I'm 23 years old, and I am extremely overweight. I've joined Weight watchers and I'm following that and I've just joined a gym. I need to lose 150-200 lbs to be to a normal weight. Between the gym and weight watchers, is that a good start or do I need to do more?
If you know someone else who's also trying to lose weight, it might help to agree to work out together. That will help you both stay accountable to your goals and provide some additional motivation (it's harder to decide to skip going to the gym if you've agreed to meet someone there).
The standard advice would be you need professional nutritional and exercise counseling. I don't know how much real nutritionist's advice Weight Watchers provides. Most personal trainers will provide nutrition advice with the exercise advice. At my gym, there's a staff nutritionist, and 3 sessions with a personal trainer, who do very little with nutrition, is included with enrollment.
This is going to sound simplistic, and for that I apologize. The answer is move more and eat less. It really is just that simple. All the programs, challenge show, magazine covers, books, etc, etc, is all just noise. The hard part is starting, and sticking to it. Get out everday and just walk. Nothing fancy, just walk. Look at what your eating and think about it. You know enough to know what is healthy and what isnt. After time, you'll start losing the weight and feeling better. You might start to pick up your pace and start to jog, then run. Before you know it you have lost the weight.
What I'm describing is a lifestyle. You have YEARS to do this. Don't make a timetable, you'll just be disappointed. If you want to get healthy and then stay that way, move more and eat less.
John, as a formerly-VERY-overweight person, may I comment on this? We all like common sense, simplistic solutions, but sometimes they just don't cut it. Telling someone who is obese to "move more and eat less" sounds so sensible, I wish it were that simple. But that's about like telling the parents of out-of-control kids "just make them mind" or telling someone who can't make ends meet financially "start managing your money". People need specific help to make healthy eating a permanent lifestyle.
It is a myth that overweight people simply need to eat less. The answer is to increase the right kinds of foods and decrease the foods that lead to weight gain. If someone just tries to eat less, he's going to be hungry. Nobody is going to put up with being hungry over the long haul, so that's going to lead to defeat, and soon we'll be right back where we started. Think of the HUNDREDS of people who start diets, then fall off and gain back all their weight! You have to learn how to eat so you're satisfied while losing weight--and that takes knowledge, guidance, support, and experience. Trial and error is a big part of changing one's lifestyle.
I DO like your suggestion about moving more, however--and I'll agree with you there, that even just walking is a great way to start. And you are correct that this is about building a lifestyle, but I'm a little baffled by what you mean when you say "you have years to do this". If you're talking about adopting a healthy lifestyle and letting the weight come off slowly, then I'm one hundred per cent in agreement with you--adopting healthy eating and exercise habits is a tremendous move in the right direction. But I wouldn't encourage someone to take years to get ready to make those changes--"kinda-sorta" doing it is a waste of time and, at best, leads to yo-yo'ing up and down. If someone is ready to tackle a weight problem, he needs to get agressive and to jump in with gusto.
Motivation is important. I'm a sucker for the show The Biggest Loser, even though I'm not trying to lose weight.
Set goals, and not just ones based on hitting a certain weight at a certain time. If you're running as part of your training sign up for a 5k race or something similar. It will force you to prepare.
Along with that have a plan. Signing up for a gym is great, but have a plan for it. Don't leave it to chance where you think "maybe I'll go to the gym tonight" and don't show up and think "what should I work on tonight". I'm training for a race and I'm following a running schedule. I review the upcoming week on Saturday and I can tell you what time I'm getting up, how far I'll be running, and what route I'm going to take. I don't leave it to how I feel in the morning. I wake up knowing I need to wake up because I have a plan to run.
Here's some food advice that's simple in nature but can be harder to implement. Tony Horton, the guy who made P90X, said it and I've heard it various ways in various places. Eat food that has one ingredient. If it has 67 ingredients on the box and you can't pronounce half of them don't eat it. Tony gave the example that he had previously eaten Salmon, green beans, and something else. Salmon is just salmon, green beans are just green beans. Processed foods are bad.
