How to lose 15-20lbs. in 2 months?

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This question is not for me but for my mother who is struggling to lose weight.
We are going on a trip to Asia in 53 days and she wants to lose 15-20 lbs. by then. She is 5’2” and weighs about 135-140 lbs. Her weight mostly resides in her stomach and everywhere else is thinner. She is not very active because of work (she works at home) and so she is usually sitting down most of the day because of it.
She eats a high fat low carb diet (Keto). She does drink a glass or two of white wine a couple days a week. But she did stop drinking for about 2 weeks but still no change in weight. She eats healthy and small portions, but she can’t seem to lose much weight and it’s very frustrating for her.
She does not have time to go to a gym so she would prefer to either workout at home or run at the nearest park.
Any advice is very much appreciated! We would really love anyone’s help!

Replies

  • Biker_SuzCO
    Biker_SuzCO Posts: 54 Member
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    That will be very difficult! She needs to eat less and move much more. Took me a year to lose 15-20 pounds at her size. I tried to stick with 1500-1800 cals and running 12 miles per week. I also walk 10k steps per day. She should use MPF’s calorie suggestion and weigh all her food. I did not weigh food meticulously hence why I lost very slowly I believe.
  • toxikon
    toxikon Posts: 2,384 Member
    edited November 2017
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    At her height and weight, her Sedentary (non-active, mostly sitting) TDEE is only 1423. A 500 calorie daily deficit results in about 1 pound of weight loss per week. That would give her only 923 calories to eat each day, which is much too low for an adult woman. 1200 calories is the recommended minimum. So assuming she consistently eats 1200 calories a day, she'd be looking at about 3.5lbs lost in 8 weeks (2 months). To increase her calorie deficit, she'd need to work on getting some activity into her daily routine. Otherwise weight loss will be pretty slow - it's an unfortunate truth for women who are both short and don't have a whole lot of weight to lose.

    Accurate daily calorie counting with a digital kitchen scale will help her keep to her calorie goal.
  • steveko89
    steveko89 Posts: 2,217 Member
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    So some quick googling and some guessing in a calculator yields the "ideal weight range" for a 50 y/o woman is 109-135 lbs. I know these are pretty broad ranges/estimates, but I wanted to illustrate the point that a high loss rate isn't going to be that feasible since she doesn't have a ton of weight to lose. Even then, 1.5-2lbs loss per week is the highest realistic loss rate. However, that's not to say that she can't accomplish something she'd be happy with in the 5-6 weeks before the trip. Just because she's following a keto-esque macro split and stopped drinking doesn't mean she's eating at enough of a deficit to lose appreciable weight. Since it wasn't noted my guess is she's not logging/calorie counting; that's step one. Set her up a profile, put in her stats (height/weight/age) and set the activity level to sedentary (which sounds accurate), and the loss rate at whatever she's comfortable and have her eat to those calories. Even if 110 is closer to her ideal weight 2lb/week may be too aggressive of a deficit to be sustainable/tolerable. Especially depending on how much she's eating now. Though not necessary, if she's liking the low-carb thing she can stick to that and adjust the macros for her daily limit accordingly. Also not necessary, though recommended, a food scale will help accuracy dramatically; can get one for like $10-15 from amazon or walmart, just make sure it does grams and ounces. Exercise also isn't necessary for her to lose weight but it certainly doesn't hurt; don't rely on exercise to create the calorie deficit. The database estimates for calorie burn are generally considered to be high, she can start by eating back half of those calories and adjust accordingly.

    Hopefully that gets her started. Feel free to DM me if you have questions getting her set up.
  • WhereIsPJSoles
    WhereIsPJSoles Posts: 622 Member
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    She should just drop the rigid goal and start now with logging and see where she is by then. I’m around her height and starting weight and lost 10 lbs my first month. I expect I’ll be lucky to lose 2 in the second month (if that), but I’m happy and fit in all the clothes I wanted to fit into. Nothing magic will happen at 15 lbs down, you know?
  • Lounmoun
    Lounmoun Posts: 8,426 Member
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    This question is not for me but for my mother who is struggling to lose weight.
    We are going on a trip to Asia in 53 days and she wants to lose 15-20 lbs. by then. She is 5’2” and weighs about 135-140 lbs. Her weight mostly resides in her stomach and everywhere else is thinner. She is not very active because of work (she works at home) and so she is usually sitting down most of the day because of it.
    She eats a high fat low carb diet (Keto). She does drink a glass or two of white wine a couple days a week. But she did stop drinking for about 2 weeks but still no change in weight. She eats healthy and small portions, but she can’t seem to lose much weight and it’s very frustrating for her.
    She does not have time to go to a gym so she would prefer to either workout at home or run at the nearest park.
    Any advice is very much appreciated! We would really love anyone’s help!

