In many ways, weight loss for a severely overweight man is the same as weight loss for a man who just needs to shed a few pounds. The main differences lie in scale: You'll need to start slower to avoid injury and keep at it longer than somebody who weighs 100 lbs. less.
Rate of Weight Loss
It can be tempting to adopt a crash diet or gimmick diet that tricks your body into rapid weight loss from the start. According to Helpguide.org. a nonprofit website dedicated to physical and mental health education, these diets are a bad choice for people with a lot of weight to lose. They are inherently unhealthy, meaning they're not appropriate for the long-term weight loss you need to come down from 300 pounds. They also have a high dropout rate: They're so unpleasant that many people quit them before they achieve real results. Losing 1 to 2 lbs. per week is the fastest rate of optimum weight loss. This is gentle enough to maintain indefinitely but will still put you at 200 pounds in less than a year.
The core mechanic of weight loss is burning more calories through activities than the calories that you take in by eating. Cardiovscular exercise -- such as running, biking and swimming -- is the best kind of exercise for increasing your daily calorie burn. When you weigh 300 pounds, your cardio options are often limited due to how hard jogging or group aerobics can be on your joints. Oregon-based fitness instructor Kerry Collette recommends starting out with a simple daily walk. Swimming and water aerobics are also good options, since the buoyancy of the water helps protect your joints. Celebrity personal trainer Bill Phillips recommends getting three cardio sessions per week, each lasting 20 to 30 minutes.
Building muscle strength will help you lose weight in three different ways. It burns calories. It boosts your metabolism so you burn more calories in all activities. It builds support and protection at your body's weak points, which will make it safer for you to become even more active. Strength training is also an area where overweight men sometimes have an advantage. Because your body is used to carrying around your body weight, you may be able to lift impressive amounts from the start. This confidence booster can help keep you motivated.
No man reaches 300 pounds by eating a healthy diet, and no amount of exercise can compete with continuing to eat large amounts of high-calorie foods. Although you can spend inordinate amounts of time and money on a diet plan, you can make three simple changes to your eating habits to produce real results with little pain on your part. Cut out sweets to a single, moderately sized treat per day or every other day. Drink a large glass of warm water before each meal and as your first response to craving snacks between meals. When you must snack, make vegetables and fruit your between-meal option.
- "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy"; Walter Willett et. al.; 2004
- Helpguide.org: Healthy Weight Loss and Dieting
- "Body for Life"; Bill Phillips; 1998
- Kerry Collette; Group Fitness Trainer; Hillsboro, Oregon