If you’re morbidly obese, this article will show you how to lose weight without surgery.
Most weight loss advice on the web doesn’t apply to morbidly obese people. The workout routines are designed for people who want to lose 10 to 50 pounds. And the diets are also too restrictive. They can actually cause health issues for a morbidly obese person.
You need a customized diet and exercise plan if you’re morbidly obese. But before we look into the best exercise and diet plan for you, let’s see if you’re morbidly obese.
Are you morbidly obese?
Someone is considered morbidly obese when he or she is 100 pounds (45 kgs) overweight or has a BMI higher than 40. BMI basically measures your body fat based on your height and weight. Calculate your BMI here.
Morbid obesity increases the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, gallstones, arthritis, cancer, heart disease, and early death. It also hinders your ability to perform regular activities like running and walking.
Overeating and inactivity are the most popularly known causes of morbid obesity. But genetics, stress, hypothyroidism, and stress are also contributing factors.
Warning signs of morbid obesity
It’s possible to become morbidly obese without realizing. So look out for these warning signs.
- Osteoarthritis: This is a joint and bone condition which causes pain and stiffness in the hips, knees, and other joints. Carrying extra weight causes cartilage (joint connective tissue) to wear out faster.
- Heart disease: Being morbidly obese reduces the efficiency of blood circulation which forces the heart to work harder. This consequently increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- High blood pressure: Morbid obesity increases blood pressure and this can make you feel tired all the time. It also makes it hard to perform high energy tasks.
- Depression: Depression is common among overweight folks. This is partly because of discrimination in society and health institutions.
- Diabetes: Research shows that morbid obesity causes insulin resistance which consequently increases the risk of type II diabetes.
Morbid obesity pictures
Here are pictures of a morbidly obese man and woman.
Morbidly obese woman
Morbidly obese man
Diet plan for morbidly obese
Most people become morbidly obese because of poor diet. They consume more calories than they burn and as a result, they gain weight. You have to change your diet to lose the excess weight.
Taking pills or appetite suppressants isn’t the solution. You need to switch to a whole food-based diet. This may be challenging at first but it’s doable. Here are the diet changes you need to make.
Maintain a calorie deficit
For most people, a calorie deficit means starving themselves. But you can maintain a calorie deficit without being hungry all the time. Here’s how to maintain a calorie deficit without starving yourself.
Cut back on high-calorie treats
Chances are you consume high-calorie foods that don’t increase satiety. You can reduce your total daily calorie intake by cutting back on sodas, sauce, ice cream and cakes. I know that quitting these foods isn’t easy, use these tips to curb your cravings.
Note that a tablespoon of mayonnaise adds 57 calories to your meal. And half a liter (16 ounces) of coke contains 200 calories and 44 grams of sugar. These calories may not seem like a lot but they quickly add up.
Eat high-protein breakfast
Research shows that increasing protein intake can help you eat less. This study found that women who increased protein intake from 15 to 30 percent of total calories ate 441 fewer calories per day. And lost 11 pounds in three months.
Research also shows that high-protein breakfast reduces hunger and helps you eat less later in the day.
High protein breakfast foods include scrambled eggs, omelette, greek yogurt, whey protein, and tofu. Your breakfast should also have healthy fats and vegetables.
Increase intake of plant-based foods
I’m not saying that you should go vegan. But you need to eat more veggies and whole grains. These foods are nutrient-dense and low in calories. They’re also high in fiber which means they’ll keep you full for longer.
Avoid eating out
Restaurants usually serve large portions of high-calorie foods. Avoid eating out as much as possible. And order half portions when you have to eat out.
Drink water before meals
Research shows that drinking water before meals increases satiety and leads to lower calorie intake. In this study, participants who drank half a liter of water before meals reduced calorie intake by 13 percent.
A lot of evidence shows that chewing slowly helps you get full fast. So remember to chew every bite thoroughly.
What should you eat?
You should eat a balanced diet. Get enough complex carbs, healthy fats, and protein.
- Complex carbs: Sweet potatoes, oatmeal, brown rice, potatoes, legumes, whole wheat bread and so on.
- Protein: Eggs, wild-caught fish, chicken, beans, grass-fed beef, beans, lentils, chickpeas, yogurt and so on.
