what is the best way to lose weight if I weigh over 200lbs?
I am writing this article from the viewpoint of somebody that did actually weigh over 200lbs and has been through it all and got the T-Shirt!
I’m not sure if you are anything like me, but I had tried several times to lose weight, but it invariably ended up in the same old pattern. I would start off ok and lose a bit of weight, then fail miserably and end up putting on more than I had lost.
One of the biggest issues for me was remaining motivated long enough to get the results. Everything told me to lose an average of 1½ – 2lbs a week. Apparently that was the safe and healthy way to lose weight. The trouble is it didn’t inspire me to stick at it. It wasn’t making a big enough difference and it wasn’t getting me the results I wanted fast enough.
I would start off by making a promise to myself that ‘this time it would really work’. I would make small sensible changes to my diet, I would introduce some crazy exercise regime to ‘burn those calories’, and a week or two later it would all go wrong. It was just too hard to keep going with everything.
But I am here to tell you that I did eventually succeed. I just took a completely different approach, and this is how I did it.
Firstly, forget all about the past. It doesn’t really matter why you have put on weight, and it doesn’t matter if you have tried many times to lose the weight and failed.
There may well be a million and one excuses you have as to why you weigh 200lbs or more, and why you’ve not managed to lose it in the past. The reality though is that the past makes no difference at all to the ‘Here and Now’.
We can’t change what has happened in the past, but we can control what we do from this day forward. So simply focus on the present. It is important that we are realistic though. It may take quite a while to lose all the weight we would like to, but that’s absolutely fine. This time we are going to be able to get some fast results, and be able to stick with it. Here’s how:
1. Forget about exercise
Really? YES. Over 80% of weight loss is down to diet. Not only that, but at 200lbs or more, exercise can do more harm than good. Taking up a rigorous training routine will just end up causing stress to your body, possibly damage your joints, and can also induce food cravings. So for now, just forget it.
Use up all your willpower taking care of what you eat. This will have a far bigger impact on your efforts to lose weight. Establishing healthy eating habits should be your top priority.
The only form of gentle exercise that would be good is to go for a daily walk of around 30 minutes. Nothing too strenuous though, just start off with a gentle stroll and see how you go. Walking is both highly under-rated and highly effective when it comes to aiding weight loss.
2. Forget about calorie counting
What? Am I mad? Nope! This is yet another mistake I used to make that got me nowhere fast. Here’s why.
If you are tipping the scales at 200lbs or more, then there is every likelihood that your hormone levels have been severely altered due to all that excess fat. You are likely to have high cortisol levels, very low testosterone levels, excessive levels of oestrogen, and will have also built up insulin and leptin resistance too.
This is why, despite counting calories and restricting your intake, your weight hardly drops at all. No wonder your motivation doesn’t last. You can drastically cut your calories, but see no real weight loss as a result. How discouraging is that!
What you need to do is address the hormone issues first. Here’s how.
3. Fix your Insulin and Leptin resistance
First off, you need to carry out a month long carbohydrate detox. Why? Because at the moment virtually every carbohydrate that you eat ends up as fat on your body rather than being used as an energy source due to insulin resistance.
Not only does this obviously severely hold back your weight loss attempts, but it can also lead to pre-diabetes, or diabetes itself.
Secondly, Leptin is the hormone that informs the brain when you’re full and when you have excess calories to use up. Unfortunately, leptin is being blocked due to your insulin resistance.
The good news is that a month long carbohydrate detox can fix both these problems at the same time. By cutting out carbohydrates the body can reset both these hormone levels back to where they need to be.
So what should you eat?
4. Eat more protein
It is reasonably safe to assume that nearly everyone who weighs 200lbs or more is not getting enough high quality protein in their diet. Protein makes you feel full and satiated. So if you were eating enough of it, you’d find it incredibly hard to overeat.
You need to ensure you are eating foods like whole eggs, salmon, and lean chicken breasts, and grass fed beef at every meal. Coupling this with vegetables like broccoli, spinach, zucchini, mushrooms and tomatoes is definitely the way to go if you want good results.
In fact, ‘Getting Results’ is the key to the next vital step in losing weight.
5. Adopt a ‘Cold Turkey’ approach
As I mentioned earlier, most people advocate losing an average of 1½ – 2lbs a week. However, this just doesn’t work unless you only have a few pounds to lose. Losing about 8lbs after a month of what seemed like tortuous deprivation, wasn’t enough for me. I couldn’t sustain it, so it all went wrong.
Studies have shown that losing a small amount of weight over a longer period does not make it more likely that the weight will not return. The truth is, it makes no difference at all whether you lose the weight quickly or slowly.
However, where it does make a difference is in people’s motivation. Which would you find more motivating? Losing 8lbs over the course of a month, or losing 8lbs in a week! I know which worked for me. Seeing that my efforts were being rewarded so quickly just spurred me onwards. Undertaking the carbohydrate detox for a month might be hard, but losing nearly 28lbs in the process made it well worth it.
So forget the ‘little and often’ approach. Go all in, keep moving forwards, and get the results you want.
6. Improve your digestive system
Years of eating a whole host of rubbish foods results in creating an environment in the gut that kills off most of the good bacteria, and lets the bad bacteria thrive. This means that when you start eating more healthy foods, your body can’t get maximum benefit and you may even end up with an upset stomach!
The good news is that it is a relatively straightforward process to enable your good bacteria to return and thrive. Simply consume Apple Cider Vinegar each day, and take a decent probiotic supplement or eat some fermented foods such as Kimchi. Just be aware that if you decide to eat fermented foods, they need to be raw fermented foods. There is little point eating supermarket varieties as it is highly likely they will have been pasteurised, a process that kills off the good bacteria!
7. Lemon water
I mentioned earlier that creating healthy eating habits should be your top priority. Drinking lemon water can go a long way towards helping you build up these healthy habits as it is a simple thing to introduce at the start of every day.
There are a lot of Health Benefits to be gained from drinking lemon water. Simply squeeze half a lemon into about an 8 ounce glass of water and drink this twice a day. Try to drink one glass first thing in the morning, to establish a habit, and the second glass at any time throughout the day.
Just make sure that you drink the water through a straw. This way you will avoid getting too much on your teeth, as this may lead to enamel erosion over a prolonged period of time.
8. It’s all about you
Losing weight is an emotional journey. As such, there are a number of triggers that are just waiting to undermine your attempts. These include stress, anxiety, depression, and lack of sleep to name but a few.
It is therefore vital that you start your weight loss journey in the correct frame of mind. Let go of the past. Let go of the guilt. Accept yourself as you are, and focus on where you want to be. If you have a slip-up day, don’t beat yourself up about it as there is nothing you can do, apart from make yourself feel worse. In a long journey, a bad day is merely a blip. Just refocus and move on.