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Why we shouldn't exercise under Medifast

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I have prefaced this as a controversial post. I generally stay out of the "drama/controversial" posts as I think some of them get rude and nasty and I just dont "roll" that way. You are ALL my friends and if I feel the urge to be "nasty" there are better victims. This board is for support, knowledge and sharing..

However, I think it's fine to disagree and state your case. So please feel free to do that, but NO SLAMMING! Or "cute" cuts either. I will call you out! .

So, I read Dr A's book, "Habits of Health" cover to cover. And maybe it's me reading into it, but he says , "Many people think the answer is excercise. Well, thats true if your close to your healthy weight and just want to maintain the staus quo. And for someone who's overwieght and out of shape, it's a downright terrible way!" pg 142 Chp 11.

He goes on in the 4th paragraph, "Beside steering clear of excercise for now gives you time to learn and slowing begin applying important Habits of Heath such as stretching, progressive movement, and eventually weight resistance training. It's all about sequencing you for success and it's one of the element that sets this program apart from many others. We use your early success to generate more success. pg 142 Chp 11.

Further, on page 170 Chp 13.

"Obesity and Rigorous Excercise: A dangerous combination:.

Not only is excercise alone ineffective for weight loss, it can be downright dangerous for those who are seriously overweight. In fact, asking someone who's out of shape and carrying an extra 50 lbs or so to go jogging, lift wieghts, or do circuit training is a recipe for disaster, leading all too often to back, neck and knee injuries that can set them up for long-term failure-not to mention tht the added stress on an already overworked cardiovascular systme can have serious, even deadly, consequences..

Our approach, by contrast, features a movement plan that can be customized to all levels of health, weight, and fitness-beginning with activities that help you maintain your healthy weight and progressing to ones the move you toward optimal health"..

He says this numerous times, numerous ways throughout the book. I "read" that he feels overwieght people need to MOVE NOT EXCERCISE, just being active and walking, until they get to a healthy weight to handle more rigourous activitys, like jogging, circuit training, etc..

I did not excercise during my weight loss. However, I was pretty active-lots of walking around Czech. I didnt feel like it until a few weeks ago. Ironically, this is what he says in his book as well. Once you get to a "normal" weight, you will FEEL better and FEEL like excercising..

I share this because I think alot of us feel guilty for NOT excercising or perhaps push ourselves when maybe it's best we dont. This is a journey, not a race. We want to finish HEALTHY! .

Thoughts?.

Comments (256)

"Tear it down before you build it up, just not at the same time".

- Author Unknown..

Comment #1

Excellent analogy! .

MF is the first "building block" we can add as we progress!.

Comment #2

I read that also. I hope everyone hears it and will pick up Dr. As book. I have joint issues and cannot exercise right now but am hopeful that at goal wt I'll be able to start some low impact stuff. But until then I will stay on plan and continue to lose. Thanks for sharing. There are lots of good gems inn the book..

Comment #3

Awesome! And it has not "derailed" your success or mine. I think/know what he is saying. Its just "move it". Clean your house, wash dishes, do laundry, walk the dog. Try to move more. Not run a marathon-unless you "feel the need to"!.

Comment #4

(raising my hand) I also have not exercised during the weightloss faze. I never liked it. I work 16 hours a day and had a hard time fitting it in. I'm not feeling guilty lol I feel amazed. I would not have enjoyed Medifast as much if there was required exercise..

However my losses may have been lower fine with that. I commend those who have added exercise into their regimen. It's just not for me during weightloss.

However I have more energy now than ever and am looking to add it into my lifestyle to help maintain this great loss and it is because I want too not cause I have too. That's empowering and exciting to me.

To each their own. Those who have started running I stand up and cheerThose of us who take a more sedentary approach I shake your hand..

Comment #5

I agree that you need to start slow and not try to jump right into extreme sports. You'll either burn out or damage yourself. But I would say that shunning exercise entirely is not the way to go either. Just find the happy medium and allow your body to adjust. I used to walk in the park several mornings a week because it was more pleasant for me than going to the gym. Walking is exercise and it was what I needed at the time.

I moved this week and running up and down stairs constantly, lifting boxes, putting stuff away, etc has been great for me. I'm actually shocked that I'm not sore and the losses have been the best I've had in several weeks. But I wouldn't have been able to go up and down the stairs like this if I hadn't lost the weight that I have and done some exercise along the way. In addition to the walking, I've added Pilates and yoga. I'm still not a huge fan of going to the gym to lift weights so I'm looking at body weight strength training (pushups, squats, etc.).

A few years ago, I was working with a wonderful trainer who understood this. He modified a lot of exercises for me so I was getting the benefits of stretching, toning, and strengthening without risking injuries. He took the time to properly assess my current physical abilities and designed workouts that were appropriate for my level of fitness. He was also a life coach so he handled the emotional aspects of life change as well as the physical..

Comment #6

Wow! I didn't exercise until about 3 months in, and even then it was hit and miss. it was always something to feel guilty about - even though I was re-learning how to feed my body, not my emotions, etc. now that i'm in t&m I am glad that I focused on eating, logging my foods, etc. because it is helping me actually stay at goal - something I was sooo scared about (let's face it, most of us have lost weight, only to gain it back) thank you for posting this - after work, cleaning up after two boys and life in general - I don't want to feel like a failure for not incorporating "vigorous exercise" into my daily schedule blessings to you, cricket.

Comment #7

Thank you so much for posting this! I have been racked with guilt for not exercising (I hate it!) and feeling as though my lack of exercise is the cause of my current plateau/stall.

Not only do I hate exercise but it is all I can do to keep up with my job (10-12 hours a day minimum) and retraining myself on how and what to eat..

Comment #8

Adelein: I sooooo agree with everything your posted which was written by Dr. A. Injuries to overburdened joints must be avoided and God knows the heart of an obese person is working harder then it should be. I can also attest how true it is that when I began to feel lighter on my feet, I felt like walking more. If I were younger and hadn't had several spinal cord surgeries, I'd do more then walk. But I can't.



Exercise should be fun and not forced on a person or they won't stick with it. How many join a gym in January only to stop going in a couple months because it's such a drag? A gym membership could purchase a piece of exercise equipment, like a stationary bike, etc, to use in the winter. You could place the bike in an area where you can watch a half hour TV show. If exercise becomes boring, think of something to do that's fun! Get out there. There's a whole world to explore and so much to do.

This Dr. A. has the right idea. He sounds great!.

Comment #9

You have lost 40.8 pounds since June 1st!!! You are doing great! The exercise will come. One thing at a time. This is a journey and you obviously doing a terrific job in controlling and retraining your eating habits. Keep up the good work and lose the guilt - it can derail you. Try upping your water to break the plateau. Good luck!!!!!.

Comment #10

I absolutely love Dr. Atkins! He was a man way ahead of his time. I hate that people believe that his death was because of his diet. Idiots!.

Anyway, getting back to the question in point...yes, I also believe that people with a large amount of weight to lose should just start out by moving more and maybe get some walks in a few times a week. Doing too much all at once usually leads to injury and/or going off plan altogether..

I started back to exercising by doing Leslie Sansone Walking DVDs. I did not push myself in the beginning but still saw results. Now I am ready to push a little harder, but because of a medical condition, I cannot lift weights or exercise too long. But I love to exercise, get the heartrate up and sweat a little. I just feel better all the way around..

Comment #11

To me, it depends on the person. Whether it is just moving more or starting an exercise plan - it is all in degrees, and what is appropriate for one's body..

I have found for myself that my exercise routine has made all the difference in how quickly I lose weight. When I was strictly OP on 5&1 with no vigorous exercise, I was barely losing anything at all. Once I began my weight training/core stabilizing routine and worked on developing that along with a cardio plan, my weight loss has not only become infinitely faster, but my body is more defined, and I feel better throughout the day. I now feel tired and mentally foggy if I don't exercise in the morning. And hey, my thighs don't touch anymore XD.

At the end of the day, one needs to move according to his/her ability and health conditions. What works for one person might not work for another, so it is up to each of us to work with our doctors and trainers to determine the optimal level of exercise. As always, we should also listen to what our body tells us, and while I believe we should challenge our fitness levels, we should not dangerously over-exert ourselves..

Comment #12

To me the distinction between "moving" and "exercise" is subtle. Dr. A might be using the term "moving" over "exercising" to help people focus on incremental improvements rather than going gung ho and injuring themselves. For someone who has been sedentary, "moving" at all - slow walking, mild water aerobics - is an increase in exercise.

