Workout Suggestions and Weight Loss Tips

Updated on June 13, 2016
S.B. asks from Chicago, IL
18 answers

I am seeking some suggestions and tips on good exercises to do with bad knees. Also, weight loss tips that have really worked for you. Since I had my son I have held onto about 30 extra pounds. I am very sure this is why my knees have been bothering me so much lately. Also, my core muscles strength feels like it is at an all time low. When I get up from sitting, I feel like I really need to boost myself with my arms, or I don't go anywhere! I was not thin to begin with, but the extra pregnancy weight not coming off is really taking it's toll on me. I need to get up and get moving, but it seems like the things I have tried make my knees worse. It's a catch 22, and very frustrating. I really want to lose a significant amount of weight, and I need results pretty quickly to stay motivated. Also, I will not be able to stay on a diet that leaves me feeling hungry. As it is now, I really eat pretty well, it's just that I can't seem to get into an exercise routine that doesn't end up making me feel worse. But I could always use a diet makeover if it will get me results. I'm no fool, I know I will have to work hard to get this weight off. I'm curious about Zumba, it looks like a lot of fun. I'm hoping to do some kind of pilates or yoga, so that I can strengthen my core while burning calories in a no impact type of exercise. Anyone have any suggestions on a particular DVD or website for their favorite workout progam? Or for a diet that gives quick results without leaving you starving or including a lot of expensive foods? I've tried weight watchers, and while I believe it is essentially a good program, it did not work out for me. I may try to do it again on my own without paying the fees, but I'm open to other suggestions, especially for a jumpstart type of diet to get some quick results to keep me on track. Thanks for your help!

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answers from Atlanta on

Hi S.,

The key to losing weight is nutrition. The body will not hold onto extra weight if it is recieving what it needs to be healthy. That doesn't necessarily mean you are eating poorly, it simply means something is getting in the way of the nutrition absorbing. My husband lost 110 pounds by supplementing his eating with an absorbable (truly) multivitamin. My husband was never a couch potato and wasnt a bad eater but could never lose the weight. Everytime he dieted he would lose the weight and it would come back with a vengeance. We were simply going to get him healthy this last time. It worked and he has kept the weight off for the last five years.

After that his best friend started the vitamin and he lost 50 pounds, my sister in law lost 15 and I even had a friend gain 10 as she was terribly underweight.

Hope this helps!


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answers from Oklahoma City on

Do you have or have access to a pool (YMCA maybe)? Water aerobics or exercising in water is really low-impact and burns a lot of calories.

Also, are you taking any supplements for your knees? I have bad knees also and I take a glucosamine/chondrotin supplement called Flexamin (but there are several different ones out there). It really helps. In fact if I get lazy and don't take it for a few days, I can tell a difference in how my knees feel.

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answers from Chicago on

-Eat 5-6 smaller meals per day. Each meal should have a carb, fat, and protein. Doing so helps keep you feeling fuller longer and keeps your blood sugar level nice and steady so you don't have highs and lows, not to mention cravings.
-Carbs: run away from any diet that eliminates carbs completely. It is not a good one. Carbs are the body's preferred energy source. Focus on complex carbs.
-Gimmicks: avoid any meal replacement/shake/supplement type programs. Healthy weight loss involves adopting a nutritional plan that you can sustain for the rest of your life. You won't and shouldn't be eating shakes and pills for the rest of your life. It simply is not healthy. The 'jump start' effect isn't worth it, since as soon as you go off of the product your body wants to revert back to it's old self and will hoard fat stores and calories.
-Calories per day: be sure to never dip below 1200, otherwise your body will go into a starvation-survival mode. Metabolism will slow way down in an attempt to survive on those few calories. There are many good calculators out there that can help you.
-Portion size: pay attention to it, as it is key. Look on the backs of packages of food. Often a bag of something is 2-4 servings! Your protein/meat should be the palm of your hand. Fruits and vegetables is two hands cupped together. Cheese is your index finger. Salad dressing and peanut butter is your thumb.
-Skip diets that promise quick results. It didn't take you two months to put on those extra pounds so don't expect them to come off so quickly.
-Don't drink your calories. Have water, tea, and coffee and that's about it.

