I am a 44 year old woman, standing at 4 feet 11 inches and weighing 95kg. How can I take this weight off without injuring myself ?
The most important rule of thumb for gaining/losing weight, is that this happens in the kitchen.
Weight is lost when the calories you consume amount to less than the calories you burn over a period. So if you spend 2500 calories a day, your food intake should be less than this. But when I say "day", what I really mean is any larger period of time. This is your #1 source of weight change. Diet.
Working out is, contrary to popular belief, not the primary cause for weight loss. However, a good workout routine will make sure your body deals with the weight loss in a safe way. Your body gets used to the various degrees of weight change by enduring activity regularly.
My personal favorite is delaying breakfast in favor of a 30 minute walk in the mornings. I've had great results from this. The idea here is that you kickstart your metabolism by getting your body moving before breakfast. Of course, breakfast would also get your metabolism started, but I find I have an easier time with it when I've already been out and about for a while.
A step up from this could be to skip breakfast entirely, but this depends on your own habits and needs.
In general, walking is underrated, in my opinion. There is a lot to be said for an activity where you're moving around, and keeping an upright posture, while completely unencumbered by extra weight. Consider walking on different types of terrain as well, for extra engagement of your balance and core musculature.
(I might edit this post later as I remember other things. Feel free to ask follow-up questions.)
A common rule of thumb is that 80% of your effort should be on diet and 20% on exercise, because you really can't out-exercise a bad diet.
Exercise is pretty easy, anything that makes you breath heavier means you consumer more calories. Do whatever you enjoy and that works with your body.
Food is generally not a big problem when it's not fast-food. Realistically, you'll have to cut down heavily on unhealthy snacks and sugar as well as all non-diet sodas, fruit juices and alcohol.
I would start out by thinking about what makes you eat bad stuff and when. I'm not saying this is some how-was-your-childhood deep psychological journey, but there is a very important psychological factor to weight loss.
Common reasons are that you are bored, cravings, not eating regular food often enough -> blood glucose dips, and perhaps most important: Habits.
Lots of people decide to eat better, but after a few days of brute forcing their own mind through all temptations, they fail and give up. I believe that it's much better to make a smart strategy to avoid temptations and ultimately re-design your life.
One way could be to start out by allowing yourself to eat as much food, fruit etc as you want to, and make sure you eat every few hours, to make sure you get rid of the bad habits and cravings while not feeling like shit. Then you can start cutting down on your total intake of calories if you are not already losing weight.
First, you should be aware of the bad news - There is no easy way to go about weight loss. There are many tips and tricks for losing weight, but no matter how you approach it, you need to burn about 3500 more calories than you take in to lose a pound of fat.
Fad diets don't work, over 80% of people who get their stomachs stapled gain the weight back in 3 years, and losing weight quickly, while motivating is not easy to maintain in the long term.
As other answers have stated, about 80% of the work comes from diet -- that's been shown in several studies, and probably your best area of focus. A balanced diet is very important, and something you should talk to your doctor about. I'll summarize a good approach that will work, but success is based on following it. Dieting is easy, sticking with it is hard.
1) See your doctor -- this is a lot more important than people think
2) Track all of your calories -- NO GUESSING! use an app like myfitness pal to track everything you eat. If you're unsure of the calories in your food, you shouldn't be eating it.
3) Start reducing your calories by about 500/wk. You'll have more success dealing with cravings if you ramp down slowly.
4) You'll want to get down to about 22 calories per Kilo of your ideal weight per day. This is just a guideline... if you find your weight is not dropping (aim for at most 1kg per week MAX, be happy with .5Kg/wk), reduce your diet by another 500 calories/wk.
This is the basic formula for guaranteed weight loss... you should try to adopt other healthy habits like drinking lots of water, eating a balanced diet, etc. but those are finer details to the basic steps I've listed.
You can lose weight with those 4 steps above if you ate nothing but twinkies -- but please, don't do that. Your body needs proper nutrition.
I've water fasted with excellent results. I dropped 12KG in 2 weeks. Plus added benefits like cleared skin, thicker hair... etc.
But it's not for everyone. Read books, know how to start, how to break and how to put up with it... and how to stay alive when done. Like:
- Be prepared for anything when starting it.
- TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR and do regular checkups if you have health problems.
- You can't go to work while doing it, you'll have so little immediate energy (fat burns slow) that a flight of stairs will have your heart break out of your chest.
- Walking is a good exercise but always be accompanied as it's really easy to get light headed and pass out.
- You'll have days feeling great and other days feeling like hit by a bullet train.
- The coated tongue will make you feel sick as **** but it's there for the long run.
- Break slowly. Don't break on meat but on orange juice and continue with smoothies couple days later. Meat/dairy/sweets and such can hospitalize you or kill you.
- Eat healthy when over as cravings vanish. You CAN bring them back, but it's hard. Your sense of taste changes completely. Only healthy food tastes good.
- Exercise and keep the weight off (it's easy unless you CHOOSE to relapse).
PS: I'll probably get a lot of heat for this kind of answer but it worked for me. It's also beneficial for health as the body has a lot of extra energy for internal healing. It's hard to exercise when heavy as it affects the joints. So you need to drop some weight before getting in a exercise/diet effective combo. I had 105KG, now I'm at 90KG and I can do 20-30 pushups. At 105KG was doing about 5. I can run 2-3 times as long. I could do 100 when I was at 75-80KG but it's been a while...
PPS: Keep googling. Read stuff like this.
See a doctor and come up with a good plan together. While there are some decent tips listed so far here, there is also a lot of very poor information that could do nothing, be counter-productive, or outright harm you. Without knowing your specific situation, advising you in terms of diet and exercise would be a terrible idea.
General rules, though:
Find a diet and exercise plan you can stick to. Sure, you could do some sort of uber-diet and exercise for a day, a week, a month and get some good results (maybe) but it won't be sustainable, and you'll lose your gains.
Focus on progressing toward your goal. Don't be disheartened if the scale isn't moving as fast as you'd like--you're trying to make a life change: just make every day better than the last and
Don't get too down on yourself for failures. You're going to slip. You're going to have bad days. Figure out what went wrong and what was a problem for you, and try a new strategy for dealing with it next time. ("I caved when my coworkers brought in birthday cake; next time, I'll split a piece with someone / volunteer to bring in healthy snacks / schedule a meeting for myself during the party")
Source: Former fat kid turned personal trainer
Get a friend to train with you.
Have you ever heard the phrase
When you eat, you eat with friends but when you diet, you diet alone.
It is true, so find a friend to help. Not someone to drive you around but someone to be in it with you. Someone to share your goals and your failures mutually, which means someone to train with you.
Getting fit and\or loosing weight are as much a psychological battle as a physical one and having a partner so you can kick each other when you need kicking and celebrate with each other when you need to celebrate, can (and will and has) been the difference between success and failure.
Lastly, and I might be assuming here, I know overweight peeps who won't train because they feel embarrassed around all the meat heads. They say things akin to "I just want to get a little thinner before going to the gym\going for a walk\going for a run". Get rid of that feeling immediately.
- You have as much right to be there doing what you are doing as anyone else. Anyone who says differently can bugger off.
- You are doing something to better yourself, which instantly puts you ahead of most people.
- Very few people look sexy while working out, most of us just look sweaty, smelly, and uncomfortable.
Oh... treat yourself to some comfortable training kit too.