Gradual weight loss -- 55 y.o. and starting at 375 lbs.

I'm inspired by a program on A&E called *Fit to Fat to Fit*. While they do a great job of showing the exercising and progress, I'm more interested in not having loose skin and how many calories of food should I eat.
My plan is to lose 2 - 2.5 lbs. per week. I want to know if I should base my calorie intake on my current weight or should I base it on the weight I want to be. I want to gradually lose the weight and not feel like I'm starving in the process. I also want to know what foods to gradually remove from my diet and if there's a website or something that can help with the diet side.
On the exercise side, I just joined my local YMCA and will be taking classes 3 or 4 times per week early in the morning. I also want to augment the workouts with some light weights in the evening. I have a 15 lb. kettelbell and adjustable dumbells. That plan is for squats, weighted squats, deadlifts, some pushups, curls, bent-over rows, etc.
I think my fitness plan (which I will gradually build upon) is a good start. I'm more concerned with the diet, so any help is GREATLY appreciated.
«1

Replies

  • kecward78
    kecward78 Posts: 229 Member
    Cynsonya wrote: »
    Enter all your numbers in MFP. Bye sure to be honest about your activity level. MFP will set your caloric plan for you.

    Buy a good food scale that weighs in grams. Weigh ALL solid/semi-solid foods and use measuring cups/spoons for liquids only. Log everything you put in your mouth.

    Log your exercise and you can eat back a portion of the calories you burn. Most stick to eating back 50% for safety's sake.

    Congrats on deciding to change your life!

    Thanks! I was thinking about the food scale and gradually beginning to pre-prep my meals (weight them out beforehand and have meat and veggies bagged). I think this will be something I will gradually add in. Nevertheless, your ideas are a very positive step. Thank you!
  • elaineamj
    elaineamj Posts: 347 Member
    When prepping meals, I found it helpful to label with masking tape. I write out what it is, how many grams in it, and the calorie count. Makes it SO much easier! I have been gradually building up a stock of pre-portioned food in the freezer :)
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,578 Member
    Cynsonya wrote: »
    Enter all your numbers in MFP. Bye sure to be honest about your activity level. MFP will set your caloric plan for you.

    Buy a good food scale that weighs in grams. Weigh ALL solid/semi-solid foods and use measuring cups/spoons for liquids only. Log everything you put in your mouth.

    Log your exercise and you can eat back a portion of the calories you burn. Most stick to eating back 50% for safety's sake.

    Congrats on deciding to change your life!

    Cosigned.
  • kecward78
    kecward78 Posts: 229 Member
    Prsilla wrote: »
    Hello! This is my first post. So, kecward78, you're bigger and I'm older! And we're both PERFECT and on our way! I come here after losing 10 pounds in the last month simply by writing down everything and wanting with all my heart to live long and strong (dammit!). I didn't get hungry at all. I'm vegetarian and follow Dr. D'Adamo's Blood Type food choices for Blood Type A. That means a lot of good food and just a few 'avoids". I had surgery Nov. 18 -- umbilical hernia -- and it took a while to feel better. Weight went from 242 to 222 and back up to 231 -- so I just took charge! I read a lot of labels. Some of those granolas are sinful! OTOH, I allow myself little puddings (Kozy Shack) for dessert. Also Annie's cookie bar things. The ingredients have to be healthful. I do a lot of plain yogurt, also Sweet Leaf stevia. Bragg's Liquid Aminos is like soy sauce only less salty and great over steamed veggies. I had my favorite treat at Costco for the last time. Too much food! I watched all the people waddling -- most of them -- past and looking so grim and tired. I am low income but educated. No TV. I'm trying to smile more and have gotten many smiles in return lately. Trying to be more grateful and less angry. Grab some fennel and see if the grocery checker knows what it is! Steam lightly. Adios for now! XO, Prsilla

    Hello Prsilla! And good luck to you, too. My biggest fear with losing weight is to have the loose skin afterward. I know i can get there, but i really want it to be a gradual change. I love to snack at night and that will be something I will either do away with or become smaller and healthier. I really want to get away from pre-packaged potatoes/rice/pastas. Plus, my mother loves her waffles or pancakes on Sundays (w/Cool Whip). Challenges!
  • kecward78
    kecward78 Posts: 229 Member
    seska422 wrote: »
    What's worked for me is to eat basically my normal foods but in smaller portions. That way, I don't feel deprived. I can eat anything in moderation. If you start cutting out foods, you may crave them.

