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Old 06-26-2007, 09:00 PM   #21
Tom Ellison
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Regarding the "exercise more" strategy:
It's true that you just need to burn more calories than you take in to lose weight. But it's far easier to create that caloric deficit by limiting/changing diet than by running a whole bunch. There are a lot of downsides to trying to "work off" your bad diet, including overuse injuries and overtraining, burnout, etc. In addition, diet has an affect on more than just body fat %. You might be able to "work" your way down to 5-6% body fat with a crappy diet, but you won't necessarily be very healthy and your athletic performance, moods, and energy level won't be ideal. If you want to run a lot that's fine, but I wouldn't start trying to balance too much food with too much exercise. Losing weight is one of those rare things where you can achieve your goal by doing LESS (eating).
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Old 06-27-2007, 08:15 AM   #22
Matt DeMinico
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Jeff: that seems to be the best way to do it. Heck, it actually feels good to buy/order good things when you're out. Heck, I go out with my dad after golf and when he's in the area refereeing games in the winter, and him and his buddies always get a beer when they're out, and it feels good to just get a water.
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Old 06-27-2007, 12:24 PM   #23
Craig Loizides
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It's easier to create the deficit through dieting, but according to this thread and others it leads to difficulties in social situations, feelings of denial, guilt over eating a single cookie, decreased energy, and decreased performance for a lot of people. Overuse injuries and overtraining simply mean you are doing more than your body is capable of. This is never a good idea. Build up slowly. You won't burn out if you are doing something you enjoy. I've never tried to get a six pack or achieve a certain BF%. I train for sports and do activities I enjoy and don't worry about the rest. It doesn't have to be running. I've also used basketball, tennis, and mountain biking at different times. My diet isn't crappy, but I eat more carbs than most here would recommend. I feel my best, have the most energy, and perform my best when I'm at my leanest which is when I'm exercising and eating the most.

I'm not recommending this for everyone. I just wanted to share my experience since the original poster asked if anyone got lean without an extreme diet and a number of people reported decreased performance at low BF%.
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