How to Lose Weight When You Are Morbidly Obese

In the past, weight management in obese people relied solely on low-calorie or hypocaloric diets. Through research and scientific breakthroughs, it is apparent that weigh loss in obese people can be better achieved through a combination of hypocaloric dieting, lifestyle modification and exercise. Sometimes, pharmaceutical remedies or surgery may be recommended by a doctor.

A combination of diet, lifestyle modification and exercise is the best method for losing weight when you are obese. (Image: txking/iStock/Getty Images)

Determine Your Calorie and Nutrient Needs

Step 1

Divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 to determine your weight in kilograms, because there are 2.2 pounds in each kilogram. For example, if you weigh 230 pounds, your weight in kilograms is 105.

Step 2

Multiply your weight in kilograms by 22. The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that all morbidly obese patients consume 22 calories for each kilogram they weigh. For example, if you weigh 105 kilograms, you should consume 2,310 calories each day. This number is your goal caloric intake.

Step 3

Multiply your goal caloric intake by 0.5 and then divide that value by 4 to determine how many grams of carbohydrate you should consume each day. For example, on a 2,310-calorie diet, you should consume 288 grams of carbs each day. The carbohydrates will contribute about 50 percent of your total caloric daily intake. These carbs should be in the form of vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grains instead of refined sugar.

Step 4

Multiply your caloric intake by 0.25 and then divide that value by 4 to determine how many grams of protein you should eat each day. On a 2,310-calorie diet, you should consume 144 grams of protein each day, making about 25 percent of your total caloric intake come from protein. Protein can be found in meats, poultry, eggs, seafood, beans and peas. Soy foods like tofu and tempeh are vegetarian sources of protein.

Step 5

Multiply your caloric intake by 0.25 and then divide that value by 9 to determine how many grams of fat you should consume in one day. If you consume a 2,310-calorie diet, you should eat about 64 grams of fat each day. The fat in your diet should be composed primarily of unsaturated fats, with as few saturated or trans fats as possible. Unsaturated fats come from nuts, oils and fish. Saturated fats are present in meat, so choose leaner cuts of meat such as lean ground beef or select turkey over beef.

Lifestyle Modification and Exercise

Step 1

Exercise by walking, playing sports, running or working out at the gym. You may struggle to remain active for more than a few minutes at a time at first, so gradually build up your endurance over the course of six or more weeks. Work toward the goal of each exercise session lasting from 20 to 60 minutes. Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program.

Step 2

Set short-term goals when modifying your diet, such as eating an apple instead of a sweet dessert at lunch each day for a week before modifying your diet drastically.

Step 3

Create a social support network of family, friends and health care professionals to help you achieve and maintain your weight loss.

Tip

A weight-loss counselor may help you achieve and maintain your goals.

If you are unable to limit your intake to 22 calories per kilogram of weight, slowly decrease your intake over a period of days or weeks until you are able to reach your goal caloric intake.

Exercise goals are meant to be reached gradually and should be simple enough to be sustainable. Exercising for 10 minutes every other day is better than trying to exercise for 30 minutes and hurting yourself.

Warning

Follow the nutrition advice of your physician, registered dietitian or weight loss counselor. If the weight loss plan they develop for you is different from this one, follow their plan.

Exercising too often -- six days per week or more -- or for too long can cause injury or exacerbate other health issues. If you experience pain, shortness of breath or any other discomfort while working out, stop the exercise and contact your health care provider.

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