Info for Your Squashgame

Losing weight without resorting to amputation?

Published: 19 Sep 2006 - 23:47 by BizarreCo

Updated: 26 Sep 2008 - 07:46

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OK, so the title of this post might be a bit tongue-in-cheek, but the subject matter is pretty serious.


Squash players at a high level are renowned for their endurance and explosive power. They regularly have body fat %'s of around 10-14% and can spring back and forth on court for hours.


So here's my problem:

I would say that I'm at least a stone (possibly even 2 at a push) over my ideal weight. I would not however say that I am badly overweight. I train for up to 14 hours a week on court (min. 4 baring injury, and average around 8). This training consists of low level matches and coaching and also at least 2 higher level matches.

I have tried changing my diet (which got me to the halfway point), but after a recent injury I gained a stone back within 4 weeks?!?. With squash being a high intensity activity, the body is less likely to breakdown and burn fatty deposits to feed the activity.  And with time off my body tries to pack on muscle (which it doesn't get chance to with the continual exercise normally undertaken).

On the court my endurance is fine at low levels, but at higher levels I get fatigued quickly, but I recover within a minute of stopping (great for between games).


Has anyone got a degree in physiology or has had similar problems in getting into a better shape in the past? If so can someone suggest a really quick and sure-fire way of shifting the extra weight (like I said, amputation isn't the best of solutions, but then again there's always liposuction!)



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From BizarreCo - 13 Dec 2006 - 20:30

Well I haven't dropped off the earth as some people may think, I have in fact being learning more and more about squash than ever before.


The diet has taken a complete back-seat in life and my weight is sitting comfortably at 14st4 (around 200lbs). I'm eating healthily (around 2500 cals per day) and spending time on court playing new styles of match and broadening my pace and skill levels. All in all things are going quite well.


Alas on a sad note I have to say that my health condition has worsened. The illness known as "Squash-fever" is now completely killing me and as I am being constantly reminded by my girlfriend: I live, eat, breathe and talk squash all day; EVERY DAY! And what's more: I LOVE IT!


I'll add some more interesting news on other more appropriate threads.


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From rippa rit - 29 Nov 2006 - 20:55

Biz - that is inspiring.
Now, the challenge is to stabilise and keep your energy up, and weight down.
You must be looking good now - keep it up.

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From BizarreCo - 29 Nov 2006 - 20:40


This has been one hell of a week. Between mild food posioning and not exactly keeping up the water intake, everything has lost structure and been a nightmare to manage.

On the good side, the weight continued to drop steadily and I finished the week on 197.4lbs with a minimum of 197.2 being hit. Last night I weighed in at 90kilos dead (198.4lbs) and everyone is always a little bit lighter first thing in the morning!

I'd expect to be around 196lbs (14 stone!) by the end of the week or certainly the end of next week. A total loss of 2.5 stone would be an amazing result given where I started!



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From BizarreCo - 20 Nov 2006 - 20:41

So after another week I think that the weight has finally started to settle into a "normal" loss pattern of 2lbs per week.

I finished this week on 200.6lbs which is only 0.1lbs away from 2 stone total loss. Not bad considering that the cycle has started again (last week was back up to 1800 calories a day) and so this week I'll be on 1600 calories.

I feel great and my stamina has definitely increased along with a bit of speed. Now all I need to do is lose another 2 stone, gain a load more stamina and racket skills and enter the world tour

Although somehow I doubt VERY much that any of those targets is actually achievable! I've set a more realistic:

1) 13 stone 10 lbs (Xmas 2006)

2) Improve muscle definiton and strength (June 2007)

3) Improve CV Tolerance (June 2007)

4) Improve high level enduarance (June 2007)

5) Weight down to 13 stone 4lbs (June 2007)

How things go is going to be a matter of time, but there's nothing like having a target to hit!


