Weight loss, Dieting, Exercise, Strength Training FAQ

Weight loss, Dieting, Exercise, Strength Training FAQ

Let Mozzy answer some of your most intriguing and frequently asked questions about weight loss, exercises, nutrition strength/weight training and more.

Mozzy is male, in his mid 30s, and have consulted on other health oriented websites, including the popular Healthy Weight Forum. Mozzy has a degree in nutrition and worked closely with people of all ages on nutrition and training methods.

Weight Loss FAQs

Q: I am a male, age 24, 5″7 and 160 pounds I want to be 150. So how can I lose it? I eat fewer meals each day. Like today all I had was a peace of bread and a slice of chicken ham fat free and a glass of v8. That is my meals all day.

Mozzy: You are not eating enough. If you continue to eat like this, you will slow your metabolism, making weight loss very difficult. The more frequently you eat, the more efficient your metabolism. You need to eat healthy foods whenever possible, including lean protein, fruits and veggies, and complex carbohydrates like whole grain breads and cereals. Eat regularly and frequently. Eating less does not equal fat loss. It equals water and muscle loss and it ultimately leads to gaining all the weight back and more.

If you want to lose it and keep it off, the 3 pronged approach to fat loss is your best chance of success. Begin a cardio program (running, cycling, elliptical, etc.) in conjunction with a strength training program focusing on the large muscle groups.

Q: Does anyone know a better way to lose muscle mass than starving yourself? I have huge thighs from doing so much walking and i just look completely out of proportion

Mozzy: The worst thing you could possibly do to attempt to look smaller, is to attempt to lose muscle mass. If you’ve read through some of the posts on this forum, you’d learn that muscle actually makes your body appear smaller since muscle is more dense than fat. If you lose muscle mass than your metabolism slows making it much more difficult to lose fat. The more muscle you add, the more fat you will burn and the better proportioned you will look.

Q: I’ve been dieting and exercising for some time now. I’m on a healthy plan to lose weight.

Here’s my question, with the background information I just gave you, would it be okay to go on the cabbage soup diet for a week? I know that diet is for temporary loss only… but what if I pick right back up on my healthy lifestyle? Would the weight still come back?

Mozzy: If you’re already on a healthy weight loss plan, then why go on a ridiculous diet like the Cabbage Soup Diet? Are you trying to lose weight quickly for a certain event or something? You say that you’ll pick right back up on your healthy lifestyle and I’m sure you will. Some people, however, have a hard time not over compensating (binge eating) once they come off of a very low calorie diet. And, their energy level is usually low so they don’t have the motivation to exercise after eating soup for a week. Hence, they end up gaining more then before they started. Besides, you’re just going to lose mostly water weight for that week anyway. It really doesn’t make sense.

Q: What would be the best diet plan? I don’t want to spend a lot of money. Just dying to start my new life but don’t want it to too costly.

Mozzy: The best diet plan out there is one that you customize to fit your preferences and lifestyle. You need to get out there and move! Exercise is what is going to get you ultimately to your goal, not counting every little calorie. When it comes to eating, just eat as sensibly as possible, with plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and essential fats. Try eating smaller meals more frequently (5-6 per day). What you should really be focusing on however, is a good cardio and strength training program.

Q: I have been exercising for about 1 hour a day but I want to know if it was enough and I wanted to know when is an appropriate time to do it. Also I have been eating around 1000 calories a day. Is that healthy enough?

Mozzy: You won’t be able to stick to 1000 calories for very long, and this deprivation of calories most likely will set you up for a major binge down the road. Try eating small sensible meals more frequently with plenty of complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.

As for exercise, an hour a day is great but you will want to increase either the intensity or duration (or both) of your routine after about 6 weeks or so. If you add in strength training along with your aerobic exercise, you’ll see your results increase dramatically.

Q: Every time I bump up my exercise I get so hungry. What can I do? Do I just force myself out of the house and will it go away?

Mozzy: Try eating smaller meals more frequently, like 5-6 per day. Not only does this usually help kill the hunger pains in between meals, but it also helps speed up your metabolism. You should try to eat every 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Some people have difficulty getting used to this way of eating, but most can eventually adapt. When they do, they’re never hungry between mini-meals.