In further support of the OP, there have been some recent studies showing that exercise alone will not generally help folks lose weight - people have a tendency to compensate for the calories burned through exercise by eating more. Here's an article in Time about this phenomenon:.

Http://www.time.com/time/health/arti...914857,00.html.

That said, incorporating exercise, or moving, into one's weight loss regimen can help people move their focus to overall health vs. a number on a scale. It can also help in the long-term with maintenance. I've increased my exercise over the course of the program, and it works well for me, but I certainly don't think I'm doing a better job than others who choose not to!.

Everyone who starts Medifast deserves commendation in my opinion - even if a person never makes it to goal they are showing a willingness to try something new and possibly scary, and they are taking steps to improve their health and well-being. The people on this board have not only started this journey, but most of them are sticking with it and making amazing progress!.

When, if ever, to add exercise to your lifestyle is a decision each person can make for themselves based on how they feel, their individual goals, and, if possible, input from their medical care provider. Try to focus on the positive steps you have taken by starting and sticking with this program, and let the "guilt" for not doing even more go!.

Comment #13

I love to be active, but it's very hard to do at 300 pounds! I walked daily despite my weight, but it has gotten so much easier. My golf swing is changing and it already hurts a lot less after playing and practicing. I get where Dr. A is coming from, and I am finding that as I amble towards the mid-200s that I have a natural desire to move more. It's a great feeling.

Comment #14

Fyi : We are referring to Dr. Anderson's book Habits of Health..

Comment #15

I live in a 3 story townhouse. I have noticed that walking up and down the stairs is so much easier the more weight I lose..

Comment #16

I couldn't agree more - although it is necessary during maintenance to keep muscles toned up and be active, gong to the gym, running etc are NOT necessary to be healthy. At least I hope not..

I spent the 90s in a gym - doing step aerobics and toiling away on the machines. I was already thin then and did it because I enjoyed it. As I got older and developed my helath issues it changed. Every time I tried gong to the gym and exercising to lose weight, I GAINED weight - no doctor on the planet ever believed me that exercise made my body hold on to it's weight. After my cancer I thought "Am I gong to die having spent all that time running like a mouse on a wheel or enjoying my life?" I have joint and back degeneration and an autoimmune diesase - I'm never gong to be able to do what I used to do.

But, I do keep my 2200 sf house clean by myself, do 4 people's laundry, cook and clean all day every day, garden, etc and I am doing some upper body free weights to tone up my arms. I also enjoy stretching and yoga so I do that when I feel like it. But I have finally gotten to the place where I think if I just stay "lifestlye active" that's gong to have to be enough. Not that I wouldn't give nearly anything to be able to ride a horse again for exercise, but my back won't allow it..

I plan to "Carpe Diem" - Sieze the Day! Live life, stay off the couch, stretch it, move it, and most of all LOVE IT! .

That's my 2 cents!.

Comment #17

I wish I'd read Dr A's book three years ago. I spent two and a half years almost living at the gym; cardio and free weights, paid a trainer, spent lots of money and time and only lost 40 pounds of the 130 I needed to lose. I was in constant pain, either from overdoing something or from the wear and tear the extra pounds put on my joints.

I stopped going to the gym when I started Medifast three months ago. I'm active, but not doing much structured exercise; walking, biking, yard work. I did go back a couple of times, tried to lift and pulled a muscle right away. I'm biking about 30 miles a week, and very slowly kicking up the pace.

I think this is the right thing for me now. When the weight's off, I'll go back to some light weight training - especially over the winter. But when the weather's nice I intend to be on the bike, hiking, kayaking, etc. , all the life the layer of flab kept me from living.

Comment #18

Geez I just re-read my post and have to apologize for all the typos - sorry guys - but hopefully it still made sense!.

Comment #19

I finished the weight loss part of this program with no exercise.

I lost -88lbs..

Now I'm just starting to work on the exercise part. Searching for any activities that I will enjoy and continue to do for the rest of my life..

Exercise is good for the mind, body and spirit and I'll be working on that journey next..

Comment #20

My body is stubborn and doesn't like to let go of weight if I don't exercise. It has always been that way for me. I lose so much fast if I do and feel better if I exercise. I try to do 45 minutes a day but if I am not feeling up to it I don't. I think that it's an individual choice. We each have to do what works for our bodies. For some that's not exercising until T & M or maybe never and for some it's exercising during 5 & 1..

Comment #21

There was an article from the NY Times I recently linked here (I'll have to try and find it) where a few studies of exercise showed that it was much much better to exercise once you were at your goal weight than to do so as you were losing. Has to do with body "memory". The fact that our body hasn't changed in 10,000 years and it still really geared for the hunter/gatherer lifestyle than a modern one. I can't remember the details but the studies have all shown that dieters who waited and only started exercising once at goal did a better job of maintaining their goal weight and stayed fitter longer. If I can find the article, I'll relink it..

Comment #22

This post isn't meant to be snarky, but this is common sense. Any good health professional or personal trainer will tell you getting to and maintaining a healthy weight is mostly about what you put in your mouth not how much you work out. This isn't breaking news.

If I don't exercise, I feel horrible. When I was bigger, I moved less and it hurt more. Now exercise is as much a part of my daily routine as brushing teeth.

Exercise has so many proven health benefits, but you need to find what works for you. That type of exercise and intensity will fluctuate as your overall heath fluctuates..

Comment #23

Thank you so much for the information. I wish I had known this in advance. I have been OP for eight weeks and have lost only 19 pounds. I have also been exercising every day. Should I stop working out? I get so discouraged when I see the huge numbers that other people are losing. Thrilled for them, but mad at my body.

Sure, it's only by half a percent, but I'll take it..

Comment #24

Isn't it great! I love that I'm not out of breath after the first set of stairs..

Comment #25

I wouldn't stop working out if you like it. I continued to belly dance all throughout my time on 5&1. What I did do however, was lessen the time and intensity. I never worked out, except at a lesson to the point I broke a sweat and really got some good heavy breathing going. I kept it light enough I could easily carry on a conversation while performing the moves..

Comment #26

Thanks, MT! I do like working out, I am just very scale driven. I want to see the big losses that other people get. Congratulations on being below your target weight. I hope to be there someday too..

Comment #27

I have found that exercise at this stage(5&1) is not an option. And if I am not losing more weight/more quickly, it is because I have not watched my snacks and or condiments..

I work at a physically demanding job(heavy lifting and pushing/pulling hand trucks) several days of the week. If I exercise and not increase my food intake, I get weak and sluggish(brainwise). I choose to wait until I can eat more on T&M. I aim for 10000 steps a day. I am a perfectionist...adding working out is just one thing I prefer not to carry and deal with right now. I applaud those who can and do.



Just as each of us are different in our journey...how we get there will be different as well..

I look forward to reading Dr. Andersen's book for the help in dealing with the emotional eating, the cues the triggers. I want help in maintaining and in dealing with body issues. I know what it is like to have lost 160+ lbs and regain some of it because I did not change my relationship with food.

I wish everyone a happy and healthy journey to the new person we all will be!.

Celia.

Comment #28

Celia, if you are getting to 10000 steps a day, you are already getting plenty of exercise. Do you realize that is almost 4 miles? That plus your job of lifting, tugging etc....well, you rock!.

I would say that I agree with the point that strenuous exercise for people on a 1000 calorie a day diet, who are obese is probably not wise. The danger of injuring a knee or ankle or pulling, tearing a muscle is too great. Walking, hiking, rowing, bicycling at a moderate pace, in moderate amounts ( a couple times a week) is probably sufficient to keep the metabolic furnace going at a non-starvation level, in my non-professional opinion. I personally have experienced low blood sugar dizziness and shaking when I overdid the exercise a few times hiking and rowing. Now if I know I am going to overdo the caloric expenditure, I purposely give myself an extra Medifast meal or something healthy with a few extra carbs before hand (DISCLAIMER: I am not advocating this for others, it's just my way of compensating and not passing out on the trail)..

Comment #29

Sprained/strained/otherwise messed up knees have derailed me more than once.

I certainly understand his philosophy! I love the way it feels to run, but I know if I abuse my body, she won't treat me well later on. I want to build muscle because I'm starting to see definition in places I've never seen before, but that needs to wait a while longer. Having been obese my entire life, this is new to me and I have to be sure not to get ahead of myself by overworking right now. I love kickboxing and step aerobics. I mean I seriously LOVE to take the classes, but I know how bad it hurts, too so I'll wait. I tried running about 15 pounds ago and I felt so good and so free..