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From BizarreCo - 14 Nov 2006 - 00:40

Well I finished off my rather peculiar week with a complete blow-out on the food front. Friday night consisted of a rather large helping of spaghetti bolognese (and half a bottle of red wine!). Saturday was a trip to the cinema with a stop off for half a large stuffed crust pizza. Finally Sunday was a homemade curry with rice.

After the weight slowly crept up at the end of last week, I was expecting to weigh in at a weekly gain of 2 pounds. It was quite a surprise to find myself at 202.8lbs this morning! The lightest I've been so far and with all that junk food in my system!

I guess the last 2 weeks I've been pushing myself harder and harder with less and less calories to feed my muscles with. I just needed a loading weekend to replace some of those energy stores!

So onward and downward with the weight. I've now reached my half-way point and I'm back to feeling great. Look out courts, here I come!



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From raystrach - 08 Nov 2006 - 07:34

the other thing that can and often does happen (especially with people who put on weight easily) is that, with such a carbohydrate load, a bucket load of insulin enters the system, thus taking out the blood sugar. result? lethargy!

remember adz, it does not really matter whether you achieve your goal weight this week or in 3 weeks time. from what i have read, for a person of your size, about 2 lbs (1kg) is the optimum weight to lose during a week.

keep going!

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From BizarreCo - 07 Nov 2006 - 22:15   -   Updated: 08 Nov 2006 - 03:21

Well I knew it would happen at some point, and last night proved to be the straw that broke the camels back. My normal match routine since starting the diet, is to have a large bowl of pasta around 2-3 hours before kick off. Last night I didn't do this as I accepted a match with only an hour's notice.

The difference was HUGE! My legs felt like jelly after just warming up, and my arms were trembling so much I couldn't even hold the racket. Admittedly this comes after a weekend of playing for around 8 hours, and not stocking back up on the carbs (Sunday and Monday morning I ate mostly protein!). I had to resort to eating bananas just before the match start and between games. The first game was a disaster, but by the third my legs were beginning to feel a bit more stable and I was eventually able to take a tough 3-1 victory.

Lessons Learned:


At least I now know what to do in future!


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From raystrach - 07 Nov 2006 - 00:59

have been watching your posts with interest - it's good to see you are doing so well.

keep up the good work

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From BizarreCo - 06 Nov 2006 - 18:42

Well week 5 came to a swift end, and as thought, the loss hit a bit of a slow patch. I was hoping for 2lbs over the course of the week and was glad to finally hit 3lbs after a very slow start.

This week is going to be a tough one. 1400 calories a day certainly isn't a lot and I'm dreading the thought of going hungry at any point. Smaller portions but eaten regularly is the key for this one.

Water intake has gone up to 5 litres a day now to help keep me nice and watered!

Hopefully by the middle of this week I'll have hit my next big milestone (14.5st), with 2st of weight loss coming sometime within the next week and a half.

It's head down and driving forward until Xmas Eve.


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From msc - 02 Nov 2006 - 08:57

Hey Adz,

Good for you! That's excellent. I second Rippa Rit's comments; you may hit a point where fatigue does start to set in or recovery isn't so great - listen to your body and it may tell you where the perfect healthy weight is for you, regardless of your goals. At that point adopt the healthy habits you have learned and make it a part of your lifestyle (mentally, physically, nutritionally) It sounds like you're pretty close right now...but keep at it and see what happens - awesome effort!


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From rippa rit - 31 Oct 2006 - 08:32

Biz well done.
The secret now will be to keep this weight just right for the rest of your days.
Slavic told us though this forum that he had changed his whole life style to become fit and healthy - so I hope you can keep working at it until it becomes part of YOU.
You surely will enjoy life better

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From BizarreCo - 30 Oct 2006 - 19:02

Ah ha!

4 weeks in and I am EXTREMELY pleased to report a massive TWENTY-TWO POUNDS of weight are now no-where to be seen! Last week I had to endure 1500 calories a day, and it was EASY! My movement is quicker, my edurance seems to have improved massively and even my shots seem tighter and more focused (probably due to arriving at the ball with more time to play them properly!).

