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Thread: Morbidly Obese

  1. #1
    Registered User rd86's Avatar
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    Morbidly Obese

    First off I know it's awkward for someone like me to be on a "Bodybuilding Site." I'm 6'1 352lbs.

    I was supposed to have lap band surgery on August 26th and had to do a pre-op liquid diet before the surgery starting August 12th (I was 373lbs at the start). While I was doing that diet I found it relatively easy to control myself that I postponed the surgery to give weight loss a real attempt on my own without the surgery. In 1 week on that diet I lost 21lbs (it was basically starving yourself). I was losing anywhere from 5 to 2 pounds a day.

    Now that I'm doing it on my own I am giving myself a 1,200 a day calorie limit. Yesterday my day eating was:
    Breakfast - Emerald Breakfast on the Go Nut & Oatmeal Mix
    Lunch - Turkey on Whole Wheat w/ Mustard
    Snack after work - Banana
    Dinner- 2 Grilled Chicken cutlets with Iceberg Lettuce & Grape Tomatoes then I had a peach
    Snack - Danon Fruit at the Bottom

    I also walk to the train after work which is a mile desk to subway station.

    Am I doing the right thing? What else should I be doing?

    Should I try doing sit ups will they do anything at this point?

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Muscle GeeK LordWolF's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rd86 View Post
    First off I know it's awkward for someone like me to be on a "Bodybuilding Site." I'm 6'1 352lbs.

    I was supposed to have lap band surgery on August 26th and had to do a pre-op liquid diet before the surgery starting August 12th (I was 373lbs at the start). While I was doing that diet I found it relatively easy to control myself that I postponed the surgery to give weight loss a real attempt on my own without the surgery. In 1 week on that diet I lost 21lbs (it was basically starving yourself). I was losing anywhere from 5 to 2 pounds a day.

    Now that I'm doing it on my own I am giving myself a 1,200 a day calorie limit. Yesterday my day eating was:
    Breakfast - Emerald Breakfast on the Go Nut & Oatmeal Mix
    Lunch - Turkey on Whole Wheat w/ Mustard
    Snack after work - Banana
    Dinner- 2 Grilled Chicken cutlets with Iceberg Lettuce & Grape Tomatoes then I had a peach
    Snack - Danon Fruit at the Bottom

    I also walk to the train after work which is a mile desk to subway station.

    Am I doing the right thing? What else should I be doing?

    Should I try doing sit ups will they do anything at this point?

    Thanks!
    Welcome to the forum, first of all 1,200 Calories is wrong so don't do that, You need to read the STICKIES about calories and macros, that is going to give u an idea of what you need to do, you need to know your TDEE, so do your homework and check that out then come back again.
    Last edited by LordWolF; 08-20-2013 at 09:53 AM.
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  3. #3
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    You're in the right place man, lots of motivation here and good people willing to advise and help, first of all congratulations on doing this for yourself.

    1200 is too low IMO, I'd go for 1800 to be on the safe side and it will mean you're losing weight at healthy enough rate. You will see a 1.5-2LB loss a week at this rate and be a lot healthier in the long run and your body won't go into a starvation mode. Meaning when you up your calories again won't store fat straight back and regain weight fast like a lot of people experience after heavy dieting/weight loss.

    A good form of cardio can be the rowing machine if you find it tough to run/jog. Then you can get into running, jogging and that later to help your weight loss. Start lifting as well!

    All the best and never give up. You can have a cheat day to. Remember just one cheat day!
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  4. #4
    Eating Below My BMR mavajo's Avatar
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    First off, welcome to the site and big grats to you for wanting to take ownership of your weight. You're doing it the right way, and I've got big time respect for that. Now on to business...

    I'm assuming you're a male. A 1,200 daily calorie limit for a male is very low, especially at your size. It's generally recommended that a man not go below 1,500. I would suggest bringing it up to at least 2,000 for now, especially if you're going to be performing some light cardio (walking a mile a day). You could probably go up to 2,500 if you wanted, and still see great weight loss.