So for now, I will continue to move extra, but will not be doing any strenuous exercise until I can do it without damage to my joints..

I park in the far regions of parking lots, take stairs when I have the choice, take walks on purpose, and do some modified pushups and such, but the strenuous exercise has to wait..

Comment #30

Personally, I love working out and I love pushing myself physically, even as heavy as I am. I don't intend to stop. The last exercise related injury I had actually occurred when I was about 170, which was four years ago and 80 pounds lighter than I am now, when I popped something in my calf doing interval training. I think people need to listen to their bodies..

Comment #31

Oh, no! Now I am a little worried!!! I JUST joined Curves. It's a 1 year contract .

I posted the following question in the Exercise & Training Assistance folder: .

Before paying for a membership, do you think the Curves plan is a good fit while on Medifast 5&1?.

This is the response I got:.

Hi, this is Chris, a NASM certified personal trainer....

Following the Curves program would be fine while on the 5 & 1. It is nice because it incorporates cardiovascular, resistance, and flexibility training. Depending on your current physical condition, you may or may not make it the entire circuit so don't let yourself get discouraged, just listen to your body and hang in there because it will get easier with time..

While the Curves program may be a good fit for the 5 & 1, ask yourself if it is a good fit for you...you're more likely to stick with an exercise program you enjoy, so make sure you consider that before you join..

And just an FYI...While following the 5 & 1 plan, it is recommended to exercise no more than 45 minutes daily. If you have not been exercising prior to beginning the Medifast meal plan, it is recommended to wait 2-3 weeks before starting. If you have been exercising prior to beginning the meal plan, it is recommended to reduce your duration by half for the first 2-3 weeks..

Thanks for your question. Have a great day!.

Chris.

I interpreted Chris' response to mean "exercise is good, just don't overdue it" .

SIGH! Guess I'll just have to figure out what to do now! Any suggestions?.

Comment #32

She is basically saying, .

1- if you didn't work out before starting MF, it is recommended that you wait 2 - 3 weeks before you start..

2- if you did work out prior to starting MF, it is recommended that you reduce by half your usual routine..

3- if you are doing 5 & 1, don't exercise more than 45 minutes a day..

And finally 4 - pick an exercise program you will like so you stick with it..

Curves is a good fit for Medifast if you like the routine..

Comment #33

Jane, I think Curves is great. You WANT to go, FEEL like going, then you should go. Curves, IMHO and limited experience, is pretty "mild" and gentle excercise. Frankly, I would consider it more like "moving". If you and your body WANT it, then DO IT!!.

Comment #34

I think the tricky part here is finding the balance that works for you. I don't think we should be discouraging people from exercising, not that I think anyone here is doing that, but some might take it that way. Exercise is an important factor in long-term weight loss and overall physical health. Just pay attention to the Medifast guidelines. They are there for a reason..

Comment #35

Just jumping in with my exercise story: I waited until I was down to 150lbs. before I started exercising. I felt it was going to be easier on my joints. Also, I know myself, and feeling "big" and clumsy would have been a major de-motivator for me. I'm very happy with my choice, and now, 5 months into it, I couldn't be more pleased with my results..

Comment #36

And, of course, anyone with a significant amount of weight to lose should consult a doctor before starting any exercise regime..

Comment #37

LOL, I'm the opposite. Exercising motivates me to stay on the Medifast track. I'm more likely to fall off the MG wagon when I am not working out..

We all take different journeys, for sure. I'm so glad you found one that works for you. You look amazing!.

Comment #38

Carolyn, just so I am clear, I am not "discouraging" people from excercising. I am just quoting the Medical Director of Medifasts book, "Habits of Health". People with more than 50 lbs to lose, need to be very careful, and PERHAPS wait a bit on the journey until they have their weight/eating more under control..

Frankly, if most people "really excercised", they probably wouldnt be 50+lbs overweight in the first place. Of course, there are always exceptions..

Comment #39

This is exactly what's written in the manual and what Medifast says to do..

Comment #40

The comment "this isnt breaking news" and "its common sense", is snarky. So lets call it what it is. Im glad that is not "news" to you, but it was to me and perhaps others as well.

Im glad that you excercise. I think that excercise is great and very important for overall mental and physical health.

You say that "excercise is as much a part of your daily routine, as much as brushing your teeth" WOW! I can ONLY HOPE AND PRAY that I will be able to say the same someday. Im still on the journey.....

Comment #41

Oh, I know you're not, that is why I was very careful to say that I didn't think anyone here was saying not to exercise, only that some people might read it that way. I also added that anyone with serious poundage should, of course, consult a doctor before starting exercise.

I was also speaking from a personal standpoint. I, personally, find working out hard and challenging myself physical very motivating to my program. I am still careful to stay within the Medifast guidelines, as we all should be..

Comment #42

AWESOME! ANd your doing FANTASTIC!!! Keep up the great work-you will be at goal before you know it!.

Comment #43

I worked out with a trainer for the nine months prior to starting medifast. Three days a week. I did not lose one pound. I felt greatI got very strong, and surely I built some muscle mass, but still. Not one pound. I took a break out of frustration when school got out and in July decided to start Medifast.

Dealing with the food issues is MUCH harder for me (and I'm guessing for a lot of us) so I think from a psychological perspective doing that first makes a ton of sense..

Comment #44

Thanks, Adele. I have a verrrrry long way to go, but I will get there! Good luck to you, and everyone, as we travel our path to health and fitness. Woot!.

Comment #45

AMEN!!!!! I am almost done with the "first phase" of this journey we are all on together. Then comes the next phase-for me it's "excercise and transition". But I hopefully have "a long way to go to" to the end of my life as I know now it doesnt end just because the weight is gone!.

Comment #46

I was exercising before MF, I was waiting for a few weeks to start again. I plan to get back to my Monday, Wednesday, Friday routine this week. I'm hoping it will speed up my loss and I'm starting to wonder if my loss is slower because I allowed my metabolism to slow down by not exercising. I guess I will find out when I get on the scale again..

Comment #47

Could be. You have less than 50 to lose. Dr A, I think, is talking more about people with more than 50 (in general) or people who dont excercise..

I look forward to seeing your next weigh in post that will include some excercise! I am sending BIG LOSS WISHES YOUR WAY!!!.

Comment #48

Isn't a series on "movements" exercise. Not trying to be a smarty pants but maybe I should read the book. Trying to tell me personally not to exercise is like telling some one who hates to do it to start doing it. I think everyone's body is different on how they lose weight for me it's diet. But i've seen people lose weight by doing extreme training and exercise. How do you explain the show Biggest Loser? To each their own I guess and different strokes for different folks..

Comment #49

Isn't it funny how bodies react so differently? My body absolutely will NOT let go of weight if I am doing intense exercise. It was the same way with breastfeeding, everyone raved about how great it was for getting back in shape and my body stubbornly held on to every single ounce of fat no matter what I did! .

Psychologically I feel immensely better when I exercise. I've always been an athlete so I think I'm just wired that way but since I've been doing Medifast I limit my exercise to yoga and walking and I've lost weight great while OP. OTOH when I exercise strenuously I am hungry all the time so I don't know if I can ever go back to those type of workouts. We'll see once I hit T&M I guess. Luckily I am blessed with a body type that tones up quickly so between Medifast and yoga I am LOVING my new muscles!.

Comment #50

I agree with you and Dr A!.

I do not exercise. I move.

I am moving more as I lose weight because I can and more to my suprise, I want too. I have had a hip and knee thing for a while and do not want to re injure them by doing too much.

I swim and walk. I can do those without pain and it doesn't feel like exercise to me, just fun. I may never want to exercise the traditional way as some do...I may just "move" more after I reach my goals and do that for the rest of my life instead of worrying about my next meal as I did in the past..

That is my humble yet factual opinion for ME and my journey. Jodi.

Comment #51

I started a walking program last week and I put on a few pounds in the beginning. It is starting to come back off thank goodness. I am very scale driven and I would get discouraged if I wasn't losing after all of my hard work. I waited until I got to half way before I picked up my exercise. I am an office worker all day so I don't get much activity during the day. I not only exercise for the weight loss but for an overall feeling of wellness and strength.

Everyone here is on their own journey. No two people will have the exact same experience as the other. I do agree that heavy exercise for very overweight doesn't sound healthy. I think it is a good idea to lose alot of the weight first..