This diet has certainly had the effect I wanted it to, with the calories being carfeully counted and the weight just disappearing! I also measured my BF% again using a set of calipers, and in the past 2 weeks it appears to have dropped from 18.5% down to 15.5%. So a good movement there as well.

In total I know that I will have lost some water retention, some muscle and some fat, but overall I feel like a leaner, faster player and I'm not stopping here!

Having started at 228.5lbs my 4 week target was 207.5lbs, which I beat by 1lb. Now I have adjusted my Xmas target to be down BELOW 14st (196lbs). Another 10lbs to go, but with 8 weeks to hit the target, I'm feeling extremely confident. If I hit it before the deadline I'll probably drop the target to 13.5st (189lbs). Who knows as only time will tell on this one!

Hopefully I'll get another 2lbs gone this week (as the calorie intake is higher than last week). 3 would certainly be nice and anything more would be a huge result!

Until next week!


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From BizarreCo - 23 Oct 2006 - 22:47

Well, week 3 is now over and done with and as expected, the slight increase in calories slowed down the weightloss. That coupled with a rather large meal on Saturday night would have messed up this weeks figures (now I'm happy I weigh every day!) The official weigh-in came in at 215.4 lbs but during the week (before the weekend) it had been down to 214.2lbs.

The extra could be due to the massive plate-full of food I'd ate the night before (with a few pints admittedly!). Anyhow, the special occasion excuse is now no more and it's back to healthy food and a lowly 1500 calories a day (having finished lunch I'm still only on 940 cals for today!). That leaves me 100 for a mid-aft snack and 450 for a main meal tonight. Should be more than enough!

We'll have to see how I feel by the end of the week when it comes to the food intake. I can imagine feeling VERY hungry by Thursday!

Still onward and upward (or downward with the weight!).

Until next week.....


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From msc - 17 Oct 2006 - 11:15

Patience ADZ.....if we told you two weeks ago you could weigh a stone less so soon you would've been very a little plateau here and there is not something to be concerned about :) Congrats on sticking to your program...4L of water is a LOT to drink if you aren't sweating it out - listen to your body if it does tell you it has had enough, it IS possible to over-hydrate yourself....(sorry to be the devils advocate!)


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From BizarreCo - 16 Oct 2006 - 16:51   -   Updated: 16 Oct 2006 - 16:52


For the second weekly update, this week was a bit of a non-starter. I guess I expected to see the same results as the first week. Obviously this wasn't going to happen, in fact my weight sort of stalled mid-week.

The 1600 calories a day were easy enough to keep going, but I began to struggle with the 4 litres of water each day. By Thursday I was finally back on track. By the Saturday morning I'm happy to announce that my weight was down to 216lbs and I was hoping for something extra on the Sunday weigh-in. Sadly it wasn't to be as I finished the week at the 216lb mark.

I'm now looking forward to this week as firstly I get to eat a tiny bit more (up to 1700 calories per day!), but more importantly, this is the week where I'll finally have lost over 1 stone since I first started! (I've already done this BTW as I weighed in at 214.2lbs this morning! )

On to the third week!


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From BizarreCo - 08 Oct 2006 - 19:04

Okies, so here's the first proper weekly update:

I'm going to run a week as Sunday morning to Saturday night, but keep the overall readings from my first day of "dieting" (which was the Thursday before the first Sunday. Using the new diet, I have now lost 10.7lbs (3/4 of a stone!) with 6.7lbs of that being since last Sunday morning. I still can't measure the body fat accurately as my calipers haven't arrived yet (delivery is taking an AGE!!), but on one website I've found, which uses the military tape test, it estimates my body fat at 17.5% ( /- 1.5%). At a guess I'd say I'm around 18/19% having seen photos of people who are a similar build to me at that BF%.

Today begins my next calorie drop for 1 week. 1600 calories a day is going to be incredibly hard, but by Thurs/Fri it should be easier to deal with.


