Drop 50 pounds in 12 months--Reasonable?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Michael_K_Sr, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. Michael_K_Sr

    Michael_K_Sr Screenwriter

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    Now that the holiday parties are in the rearview mirror, I'm ready to get serious about dropping weight. I'm ashamed to say that I'm what doctors would term morbidly obese...that is, someone that at 5'10" weighs nearly 300 pounds. I've always had a stocky build even when I was at my healthiest, but I'd like to get down close to 200 lbs. I realize this isn't something that will happen overnight, but is trying to drop 50 pounds this year a reasonable goal?

    On the plus side, I have a membership with an excellent health club that I enjoy going to. Despite my weight, I am also relatively healthy...no joint pain, decreased stamina, etc. I'm relatively young...36 years of age. On the negative side, my co-workers like to head out of the office for lunch---a lot. It seems a nearly impossible task to try and eat healthy in restaurants on a daily basis. I'm content to start bringing my lunch to work every day, although I'll have to put some thought into some variety...I don't eat any seafood and I don't like bringing salads to the office because the lettuce always seems to wilt. Breakfast and dinner are easier, as I'm happy with my morning oatmeal and dinner will consist of soups or salads, as well as some grilled chicken and vegetables now and then. I also am counting on myself to have the willpower to avoid between meal snacks that have killed me in the past.

    Anyhow, assuming I can change my diet radically and make it to the health club 5-6 times a week, do you think 50 pounds is an attainable goal in a year?
     
  2. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    I think there is a thread around here (several hundred posts long?) with tips and progress reports from fellow HTFers. Hopefully it is still around after the big HTF crash a while ago.

    I have no idea if 50 pounds in a year is attainable - I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum. Gaining weight is difficult for me without sacrificing my health!

    As for the co-worker lunch thing - maybe you can bring a lunch and eat it early, then go with the co-workers and nibble on a salad? Hopefully your lunch will fill you up enough so that you won't eat much when going out.

    But then again that may not work if seeing food makes you hungry again! [​IMG]
     
  3. James T

    James T Screenwriter

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  4. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    not to diminish john's feat, but i'd say the will is a lot more than half [​IMG] that kind of transformation is very impressive.

    CJ
     
  5. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    On Atkins, I average about 5 pounds/month in weight loss. It's an up/down thing for me though. I generally go low-carb for 1/4 of the year and then re-gain the weight during the rest of the year. The cycle continues....

    So to answer your question, I think it's completely reasonable. Not to be negative, but keeping the weight off has always been my hurdle.

    Good luck!
     
  6. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    I lost 20 lbs last year at a rate of 1-2 lbs/week. 50 is agressive but possible - and with as much as you weigh I think possible.

    To lose the weight I didn't do anything 'special' other than use some common sense. The first priority was diet. I forced myself to eat breakfast cereal each AM. Usually granola (gasp!) It had the fuel to keep my body in gear until lunch. IT kept my body from thinking it was being starved (and therefore stockpiling fat when I ate)

    At lunch I NEVER went out with the crowd. I also never drove to lunch. I walked about 1/2 mile to the grocery store and bought a bowl of fresh fruit or salad. For some low-fat protein I would eat some jerky. If I had to go to a restaurant I had just a salad or something light. At Hooters I ate the celery and a lite beer.

    At dinner I would eat one fist-sized portion of each food type (meat, veggie, starch, etc) No more. When it was gone I stopped eating. That was the hard part! Really! No more snacks after dinner. I never woke up hungry - which told me my stomach was wrong.

    I weighed myself only once a week - Sunday AM. I dropped from 220 to 197 - where I am maintaining now. I would like to drop to 185 but put that goal on hold while I took on the combined challenges of the holidays and moving back into my storm-ravaged house.

    I did join a gym and go regularly for quite a while. It was actually frustrating as my muscle mass was replacing my fat mass. I was holding steady! I hurt my elbow (cubital tunnel syndrome) and had to stop bending my elbow for months. That is when my weight started dropping and I figured out why I wasnt losing weight before.

    If you want to lose weight only I would stick to cardio at the gym - no weights for a while. Of course - you can get cardio just about anywhere there are sidewalks.

    The hardest part is the first three weeks - It takes three weeks to create a habit. Make it past there and set your next goal at ten lbs off. Then you should start enjoying the sense of accomplishment and be good from there.

    Never reward yourself with food. Use other things - like movies. Also, I found it quite exciting to fit into clothes I hadn't worn in a while. If you have none then just go buy something a bit too small for yourself. Just a few sizes so you can have an early achievement.

