I want to lose 56lbs in 5 months. Is that possible?

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Sombre

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Hey gang,

So, I'm overweight. Infact, I'm probably obese, if we went off the BMI scale. I'm 5'10 and I weigh about 245lbs. When I look at my body, I feel pretty disgusted. I have a really big belly, and it upsets me. It's only in the last....5 years that I've put on all that weight. I actually used to look pretty good. It was right around the time I dropped out of my postgrad degree and developed intense depression that I turned to sugar, sweets and soda to feel good. I'd eat 'cause I was sad, and I was sad because I'd eat. It's your standard vicious circle, I guess. Naturally, I fell into bad habits that I've never been able to break out of. I drink probably 1.3 litres of soda today, and it's all the full sugar kind. Because of this, my teeth are kinda fucked up too. I've started brushing my teeth pretty well this last few years, but I did some damage. They're not awful, but they're not great either. I'm digressing, let's get back to my weight.

If you use the forums a lot, you've probably seen my good news. I got my dream job! I'm going to be moving to Japan in September to teach English. It's a job I've wanted since I was 23, and I'm 31 now. However, I don't want to go there as I am. I want to shed a lot of weight.

Now...how would you do it, bearing in mind we're in quarantine in the UK. I know I can go out once a day for an hours excersize, but I'm not entirely sure....like...what to do? On a normal day, I walk 4 miles a day to and from work, and that's staved off putting on EXTRA weight. But at the moment, I'm stuck at home, snacking all day. It's gotta end.

I tried doing this "Joe Wicks" Youtube stuff every day, but I'm finding it too tedious and boring. I have seen this "One Punch Man" challenge online, and the results have been pretty staggering, although I know YMMV. I also know that if I DID do that, I'd have to start slow. It's:

100 push ups

100 sit-ups

100 squats

10km run every day.

Now I know someone like me just flat out couldn't do that sustainably. I don't have the core strengths, or the willpower. So I thought, if I did do it, what about if I did 10/10/10/1km, and build up slowly. I know this might be a flash in the pan situation, so I'm really really desperate for any and all advice you can give me

Now, my diet isn't good, but I think I could cut out snacking and soda pretty easily. My evening meals aren't great, but they're not exactly calorie dense. I probably eat some sort of microwave dinner, or something like oven made fish and chips/nuggets and onion rings etc. I rarely cook for myself, because my kitchen is small in a 1 bed apartment. I aim to change that with, hopefully, some good advice on here.

I'll sum up with the tl:dr: I weigh far too much, and I want to do good excersize and diet to solve it. I want you to help me, as I'm desperate to not develop serious health problems in my early age. Thank you for reading, and I look forward to hearing from you all.

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RalphMoustaccio

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Is losing that much weight in that span of time possible? Probably. The better question is whether or not it is safe. I would strongly recommend you talk to your doctor and/or a dietician for guidance on such an endeavor.

If you want to do it more slowly, you can likely avoid the professional consultation and achieve your goal by cutting out the excess calories from soda and snacks and increasing your exercise, but it may take a year or more. I lost about 50 pounds in that length of time by eliminating soda, reducing snacks, and walking or running 2 - 3 miles per day at least 5 times per week.

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north6

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#3  Edited By north6

My two cents. Start with cutting out soda and replacing it entirely with water, you'll be halfway there if you actually stick with it. It's tough for a few weeks, but once that's behind you soda will taste fucking terrible to you, like oversaturated nonsense and you'll wonder why you ever drank it. That will feed other positive behaviors because *everything* starts to taste too sweet.

*edit* if you like the fizzy taste, and you don't mind spending a little, I had a ton of success with sodastream and lemons or limes (not their soda). I got maybe two co2 refills of it before i was also done with that, but it was a fun diversion and a bit of a ritual to help with getting over the hump of diet soda.

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MonkeyKing1969

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If you work at it the first 20 lbs will come off in two months. It ist is the next 30 that will be HARD. The first amount of weight is always so easy, but you really do have to 'dig in' to lose the rest pound by pound. Good luck.

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Jesus_Phish

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You should first definitely talk to a doctor about it and ask them if that's a healthy goal in that timeframe.

Next, install myfitnesspal and use it. To lose weight you need calories in to be less than calories burned but you also can't just not eat. Track everything you eat on it. It's fairly robust and easy to do, you scan foodstuffs into it via barcodes and it has a massive database. I've never not found foodstuffs on it.

While strength training is important, the easier/quicker way to lose weight through exercise is through cardio. It burns way more calories than strength based routines. Cardio can be boring but it's mandatory. Theres no ifs ands or buts about it.

