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Japanese Language Study Log: gaiaslastlaugh

(2017-10-15, 9:13 pm)faneca Wrote:
(2017-10-14, 5:20 pm)gaiaslastlaugh Wrote: I've been doing less Japanese reading lately compared with the past year. Partly, that's been due to the class, which has taken 6-8 hours/week of my time. But I also made a decision back in July to finally get my weight and health under control. I kind of ruined my health through overeating, overdrinking, and not getting enough sleep nor any exercise. I decided it was time to stop being fat, tired and angry, so I changed my eating habits, and started a weekly regimen of strength training and biking to work (about 14mi/22k one way). I still have a ways to go, but I've dropped from 267lbs. to 225 lbs. as of today (from about 118kg to 102kg for you metric people).

Has this eaten into my Japanese reading time?  Yes. Do I feel much better about myself and my life? Hell yes.
(...)
That's all - a simple and boring update for now. More as I get closer to taking the N1 exam.

First, if that's what you'd call boring, please keep me updated whenever you post an "interesting" update ;-)

16kg, that's quite a feat! Congrats! Has it eaten into your Japanese reading time? Sure. Was it worth it? Absolutely!

Oh, and by the way, you already doing the conversions to the metric system in our place[1] is much appreciated! ;-)

Notes:
[1] Just a note on that, from a pedantic metric system enthusiast Tongue: it should've been "22km", not "22k". At first I was scratching my head like: "wait, if that is 14... err... minutes(?) Big Grin, what does he mean by «22k»? 22000 feet?", until I got it was miles and kilometers, silly me Big Grin...

Thanks for the correction!! We generally use "k" as a shorthand in the US - e.g., "I plan to run a 5k race this weekend". Good to know that it can be confusing outside of the US...

I have to convert to metric to both post on Instagram and Japanese and communicate with my wife, so I'm finally getting the hang of it. Er, kinda...
Edited: 2017-10-15, 11:26 pm
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(2017-10-15, 9:05 pm)Splatted Wrote:
(2017-10-15, 5:27 am)phil321 Wrote:
(2017-10-14, 5:20 pm)gaiaslastlaugh Wrote: I still have a ways to go, but I've dropped from 267lbs. to 225 lbs. as of today (from about 118kg to 102kg for you metric people).

I've read repeatedly that reducing the amount of food you eat is more effective than exercise in reducing weight.

I saw that here but honestly it seemed pretty suspect. They make arguments like:

- As weight decreases so does resting metabolic rate! How is that anything to do with exercise? It applies to all weight loss. In fact it applies LESS to exercise because muscle has a higher upkeep than fat so you can lose weight and still require a good amount of calories.

- People tend to compensate for the exercise by reducing activity elsewhere! Could definitely be a trap for many people but it doesn't mean exercise is not effective when done right. It also ignores the long term effect of being healthier allowing people to be more active with less effort.

- Physically active Tanzanians burn the same amount of calories as the average American! If they're that thin and burning as many calories as a 200lb American isn't that a huge difference?

I think the main point of the video was that increased appetite and poor food choices can quickly erase the benefits of exercise. That does seem a point worth making but they seem to have course corrected way too far.

This could all just be  a problem with Vox and not their position though.To be clear I'm not at all well educated on this topic but vox's arguments just don't seem to hold up.

A well know radio talk show host made an excellent point.  He said A donut is 200 calories.  To burn off 200 calories you have to jog for half an hour.  Which do you think is easier to do to reduce your caloric intake by 200 calories a day, give up your daily donut, or go jogging for half an hour every day.  I rest my case.

In my own case by totalling cutting out food other than breakfast, lunch and dinner I dumped most of my excess weight.
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(2017-10-16, 4:36 am)phil321 Wrote: ... daily donut ...