Comment #52

Well I won't post anything controversial, I will say there are different strokes for different folks! That goes for the medical and body experts too! There will always be someone that will print something contradicting another medical/body expert so while I take all advice in print with a grain of salt, I still believe it's a good reference point and I'm sure works for some people - but sometimes things don't work for everyone because our physical makeup and genetics are not all the same .

My body was craving to become active. I was extremely active last spring and summer, last fall - biking 10 miles at a time, working out at the gym 5 times a week for an hour and a half, and I loved how it made me feel - though admittedly going to the gym got aggravating and too repetative, but the results were still quite impressive! I felt so wonderful and alive.... and it was helping me lose weight. I loved the way I felt - a complete sense of accomplishment! .

It's not exercise's fault my brain can't tell my mouth when to stop eating the crappy foods LOL! Initially I would workout longer to try to burn it off.... and that does lead to burnout at the gym for sure! .

15 of my 25 pound loss was gained back from quitting exercise over last winter's holidays and fell back into really bad eating habits. It took until this past April to help me find MF. My focus has to be learning how to eat..

I've chosen to listen to what my body wants and needs. I do not do gym training anymore, nor biking (unless it's for pure leisure), but will continue with the martial arts as it's something I've always wanted to do but kept trying to tell myself "when I get to 200 pounds I will join"..

My body told me it didn't want to wait - it got to the point I felt comfortable doing the moves (on my own) so I knew I could do this. Some days the training is very vigorous, some days I don't even break a sweat.

Even though my classes "time" is longer than 45 minutes, the amount of actual physical exercise (not standing around watching instructions, taking turns doing forms, etc) I am confident meets that 45 minute requirement. My body does tell me when it's had enough and I do listen to it.

So no controversy from me, just following the plan and incorporating 45 minutes of exercise as is allowed within the Medifast guidelines..

Comment #53

I'm not sure what to do. Before MF, I also was training. I never lost weight and my trainer never understood this. I was kicking my butt and feeling it all over, but no loss [although I felt "more toned"]..

After my 3 weeks on MF, I went to the gym with a friend for a while. First day, I felt like I was going to pass out and even got the spots in my vision. I kept pushing and made it through. Each time I worked out, it was less intensity than pre-MF, but I felt as if I couldn't handle it. Half way through I would feel really weak and would have to PUSH to make it through the 45 mins. One time, I ate my L&G pre-gym and it seemed to help me TONS. I felt as if I had tons of energy and could make it through my entire work out and then some..

I haven't worked out in a while. It seems as if I was losing an extra pound a week when I was.

My biggest fear is my sagging stomach and the pooch I have going on. I figured if I worked out while I lost, it may help but idk. I now have 2 Biggest Loser DVDs and a pilates kit that I have yet to try. I just don't feel like I have the motivation, but I felt the same with with the gym... I honestly have no idea what to do....

Comment #54

I love the Biggest Loser, but lets be honest. We dont have 24/7 to work on our diet and excercise. Also, alot of those contestants gained back alot of the weight. Eric (winner season 6 I think?) gained ALL of it back!.

When Dr A is talking "excercise" he is talking more about formal/strenuous stuff, i.e. circuit training, running, etc. Moving is more like getting off the couch, maybe some light walking, housecleaning, mowing the lawn, washing the car, instead of hiring this stuff out that so many do these days-do it yourself to get "moving". Yes, it's excercise but not strenuous. I think thats the difference he is talking about..

Further, lets face it. If your fat and excercising strenuously, I would say thats a problem! Most of us are here because we dont excercise AND eat to much and eat the wrong things. ALso, people excercise for different reasons. As stated by posters here, most said they excercise for the MENTAL benefits. They "need" to excercise. My husband is the same way.

I find my mental benefits elsewhere..

Comment #55

That is very interesting and I am going to order Dr. A's book. Thanks for sharing that Adele..

Comment #56

Good thread..

For my part, starting out on Medifast in November, I would have been instantly discourage had I HAD to start an exercise program in order to lose weight. At my starting weight, leisurely walking the dogs was quite frankly the most I was capable of. And by capable, I mean more mentally than physically. Yes, I could have pushed myself and done 45 minutes of vigorous exercise, like the kind they do on the Biggest Loser, but in addition to the possible injury one can do to oneself at that weight, I don't know how I would have managed that and the really restrictive diet. Carting around a 300+ body on 800 or so calories was what I was capable of doing, and I'm proud that I did that. To have added vigorous exercise would have overwhelmed and discouraged me quite frankly, and I think that for morbidly obese people, knowing that the weight will come off on Medifast without HAVING to do vigorous exercise is a much needed and welcome message.

That being said, when I had lost 110lbs or so, I felt capable, mentally and physically, of doing more vigorous exercise and so now I do. And adding in the vigorous exercise later in my weight loss has been helpful on the scale as well, as my weight loss at this point *knock on wood* has continued to occur at a decent pace..

Comment #57

Last week my counselor had me add 30 minutes of gentle walking 3 times a week and after two weeks we're going to do evaluations and see if walking has influenced weight lost, etc. I know I am sleeping better with the exercise. I notice that I have more energy and I actually WANT something to do in the evenings, so walking has been great. But I am also mindful of how I feel; I have high blood pressure so I keep an eye on that..

When I was at my heaviest, there was no way I could walk the distance I can now. I like how Adele put it - exercise and transition. I'm moving now and leaving exercise and training till I reach transition. There's time enough..

Comment #58

I dunno.

I've seen so many posts by people actively shunning exercise while on MF. I think that the OP here is making a reasonable point, but that people in general (not necessarily in this thread) hear what they want to hear. I know a lot of MFers are thinking to themselves, often with relief, that exercise is taboo on this program. I think that does a real disservice to people in the long term.

If you don't learn to enjoy exercise, you'll never maintain. And you can't learn to enjoy exercise if you're hung up on the idea that it's going to undo all your progress. I see people all the time blaming physical exercise for the numbers on the scale.

I don't expect people to run marathons at 400 lbs but I think some form of exercise is healthy for everybody.

Exercise is not the enemy. Far from it..

Comment #59

Adele, you have just encouraged me to finish Dr. A's book. I put him aside for some REALLY GOOD fiction. I'm sure he'd understand..

I think this is an interesting thread, because for the past ten years, I tried changing my activity level twice, long term..

First, after my good friend (a runner) died, I trained for a 5K in her honor. I ran three times a week, eventually getting up to 4 miles each time. I didn't change how I ate, just my exercise level. Kept it up for 6 months..

Second, I joined Tae Kwon Do and spent 1 year earning my green belt. That was a hard work out three times a week, and eventually I quit because I just couldn't jump high enough, being morbidly obese..

I never lost one pound on either of those endeavors. I started to feel like there was something wrong with me, that I was destined to be obese, that this was it and I had better settle in to decline for the rest of my life. I am 37..

Obviously then I found TSFL and I am now 12 lbs away from my goal and am wearing a size that my husband of nearly ten years has never seen me in before..

I appreciate the point you brought up about the role of exercise and how we can create and keep healthy habits that last a lifetime. I think a lot of people get overwhelmed at the beginning and wonder how many plates they can keep in the air at once, and begin to despair over it. Your terminology of move vs. exercise works for me!.

Comment #60

I totally understand where you are coming from here. And yes, excercise is NOT the enemy.

But let me say one thing, Medifast has a very high success rate. WHy? Because MANY people who are overweight/obese/fat, DONT EXCERCISE and DONT WANT TO/and or CANT. Thats one reason they are fat.

For many of us, changing our eating habits ALONE, is enough to work on in the beginning. To add excercise from the start for me, I GUARANTEE I WOULD HAVE FAILED and not reached goal. You know how I know? Because I have tried it before, many times. AND FAILED. This is the ONLY time I have succeeded. THis is it.

And I didnt excercise FORMALLY. BUT, I did move. I moved more and more because it got easier as the weight came off. My endurance is WAY UP. I can walk all day now.

In fact, in Czech I posted how I put in over 14,000 steps in one day just be-boping with the boys around town!.

You also mention that "if you never learn to enjoy excercise, you will never maintain". Thats not true. I know someone here, she has maintained now since Jan. this year and doesnt excercise at all. Never did. I also know there are more just like her.

Thats her choice.

For me? I am starting a MAJOR workout program Sept 1-its a 12 week CHallenge. Its call "Body for Life". I WANT to excercise now. I want to see just how "hot" I can get this body looking! But, go look at my page, where I am in a white sweater holding my son. HELLLOOOO! THat woman COULDNT excercise more than a few minutes without exhaustion. Cant be exhausted with twin 5 yr old boys! .