Finally you need to sort your diet out. If you reasonable think about it, if you can't cook for yourself right now in a small apartment in whatever country you're in now (I think the UK?), realize that whatever you have for a kitchen in Japan is highly likely to be even smaller again. Unless you want to eat out daily or go back to a bad diet, then learning to cook for yourself is the most important thing.

You don't need to try go extreme either. The OPM thing is kind of a dud, the only people who can do that are already in incredible shape. You're on the right idea to take baby steps, cut out soda, start doing some exercise, cut down snacks. But allow yourself some fun. A biscuit a day isn't going to be something that ruins your progress, but a biscuit with every cup of tea if you drink ten a day is bad. Or an entire packet a day or an evening is bad.

Good luck with your goal.

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inevpatoria

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#6  Edited By inevpatoria

I look at fitness the same way I look at erosion. Big changes happen slowly, little by little. Don't jump into an extreme diet or an intense workout plan cold turkey. That's an approach tailor-made to fail.

Try to find a form of exercise you enjoy doing, rather than a "get-fit-fast" scheme. The important thing with your physical health isn't to lose some arbitrary number of pounds but to create a habit of personal wellness, some activity you could see yourself doing every day or intermixed with other, more structured forms of training. That way the weight loss comes naturally. I love kickboxing, for instance, which is a surprisingly easy, high-cardio exercise to do without a gym. But everyone likes being physical in different ways.

The diet is almost more important than the exercise in terms of sheer weight loss. Jot down a journal of everything you eat and drink in a normal day. And start to consider where little (and, eventually, big) changes can happen. Water, greens, grilled items instead of fried.

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PeezMachine

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Consult your physician and close this thread?

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Colonel_Pockets

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The easiest thing to do is to cut soda. That will get you to lose weight fairly easily. But I would also recommend speaking to a physician before going on this journey (outside of the soda) because you don't want to run into other problems. Especially in today's climate.

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Rejizzle

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That's something you should consult a physician for. But generally it is very unhealthy to lose that much weight in such a short span of time. I mean, you could lose that weight in an hour if you're willing to cut off an arm and a leg, but that's not how weight loss works. Realistically its a long and gradual process of changing your diet and exercise routine that will pay dividends years from now. Your overall health should always take precedence to superficial images of yourself.

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cikame

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I haven't had to lose a lot of weight and i'm sure most of this is to do with my metabolism, but i lost 5lbs in 2 weeks by just eating less.
I was aware that i was probably eating too much, mostly because we have an excellent staff canteen at work, so i experimented with just not eating during the day, i'd have a large bowl of cereal and an orange juice in the morning, though some days i have to start work at 6:30am and i don't like eating that early so i wouldn't have that, then nothing but water until 7pm when i'd have whatever for dinner, something relatively unhealthy with vegetables and i also cut out dessert.
Besides wanting to do it as a little challenge i also did it because i don't know what feeling hungry feels like, i've never said "i'm hungry" i just eat at the times of day i've been taught to eat at, i knew there would be days where i'd end up not eating for around 24 hours and it was fine... i'd have more of an appetite when finally getting to eat but i didn't feel any ill effects, i think i've avoided hunger for so long that i've forgotten what it is.
Anyway, i also did the cut out all soft drinks thing and i can't say it changed anything which is a little disappointing, but i'm definitely happier without them, just something i don't have to feel a bit guilty about i guess.

In conclusion, eat less, it's amazing how rewarding a small challenge like "not eating" feels.

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clush

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#11  Edited By clush

@peezmachine said:

Consult your physician and close this thread?

So much this.

Nobody here is an expert, and if they were they still don't know you. Talk to a professional and work out something you'd be comfortable with. And don't go looking on the internet at what other people do or say.

That said, your goal sounds very ambitious, probably unhealthily so. But again, I don't know you.

Oh, also: getting healthy is a good thing, so definitely go for that. But being fat is no reason to hate yourself or your body. You'd probably need to look at self confidence and acceptance as well because there will always be another thing to feel insecure about. In and of itself it's not necessarily a body issue as much as a mental issue. I'm sure someone will point out that those tend to go hand in hand, which is probably true, but rather than explore that here it's probably another thing to go talk to a professional about.

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north6

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#12  Edited By north6

I know its the standard advice to talk to your doctor, but in my experience general practioners have neither the time to dedicate nor the nutritional insight and background beyond the "food pyramid" to help, assuming you don't have any major health outliers such as food allergies. Also its a pretty not great time to head into the doctors office if you're not sick, so maybe telehealth? If you need to see your doctor, see about a dietitian.

That said, I live in the US, so maybe doctors elsewhere prioritize nutrition more than pharmaceuticals more. In any case, nothing that anyone has said here is out in left field, good luck duder.

