One warning though: Recent research has shown that many standard formulas for computing BMR are inaccurate -- overstate calories burned -- for obese folks. Don't take any such numbers as hard-and-fast, but rather use them, cautiously, as starting points -- if you find that your numbers aren't adding up right, then lower the BMR you're expecting -- and lower your intake to match -- and see if the numbers work out better for you that way.
I am an exercise instructor and a weight management facilitator so I am going to come in here!
If you want to lose weight at a safe and maintainable rate (like erm, who doesn't?) the latest advice is to aim for no more than a SINGLE pound per week.
This is because to lose a pound in a week in weight means using 3,500 kcals more than you take in - that is 500 kcals per day! Think about this, that means (if you plan on using both diet and exercise) an hour of moderate physical activity PLUS a calorie restriction of about 200 - 300 kcals per day. exercise alone isn't thought to be as effective, and anyway 2 hours of activity a day is quite hard going on the joints etc.
Now think about the standard weekly loss expectancy of 2lbs per week. That would mean a daily 'loss' of 1000 kcals per day. How on earth could you realistically do that? It is a whole meal PLUS a hard hours workout!! This is thought to be one of the reasons that many of us yo-yo over the years. We restrict ourselves silly to get a loss, then the tiniest relaxation means we pile it all back on again!
So if you use any of the sites that measure kcals per time at an exercise as a rough guide (try swimming, great calorie eater) and cut out say 2 rounds of bread and butter or equivalent, then you have a 500kcal reduction in your current intake! Sounds fairly easy doesn't it? Well believe me, that s about as complicated as the weight management message is these days!
If anyone wants any more info please ask. I need to practice answering such questions cos I have just started my first solo weight management course, and the clients are ready to pounce
Stef: I'm going to ask you to check on the research of Dr. James Anderson. One of the studies he published in recent years proves that, for the morbidly obese, faster weight loss is better. In a nutshell, imagine you were over 100 pounds over the healthy weight range for your height. How many patients would stick with a regimen of the sort you seem to be advocating, for the two years it would take to lose the weight. Dr. Anderson's research shows that the answer is remarkably low. Of course, losing weight fast without medical supervision is just plain reckless. But that's really not the point, since we're not talking about fast weight-loss here, but rather two or three pounds per week, which is, by no means, "fast."
A 1000 calorie deficit isn't as difficult as you make it sound. Your argument stems from an assumption: That people know and understand exactly how much calorie intake is necessary and required. The number of calories necessary to maintain a body heathfully is much lower than most people believe, and indeed may even be lower than medical science is willing to admit. (A study of 123,000 people concluded the skinnier the better when it comes to avoiding health problems published in October 2002 in the Archives of Internal Medicine concluded that folks below the "health weight" range actually scored better with respect to longevity than folks in the "healthy weight" range. Now, to be fair, the distinction was made that fitness mattered more than weight, and therefore, generally-speaking, it seems that "under-weight" people tend to be fitter, as a group, than people in the "healthy weight" range. If we could come up with a way for people in the "healthy weight" range to become fitter, that would surely be an improvement.)
Anyway, the point is that part of losing weight successfully is making a lifestyle change -- recognizing that you've been practicing bad habits and need to learn new ones. Eating too many calories is a bad habit that needs to be unlearned. Recognizing what is "enough" is not an easy thing to learn and it isn't as clear-cut as textbooks seem to be making it sound.
Now I'm not saying everyone should be eating 1200 calories a day, period. However, the reality is that both micro- and macro-nutritional requirements can be satisfied, for just about every person, at that level of intake. For someone who's 140 pounds, that's probably no where near a 1000 calorie deficit without some serious exercise. However, for someone who's 300 pounds, it very likely is. Indeed, for someone who's 300 pounds, a 1200 calorie per day diet would get us back into the "fast" weight-loss category I referred to above (see warnings about medical supervision, etc.)
Your concern about gaining the weight back is understandable, but the indications are that the determining factor for that isn't calorie-intake during weight-loss, but rather is a combination of factors that involve macro-nutrient intake as well as type of exercise during weight-loss.
I went to that site and didn't' know what the heck I was doing! The calorie distribution is what confused me most, I think. But, when I answered the questions I could, it came up with a calorie count of 2150 calories a day with 750 of them from fat--and that's to lose 2 lbs a week.
Will someone please explain this to me? Does this mean that I eat more than this? This seems like an awful lot of calories! And I'm not sure I could NOT be hungry on 1200 calories a day (my friend does that diet).
And even on this board, there are differences in opinion. Where to find the happy medium?