I think you should check out Dr A's book, "Habits of Health". Its really a great resource. I wish I would have got it right when I started MF. But better late than never!.

Comment #61

Awesome! I loved his book so much, I read it "cover to cover" in one sitting! HE IS DEAD ON! My daughter just graduated from Med School so she is up on the "latest" stuff. She even agreed and she is the workout QUEEN! Eats only organic and clean, yada yada..

Its inspiring and is "news you can use". I will refer to it again an again I am sure!.

Comment #62

I would think that there comes a point where you must exercise, and only you know when that is and how much that is. If you don't add exercise you are only half way to healthy. And the exercise is not necessarily to maintain weight loss, but to be in shape. There are plenty of thin people who are not in shape. What does "in shape" mean? For me, it means a strong heart and muscles that get a workout, whether it is walking or yoga or sports..

Comment #63

Thank you so much for posting this! .

I think that I am being so lazy by not exercising on a "gym" type basis. I am active and do walk and house clean but no formal exercising. I did go out and buy a pair of walking sneakers just today hoping to go to the gym and start vigorously walking. Now I will do my last 20 lbs just doing what I am doing. THEN, I will join a gym and kick it up. Adele! you are my hero today. Besides,of course, your advice about flax seeds which are in my soup today..

Comment #64

"Tear it down before you build it up, just not at the same time".

- Author Unknown...

Comment #65

Excellent analogy!.

MF is the first "building block" we can add as we progress!..

Comment #66

I read that also. I hope everyone hears it and will pick up Dr. As book. I have joint issues and cannot exercise right now but am hopeful that at goal wt I'll be able to start some low impact stuff. But until then I will stay on plan and continue to lose. Thanks for sharing. There are lots of good gems inn the book...

Comment #67

Awesome! And it has not "derailed" your success or mine. I think/know what he is saying. Its just "move it". Clean your house, wash dishes, do laundry, walk the dog. Try to move more. Not run a marathon-unless you "feel the need to"!..

Comment #68

(raising my hand) I also have not exercised during the weightloss faze. I never liked it. I work 16 hours a day and had a hard time fitting it in. I'm not feeling guilty lol I feel amazed. I would not have enjoyed Medifast as much if there was required exercise..

However my losses may have been lower fine with that. I commend those who have added exercise into their regimen. It's just not for me during weightloss.

However I have more energy now than ever and am looking to add it into my lifestyle to help maintain this great loss and it is because I want too not cause I have too. That's empowering and exciting to me.

To each their own. Those who have started running I stand up and cheerThose of us who take a more sedentary approach I shake your hand...

Comment #69

I agree that you need to start slow and not try to jump right into extreme sports. You'll either burn out or damage yourself. But I would say that shunning exercise entirely is not the way to go either. Just find the happy medium and allow your body to adjust. I used to walk in the park several mornings a week because it was more pleasant for me than going to the gym. Walking is exercise and it was what I needed at the time.

I moved this week and running up and down stairs constantly, lifting boxes, putting stuff away, etc has been great for me. I'm actually shocked that I'm not sore and the losses have been the best I've had in several weeks. But I wouldn't have been able to go up and down the stairs like this if I hadn't lost the weight that I have and done some exercise along the way. In addition to the walking, I've added Pilates and yoga. I'm still not a huge fan of going to the gym to lift weights so I'm looking at body weight strength training (pushups, squats, etc.).

A few years ago, I was working with a wonderful trainer who understood this. He modified a lot of exercises for me so I was getting the benefits of stretching, toning, and strengthening without risking injuries. He took the time to properly assess my current physical abilities and designed workouts that were appropriate for my level of fitness. He was also a life coach so he handled the emotional aspects of life change as well as the physical...

Comment #70

Wow! I didn't exercise until about 3 months in, and even then it was hit and miss. it was always something to feel guilty about - even though I was re-learning how to feed my body, not my emotions, etc. now that i'm in t&m I am glad that I focused on eating, logging my foods, etc. because it is helping me actually stay at goal - something I was sooo scared about (let's face it, most of us have lost weight, only to gain it back) thank you for posting this - after work, cleaning up after two boys and life in general - I don't want to feel like a failure for not incorporating "vigorous exercise" into my daily schedule blessings to you, cricket..

Comment #71

Thank you so much for posting this! I have been racked with guilt for not exercising (I hate it!) and feeling as though my lack of exercise is the cause of my current plateau/stall.

Not only do I hate exercise but it is all I can do to keep up with my job (10-12 hours a day minimum) and retraining myself on how and what to eat...

Comment #72

Adelein: I sooooo agree with everything your posted which was written by Dr. A. Injuries to overburdened joints must be avoided and God knows the heart of an obese person is working harder then it should be. I can also attest how true it is that when I began to feel lighter on my feet, I felt like walking more. If I were younger and hadn't had several spinal cord surgeries, I'd do more then walk. But I can't.

Exercise should be fun and not forced on a person or they won't stick with it. How many join a gym in January only to stop going in a couple months because it's such a drag? A gym membership could purchase a piece of exercise equipment, like a stationary bike, etc, to use in the winter. You could place the bike in an area where you can watch a half hour TV show. If exercise becomes boring, think of something to do that's fun! Get out there. There's a whole world to explore and so much to do.

This Dr. A. has the right idea. He sounds great!..

Comment #73

You have lost 40.8 pounds since June 1st!!! You are doing great! The exercise will come. One thing at a time. This is a journey and you obviously doing a terrific job in controlling and retraining your eating habits. Keep up the good work and lose the guilt - it can derail you. Try upping your water to break the plateau. Good luck!!!!!..

Comment #74

I absolutely love Dr. Atkins! He was a man way ahead of his time. I hate that people believe that his death was because of his diet. Idiots!.

Anyway, getting back to the question in point...yes, I also believe that people with a large amount of weight to lose should just start out by moving more and maybe get some walks in a few times a week. Doing too much all at once usually leads to injury and/or going off plan altogether..

I started back to exercising by doing Leslie Sansone Walking DVDs. I did not push myself in the beginning but still saw results. Now I am ready to push a little harder, but because of a medical condition, I cannot lift weights or exercise too long. But I love to exercise, get the heartrate up and sweat a little. I just feel better all the way around...

Comment #75

To me, it depends on the person. Whether it is just moving more or starting an exercise plan - it is all in degrees, and what is appropriate for one's body..

I have found for myself that my exercise routine has made all the difference in how quickly I lose weight. When I was strictly OP on 5&1 with no vigorous exercise, I was barely losing anything at all. Once I began my weight training/core stabilizing routine and worked on developing that along with a cardio plan, my weight loss has not only become infinitely faster, but my body is more defined, and I feel better throughout the day. I now feel tired and mentally foggy if I don't exercise in the morning. And hey, my thighs don't touch anymore XD.

At the end of the day, one needs to move according to his/her ability and health conditions. What works for one person might not work for another, so it is up to each of us to work with our doctors and trainers to determine the optimal level of exercise. As always, we should also listen to what our body tells us, and while I believe we should challenge our fitness levels, we should not dangerously over-exert ourselves...

Comment #76

To me the distinction between "moving" and "exercise" is subtle. Dr. A might be using the term "moving" over "exercising" to help people focus on incremental improvements rather than going gung ho and injuring themselves. For someone who has been sedentary, "moving" at all - slow walking, mild water aerobics - is an increase in exercise.

In further support of the OP, there have been some recent studies showing that exercise alone will not generally help folks lose weight - people have a tendency to compensate for the calories burned through exercise by eating more. Here's an article in Time about this phenomenon:.

Http://www.time.com/time/health/arti...914857,00.html.

That said, incorporating exercise, or moving, into one's weight loss regimen can help people move their focus to overall health vs. a number on a scale. It can also help in the long-term with maintenance. I've increased my exercise over the course of the program, and it works well for me, but I certainly don't think I'm doing a better job than others who choose not to!.

Everyone who starts Medifast deserves commendation in my opinion - even if a person never makes it to goal they are showing a willingness to try something new and possibly scary, and they are taking steps to improve their health and well-being. The people on this board have not only started this journey, but most of them are sticking with it and making amazing progress!.

When, if ever, to add exercise to your lifestyle is a decision each person can make for themselves based on how they feel, their individual goals, and, if possible, input from their medical care provider. Try to focus on the positive steps you have taken by starting and sticking with this program, and let the "guilt" for not doing even more go!..