Some even report that they have to force themselves to eat that 5th or 6th meal and they still end up losing all the weight they want. While eating this way, if you still are “missing food” and “very very hungry”, as you put it, then you simply are not eating enough calories. This can have a negative effect on your metabolism, as you probably know. Let your body be your guide.

If it’s a major hunger pain, then you need to feed your body, albeit with the healthiest foods possible. Eating can and does help your body lose weight. Finally, you say that when you bump up your exercise you get “so hungry”. Remember, if you bump up your exercise, you can bump up your calorie intake. Just make sure you are doing both cardio and strength training. Good luck.

Q: I eat 5-6 meals a day, but I was trying to eat normal meals that many times and it was too much food.

Mozzy: A small meal should contain a complex carb or fruit/veggie, lean protein, and an essential fat (Omega 3 and 6). You can usually get your protein and essential fat in one shot by eating nuts or fish. These are rich in protein and high in essential fatty acids. Eat just enough to satisfy that gnawing hunger to get you to your next meal 2 to 3 hours later.

A small meal for me might be an apple and some cottage cheese or half a tuna or turkey sandwich. Then I’ll eat the other half of the sandwich for my next meal. Another small meal example might be some broccoli, a handful of nuts and a couple of ham and cheese slices. Some prefer to eat 3 normal size meals and two very small snacks. I think Dr. Phil’s program recommends this. This is good also, in my view.

Q: My husband is 300lbs and 5ft 11. He tried the Atkins diet and he lost 20lbs. However he gained more weight afterwards because he didn’t follow the rest of the diet I guess and got the very high blood pressure now. Could it be because of the diet? Should he have the Atkins diet again?

Mozzy: He doesn’t need a particular commercial “Diet”. He needs a lifetime eating plan that includes a wide variety of healthy foods. This does not mean he has to give up his favorite fattening foods altogether. Not by a long shot. Low carb diets however, will fail in the long run. I have seen it time and time again.

The trainer at the gym could very well be correct. Muscle weighs more than fat and that may be why he weighs a bit more. If he is doing cardio and lifting weights properly however, this initial weight gain will be temporary. Long-term permanent weight loss involves dedication to the following three principles:

  1. Cardio exercise- (at least 30 minutes 3-4 times per wk)
  2. Strength training- (focus on large muscle groups 2-3 times per wk)
  3. Sensible diet- (preferably 5-6 small meals every day instead of 3 large ones. Each meal should strive to contain a complex carb, lean protein, veggies, and essential fats).

Q: I’m now at 81kg, and am 168cm tall. I’m aiming to get my weight back down to 65-70kg. I’ve purchased an exercise bike, and would like to know if 25 minutes per day on the bike going to make any difference.

Mozzy: Of course you will notice weight loss! As for how long it will take…everyone is different. Don’t worry about that. Try increasing your exercise bike to 35 minutes after about 6 weeks or so. Adding in strength training will do you wonders and will get you where you want to be quicker.

Make sure that whatever exercise you ultimately choose, that you are enjoying what you’re doing. This will make it something that you will be motivated to do for a lifetime. That’s why variety is the key to lifetime leanness. If you’re just going to stop your routine after you reach your goal, then it’s the wrong exercise. Good luck.

Q: I’ve been exercising (cardio and weightlifting 5 times a week) for three weeks now combined with eating healthy (about 1500 calories per day) and I’ve actually managed to gain weight!

Mozzy: 5 times a week weightlifting is too much! The rest period is crucial if you are following a strength training program. Try not to work a specific muscle group more than 2 or 3 times per week. Also, try increasing the intensity and/or duration of your cardio routine in a few weeks.

The good news is that you said you’ve only been doing this for 3 weeks. That’s simply not long enough for some people to start seeing results. Be consistent with your routines and patient with the results.

Q: I run 20 minutes then walk 10 minutes everyday. I’ve been doing this for about a week now. I eat around 5 small meals a day and they are healthy. Does anyone know if by the end of 4 weeks Ii will have lost any weight?

Mozzy: Add in strength training and watch your weight loss really take off. Also, increase your running/walking every six weeks or so.

