Reader Question - To paraphrase, a reader wrote that she's recently started working out, and would like to do treadmill work, but has foot problems and cannot run.
She said she read that I lost the first 50 lbs. by using the elliptical and walking Pumpkin, and wonders how I was able to lose the weight with just this activity because she doesn't think it's possible to lose it all by just ellipticalling. She wants to know what my thoughs are on the elliptical versus the treadmill, and strength training in general...
It's important to understand when you're trying to lose weight, it all boils down to calories consumed versus calories burned. It really doesn't matter how you burn the calories, just that you burn them... so whether it be running, walking, biking, ellipticalling, it makes no difference.
Granted, I do burn twice as many calories running as ellipticalling in a 30 minute workout, so it is more efficient, but when I was as heavy as I was, running was not really an option (or something I cared to do). I did however, really enjoy getting on my elliptical!
You should look at a BMR calculator to find out how many calories you're burning on a day to day basis, and then add in the calories you burn when you do any activity... which if you're using a stationary machine, it should tell you a rough estimate of calories burned. For instance, my BMR right now is 1610, so I burn that many calories per day, plus any exercise. When I weighed more, my BMR was as high as 1900. I would burn around 500 calories doing a 45 minute elliptical workout each night, then a 1 mile walk might be another 100 or so, so I was burning around 2500 calories per day, and trying to stick to 1200-1600 calories each day. As I lost weight, however, the amount of calories burned decreased.
So to get to the point... I loved ellipticalling, it was easy on the joints, it was enjoyable to watch TV, and I just had to keep a mental note of watching me speed to make sure I didn't start to slow down too much, and it was a very effective workout. As long as you grasp the concept of calories in vs. calories out, it doesn't matter what type of exercise you do, as long as you enjoy it, you push yourself, and you stick with it!
One of my awesome readers, Hope, informed me of this -
Jillian (Michaels) has a podcast that you can load to your iPod, and it's great!
It's basically about fitness, health, and she also has a time where she answers caller's questions,you know, Jillian-type things.
The website is:
So far I've listened to the past 3 weeks, and it is a great resource! I love Jillian, though sometimes she makes me feel guilty... like the superbowl show, she said DONT EAT CRAP! Simple!!! Well, I ate a little crap.... so I tell you all it's ok to eat what you want in moderation, keep your calories in tact, workout hard, etc., but then she says just don't do it... so it's a little conflicting. But then again, she's a hardcore trainer, and probably doesn't love food as much as I do :)
I hope you still like me, Jillian, even though I sometimes give in and eat badly!
...and no, she doesn't read my blog, but I still talk to her like she does...