Daily? Like in every day?! Just reading something like that makes me feel sick...
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(2017-10-16, 4:36 am)phil321 Wrote:
(2017-10-15, 9:05 pm)Splatted Wrote:
(2017-10-15, 5:27 am)phil321 Wrote:
(2017-10-14, 5:20 pm)gaiaslastlaugh Wrote: I still have a ways to go, but I've dropped from 267lbs. to 225 lbs. as of today (from about 118kg to 102kg for you metric people).

I've read repeatedly that reducing the amount of food you eat is more effective than exercise in reducing weight.

I saw that here but honestly it seemed pretty suspect. They make arguments like:

- As weight decreases so does resting metabolic rate! How is that anything to do with exercise? It applies to all weight loss. In fact it applies LESS to exercise because muscle has a higher upkeep than fat so you can lose weight and still require a good amount of calories.

- People tend to compensate for the exercise by reducing activity elsewhere! Could definitely be a trap for many people but it doesn't mean exercise is not effective when done right. It also ignores the long term effect of being healthier allowing people to be more active with less effort.

- Physically active Tanzanians burn the same amount of calories as the average American! If they're that thin and burning as many calories as a 200lb American isn't that a huge difference?

I think the main point of the video was that increased appetite and poor food choices can quickly erase the benefits of exercise. That does seem a point worth making but they seem to have course corrected way too far.

This could all just be  a problem with Vox and not their position though.To be clear I'm not at all well educated on this topic but vox's arguments just don't seem to hold up.

A well know radio talk show host made an excellent point.  He said A donut is 200 calories.  To burn off 200 calories you have to jog for half an hour.  Which do you think is easier to do to reduce your caloric intake by 200 calories a day, give up your daily donut, or go jogging for half an hour every day.  I rest my case.

In my own case by totalling cutting out food other than breakfast, lunch and dinner I dumped most of my excess weight.

I agree that cutting out daily doughnut eating should be a priority. I actually acknowledged that in the post you're quoting:

Quote:I think the main point of the video was that increased appetite and poor food choices can quickly erase the benefits of exercise. That does seem a point worth making

The issue I have is that you seem to be pitting exercise and healthy eating (or just calorie restriction?) against each other in an unrealistic way. You don't have to eat doughnuts just because you went for a run. I see the point that if you're going to apply you're limited willpower to one or the other it might be better to cut out the junk food*, but that no where near warrants the conclusion that exercise is unhelpful.

*Anecdotally I've actually found exercise to be helpful in changing eating habits.

Edit: Sorry I now see you just said restricting calories is more effective than exercise and I foolishly overlapped that with the Vox video where they said exercise is not effective. I'm still not sure it's good advice because there are other aspects to good health and I know many people find healthy eating + exercise to be an enjoyable lifestyle, while the same can not be said for calorie restriction, but I can definitely see it being the most important thing for some people.
Edited: 2017-10-16, 9:31 am
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Since ya'll are talking about weight loss i'll just mention I dropped 5lbs without even trying by foregoing the bowl of rice with dinner every night. I'm not even trying to loose weight so the 5lbs is a bit of a guess since I don't weigh myself often but I definitely did lose some of the baby fat I was beginning to put on from my wife's awesome Japanese cooking. I really just decided rice was my least favorite part of the meal and I didn't need it. Since I wasn't trying to loose weight it was a bit of a shock when I realized it.

Not really sure what it was, but my guess is that it was simply ~100 less calories per day that added up over months. The math actually even kind of works out.

(2017-10-16, 7:05 am)Splatted Wrote: *Anecdotally I've actually found exercise to be helpful in changing eating habits.

I've found that during the times when I'm very active, I'll definitely want to eat more to replace some of those burnt calories. It's not even a question. It definitely happens to me at least.

This isn't to say that exercise isn't important. In fact I've read some very persuasive research that diet without an exercise component almost never yields long lasting results.
Edited: 2017-10-17, 2:09 pm
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(2017-10-14, 5:20 pm)gaiaslastlaugh Wrote: I decided it was time to stop being fat, tired and angry, so I changed my eating habits, and started a weekly regimen of strength training and biking to work (about 14mi/22k one way).
Cool -- 14 miles is pretty hardcore for a bicycle commute. I'm reminded of what a friend of mine liked to say when he was doing something similar: "you don't do a 14 mile commute because you're really fit, you're really fit because you do a 14 mile commute".