    Start saving some cash for your new wardrobe. Really.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Dennis*G

    Dennis*G Supporting Actor

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    If you are REALLY devoted to eating right and excersing, 50 lbs should be no problem to lose in a year. You could probably do more.

    But for those of us that have a life to live also, 50 will be attainable, just get some support help (encouragement)
     
  8. John Stone

    John Stone Supporting Actor

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    50 pounds of fat loss (notice I said "fat loss" - not "weight loss") is very obtainable in one year. For most people, 1-2 pounds of fat loss per week is about the most that can be safely removed without muscle loss. A lot of people choose to go on crash diets and lose far more weight than 2 pounds per week (I made the same mistake early on), but much of that weight is muscle loss. You want to do everything in your power to not only prevent muscle loss, but encourage its growth.

    Why? It takes work for our bodies to maintain muscle and fat. While there is no 100% clear-cut number to attach to these metabolic processes, it is clear that muscle requires significantly more calories to maintain compared to fat. While the figures I'm about to quote are debatable, they are believed by most researchers to be in the ballpark: fat requires our bodies to burn somewhere around 9 calories per pound per day to maintain, while muscle requires our bodies to burn around 60 to 80 calories per pound per day to maintain. Obviously the more muscle you have the more calories your body will burn just to maintain that muscle. Translation: you get to eat more, and you won't have the soft, "skinny fat" look that so many people who go on starvation diets maintain before they gain it all back.

    So why do people who go on crash diets "yo-yo"? It's because they reduce their calories drastically below what their bodies need to function. Our bodies are very good at dealing with adverse conditions, so they adapt. What happens when your body is not getting enough fuel? It adapts by slowing your metabolism down, and it burns your muscles as a sorce of energy. So, yes - you'll lose weight, but much of that weight is muscle. Our bodies want homeostasis (balance). Once your body adapts to your starvation diet, you'll plateau. So what happens then? People often further reduce calories when they plateau. Shortly after that they lose some more weight (much of it is muscle), but the body continues to try and adapt by slowing down its metabolism and catabolizing your muscle. Soon no more weight is lost, and the frustrated dieter goes back to eating "normally". When this happens, suddenly their body (which has adapted to the severe caloric deficit) is receiving a huge caloric surplus. All this surplus is stored as adipose (fat), and before you know it the frustrated dieter is fatter than ever. Even if they return to the same weight as they were before their diet, they are actually carrying more fat due to the muscle loss. It's a horrible cycle.

    The "secret" to fat loss is to create a mild caloric deficit, eat healthy, eat often (5-6 small meals per day), incorporate regular cardiovascular exercise and lift weights. A fat loss program like this will promote several things:

    1) Healthy, sustainable FAT loss.
    2) Muscle growth.
    3) Cardiovascular health.
    4) Overall health and wellness from regular excersize and healthy diet.

    I changed my life by following these principles, and at 37 years old I'm stronger, more fit and more healthy than I've ever been in my entire life. Three years ago I weighed 215 pounds and about 30% of that weight was body fat. I lost the fat, and got down to around 160 pounds and 8% body fat. Since then, I've been adding muscle in the winter, and shredding up for the summer ("bulking" and "cutting"). Right now I actually weigh more than I did back when I was fat, but it's muscle weight. Right now (because I'm bulking, which requires a caloric surplus) I have around 11% body fat, but I generaly maintain 8% body fat. 8% body fat is low enough to have a nice six-pack but very sustainable - even while enjoying the foods I enjoy. I'll be cutting again for the summer in a month, and once I do I'll be able to eat 3,500+ calories per day and not gain any fat. The reason I can eat so much food is because most of my body weight is muscle and I'm very active.

    Anyone who wants to change CAN change. You don't have to live in the gym, or devote every waking moment to your fat loss goals, either. I invite anyone who's serious about making a lifelong change to visit my site and my forums (link in sig). We've got a great community that consists of thousands and thousands of people who have changed their lives for the better. There's nothing stopping you but you.

    Best of luck. [​IMG]
     
  9. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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    In 2002 I lost 60 lbs from January 1st to June. I'm 6'2", very borad frame, and started at 278lb, wound up around 210lb. Unfortunately I put most of it bac on over the past few years, but I'm hoping to repeat my past success this year. It takes a lot of willpower, but once you get into the habit, it gets easier. The only difference for me is now I'm 31 instead of 27, so I' need to work a little harder at it. I tend to get lax after a month when I lose about 8-10 lbs. I'll I've ever done is exercise moderately and count points with Weight Watchers. Works every time if you stick with it-it's just an easier way of calorie counting.
     
