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Exercise & Fitness Message Board

Exercise & Fitness Board Index

1. I've been doing the walking programme for 2.5 months now...

No matter what kind of exercise you do, the key is creating a calorie deficit. You need to carefully evaluate what you are eating, and how much exercise you are doing, to make sure you are creating about a 1000 calorie a day deficit. I have all the tables, etc to help determine this you if you really want to get into it. Walking, running, cycling, sex... it's all exercise... you just need to know how often to do it and for how long.

2. Some people will say in order to burn fat, you have to incorporate weights into your workout programme....

Incorporating weights will help you lose weight more quickly... there's sound science behind this fact. But it's not NECESSARY to do so... but see my response to some of your questions below to determine if you want to go this route or not.

3. I do not want to have "nice pecs" like most men want. I just want a flat chest.

There's no way to "spot reduce"... when the weight comes off, it comes off in its own way. You'll probably find that the midsection and chest are the last places you'll lose fat... if that's where you WANT to lose it. Nature is cruel that way. Again, working with weights may help tone up those areas where you have a little "jiggle", but you are right... reducing your body fat percentage will give you the results you are looking for.

4. I've read that by decreasing calorie consumption too much will lead to your body storing fat, rather than burning it.

Partially true. You want to create that calorie deficit, but not go too far so that you body thinks it is starving and starts hoarding energy as fat. It's a fine balance to achieve, but it certainly can be done.

5. Any other advice you can offer to burning fat, achieving a flatter chest and a less-flabby stomach?

Doing your walking (or other aerobics) first thing in the morning on an empty stomach is the best time to burn fat. Unfortunately, that timing doesn't work for me, but it might for you. If you consider some kind of fat-burner supplement (like Trim-Spa), it's best to take that before you do your workout. Try to keep your fat intake to 10-20% of your total calories, and lower your carb intake while boosting your protein levels. I know this will be hard as a vegan, but soy protein can be as effective as "real" meat for protein intake. And drink LOTS of water... I am making a real effort to DOUBLE my water intake this week... it helps flush toxins and excess protein from the system, and while you might see a little bump in your weight, remember it's "water weight" and you can shed it when you need to.

Good luck... feel free to PM me if you want to go deeper into your diet and exercise goals and how to reach them.
P.S. Does this mean that for the past 2.5 months, I haven't burned any fat because my saturated fat/junk food intake is too high?

This is very possible. Let me offer a suggestion on how to get this under control. Try to note the caloric and nutrient content of what you're eating for a few days. Literally take a notepad and list what you ate, how much and find out how many calories are in it along with protein, carb/sugar and fat content. Sounds like a pain, but it's pretty easy. It will help you get a handle on what you are actually intaking each day. Then try as best as you can to plan for 4-6 small meals a day -eating every 2-3 hours-, dividing the calories you need for the day fairly evenly into each meal/snack. This will provide constant nutrition to your body, keep you from getting hungry, prevent cravings and prevent binging. Paying attention to the calorie restriction will help you to eat much cleaner if you want to stay a healthy vegan, because in order to get the protein and vitamins you need into that range, you have to eliminate the garbage. This means *sugar*. :D Sorry. And, yes, nuts and NATURAL nut butters are chock full of good fats (Jiffy and such are full of nastiness) protein and vitamins, but be careful with portions because the calories add up fast. 200 calories in 2 Tbsp. of natural peanutbutter.
Thai noodles are a refined carb, all white noodles/rice are. Not the best choice, but it won't kill you either. Your body just treats them a lot like it would sugar (burns what it can right away, stores the rest as fat). Its the whole grains and brown rice that burns more slowly. So I can't really tell you exactly what foods TO eat, but rather how to make the best choices out of what you have available. I find that eating cleanly is a lot easier if you give yourself 1 cheat day a week. One day won't destroy your efforts (assuming you don't binge), you do not have to give up the foods that you love and crave, but it will help you to restrict how much junk you eat so that it won't ruin your diet daily.
The way that you create your caloric deficit is by burining 300-500 with exercise/cardio, -adding muscle will help here too- and by dropping calories 300-500 below your maintenance needs (which is roughly 11-12x body weight).

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