My weight's been gradually creeping up recently -- I really should cut out the cakes and biscuits, which seems for me to be sufficient to turn 'gradual increase' into 'gradual decrease', but willpower is hard :-(
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@yogert909: Congrats on your weight loss. I think white rice is notorious for being high density empty calories so I'm not surprised cutting it out was good for you.

I should have been clearer when I said exercise can be useful for changing eating habits. It definitely does make most people (everyone?) want to eat more but I was talking about healthy eating in general rather than just calorie restriction. To save time I'm just going to list some of my experiences:

- Exercise makes me feel more energised so I'm less likely to crave sugary energy boosts.
- After a session I don't want to throw away my hard work so it's easier to choose a healthy option over junk food.
- Exercise creates a reward system for fitness improvements. Running faster and farther with less effort is enjoyable in a way that watching "risk of heart attack" or whatever decrease is not. It gives me something measurable to apply my improved fitness to and that helps tip the scale when making food choices.
- Exercise is a strong stimulus so when I stick to eating the same meal after a work out I find I quickly become conditioned to crave it. This could be good or bad depending on what you do but the plus side is that if you make some effort in the short term it becomes a "free" healthy meal that requires no willpower.

Edit: This pretty much all assumes that you understand the importance of healthy eating. Many people have the misconception that they've earned a cheat meal every time they go to the gym, and that obviously undermines their progress, but I think that's often the result of ignorance and not because exercise sapped all their willpower.
Edited: 2017-10-17, 4:25 pm
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(2017-10-17, 4:18 pm)Splatted Wrote: @yogert909: Congrats on your weight loss. I think white rice is notorious for being high density empty calories so I'm not surprised cutting it out was good for you.

I should have been clearer when I said exercise can be useful for changing eating habits. It definitely does make most people (everyone?) want to eat more but I was talking about healthy eating in general rather than just calorie restriction. To save time I'm just going to list some of my experiences:

- Exercise makes me feel more energised so I'm less likely to crave sugary energy boosts.
- After a session I don't want to throw away my hard work so it's easier to choose a healthy option over junk food.
- Exercise creates a reward system for fitness improvements. Running faster and farther with less effort is enjoyable in a way that watching "risk of heart attack" or whatever decrease is not. It gives me something measurable to apply my improved fitness to and that helps tip the scale when making food choices.
- Exercise is a strong stimulus so when I stick to eating the same meal after a work out I find I quickly become conditioned to crave it. This could be good or bad depending on what you do but the plus side is that if you make some effort in the short term it becomes a "free" healthy meal that requires no willpower.

Edit: This pretty much all assumes that you understand the importance of healthy eating. Many people have the misconception that they've earned a cheat meal every time they go to the gym, and that obviously undermines their progress, but I think that's often the result of ignorance and not because exercise sapped all their willpower.

I didn't mean to suggest you were wrong either.  Those are all good points.  

I've noticed that eating more healthfully does correlate with the times I am doing more exercise.  It's just that I attribute that with the fact that I'm thinking more about being healthy.  For instance, I just started swimming  3x per week again after a long hiatus of not being very active and I've noticed myself making sure I have good posture and I've worked half the day so far at a standing desk.  When I'm being complacent about my health, I don't do these things as much.

btw, I just watched the vox video that I think some people were talking about.  I think it's kind of misleading.  The facts they list are all accurate afaik, but I think the conclusion that "Exercise isn’t the best way to lose weight" is too strong.  Even if all the things they say are true and you burn a couple hundred calories while running a few miles, and you eat more and take the elevator instead of the stairs, you still have a calorie deficit compared to not exercising.  The key is keeping up a healthy habit of diet and exercise over a long period of time.  After all, it took years to put on the few extra pounds, you're not going to be able to burn them off by running a few miles.  