    Since your mother is not very overweight she should not be aiming to lose so much so quickly. She should be looking at a more realistic goal of 4-8 lbs in 2 months.
    Have her sign up here and put her information in and choose a goal of .5 lb a week. MFP will give her a calorie goal. Her calorie goal will probably be around 1200. She should eat that and if she exercises log exercise and eat some of those calories.
    Have her log what she is eating and drinking right now so she can see where to make changes.
    Have her log everything she consumes as accurately as she can. Get her a digital food scale. Many people underestimate how much they are consuming and when you don't have much to lose it is easy to wipe out your small calorie deficit.

    There are many workout videos on you tube that are 30 minutes or less. Jessica Smith tv has a great variety as well as fitness blender.
  • DebLaBounty
    DebLaBounty Posts: 1,172 Member
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    The most aggressive she should be is 1 pound a week weight loss at 1200 calories a day. A reasonable goal is about 6 to 8 pounds lost. I'd also recommend she walk 15 to 30 minutes a day because that in itself is a daily accomplishment. And urge her to drink water more often. It helps fill you up and avoids dehydration, which can lead to fatigue and fool you into thinking you're hungry when you're actually thirsty.
  • mgalsf12
    mgalsf12 Posts: 350 Member
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    There is no quick fix, no magical solution. I am the same height as your mom and approximately the same weight, I'm very active. That said, I lose about a half a pound a week. If she sticks to her 1200 calorie intake a day and exercises, she might lose 5 lbs.
  • deannalfisher
    deannalfisher Posts: 5,600 Member
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    since she is in a healthy weight for her height, then maybe something more akin to recomp - losing fat while gaining muscle - she won't get huge results in the next 2 months, since it takes time - but eating at maintenance and getting out of her sedentary lifestyle and lifting weights - this will also help increase her TDEE
  • not_a_runner
    not_a_runner Posts: 1,343 Member
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    Thank you everyone for your help! She’s been logging her food this past week and has decided her goal weight for the trip is 133lbs. She believes it’s achievable with her current diet since she knows her body and knows she can easily lose 3 pounds in a week while not starving herself.
    Thank you everyone, she really appreciated the advice from everyone!

    Unless she's going to be exercising for hours a day, the maths say no, she cannot lose 3 lbs per week at her stats.
    Even if she could, that would NOT be a healthy rate of loss for a person that small.
  • collectingblues
    collectingblues Posts: 2,541 Member
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    Thank you everyone for your help! She’s been logging her food this past week and has decided her goal weight for the trip is 133lbs. She believes it’s achievable with her current diet since she knows her body and knows she can easily lose 3 pounds in a week while not starving herself.
    Thank you everyone, she really appreciated the advice from everyone!

    Which begs the question, then: Why hasn't she lost the weight before now?
  • musicfan68
    musicfan68 Posts: 1,137 Member
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    Thank you everyone for your help! She’s been logging her food this past week and has decided her goal weight for the trip is 133lbs. She believes it’s achievable with her current diet since she knows her body and knows she can easily lose 3 pounds in a week while not starving herself.
    Thank you everyone, she really appreciated the advice from everyone!

    Which begs the question, then: Why hasn't she lost the weight before now?

    I was wondering that too. She should have started 6 months ago. If she loses 3 lbs in one week, it won't be fat. It will most likely be water, because she can't possibly eat in that large of a deficit to lose that much at such a low starting weight. It seems to me to be pretty pointless to try to lose weight before this trip. I would just buy some flattering tops that minimize the abdominal area and not worry about it.
  • middlehaitch
    middlehaitch Posts: 8,487 Member
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    Thank you everyone for your help! She’s been logging her food this past week and has decided her goal weight for the trip is 133lbs. She believes it’s achievable with her current diet since she knows her body and knows she can easily lose 3 pounds in a week while not starving herself.
    Thank you everyone, she really appreciated the advice from everyone!

    Honestly, aiming for 3 lbs a week is unhealthy for just about anyone who weighs under 300lbs, even if they know their bodies.

    She may lose that the first week, it will be water weight, not fat. After that it will be muscle and fat, that will leave her looking like a smaller version of herself- still with belly fat that jiggles.

    Losing just a few lbs, and doing some kind of exercise that involves her whole body will give her a better overall look.

    Please make sure your mum eats 1200 cals a day minimum (have her use a food scale), otherwise the chances of her being worn out, tired, lethargic, weak, and maybe even ill, by the time she goes on this wonderful trip are pretty high.

    (Because of the time of year, she may find it adventageous to talk to her Doc about a flu shot as her plan of fast weight loss may compromise her immune system)

    Cheers, h.