-Zumba: If it is fun and will motivate you to get moving then do it! If you have to pay for a class, this can be an ever bigger motivator because you won't want to waste your money.
-Set a time in your daily schedule to exercise. You take a shower to be clean and practice good hygiene. You brush your teeth to avoid cavities. You should set time in the schedule to exercise.
-Incorporate strength training into your routine, targeting large muscle groups. If you build muscle (don't worry, as a woman you do not possess the testosterone to get big and bulky like a man) in the chest, back, and legs, your body essentially becomes a fat-burning furnace all day long and your metabolism boosts. Squats, pushups, or any other body weight exercises work; just google for it.

Run run RUN from any program that promises quick results. Sure, you'll get that 'boost' but you'll put the weight back on (or 'plateau' for what seems like forever) once you stop it, not to mention any potential damage you may do to your body.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Some tips:

Watch your simple carbs-your body will use them for energy BEFORE using your stored fat. So while that 100 calorie snack pack may seem innocent on a diet it is not b/c it is hampering your bodies efforts and therefore sabotaging you diet. People very much unerestimate their effect and this is one of the main reasons that people cannot lose weight.

You are blaming your lack of exercise too much. While exercise is key for longevity and good health it is not as important in weight loss as diet. Diet is something like 90% of the puzzle. I am not saying exercise shouldn't have a big place in a weight loss program-just realize it is mainly what you eat that is the problem.

I have started using Glucomannon after seeing it on Dr. OZ. IT is made of Konjac root and is a fiber that expands so much in your stomach that you do not eat nearly as much as you would otherwise. It is working out great for me!! You can get the capsules at most vitamin stores (GNC does not seel them though) You should also try Shiratake noodles that are also made out of this plant. They have zero calories and zero carbs and will take on the flavor of the sauce you use on them. Great alternative to pasta/rice and will fill you up.

Also on Dr. OZ -L-Carnitine is supposed to make your body metabolize nuch faster. I haven't tried it yet but plan to.

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answers from Cincinnati on

Try zumba! You'll be able to tell in 1 class whether it will affect your knees. It has changed my life! And I've only gone to 6 classes so far. I was working out at the gym killing myself with little results, and found out all I needed to do was dance! I am dripping wet when the hour class is over. And I was barely getting hot at the gym.

Secondly, changed my life as well. It's free, and awesome!

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answers from Chicago on

Ok, so two things that have worked for me in the past, I just need to do them again and stick to it are
1. sit on a large yoga ball instead of a chair for at least an hour a day
2. eat the largest amount of calories for breakfast, then a small cal snack, about 2/3 of the cal of breakfast for lunch then a small cal snack and 1/3 the cal of breakfast for dinner and 1 (1oz) sq of dark choc for dessert and do not drink your calories/sugars.

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answers from Peoria on

This is a good (and cheap) Pilates video for beginners and easy on the knees (as long as you are careful of course) -

Also, weight training is key. Start by using canned goods and doing wall push-ups until until your strong enough to do more.

Check out Collage Video for a huge library of exercise videos that can be sorted according to your level of fitness, workout type, etc. Also has lots of reviews.

Good luck!

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answers from Chicago on

Do you have a bicycle? Bicycling is the most knee friendly exercise that will also give you enormous aerobic benefits. Make sure your seat is up high enough that your leg is almost fully extended when the pedal is in the down position (foot is flat on the pedal). Keep your legs and knees straight (over your feet and pedals). Always ride in an easy gear. The idea is to spin your legs on the pedals, not push hard on the pedals. You'll get your heart rate up and start toning in no time.

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answers from Chicago on

I'm personally a big fan of Tony Horton (who does the P90X routines). He also has a series called 10-Minute Trainer for people who are just getting started, don't have a whole lot of time, etc. After the birth of my second child (from which I not only still had 20 lbs left over from my first, but then added another almost 50 lbs with my second), I was extremely depressed about where I was at and needed to do something about it. Some of the initial baby-weight came off before I started the program, so I was up about 50 lbs total from my first kid at the start. Mildly following the dietary guidelines (I like dessert a little too much!) and following the program starting at just 10 minutes a day and working up to 20 and then 30--plus I was still breastfeeding--I ended up losing more than 10 lbs!! The second time through I lost another 5 lbs.