Comment #77

I love to be active, but it's very hard to do at 300 pounds! I walked daily despite my weight, but it has gotten so much easier. My golf swing is changing and it already hurts a lot less after playing and practicing. I get where Dr. A is coming from, and I am finding that as I amble towards the mid-200s that I have a natural desire to move more. It's a great feeling..

Comment #78

Fyi : We are referring to Dr. Anderson's book Habits of Health...

Comment #79

I live in a 3 story townhouse. I have noticed that walking up and down the stairs is so much easier the more weight I lose...

Comment #80

I couldn't agree more - although it is necessary during maintenance to keep muscles toned up and be active, gong to the gym, running etc are NOT necessary to be healthy. At least I hope not..

I spent the 90s in a gym - doing step aerobics and toiling away on the machines. I was already thin then and did it because I enjoyed it. As I got older and developed my helath issues it changed. Every time I tried gong to the gym and exercising to lose weight, I GAINED weight - no doctor on the planet ever believed me that exercise made my body hold on to it's weight. After my cancer I thought "Am I gong to die having spent all that time running like a mouse on a wheel or enjoying my life?" I have joint and back degeneration and an autoimmune diesase - I'm never gong to be able to do what I used to do.

But, I do keep my 2200 sf house clean by myself, do 4 people's laundry, cook and clean all day every day, garden, etc and I am doing some upper body free weights to tone up my arms. I also enjoy stretching and yoga so I do that when I feel like it. But I have finally gotten to the place where I think if I just stay "lifestlye active" that's gong to have to be enough. Not that I wouldn't give nearly anything to be able to ride a horse again for exercise, but my back won't allow it..

I plan to "Carpe Diem" - Sieze the Day! Live life, stay off the couch, stretch it, move it, and most of all LOVE IT!.

That's my 2 cents!..

Comment #81

I wish I'd read Dr A's book three years ago. I spent two and a half years almost living at the gym; cardio and free weights, paid a trainer, spent lots of money and time and only lost 40 pounds of the 130 I needed to lose. I was in constant pain, either from overdoing something or from the wear and tear the extra pounds put on my joints.

I stopped going to the gym when I started Medifast three months ago. I'm active, but not doing much structured exercise; walking, biking, yard work. I did go back a couple of times, tried to lift and pulled a muscle right away. I'm biking about 30 miles a week, and very slowly kicking up the pace.

I think this is the right thing for me now. When the weight's off, I'll go back to some light weight training - especially over the winter. But when the weather's nice I intend to be on the bike, hiking, kayaking, etc. , all the life the layer of flab kept me from living..

Comment #82

Geez I just re-read my post and have to apologize for all the typos - sorry guys - but hopefully it still made sense!..

Comment #83

I finished the weight loss part of this program with no exercise.

I lost -88lbs..

Now I'm just starting to work on the exercise part. Searching for any activities that I will enjoy and continue to do for the rest of my life..

Exercise is good for the mind, body and spirit and I'll be working on that journey next...

Comment #84

My body is stubborn and doesn't like to let go of weight if I don't exercise. It has always been that way for me. I lose so much fast if I do and feel better if I exercise. I try to do 45 minutes a day but if I am not feeling up to it I don't. I think that it's an individual choice. We each have to do what works for our bodies. For some that's not exercising until T & M or maybe never and for some it's exercising during 5 & 1...

Comment #85

There was an article from the NY Times I recently linked here (I'll have to try and find it) where a few studies of exercise showed that it was much much better to exercise once you were at your goal weight than to do so as you were losing. Has to do with body "memory". The fact that our body hasn't changed in 10,000 years and it still really geared for the hunter/gatherer lifestyle than a modern one. I can't remember the details but the studies have all shown that dieters who waited and only started exercising once at goal did a better job of maintaining their goal weight and stayed fitter longer. If I can find the article, I'll relink it...

Comment #86

This post isn't meant to be snarky, but this is common sense. Any good health professional or personal trainer will tell you getting to and maintaining a healthy weight is mostly about what you put in your mouth not how much you work out. This isn't breaking news.

If I don't exercise, I feel horrible. When I was bigger, I moved less and it hurt more. Now exercise is as much a part of my daily routine as brushing teeth.

Exercise has so many proven health benefits, but you need to find what works for you. That type of exercise and intensity will fluctuate as your overall heath fluctuates...

Comment #87

Thank you so much for the information. I wish I had known this in advance. I have been OP for eight weeks and have lost only 19 pounds. I have also been exercising every day. Should I stop working out? I get so discouraged when I see the huge numbers that other people are losing. Thrilled for them, but mad at my body.

Sure, it's only by half a percent, but I'll take it...

Comment #88

Isn't it great! I love that I'm not out of breath after the first set of stairs...

Comment #89

I wouldn't stop working out if you like it. I continued to belly dance all throughout my time on 5&1. What I did do however, was lessen the time and intensity. I never worked out, except at a lesson to the point I broke a sweat and really got some good heavy breathing going. I kept it light enough I could easily carry on a conversation while performing the moves...

Comment #90

Thanks, MT! I do like working out, I am just very scale driven. I want to see the big losses that other people get. Congratulations on being below your target weight. I hope to be there someday too...

Comment #91

I have found that exercise at this stage(5&1) is not an option. And if I am not losing more weight/more quickly, it is because I have not watched my snacks and or condiments..

I work at a physically demanding job(heavy lifting and pushing/pulling hand trucks) several days of the week. If I exercise and not increase my food intake, I get weak and sluggish(brainwise). I choose to wait until I can eat more on T&M. I aim for 10000 steps a day. I am a perfectionist...adding working out is just one thing I prefer not to carry and deal with right now. I applaud those who can and do.

Just as each of us are different in our journey...how we get there will be different as well..

I look forward to reading Dr. Andersen's book for the help in dealing with the emotional eating, the cues the triggers. I want help in maintaining and in dealing with body issues. I know what it is like to have lost 160+ lbs and regain some of it because I did not change my relationship with food.

I wish everyone a happy and healthy journey to the new person we all will be!.

Celia..

Comment #92

Celia, if you are getting to 10000 steps a day, you are already getting plenty of exercise. Do you realize that is almost 4 miles? That plus your job of lifting, tugging etc....well, you rock!.

I would say that I agree with the point that strenuous exercise for people on a 1000 calorie a day diet, who are obese is probably not wise. The danger of injuring a knee or ankle or pulling, tearing a muscle is too great. Walking, hiking, rowing, bicycling at a moderate pace, in moderate amounts ( a couple times a week) is probably sufficient to keep the metabolic furnace going at a non-starvation level, in my non-professional opinion. I personally have experienced low blood sugar dizziness and shaking when I overdid the exercise a few times hiking and rowing. Now if I know I am going to overdo the caloric expenditure, I purposely give myself an extra Medifast meal or something healthy with a few extra carbs before hand (DISCLAIMER: I am not advocating this for others, it's just my way of compensating and not passing out on the trail)...

Comment #93

Sprained/strained/otherwise messed up knees have derailed me more than once.

I certainly understand his philosophy! I love the way it feels to run, but I know if I abuse my body, she won't treat me well later on. I want to build muscle because I'm starting to see definition in places I've never seen before, but that needs to wait a while longer. Having been obese my entire life, this is new to me and I have to be sure not to get ahead of myself by overworking right now. I love kickboxing and step aerobics. I mean I seriously LOVE to take the classes, but I know how bad it hurts, too so I'll wait. I tried running about 15 pounds ago and I felt so good and so free..

So for now, I will continue to move extra, but will not be doing any strenuous exercise until I can do it without damage to my joints..

I park in the far regions of parking lots, take stairs when I have the choice, take walks on purpose, and do some modified pushups and such, but the strenuous exercise has to wait...

Comment #94

Personally, I love working out and I love pushing myself physically, even as heavy as I am. I don't intend to stop. The last exercise related injury I had actually occurred when I was about 170, which was four years ago and 80 pounds lighter than I am now, when I popped something in my calf doing interval training. I think people need to listen to their bodies...

Comment #95

Oh, no! Now I am a little worried!!! I JUST joined Curves. It's a 1 year contract.

I posted the following question in the Exercise & Training Assistance folder:.

Before paying for a membership, do you think the Curves plan is a good fit while on Medifast 5&1?.

This is the response I got:.

Hi, this is Chris, a NASM certified personal trainer....

Following the Curves program would be fine while on the 5 & 1. It is nice because it incorporates cardiovascular, resistance, and flexibility training. Depending on your current physical condition, you may or may not make it the entire circuit so don't let yourself get discouraged, just listen to your body and hang in there because it will get easier with time..