If you've never done calorie counting before, it's pretty illuminating.  I did it out of curiosity a few years ago and it really helped me see how different foods and exercises affect calorie balance.  In particular, as the vox video points out, how few calories are burnt while exercising and the overwhelming majority of calories are burnt while resting.  But also how that extra few pounds are really made up of that extra helping we eat every day for years and didn't burn off while exercising.  

For instance, we can't affect our resting metabolism, but if we burn 200 calories/day running for 30 minutes and eat 10% less (200 calories) by skipping the bowl of rice, and a pound of fat is ~3500 calories, we've created a 0.1 pound deficit.  That's not a lot, but if we do it every day, that's 1 pound per month or 12 pounds per year from something that's pretty minimal.
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Thanks I feel like we're on the same page and you actually broke things down better than I did. The point about how a small calorie surplus or deficit can have a big impact long term is a really good one.
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I've found that the best exercise for me is an easy cardio activity for a long time (cycling or walking) with a bit of weight training. Running is high impact, which (from experience) is extra killer on knees and back (even core muscles) when you're carrying around extra fat. Because of that, a thirty minute run, even spread out through interval training, leaves me a lot more sore and tired than doing a lot of walking over the day or a 10 mile bicycle ride.
Even when I go for a long bicycle ride, I still don't mind taking the stairs or parking far away, but if my knees and back are hurting from a run, I won't want to do either of those.

According to my Fitbit (while it still worked), my calorie consumption with simple walking was around four times my resting metabolic rate, so I could walk for an hour and burn off almost 400 Calories without being exhausted as a result (and without my knees hurting). Even better, I could break that walking up into multiple chunks of only a few minutes and achieve similar results. For those with a pedometer of some form or another, this only accounts for 5500 - 6000 steps.

For weight training, I take reps over weight, because I'm not interested in bulking up. Three sets of twelve for each exercise every other day when the most I've got is 20lb dumbbells gives fine results, again, without overworking my joints (straps still necessary for pulling, though) and keeping me from being lazy later.
(I did irritate one of the tendons in my right arm, though, so I've only been doing pushups, sit-ups, and squats for the past few months. Twenty per day; not really weight training at that point, just keeping condition.)

Basically, I think burning less calories over a longer period is better than doing a burst and then sitting at your desk eating the junk food that you leave in your drawer to satisfy the munchies you get when you've been working (or watching videos) for hours without getting up.


As for food, I want to eat something nutritious after working out. I'd rather have almonds, eggs, and vegetables than anything sweet, so I think there's some credence to the idea that you have an easier time eating healthy if you're also exercising.
Of course, I like nutritious foods to begin with, and I'm happy to do without starches or tons of meat in favor of vegetables, so I'm probably more likely to feel that way.
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(2017-10-17, 9:24 pm)sholum Wrote: I've found that the best exercise for me is an easy cardio activity for a long time (cycling or walking) with a bit of weight training. Running is high impact, which (from experience) is extra killer on knees and back (even core muscles) when you're carrying around extra fat. Because of that, a thirty minute run, even spread out through interval training, leaves me a lot more sore and tired than doing a lot of walking over the day or a 10 mile bicycle ride

This is good. From what I've read, cycling 10 miles burns the same amount of calories whether you peddle easy or hard. Running burns more than walking because the mechanics of walking is different, but walking fast and walking slow burn the same, and so on. So the only thing you get from a more intense workout is it takes less time.

BTW, since you mention you like to do strength training and cardio I'll mention I LOVE kettlebells. They incorporate strength training and cardio into the same exercise. You can also get a great workout with only one or two kettlebells in a small space so you can do it at home with minimal commitment.
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(2017-10-18, 3:17 pm)yogert909 Wrote: This is good.  From what I've read, cycling 10 miles burns the same amount of calories whether you peddle easy or hard.  Running burns more than walking because the mechanics of walking is different, but walking fast and walking slow burn the same, and so on.  So the only thing you get from a more intense workout is it takes less time.