Once I was able to get through the workouts without wanting to throw up, I knew I was ready for the next level and I invested in P90X. I went through that twice, lost 10 more pounds, trained for and ran a 10K race (!!!!), and I'm now training for a 15K with the intent to run a half marathon next spring...and I HATE running!! I'm just feeling so motivated by my new strength and reinvigorated body that I just want to keep it going. I'm not as strict with my eating as I could or should be and therefore I know that I'm sabotaging the full possibilities of weight loss, but for right now, I'm ok with that.

Both the 10-Minute Trainer and P90X are available directly through Don't fall for anything marketed as "new" from eBay...they're bootlegs and illegal and are often a bit messed up (I found that out the hard way).

Last, but not least, the dietary guidelines that come with the P90X routine are really awesome. They give you everything you need including a daily calendar of what to eat and the recipes that go with it. And they help you learn how to incorporate long-term changes into your life so that everything you get isn't just a non-sustainable quick-start.

(no, I don't work for Beachbody! I've just been so impressed with what their workouts have done for a number of my friends, coworkers, my husband and myself that I feel I would be remiss if I didn't recommend them!!)

Good luck and whatever you do choose, don't give up! Something is better than nothing!

edit: forgot to mention, after almost a year of consistent work, I'm back to my pre-second child (but post-first child) weight. Another 10 lbs and I'll be at my goal...

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answers from Detroit on

Here's what I eat and I think it's helping to change my body...

I eat grapes on my way into work or have a 10 calorie Jello

Breakfast is low sugar oatmeal 5 days a week. Weekends I usually have lite & fit yogurt or a banana.

Morning snack at work is a banana

I started to get more protein in my diet and I really think it is helping. I use 99% fat free ground turkey and make a batch of chili and freeze into individual size portions and do the same with chicken noodle soup. Those are my lunches daily.

After work I munch on carrots and almonds.

Dinner I have chili, soup or chicken breast and steamed brocolli.

I workout at least 4 days a week...mostly treadmill or bike.

Go to Exercise TV on the web an ddownload Less is More Pilates ($1.99 I think) by Lizabeth Garcia. I really like this one. It's 20 mins and not too complicated, but I feel it working my core.

Walk outside when you can. Take the stairs if it's an option. Park in the last parking spot at the store. Get the kids and walk around the block each night after dinner.

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answers from Chicago on

Hey S.,

I lost almost 30 lbs. using the recipes and meal/snack plan in the Carb Lovers Diet Cookbook by Ellen Kunes and Frances Largeman-Roth. It's basically 3 meals a day and 2-3 snacks per day, mostly protein, fruit and veggies, and healthy carbs like oatmeal, brown rice, potatoes and some breads. I am never hungry and the diet has taught me portion control around carbs.

I was already exercising daily, but my problem was my diet. How old is your baby? I think once the weight comes off, your knees will be less sore and maybe you can get moving with the baby and try walking with the stroller, etc. I am a runner and my knees are very sore when I carry extra weight. Once the weight comes off, I am back running.

Good luck!


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answers from Scranton on

My husband is a trainer and we are very into nutrition. He awlaws tells his clients who want to lose weight to eat more. I know, you are thinking WHAT?! What that means is eat smaller portions more often, like every 3 hours eat something, even if it is a snack. Something healthy though. It keeps boosts your metoblism when you eat like that. I don't know what to tell you about exercise as I HATE exercising. If it wasn't for hubby I would not do it. He is very motivating. If you can afford it maybe find a trainer for yourself, even if only for a few weeks to show you what exercises to do and motivate you a bit. Good luck.

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answers from Las Vegas on

I knew a leader at Weight Watchers, whom before losing over 100lbs had previously joined Weight Watchers and it wasn't until the 3rd time that she stuck with it... Sometimes it just takes a few times.. Also, they are currently offering a NO fee registration.. you could go in and get all the materials and then as you say, do it on your own. I will say this, when I actually practice Weight Watchers, by that I mean logging down absolutely everything I actually eat, even on days I go over, I still think it's a great program, but in my case, it does mean working the program... and I have noticed there is a difference in thinking a program and working it..