    Eating 2,000 calories per day would put you on pace for about for about 3 lbs lost per week.

    The biggest concern with eating at 1,200 calories at your size is the sustainability - people typically find it difficult to go from eating 4,000+ calories daily to an extreme deficit like 1,200, and they usually end up abandoning their diet before too long. 2k-2.5k is much more sustainable. Some people on here will claim that it's physically dangerous to eat at a deficit like that. They're wrong. There's zero evidence whatsoever that your body will be in physical danger. However, that doesn't mean there won't be some consequences. You'll likely be fatigued, your strength will diminish, your metabolism will slow down more quickly and you'll need to be more mindful of your micronutrients (the less food you eat, the less sources of micronutrients you have in your diet, which makes it easier to become deficient). There's also the concern of loose skin - when you loose too much weight too quickly, your skin will likely remain "stretched" out. A more moderate fat loss pace will help diminish that.

    Basically, if you're bound and determined to do 1,200 and you can stick with it, the weight is absolutely going to fly off. But if you'll eat a bit higher (2,000-2,500), the weight will still fly off (albeit slightly slower) and you'll eliminate/reduce a lot of potential issues that a 1,200 daily limit would bring.

    Also, at some point you'll want to start a regular weightlifting routine. However, that's about 100 pounds down the road - you really don't need to worry about that much right now. Just wanted to put it on your radar.
    Last edited by mavajo; 08-20-2013 at 05:45 AM.
    Started in April, 2013 at 212 lbs. Completely inactive at the time. Fat with zero muscle mass.
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  5. #5
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    A lot of people on this forum will tell you 1200 is too low. At your weight and current state of your fat loss journey, I'll agree and say you're starting off a bit too extreme.

    Start your diet slower at maybe 1800-2000, you'll definately still shed the pounds being 350 lbs. When you get lighter and feel your weight loss is slowing down, then you can decrease your calories further.

    A mile walk a day is a GREAT start, again people here will recommend you start lifting in the gym, but I'll say hold off on it for now because you're very heavy and could potentially hurt your joints etc.
    Once you decide to the hit the gym, focus more on compound movements that target multiple groups of muscles instead of isolated exercises like situps. They're more beneficial for calorie burning, coordination training, muscle adaption.

    Main point is; start off a bit slower than you are now. You'll definately suffer at 1200 a day and chances of binging are a lot higher which will set you back in your weight loss journey.

    good luck!
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  6. #6
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    You are in the right place. Start in the 2000ish range and go slow. Good luck with you journey
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    Originally Posted by rd86 View Post
    First off I know it's awkward for someone like me to be on a "Bodybuilding Site." I'm 6'1 352lbs.

    I was supposed to have lap band surgery on August 26th and had to do a pre-op liquid diet before the surgery starting August 12th (I was 373lbs at the start). While I was doing that diet I found it relatively easy to control myself that I postponed the surgery to give weight loss a real attempt on my own without the surgery. In 1 week on that diet I lost 21lbs (it was basically starving yourself). I was losing anywhere from 5 to 2 pounds a day.
    Am I doing the right thing? What else should I be doing?

    Should I try doing sit ups will they do anything at this point?

    Thanks!
    Welcome to the site, first of all it's not awkward for you to join here, plenty of the regulars on this section was/is obese/morbidly obese, I was 300lbs and totally unfit myself nearly 3 years ago

    First of all good call on postponing the surgery, it's definitely possible to drop the weight yourself without the surgery and in the long run is a far better solution in my opinion.

    To get started, read the stickies here on the forum they give you a great starting point. Learn about nutrition and calories/macros/tdee.

    Starting being more active is good, like walking to the subway station, next step is to look into a gym membership and start weight lifting.
    Weight lifting is a highly important thing while losing the weight as it will increase your strength making daily life and being more active easier along with preserving lean mass while losing the weight along with getting those endorfines etc. firing making you feel great afterwards and best of all keeps you active atleast 3x a week.
    My story going from obese to fit while battling daily chronic headaches:

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=155566013&p=1104734533#post1104734533

    First year of Lifting, skinny(fat) to bigger.