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Sombre

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#13  Edited By Sombre

Maybe my OP was a little extreme. I just wanna lose weight. I'm too big and it upsets me, especially when I look at myself 5 years ago

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wollywoo

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Maybe get a personal trainer if you can afford it. I'm assuming they will do online consultations. I think having someone to bw accountable to and motivate you could help a lot. Also maybr temper your expectations a little? Losing that much weight is possible but very hard. A trainer could help you set realistic goals. If you can't afford a trainer, I wonder if there is some online buddy system that could help, kinda like AA? Just throwing out random suggestions, though. A doctor or trainer could help more than an Internet stranger.

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csl316

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#15  Edited By csl316

You can do a lot with diet and exercise, but I'm worried that you have such a specific number in mind. It's good to set a goal, but if you wind up losing 50 pounds and still being above 190 you'll be disappointed because it's not 56. Being 189 pounds would be arbitrary, your weight will fluctuate, and once you reach it you might say "I'm done." Hell, you might even look super fit at 210.

But exercise is one of those things that can become a habit because you enjoy it, not work to hit a target weight. I do my long nature bike rides because it's fun and relieves all stress, not because I want to lose 6 pounds.

So yes, if you're disciplened and eat right, you can do that. There's plenty of at-home workouts all over Youtube so find someone that you like. I'll always recommend DDP Yoga because you feel better everywhere and it's far less strenuous than Insanity or P90X or something.

But I urge you to not focus purely on the numbers because you'll freak out any time you go up 2 pounds (which can happen day to day). Do it to feel better and be healthier, first and foremost.

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someoneproud

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It's possible but as others have said it will be easier and more effective long term to just cut out the junk food and find exercise you enjoy doing. You might not lose it all in 5 months but you will lose it without making yourself suffer or adding a bunch of stress to what should be the start of an exciting new chapter for you.

A good friend of mine also moved out there to teach and he was overweight, within 12 months of living there he had lost all of the extra weight (it was kind of startling tbh). There's a lot of delicious, healthy eating in Japan which will certainly make it easier to make that last push to your ideal weight once you are over there.

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Jaalmo

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I wouldn't put a timer on it. You might lose 56lbs by then, you might not but any significant amount is good. You'll feel better and healthier just by making those lifestyle and diet changes. Because to me that's the true measurement on whether your doing well or not.

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Humanity

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I would also say that while the sentiment of finding exercise you enjoy doing is ideal, the reality is you will not enjoy doing it but you have to. I used to run about 12 miles a day, three times a week, for about 4 years straight. Didn't matter if it rained or snowed I had some weird obsession that I needed to do it. Interesting thing is that throughout all those years I never actually really enjoyed running. It is monotonous, it is long, it is boring when you're running for more than an hour. The runners high I've heard about I might have experienced 3-4 times in all those years. Still I put in my time, I stuck to a rigorous diet of chicken and vegetables in some healthy form, I stayed away from alcohol. I lost a lot of weight.

I'm not saying this to discourage you but rather to say that if you want to get this done then you will have to sort of force yourself into it, and there is no other way around it. As mentioned above, cardio is your best bet for losing weight, and cardio is boring. Running is not healthy but it will shed the most weight the quickest. Ideally you would want to go swimming since that will put a lot less strain on your joints and your spine but obviously decent access to swimming pools is hard enough when there isn't a pandemic going around. Start out small like 1 minute of light jogging, then 2 minutes of walking, and do that for 15-20 minutes. Keep increasing the intervals. You will start losing weight and building endurance.

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OurSin_360

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I am 5'11 I went from 220 to 145 in about a year. I started out just counting calories and no exercise at all, lost about 25 pounds in 4 months that way, then I started walking for a few months and lost another 10 or so. Then I just went all in on exercise with p90x for about 4 months until I injured myself doing yoga. I think I dropped to about 155 (pretty much skinny fat). Then I just started looking up how to lift proper and pretty much stopped cardio(while still counting calories). Dropped to 145 after a few months (got stronger, built muscle and got 'cut' for the first time in my life).

My suggestion is do not set a time limit, focus on small gains and finding the joy in building the habits you need to be healthy. I honestly would not recommend jumping into anything crazy like I did, I had changed my mindset a ton but I was going to hard and ended up injuring myself (I don't recommend p90x it is way to intense with no rest, and rest is important).

The main thing is finding one thing you can stick with, for me it was counting calories. The perfect diet/routine is the one that you can actually stick with long term. I built that habit and then compounded it with exercise as well as replacing any bad food with healthier options.

Focus on long term, the "quick fix" does not exist, but when you start building the habits the big results build up faster and faster. Also, never beat yourself up for falling off the wagon, or missing a workout. It's the worst thing to do and has the opposite effect on willpower.

And I am someone who was lifetime obese with terrible habits who was 34 before I made this change.

Good luck, hope that helped some.

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Trondood

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I look forward to seeing what kind of progress you make!