Helping someone else with their weightloss goals

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Helping someone else with their weightloss goals

Postby KestrelLowing » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:11 pm UTC

Ok, so my SO has been steadily putting on weight for the past few years. He is officially in the 'overweight' portion of the chart and he wants to do something about it. The problem is, I don't think he knows how to start and I think he will need a lot of support in order to do this. He probably should lose ~25 lbs and then stay there. (For reference, he's about 195 lbs now, 5'11", and has a normal to small frame - looking at just BMI charts, he probably should be about 160 lb - 170 lb)

I want to help him, but I don't know how. Through some miracle of genetics, I have always hugged the border between underweight and normal. I don't really watch what I eat or how much and managage to stay the same weight. But, I'm fairly un-fit, so it's probably a good thing for me to do more healthy things as well.

We cook together and have normal choices with that - basically, we're not focused on healthy eating, but we eat a variety of things we can afford (mainly chicken, ground beef, frozen veggies, fruit, pasta, etc). Also, we're poor college students so we can't do anything too crazy! But can anyone suggest something that is economical, and isn't too large of a shock, that would be really helpful. I think I'm going to get a food scale just so we can actually see what we're supposed to be eating.

However, while I think me doing things with him will help, I think that my lack of fitness will just hold him back. We have access to the entire school gym (includes a pool) but he always worries about me whenever we've tried to exercise together. I get really, really red-faced and am adverse to high temperatures. I can't go for as long and fast as he can, and I think that holds him back. But at the same time, he typically won't go without me going. And to be honest, I HATE exercising.

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Re: Helping someone else with their weightloss goals

Postby philsov » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:28 pm UTC

"eat less of what you already eat" is the easiest way to do this. Cooking at home with basic staples is sufficient in terms of food quality, and by simply eating less it's a net economic gain -- which can be re-invested into healthier alternatives or simply pocketed.

To establish this, figure out how many calories he needs to maintain, and then just eat less than that. Then construct a regiment/schedule that'll meet those goal. Using the link in this paragraph, I gave your "25" year old SO 8 hours of sleep, 0.5 hours of light activity, and then 15.5 hours of very light activity. With a maintenance of ~2700 calories, if he were to eat 2400 calories a day on average and keep to it for a year, he should be down 25 pounds. After he loses some weight, his BMR will also be reduced so you'll need to re-adjust intake to keep the 300 cal a day deficit. If the calc is wrong, whatever, keep dropping calories until you're at a pace that's amicable. It could be as low at 2000 calories a day in order to drop about 0.5 pounds a week. Give it two weeks and twerk as necessary.

And personally speaking, 300 calorie deficit is nothing. You can increase the deficit and either lose weight even faster or keep it up for a year and lose even more -- but we can see where 300 cals lands him.

So if the goal is 2400 calories, stick to a schedule and serve yourself portions based on the plan. Not on how tasty it is or how hungry you think you are. You'll rarely be truly hungry after eating any decent portion, and if so you can have some more after some time has passed and you're still, in fact, hungry. And if it's tasty... well... you can just have some more later anyways. Anyways, say... 600 breakfast, 800 lunch, 800 dinner, and two snacks at 100 each. And if he's like a midnight snacker or something just include that in the regiment and then have a smaller meal elsewhere. Since you're cooking at home this is so very easy by reading labels and doing math on scratch paper or using a kitchen scale. Like pasta for example, half the box is X calories, and I grab about 1/4 of that cooked portion, so that's Y calories. I eyeball a lot, and only use the kitchen scale occasionally to make sure I'm well calibrated. If you're eating stuff out of a bag (potato chips, nuts, etc), grab a pre-measured portion and put it in a bowl, then put the bag up.

Past that, I suggest an increased protein intake as it'll preserve muscle mass (he'll be less skinnyfat when he's slimmed down) and aid in hunger satiation. Beans/lentils, meat (on special), milk, eggs, and cottage cheese are all tasty and cheap options, and most "whole grain" options have naturally elevated protein content over their white brothers. Similarly there are egg noodles and pasta fortified with lentils for even higher fiber/protein. 1g per lb LBM (if he's at 25% body fat and 200 pounds, that's 150g a day) is a goal, but if you can't reach it due to taste/time/money anything extra over what you're already taking in is a good thing.

Regarding exercise, I suggest either swimming or a track; y'all will always be in close enough proximity that he can "lap" back towards you. It's actually something I did when I was exercising with a friend far fitter than I was; we'd run together for a lap, then I'd start walking and he'd keep running. When he'd reach me again we'd run together for another lap, and repeated that for some time. Or, do something like weight lifting where y'all can take turns, adjust the weights between the two of you, and then spot each other. Either way, it gives you breaks or reduced difficulty, while still being with him the full time. Or, just don't exercise (!). Reduced calorie intake will suffice, but there's nothing wrong with a healthier heart/lungs/body. Also post workout couples showering is awesome.

Edit: But most importantly he has to want to do this.
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