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Wanting a Change

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Alright I need some help getting in shape. Im 17, going in the 12th grade, about 6'1 ft tall and 260lbs (its not muscle). So as you can tell Im not the thinnest toothpick in the box. Anyways what I was wondering is if anyone had and diet advice on how I can loose alot of weight by eating better and doing lots and lots of cardio. My goal this summer when I got back from vacation which was about the middle of June was to do lots of cardio and eat right all summer so I could look thinner and better for my senior year, but of course I kept putting it off until now, which of course will give me less time to loose weight but as long as I lost some its an improvement. And it shouldnt be hard for me since I loose fat really fast, when I was dieting earlier around Christmas I lost 15lbs in 1 1/2 weeks. Anyways if anyone has any diet suggestions or and cardio workout ideas I would greatly appreciate them. My goal is to get down to 175 before Thanksgiving and if not by then, then before the new year. That way Ill atleast look good for when I go to college. Thanks
post #2 of 26
Dump the fatty sugars in your diet; sodas, cakes, ice cream, etc.

Eat vegetables and fruits.

Don't forget to eat bread and meat, as well as pasta.

Lastly, DO NOT do anything drastic. Do not try any of those South Beach, No-Carb, etc. diets. You're still 17. Your body still has a lot of growing and changing to do; it's not fully mature yet until around 18-21.
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice, but I do have one question... Doesnt bread make you fatter since it turns straight to sugar? I might be wrong but thats what Ive been told. Thanks for the advice. Anymore or Anyone else? Thanks
post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techno-Elf
Thanks for the advice, but I do have one question... Doesnt bread make you fatter since it turns straight to sugar? I might be wrong but thats what Ive been told. Thanks for the advice. Anymore or Anyone else? Thanks

Well, bread does not make you "fatter" per se. Bread is a good source of pure carbs, which at your age you need.
post #5 of 26
You need a combination of diet and exercise - both cardio and weighttraining.

Check out the forums on http://www.bodybuilding,com or http://www.bodyforlife.com/ for specific advice on training and diet.

You need to eat 6 small meals a day, with a combination of protein and carbs in each.

Don't be afraid of the weighttraining. You're not going to turn into Arnold overnight, but building some muscle will help you burn fat a lot faster.

If you get serious about your diet and exercise, you should definitely be able to get to your target weight by Thanksgiving and possibly even sooner.

Good luck.
post #6 of 26
I was in a similar situation to you at your age (I'm 36 now). I can't say that the following is what the "experts" would advise, but it worked for me.

IMHO, there is one, and only one way to lose weight. That is to expend more calories than you consume. In other words, eat less, and exercise more.

To lose weight, I cut out all desserts and all in between meal snacks (some would advise that healthy in between meal snacks and smaller meals overall are actually better for you - they may be right - I'm just telling you what worked for me). And I mean I cut them out completely. This was, of course, not easy. You really need to change your way of thinking. I also tried to select healthier things to eat. This is also not easy. At your age, you are probably not often in charge of your daily menu (at least not your dinner menu). However, I would at least see about eliminating all of the unhealthy snacks and drinks from your household (if no one objects, throw out the cookies, cakes, sugared soda, sugared juice drinks, etc.). If you're hungry, have a piece of fruit instead of a cookie (I've been eating fruit for so long now in substitute of more fattening snacks, that I actually prefer it to most of the high sugar or high fat foods). One trick I used to avoid eating desserts was to always have a cup of coffee when everyone else was eating dessert. I found this to be a way to keep myself busy while others were eating, and coffee has zero calories.

Further, you need to practice portion control. You don't need two sandwiches at lunch - you only need one. If you must have them, don't sit down with an entire bag of chips in front of you. Pour a small amount on your plate and put the bag back up on the shelf. At dinner, you don't need that second piece of bread, second hot dog, or a second steak. If you go out to eat (where portions are often huge), don't be afraid to leave a little on your plate (whether you decide to take the rest home or not). Give your body time to realize it's eaten. You'll feel satisfied without the larger portion. Also, I don't know if you drink, but alcohol has lots of empty calories.