    The important part for weight loss is to eat fewer calories than your body uses. Beyond that, it's good to eat a nutritious balance of foods.

    After you log for a week or two, you can look back and see where you might make some different choices. Maybe substitute some things that you like with other things that you also like. I only eat things I like and I don't eat things I don't like.

    I look at my calories like a budget. Am I willing to spend X calories to eat this food? Sometimes yes, sometimes no, sometimes yes but less of it than I was planning. Log before you eat so that you can change your mind if you don't think what you'd planned to eat is worth the calories.

    I love the idea a previous poster (Cynsonya) had... let the MyFitnessPal app show how many calories to eat and as you lose weight, it gradually reduces the number of calories you take in. Very automatic and helpful.

    Thank you for your ideas. I plan in gradually implementing everyone's ideas. Smaller portions just seem sensible... especially when counting calories (hence the scale).
  • kecward78
    kecward78 Posts: 229 Member
    elaineamj wrote: »
    When prepping meals, I found it helpful to label with masking tape. I write out what it is, how many grams in it, and the calorie count. Makes it SO much easier! I have been gradually building up a stock of pre-portioned food in the freezer :)

    Thanks, Elaine. It will take some willpower to pre-prep the foods in advance. Like I said, a gradual process. I'll be testing using a Sharpie on the outside of the bag, though. I found out the hard way that i couldn't tell the difference between homemade tomato pasta and chile... until they were defrosted. So labeling the bags is a sensible idea! Thanks, again!
  • elaineamj
    elaineamj Posts: 347 Member
    I absolutely resisted labeling bags forever. So there I was staring at containers in the freezer struggling to remember what on earth was inside them! When I started labeling, I would only write the name of what was inside. Several weeks later, i would pull it out to eat and not have a clue how to log it. By then, I had often updated the recipe which changed the calorie counts. So i started adding the calorie counts AND the weight in grams to my labels. Made a lot of difference.

    I have also started a list outside my freezer of the frozen meals inside and try to remember to cross them off when I pull something out. Haven't been too consistent at this though. It is rather helpful when I'm debating what to eat :)

    I don't pre-prep a whole lot - the bulk of my food are dinner leftovers. I typically have 2-3 servings to pack away after every dinner because I cook 6-8 servings at a time.
  • ChrisRendon1128
    ChrisRendon1128 Posts: 103 Member
    edited February 2016

    "Hello Prsilla! And good luck to you, too. My biggest fear with losing weight is to have the loose skin afterward. I know i can get there, but i really want it to be a gradual change. I love to snack at night and that will be something I will either do away with or become smaller and healthier. I really want to get away from pre-packaged potatoes/rice/pastas. Plus, my mother loves her waffles or pancakes on Sundays (w/Cool Whip). Challenges!"

    I had the same fear. I have lost 67 lbs. and I already see loose skin on my tummy and my upper arms (I still have over 50 lbs to go). However, I am trying to reduce having loose skin by working out and doing strength workout to gain some muscle :)

    Either way, I'd rather have my loose skin than to be unhealthy like I used to!! Good luck on your journey!!! :)
  • Start with small, incremental changes to your diet (with a small d), don't deprive yourself of what you like (just eat smaller portions and less often), set easily attainable goals (and adjust as you make progress), and make the commitment to get moving. I'm 54, have lost over 110 pounds the last 4+ years, and if I can do it, you can too!
  • kecward78
    kecward78 Posts: 229 Member
    elaineamj wrote: »
    I absolutely resisted labeling bags forever. So there I was staring at containers in the freezer struggling to remember what on earth was inside them! When I started labeling, I would only write the name of what was inside. Several weeks later, i would pull it out to eat and not have a clue how to log it. By then, I had often updated the recipe which changed the calorie counts. So i started adding the calorie counts AND the weight in grams to my labels. Made a lot of difference.

    I have also started a list outside my freezer of the frozen meals inside and try to remember to cross them off when I pull something out. Haven't been too consistent at this though. It is rather helpful when I'm debating what to eat :)

    I don't pre-prep a whole lot - the bulk of my food are dinner leftovers. I typically have 2-3 servings to pack away after every dinner because I cook 6-8 servings at a time.