For those worried about suffering from fatigue or low energy levels during play, I was on court for 3 hours yesterday (not at the highest intensity level, but still quite fast). After a large bowl of cereal to start the day off, a low fat yogurt and a small glass of OJ, I felt quite good and only needed to resort to 2 bananas, 1 can of red bull and 1.5ltres of water during the whole session. I didn't feel any effects of fatigue of tiredness.

I guess it comes down to the fact that my body doesn't have to carry as much weight and so doesn't have to work as hard to perform the movements. Thus less energy is used and less in needed for the duration of the session. Hopefully this will be a positive cycle where more weight loss leads to less expenditure which leads to more efficient energy useage.

I can certainly notice the increase in speed from just 1 week!

I'll keep you posted as and when I have anything more!


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From msc - 02 Oct 2006 - 23:55

Hi Adz,

Well it looks like you're moving forward and with an exercise programme like the one stated I can't see any other solution BUT to lose weight for's a tough programme but I look forward to your post saying you have reached the results you wanted :)

When you have reached your target maybe consider some of the other suggestions on here to keep your heart healthy and weight stable over a long period of time...coz I'm sure by the end of your programme you'll be hoping you don't have to do it again!!

Have a great squash season,


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From BizarreCo - 02 Oct 2006 - 18:00

MSC, thanks for your comments, but I might have beat you to it with the whole body fat % thing .


I've been doing a lot of research and looking into different forms of training and dieting recently. Certainly the body fat % is the key figure to get down, but it struck me as damn near impossible to put on over a stone in weight in just over 4 weeks without something being either drastically wrong, or the weight being made up of more than just fat and muscle.

I've kept careful monitoring of my supposed body fat and water %'s over the past 2 weeks. I say supposed as I have a rather expensive set of electronic weighing scales which I don't trust for accurate readings, only for showing trends over time. So to begin.....


I first took a serious notice when I didn't feel fast enough on court. I started at 24% bodyfat (BF) and 53% water (W). Slowly but surely over 12 weeks I got the figures to 17% BF and 56% W, with my overall weight moving from 226lbs (16st2) to 212lbs (15st2). Here I admit I got lazy with my diet and stabilised at 214lbs (15st4) and 19% BF with 54% W. I stayed here very comfortably for around 8 to 10 weeks before getting injured. In the four weeks that followed, my overall weight moved up to 226lbs (16st2), with the BF% increasing to 19.5% and 53% W.


You tend to notice putting on a stone in weight in 4 weeks, turning becomes slower and my side to side movement was completely shot! Disheartened I searched for a quick fix by starting this thread. Appreciating all of the advise on here, no-one had come up with anything fast enough for me, so I decided to cut off my left arm........ no I'm only joking!


I found a diet that had been followed step by step by two guys that were similar starting size and shape to me (with similar BF% and W%). In the course of 12 weeks these guys lost over 28lbs EACH! By last thursday when I began the "diet" (I use "" as it's not really a diet, more a training regieme), I was finally at 20% BF and 53%W weighing 228lbs (16st4).


Although I have yet to measure the BF% and W%, I'm happy with the fact that in 4 days I have lost almost half a stone (6.5lbs) of overall body weight.......WITHOUT dehydrating myself! I know this because part of the new training involves drinking over 4 litres of ice cold water a day, and I haven't done anywhere near the exercise that I normally do.


The breakdown is as follows:

  1. 12 week program target as weight, BF% and obverall fitness.
  2. 6 wk cyclic calorie intake with calorie deficit (described below)
  3. All-over body weight sessions 3 times a week (1 day rest in between, weekends free)
  4. 4 litres of ice cold water every day (this is MUCH harder than it sounds!)

The calories cycle with 1800 first week then down 200 and up 100 each week after (1800, 1600, 1700, 1500, 1600, 1400, start again). The weight sessions are designed with 5s lift 5 s drop with appropriate weight so that approx 7 or 8 reps will be failure point (e.g. you can't do anymore!).