Firstly I don't disagree with anything you say. I am fairly current with weight loss theories and research (including Anderson's work). I have to be in my job - it would be inexcusable for me not to be. However you say I made an assumption, but so do you! I don't know that Trendle (sorry Trendle) IS morbidly obese.
I gave information based on Class I or II morbidity. This is because anyone with an BMI of over 40 with or without a co-morbidity does not belong an a general population weight management scheme when they could/should be getting personal one-to-one sessions with a bariatric clinic!
And yes, like every other practitioner and researcher I know the limitations of BMI, but it is only used as a guideline - can you imagine a world where every GP has ready access to immersion chambers etc?
I would also take up what you said about the research showing the skinnier the better'. That isn't the whole message is it? I personally focussed on the fitness part of the research - being fat and fit is healthier than thin and unfit. This at least helps divert societys unhealthy obsession wtih skinny!!!
I can honestly say that I agree with all of your points - and indeed practice weight management with the care and consideration I am sure you would encourage - eg absolutely no calorie counting, education regarding food make up (lable info etc), focusing on cognitive behavioural changes and absolutely no hint of the word 'diet'. We also include physical activity (not exercise) as a day-to-day lifestye choice (not gym based workouts etc).
I think that our apparent disagreement might just be a case of misunderstanding!
FYI I work in community based health, encouraging a socially deprived population to engage in healthy living. I have both postgraduate education in health and physical activity, and vocational qualifications in physical activity, weight management, smoking cessation etc etc. I am also a p/t University lecturer in health psychology.
I post here both to get help and support in my own battle against weight, to offer support to others as they too struggle and (as I often readily avow) to get info for my work. People here have often been very helpful when I have needed info that published research can't provide!
Originally posted by stef
However you say I made an assumption, but so do you! I don't know that Trendle (sorry Trendle) IS morbidly obese.
True, but the statement I was most concerned about was, "How on earth could you realistically do that?" That seemed to imply that it wasn't a realistic objective regardless of the circumstances. It sounds as if we agree that it is an objective that only morbidly obese patients should be directed towards.
I would also take up what you said about the research showing the skinnier the better'. That isn't the whole message is it?
As I indicated, it was the findings of a study. I mentioned it mainly because sometimes folks look at the "healthy weight ranges" in disgust and say that those are unhealthy -- when in reality they're probably, for most people, at least healthier than where they are now (body composition differences notwithstanding).
I personally focussed on the fitness part of the research ...This at least helps divert societys unhealthy obsession wtih skinny!!!
And having different perspectives definitely results in different conclusions. I focus on the weight-loss part of the research, when I'm posting on weight-loss forums; I focus on nutritional aspects of the research when posting on nutrition forums; and I focus on the fitness part of the research when posting on fitness/exercise forums. In the context of weight-loss, it is important to be conscious of the failure syndrome, perhaps to a greater extent than unhealthy obsessions.
Let me go back to something you said a bit earlier...
- being fat and fit is healthier than thin and unfit.
True, but only given a concrete benchmark for fitness, that isn't sliding-scale with weight. In other words, being "fit for someone so heavy" isn't the same as being "fit, period." Being "fit, period" and fat is healthier than being thin and unfit, but being "fit for someone so heavy" is probably not.
I can honestly say that I agree with all of your points - and indeed practice weight management with the care and consideration I am sure you would encourage - eg absolutely no calorie counting,
Actually, I employ and advocate calorie counting (and I've been in maintenance for over a year).
education regarding food make up (lable info etc), focusing on cognitive behavioural changes and absolutely no hint of the word 'diet'.
I've come full-circle on that. It's okay, I suppose, to say it isn't a diet, but it really isn't much more than symantics from my perspective. The point that I'm sure we agree on is that lifestyle change is the key. What I eat is a "diet" -- a diet I've practiced since entering maintenance after my weight-loss in 2002. I'll be "on this diet" for the rest of my life, and perfectly happy with that prospect. I cringe sometimes when I see someone expend a lot more energy on getting people to not call it a diet than on getting folks to understand that permanenet lifestyle changes need to be made (which, I believe we'd agree, is the core of the message).
We also include physical activity (not exercise) as a day-to-day lifestye choice (not gym based workouts etc).
Though there's nothing wrong with gym-based workouts as one possible choice, of course.
I think that our apparent disagreement might just be a case of misunderstanding!
Not even. I have a strong aversion to the closing-of-doors via generalization on any option, such as faster weight-loss vis medically-supervised VLCDs in this case, that has viability for anyone.