They answered some in Part One.
Please to enjoy Part Two.
Kristen asked: “My husband always tells me to switch up my cardio routine. He said that even though I run a lot I will eventually stop losing weight because my body will get used to that type of exercise… Can your body get used to your same ol’ routine like using the elliptical?”
Ron followed that question up with a similar request: “Does your body really get used to your exercise routine therefore not benefiting you?”
Have any of you ever changed a habit such as taking the stairs at your office building instead of the elevator? Perhaps the stairs made you winded the first few times, but after a while you could make it to your destination without needing a break, right? Your body does get used to any exercise you do repeatedly. If you work the same muscles over and over again they get stronger and more efficient at completing the same activity; however, does that mean you aren’t benefiting from using those muscles in the same way? Definitely not.
Variety in exercise is key to staying committed to your workout and moving your muscles in different ways. By adding variety (even if it’s simply using different tempos in your running, stepping up the intensity of your aerobics class, or cross-training with a few different activities each week), you will regularly exercise different muscle groups and prevent your body from settling into an efficiency with the same workout day in and day out. This will also help maximize your calorie burn for weight management.
Though your body can acclimate to the same repeated workout, you are still benefiting from the exercise itself in a variety of health-related ways. You may not be burning as many calories, though, and that is why changing it up can be a good thing.
A few readers wanted to know more about meal structure: “Dinner seems to be the hardest meal for me to eat right during, so what I do to make up for this is to eat a very tiny breakfast and very tiny lunch. That way I don’t have to worry too terribly much about my dinner choice and I still have some food intake during the day. Is this okay? I hear some people say 6 small meals to keep the metabolism going, others say eat a large breakfast, medium lunch, tiny dinner, and then some others say that its the overall calorie count for the day that matters most.”
Good question about meal structure. Dinner is often the hardest meal for many people to manage. The reasons why vary. One reason may be related to the size of your earlier meals. Eating smaller meals earlier in the day will give you more wiggle room for calories in the evening. The downside is that it also sets you up to be overly hungry when dinner time rolls around. While your goal is to not worry about what you can eat for dinner, this plan may backfire in that your appetite will overrule reasonable food intake.
Other challenges about dinnertime arise from it being the end of the day—we’re often tired and stressed from the events of the day and the evening becomes a time of release. We let down our guard and often use food as a tension reliever. My recommendation would be to balance your calorie intake across the day more evenly with regular meals (and snacks if needed to keep from going more than 4-5 hours without eating something).
If your current routine is working for you, you are happy with it, feeling energized and managing a healthy weight, that’s great. But if you are struggling with excess weight and/or not enough energy throughout the day, analyzing your meal structure and timing would be a great place to start.
Another reader asked about vitamins: “What is the optimum amount of vitamin D? How much does a person get from the sun and from food? Should we all be taking supplements and, if so, how much?”
Vitamin D is the media’s superstar nutrient right now, largely because recent research suggests that many people are deficient. You can get vitamin D through your diet (dairy products and other fortified foods). Sun exposure also allows the body to make vitamin D, but the amount is influenced by where you live and how much sun you get, as well as your skin pigmentation.
So, how much do you need? The jury’s still out. The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) current recommendations are between 200-600 IU’s of vitamin D, depending on age. A committee was established in 2008 to reconsider these numbers based on current research and new recommendations are expected in 2010.
What we do know is that older adults, people with limited sun exposure, people with darker skin, and obese people are at greater risk for vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D supplementation is now recommended for many individuals, but recommended levels vary. Doctors are now testing vitamin D levels and encouraging supplementation for deficient individuals. The current safe upper limit of vitamin D intake, according to IOM, is 2,000 IUs. However, we may see this limit change when the 2010 report is published.
POD asked for more background about the numbers behind Vtrim: “What is the percentage of folks who gain their weight back after following this program and what criteria do you consider when saying folks are successful at your program?”
In a similar follow-up question, Gretchen replied: “When every diet/lifestyle change I know about doesn’t meet the gold standard for measuring such programs, which is that a significant (more than 5-10%) number of the participants need to keep off a significant (more than 10 lbs or so on average) amount of weight for more than 5 years, what’s different about Vtrim?”
POD and Gretchen, we’re glad you asked! When it comes to weight loss, you aren’t willing to accept any old advertisement or gimmick that comes along. You are well-informed and do your homework about the resources and programs available to you. We advise everyone to follow suit!