Q: Is there a way to speed it up, other than exercise? I do exercise however I don’t think it’s doing anything for me other than toning me up and burning extra calories. Any suggestions?

Mozzy: Muscle is metabolically active tissue. The more you have the more fat your body will burn both at work and at rest. That’s why strength training is so crucial to fat loss. Also, eating smaller meals more frequently (5-6 a day) will speed up your metabolism. Spicy foods have been shown to increase metabolism but it is not significant enough over long periods of time to really make a difference when it comes to fat loss.

Q: Well, I’ve hit it. The horrid plateau everyone warned me about. I have five exercise tapes: aerobics walk away the pounds, two Pilate’s tapes, and yoga. Every morning before breakfast, I exercise, walk and I climb the stairs to and from my apartment at least twice a day and never take elevators. I ride my exercise bike at least twice a week. I’ve tried mixing up the intensity and time spent doing various exercises, combining two types of workout in one day, and I change activities every day so my body won’t become accustomed to one type or level of exercise.

Can anyone tell me how to get off this plateau?

Mozzy: I promise you. Strength training will do wonders. It is not an option anymore when trying to achieve permanent fat loss. Not only will you start losing fat again, but also after awhile, your body will start to transform. Not only will it get smaller and tighter, but you will be leaner, stronger and healthier.

Start with some dumbbell curls for the biceps. If you can easily do 12-15 reps without any burning sensation in your arms, then you need heavier weights. Also, start doing pushups, as many as you can. Alternate your arms close together, far apart, and shoulder width. Pushups are a fantastic exercise for the arms, shoulders, and chest.

Q: Help! This happens every time I’m on a diet. I’m good at the once a week weighing for a couple weeks, but after a few months, I’m weighing myself 3 or 4 time EVERY DAY. It’s a bizarre obsession that I can’t seem to break, unless I decide to stop losing weight, which I’m not ready to do yet.

Mozzy: I say throw it away! Seriously. People that I’ve helped lose fat and get healthy have done this and they claim it’s the best thing they could have ever done. Instead of weighing themselves, they went by how good they looked and felt. Seeing your body transform is far more of a motivator than what the scale says. Plus, the scale is usually misleading.

If you are strength training and putting on muscle (and you should be), you will be losing fat, but the weight loss won’t be showing up on the scale because as we all know, muscle weighs more than fat. I look so much better at 190 lbs with lean muscle than I ever did at 178 lbs with flab. I’ve found that once people get into a regular vigorous cardio program and weight training, they begin to look and feel so good that they just stop weighing themselves altogether.

Q: Are there any exercises that can target this area that actually works. For some reason I lose weight everywhere else but my love handles and the lower part of my back.

Mozzy: Yes. Aerobic activity, overall strength training, and proper diet are really the only way to get rid of love handles. This area of the body is usually the last area that we see results, especially for men. Do not try and target them with exercise directly. You cannot “spot reduce”. If you work hard, stay consistent with your routine and be patient, you will eventually see results.

Q: Ok, I am wondering why coffee is “slammed” so much sometimes in articles or in general. Can someone tell me why it is so bad?

I don’t drink a whole lot of it but I am wondering if my 1-2 cup day consumption should just be “phased” out. I do like it very much though. Anyone else heard negative things about this drink.

Mozzy: Here’s the deal with coffee. For weight loss purposes, some experts say that caffeine can help speed up metabolism. That’s true, but it is misleading because drinking coffee for instance, raises the stress hormone calll “Cortisol” in our bodies. A single cup of coffee can raise Cortisol levels for like 10-15 hours.

Cortisol encourages the storage of body fat, especially around the mid-section. It is also toxic to brain cells and decalcifies bones. So caffeine isn’t to blame for weight gain. It’s the other substances in coffee that raise Cortisol levels. However, Caffeine has other health risks associated with it.

Q: Should I exercise before of after breakfast?

Mozzy: Working out in the morning before you eat is optimal. This is because your body will utilize its fat stores as fuel, rather than the food as fuel. This makes your fat burning more efficient.

That being said, exercising anytime is still beneficial. Do it whenever you can.