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please help with wife program

Discussion in 'Female Health & Fitness' started by jmike, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. jmike

    jmike Active Member

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    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    STOP!!!!!! READ THIS

    1. I am not a man that is forcing his wife to exercise to conform to the sexist stereotype that women should be thin

    2. She has asked me for help and i am trying to help by asking questions for her

    3. she is 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometers) away from me - i am on a year long contract and i am not at home


    /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////



    so, i am working on an exercise routine for the wife. she wants to drop 50 pounds while i am away.

    I am looking for diet and exercise tips that I can help tailor to her needs

    not going to put her weight, or height in the off-chance that she visits and gets embarrassed. (if momma is not happy, then no one is happy).

    She is the mother of 2, and has not eaten healthy in the past. She rarely eats more than once a day, and then she will be starving and binge on hamburgers and other stuff that is not healthy. She LOVES her salads though.

    I started by trying to get her to move in the right direction for her diet. She is eating 3-4 eggs for breakfast now (that was a MAJOR challenge) -- drinks coffee throughout the day with half'n'half and splenda. she is now eating salads with ham, cheese, eggs, and other odd bits of protein throughout the day. and late in the evenings she is eating lowfat greek yogurt and fruit.


    she has been walking for cardio, and last week she did a challenging session with kettle bells and experienced the DOMS. now she is a little timid about getting back into harder exercises that will benefit her.



    My thoughts were that she should build a solid muscle base (cause eating once a day for years probably ate away most of her muscle base) and then .... not sure.


    I guess i am looking for diet AND exercise tips that I can incorporate into a program that will keep her shedding pounds, and keep her happy and healthy.


    she does not have a gym membership, and quite frankly, i think she would be too embarrassed to go if she did have one, not that she has anything to be embarrassed about.
     
    #1 jmike, Jul 4, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
  2. jmike

    jmike Active Member

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    so, how many calories should she shoot for in a day in order to build that base muscle and feed the recovery process?


    are protein requirements similar in men and women?
     
  3. Robert2006

    Robert2006 Active Member

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    Nothing unhealthy about home made burgers. Taking a piece of meat and chopping it up doesn't magically change it into something horrible.

    Calorie requirements depend on age,weight,activity levels etc.
     
  4. jmike

    jmike Active Member

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    i agree - chopping it up cooking most of the fat out of it doesn't make it unhealthy -- but all the other things that go with it that are deep fried and salted out of the wazoo can't be healthy -- especially after an 18-20 hour fast




    age 31
    weight - she would kill me if i divulged that secret

    activity - she does a lot of house cleaning and now that i am gone, she does a lot of yard work -- i think the rest of the time is pretty sedentary --- lost of desk/computer type work
     
  5. FatLenny

    FatLenny Active Member

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    That is kind of a key piece of information you are leaving out. Especially when you consider that you are asking for advice on caloric intake. Here is the best I can do to help:

    Read this.

    That will have enough information for you to determine what she needs as far as calories. There is a lot of good stuff there, but you will have to make your own decisions on what to tell her if you aren't going to share essential background information (I totally understand,btw).

    Check this out, too.

    Since she is already comfortable with kettlebells, you might consider trying to find more kettlebell workouts for her to do. Kettlebells can be very versatile and there are many exercises for them that use the same muscle groups as the big compound lifts. Let her do the stuff she is comfortable with, and as she gets stronger and more confident you can encourage exploration of the more tradition weight lifting exercises if you like.
     
  6. jmike

    jmike Active Member

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    right now i can guess at her weight -- but she refuses to even step on a scale

    she hates going to the doctors office because they make her get on a scale


    i have been telling her that she needs some way to measure her progress
     
  7. FatLenny

    FatLenny Active Member

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    Maybe you could suggest that she measure her waist or hips. Many women will lose inches more readily than pounds anyway. It can be a big morale boost when a woman sees that she is 2 inches smaller around the waist even if the scale hasn't moved much.
     
  8. Robert2006

    Robert2006 Active Member

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    Small steps.

