5

votes

Help me lose weight with minimal exercise

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 19, 2012 at 6:17 AM

Hi, I'm a 21 year old female, 5'2", feeling chubby (although also strong) at 130 lbs. I've been eating mostly Paleo for about 6 months. However, I have a history of binge eating and general anxiety towards food; dealing with that is a major life goal right now. I've improved but still have a tendency to overeat and crave non-Paleo foods.

My problem: Over the last year I developed patellar maltracking problems, which means my knees hurt all the time. I used to do lots of high-intensity exercise to keep myself feeling and looking good. Now I can't run, walking hurts without braces, and squats or lunges are out. I need to spend most of the time I would ordinarily devote to workouts, doing tedious physical therapy exercises instead.

I am somewhat active now doing aerial arts (silks, trapeze etc), upper-body weightlifting, Pilates, and swimming when I'm desperate for cardio (although I find that pretty boring). I'm frustrated by my limited athletic abilities, though. I want to lean out to improve my self-esteem and take some of the load off of my knees.

HOW DO I LOSE WEIGHT WITHOUT THE CARDIO? I don't want to count calories. I want to find a way to eat instinctively so I get the right amount for my body while losing fat at a steady pace. My basal metabolic rate would be around 1400 kcal, FWIW. I'm eating in a college cafeteria with about two meals a day, and I tend to crave comfort food when I have to study.

9b0310b623f8ed289c9571ab3a58a142

(384)

on May 24, 2012
at 01:27 AM

Even an elliptical requires you to use your legs, regardless of it being low-impact.

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on May 24, 2012
at 12:16 AM

(cont) just keep encouraging yourself for doing the best you can! you are doing SO great just replacing grains... don't forget how huge of an accomplishment that is!

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on May 24, 2012
at 12:15 AM

(cont) just keep encouraging yourself for doing the best you can!

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on May 24, 2012
at 12:15 AM

with an ED background, i would recommend being very honest with yourself. does an absolute restriction like NO (anything) trigger you? from what you said about the small cheats turning into binges, you might do better working through your emotional stuff while you eat a more broad paleo diet. it's still healthy with dairy, carbs, nuts, etc, and i think that's a good pkace for a disordered eater to be while they help themselves emotionally, at least at first and ESPECIALLY eating in the cafeteria. there is no such thing as strict paleo in a cafeteria!

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 19, 2012
at 11:39 PM

But research is suggesting that that may be more than unfit folks are into, and so researchers have been finding out interesting benefits from a simpler 20 second sprint followed by slower pace (time depends ... I do it til I get back to the start of the lane) and repeating that just 2 or 3 times ... takes 10-12 minutes. I've been doing this low-volume version 3x a week.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 19, 2012
at 11:39 PM

If you're fit, I'd go with the traditional Phil Campbell Sprint 8 version ... which is 30 seconds of sprinting, followed by 90 seconds of slower pace, repeated 8x. I believe Campbell's protocol is to do this once a week. Mercola recommends his seemingly ripped off Peak 8 2x a week. With a bit of a warm-up and cool-down, these 20-30 minutes.

Aacabe21bcb2c8a5a15717d60447c1f4

(144)

on March 19, 2012
at 09:06 PM

Aerials are fun! If only my body didn't weigh so much so I could pull myself up easier. Realizing that all the cardio-bunnies aren't as healthy as they think they are was the silver lining of getting injured for me. However, I find myself getting out of breath a lot easier now that I don't train cardiovascularly, and that sort of bothers me. Pool sprints... gotta make that a routine...

Aacabe21bcb2c8a5a15717d60447c1f4

(144)

on March 19, 2012
at 09:04 PM

How long do I have to swim for? Like 5-6 intervals of "swim one lap as fast as you can, and then two slow ones"?

Aacabe21bcb2c8a5a15717d60447c1f4

(144)

on March 19, 2012
at 09:03 PM

Big Ass Salad is right on the money. I tend to eat a salad twice a day and I'm going to keep focusing on that. I don't have a good place to always go to study, I'll keep thinking about what would be best for that. I do enjoy my field.