Additionally, I like Denise Austin tapes. She is more reasonable than some trainers and her body is in FANTASTIC shape , not to mention she is over 50... I think she is a great role model for many..

best of luck

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answers from Chicago on

I also recommend, make that HIGHLY recommend, the CARB LOVER'S DIET book. All about simple, balanced nutrition and eating the 'right' carbs, not a diet at all. No crazy foods, no crazy fads, or any wierd concoctions, very easy to adopt the eating habits (Whole Foods sells Aunt Millies breads that have resistant starch in it and it is great and works - I eat the 12-grain and so does my 15 month old, the book will explain). Check it out from your local library. Also Health Magazine's website, or magazine itself has tons of information on the book/diet and lots of great nutrition info and exercises as well (probably at your local library too). Also, if you're a reader I recommend The Jungle Effect.
If you have Comcast there is a fitness channel on-demand. They offer free exercise videos on-demand by category and pieces of other ones, so you can try before you buy. Great in-home tool that you are probably already paying for. They also have a website that you can view and download from. has TONS of great information on nutrition, exercise (videos and printable ones - pick and chose from them the few exercises you like, no one says you have to do a bunch of things you don't like to do). Also - the magazine it DIRT cheap to subscribe to and is filled with great information that can teach you all about nutrition, fitness, etc. I HIGHLY recommend it as well.
Buy a pedometer and walk, it is a great fat burner.
Lifting light weights, or simple strenghening exercises that build muscle will fuel your metabolism. Muscle burns calories 3x's faster than fat does.
Start simple, try a few things, stick with what you like, ditch what you don't like. offers free video/podcasts and it is a great way to strengthen and lengthen, can be gentle on the knees, again, do what you like and works for you. You don't have to do everything in an exercise routine.
Two simple things to lessen the bloat and start the losing wt process; cut back on sugar (read your food labels: total carbs - fiber = sugars, not just sugars listed) and sodium. You'll feel lighter in less than 24 hrs.
Start small and stick with what you like, in every respect. If you don't like something, it's not going to do you any good.

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answers from Glens Falls on

I like walking for exercise but this might bother your knees right now so start slow. When I first started walking, I just walked to the end of the block and back. After a week of doing that, I went a little further and continued to add to it every week. Now I walk about 3 miles every day. You could also try some "At Your Desk" kind of exercise. Just google "desk work out" or exercise at desk and you will see some things.

You can't lose 30 lbs just from exercise though and you really can't lose it all that quickly, it's usually 2 lbs a week. Sometimes a little more at the beginning but 2 lbs a week should be your goal. If you cut back so drastically to lose more than that, your body will go into starvation mode and you won't lose it even though you're eating very little. To avoid hunger, eat a lot of protein and fiber. This is really what weight watchers is based on but if you spend your points on carbs, you'll be hungry all the time. Eat eggs - a very lean protein. Fish, if you like fish. Choose white meat over red. Protein leaves you feeling full longer. Cut out potatoes, pasta and bread (other than a couple of servings of only whole wheat bread or pasta). Make veggies and fruits more interesting with some special recipes - the Hungry Girl site has a lot of things you can do with fruits and veggies. It's just a process you have to go through and commit to- there is no magic bullet. After a couple weeks of concentrating on lean protein, fruits and veggies, you'll find that you crave what you eat and so it gets easier. For me, because I have a sweet tooth, I have a daily treat at the end of every day (usually a no-pudge brownie made with extra fiber and canned no sugar cherries or yogart, a Hungry Girl recipe). I also don't think fruits and veggies and lean protein is any more expensive, although preparation is more time consuming but you can figure out ways around that by cooking and freezing. Good luck!

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answers from Chicago on

At the end of March, I started using a product called ViSalus for weight loss. It's a meal replacement protein shake and my husband and I have both had great results with it! I've lost over 10 pounds and he's lost 22 so far! Once we reach our ideal weight, then we'll just keep doing one shake a day and maintain our weight. What's cool about it too is that when you get some friends to join you on the ViSalus 90 day challenge, then you get your product for free! So my shakes are free right now becuase I've got friends on the challenge with me! Let me know if you want more information about ViSalus and I'll send you a PM with more info about it.

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answers from Chicago on

Hi S. -
I had 3 kids and purchased the Slim in 6 video series by Beach Body ( and it WORKS! It's for all fitness levels, doesn't require a gym or fancy equipment, just press PLAY. It's a 6 wk program... 1st two weeks is 25 min/day and then you progress through the series up to an hour. It's awesome and very motivating. 2 key things... consistency - have to do it 6 days a week - no excuses; and eat right... not restrictive... just smart food choices. Good luck S.... you CAN do this!

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answers from Boston on

I have been drinking an organic weight loss tea and shed 35 pounds extra. The name of tea is mummy magic tea. Try it.

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