Posts Tagged losing weight

Weight Loss Challenges

I have been bumping into so much discussion about how to lose weight. Yesterday on the radio, Kirstie Alley said she always ate large portions, was very athletic and had no overweight problems. Then she turned 53, and ballooned up for no special reason. I wrote about her in 2011. She had jumped to 230 pounds from 143…and then she lost 75 pounds, gained 75, etc. The key question is how to lose it and keep it off?

So today I read an article suggesting that you lose more weight from exercise in a warm setting than a cold one, because you eat less after the workout.

The comments are illuminating. One says you can’t lose weight from exercise alone:

I have done a lot of research into clinical trials regarding exercise and weight loss. The general theme is around 25% of individuals GAIN weight with exercise. Another 25% remain weight stable. The remainder may lose paltry amounts…or up to 10-15 pounds…only if sustained. The tale is worse for women.

Exercise has been shown to be fairly pathetic for weight loss. Begin with diet.

Another says you have to do larger amounts of calorie burn through exercise and also agrees that diet is important:

What has been shown to be “pathetic” for weight loss is doing a very small dose of exercise. The vast majority of research studies only have persons exercising about 1-3 hours a week and therefore burning only at most about 200 calories a day. Most dieters in these studies are producing deficits of between 500 and 1000 calories a day- no wonder “diet” looks better. As I quoted below, this study showed that when calorie deficits are matched, exercise brings the same amount of weight loss. Of course the exercise has to be at a much higher dose- at least an hour a day of fairly intense exercise

Possibly people who gain weight from exercise are those doing this paltry amount of exercise and thinking they are burning more calories than they are, and therefore they overcompensate by eating too much. Studies also show that at whatever kind of diet that is done, 95% regain all their weight within five years- and low carb diets also don’t bring lasting weight loss. Dieting without any exercise necessitates drastic calorie reduction, which is not sustainable for most people. Exercise is an indisputable factor in keeping weight off. My citation explored many studies which show this. I exercise at least an hour everyday and this helped to lose 100 pounds and continuing to exercise has helped me to keep every pound off going on 5 years.

It’s a huge challenge for most people, especially when most can’t do an intense hour workout each day. But I am still convinced from all I have learned that healthier, low fat/low sugar/low carb diet plus exercise is needed to lose weight and keep it off.

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Jason Segel Loses 30 Pounds After Seeing Photo Of His Fat Stomach

Here is another case history of a celebrity—this time Jason Segel—who loses 30 pounds after seeing a picture of how bad and fat he looked. He was so upset that he started exercising and eating less. “It was horrible,” he admits.

Although I never heard of him before I saw this video, I had seen him in two of his movies. Jason Jordan Segel (born January 18, 1980) is an American television and film actor, screenwriter, musician, known for his work with producer Judd Apatow on the short-lived television series Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared, the movies Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, I Love You, Man, Gulliver’s Travels, and Despicable Me, and also for his role as Marshall Eriksen in the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother.

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Peter Jackson’s Method For Losing Weight

Peter Jackson lost 70 pounds

December 7, 2005—Peter Jackson has gone from a giant gorilla to a hunky monkey. The “King Kong” and “Lord of the Rings” director shed 70 pounds while shooting the monster movie remake by eating a strict diet of yogurt and muesli, getting little sleep and working around the clock, sometimes putting in 21-hour days.

“It’s already been dubbed the “Skull Island Diet” by the diet Web site, named after the, tortuous jungle where King Kong was born.”

You can read more details about his weight loss at this site .

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Natalie Portman Loses 20 Pounds For Movie Role

thin Natalie Portman as ballerina in Black Swan

Here is another actor who can lose weight at will. How do these people do it so easily, when normal humans struggle unsuccessfully most of the time just to lose 10 pounds?

The 5-foot-3-inch starlet worked out between five and eight hours a day to shed 20 pounds from her already tiny frame so she could play a prima ballerina. “At a certain point, I looked at [Natalie’s] back, and she was so skinny and so cut … I was like, ‘Natalie, start eating,’” says Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky. “I made sure she had a bunch of food in her trailer.”