Aacabe21bcb2c8a5a15717d60447c1f4

(144)

on March 19, 2012
at 09:00 PM

This is probably what I need to do. Right now though, I eat cottage cheese as one of the always-available protein options on the salad bar. Do you think I should cut it out? Also I think most people find it hard to not cheat 100% of the time, and after being so eating disordered I'm trying to forgive myself for small cheats that don't turn into binges. Any tips on how to distract myself mentally/emotionally when I want to go out for a pastry or something?

Aacabe21bcb2c8a5a15717d60447c1f4

(144)

on March 19, 2012
at 08:56 PM

Haha, it's hilarious how much this got down voted, this is what all my friends say when I try to explain how I eat. Thanks anyway.

Aacabe21bcb2c8a5a15717d60447c1f4

(144)

on March 19, 2012
at 08:56 PM

Thank you! I have been making it a point to keep paleo snacks around. I'd rather not feel the need to eat in between meals at all, but it's better than falling back on the vending machine.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on March 19, 2012
at 01:12 PM

Claire, you should check out the FAQ, specifically the part about self promotion. http://paleohacks.com/faq#axzz1pZ5x9q6u

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on March 19, 2012
at 01:07 PM

Or, if you're craving carbs while you're studying, it may be that you simply need more carbs to study effectively. It doesn't necessarily mean you're doing it wrong, or you're in the wrong field.

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14 Answers

6
D8c04730b5d016a839b3c5b932bf59dd

on March 19, 2012
at 07:22 AM

Here's an article I like on 'Why Friends Don't Let Friends Do Cardio' http://everydaypaleo.com/2011/09/02/friends-dont-let-friends-do-cardio/

He's got links in there to other stuff. It's a good intro explanation.

Sorry to hear about your knees, aerials and silks sound like FUN!

Aacabe21bcb2c8a5a15717d60447c1f4

(144)

on March 19, 2012
at 09:06 PM

Aerials are fun! If only my body didn't weigh so much so I could pull myself up easier. Realizing that all the cardio-bunnies aren't as healthy as they think they are was the silver lining of getting injured for me. However, I find myself getting out of breath a lot easier now that I don't train cardiovascularly, and that sort of bothers me. Pool sprints... gotta make that a routine...

5
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 19, 2012
at 11:01 AM

Add some high intensity interval training in the pool 2 or 3x a week.

Aacabe21bcb2c8a5a15717d60447c1f4

(144)

on March 19, 2012
at 09:04 PM

How long do I have to swim for? Like 5-6 intervals of "swim one lap as fast as you can, and then two slow ones"?

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 19, 2012
at 11:39 PM

But research is suggesting that that may be more than unfit folks are into, and so researchers have been finding out interesting benefits from a simpler 20 second sprint followed by slower pace (time depends ... I do it til I get back to the start of the lane) and repeating that just 2 or 3 times ... takes 10-12 minutes. I've been doing this low-volume version 3x a week.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 19, 2012
at 11:39 PM

If you're fit, I'd go with the traditional Phil Campbell Sprint 8 version ... which is 30 seconds of sprinting, followed by 90 seconds of slower pace, repeated 8x. I believe Campbell's protocol is to do this once a week. Mercola recommends his seemingly ripped off Peak 8 2x a week. With a bit of a warm-up and cool-down, these 20-30 minutes.

4
44b03af890ca008101b4ff47bdd722a0

on March 20, 2012
at 03:16 PM

So, of course I could be wrong, but I have a feeling you're not eating enough fat. I wonder if your history of anxiety towards food might be causing you to restrict your fat intake? You said you eat at least two salads a day. How much fat are you incorporating? I've done countless diets in the past, but this is the first "diet" which recommended high fat. It took me some time to wrap my head around that, but it made sense. So, when I decided to start, I went allllll the way. I cut out all dairy, grains and fruit and now my diet consists mostly of fat, and some protein, complemented by some vegetable matter. I'm not hungry! I'm almost never hungry! It's eerie. For example: I haven't eaten since 5pm yesterday and I'm still not yet hungry for breakfast today. And I did an hour of weight lifting and an hour of walking last night.