  10. Bryan Ri

    Bryan Ri Screenwriter

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    Michael,

    50 pounds is a very reasonable and admirable goal. It is VERY obtainable.

    In addition to my profession, I have also done work as a personal trainer and I'm a devoted gym-rat. [​IMG]

    Here's a few tips:

    * First and foremost, don't get discouraged. If you have a bad day in terms of what you eat, just start fresh the next day. Sometimes people feel as if they break their diet once, that everything is thrown out the window. Just move on and keep going strong the next day.

    * The best technique in weight loss in addition to a healthy diet is to keep your motabolism rate elevated. I understand that this is more difficult for some than others, but take small steps. Try walking in the morning and in the evening. Do stretches when you're watching TV or movies to get your body in a better position to lose weight.

    * In terms of dieting, it's the small things that go a long way. Stay away from condiment toppings such as butter, salad dressings, etc. Also, eat more full meals for breakfast lunch and dinner; this will help you from snacking throughout the day. Finally, try not to eat before bed, as that is a time when your body slows down.


    Hope I didn't sound preachy. If you want help in getting a detailed plan, feel free to PM me.

    GOOD LUCK!
     
  11. Bob McLaughlin

    Bob McLaughlin Screenwriter

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    If you don't want your salad to wilt, don't cut the lettuce with a metal knife (it turns brown first where the metal touches it). They sell hard plastic knives for cutting lettuce.

    Or, avoid iceberg lettuce altogether. It doesn't have much nutritional value anyway. Fresh spinach leaves are a great substitute and taste better.

    Another thing: right after preparing your salad, put it in a sealable container and put a dry folded paper towel on top of it before sealing it up. The paper towel will absorb excess moisture/condensation and the salad will stay crisp!

    As for snacking, avoid "surprise" snacking by planning out snack times ahead of time (when are you most hungry?), and substituting a healthy low-calorie snack instead, such as fruit or rice cakes, lowfat whole wheat wheat thins, 2 graham crackers, etc. Don't overdo it on bananas, there are better fruits for losing weight. Count out the wheat thins or crackers and restrict yourself to the count, don't just eat right out of the box.

    If you can cut out as much red meat as possible, you will be doing your body a favor. Turkey and chicken are best if baked, not fried, and don't eat the skin--it's loaded with fat.

    Don't load up on salts--your body will retain water. Use spices instead. Don't put butter on your veggies, try a low-calorie spread, or just pepper.

    Cut out all soda pop (diet pop is okay). You can save thousands of calories a year this way.

    Remember, good health and fitness is a journey, not just a destination.
     
  12. Michael_K_Sr

    Michael_K_Sr Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the advice! You know Bryan, I'm actually thinking of enlisting the aid of a trainer at the health club I go to. I can't afford to use one full-time, but they do offer packages of five or six sessions. I just think it would be good for someone to set up a program that I could adhere to after my sessions are finished. If I'm left to my own routine, I'd probably be doing cardio (treadmill, eliptical, bike, etc)all the time, although I'm sure the trainers would stress the need to strengthen myself with weight training at the same time. I guess I just want a schedule set up by someone professionally that can tell me how to balance the cardio exercise with weight training to maintain steady weight loss without losing all muscle tone at the same time.
     
  13. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Screenwriter

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    I am 6' 1" and went from 210 to 170 in 6 months from late 2003 to early 2004. That was too much too soon and I did lose muscle mass as well as fat. I wasn't really obese but did want to lose some weight. The diet was easy. I think 50 lbs of fat in a year is very attainable and a proper goal for you. Best of wishes and if you can get a physical exam and input from a doctor now and again in 6 months, I recommend you do so.

    You will likely feel hungry if you eat properly but I found that feeling passed after a few weeks of not overeating.

    Chris
     
  14. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    John Stone's post above is awesome and a great start to losing weight healthily. 50 lbs is 12 months is totally attainable and since you are fairly obese, I wouldn't be surprised if youi surpassed that goal once you get into the groove of diet/exercise.

    I would highly suggest signing up to some sort of diet/exercise program and giving it a few months. Like Fit for Life or Build the Muscle, Lose the Fat. Or if you prefer do a weight watchers program for the diet portion and have a personal trainer for the exercise part.