    She likes burgers. Get her to pick healthy ones. Avoid the sauces etc. Maybe a baked potato instead of fries. Or a salad. Try to avoid huge changes. They often don't work.

    Doesn't want to go near the scale. Could always go by how the clothes fit. Every time she needs to trade down to a smaller size that'll be a win.
     
  9. Zilla

    Zilla Well-Known Member

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    Since she doesn't like to discuss her weight, what would happen if you allowed her to figure out what she needs to do in terms of diet ( what to eat, how many calories she needs, ect) on her own? We have a entire section http://forums.johnstonefitness.com/showthread.php?t=45975 dedicated to such info.

    Now this doesn't work for everybody of course. If she's that determined not to change how she is doing things, she isn't going to. But sometimes people like to figure these things out for themselves when they don't feel comfortable with giving out such stats such as what they scale says.

    As long as she is eating okay, any activity at this point is better than no activity. As for DOMS, well it's part of the process. I think when most people understand DOMS, what it is and what it means they learn to be atleast somewhat tolerant of it. Some go as far as to freak out when they don't have any DOMS.

    If a beginnner is just starting out and they squat the heaviest weight they can handle for a few sets, they are going to have issues with pain for a few or more days. When a person starts out on the lighter side and finds that DOMS doesn't have to keep one in bed for a few days, it is a better approach.

    You know your wife better than the rest of us. These are just suggestions...
     
  10. AcridSaint

    AcridSaint Active Member

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    No one has really said this yet, but the fact of the matter is that diet is the most important part of this. Until someone figures out her caloric needs, you can't design a program and expect any degree of success. Without exercise, she can still healthily lose all 50 lbs (I'm not sure how she knows this is the target number if she doesn't know her weight), but without a proper diet she will likely struggle with losing even if she exercises every day. If she wants to be healthy and commit to change, then she is going to have to take a few steps.
     
  11. jmike

    jmike Active Member

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    Thanks Robert, Zilla, AcridSaint, FatLenny

    i took a wild guess at her weight and ran it through a calorie counter calculator thing-a-ma-bob.

    it says to maintain her weight she should take in about 2280 calories a day, for moderate weight loss about 1830, and I didn't take into account the extreme weight loss portion, because i believe if I can get her to monitor her calories and slowly cut them down, she will be in better shape.

    i have asked her to start out at 1750 calories a day with 150 grams of protein a day (so she can build a muscle base). asked to try to keep it at this for the first month and see how she does.


    i am also starting her out on some basic exercises to spur some lean muscle growth.

    alternating workouts 3 days a week --- for the first month (starting with her lightest weights and then increasing the weight gradually until it gets harder to finish) (after she gets to where she is using her highest weights for an exercise, i will ask her to increase the reps for every set)

    Workout A:
    5 sets of 5 reps kettle bell squats
    5 sets of 5 reps push ups
    5 sets of 5 (5x5 on each side) reps one armed bent over row
    (30 minute walking cardio)


    Workout B:
    5 sets of 5 reps kettle bell deadlifts
    5 sets of 5 (5x5 on each side) reps one armed seated press
    5 sets of 5 (5x5 on each side) reps side arm raises
    (30 minute walking cardio)
     
    #11 jmike, Jul 4, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011
  12. jmike

    jmike Active Member

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    this is exactly what i sent her


    "by far - the diet portion of this is the most important

    without it - everything else will fail"


    "you have put on weight because your eating pattern is so irregular.
    you have been drinking coffee all morning and all afternoon and then
    eating once at night and even then you are still so hungry to you
    crave all the bad things like cake, ice cream, and fast foods

    now that we have you spacing out reasonable meals throughout the day
    we can correct your metabolism. that is first and foremost -- so much
    more important than just exercise. without the diet portion of this -
    everything else will fail because your body will hoard all the energy
    that you consume and will store it as fat.

    to be honest - it would not be a bad thing to have you eat 5-6 small
    meals a day to reverse the effects of your previous diet."
     