You could try making the first meal of the day rich in protein and MCT (medium chain triglycerides) such as coconut oil and MCT oil. I find that adhering to this rule really gets my brain and body going, and I never feel hungry.

Finally, I wonder if dairy might be setting you back. Whey is super insulinogenic - http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dairy-insulin/#axzz1pfVZogd4 - and if you're consuming it everyday, it could be interfering with your fat burning and perhaps triggering cravings. Low fat dairy is an especially huge culprit. If you MUST have cheese, Sisson recommends that it be only raw, full-fat, from grass-fed animals http://www.marksdailyapple.com/cheese-unhealthy/#axzz1pfVZogd4. If you can afford that, jeesh.

You could do an experiment and try a week of protein-heavy breakfasts, plentiful MCTs, and no dairy? Oh, and I forgot to mention coffee. If you have the urge to snack, black coffee or some tea can often be enough of a distraction. Also, I've been keeping a log of everything I consume, my sleep patterns, exercise, measurements, etc. Best time investment ever. It helps me recognize patterns and provides a great tool for deduction. We WILL figure this out! :)

As for cardio, is rowing out of the question, considering the knees? It's easy to incorporate HIIT on the rowing machine. ALSO, this might sound weird, but I have been known to use mostly my arms to power the elliptical - to give my knees a break (patellar dispacement). That'll get your heart going for sure and you can also do it in sprint form.

Pardon the novella. Best to you, keep us posted on your progress!

1
2006ccb2b60f9cc5ba5e8eff8a7abc46

on May 19, 2012
at 02:13 AM

keep eating carbs girl...just make sure you are balancing your diet properly. also know that sometimes those last 5-10 pounds we are all so set on loosing are the difference between being happy and fertile and infertile and anxious

1
8e1876a74536739ecf7bef97d5d97b76

(747)

on March 19, 2012
at 06:48 PM

I want to ignore the cafeteria eating and focus on your snacking options These are my thoughts on study time

Paleo Snacking- Presuming that your dorms were like ours and you do not have access to ovens...

1- Don't bring it in the room if you can't help yourself around it. That includes are paleo favorites like almond butter etc 2- Assuming you can use mini fridges you can stock up on the paleo favorites of veggies, but also don't forget our friends nuts, avocados, etc that are a bit fatty and can feel like comfort snacks 3- Find a resource for paleo/primal mixes (they are all over the internet) and jerky. 4- canned tuna.... mix with a primal mayo, hot sauce, mustard. Short of the eggs for the mayo none of that needs to be refrigeration either 5- they aren't exactly tastiest but you can make a lot of egg dishes in the microwave. They come out a bit rubbery and fluffish but it will work in a pinch with some frozen spinach and salsa 6- Dried Dates, sunflower seeds, 100 cocoa bars (baking isle) if you can control your consumption to 1 or 2 servings a day ...enough said

Aacabe21bcb2c8a5a15717d60447c1f4

(144)

on March 19, 2012
at 08:56 PM

Thank you! I have been making it a point to keep paleo snacks around. I'd rather not feel the need to eat in between meals at all, but it's better than falling back on the vending machine.

1
079c9288506d6692b9ce6ab0e9b2bcac

on March 19, 2012
at 08:17 AM

When I was in college I used the cafeteria meal plan even though I lived off-campus, because it saved a lot of time. The food was mediocre but the salad bar was pretty good, so I ate a lot, lot, lot of salad, or as Mark Sisson would put it, plenty of Big Ass Salad. I found this to be pretty satiating. It involved a lot of blue cheese dressing, ham, bacon bits and other less savory characters on the paleo scale but overall it was satiating and healthy.