Can you clarify this paragraph because I don't understand what you're saying. The second sentence as you've written it would mean you can increase energy output without increasing energy input, which is obviously not true.
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(2017-10-18, 4:55 pm)Splatted Wrote:
(2017-10-18, 3:17 pm)yogert909 Wrote: This is good.  From what I've read, cycling 10 miles burns the same amount of calories whether you peddle easy or hard.  Running burns more than walking because the mechanics of walking is different, but walking fast and walking slow burn the same, and so on.  So the only thing you get from a more intense workout is it takes less time.

Can you clarify this paragraph because I don't understand what you're saying. The second sentence as you've written it would mean you can increase energy output without increasing energy input, which is obviously not true.

I think the idea is that increases in wind resistance are negligible at those speeds, so going 10 miles at 12mph is effectively the same energy consumption as going 10 miles at 7mph (I think those are fairly normal speeds for people with cruisers or trail bikes).
It's definitely incorrect to say they're exactly the same, but going the same distance at different speeds (that are close together) will require about the same energy.

You do have to consider that wind resistance depends on the square of velocity, though, so this argument doesn't hold as well for a difference like 10mph to 20mph. It's hard to reach 20mph on my bicycle (no peddle clips), I usually stick to 16 or 17mph, though I did reach 21mph once with the wind at my back going slightly downhill.

But for something like walking, the speed at which you walk will have next to no effect on your energy consumption over distance (but it will over time).
However, from personal experience, you will do a lot more damage to your feet by walking faster than your natural stride allows, because you put more force on your heels and toes. Kinda goes back to what I was saying about burning a slower time rate of calories for a longer time.

yogert909 Wrote:BTW, since you mention you like to do strength training and cardio I'll mention I LOVE kettlebells. They incorporate strength training and cardio into the same exercise. You can also get a great workout with only one or two kettlebells in a small space so you can do it at home with minimal commitment.

I've never tried kettlebells before, but I did think of trying them for triceps exercises, since my elbows didn't like doing extensions with a dumbbell. I'll have to look into them.
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(2017-10-18, 9:00 pm)sholum Wrote: I think the idea is that increases in wind resistance are negligible at those speeds, so going 10 miles at 12mph is effectively the same energy consumption as going 10 miles at 7mph (I think those are fairly normal speeds for people with cruisers or trail bikes).
It's definitely incorrect to say they're exactly the same, but going the same distance at different speeds (that are close together) will require about the same energy.

You do have to consider that wind resistance depends on the square of velocity, though, so this argument doesn't hold as well for a difference like 10mph to 20mph. It's hard to reach 20mph on my bicycle (no peddle clips), I usually stick to 16 or 17mph, though I did reach 21mph once with the wind at my back going slightly downhill.

But for something like walking, the speed at which you walk will have next to no effect on your energy consumption over distance (but it will over time).
However, from personal experience, you will do a lot more damage to your feet by walking faster than your natural stride allows, because you put more force on your heels and toes. Kinda goes back to what I was saying about burning a slower time rate of calories for a longer time.

So basically the idea is, if you go faster you burn more energy per minute, but in the end it's roughly the same per mile (because the one going slower is at it a bit longer). Something like that?
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(2017-10-18, 9:00 pm)sholum Wrote: I think the idea is that increases in wind resistance are negligible at those speeds, so going 10 miles at 12mph is effectively the same energy consumption as going 10 miles at 7mph (I think those are fairly normal speeds for people with cruisers or trail bikes).
It's definitely incorrect to say they're exactly the same, but going the same distance at different speeds (that are close together) will require about the same energy.

You do have to consider that wind resistance depends on the square of velocity, though, so this argument doesn't hold as well for a difference like 10mph to 20mph. It's hard to reach 20mph on my bicycle (no peddle clips), I usually stick to 16 or 17mph, though I did reach 21mph once with the wind at my back going slightly downhill.