Using this method the guys on the test program lost over 2 stone in 12 weeks and one lost almost 10% BF (naturally the high water intake keeps you hydrated as they did NO cardio exercise with their routine). In my case I've also got squash to add in, so I have to be careful not to under feed myself, and also to take in extra water to replace what I use up on court. So this is week 1 ready and counting. I'll be doing Thursday to Wednesday as a week and will keep you all up to date on the highs (and lows!) of the now training. It should be interesting to say the least!




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From msc - 01 Oct 2006 - 15:01

Hi Adz,

I see the dilemma you are having and its a pretty tough one; don't get too caught up in that muscle/weight theory as extra muscle means you will be burning MORE energy when sitting around than if it were "dead muscle" - which is a good thing as the more energy you burn the more weight you should lose. I just re-read your post and feel that your concern over "bulk" is unnecessary as at least it is not forming part of your bodyfat percentage. Your %water should normally be in the 50-65% range of total body weight and is important to maintain for proper body functioning. The concern is the possible 5lbs of fat, that is the important bit to get rid of and often requires exercise at lower intensity than a game of squash (ie fast walk etc as previously mentioned). Combine your friends suggested programme with a visit to the dietician if you are serious about this fat loss...of course age and activity intensities will play a big part in this - generally your body needs less energy as you get older so if you are still eating the same amount of food as you did when you were 18 years old its time to address that too...the goal should really be about bodyfat percentage - don't get sucked into just looking at the "total weight" as the problem when in actual fact its the "bodyfat percentage" which is the one to concern yourself with...

good luck Adz! :)

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From BizarreCo - 27 Sep 2006 - 22:58

So here's a good bit of "update" for you.

I had my body fat measured as I'm still putting on weight and it was beginning to bother me a bit too much. It came out between 19 and 20%, so let's call it 19.5%.

When I first started the whole eating habits vs exercise balance, I eventually got a 24% body down to between 17 and 18% (let's say 17.5%), which balanced itself out at 18-19% when I was comfortable around the 15st4 mark.

 Now I'm sitting around 16st4 - so 14lbs heavier. If the body fat before was around 40lbs (39.6), and now its suggested to be around 44.4lbs, it suggests that less than 5lbs of fat have been put on. The rest is a mixture of bulk and water. Water I can lose easy enough, leaving the rest as bulk. And simply put, that's the problem!!

Weight leads to MORE weight. To help me explain that statement, imagine that you train regularly and you've balance your muscle mass with your body weight to the point that you train but don't put any muscle on. Now add extra weight. You body has to increase the muscle to maintain the balance you had before, thus you build muscle. Extra muscle means extra weight and so you get trapped in a vicious circle until you manage to get that balance again.

I seem to have been trapped in this cycle for years, and my weight slowly keeps up through injury, and then I pack on muscle again when I start to train. I don't seem to lose the weight in any serious amount (other than to regain the original balance).


In a perfect world, the body fat would need to drop to around 14-15%. That would mean that I'd need to maintain the current muscle and drop to around 15st2 (which is nearly where I started from!). The difficulty is that I need to get muscle wasteage to lose any significant amount of weight (trust me when I say I'd KILL to be 13.5 st!). I'm going to be trying to get a friend of mine to come up with some sort of training plan for me in the near future.


It certainly asks the question of what is considered to be the "ideal" weight and body fat ratio for a squash player. I've read that the suggested level for a tennis player is between 12 and 15%. Anyone got any ideas or come across this before?


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From rippa rit - 23 Sep 2006 - 09:05

Bizz - I know you will be sorry you mentioned your weight, and age, and injuries.

It is absolutely necessary for you to get the weight under control before trying to conquer your squash career, true.  I say that with understanding and compassion too.

You will suffer further injuries if you increase your  playing/training hours with the weight on.
The extra weight you carry will bugger up your back, your knees, your feet.  For every injury you build up scar tissue, and scar tissue does not stretch, and in joints it will eventually form

ADZ - you can turn your head around this.  It is just another way of thinking about your squash fitness and investment in health. 

