Couch to 5K
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I need serious help with both diet and exercise

Hello everyone

I'm writing this post from the park where I've just ran 1k and convinced myself I can't do anymore! First run since last Monday where I ran 6k on rolling hills so I know I can do it! I seem to have got myself into a serious rut where I'm in real danger in stopping running and trying to loose weight. I'm 2 stone overweight (above my max weight for height) I just need some exact guidance on warm up/down, training schedules and diet advice. I keep looking but everything seems to be so vague, I get snowed under with the info and can't seem to find something basic and easy to follow. If anyone knows of any good basic plans for diet, excercising please please let me know :-(

18 Replies

Hello. Don't give up x I'm caroline Will be 50 this august.. gave up smoking two years ago and piled on 3 stone.. my back was so sore on some days I was barley able to load the washing machine.. a walk to work was agony.. I knew I had to change.. so.. I decided diet and exercise was the only solution.. I was given a Wii fit board and disc.. I logged on first day and tried a few of the stretches.. I managed.. just one done.. next day was shopping day and I just decided no white bread no cakes or biscuits.. me t day day two on the Wii.. I found it was interesting.. explored a few fit games... done.. a nice salad and wedges for lunch was tasty.. next day.. I felt.. encouragement a he's and made a pot of soup.. anyway ..every day passed I began to feel better... more positive in myself.. every day slightly more. Until... 150 days later.. to date.. I have amazed myself.. and tomorrow when I go on wii should reach my weight loss of two whole stone!!! 4 months.. but along the way found inner strength I didn't know I had... I downloaded c2 5k two weeks ago.. never ran in my life.. e dry run has been a struggle.. psi s on rest days but today I ran w2 r3 ' and feel fantastic with a new sense of welbeing.. this forum has been invaluable to me.. so many amazing stories of encouragement... please take it a day at a time. You are out in the park... not Sat on the sofa :) Be proud.. and will yourself every day.. something small to make it matter.. wish you all the best!! Keep posting and read some more from others on here x


What an inspiring story! I am also in my 50s and two years post fags. Didn't need to lose weight but am definitely feeling fitter. This programme is brilliant! Keep going!


Hi Caroline, very well done you! I will definitely make a point of getting back on here as your so right it is very inspiring! Thankyou

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I strongly recommend Slimming World for losing weight, I've lost 5st 5lb since last June, never been able to lose weight before, it's not really a diet either, no calorie counting just healthy eating. More a lifestyle change. Find a local group and go along.


Hi Andy, I've done both slimming world and weight watchers, lost around 10lbs on each and gave up. The constant counting weighing and writing down drives me absolutely mental! I lost 4 stone on my own previously, so I know when I get into a good run at the diet and excercising I can do it, it just doesn't seem to be happening at the moment


I think that different plans work for different people, I am currently combining c25k with weight watchers, it works for me as I need help with portion control, since 7th January I've lost 1 stone 3, granted I'm not losing very quickly but I'm happy with my progress I've lost quite a lot of inches which I def think is c25k, I need to loose 7 stone to have a healthy bmi but am just about to start week 7. Good luck in finding a plan that works for you.

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Well done for your progress 😊 I have done weight watchers and slimming world previously, but you've definitely helped me identify where my problem is. My portion control is okay, it's just I probably eat too much, and my constant scale jumping de motivates me big time! I'm going to put them away today so thank you for that


I know how you feel I am a simple girl and I intend to keep it that way. My advice ( it has worked for me):

Use Myfitnesspal to log everything, and also log your exercise

Run 3 times a week ( I am presuming you have completed C25k?) and book a race or have a target to aim for ( 2 shorter and one getting longer every week)

walk, swim, gym or cycle on rest days

Keep posting here so we can encourage you :)

Good luck


Hi juicy, funny enough when I did a wee run today and stopped at 1k, on the walk back I thought of you! I've been on here a while, yes I've graduated, but it seems to be my head that stops me, though for the past 10 days or so my energy has been awful, I work nights that don't help. I have a decent bike that I was riding to work 14 miles a couple of times a week before Xmas, I'm going to start doing that too. Do you have any tips on which kind of runs to do? I know the one longer, what shall I do in the other two days? My long run at the moment is 5/6 k. Thanks for the help 😊


aww thats nice, I hope in a nice way?!!!

I can tell you just want someone to tell you what to do??

Being a nightworker is so hard. Years ago I was an A and E nurse in london. We did 7 on and 7 off. On a shift my diet consisted of:

5 cans diet coke

1 bag of maltesers

4 Freddo frog choccies

10 Marlboro lights

The best bit was our nightline all went for a huge fry up in the meat market to really old pubs. We drank pints of lager from 9am and i was pi$$ed by lunchtime :)

Oops!!! A few things have changed since then- I dont have the marlboro, the diet coke or the booze but I do love chocolate!!! So take heart that whatever your diet is, it must be better than mine was!!!