    And the light bulb over my head just went off. Now I understand putting not only the food name, but the weight/calorie count/etc. on the bag. EXCELLENT idea! Thanks, again, Elaine!!!
  • kecward78
    kecward78 Posts: 229 Member
    "Hello Prsilla! And good luck to you, too. My biggest fear with losing weight is to have the loose skin afterward. I know i can get there, but i really want it to be a gradual change. I love to snack at night and that will be something I will either do away with or become smaller and healthier. I really want to get away from pre-packaged potatoes/rice/pastas. Plus, my mother loves her waffles or pancakes on Sundays (w/Cool Whip). Challenges!"

    I had the same fear. I have lost 67 lbs. and I already see loose skin on my tummy and my upper arms (I still have over 50 lbs to go). However, I am trying to reduce having loose skin by working out and doing strength workout to gain some muscle :)

    Either way, I'd rather have my loose skin than to be unhealthy like I used to!! Good luck on your journey!!! :)

    Prsilla, since you have the same concern/fear about the loose skin... I have heard that exfoliating the body once or twice a week, using skin moisturizer/conditioner and even taking hyaluronic acid (helps with the skin elasticity) are ways to help with keeping the skin less saggy. Any knowledge of them or others??? Thanks again!!!
  • kecward78
    kecward78 Posts: 229 Member
    Start with small, incremental changes to your diet (with a small d), don't deprive yourself of what you like (just eat smaller portions and less often), set easily attainable goals (and adjust as you make progress), and make the commitment to get moving. I'm 54, have lost over 110 pounds the last 4+ years, and if I can do it, you can too!

    !!! Hello toadhunter! Did you make the changes gradually, too? If so, how about skin sagging? (My biggest fear). I keep seeing the tv programs where everyone loses it fast and they look like they're wearing skin 10 sizes too big for their body.
    My diet problem is that I like/love carbs. Chips, bagels, bread. And occasionally chocolate. I know it's all empty calories. I'm hoping that I can gradually get it out of my diet and replace it with ???
  • elaineamj
    elaineamj Posts: 347 Member
    edited February 2016
    You know, carbs can be just fine :) I do find they are quite calorie-heavy for the same level of satiation though. I suggest not ruling it out - just log your calories and you will gradually shift to better choices over time. When i allowed myself to have some caramel popcorn because it fit within my calories, it was heavenly. Last week I had ice cream almost every day. YUM!

    So work your plans around food you like. I love meat with a side of white rice. So we eat a lot of that. Now in Week 8, I am ready to push for a lot more veggie-heavy meals. I have learned to like the taste of more veggies and consciously want to do this - and don't feel deprived/punished/or whatever. I did take baby steps to get here...and even now, I won't eat veggies I dislike. I really don't care for celery - so I make stock with it. If I make it in soup, I fish it out and hand it over to DH to eat since he likes it!

    I find pre-logging meals helps me make better choices since I hate seeing the red number. So I often log before I eat and will change some quantities/portions if the numbers don't work.

    I have been finding the whole thing a gradual process with lots of different epiphanies along the way.I was pretty hungry the first week or so, but quickly adjusted and now am rarely hungry. I did get "hangry" about 2-3 weeks and ended up upping my calories and now it doesn't feel like a diet - slow and steady is working very well for me. I'm sure I will hit more phases in the future, but that's OK. Bring it on!
  • beausierens
    beausierens Posts: 4 Member
    I started in December at basically the same starting weight. Due to time contraints, I haven't been able to attack a fitness plan quite as intensive as what you've laid out, but I have focused hard on my MFP numbers and starting a light fitness program starting with some yoga. I can tell you that a dietician recommended a calorie range between about 2,000 and 2,250,with a focus on healthy carb choices and lean foods, with the goal of losing 1- 2 lbs per week. I started on the higher end of the calorie range, and have actually dropped it to 2000 because 2,250 felt too easy to reach. Actually felt like I was cheating at times. In a little over 8 weeks, I've lost 35 lbs, so I'm off to a good start, but I'm sure these are the 'easy' pounds to lose. I cut sugar pretty dramatically by necessity, but otherwise I eat mostly the same things, but monitor quantity pretty religiously. I can't agree more with the person who recommended getting a food scale. I have one at work, and one at home. It's priceless for helping monitor serving sizes. If you can meet a calorie goal like the on that was laid out for me, I have no doubt you'll be melting off weight like a madman with the fitness plan you have in store. Best wishes for success!
  • Megan_smartiepants1970
    Megan_smartiepants1970 Posts: 26,807 Member
    Congrats on your 59 lb loss ... that is super awesome ..... :)