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From BizarreCo - 22 Sep 2006 - 19:09   -   Updated: 22 Sep 2006 - 19:10

I think the biggest problem with such big variation in weight is that I got used to playing at the lighter weight. After playing for around 7 hours this week, I'm beginning to feel a bit more at ease with the whole thing. In an ideal world I can slowly shift some of the weight (so no need for amputation just yet!), but in the mean time I've began to use more shot play to balance my slower mobility.

A similar thing happened last year when I injured my back, my shots became slightly better during the injury, and after recovery when the mobility returned, I played really well for a time (until the next little injury hit!).

Not to worry, I'll just have to keep the training up and get some match practise in. I've got over 7 hours of training/coaching planned for the weekend, with matches next wednesday and thursday. I'll be fighting fit in no time!

I hope


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From raystrach - 22 Sep 2006 - 06:56

hi adz

i have quite a bit of content on this subject (as well as a couple of weight control tools) on another website of mine which is being redeveloped. i will see if i can put it together over the coming days.

just remember, the human body is just like a motor car in some respects. the further or faster we drive, the more fuel we use. where we differ is, that if we leave the car in the garage for a few days, the petrol has not turned into fat, as does human fuel (especially carbs and alchohol and of course, fat)

use less, eat less.

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From Daren - 21 Sep 2006 - 10:11

I think theres some really good advice in this thread, here's my 2 cents on whats worked for me - Keep it simple -Eat live foods (fruit, vegie, meat) avoid processed food(cans, packets, fast food) You can 'feel' what foods are good for you.

 - eat vegetables, fruit is good too. meat is ok.

- avoid bread(esp. white), dairy(milk) isnt great either 

- limit rice , pasta and potatoes(carbohydrates will store fat)

- don't drink soft drink. alcohol is bad. processed food is crap.


your diet wont be perfect, but stick to a large proprtion of vegetables, cook them everday.


My secret weapon = himalayan crystal salt - this stuff is good, 84 elements for your body, balances blood sugar and ph levels. prevents cramp etc etc. It is pure, where table salt has been chemically 'cleaned' that is why its white.

I strongly urge you to google search himalayan crystal salt and it benefits. Think about it , what is your body mostly made of ?what do you sweat out of your body? salt and water. What should you put back in? salt (pure) and water. (Keep it simple) Basically, you take a tablespoon of salty water(you leave big salt crystal soaking in water) in the morning, I love it, it makes my body stronger/healthier I beleive.


Ive also found Pilates(out of alot of excercises) the best for trimming away fat(esp. from the midsection which is the biggest problem for men) In particular the Winsor Pilates 20 minute workout, it develops leanness in your body and trims away fat, it works. It is not a draining workout but rather you feel vitalized after it somehow.


Thats what is working for me, but if you have the will and visualize the goal of what you want ADZ, I beleive you will find the way/s that works for you.

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From rippa rit - 21 Sep 2006 - 07:16

ADZ - we are all with you on this one.  The scary part about weight gain, it only gets worse, so if your weight gradually increases, which it will, unless you can change your whole way of thinking about food, imagine how out of control it could be at age 50/60 years of age - that is enough to scare the pants off ya.
There is only one way, and that is the hard way - maybe have one day a week where you just eat what you want, but the rest of the time limit the bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, cheese, and  say goodbye to fries, cake, candy, chocolate, alcohol, soft drinks.
Just think a chocolate and a soft drink could just about blow the calorie intake for a day right out the window. 
ADZ - when the Sports Dietian explained that eating good food is the same as putting good fuel in the motor car, it enhances performance.  Bad fuel, is not a good energy source and impedes performance.  If you have ever studied receipes for cakes notice there is usually 1 cup of white flour to 1 cup of sugar with 2 tablespoons of margarine, and in jam 1 cup of fruit to 1 cup of sugar - so a lot of crap for virtually no food value.
Another interesting thing is that sugar, like choclate, give quick energy fixes with a high followed by a low so you start off good, and die in the bum, then take a sports drink as a pick me up - wrong idea.  We need food that keeps our blood sugar more constant and sustains us throughout a match and that is why the old banana trick during a tournament has been around for a long time.
We, who struggle with our weight gain, and want to keep fit and active for the rest of our lives have to try to "eat to live" and not "live to eat" - bugger. 