Thanks everyone! I have a friend who is going to the gym with me and we go at least 3x a week, although I'm shoong for 5 times a week. I haven't weighed since I started going to the gym so I'm not sure how much weight I've lost yet but I feel even more motivated now that I'm going to a gym.
Good job on getting started. My tips are to make small, gradual changes, for two reasons.
1. Small changes allow you to slowly change your life, not get overwhelmed, and not lose patience and stop the plan. Studies show that we can only really develop 1-2 habits at a time, so trying to adopt 10 things to change your life is (or can be) a recipe for failure.
2. Your body doesn't really want to change, and tries to adapt to whatever you throw at it. This is called homeostatis, and it's the friend of that guy who can eat anything he wants and get away with it, and the enemy of the rest of us. With homeostatis, your body almost immediately begins to adapt to more exercise and less food, eventually slowing progress to a halt.
Bottom line? It may not be time to train 5 times a week or go as low calorie as you can go. Keep something in reserve, so you have more tools to throw at your fat loss.
WW is a good plan, particularly because if give you support and a group of like minded people to help you stay accountable.
One thing I tell my people is to always be reading and researching what you next diet might be. You might love WW forever, but if you don't, always know your next step, and NEVER stop one diet, plan, or workout system until you know your next steps.
Hey, Victor---Man, it's GREAT that you're taking care of this now. Don't do like I did and wait till you're in your forties. No, you don't need to be doing anything else other than building a support system. You're doing exactly what you need to be doing right now--adopting a healthy way of eating and engaging in physical activity. Lots of guys try to do this through exercise alone, and that's a mistake. "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got"---and the bottom line is, you MUST DRASTICALLY change the way you eat--there's no other way. But it doesn't have to be a terrible experience, and you don't have to go hungry.
1. Really "get into" the Weight Watchers plan and make it a lifestyle--never think of it as dieting. Follow the Good Health Guidelines and track your food religiously, but within that framework, there's NOTHING you can't eat. What you'll find, though, is that some things need to be eaten in extreme moderation in order to not run short of points. Learn to divide your points between your meals so you're never hungry.
2. Get into the e-tools and find the message board called "Guys On A Diet". There are a lot of seasoned Weight Watcher guys there who can give you good advice between meetings, as well as a word of encouragement (or a kick in the rear) when you need it. Guys have a different way of approaching one another, and this can be an excellent part of your support system. I can't stress strongly enough the importance of going to your meetings--they are a lifeline of encouragement, knowledge, and support.
3. Don't make this too hard to live with. Use some of your 49-weekly points and go ahead and indulge some of the things you like. Remember, you're building a lifestyle, not just "dieting". It's okay to have a piece of cake at a party--but not three BIG pieces, and not every day. It's okay to have an "occasional" order of some fried treat---but it'll be more like once a week than twice a day. Study those point values, get into your "power foods"---you'll be fine!
4. Expect set backs. There really are no mistakes, only lessons learned. If you wind up having a "pig out" in an unguarded moment, don't wallow in guilt--it's only food! You didn't just rob First National. Life is going to happen! Just get right back on program THE NEXT MEAL. Stop and analyze what happened and try to prepare for the next time you're in that situation. You're going to learn what your emotional triggers are, and learn to confront WHY you overeat--and learn other ways to deal with those feelings.
I just got my lifetime membership this Monday evening, after losing 91 pounds. Along with the weight, I also lost diabetes, INCREDIBLY high triglycerides, and several other medical issues. I created a group on here called "Guys On Weight Watchers"---but I'm still waiting for other guys to join---I hope to see you there!
Thanks for the advice! I'd love to join your group but I'm not finding it under your groups. And congrats on getting your lifetime!
Here's the link:
Bravo Victor on taking control of your weight. I got no advice but just wanted to offer my encouragement for you.
What you really need to do is keep at it. Monitor your caloric intake and slowly reduce it down over time. The hardest part my wife and I have is making a keeping to the life style change. The first few weeks is easy but after a while it is not new anymore and going back is the easy thing to do.
Good Luck and stick to it.