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=157881793
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  8. #8
    Registered User rd86's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the motivation. The overweight forums all told me I was dumb for canceling my surgery and I'd fail doing it on my own. I've been doing the 1,200 and I noticed I'm not hungry. I'm not sure what more I can eat to up the calories? In my eyes what I ate yesterday was a lot and I was pretty satisfied with no urge to eat anything more.
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  9. #9
    Eating Below My BMR mavajo's Avatar
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    Just a head's up OP - that 21 pounds you lost in a week or so was mostly water weight. After a few weeks, the weight loss will level off after the "extra" water weight has been eliminated. At your size, though, you can easily maintain 2-3 pounds of fat loss each week. If you keep eating at 1,200, it might even be 4-5 pounds per week. But as most of us have mentioned, we wouldn't recommend eating at 1,200.

    Make sure you're getting adequate fat in your diet - about 60g daily. I was reviewing your meal list, and it looks like adequate fat could be a concern. Fat helps regulate mental functions and hormones.
    Started in April, 2013 at 212 lbs. Completely inactive at the time. Fat with zero muscle mass.
    Before/After Thread at the end of my first cut (April '13 - October '13 - 6 mos): http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=157820563
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by rd86 View Post
    Thanks everyone for the motivation. The overweight forums all told me I was dumb for canceling my surgery and I'd fail doing it on my own. I've been doing the 1,200 and I noticed I'm not hungry. I'm not sure what more I can eat to up the calories? In my eyes what I ate yesterday was a lot and I was pretty satisfied with no urge to eat anything more.
    They don't know nothing about bodybuilding and how the body works, they just want to use the easy way out. You are on the right track brother just focus and roll, and you will see results.
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  11. #11
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    You're in the right place.... You're not that big. I topped off at around 270 lbs and I'm 3-4" shorter than you. I'd work on changing the lifestyle and getting used to your body. If you were working out with me I'd start you at 3,000 calories lifting heavy 4x per week and LISS 3-4x per week (very low intensity). Cardio isn't necessary by any means but it helps getting you used to the lifestyle change and anything that gets the blood flowing is gonna make you feel good. Then on the nutrition front, after you lose say 50 or so pounds, drop to around 2500 calories and go from there. I've seen plenty of dudes at gyms I go to go from your size to 100-150 lbs lighter and putting up some good numbers. Us former fatties tend to kill it with heavy lifts. Read all the stickies in this forum. Do some research on your own and THINK "does this make sense?". Body composition isn't magic but it isn't always simple, either.

    Here's a before and after for a little motivation but there's so many on this forum that make my transformation look like dog ****. HIT IT HARD
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  12. #12
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    Good for you dude! 1200 calories a day is too low for a guy like you. If you take a bit of time to plan your macros and work out a meal plan around them you'll really start to nail it. Loads of awesome articles on this site to help you though. I'm 296lbs down to 236lbs so far and a lot on this site has really helped me out not to mention some of the guys on here who have had awesome transformations.
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  13. #13
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    Dude, you are on the right path. Glad to see you are doing it on your own and not relying on surgery. I have friends who have had really bad experiences with that.

    I was 6' 350 pounds and got down to 200 on about 2100 calories a day. Lower as I lost more weight. Weight lifting, cardio post workout if I was up to it. Just walking on a treadmill at an incline. Elliptical machine was good for my joints at that weight too. (Crappy knees!) You don't need to do crunches or sit ups. I couldn't with my big belly anyway. Just doing compound exercises will help strengthen your core. I'm not where I want to be yet either, l had a brain tumor and gained a bunch of weight back from the lack of movement and the steroids they put me on, (About 50 pounds in 4 months!) but I lost it once and I'll lose it again.

    Like others said, check out all the nutrition stickies and come up with foods that you like to eat and fit them in your calories. Just remember this is a marathon and not a sprint. You didn't gain 100 pounds in a day and you won't lose it in a day either. Stay strong and be consistent.

    YOU CAN DO IT!