So your running... my prescription ;) is:

1 X5k

1 X Speed

1X run that gets longer each week

I'd say you need to hunt for a 10k race nearby?



That's the thing juicy - I think my diet is good! I'ts not amazing but I don't think it warrants my weight, especially with my activity levels. I literally walk up and down four flights of stairs and landings every half hour for ten hours a night, and 3 runs during the week! I'll begin with your suggestions for the plan on Friday, as tomorow in getting my hair done and doing nothing. Thanks !

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"Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat." Greg Glassman.

in a (excuse pun) nutshell, that's all the food advice anyone needs. You could simplify it even further if you want:

More protein. More Vegetables. More water.

Add quality fish oil to that mix and you're set for life.

There are a million diets out there from Atkins to Vegan to Paleo to whatever this week's grinning toothy 'fitness guru' is pushing from supermarket magazine covers. They all differ in their details but what the all have in common is: More veg, More water, Cut out cardboard carbs and sugar.

Whichever variant you choose will work a long as you stick to it. It's the sticking to it that matters. I also like this quote from Dan John :

"Honestly, seriously, you don’t know what to do about food? Here is an idea: Eat like an

adult. Stop eating fast food, stop eating kid’s cereal, knock it off with all the sweets and

comfort foods whenever your favorite show is not on when you want it on, ease up on

the snacking and— don’t act like you don’t know this— eat vegetables and fruits more.

Really, how difficult is this? Stop with the whining. Stop with the excuses. Act like an

adult and stop eating like a television commercial. Grow up."

Pretty much the same applies to eercise. It doesn't matter that much if you choose running or Insanity DVDs or Gillian Michaels or Zumba or Crossfit or Bootcamp. All that matters is consistency. Start with what you can manage and keep doing it. As soon as it starts getting easier, increase the amount a little. Don't kill yourself. It doesn't need to be punishing, just enough to feel like hard work. Keep doing it. Keep pressing play. Keep getting out that door. Keep eating clean. Keep drinking water. Keep sleeping 8 hours a night. It will work.


Hi rig, some great advice there which was exactly what I was needing. I am moaning more than not, and I really just need to do it for myself. I already eat pretty well with veg meat fish nuts fruit and yogs, I will just cut out the other crap, snacking unnecessarily ect. I have also took my bike out, and I recently got weights and a gym call and skipping ropes for my birthday which are all set out in the spare room, I will just have to get in there. Watch this space - thank you!


If you are eating yoghurts (and enjoying them) check the sugar content. I'd anticipate about 5 teaspoons of sugar in a 125ml pot. Shocking...


You've come so far with your c25k journey (remember when you started....) So don't give up now!

I have heard that interval running is the best for fat-burn. Perhaps give that a go. Are you up to 10k runs yet? Maybe try a bridge to 10k programme and perhaps the intervals in that and a new goal with help with the mojo..?

With regard to weight loss in general (and I hope i don't sound patronising - i'm not trying to be). Try slightly smaller portions and eat really slowly. Sometimes we wolf down our meal and overeat without realising.

Also, try drinking a large glass of water before you eat too. This can help fill you up and prevent overeating too.

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Don't think there is much I can add to what has already been said , Rignold and juicy always give great advise :)

I was 56 and an ex smoker of 6 months when I started , did have some weight to lose but nothing to drastic

I started to eat healthier and ran 3 times a week , completely cut out crisps choc and biscuits think when we look in the mirror we are never completely happy

All I know is I am now 2 yrs + Smokefree have lost wieght , much fitter and healthier :) certainly sleep so much better :)

You have to do what you do that works for you , yes you need to invest you into what ever you do butthevrewards and benefits are there waiting for you :)


Why the frown?????? You've landed here so that's a positive. You could start the NHS Couch to 5 k programme and commit to that fully, whilst also committing to a healthy diet. You can break things down into two elements. Exercise and diet. No need to get snowed under with information.

You just need to start, commit and see it through.

You will know the foods/drinks that are bad for you. Cut them out, replace with healthy choices, and get cracking on the exercise. Success will follow as surely as night follows day. You just have to make it happen and not look for reasons not to commit, eg it's too complicated or I get snowed under with information.

Two stones is not a lot in the grand scheme of things, and you could soon shift it. Start today and clear the decks of anything that will sabotage your success. You have to be ruthless. Your family will benefit too if you kick on with a healthier regime.

This is a very friendly, supportive site where you will get help and chat to others in the same boat. Loads here have just started running and/or weight watching so you're not alone.

Good luck !

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Thanks everyone. I'm in the same boat as Prettys073. Started a food diary when I started W1 and thought I would lose all my excess weight by now. Have only lost 1 stone of 3 and have graduated today (took me more than 9 weeks) so stepping back and taking stock. If I'm honest my diet has improved slightly but not enough and all your posts above have just given me the kick up the enormous backside I needed to really embrace this new lifestyle. There are times to be kind and times to be honest and you have all got the right balance.


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