While the Curves program may be a good fit for the 5 & 1, ask yourself if it is a good fit for you...you're more likely to stick with an exercise program you enjoy, so make sure you consider that before you join..

And just an FYI...While following the 5 & 1 plan, it is recommended to exercise no more than 45 minutes daily. If you have not been exercising prior to beginning the Medifast meal plan, it is recommended to wait 2-3 weeks before starting. If you have been exercising prior to beginning the meal plan, it is recommended to reduce your duration by half for the first 2-3 weeks..

Thanks for your question. Have a great day!.

Chris.

I interpreted Chris' response to mean "exercise is good, just don't overdue it".

SIGH! Guess I'll just have to figure out what to do now! Any suggestions?..

Comment #96

She is basically saying,.

1- if you didn't work out before starting MF, it is recommended that you wait 2 - 3 weeks before you start..

2- if you did work out prior to starting MF, it is recommended that you reduce by half your usual routine..

3- if you are doing 5 & 1, don't exercise more than 45 minutes a day..

And finally 4 - pick an exercise program you will like so you stick with it..

Curves is a good fit for Medifast if you like the routine...

Comment #97

Jane, I think Curves is great. You WANT to go, FEEL like going, then you should go. Curves, IMHO and limited experience, is pretty "mild" and gentle excercise. Frankly, I would consider it more like "moving". If you and your body WANT it, then DO IT!!..

Comment #98

I think the tricky part here is finding the balance that works for you. I don't think we should be discouraging people from exercising, not that I think anyone here is doing that, but some might take it that way. Exercise is an important factor in long-term weight loss and overall physical health. Just pay attention to the Medifast guidelines. They are there for a reason...

Comment #99

Just jumping in with my exercise story: I waited until I was down to 150lbs. before I started exercising. I felt it was going to be easier on my joints. Also, I know myself, and feeling "big" and clumsy would have been a major de-motivator for me. I'm very happy with my choice, and now, 5 months into it, I couldn't be more pleased with my results...

Comment #100

And, of course, anyone with a significant amount of weight to lose should consult a doctor before starting any exercise regime...

Comment #101

LOL, I'm the opposite. Exercising motivates me to stay on the Medifast track. I'm more likely to fall off the MG wagon when I am not working out..

We all take different journeys, for sure. I'm so glad you found one that works for you. You look amazing!..

Comment #102

Carolyn, just so I am clear, I am not "discouraging" people from excercising. I am just quoting the Medical Director of Medifasts book, "Habits of Health". People with more than 50 lbs to lose, need to be very careful, and PERHAPS wait a bit on the journey until they have their weight/eating more under control..

Frankly, if most people "really excercised", they probably wouldnt be 50+lbs overweight in the first place. Of course, there are always exceptions...

Comment #103

This is exactly what's written in the manual and what Medifast says to do...

Comment #104

The comment "this isnt breaking news" and "its common sense", is snarky. So lets call it what it is. Im glad that is not "news" to you, but it was to me and perhaps others as well.

Im glad that you excercise. I think that excercise is great and very important for overall mental and physical health.

You say that "excercise is as much a part of your daily routine, as much as brushing your teeth" WOW! I can ONLY HOPE AND PRAY that I will be able to say the same someday. Im still on the journey......

Comment #105

Oh, I know you're not, that is why I was very careful to say that I didn't think anyone here was saying not to exercise, only that some people might read it that way. I also added that anyone with serious poundage should, of course, consult a doctor before starting exercise.

I was also speaking from a personal standpoint. I, personally, find working out hard and challenging myself physical very motivating to my program. I am still careful to stay within the Medifast guidelines, as we all should be...

Comment #106

AWESOME! ANd your doing FANTASTIC!!! Keep up the great work-you will be at goal before you know it!..

Comment #107

I worked out with a trainer for the nine months prior to starting medifast. Three days a week. I did not lose one pound. I felt greatI got very strong, and surely I built some muscle mass, but still. Not one pound. I took a break out of frustration when school got out and in July decided to start Medifast.

Dealing with the food issues is MUCH harder for me (and I'm guessing for a lot of us) so I think from a psychological perspective doing that first makes a ton of sense...

Comment #108

Thanks, Adele. I have a verrrrry long way to go, but I will get there! Good luck to you, and everyone, as we travel our path to health and fitness. Woot!..

Comment #109

AMEN!!!!! I am almost done with the "first phase" of this journey we are all on together. Then comes the next phase-for me it's "excercise and transition". But I hopefully have "a long way to go to" to the end of my life as I know now it doesnt end just because the weight is gone!..

Comment #110

I was exercising before MF, I was waiting for a few weeks to start again. I plan to get back to my Monday, Wednesday, Friday routine this week. I'm hoping it will speed up my loss and I'm starting to wonder if my loss is slower because I allowed my metabolism to slow down by not exercising. I guess I will find out when I get on the scale again...

Comment #111

Could be. You have less than 50 to lose. Dr A, I think, is talking more about people with more than 50 (in general) or people who dont excercise..

I look forward to seeing your next weigh in post that will include some excercise! I am sending BIG LOSS WISHES YOUR WAY!!!..

Comment #112

Isn't a series on "movements" exercise. Not trying to be a smarty pants but maybe I should read the book. Trying to tell me personally not to exercise is like telling some one who hates to do it to start doing it. I think everyone's body is different on how they lose weight for me it's diet. But i've seen people lose weight by doing extreme training and exercise. How do you explain the show Biggest Loser? To each their own I guess and different strokes for different folks...

Comment #113

Isn't it funny how bodies react so differently? My body absolutely will NOT let go of weight if I am doing intense exercise. It was the same way with breastfeeding, everyone raved about how great it was for getting back in shape and my body stubbornly held on to every single ounce of fat no matter what I did!.

Psychologically I feel immensely better when I exercise. I've always been an athlete so I think I'm just wired that way but since I've been doing Medifast I limit my exercise to yoga and walking and I've lost weight great while OP. OTOH when I exercise strenuously I am hungry all the time so I don't know if I can ever go back to those type of workouts. We'll see once I hit T&M I guess. Luckily I am blessed with a body type that tones up quickly so between Medifast and yoga I am LOVING my new muscles!..

Comment #114

I agree with you and Dr A!.

I do not exercise. I move.

I am moving more as I lose weight because I can and more to my suprise, I want too. I have had a hip and knee thing for a while and do not want to re injure them by doing too much.

I swim and walk. I can do those without pain and it doesn't feel like exercise to me, just fun. I may never want to exercise the traditional way as some do...I may just "move" more after I reach my goals and do that for the rest of my life instead of worrying about my next meal as I did in the past..

That is my humble yet factual opinion for ME and my journey. Jodi..

Comment #115

I started a walking program last week and I put on a few pounds in the beginning. It is starting to come back off thank goodness. I am very scale driven and I would get discouraged if I wasn't losing after all of my hard work. I waited until I got to half way before I picked up my exercise. I am an office worker all day so I don't get much activity during the day. I not only exercise for the weight loss but for an overall feeling of wellness and strength.

Everyone here is on their own journey. No two people will have the exact same experience as the other. I do agree that heavy exercise for very overweight doesn't sound healthy. I think it is a good idea to lose alot of the weight first...

Comment #116

Well I won't post anything controversial, I will say there are different strokes for different folks! That goes for the medical and body experts too! There will always be someone that will print something contradicting another medical/body expert so while I take all advice in print with a grain of salt, I still believe it's a good reference point and I'm sure works for some people - but sometimes things don't work for everyone because our physical makeup and genetics are not all the same.

My body was craving to become active. I was extremely active last spring and summer, last fall - biking 10 miles at a time, working out at the gym 5 times a week for an hour and a half, and I loved how it made me feel - though admittedly going to the gym got aggravating and too repetative, but the results were still quite impressive! I felt so wonderful and alive.... and it was helping me lose weight. I loved the way I felt - a complete sense of accomplishment!.

It's not exercise's fault my brain can't tell my mouth when to stop eating the crappy foods LOL! Initially I would workout longer to try to burn it off.... and that does lead to burnout at the gym for sure!.

15 of my 25 pound loss was gained back from quitting exercise over last winter's holidays and fell back into really bad eating habits. It took until this past April to help me find MF. My focus has to be learning how to eat..

I've chosen to listen to what my body wants and needs. I do not do gym training anymore, nor biking (unless it's for pure leisure), but will continue with the martial arts as it's something I've always wanted to do but kept trying to tell myself "when I get to 200 pounds I will join"..