But for something like walking, the speed at which you walk will have next to no effect on your energy consumption over distance (but it will over time).
However, from personal experience, you will do a lot more damage to your feet by walking faster than your natural stride allows, because you put more force on your heels and toes. Kinda goes back to what I was saying about burning a slower time rate of calories for a longer time.

Thanks. I misread 10 miles as 10 minutes and could see it didn't make sense but kept re-reading it wrong anyway. Blush

On the subject of low intensity exercise I've heard it's actually really good for you because it allows you to exercise your aerobic system as opposed to you anaerobic system. This means effective exercise can be pleasant and enjoyable but the down side is that you can't push intensity to reduce time investment as that's simply a different workout.
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(2017-10-19, 7:53 am)Splatted Wrote: On the subject of low intensity exercise I've heard it's actually really good for you because it allows you to exercise your aerobic system as opposed to you anaerobic system. This means effective exercise can be pleasant and enjoyable but the down side is that you can't push intensity to reduce time investment as that's simply a different workout.

I can't say definitively, but I've seen a lot of these diet memes come and go and these whole aerobic, anaerobic, ketogenic, glycemic index things sound like the forgotten diet fads of the future. I don't study this stuff to much but the few high quality studies I've read all seem to agree that there's not much that you can do to artificially affect calorie burn. Foods or the type of exercise you do really doesn't matter as long as the foods you eat cause you to eat less calories and you do enough of any exercise to burn more calories.
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Anaerobic vs aerobic exercise is nothing to do with calorie burn it's just about understanding what you're actually doing in you're exercise session. I've mainly read about it in the context of training hard for athletic performance but I brought it up here because it helps reinforce the point that working out harder isn't always the best thing. If even elite athletes have to devote large chunks of time to gentle aerobic exercise then normal people certainly shouldn't be afraid to include walking as part of their routines.
Edited: 2017-10-19, 7:34 pm
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To clarify, aerobic exercises allow the muscles involved to work through aerobic respiration (convert resources to energy with oxygen and output CO2), anaerobic respiration doesn't require oxygen, but creates lactic acid as a byproduct, which causes fatigue and, assuming you keep going, will eventually build up to the point that you physically can no support that movement.

Glycemic index is useful for keeping your blood sugar from spiking and dipping too much, as it's organized based on the rate at which different carbohydrates are metabolized by the body. Unless you're diabetic, this isn't terribly important to consider.

Ketogenesis makes use of fatty acids and certain amino-acids to produce ketone bodies as an alternative energy source to carbohydrates when you're fasting (because fatty acids can't cross the blood-brain barrier, the usual method of metabolizing these fatty acids is unavailable to your brain and spinal cord). The metabolic state is called ketosis.
Basically, you're doing this every time you make it to a fasting state (no longer burning carbs); if you burn fat, you're doing this.
Interesting side notes:
-apparently one of the ketone bodies is acetone.
-ketoacidosis is what happens when too many ketone bodies build up in the blood stream and the normal pH buffering mechanisms of your body can no longer keep up. You may have heard of diabetic-ketoacidosis before; this is a thing because insulin plays a role in regulating the levels of ketone bodies in the blood.


People certainly like creating fad diets based on fancy words, but it doesn't mean those fancy words don't actually mean something that is actually useful to your diet and exercise routine (or general health knowledge).
Edited: 2017-10-19, 8:18 pm
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(2017-10-19, 7:33 pm)Splatted Wrote: Anaerobic vs aerobic exercise is nothing to do with calorie burn it's just about understanding what you're actually doing in you're exercise session. I've mainly read about it in the context of training hard for athletic performance but I brought it up here because it helps reinforce the point that working out harder isn't always the best thing. If even elite athletes have to devote large chunks of time to gentle aerobic exercise then normal people certainly shouldn't be afraid to include walking as part of their routines.

Ah, ok.  I've been hearing so much about Ketogenesis these days that I assumed it was something related.  I think we're in agreement that walking is excellent exercise.
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