Dieting with Obstacles - For a man i know...

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05-16-2012, 10:05 PM
i have recently begun taking care of a man in his mid 50's that is roughly 525-550 pounds. he is in awful shape and can barely take care of himself. we got to talking the other day about health, and how he desperately wants to lose weight, so he can see his grandkids grow up, and just live his life without having to have someone help him in the shower.

he knows that i have been trying to change the way that i see food, and take better care of myself. he asked me if i thought there was anything he could do to lose some weight, because at this rate he is likely to die a very early death.

i told him that i didnt know much about weight loss yet, but i would try to do some research and see if there is a plan that he may be willing to work with.

he is a diabetic, he has EXTREMELY high blood sugar (475 this morning, supposedly enough that he could just pass out) and his feet and legs are not in good enough condition to do much exercise. he gets very winded just walking to the bathroom, and after his shower today he nearly passed out from over exertion.

i really want to help him out, he doesnt have anyone else willing to help him. his family all just enable his compulsive eating, they mean well, but i have seen his wife feed him a pound of hamburger fried with onions and topped with ketchup for lunch before... not exactly healthy. he has asked me to do some research, and i figured that this would be the best place to start.

he needs a filling, healthy diet. he enjoys veggies and fruit. and he can only walk about 1/2 of a block at a time.

i have begun cooking him healthier lunches, and walking very short walks with him

what else can he do to try to get healthier? he deserves a better life than this and he finally reached out for help.

05-16-2012, 10:17 PM
Considering his weight, age, and health problems, he really needs to see a doctor and dietitican for advice. Changeing his diet suddenly/drastically without the input of medical professionals could actually be worse than doing nothing.

If he has medical coverage (private insurance, medicare, medicaid or something similar), it should cover diet counseling from a certified diabetic educator (since he's diabetic, this generally means several hours of classes paid for every year).

Ironically the beef and onions (not so much the ketchup) might not be as bad as some seemingly "healthier" choices (because many diabetic patients do better on low-carb even if the fat levels are fairly high).

Both he and his family need the education, and because of the situation "common sense" doesn't cut it, and could even make the situation worse (it's not uncommon for extremely overweight people to get very ill or even die from the complications associated with a sudden and dramatic changes in the diet, even when those changes seem like "improvements").

If he does not have medical coverage, there may be community resources that offer free or discount diabetic counseling. In most communities the sponsoring organization is usually either the health department or local hospitals.

05-16-2012, 10:27 PM
he has medicaid, and the doctor he has been seeing hasnt been much help. he hasnt given him any tips for losing the weight, he just tells him to eat less, and eat healthier. his diet doesnt have to be strict i guess (according to his doctor, just cut down on the sugar and watch how much he eats). he really wants to cut out his sweets, since that is almost all that he eats. he had me throw away 2 garbage bags full of cookies, candy, etc today. he isnt trying to change overnight, and i asked him to talk to his doctor more tomorrow at his appt. i guess we will see how it goes...

05-16-2012, 10:43 PM
If his doctor is crap, have him change doctors or find a free dietician. But if that is a no go, High protein and high fat (good fats - olive oils and nuts). They are filling too, but he needs to learn portion control HOWEVER, his portion control at his weight is going to be HUGE at first and that's OK. He needs to do this slowly.Very slowly. He shouldn't be doing a 1200 calorie diet - no way, no how. He should eat at no more than a 1000 deficit for his current weight and lifestyle (sedentary) .

Not knowing his height, I got 3883 for his basic metabolic rate (if he stayed in bed all day)if he's 5'10". So, AT MOST he should cut down to 2900/3000 calories a day with no exercise. If he exercises for even 15 minutes, that will use up a lot of energy (imagine how much work that is to move that body), he should eat more like 3500.

But really, ask around with professionals who work with the morbidly obese. He is in dangerous territory here.

here is a BMR calculator - putting in correct height will correct things:

05-16-2012, 11:30 PM
he is about 6 foot 6, and roughly 550 pounds, he says last he checked he was around that, but that was some time ago. im just encouraging him to take small steps so he doesnt overwhelm himself

06-05-2012, 01:36 AM
I have bad feet so as for exercise I would say to look up some chair exercises, swimming would also probably be great for him. As for diet the US Diabetic Association (I am pretty sure that is the name has diet tips etc). There are also some really good diabetic cooking websites out there. When I get to my computer I can send you some that I have saved (I am not diabetic but use diabetic recipes to aid my weight loss). Definitely no more than a 1000 calorie deficit per day, anymore than that would be dangerous. It is good that he is trying to reduce sweets, maybe something to satiate his sweet tooth could be sugar free jello or pudding. It is great that you're trying to help him!!

06-05-2012, 10:51 PM
update: he has lowered his blood sugar to 143 as of today!!! such a huge improvement!

06-05-2012, 11:15 PM
I think he needs a low carb, high protein diet. That will help a lot with the high blood sugar levels.

I've seen some TV shows where some of the really large people have been eating basically fried everything with no vegetables and it's no wonder they get to that situation.

Eating good lean meats and really cutting back on the carbs would really make a difference I think.

Do a search on Mark Sisson on youtube he has some really good stuff, both with exercise and diet.