you'd want your calories to be nutritious).

Friday, March 14, 2008, 11:13 AM

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I want to know WHY this woman lost 6 pounds on NO exercise this seems implausible -
used diuretics, stopped eating, stopped drinking water, came off a period, there has to be SOME scientific expalination something else is a factor but what? 6 pounds ain't much - could be some little reason...?

Friday, March 14, 2008, 11:21 AM

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You have to ask yourself, 6 pounds of what? The scale does not differentiate between fat mass (adipose tissue- what we're all trying to lose) and fat free mass (everything else- bones, skeletal muscle, smooth muscle, cardiac muscle, skin, necessary fat cushioning the organs, the organs themselves and the big one, WATER!) Chances are she did NOT lose 6 entire pounds of fat (adipose) tissue off her glutes, hips, thighs, abs, etc. A good portion of that 6 lbs may be water and skeletal muscle.

If only it could be that easy! Give up the exercise and lose the fat! Right...

WAKE UP! Scales do not tell the whole truth and sometimes they outright lie. Which is more important to you, the number on the scale or how you fit into your jeans? Please, let's all stop the obsession with the scale and focus on what's truly important -your health. Exercise is EXTREMELY important to your overall health. It is not a waste of time.

Hopefully while the OP is at the beach this weekend she spends some time swimming and getting her heart rate up.

Friday, March 14, 2008, 3:07 PM

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PP - amen!

Friday, March 14, 2008, 3:15 PM

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Work out more, work out less
eat more, eat less
scale matters, scale doesn't matter
OP, If you really think you have tried everything, do what you think works best for you. You can always tweek your plan as different things come up. Do you think the diet and exercise industry full of snake oil and pink fat patches is a multi-billion dollar business because they want you to be thin and stop buying in to all the hype? The thinnest person I know eats snack food all day, and never works out. That works for her. Try to find what works for you.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008, 1:51 PM

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1:51 PM are you crazy? That thin person you know is one of those rare lightning metabolism people that can do whatever they want. OP is not Twiggy. doing some quality cardio and weights is not "snake oil and pink fat patches" it is basic common sense. OP is saying exercise is useless and she will never do it anymore which is like saying seatbelts and turn-signals are useless....or more like telling a bunch of men and women that colon cancer screenings are dumb and breast cancer checks are a waste. Not cool.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008, 4:09 PM

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...also you say, " The thinnest person I know eats snack food all day, and never works out. That works for her."
...yeah works for her to look nice and thin in her casket at 40.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008, 4:12 PM

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How do you know that 'it works for her'? She may look thin, but have TONS of underlying, unhealthy problems.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008, 4:17 PM

Add comment there an echo in here? ;)


Tuesday, March 18, 2008, 5:17 PM

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Isn't the most important thing to do stuff that you enjoy in life!? Being healthy isn't a measurement off of the scale, just because you aren't seeing the number change there doesn't mean that doing cardio 5 times a week wasn't benefiting your health. You should continue with your workouts if it was making you happy.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008, 3:34 PM

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There are so many different opinions out there on this - but honestly, a little exercise is better than none. If you want to build cardiorespiratory endurance, you'll want to increase your workout time - it's certainly a good idea - but no, even short workout are never a "waste" of time. You're still burning calories and getting your body moving.

that site

Thursday, May 23, 2013, 10:47 PM

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