My body told me it didn't want to wait - it got to the point I felt comfortable doing the moves (on my own) so I knew I could do this. Some days the training is very vigorous, some days I don't even break a sweat.

Even though my classes "time" is longer than 45 minutes, the amount of actual physical exercise (not standing around watching instructions, taking turns doing forms, etc) I am confident meets that 45 minute requirement. My body does tell me when it's had enough and I do listen to it.

So no controversy from me, just following the plan and incorporating 45 minutes of exercise as is allowed within the Medifast guidelines...

Comment #117

I'm not sure what to do. Before MF, I also was training. I never lost weight and my trainer never understood this. I was kicking my butt and feeling it all over, but no loss [although I felt "more toned"]..

After my 3 weeks on MF, I went to the gym with a friend for a while. First day, I felt like I was going to pass out and even got the spots in my vision. I kept pushing and made it through. Each time I worked out, it was less intensity than pre-MF, but I felt as if I couldn't handle it. Half way through I would feel really weak and would have to PUSH to make it through the 45 mins. One time, I ate my L&G pre-gym and it seemed to help me TONS.



I haven't worked out in a while. It seems as if I was losing an extra pound a week when I was.

My biggest fear is my sagging stomach and the pooch I have going on. I figured if I worked out while I lost, it may help but idk. I now have 2 Biggest Loser DVDs and a pilates kit that I have yet to try. I just don't feel like I have the motivation, but I felt the same with with the gym... I honestly have no idea what to do.....

Comment #118

I love the Biggest Loser, but lets be honest. We dont have 24/7 to work on our diet and excercise. Also, alot of those contestants gained back alot of the weight. Eric (winner season 6 I think?) gained ALL of it back!.

When Dr A is talking "excercise" he is talking more about formal/strenuous stuff, i.e. circuit training, running, etc. Moving is more like getting off the couch, maybe some light walking, housecleaning, mowing the lawn, washing the car, instead of hiring this stuff out that so many do these days-do it yourself to get "moving". Yes, it's excercise but not strenuous. I think thats the difference he is talking about..

Further, lets face it. If your fat and excercising strenuously, I would say thats a problem! Most of us are here because we dont excercise AND eat to much and eat the wrong things. ALso, people excercise for different reasons. As stated by posters here, most said they excercise for the MENTAL benefits. They "need" to excercise. My husband is the same way.

I find my mental benefits elsewhere...

Comment #119

That is very interesting and I am going to order Dr. A's book. Thanks for sharing that Adele...

Comment #120

Good thread..

For my part, starting out on Medifast in November, I would have been instantly discourage had I HAD to start an exercise program in order to lose weight. At my starting weight, leisurely walking the dogs was quite frankly the most I was capable of. And by capable, I mean more mentally than physically. Yes, I could have pushed myself and done 45 minutes of vigorous exercise, like the kind they do on the Biggest Loser, but in addition to the possible injury one can do to oneself at that weight, I don't know how I would have managed that and the really restrictive diet. Carting around a 300+ body on 800 or so calories was what I was capable of doing, and I'm proud that I did that. To have added vigorous exercise would have overwhelmed and discouraged me quite frankly, and I think that for morbidly obese people, knowing that the weight will come off on Medifast without HAVING to do vigorous exercise is a much needed and welcome message.

That being said, when I had lost 110lbs or so, I felt capable, mentally and physically, of doing more vigorous exercise and so now I do. And adding in the vigorous exercise later in my weight loss has been helpful on the scale as well, as my weight loss at this point *knock on wood* has continued to occur at a decent pace...

Comment #121

Last week my counselor had me add 30 minutes of gentle walking 3 times a week and after two weeks we're going to do evaluations and see if walking has influenced weight lost, etc. I know I am sleeping better with the exercise. I notice that I have more energy and I actually WANT something to do in the evenings, so walking has been great. But I am also mindful of how I feel; I have high blood pressure so I keep an eye on that..

When I was at my heaviest, there was no way I could walk the distance I can now. I like how Adele put it - exercise and transition. I'm moving now and leaving exercise and training till I reach transition. There's time enough...

Comment #122

I dunno.

I've seen so many posts by people actively shunning exercise while on MF. I think that the OP here is making a reasonable point, but that people in general (not necessarily in this thread) hear what they want to hear. I know a lot of MFers are thinking to themselves, often with relief, that exercise is taboo on this program. I think that does a real disservice to people in the long term.

If you don't learn to enjoy exercise, you'll never maintain. And you can't learn to enjoy exercise if you're hung up on the idea that it's going to undo all your progress. I see people all the time blaming physical exercise for the numbers on the scale.

I don't expect people to run marathons at 400 lbs but I think some form of exercise is healthy for everybody.

Exercise is not the enemy. Far from it...

Comment #123

Adele, you have just encouraged me to finish Dr. A's book. I put him aside for some REALLY GOOD fiction. I'm sure he'd understand..

I think this is an interesting thread, because for the past ten years, I tried changing my activity level twice, long term..

First, after my good friend (a runner) died, I trained for a 5K in her honor. I ran three times a week, eventually getting up to 4 miles each time. I didn't change how I ate, just my exercise level. Kept it up for 6 months..

Second, I joined Tae Kwon Do and spent 1 year earning my green belt. That was a hard work out three times a week, and eventually I quit because I just couldn't jump high enough, being morbidly obese..

I never lost one pound on either of those endeavors. I started to feel like there was something wrong with me, that I was destined to be obese, that this was it and I had better settle in to decline for the rest of my life. I am 37..

Obviously then I found TSFL and I am now 12 lbs away from my goal and am wearing a size that my husband of nearly ten years has never seen me in before..

I appreciate the point you brought up about the role of exercise and how we can create and keep healthy habits that last a lifetime. I think a lot of people get overwhelmed at the beginning and wonder how many plates they can keep in the air at once, and begin to despair over it. Your terminology of move vs. exercise works for me!..

Comment #124

I totally understand where you are coming from here. And yes, excercise is NOT the enemy.

But let me say one thing, Medifast has a very high success rate. WHy? Because MANY people who are overweight/obese/fat, DONT EXCERCISE and DONT WANT TO/and or CANT. Thats one reason they are fat.

For many of us, changing our eating habits ALONE, is enough to work on in the beginning. To add excercise from the start for me, I GUARANTEE I WOULD HAVE FAILED and not reached goal. You know how I know? Because I have tried it before, many times. AND FAILED. This is the ONLY time I have succeeded. THis is it.

And I didnt excercise FORMALLY. BUT, I did move. I moved more and more because it got easier as the weight came off. My endurance is WAY UP. I can walk all day now.

In fact, in Czech I posted how I put in over 14,000 steps in one day just be-boping with the boys around town!.

You also mention that "if you never learn to enjoy excercise, you will never maintain". Thats not true. I know someone here, she has maintained now since Jan. this year and doesnt excercise at all. Never did. I also know there are more just like her.

Thats her choice.

For me? I am starting a MAJOR workout program Sept 1-its a 12 week CHallenge. Its call "Body for Life". I WANT to excercise now. I want to see just how "hot" I can get this body looking! But, go look at my page, where I am in a white sweater holding my son. HELLLOOOO! THat woman COULDNT excercise more than a few minutes without exhaustion. Cant be exhausted with twin 5 yr old boys!.

I think you should check out Dr A's book, "Habits of Health". Its really a great resource. I wish I would have got it right when I started MF. But better late than never!..

Comment #125

Awesome! I loved his book so much, I read it "cover to cover" in one sitting! HE IS DEAD ON! My daughter just graduated from Med School so she is up on the "latest" stuff. She even agreed and she is the workout QUEEN! Eats only organic and clean, yada yada..

Its inspiring and is "news you can use". I will refer to it again an again I am sure!..

Comment #126

I would think that there comes a point where you must exercise, and only you know when that is and how much that is. If you don't add exercise you are only half way to healthy. And the exercise is not necessarily to maintain weight loss, but to be in shape. There are plenty of thin people who are not in shape. What does "in shape" mean? For me, it means a strong heart and muscles that get a workout, whether it is walking or yoga or sports...

Comment #127

Thank you so much for posting this!.

I think that I am being so lazy by not exercising on a "gym" type basis. I am active and do walk and house clean but no formal exercising. I did go out and buy a pair of walking sneakers just today hoping to go to the gym and start vigorously walking. Now I will do my last 20 lbs just doing what I am doing. THEN, I will join a gym and kick it up. Adele! you are my hero today. Besides,of course, your advice about flax seeds which are in my soup today...

Comment #128


This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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