  13. jmike

    jmike Active Member

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    she said she will start measuring out meals and sticking them in the fridge. i told her that even if she doesn't do that, she should at least measure out a few "emergency meals" for when she doesn't have time so she can just grab something and go.

    right now her biggest hurdle is being able to eat in the morning and be able to space out a few more meals throughout the day.


    right now i have her eating 2-3 eggs in the morning (when she has time) and had her buy some yogurt she can keep at work in case she misses breakfast.

    she is also eating a salad for dinner.

    any more help is greatly appreciated
     
  14. modmaven

    modmaven Well-Known Member

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    You being in charge of her diet is a bad recipe for a marriage. Surely she is intelligent enough to figure this out for herself. Point her toward some websites or even to weight watchers, which is now quite good about protein and exercise. Don't bring any bad food into the house. Encourage lots of outings that you can do as a couple. But otherwise stay out of it.
     
  15. jmike

    jmike Active Member

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    she started out with an extremely intense workout - including squats - and got really sore - it scared her off a little bit, but i have assured her that the worst part is over. the rest of her exercises sessions should not have the same effect.

    it is my fault for not warning her.
     
  16. jmike

    jmike Active Member

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    since i have been away from home for 5 weeks and will not see her before January - she is much more forgiving.

    she is definitely intelligent enough to figure it out, and figure out what works best for her, but she has asked me to help her with it and get her started on the right path. so i have been doing a lot of reading on her behalf, and have tapped into the incredible knowledge base at JSF.

    so i am doing what i can to help her and motivate her.

    i would love the luxury of doing a couples outing, but sadly that will have to wait until January, then we will burn some calories together in the bedroom :-)

    -- edit --

    i am not exactly in charge of her diet --- i have been offering suggestions such as "eat something for breakfast -- anything -- something is better than nothing -- protein would be best" ---- so she started eating eggs for breakfast

    then she would tell me that some mornings are really hard to get something to eat --- so i asked her if she would get something to keep at work that has a few calories in it and at least some protein. i suggested either a bagel and cream cheese or some yogurt --- so she bought some yogurt single serving cups and brought them to work


    she absolutely loves salads - so i asked her if she would add in special things to make it more well rounded -- like ham, cheese, eggs, and things of that nature. .... so far that is 2 meals

    later in the evening she gets some lowfat greek yogurt and honey and sometimes some fruit too.

    that is about all i know about her diet right now. i have been trying not to pry.
     
    #16 jmike, Jul 4, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011
  17. AcridSaint

    AcridSaint Active Member

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    From my perspective, if I don't make all of my meals for the week, it's much harder to stay on-diet. I would encourage her to do the majority of meal prep on one day, just so she doesn't give herself an excuse to eat junk instead. When I don't have food prepared, it's sometimes very hard to force myself to do it at mealtime.
     
  18. jmike

    jmike Active Member

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    that sounds like a very plausible circumstance

    i think i will "encourage" her to do that on her days off work :)

    also recommending her to have a glass of chocolate milk after her workouts ... a cheat/recovery enhancement
     
  19. Zilla

    Zilla Well-Known Member

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    Does the chocolate milk fit into her daily macros? I know I just answered your question about macros elsewhere, but here is the thing.

    If she is having chocolate milk and goes over her daily amount of macros or calories per day, she isn't going to make any progress unless she is using more calories during workouts and her daily routine than what she is eating. It is simple calories in vs calories out. If she is only using 100 calories per workout, that doesn't really justify the "cheat" as you call it. She'd be better of using a whole foods meal post workout, atleast for now anyway.

    Also, the "cheat" for a workout mentality can backfire aside from the whole calorie issue. Some people are using food as reward, I don't encourage it though.
     
  20. jmike

    jmike Active Member

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    i will have to read more about macros to understand it

    the chocolate milk 3 days a week will still have her far enough under her (BMR?) daily/weekly calories to have her losing between 1 and 1.5 pounds per week

    for her i think she needs to be adding a little muscle for the first month and dropping pounds fairly slowly before she starts dropping even more calories and going back into her old habits of drink coffee all day and then binge at night

    i guess i am trying to help her ease into the diet portion of it - because i know that will be her biggest hurdle. and i don't know how to structure a macro for her to get her the best benefits
     

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