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From msc - 21 Sep 2006 - 00:40   -   Updated: 21 Sep 2006 - 00:44

ADZ, Overtraining for a week is not a smart idea - sure you may burn up more energy but in the process you overtrain other parts of your body and make them far more susceptible to injury which would ground you again and possibly contribute to further weight gain!! A vicious circle in the search for a quick-fix. Even if you do avoid injury that week, it will likely come back to bite you in 2-3 weeks when your body is still tired and not recovered completely from that one week of overtraining. Sorry but that is a bad idea.

If you gained a stone over a month then I believe that maybe you AREN'T eating as healthy as you may think. Perhaps take your query to a dietician and get their opinion. Some foods can be extremely energy dense and actually not that necessary in squash - eg. "protein or energy bars", even the electrolyte drinks (at full strength, really you should dilute them 1:1 with water have a lot of hidden calories). Squash does require small amounts of energy foods to recover from a difficult and demanding match but if you are playing less than two hours a day you are unlikely to totally deplete your glycogen stores - the equivalent of a banana, small handful of jellybeans, granola bar of a small piece of chocolate post match is enough for the immediate replenishment of lost glycogen stores after a match.

For how long did you persist with the diets/exercise changes? It DOES take the body a while to notice these changes and do something about it - and the changes need to be permanent really - you don't just stop when you reach your ideal weight, the idea is to stay all round healthy and teach your body to be efficient at any time of the day, metabolizing food at a high rate day round, year round, teaching your heart to cope approriately with exercise etc.

Please be patient with yourself and allow yourself and body to slowly and permanently make changes rather than go for the "quick-fix"/extreme change. Picture how you'd like to be 6 months from now and make the small changes to get there eg. as Rippa Rit says look at where you can cut 600 calories over a week, break that down to what you must cut over a day and it really is not too bad. In six months time you will be able to pat yourself on the back and feel healthier for having adapted to a healthier lifestyle, whether it be due to a change in food intake or exercise variety. Do some more research on what the food you eat if made up of.


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From BizarreCo - 20 Sep 2006 - 19:15

Ah, this is where the problem hits.........

I've done the calorie counting, and the small meals vs big meals. And the exercise at different times of day. And the 60% of max heart rate to burn off fat during exercise. And the higher protein vs lower carbs and fat diets.

I'm even made a few diets up in my time to see if it made any difference.

The lightest I've been in the past 5 years is about 205lbs (14st 9lbs or 93kgs). That was during a rather nasty stomach virus!! Through training regularly and a healthy diet I managed to achieve 15st 4lbs (214lbs or 97kgs). It took about 8 weeks to drop from 16st 6 to 15st 4 and then it took 4 weeks to go back up to 16st 4 whilst I was injured. Now 2 weeks on I'm back down to 15st 12, but I could really do with a quick fix to lose the otehr 8lbs as I don't really have 6 weeks to spare with the season about to start.


I've kept a close eye on my body fat % as I've been trying to lose weight. I used to be around 23%, dropped to 18% and currently sit at 19%. That's why I think that a lot of the weight has gone on in either water or muscle.


I think I'm going to overtrain for a week. Not enough to cause injury, but enough to cause muscle degradation if I don't give the muscle time to heal itself after exercise. Anyone know if this is a safe thing to do? Weightlifters use weights to tear the muscles which heal larger than they started. High impact, regular exercise doesn't allow the muscles to heal larger than they start, and so I don't pack on large amount of muscle when playing on a regular interval. When I stop my weight increases by approx 2lbs a week for around 3 to 4 weeks, even if I'm careful about my calorie intake.


It has to be said........ amputation may be the only answer......... Nurse, pass me the "head-saw" if you would!


