Weight loss to enlist in military

I am currently 220lbs and I just started my journey to lose 50lbs so I can join the military. Any recipes, tips, exercises, advice, welcome.


  • grinning_chick
    grinning_chick Posts: 765 Member
    edited October 2019
    From firsthand experience, do it in a sustainable way so you will not yo-yo in the military, is my #1 advice. Especially if you use tobacco/nicotine and want to quit, quit now versus trying to once you are in as the weight gain that accompanies a quit can be significantly more than what the published papers concerning suggest.

    Additional advice would be to pick 1.5 lbs/week rate of loss and eat what you normally eat, just in the amounts that fit within the calories you are given for your age/height/sex/weight/activity level/goal/rate of loss. You should also plan on 8-12 months to lose that 50 if you want to be realistic about it and do so in a manner with minimum stress. You will very likely achieve your goal in less time, but that should be considered a pleasant surprise and time to get into maintenance groove as far as CICO needs for before basic training (i.e., boot camp).

    As far as tracking calories, get a food scale and weigh vs. eyeballing or using cups/measuring spoons. There are a ton of resources in these forums concerning and how to best use the database here, if you are not going to create your own entries. If tracking is overwhelming at first, foods that come with nutrition labels and serving sizes listed on them or on the company website can be your best friend until you get the hang of it for homemade recipes/meals and/or creating your own food entries.

    Exercise allows you to eat more as you are supposed to eat some/all of those calories back. If you want to exercise, do what you enjoy so you stick with it. It is never the wrong answer to find thing(s) you enjoy that improve core muscle strength.

    If you picked the Army, exercising because of fear of the APFT is overrated, imo. Yes, it is an advantage in the sense you don't have to worry about it if you can. However, if you can't pass the APFT before boot in theory you will before you leave it, one way or another. It really does all depend on your MOS though as I was once sent a soldier fresh out of AIT who had never passed one, not even in boot, and who was still in with no real consequences like having to repay the signing bonus received despite flags/etc. due to nonperformance over it when I ETS'd a little over a year later.

    If your recruiter you've been in contact with is low speed and can't direct you to some websites as far as exercise specifically concerning the APFT test, Google is your friend. A good initial one to look over is http://www.armyprt.com/.

    If you picked a different Branch, hopefully someone else with experience concerning will be along shortly to help you out.

  • Hollis100
    Hollis100 Posts: 1,410 Member
    Congrats on your decision to join the military and good luck to you.

    Plan your meals ahead of time. Have the food you want to eat on hand and in the fridge so you don't grab food you didn't plan on eating and blow your calorie goal for the day. This is the main thing that's helped me. I pack my lunches and snacks for work and save hundreds/thousands of calories instead of grabbing potato chips and a candy bar (about 1000 calories).

    Eat food you like and choose exercise you enjoy or you won't be able to keep it up.

    Yes, use a food scale if you can, but you can lose weight using cups and spoons and logging entries from product labels -- scales are far more accurate, but it can be impossible to weigh everything, like salads from a grocery store, restaurant food, or somebody else's cooking.

    Track your food and exercise every day. If you get off track for one meal or one day, pick it up and keep going.
  • CSARdiver
    CSARdiver Posts: 6,257 Member
    edited October 2019
    No greater love than to serve in the defense of your fellow men.

    What branch are you looking to enlist in and what specialty?

    There's nothing special about this. Read the stickied posts:


    Make smart changes and move slowly and deliberately through this process. This will take about a year, so during this time spend time with your recruiters, speak with veterans - American Legion, VFW, etc. Figure out what your career path is. Take the ASVAB and make sure you are fully prepared mentally and physically for this transition.

    Know that you are entering into a community where physical readiness is part of life and your promotions will depend on this score. Again move slowly and deliberately through this process and just be better tomorrow than you are today. Set a big goal 1 year from now, but set up a series of small goals that will get you there and check on weekly progress.