- Healthy fats: Avocado, olive oil, fatty fish, nuts, and so on.
- Fruits and vegetables: Oranges, spinach, broccoli, bananas, watermelon, cucumber, carrots and so on.
Do you have to count calories?
Some people lose weight without counting calories while others have to count to lose weight. Personally, I don’t recommend it because it can turn into an eating disorder as this study shows. Plus it’s time-consuming.
You just need to have a rough estimate of your total daily calorie intake. You do this by knowing the number of calories in the foods you consume regularly. Write down the foods you eat every day then head over to calorieking and check their calorie content.
Now, some may argue that this is counting calories but it’s not. The goal is not to add up these calories at the end of the day. It’s to have a rough estimate of your total daily calorie intake.
By doing this, you’ll avoid overeating without the hectic task of logging your meals. Frankly, you don’t need to track your calories if you follow the calories deficit tips above.
How to change your diet
Now that you know the most important diet rules, let’s look into how to change your diet.
Remove all junk food from the house: This is the first and most important step. It’s hard to control cookie-cravings when the cookies are only a few steps from you. Remove all sugary and high-calorie foods from the house.
Make a new shopping list: Replace those unhealthy foods with healthy ones. Now, the foods you add to your list will depend on your preferences. Just make sure they’re not processed foods. Here are lists of foods to guide you: 34 high-fiber foods, 39 healthy proteins, 50 fat burning foods, 20 healthy fats.
Try meal prepping: Once you buy healthy food it’s time to decide how you will cook it. You can cook each meal at a time or prep meals for several days. Choose the option that works best for you. Here are meal prepping recipes you can try.
Set a weight loss goal: Decide how much weight you want to lose per week. I’d recommend a modest goal of 2-3 pounds a week. Note that extreme calorie deficits can lead to loss of muscle mass.
Maintain a calorie deficit: The tips above will help you maintain a calorie deficit without hunger pangs. Keep adjusting your calorie intake depending on your weight loss progress.
Exercise plan for morbidly obese
Morbid obesity presents movement challenges which make it difficult to perform commonly recommended exercises like squats and pushups. But don’t be discouraged if you can’t perform these exercise, there are exercises that can work for you.
Not all the exercises recommended below may work for you. So consult with a physician before you start any exercise routine. You should also listen to your body – don’t do exercises that cause bone or joint pain.
Start exercising 3 times a week then advance to 5-6 days a week as you get fitter. The idea is to become more and more active every day.
The best exercises for the morbidly obese
Hula hoop: A hula hoop can help you burn lots of calories and improve hip flexibility.
Walking: Other than burning calories, walking has many other benefits. You can start walking 10 minutes a day then add more minutes as you get fitter.
Rowing: Rowing can give you a good full body cardio workout. It will also build arms, legs, and core strength.
Overhead arm clap: Simply raise your hands and clap them over the head, bring them down then raise them again and clap. Try to increase the claps in each workout. This exercise will burn calories and improve your heart health.
Swimming: Swimming is a great exercise because it doesn’t put pressure on the joints. Swim for at least 30 minutes.
Stretching: Start stretching if you’re too overweight to walk. You can stretch while sitting or standing.
Do knee strengthening exercises: Being overweight puts a lot of pressure on the knees. So you need to strengthen your knees to be able to perform more challenging exercises like biking. Try these knee strengthening exercises.
Wall push-ups: Stand a step away from the way. Place your hands on the wall then do pushups from that position.
Morbidly obese weight loss success stories
It takes a lot of effort and time to lose more than 100 pounds. But it’s totally doable if you stay consistent. Here are two inspiring stories to keep you going when you feel like quitting.
Watch the story of Jesse Shand who has lost over 350 pounds
You may also want to check out Shannon’s story who once weighed over 350 pounds. She shares the challenges she faced as a morbidly obese woman.
You can lose more than 300 pounds without surgery. Many people have done it, and you can do it too. You just need to find what works for you and stay consistent. Take a long-term approach instead of looking for a quick fix.
If you’re considering surgery, first try the diet and exercise plans above. They may work so well that surgery won’t be necessary.
Are you morbidly obese? What is your biggest challenge?