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MISSRUTH Posts: 4,292
4/4/14 8:26 A

I think the important thing to keep in mind is that.... while we want the weight off ASAP.... it doesn't always work that way. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, it comes off slower than we'd like. And that's okay.

15 pounds a month is a really aggressive goal, and 1200 calories a day is really low. It's going to be very hard to sustain that. Which is why a lot of people give up on their "diet". It's just too hard and too restrictive.

It quickly became apparent to me that I could not do 1200 calories a day, for any length of time. Without occasionally going completely beserk and going on an eat-a-rama. So it was better for me overall to look at how many calories I was burning through exercise, and adjust my expectations a bit, and go for a slower weight loss. Which gave me a higher calorie range and more food options to keep me feeling full and satisfied. (and the occasional treat!)

So I reckon what I'm saying is... it's okay to set up a plan for a really aggressive weight loss goal.... but be flexible and willing to change that plan if necessary. You can go into your settings and change your goal date and calories burned and all that stuff, any time you want to. The bottom line is that the big, overall goal is to lose the weight and get fit & healthy. The length of time it takes is secondary to that.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,274
4/4/14 7:53 A

the important thing that you didn't mention was your height. my guess is that if you're aiming for 140-150 lbs as a goal that you're a little closer to 6' than 5' tall. which means that you're not that overweight, at least relative to if you were shorter. your first month you can probably aim for a 2 lb loss per week, so that's 6 lbs for the rest of april. the next month is going to depend on your height. if you're pretty tall [5'9"-6'] you'll probably want to start aiming for 1.5 lbs per week, but if you're shorter, you can stick with the 2 lbs. then we get to june. if you're closest to 6' it might be time to cut your loss per week back to 1lb. the upper middle reaches of 5' tall mean cutting back to 1.5 lbs per week, and if you're under 5'6" you can probably keep the 2 lbs per week. july would mean cutting back to .75 lbs per week for the 6' person, 1 lb per week for the upper middles, 1.5 lbs per week for those around 5'6". have you noticed the trend? the taller you are the sooner your loss is going to slow down because you're close to where you should be. the farther off you are, the bigger the numbers you can pull for longer. if i were you i would not look at the whole shebang and instead focus on the first ten or twenty pounds. set your goal five or ten weeks out and evaluate when you get there. know that the next 10 to 20 lbs are going to come off a little slower than the first and keep adjusting your goals as you need to.
honestly if all you have to lose is 50-60 lbs then i would say that losing 50 in 5 months is too aggressive. if you had 150 lbs to lose then you could do 50 in 5 months. but since you don't have that much excess weight what you do have isn't going to be coming off as quickly.
so while that might sound disappointing, it's actually good if you not only want to lose weight but want to lose weight and keep it off. because they're two different things. when you start looking at fast, aggressive weightloss several things come with it. the first is how you do it. anyone with enough stamina and will can eat cantaloupe and cabbage [or whatever the magic quick fix is this month] for a month and lose a ton of weight. the problem is that at the end of the month you haven't learned anything about how to align what you want and like to eat with what your body needs, so when you go back to eating the way that you gained the weight in the first place, you gain weight. plus, those super restrictive diets leave your body lacking a lot of basic things, which means it's not working as well at the end of that month as it was at the beginning. whereas if you take the weight off slower you can find ways to make the food you already love fit with the needs of your body. in other words if you love mac and cheese or pizza, you can find a way to make it lower cal and therefore easier to work in. or you can figure out that you don't a full two sticks of butter in the family casserole recipe. half a stick works fine. but the little, permanent changes to what you already do are what help you keep the weight off in the long term. losing weight and keeping it off is about finding a way to meet your body's needs in the long term, not losing as much as possible in the shortest amount of time.

Edited by: NIRERIN at: 4/4/2014 (08:03)
MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,229)
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Posts: 3,780
4/3/14 11:35 P

Wow. I'm impressed with your activity increase, water intake, and dietary improvements. I believe you can do anything you set your heart to. I question, is the number on the scale really the thing that's most important to you in this change?

LADYCJM SparkPoints: (57,456)
Fitness Minutes: (36,342)
Posts: 2,545
4/3/14 10:49 P

Congratulations on getting started!

You have set some very ambitious goals.

1. 1200 calories a day
2. Walking 3-4 x wk for 40 minutes
3. Drinking as much water as you can.


Goal #1 is set too low. If you enter a typical days food prior to cutting back to 1200 calories into a food tracker, you were probably eating around 3000 calories a day, possible more. It's not that hard to eat that much. A bagel for breakfast, a burger and fries for lunch, meat and potatoes dinner plus a Frappuccino and a few snacks and you are over 3K.

Realistically assess what you used to eat and cut 1000 calories off. Get used to eating around 2 thousand a day. After a few months cut back to 1500 calories. Don't say I will never eat x again. Work on making healthier choices, eating 7 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Cut out soda and cut back on processed foods. Take it slow so you can live this way.

Goal # 2 ..Walking 3 - 4 times a week is reasonable. It allows you flexibility. Quite doable!

Goal #3 Why force yourself to drink icky water? You get most of your water needs from the food you eat. Being hydrated is good but you can drink tea, coffee, Crystal Light whatever you like. There are purists who swear it has to be water, but Mayo Clinic says any liquid counts. Just avoid drinking your calories.

