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Nutrition & Dieting/How much exercise to drop a few pounds?

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Question
Hi, it's me again- sorry to bother but I just have one more question - I need to know how much exercise I should be doing in order to lose weight.

I'm 19, female, 121 lbs, 5"4', and am trying to slim down while getting fit at the same time. I know you can't spot tone but pretty much all my excess fat is stored in my stomach, hips and thighs.

My BMR is 1300 calories, so I've been eating that exact amount daily (I don't have much of an appetite so I have to force myself to eat that much - I know I shouldn't ever go below it although I could easily only eat about 1000 calories). I eat really healthy unprocessed protein, complex carbs and healthy fats. I've nearly completely cut out sugar and sodium. I also drink a lot of water.

So my question is, I think I've got the dieting part right, so how much exercise should I should be doing in order to drop about 4 pounds and tone up? I have been doing a 12 minute cardio workout during the day and going for a fast walk/jog/run every night for about 40-60 mins (and am starting to do HIIT, thanks for reminding me about that!), is that enough?
I've heard weight-training helps a lot but I don't belong to a gym or have any weights...

Please help! Thanks so much :)

Answer
Hey Ashlee,

It is no bother, I'm happy to help.

As for your BMR of 1300, can I ask where you got that figure? I calculate yours to be 1188 based on your weight and height. If you want I can calculate your daily caloric requirements.
Regardless you need to keep in mind that your BMR is your base metabolic rate, meaning the number of calories you burn in 24 hours to maintain life. So it is very important to eat above that as even walking around the house burns calories.
And like I said your body may be slowing your metabolism because of the low caloric intake.


I understand you're not hungry, the trick is to just get in calorie dense foods. complex starchy carbs are a good way as vegetables are really low in calories.  Thats why sometimes green leafy vegetables aren't counted in carb counts. Fats are another good choice as fat contains 9 calories per gram.
You might benefit from eating small meals every two hours to up your calories. 200 calories every two hours 8 times a day is already 1600. And 200 calories is not much. A cup of cottage cheese is already 180.
2 brown rice cakes are like 70 calories and add a Tbl of natural peanut butter to make it a total 165.
Please don't misconcept all this as I don't believe in calorie counting.

Before I get into your workouts you had mentioned cutting out sodium. Thats good but remember to get some in to retain a proper fluid balance in the body. Check out this article about sodium
http://www.flexonline.com/nutrition/eating-right/diet-tips/salt-shakeup
It is from a bodybuilding publication but pertains to everyone. The writer of the article,  Jim Stoppani PhD is possibly the most versed authority on fitness and nutrition in the world.

Now your workout. What do you do in your 12 minute cardio? 12 minutes isn't very long to achieve anything as it takes about 5 minutes to even get the heart rate to a zone of effectives. But since you're doing cardio later in the day too I say go for it with the 12 min. session.
you might consider replacing your 40-60 min. night cardio with 30 minutes HIIT.
A great time to do cardio is first thing in the morning. You would drink a protein shake then do cardio. The benefit is when you wake up, your body is in fat burning mode because you've fasted all night while sleeping and your glycogen stores have long been used up. All thats left to burn for energy  first thing is fat. Its best though to drink a protein shake or at least an amino acid drink first to prevent muscle breakdown.

And lack of a gym or weights is not a problem. Bodyweight workouts are fine, stuff like pushups, dips, pullups, etc. Or you can make improvised weights. For instance a gallon of fluid is about 8 pounds.
I'm actually developing an online workout video for just bodyweight and improvised weight training. It is part of my fitness show on you tube. Unfortunately my camera decided to act up so everything is on hold until I work out the equipment issues.

feel free to write in as much as you'd like and check out my site at www.bestfitnessnow.com
Or check out www.facebook.com/264902813631264

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Tim Santoro

Expertise

I can answer questions regarding the following. Confusion about basic nutrition, explain how to improve diet, when and how to eat better, eating for weight loss, eating for health, eating for fitness. I will answer questions about nutritional and workout supplements. I will not endorse any fad diets, however I can explain the draw backs to them and explain why they are the wrong way to go. I will not give advice relating to medications and/or their interactions with food and supplements.

Experience

I have earned certifications in Fitness Training and Fitness Nutrition from ISSA. I also self taught and stay current on the fitness industry. I lost 70 pounds training my self.

Publications
www.bestfitnessnow.com

Education/Credentials
SFN- Specialist in Fitness Nutrition from ISSA CFT-n Certified Fitness Trainer from ISSA

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Just the thank you from people I get to help.

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