Vtrim is a university-based weight loss program used in obesity trials completed through the University of Vermont’s Behavioral Weight Management Program. We call our program Vtrim, though the protocol we use exists at other obesity research institutions. This methodology is what researchers use to determine best practices for weight management. It has been studied extensively and refined since the early 1970s. Vtrim Online brings makes research-based weight loss program available to the general public. Otherwise, participants would have to qualify for one of our research studies.
Because Vtrim is the clinical gold standard treatment, we expect participants to lose an average of 9kg (19.8 lbs) at six months. That number represents the average weight loss of participants in a research study. Remember, in research we are looking at means, or averages, of a group. Some people lose more than 9kg; some lose less. Once you have an average, you can compare it to other programs that put their protocol through rigorous randomized controlled trials. This kind of data is sparse when it comes to commercially available weight loss programs. Based on what is published, Vtrim achieves a higher weight loss at six months. Most participants who lose 9kg have entered the clinically-meaningful range of a 5-10 percent weight loss. Eighty-three percent of our graduates achieve at least a five percent weight loss.
Vtrim has not tracked participants five years out; however, because we use the same protocol used in other obesity research studies that have answered this question, we can apply those findings to our program. Recent data shows that a six-month behavioral weight loss program should achieve an average weight loss of 9kg at six months, with one-third gained back after one year. At five years, people are still at a weight four percent less than their start weight. Please realize that this speaks to the average when comparing groups in research. Many people do succeed at weight loss. A protocol such as Vtrim gives you the best chance of sustainable, long-term success.
That’s a lot of info. & a lot of time spent answering the questions WE asked.
Whether you agree. Whether they answered the questioncomment you left. Please to give Vtrim some thank you love in below.
Want some MizFit for your Wednesday? Come join me. Im hanging over here.
Susan saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 5:27 am
I thought this post was very interesting and well written. Thank you for sharing the information with us.
Joanna Sutter saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 5:49 am
There seems to be a lot of chatter about Vitamin D lately…your response answered a lot of them for me.
Sagan saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 7:15 am
Great questions that are handled very well by the Vtrim people. It’s good to have all of this information addressed.
Diana saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 7:27 am
Great questions and answers! The information was very helpful.
Jody - Fit at 52 saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 7:30 am
Great stuff! I like that you say on food, do what works best for you. I do much better on mini meals cause I know in 2-3 hours, I get to eat again! 🙂 It is all healthy though!
As for variety in exercise, I have found that switching it up is so important… not only to avoid injury & boredom BUT to make my bod respond, especially with aging & hormones!
Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 8:10 am
These were really informative answers. I found the question/answer about getting used to a workout to be especially helpful. Thanks!
Hannah saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 9:08 am
WOW. lots of information here. thanks so much.
and you Miz? You’re all over right now in such a fun away.
I enjoyed hearing you as a guest on someone else’s podcast.
deb roby saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 9:51 am
Thanks to the VTrim folks for such thoughtful and thorough answers to the questions.
But miz, i miss your authentic take on things here. I’ll openly admit it: I don’t have the time to listen to all the podcasts I could. I wish I did.
Crabby McSlacker saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 10:02 am
Great Q & A! It’s nice to hear such a reasonable take on exercise and nutrition–so many experts make things sound so black and white.
debby saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 10:14 am
I really appreciated the absolute honesty in their answers.
Lauren @ Eater not a runner saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 11:01 am
Great post, i had the same question about meal sizes/times!
Steve saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 12:09 pm
Hey, that was my meal structure question that you posted! WOOHOO!!!!!! 🙂 🙂
Thanks for this whole Q and A session, with the 50 billion DIFFERENT pieces of information floating out there its nice to have a actual answers 🙂
POD saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 1:55 pm
Wow, I’m glad I came back here to see what was happening with the Vtrim post. I wasn’t sure I’d get an answer and I did. I’m all for sustainable longterm success.
Andrea@WellnessNotes saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 2:59 pm
Great Q & A! Thanks! 🙂
Quix saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 5:58 pm
Indeed, great Q and A series! 🙂
charlotte saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 8:40 pm
Those are some impressive results for vtrim followers! Am interested in what exactly makes them different.
bjbella5 saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 10:23 pm
Nice post. The information felt honest and informative without being preachy. Thanks!
Ron saysJanuary 21, 2010 at 6:01 am
Very informative post!!!!
sian-girlgetstrong saysJanuary 21, 2010 at 8:23 am
I loved part one and part two of this series! Vtrim is a great, non gimmick weight loss solution! Thanks Vtrim.
Jill saysJanuary 25, 2010 at 11:07 pm
Thank you for this very informative post! 🙂