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From rippa rit - 20 Sep 2006 - 07:52

Adz - yeah weight for some people can be a life struggle and I guess the genes do play a big part in that too. No, I do not have a degree, and even those who do still do tend to put on weight as they get older, and of course as they slow down either due to age or injury. 
It is about discipline, not brains too
Squash is an ideal weight reducer due to its intensity, and the fact that we tend to then drink more water (definitely not alcohol), and probably eat no more than on a normal day.
The simple way to look at it is:
  • 1 calorie is a unit of energy.
  • 1 calorie is an amount of energy consumed if eaten.
  • 1 calorie is an amount of energy expended.
  • So that is input/output based. Calories not expended become weight gain.
  • The higher the intensity of the exercise the more calories burned.
  • So with injury we walk around, much less calories expended, less fat/carbo burnt up.
  • When training and perspiring we burn the calories much faster, so we can eat more.
  • The juggling act for sports persons is to eat less when not exercising.
  • Eating becomes a habit and often adding calories that are not needed which in turn go onto the "love handles".
Do not expect to take off in a few weeks, pounds which took months or perhaps years to accumulate. 
I am told It takes 4000 calories to produce a pound of body fat.  It is suggested to reduce a pound a week reduce the intake by 600 calories.
Choose food and drink wisely by chosing low calorie foods (with the low GI stamped of it).
For active people I think high protein, and low carbohydrates would be the way to go.
If an active male of average height needs about 3,000 calories a day it is a matter of managing that figure.
I think you can become quite efficient at calculating your meals, say, 300 calories for breakfast, 100 mid morning, 1500 for dinner/lunch etc..
Read the label of foods to make sure there are not too many empty calories before purchasing the food to eat, eg chips, cream, soft drink.
The slower it takes to come off, the longer it is likely to stay off.
Don't confuse weight loss with dehydration and that is often an illusion when people go on crash diets and the weight just comes back.

I am sure others will have a story to tell.  This is just one approach which I think makes sense.


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From drop-shot - 20 Sep 2006 - 07:26   -   Updated: 20 Sep 2006 - 07:27

I do not want to sound like cheap ad man, but  Montignac diet may help you a lot. What you need is not a physiology degree level, you need a discipline in truition, that's all. The same discipline helps you to win the match in squash :)

Best of luck

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From msc - 20 Sep 2006 - 03:24

I don't have an degree in physiology but a lifetime of sport and fitness interests...I too have found in the past that my body will pack on muscle given any opportunity (or fat during a period of lesser activity but same caloric intake). The past 2 years I have made a conscious effort to be aware of what I do to my body and am very happy with the results. The key: look at your lifestyle - that includes eating times, eating portions, basic exercise away from the squash court (ie cleaning house, lifting objects, taking the stairs rather than the elevator, walking the dog etc) and particularly what exactly you are eating. If you gained a stone over 4 weeks when injured then you have "input more energy than you have expended", ie eaten too much fat or carbohydrate is usually what happens when one stops exercising.
If when you are in a period of exercising injury free state but not moving any weight, try looking at other activities for your body - get up an hour earlier and go for a brisk 30min walk before breakfast; its good for court movement and getting the body using energy early in the day. 3 times a week and after 3 weeks you will see the benefits. Cycle to the courts and back; or after a match take 20mins to slowly cool down your body on the bike, treadmill or elliptical trainer before stretching - these little things burn more energy even at a low intensity...

Look at how often you eat - if you are a 3 big meal a day person try halving the portions and eating 5-6 small meals a day.

Are you eating enough vegetables and protein or too many carbohydrates/fat? Protein in the form of fish and nuts is usually associated with good fats - eat more of those and fewer of the highly processed breads or red meats (can be associated with high fats if not careful).

You should be looking for small changes in lifestyle rather than one quick fix solution, be patient with the returns - they do come. Don't eat more to compensate for extra exercise if you want to lose weight. Good luck!

PS. I know for myself that losing 10 pounds over a season was immensely beneficial to my squash game - far less to carry around!

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