2010 Natalie in movie

2007 Natalie

“It was really extreme,” Portman said of her physical commitment to the role. “And I definitely felt both physical and mental aftershocks from the experience, because it was the first thing I’ve ever done that was this physically demanding on top of an emotionally demanding part,” she said.

Portman also said that, although she and Aronofsky first discussed the project nearly a decade ago, she needed more age and experience to tap into certain aspects of her character.

“For me, it’s really about someone going from a position, an artistry where you’re trying to please other people, to a position where you’re finding pleasure yourself,” she said. “And Vincent [Cassel]‘s character, though it seems that he’s sort of puppeteering this character, he is really guiding her towards becoming an artist and is really teaching her how to find her own pleasure and make a true expression of herself, that it’s about her.”

The 29-year-old went on to say that she related to her character finally realizing that it’s not her job to make others happy. “It’s about breaking out of a system where you’re easily replaceable by the next girl who looks like you…But the older you get, the less you care about what other people think and the more you just want to be your true self and express your true self.”

After posting this story, I just read another that only has to do with the movie, nothing to do with Natalie.

This is more sad than ridiculous. Call it sadly ridiculous.

The Guardian of London reports that a man in Latvia was shot and killed in a Riga movie theater after a dispute over popcorn during a screening of Black Swan. The victim, a 43-year old man, accused the assailant of chewing his popcorn too loudly, the papers report, something the accused did not take kindly.

The alleged shooter, a 27-year old police academy graduate who holds a law degree and has the legal right to carry a pistol, waited until the lights came back on to fire the gun. Possibly a questionable decision. Fellow moviegoers called the police, who cuffed the accused.

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How Christian Bale Gains And Loses 50-100 Pounds For Movie Roles

Bale's range of change

Batman Bale

Yo-yo dieting is a way of life for some, but for Hollywood actors, gaining and losing lots of weight is part of the job. When it is so hard for many ordinary people to lose weight or even to gain it, what kind of discipline do actors have that allows them to succeed at this challenge?

For Christian Bale’s performance in the new boxing film, The Fighter, the actor dramatically “transformed” himself from Batman buff to “rail thin” for his role as drug addict and former boxer Dicky Eklund.

Bale in The Fighter

The 6-foot-tall actor dropped 63 pounds to play a chronic insomniac in The Machinist in 2003. (see “skinny Bale” above left) His secret to dropping all the way down to 122 pounds? Starvation, vitamins, and lots of gym time. As part of the process, Bale consulted a nutritionist who advised him about how much weight he could safely lose — but the actor kept going past that point. “I lost another 20 pounds below what she said I should stop at,” he told the BBC.

Amazingly after the Machinist, Bale hired a personal trainer to help him gain 100 pounds (45 kg) in the span of only a couple of months to help him physically prepare for the role of Batman in 2005. He first went well over the weight required and created concern over whether he would look right for the part. Bale recognized that his large physique was not appropriate for Batman, who relies on speed and strategy. He lost the excess weight by the time filming began.

It can’t be healthy or good for your heart to create these huge fluctuations. But how does he make it happen so easily, when normal people can’t gain or lose just 5-10 pounds?

I’ll show more examples in other posts of actors who alter their weight for the screen. Maybe we can learn what the secret is that makes it possible…

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A Reader Writes:

On Aug 28, 2009, at 3:42 PM, Michael Bluejay wrote:

Hi Ira. I always think of you when I use the crunch machine at the gym. I still don’t have visible abs but I think I’m close. My first problem was that I had a lot of weight to lose, but I lost nearly 20 pounds in the last 2.5 months, so I’m close.

On Sep 11, 2009, at 4:12 PM, Ira wrote:

Hi Michael–Congratulations on your progress and thanks for the kind words. Is it OK if I post them on the site?

You should write a story of your own about your fitness efforts. You know it doesn’t have to be a before and after tale…it can be a work in progress just like mine.

On Sep 11, 2009, at 9:23 PM, Michael Bluejay wrote:

Sure, feel free to post my comments. Read the rest of this entry »

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Peter Houldin Tells How He Lost 130 Pounds and Became a Marathon Runner!