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  14. #14
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    I think you should do 2500 because your BMR is about 2400. A 2500 calorie diet would have you losing about 2lbs a week and while you can lose more at your weight, I am a proponent of slow and steady. If you are having trouble meeting your calorie intake, you could try adding in some calorie rich healthy foods. One of my favorites is peanut butter. The one thing I caution though is to make sure you weight the peanut butter and other calorie rich healthy foods because it's easy to over estimate calories.

    One thing I would caution against is getting discouraged. Losing 20+ lbs a week is not sustainable. It can happen the first few weeks and I wouldn't worry about it, nor would I say your losing to fast because it's only the first few weeks. But after a month on a cut, it's going to slow down and its going to even out more to 1~2.5lbs a week depending on your calorie reduction. If you know this and prepare for it, it might help prevent being discouraged. So keep it in mind.
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    Originally Posted by rd86 View Post
    While I was doing that diet I found it relatively easy to control myself that I postponed the surgery to give weight loss a real attempt on my own without the surgery.
    This is impressive. Your first 50lbs will probably be pretty easy to lose, and I bet you will begin to feel great. However, 1200 calories is way to little for your size, I would aim for somewhere around 2000. Maybe start walking for exercise a bit and have a net of 1800 ish? One of the big problems with 1200 calories is you cant go any lower. Think long term, once you get down to say 250lbs and your not losing weight what are you going to do? You can decrease CALs anymore.
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  16. #16
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    Gradually increase walking time.
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  17. #17
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    Bro you are not awkward. I pretty much respect you for taking the decision to change your life.

    I was morbidly obese too when I signed up here, I've posted similar posts, but guess what? It's gone and I'm healthy now. You can do it.

    Good luck.
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  18. #18
    Prepping for 2013 Cronos1247's Avatar
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    LOTS of us have done this without surgery. You're doing the right thing by giving it a real shot before heading down that road. You would be surprised about what your capable of and when you're close to your goal, it will be the most rewarding thing you've done. There's no end to this journey either because you'll constantly be setting new goals for yourself from here on out. You THINK you'll be satisfied when you hit "x" pounds, but the motivation and drive for more progress is insatiable, I promise you. Good luck!
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  19. #19
    Registered User unleashthelion's Avatar
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    Food for thought:

    1. Do not eat the same foods every single day
    2. 100 calories of fast food is the same as 100 calories from "healthy" foods
    3. Do not exercise until you are physically able
    4. Eat under 2000 calories a day of whatever you want whenever you want and rest assured that you will be under 200lbs by labor day of 2014

    Best of luck.
    Started 2012 at over 410lbs (that was as high as my scale went) and I ended the year at 260lbs.

    Still going strong while eating whatever I want - whenever I want; I just keep it to under 2000 calories a day.

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  20. #20
    Muscle GeeK LordWolF's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by unleashthelion View Post
    Food for thought:

    1. Do not eat the same foods every single day
    2. 100 calories of fast food is the same as 100 calories from "healthy" foods
    3. Do not exercise until you are physically able
    4. Eat under 2000 calories a day of whatever you want whenever you want and rest assured that you will be under 200lbs by labor day of 2014

    Best of luck.

    1. Do not eat the same foods every single day <--- Why?
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  21. #21
    Prepping for 2013 Cronos1247's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by unleashthelion View Post
    Food for thought:

    1. Do not eat the same foods every single day
    2. 100 calories of fast food is the same as 100 calories from "healthy" foods
    3. Do not exercise until you are physically able
    4. Eat under 2000 calories a day of whatever you want whenever you want and rest assured that you will be under 200lbs by labor day of 2014

    Best of luck.
    Giving someone the advice of IIFYC when initially getting into caloric restriction and weight loss is a recipe for disaster. If you simply eat under 2,000 calories of one macro nutrient daily, you're going to be missing out on a lot of micronutrients. Advocating a 10-20% discretionary caloric intake could be ok, given you're still in target deficit, but to give advice to people to "eat whatever you want just be under your calories for the day" is retarded. Maybe this video would help clear that up...