How much will you lose? It depends on what you actually do. The important thing is to just do it. Make small changes. Maybe this weeks goal is to add a fruit at breakfast everyday. Next weeks might be to switch to whole grain breads. Or to add a second vegetable at dinner.

Good luck, you can be healthier and feel better!

MOODYKEYS SparkPoints: (26,689)
Fitness Minutes: (11,005)
Posts: 839
4/3/14 5:37 P

I enjoyed reading your post. I started a good eating habit on jan 1. I weighed 232 pounds. at the great job.. 2 month mark I lose 12 pounds. I said to myself. it wasn't a lot but something good was happening. then two weeks later, the doctor said I gained 4 pounds. but I was doing nothing different. my wellness coach told me to start measuring myself because she figured I was gaining muscle and the pounds would come off later. I exercise 60 minutes on my gazelle every day so that is why she said that, so I decided to not give up and now I am seeing some inches disappear. funny how our bodies work differently. thanks again for your post

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
4/3/14 3:28 P

Every single person here is different, and every one has lost at different rates.

My first 2 months I lost 7 pounds each. After that...3 pounds here, 4 pounds there, 1 pound here, 2 pounds really never was consistent for me after that...and that was ok!!

The fact that you lose anything is what is important. And it's really important to not lose sight of that, and to get depressed and quit

I look at weight loss like this: It's actually better to lose it a little more slowly. It gives you time to establish those healthy habits needed to KEEP it off. What's the point of losing 50 pounds if you need to lose them again 1 year later?

If you lose 50 pounds in 4 months, you have a greater chance of reverting back to your old eating habits, as opposed to if it took you 8 months to lose that weight. Your brain has 4 more months to get used to it. You are trying to combat years of unhealthy eating habits.

Remember, the tortoise always wins the race....never the hare ;)

Edited by: EELPIE at: 4/3/2014 (15:30)
ETHELMERZ Posts: 20,233
4/3/14 3:21 P

Are you able to get a referral to a dietitian, who sees you at least once or twice a month? That would be one of the best ways, it helped my husband and I the most. Bet she puts you on a 1,500 cal per day plan, that 1,200 is gonna get too low for you, because you have to be realistic, and think more "lifetime", you won't last on 1,200, especially if you begin to exercise every day, you don't need to run or do laps right away. Also, our dietitian told us anything we drink counts, no need to force down those water numbers, unless you love plain water. That water business stops some people from continuing right there, another excuse. Do a little exercise each day, if that's all the time you have, it's hard when you have a family to look after. And with a desk job, it makes it harder. Get in what you can, and if you can't, move ON, next day, keep at it.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (198,565)
Fitness Minutes: (296,673)
Posts: 27,197
4/3/14 3:10 P


Welcome to Spark People !!

I give all new members one piece of advice and it's this,"Don't look at good health or weight loss with an all or nothing mentality". if the only healthy thing you did for yourself today was drink 8 glasses of water, that's still a step in the right direction. Remember, you're trying to change habits learned over a life time. that's not going to happen overnight, a week, a month or even a year.

In short, you didn't gain the weight overnight. It's not coming off overnight.

While a safe weekly weight loss would be 1-2 pounds per week, there will be weeks you don't lose. There will even be weeks you gain ! And that doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong. the weight doesn't magically drop off the minute we decide we need to lose. it really could take 6-8 WEEKS of healthy eating and regular exercise before a person sees a change in the scale. And that too is perfectly normal.

Don't set goals that are too ambitious. Goals should be reasonable as well as attainable. If you set goals that are too much of a challenge, you set yourself up for failure. That's why Spark People encourages all its members to start with some simple changes first. Don't try to do everything at once or you will end up frustrated.

Could lose 50 pounds by the end of August ? It's not impossible, BUT it is ambitious. You can't force your body to lose weight. Your body will lose when it's ready to lose. That's why so many people get so frustrated and quit. it's because they are expecting their body to do what they want.

You have to understand that from a reality point of view, your body will lose weight on its terms, not yours.

The point ? set realistic goals so that you aren't setting yourself up for failure.

JRODRIGUEZNJ86 SparkPoints: (75)
Fitness Minutes: (15)
Posts: 1
4/3/14 3:00 P

Hello. I was hoping for some input - more of a reality check - to get my goals in order, and what i can really expect as i venture into my weight loss journey

My name is Jamie. I am 28 and clock in at 200lbs. I am not an active person, a dieter or a water drinker... well until now. I have decided that it is finally time to shed the extra 50-60 lbs i have accumulated over the years and after 2 kids.

My daily routine as far as exorcise for the last 3-4 years has been limited to (2) one block walks to the bus stop a day - and the rest sitting down - I have been working as a desk jockey for some time now.

I have currently been over weight since 2007, after my 2nd child. I gained 70lbs and it never left - probably because i have been so inactive.

ANYWHO... I have decided that this extra padding has out worn its welcome.. and its time to go.

I have recently started a 1200 calorie a day regimen, walking 3 miles 4 times a week at the rate of 40 minutes per work out (working my way up to 5 miles), and drinking as much water (ick) as i can handle (about 120oz a day).

My goal in my head is to be 50lbs lighter by the end of August - hoping to loose at least 15lbs a month for the first 2 months... my gut is telling me that my head is crazy and this is unrealistic.

So what i was wondering was if some one can help me with what i can expect - is my head goal that far off from realistic weight loss?

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