Trying to Lose a Lot of Weight Fast

Question:

I am trying to lose a lot of weight fast. I was 290lbs and have dropped 30lbs since January of 2010 (Now March).

I am wondering if I am doing enough or the right exercises to effectively lose weight fast. I currently work out 5 days a week. The other two days I do not work out because I work double shifts from 6:30 am to 11:30 pm and it is too hard to workout when I get home.

However, I am a registered nurse and on those two days I am constantly on my feet and am very active at work. I really would like to know if my workout and diet will help me to lose the amount of weight that I need to lose.

I ride a stationary bike for 30 minutes. This equates to 15 miles. Then I do Nintendo wii fit (mostly aerobics) for 30 min. Then on 3 of those days I also work out for around 20 minutes with a Total Gym XLS and free weights.

I have basically cut out all "junk food and fast food" from my diet and try to make healthier choices. I consume approximately 1500-1800 calories per day now.

Could you let me know if this is a good direction to take or if I need to do something different. I do not want to feel like I am wasting my time.

I feel very motivated and do appreciate all the comments I have received by losing just the 30 lbs so far. I just have a lot more weight that I wish to lose and I don't want to get discouraged. Thank you.

Answered By:


Mike Behnken, MS, CSCS ANswers the Fitness Question

Qualifications of Mike Behnken

First of All:  CONGRATULATIONS on Your Initial Weight Loss!

Losing 30 pounds is not easily accomplished and you should be praised for your hard work and dedication thus far. You pretty much answer your own question whether if you "do enough or the right exercises to effectively lose weight."

Losing 30 pounds from January to early march is a better than expected start but like you said you have a lot more to lose. Without any further information, the best plan for you is to continue your current exercise program and diet if you continue to see these kind of results.

What happens during every fitness program regardless of goal is the body becomes accustomed to the workout and stops getting results. As long as you know this IS going to happen eventually you will be able to deal with it physically and emotionally. What you can do is plan on ways to introduce more intense exercise in your program once you stop getting results from your current program.

Cardio

You mention you ride the stationary bike 15 miles in 30 minutes which is at a rate of an astonishing 30mph! 

While your machine's calibration is probably off it shows that you are performing the 30 minute cardio session at a decent intensity.

It is always a good idea to monitor your intensity. You can do so by tracking your heart rate or more easily by using an RPE chart.

Cardio is all about being able to maintain the highest intensity level for your desired time. You should eventually be able to perform 30 full minutes of vigorous activity.

It is nice to see someone actually implementing the Nintendo wii fit as a significant component in your exercise program. Keep up the results and Nintendo may be knocking on your door!

As your body begins to adjust to your current routine and your gains (or losses) begin to slow you may want to replace the wii with something a little more intense such as uphill hiking, interval sprints, jump-rope or something else a little more intense.

Weight Training

You did not mention too many details about your weight training program but as mentioned before, keep doing what your doing if you keep on getting these fabulous results.

The same that holds true for cardio and weight training. In order to keep getting results you have to constantly increase the workload you put your body through. The free weights and Total Gym are great equipment to use for resistance training and are really all you need.

Focus on making gains of strength and you will continue to get the metabolism elevating effects of weight training. If you plateau in strength it is a sign that you need to A, take a rest from weight training for about a week and then B. Switch up your routine to add a new stimulus that your body can respond to.

As you continue to lose weight, get stronger and improve your endurance you may want to attempt some more intense weight training exercises, specifically those that work multiple body parts at the same time and those that target your large muscle groups.  These will really get your metabolism working. You can see some examples on the following pages:

Nutrition

Again, the old saying holds true here, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."  As long as you are getting your desired results there is no reason to change your nutrition. Just to put it in perspective, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines suggest weight loss of only 1-2 pounds per week as being healthy. That would equal 16 pounds in 2 months which you almost doubled.

You're doing something right and cutting out all junk foods is a very important step. If you are counting your calories you should realize that as you lose more weight, your caloric needs will be going down meaning at 300 pounds you will need more calories to maintain weight than if you were 200 pounds, etc.

Simple nutrition tips are to keep a high water intake including fresh fruits and vegetables as well as drinking water and calorie free beverages. Most importantly, keep a nutrition journal so you can see what's working for you and what needs to be changed.

Final Words

Keep up the Good Work!

It is a good sign that even after getting great results you are still trying to figure out ways to improve your exercise program. It is important you listen to your body. As long as your routines gets you closer to your goals, keep it up but keep in mind that you will eventually have to increase frequency, intensity, duration, and/or exercise selection to avoid plateau and reach your long-term goals.

 

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