    There's also nothing wrong with eating the same foods every day if it's your preference, hell I would do it for months on end Monday-Friday for the sake of simplicity.

    Honestly none of the advice you just gave is useful to the OP.
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  22. #22
    Eating Below My BMR mavajo's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Cronos1247 View Post
    If you simply eat under 2,000 calories of one macro nutrient daily, you're going to be missing out on a lot of micronutrients.
    This is over-reactionary IMO. There's no way you'd be eating only one macro-nutrient on a 2,000 calorie diet. You'd have to consciously go out of your way to even attempt that, and even then, it'd be pretty much impossible.
    Started in April, 2013 at 212 lbs. Completely inactive at the time. Fat with zero muscle mass.
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  23. #23
    Prepping for 2013 Cronos1247's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mavajo View Post
    This is over-reactionary IMO. There's no way you'd be eating only one macro-nutrient on a 2,000 calorie diet. You'd have to consciously go out of your way to even attempt that, and even then, it'd be pretty much impossible.
    True. That's an extremity example. But there's no way you're going to get your micronutrient intake of dietary fiber, etc. with eating nothing but highly processed foods or "whatever you want" all day. It's also going to be 100x easier for someone that's already familiar with hitting a set caloric and/or macro nutrient intake for the day to successfully do this while incorporating flexible dieting strategies. To take someone who's never done this before and say ok, hit these numbers with whatever foods you want, isn't going to be as easy as someone who's already familiar with micro/macro nutrients.

    Within reason, sure he could eat under 2,000 calories a day of whatever foods he wants. From a body composition stand point it may not make much of a difference, from an actual health stand point, it isn't the best approach. If I eat 400 calories worth of pop tarts, I'm going to be hungry again in 15 minutes. Eat 400 calories of oats and I guarantee you'll be sated for a longer period of time. He's going to have an easier time staying fuller longer, especially on such low calories, using what are typically deemed as "clean" foods.
    Last edited by Cronos1247; 08-20-2013 at 08:57 AM.
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  24. #24
    Registered User unleashthelion's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LordWolF View Post
    1. Do not eat the same foods every single day <--- Why?
    It is not that ANYONE should not eat the same foods every single day, but an obese man who is trying to heal from an eating disorder should not jump from one ED to another (make no mistake about it, eating the same exact foods every day is an ED in about 99.9% of cases).

    "Giving someone the advice of IIFYC when initially getting into caloric restriction and weight loss is a recipe for disaster. If you simply eat under 2,000 calories of one macro nutrient daily, you're going to be missing out on a lot of micronutrients. Advocating a 10-20% discretionary caloric intake could be ok, given you're still in target deficit, but to give advice to people to "eat whatever you want just be under your calories for the day" is retarded. Maybe this video would help clear that up..."

    No it isn't. Micronutrient intake is practically irrelevant when it comes to a morbidly obese person at the outset of their journey. Why is 10-20% okay but 5% isn't? What about 30%? 45%? No, it isn't "retarded" and I don't need to watch a video from Layne Norton; if you'd like to make a case for why it is "retarded", feel free to do so.

    His issue is that he has 150-200lbs of excess body weight; his chief concern should be getting that weight off while establishing behaviors that will ensure that he keeps it off in the long-run. The best strategy is for him to eat like everyone on Earth (who is at a good, healthy bodyweight) eats... whatever they want, whenever they want while staying within their caloric requirements. Can he one day start worrying about macros, micros, exercise, etc? Sure. But right now this is enough of a challenge -- there is no need to bog him down with things that, ostensibly, do not matter.

    Excellent post, otherwise.

    "If I eat 400 calories worth of pop tarts, I'm going to be hungry again in 15 minutes."

    Who cares about your personal levels of satiety? For an obese person who is used to eating rich foods, 400 calories of pop tarts will be FAR more satisfying (physiologically and psychologically) than 400 calories of oats. Feel free to proffer your opinions, but don't go around knocking other people's advice when yours is - in my opinion - some of the most misguided, potentially deleterious refuse I've ever read: there is absolutely no better time to learn about IIFYC, and utilize it, than at the onset of a transformation from obese to thin; its importance is only attenuated when the person already has a modicum of self-control and appropriate eating habits when they are at a manageable weight.