Peter Houldin in 2008

Peter Houldin in 2008

Growing up, I always carried a few extra pounds, but never considered myself obese. In high school, I played football, basketball, and golf and was in decent enough shape.

Not until I reached college did the weight start pouring on. In the fall of 1992, I entered my freshman year of college and probably weighed 210 pounds and wore a 38-waist pant. I had a large frame and am six feet tall, so wasn’t overly worried. Certainly didn’t feel fat.

Over the next few years—probably due to too little exercise and too much cafeteria food, pizza, and cheap beer—the weight slowly–ok quickly–started to pile on. By junior year, I weighed 284 pounds and was squeezing into a 44 pant. I had gained 74 pounds in 2½ years!

Peter Houldin in 1994 at 284 pounds

Peter Houldin in 1994 at 284 pounds

Peter Houldin in 1990's before weight loss

Peter Houldin in 1990's before weight loss

While I was having a great time putting on the weight and playing collegiate golf, my studies took a back seat. Over the holiday break of my junior term, I received a letter from the academic dean suggesting I stay home for a semester and prove that I wanted to be in his school.

As it turns out, that was one of the better letters I ever received. I took it as a challenge. I enrolled in a local state college and spent the spring semester working hard at both school and on my weight. Not only did I excel in school, but by the summer, I had dropped a ton of weight.

To be honest, the first pounds were the easiest ones to lose. Given I had put the weight on so quickly, fortunately, it came off equally as quick. That’s not to say I wasn’t diligent about it. I took stock of the habits that caused the weight gain, namely, fast food, pizza, beer, and zero exercises. I decided to do just the opposite. I began a cardio regimen and went back to the basics with regards to food. I ate very boring and plain foods – turkey, mustard, and whole wheat sandwiches. Chicken and veggies for dinner, and eliminated alcohol and snacks.

When I returned to my original school the following fall, I had taken off 60 pounds. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is It OK To Tell Your Friends That They Are Fat And Should Lose Weight?

I took a little flak from a close friend about what I did say and what I didn’t say. When he ate four desserts at my dinner the other day, I spoke up. He chided me for noticing, counting and judging. I said I knew he was trying to lose weight, so I couldn’t not be a good pal and point out to him how he was sabotaging his effort.

Two days later he was annoyed that I hadn’t spoken up and given him some business advice. I said I didn’t feel it was my place to butt into his affairs. Maybe what he was doing would work out, and he hadn’t asked for my opinion.

“So if I have a broken leg and am not taking care of it, you’re not going to speak up or get me to a doctor?” he asked.

I reminded him about the four slices of cake, and he said that maybe he really doesn’t want to lose weight, in spite of his public declarations that he does want to be lighter and that he goes to the gym, he says, to burn calories.

Very confusing. Read the rest of this entry »

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How to Avoid Eating Crappy Food That is Bad for Us?

Went to a movie on Friday night and automatically bought some popcorn…with extra oil. I was told that it was not coconut oil (very high cholesterol) and that it was butter-flavored. So I still don’t know what it was and how bad for my health. With salt added, it was delicious munching during the show, and my friend had half the bag.

Later he chastised me for buying it at all. Although he loved eating it, he regretted that I had tempted him, and he had succumbed. He is usually the one who goes right to the popcorn counter and buys the super jumbo size. However now that he is going to the gym and is more determined than ever to lose weight, he sees how much effort it takes in the gym to offset those little white puffy kernels slathered in fattening oil. Nevertheless he ate his half with gusto.

Why do we so easily violate our resolutions? Why should it be so hard? These days I can ignore the ice cream in the freezer for months without so much as a small taste. Other years I was eating it nightly or a few times a week…with chocolate syrup added. In a reality TV show I saw, one of the obese twins who supposedly wanted to lose weight was caught squirting the chocolate syrup directly into her mouth.

My solution is not to have the “bad” food in the house at all. That way I am unable to eat it when I feel those inevitable cravings. (Some ice cream is there for the kids when they come home from college, but my desire for low cholesterol makes it easy to avoid my old ice cream addiction.) I know that I am very weak-willed and often can’t resist my hunger for sweets. I will even stoop to crappy Easter candy (two chocolate covered mints last night) or straight teaspoonfuls of honey.

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