As far as craving comfort food whilst studying, I think environment can be a big factor. When I actually got good at studying, it was at a giant desk (actually a closet door) in my room in complete isolation from the world, thoughts of food never entered into the equation. On the other hand, I know a guy who got through med school studying at a cafe because he would simply fall asleep when studying at home (also, he was like 5% bodyfat, damn genetic freak). If you are craving comfort food when you are studying, you probably aren't doing it correctly, or you need to study something else ;)

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on March 19, 2012
at 01:07 PM

Or, if you're craving carbs while you're studying, it may be that you simply need more carbs to study effectively. It doesn't necessarily mean you're doing it wrong, or you're in the wrong field.

Aacabe21bcb2c8a5a15717d60447c1f4

(144)

on March 19, 2012
at 09:03 PM

Big Ass Salad is right on the money. I tend to eat a salad twice a day and I'm going to keep focusing on that. I don't have a good place to always go to study, I'll keep thinking about what would be best for that. I do enjoy my field.

0
9b0310b623f8ed289c9571ab3a58a142

on May 24, 2012
at 01:26 AM

Try looking into a ketogenic diet. From my understanding if you don't eat more than 30-50g of carbs a day you will put your body into ketosis, where your liver breaks down fat into ketones. Your cells (most of them) use these ketones for energy instead of glucose.

There are some negative side effects when you are first transitioning into it, but when you are in ketosis you will have a severely reduced appetite. People often have to remind themselves to eat.

Do NOT forget to eat LOTS of fat when doing this, though. Try having bacon or eggs for breakfast, cooked in coconut oil, and just eat a tablespoon of coconut oil for good measure. If you are OK with dairy then buy some heavy whipping cream (no sugar or protein left). I absolutely adore coffee with heavy whipping cream and some stevia drops.

Also, don't skimp out on leafy greens. They will practically be the only plant foods you can eat a lot of, and you will need that fiber to avoid one of the side-effects of the diet: constipation.

Berries, especially wild berries, are low in sugars and high in fiber. That reminds me: fiber is NOT a carb to us even though it is listed in that section. You can subtract any fiber-related carbs from the listed amount. The only wild berries I've seen near me are blueberries, and they're quite affordable (frozen of course).

I've only done this once for maybe a week, but I worried about losing too much weight (I'm 22 y.o at 5'6" 120 lbs, don't really want to reduce my fat). You will see a few pounds come off even in the first few days due to water loss from burning up those stored carbo(hydrates).

0
31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on May 24, 2012
at 12:25 AM

how great to make a goal of dealing with your disordered past! that is such a great investment in yourself. may i suggest counseling/therapy, if you haven't gone already? it helped me tremendously. outsiders can give you perspective that we can't see ourselves because life becomes normal to us.

also, being an observer of myself helped. asking myself what i really wanted when i craved something and being ok with the answer, no matter how crazy (doritos, cuddles, marshmellow fluff, sex, sleep) helped immensely. after all, a craving is just an impulse, and an answer is not sealing my fate. i'm simply informing myself of what is going on in my head and body, and helping myself see what i need. asking myself why i wanted ice cream so much, what would i solve by binging, or why i did binge is HUGE.

binging is not the problem, it's the symptom. asking myself what the PROBLEM is and then remedying it fixes the need to binge to cope because i've taken away the motivator. for example, if i need social contact, binging won't help that, but prolong it. instead, i need to reach out and call someone! that solves the problem, so no need to binge! does that make sense?

if you already know all this, i apologize, but sometimes i think those of us with disordered pasts/present struggles can beat ourselves up so much we miss the easy, accessible answers. if you've done counseling/self-exploration, maybe try a support group? i usually find that EDs don't just go away... they may go into remission when your circumstances change but unless YOU change, they will always be under the surface. dealing with it with others help (therapy or a group) can help change your thought process and heal the need to cope with food.

finally, you go girl for dealing with this and being honest. that's the start of healing! look up posts by nance and maybe read her blog, she is so, so honest and helpful for those of us with... issues :) you can do this!

