Here is my advice for the fatties looking lose serious weight from somebody who’s been there and done that.
About me I’ve been fat my whole life. I was never an athlete. I’m mid 30′s with a wife and three kids. I have a desk job and spend most of my recreational time sitting on my ass. About 6-7 years ago I decided to get my shit together and over about a year I lost around 150 pounds. This was done with absolutely zero exercise. I mostly kept it off for 6 years (went up about 20 from my lowest). About 6 month ago I started getting more aggressive with my diet and dropped 20 pounds. I recently joined a gym and I’m currently working to lose the last 30 or so pounds of fat to reach my ideal body comp. (sub 20% body fat)
Start with Low Carb. Let’s be honest, 95% of the carbs you’re eating are complete shit. They are not whole grain pasta, they are potato chips, french fries, hamburger buns, refined white sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Going low carb for a couple months is a great way to help you identify all the crap you’ve been eating and eliminate it from your diet. It also helps you avoid the so-called “diet” food that is low-fat but loaded with sugar.
Find low calories items you actually like to eat Tons of fruits and veggies are quite low calorie. Raw nuts are great but watch out for roasted nuts, they are often loaded with extra oil that shoots the calorie count through the roof (1 cup of macadamia nuts is 1,000 calories). Splurge smart. A McDonalds ice cream cone is completely empty calories but it’s only 150 of them. That means you can splurge on that occasionally without the guilt of some 1,500 calorie milk shake. A frozen skinless chicken breast can be absolutely delicious and super easy to prepare and they are extremely low calorie for how filling they are. Don’t think of your diet as a limitation, think of it as an excuse to try new (lower calorie) things.
Find a way to make your diet work for you No one way of eating works for everyone. Maybe eating six small meals a day works for you, maybe it doesn’t. Figure out a plan for yourself. If you want to skip lunch so you can have that double bacon cheeseburger for dinner every now and again then go for it!
Keep track of what you eat It’s very easy to let calories slip through the cracks here or there. Keep a mental journal (or a physical journal if you like) of everything you eat and think about it before you put anything in your mouth. At dinner time you should go through a process like this: I had 300 calories for breakfast, 500 calories for lunch, 100 calories for a snack so I can eat 600 calories for dinner and still have a 100 calorie snack later if I’m feeling munchy. If you ever find yourself not losing weight as quickly as you feel you ought to then start tracking every scrap of food you eat. There are tons of sites/apps available to do so for free. You will likely find that you are eating more calories than you think you are.
Don’t crash diet Crash diets lead to roller coaster weight gain/loss which is really bad for your body. You’re better off staying fat than losing and then gaining back 60 pounds every year. If you are 100 pounds overweight then you are likely eating in the ballpark of 3,000 calories a day (or more). Don’t suddenly crash yourself down to 500 calories a day. Find a maintainable number of calories that works for you. Most obese people that should be around 1500-2000 calories a day. It took you years to get fat, don’t expect to get skinny in a few weeks. If you really want to lose weight faster you’re better off adding exercise than cutting your calories too low (under 1,000/day).
You don’t have to Exercise to stop being obese. Every obese person out there reads these articles that tell you to exercise an hour a day 5 days a week and thinks the same thing. Yeah right! Exercise makes you healthier but it isn’t necessary for weight loss. If you want to exercise then great, by all means do it! It will certainly help you towards your goal. However, you need to be smart about it. If you’re 100+ pounds overweight the last thing you should do is start trying to jog 3 miles a day. You’re likely to hurt yourself. Start with brisk walking, find some hills or stairs to walk up and down. Do some body weight exercises such as push ups and squats. Ideally every obese person will start exercising, but it’s not necessary for weight loss. The reason I want to stress this is that many people use exercise as an excuse to be fat. “I don’t have time to exercise”, “I have a hurt (insert body part) that makes it too hard to exercise”. I’m telling you now that you aren’t allowed to use a lack of exercise as an excuse for being fat. Everyone has the time to eat less food. Nobody has a medical condition that forces them to eat junk food unless you have purple pee
Don’t use exercise as an excuse to eat. It is extremely common for people to use the gym as an excuse to eat food they shouldn’t be eating. Exercise does not excuse you from your eating plan! You don’t get to eat that donut in the break room because “hey I went to the gym last night, I earned it!” That’s bull shit. When you are at your ideal body composition THEN you can talk about that donut you earned. If you’ve got rolls of fat you can grab with your hands then you haven’t earned anything.