    The biggest take-home is that people shouldn't debate like this on threads where someone is reaching out for help; as long as someone isn't posting horrible advice, just let it be.
    Last edited by unleashthelion; 08-20-2013 at 09:13 AM.
    Started 2012 at over 410lbs (that was as high as my scale went) and I ended the year at 260lbs.

    Still going strong while eating whatever I want - whenever I want; I just keep it to under 2000 calories a day.

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  25. #25
    Muscle GeeK LordWolF's Avatar
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    Got it thanks.
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  26. #26
    Prepping for 2013 Cronos1247's Avatar
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    "While controlling the quantity of food one eats may be more important than the types of foods one eats in regards to weight maintenance/loss, it is important to note that the types of foods that one eats will impact the quantity of foods that one will consume as well. Diets high in protein and high fiber have both shown to reduce hunger compared to a higher carbohydrate or reduced fiber diet. Additionally, research has demonstrated that high protein diets have an increased thermic effect of food, allowing for greater weight loss at ‘equal’ calorie intakes when compared to higher carbohydrate diets. The big take home points however, are that eating ‘good’ foods will allow you to keep total calories higher but eating the occasional ‘bad’ food won’t wreck your diet as long as it controlled within the context of total caloric intake. Therefore, the most successful strategy in achieve limiting fat gain/maximizing fat loss is to practice cognitive restraint while consuming a diet high in protein and dietary fiber."

    This is mainly the point I was trying to advocate here. I won't argue on this thread anymore as you are right about keeping everything here positive.

    Good luck OP =)
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  27. #27
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    Welcome to the forums! Congrats on choosing this path, you can do it. Everybody has already touched on everything you need to know to get started, the right way! I touched 300lbs, and I'm 5'7"!!! I am at 286.5 right now and seeing improvements in muscle mass weekly by sticking to my training. I eat 2400 calories a day as well. I am loosing weight very very slowly but that's what I choose. I am concentrating more on eating the right foods and building muscle. The weight is coming off with these changes. I find it hard to gauge how much fat exactly I'm loosing though because the muscle I'm building. Of course I want to loose weight which is my # 1 goal but I'm going about it a little differently. 265g protein a day, 200g carbs, 60g fats, @ 2400 cals. I would say don't wait to start training with weights, go ahead and build up your base while loosing and it's sure to help with loose skin, etc... later on. Take it easy and don't hurt yourself. Your on the right track, if you ever need anything just let me or any other person here know. So many wonderful and helpful people here. This site has been my go to and it's like my facebook, what's facebook anyway?? Instead of drama and crap that don't matter on other sites it's all about improving yourself, in every way on this site. We are all here to help, each other!!
    Any advice is welcomed and appreciated.
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  28. #28
    Hairiest ass on the misc biggoron's Avatar
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    Congrats OP, and good job cancelling the surgery. I was just under 320 at my heaviest (recorded weight).

    Like has been said, the 21 lbs was a one time thing. Everyone loses a huge amount right off the bat. The key is keeping your head in it when things slow down. Don't get discouraged. It's a marathon, not a sprint. You didn't gain the weight in a month, it won't fall off in a month.

    2000cals should be fine for you for now til you lose alot more weight. We're here for you man.
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  29. #29
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    We are a bunch of former fatties, or former-fatties-in-training. I came into this forum at 284lbs and 35%+ BF on a 5'9" frame. You are in the right place.

    I'm thrilled you've decided to do this the right way, rather than through mechanical starvation. Stick with us and don't give up no matter what. This community will change your life for the best. Not only will you lose weight, but you'll get healthy and strong. One day you will be an inspiration to another member who was just like you.
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  30. #30
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    Going too extreme is just a way to set yourself up a built in excuse for failure.

    You can double your calories and lose weight more effectively.

    The only reason to starve yourself is so when you fail you can say that diets dont work and blame that for your failure.

    Its not about willpower, its about a smart approach.
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