One other piece of advice on eating - don't ever go to the grocery store on an empty stomach. You'll end up buying all sorts of fattening crap that you don't need instead of what you should be eating.

As for exercise, find something you enjoy and stick with it. For me it was some resistance training along with some cardio (generaly riding an exercise bike). I still make it a part of each day. Don't do something you hate doing, because you won't stick with it (for me, this was running - I loathe it). Set aside a prescribed time every day to exercise. If you just go in with an attitude of "I should try to exercise every day," you won't do it. You need to make it a part of your permanent schedule. If this means getting up an hour earlier, so be it. Again, this is not easy. You need to be committed.

The last thing I would advise is be realistic. Above, you talk about losing 85 pounds in 5 months. That's a lot of weight to drop in that time period (regardless of what the fad diets and/or television may tell you). Be happy with your short term gains, and don't get worried if you plateau from time to time (it happens). You generally will lose a lot of weight up front (similar to the experience you post above), but you'll slow down after that. Just take it nice and easy. Understand that this is a life long battle. I went from about 260 lbs to about 185 pounds (I'm 6'2"). It took me several years to make this change (I started around 1988 and finished around 1996). I probably could have done it faster, but I wasn't in any rush. For most of this time period, I probably weighed between 200 and 220. I made the final push down to 185 after I graduated from law school (not so coincidentally, this is when my drinking cut way down, since I wasn't going out every Friday and Saturday night anymore).

I guess the final thing is that, from my experience, the weight loss was definitely worth it. It does wonder for self-esteem. I found myself more confident in talking to people (especially women), and I experienced a lot more success with the opposite sex. Good luck!
post #7 of 26
These are general guidelines that I would follow. It might give you an idea of things to try... 1. Eat numerous (5-6) small meals a day to keep your metabolism high 2. Try to consume around 2000-2300 total calories a day 3. Increase consumption of vegetables & fruits (more veggies preferrably) and whole grains. 4. Cut out, or severely limit high glycemic index carbs (pop, candy, sweets, etc.) 5. Start with lower impact cardio(eliptical machines, bikes, rowing machines) and build up to more intense cardio (skipping, stepper, running intervals) only when your body can handle it. 6. Aim for 40-45 minute of cardio daily. I would stay at about 45 minutes of cardio, and keep increasing the intesity, as you start getting in better shape. 7. Start a weight lifting routine (check out Bodybuilding.com for some ideas) 8. Drink at least a gallon (~4L) of water daily (it will help you feel full and stay hydrated). Thats what I would try to incorporate. Take it slow so you don't injure yourself, and try to make the changes that you will stick with. Diets don't tend to work because it makes people feel deprived of things they like, but by making healthier choices of the things you DO like, it should be an easier lifestyle change (EX. You might like chicken breasts and a side salad as much as you like fettucini alfredo. Pick the chicken and salad more often because its better for you, yet it wont make you feel like you're missing out on something because you still like it.) Good luck in your lifestyle change!
post #8 of 26
You do need some simple carbohydrates soon after exercise and probably before. At those times, glycemic index doesn't matter much, unless you have blood sugar issues.

Prepare foods that you can make into multiple meals, so that you don't have to cook several times per day and are less tempted to eat junk.

Watch your salt intake. Too much is associated with water weight (and health problems, too).

Much of the other advice given is excellent.
post #9 of 26
Here's some good rule of thumb if you want to lose weight (from a guy who just lost almost 30 lbs):

(1) Take your weight, multiply it by 15 and subtract 500 and that's how many calories you should be consuming every day. A guy your weight would have to eat about 3900 calories to maintain. 500 calories below that is about 3400. This should be your goal in the beginning. You could even probably safely go down to about 3000 calories per day, but no lower than that until you lose a significant amount of weight. Ignore the advice about eating only 2000 calories because such a drastic cut in calories will (1) make your body go into survival mode and may actually cause you to gain weight and (2) be so difficult for you based on your current eating habits that it will be impossible for you to maintain your diet. This is a marathon not a sprint.

(2) The advice about eating 5 meals per day is good, follow it religiously.

(3) Break down your consumption of calories as follows: 40% from protein, 40% from carbohydrates (preferably low GI carbs, but high GI carbs are okay immediately after a workout), and 20% from fats (preferably from unsaturated fats and essential fatty acids such as fish oil or flax seed oil).