    The main points to remember is that: you must exercise regularly, you must eat well (no starving ever!), and you must track your progress to work towards your goal. It isn't fast, it isn't magic, but it works.

    Go for it!
     
  15. Scott Simonian

    Scott Simonian Screenwriter

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    My buddy has lost around 60 lbs in the past months. So I would assume that 100 lbs would be attainable. He just eats a lot less and when he does he eats healthy.
     
  16. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    a friend of mine went to weight watchers for a few months so he could learn how to eat better, he's 5'9 and weighed about 250, less than a year later he's about 200, trying to get below 200. he totally changed his diet, but didnt exercise too much at all. so if you change your diet and exercise (5-6 times a week, wow!), i'd say a year would be more than enough time to lose 50 lbs. best of luck.

    CJ
     
  17. Robert_Z

    Robert_Z Screenwriter

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    That is definetely doable, but unless you have the deep inner strength to maintain your new active, healthy lifestyle for the rest of your life, be ready for all that weight (and more) to come back in due time.

    I lost 25 pounds three years ago through exercise and diet. After that, I became complacent, my exercising stopped, my diet went back to what it was, and now I am 5 pounds heavier than when I started.

    Don't let this happen to you. It is frustrating.
     
  18. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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  19. Jeff B.

    Jeff B. Stunt Coordinator

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    Read John Stone's post again, because he offers very sound advice. Like he said 1-2 pounds of fat loss per week can be realistic. The hardest part of this process is getting into a routine and sticking to it religiously. A personal trainer might be a good idea if you don't have much experience in the gym, but ultimately it is up to you to push yourself.

    I have not been in a position exactly like yours, but I can say that once you begin seeing results, it is a great feeling that you will want to build upon. I would highly suggest that you go to the website in John's sig, or a more general website such as bodybuilding.com. That is where I started out to get a basis of knowledge The important thing is to read, read, read. There is no "secret" to weight loss... as John outlined. Anyone can lose weight through a variety of fad diets, but to really get in shape takes more than just starving yourself.

    Once you start gaining that muscle, it is exciting because you can began to eat a lot more to feed those muscles. This is why I am a strong advocate of weight training, in addition to cardiovascular exercise to lose weight. I hope I have offered some good advice, I apologize for not being able to convey to you my feelings as eloquently as John Stone has, because I think he has given you extremely solid advice.

    The main thing is, you are not going to get the advice/expertise that you need from HTF... hopefully some people here, such as Johhn, can just steer you in the right direction. Like others have said, 50 pounds of fat loss, only fat, is attainable in 1 year, it just takes dedication. Like most things in life, it is not going to come easy. However, once you get into the swing of things, if you are a motivated individual, once you begin to see results you will want to continue.

    You can do it man, it just takes a change of lifestyle. That may mean not going out with the coworkers to their normal spots for lunch, which may be hard... but once you begin to see results from doing it the right way, you won't care. Good luck!
     
  20. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

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    Just to echo - I think it's a very reasonable goal and it's mostly changing your mindset.

    Ten years ago I went from a job where I walked to work and stood all day to driving and sitting at a desk. I got fat. to comabt this I started biking and would go 25 miles 2-3 times a week. But then the kids came and that free time got cut to an occasional Saturday. I got fat again.

    When we started to doubt what our scale was telling us we bought a new one and I was shocked to find I was pushing 200lbs. Might not seem like a lot but I was always a skinny twerp.

    Next day I went on a modified low carb diet. I didn't follow any specific plan, just recognized what high carb foods were and limited them. I work nights so I didn't have a specific breakfast/lunch/dinner schedule. But I had eggs every day until it got boring. A big salad for "lunch". No dressings, just veggies and a slice of deli cut ham chopped up in it, and for dinner I ate whatever we were having but only one bread roll instead of two, half a bun if it was burgers, if we had tacos we skipped the shells and put everything in a bowl, etc. I also bought an exercise bike and rode it 30m before bed every day (watched episodes of You Bet Your Life on DVD while doing so [​IMG]

    By mid April I had dropped to 165. Just under the recommended max BMI for my size and age. I'd like to get down to 160 (155 would be great) but I've sort of stalled here. Even after vacations when I come home and I'm a few pounds lighter I jump back up within the week.

    I'm not so carb concious anymore, but I still have a salad for lunch nearly every day.

    My wife, OTOH, has a constant struggle with her weight and can't get into a discipline. She's a snacker and can't just not snack when she's got the munchies. She's been doing the Weight Watchers thing and dropped 20lbs in a little under three months.

    -paul
     

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