0
Da7e812dfbc1d5ada748c1baa67f47c4

on March 19, 2012
at 05:33 PM

Go strict Paleo. Limit fruit intake, no dairy, NO CARBS. Eat high protien meals. I used to be hungry all of the time, even when I did eat large meals. Now that my meals are protien and vegetable based, I am never hungry in between meals. I never thought I could feel satisfied like this. If you cut out non-paleo foods completly, your body will stop craving them. Start with a 30 day detox-then if you need a cheat day after that-cheat but don't over do it. Also-I know if difficult at 21 but try to cut out alcohol during those 30 days as well.

Aacabe21bcb2c8a5a15717d60447c1f4

(144)

on March 19, 2012
at 09:00 PM

This is probably what I need to do. Right now though, I eat cottage cheese as one of the always-available protein options on the salad bar. Do you think I should cut it out? Also I think most people find it hard to not cheat 100% of the time, and after being so eating disordered I'm trying to forgive myself for small cheats that don't turn into binges. Any tips on how to distract myself mentally/emotionally when I want to go out for a pastry or something?

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on May 24, 2012
at 12:15 AM

(cont) just keep encouraging yourself for doing the best you can!

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on May 24, 2012
at 12:16 AM

(cont) just keep encouraging yourself for doing the best you can! you are doing SO great just replacing grains... don't forget how huge of an accomplishment that is!

31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on May 24, 2012
at 12:15 AM

with an ED background, i would recommend being very honest with yourself. does an absolute restriction like NO (anything) trigger you? from what you said about the small cheats turning into binges, you might do better working through your emotional stuff while you eat a more broad paleo diet. it's still healthy with dairy, carbs, nuts, etc, and i think that's a good pkace for a disordered eater to be while they help themselves emotionally, at least at first and ESPECIALLY eating in the cafeteria. there is no such thing as strict paleo in a cafeteria!

0
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on March 19, 2012
at 06:45 AM

Try and get to the point where you eat a solid three meals a day with no snacks.

This starts with a big breakfast low in carbs to keep you full until lunch. Then for lunch something similar. Finally for dinner have your carbs there... This should help with the snacking. You might need a snack between lunch and dinner when you start out... Getting to three solid meals is key to not binging. From there get plenty of sleep.

-1
5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 24, 2012
at 12:28 AM

....Do you really think this question makes any sense?

Quit being lazy and get on that elliptical!

9b0310b623f8ed289c9571ab3a58a142

(384)

on May 24, 2012
at 01:27 AM

Even an elliptical requires you to use your legs, regardless of it being low-impact.

-2
5b81e8ccff7c87d892350fefde728d91

on August 30, 2013
at 07:12 AM

[removed spam] .

-5
Ecac6e407506399e184e8242d3d99523

on March 19, 2012
at 12:18 PM

Take a morning walk everyday and control eating....

http://www.defensesoap.com/defense-body-wipes.html

-8
Dbb399f7cd8a622b1d32feaf31961427

on March 19, 2012
at 12:18 PM

If you're only eating two meals a day then this is not always good for your metabolism.

why not try eating smaller meals and having about 5 meals a day instead. This way you are less likely to be tempted in between meals and your metabolism stays much higher therefore burning more fat during the day.

Hope your knees start to improve so you can exercise pain free. It's very frustrating when you can't do what you want to do exercise wise.

Hope this helps

Claire

Co-founder of the Active Health Academy

http:www.activehealthacademy.com

Aacabe21bcb2c8a5a15717d60447c1f4

(144)

on March 19, 2012
at 08:56 PM

Haha, it's hilarious how much this got down voted, this is what all my friends say when I try to explain how I eat. Thanks anyway.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on March 19, 2012
at 01:12 PM

Claire, you should check out the FAQ, specifically the part about self promotion. http://paleohacks.com/faq#axzz1pZ5x9q6u

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