(4) This is the CARDINAL RULE if you want to lose weight: If it don't grow on the ground or if it don't eat something that grows on the ground - DO NOT EAT IT.

(5) Avoid absolutely EVERYTHING that has "High Fructose Corn Syrup" as an ingredient. Avoid bread that has "bleached" or "enriched" flour in it (this pretty much leaves you only with Wheat bread).

(6) Treat yourself to a cheat meal once a week (not a cheat day, a cheat meal). This is a meal where you eat whatever you want. This is important because it does two things: (1) it keeps you sane and gives you something to look forward to and (2) it gives your metabolism a boost and will kickstart it each week to work faster since the calorie deficit that you are running the whole week is slowing your metabolism down.


If you follow these 6 simple rules you are GUARANTEED to lose weight and keep it off - the right way and the safe way.
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by odoreater
... Ignore the advice about eating only 2000 calories because such a drastic cut in calories will (1) make your body go into survival mode and may actually cause you to gain weight and (2) be so difficult for you based on your current eating habits that it will be impossible for you to maintain your diet. This is a marathon not a sprint....

My 2000 calorie recommendation might have been a little drastic. You might want to check out this calculator on the net. It will give you an idea of how many calories you burn in a day. By subtracting 500 calories of food from your daily diet from the number of calories you typically burn in a day, you will lose 1 pound a week. Throw some increased activity into the mix and you will lose more then that. I am not completely sure of the accuracy of the calculator, but it might be an interesting tool to start out with.
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by kever
My 2000 calorie recommendation might have been a little drastic. You might want to check out this calculator on the net. It will give you an idea of how many calories you burn in a day. By subtracting 500 calories of food from your daily diet from the number of calories you typically burn in a day, you will lose 1 pound a week. Throw some increased activity into the mix and you will lose more then that. I am not completely sure of the accuracy of the calculator, but it might be an interesting tool to start out with.

Yeah, my (bodyweight x 15) formula is supposed to give you the approximate number of calories that you burn in a day and then subtracting 500 calories from that means that you will be in a deficit of 3000 calories per week, which is 1 lb, and then you lose an additional 1 lb through exercise for a total of 2 lbs per week. It's really not safe to lose any more than that (though, in the first few weeks the OP will probably lose a little more than that because you will lose water weight if you start to eat clean).
post #12 of 26
Techno Elf:

Does your high school have a competitive sports team? My high school had the full compliment of football, soccer, basket ball, wrestling, baseball, cross country, swimming and the like. Some of those teams did not have enough players, and the coaches were always interested in getting new people.

Even if you are not a state qualifying wrestler, or on the regional champion football team, it would be a great way to get regular exercise.
post #13 of 26
Just to add to what people have been saying:
1. Start slow. Don't rush, make a small change everyday.
2. Try to learn about your body, on both nutrition and exercise. It makes if far more fun. If you know what you are doing, you'll feel more in control.
3. Starting/playing a sport will help too.
post #14 of 26
Amusingly enough, according to the calculator, should I want to loose weight I should aim to consume (keep in mind I didn't enter any sports) 1620 calories/day.

If you take my weight and multiply it by 15 and then subtract 500 you get = 1510.

I'm not a pro athlete, consequently the error margin seems quite acceptable. Now is consuming 1500-1600 calories/day really healthy, I've frankly never counted so I have no idea. I'm curious enough to get a book on the subject and start doing it for a week or 2.
post #15 of 26
Very seriously try the Weight Watchers point system. It gives you a way to evaluate the food you consume, and it teaches you what you can eat and how much of it you can eat. Add some moderate exercise like walking (start slow, work your way up). And you can lose weight. A few years ago I lost 70 lbs. doing it (from 230 to 160, my weight when I was a senior in college). My wife and I didn't actually go to WW, but used the plan. If you have an accountability partner (an annoying term) it will really help. It took about a year.

The basics, as stated above, start with weaning yourself from colas, fast food and chips and drinking water. You also need to learn proper portion size. The first two weeks you'll feel like you're going to die of hunger.
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