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My Story / Rapid Weight Loss / Concerns?

Just curious if anyone wants to weigh in on the subject of the dangers of fast weight loss. There is a lot of confusing info out there, and I'd like some perspective on what is sane and realistic for someone with my body and goals.

My story thus far....

I made my committment in April, and since then have lost about 45, a little over 3 months. About a month a half ago, I started tracking daily weight on my spreadsheet, put a few more good diet things in place, set some very deliberate time goals, and have lost 29 in 39 days. I got regular about exercise about 2 weeks ago.

This is well above what is considered normal and reasonable, the common 2lb/week guideline. My average since June is a wee bit over 5lbs/week. Before that it was a little slower, but I cheated a bit and didn't have the methodical system in place I have now.

A couple of qualifying factors... I was once athletic, or at least in fairly good shape. I have been ill for the last couple of years and gained a lot of weight. I was as high as 360, so even after all this loss I am still over 300lbs. No doubt having so much to lose is a factor in how much is "normal" to lose. I am 40 years old, male, and in good health (now) except for the weight I have to lose. I take no meds, and have no significant health concerns except asthma that is almost non-existent for me and doesn't hold me back much at all or require medical intervention (altho it almost killed me a couple of years ago when I was exposed to some chemicals).

My diet is basically proteins, low GI Carbs, good fats like nuts and fish, a complete and utter lack of sugar, and I work out several days a week. I eat nothing but "real" food. I cook every meal at home and eat a lot of vegetables. I eat 5-6 very small meals a day.

I use no drugs or other weird quack stuff to accelerate this. I drink some protein in my breakfast smoothie, and I take multivitamins and Vitamin C. Otherwise, this is totally natural.

I feel great, all my strength coming back, and the weight is falling off. My energy levels are high, and my brain is starting to work well again. I feel as well as I ever have. I am never hungry. I am finding joy in excercise. My allergies have dissappeared, my skin has cleared up, and even my contact lenses fit better :) Even at much lesser weights, I rarely have felt this well.

So the question is... is this really too much? A friend into fitness tells me about people who feel great losing "too much" and then just drop dead one day from strain on their heart and organs. I feel the risk

a) can't be as bad as carrying 150lbs of extra weight and

b) 5lbs a week may not be that extreme for someone of my size.

On the other hand, I have a friend who's trainer asked him to keep his weight loss to a "reasonable" 50lbs in 14 weeks, which is around 3.5 per week. He is not as heavy as me, so is my pound or so more per week really that extreme if his is "reasonable"?

Is there really an arbitrary number where that becomes something to worry about? What actually are the dangers and how to you keep alert for them? Has anyone here lost over 100 lbs and have a perspective on the speed it comes off?

Look forward to discussing this with you. Thanks

Thu. Jul 27, 12:54pm

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It's true that because of your starting weight that may be a big contributor in your fast weight loss-and I think Dr. Pat is right that as you get closer to your goal that 5lbs a week will probably taper off as your metabolism/body adjust. Congrats on your hard work and loss, but if you are reallly concerned, just make an appt. with your doctor and explain to them your diet, exercise habits and the last few months success and I'm sure he/she can reassure you that you are doing fine!

Thursday, July 27, 2006, 1:49 PM

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Thank you for your comments (and still eager to hear all sides if anyone has more).

I agree, and expect my weight loss to slow down as I get closer to a healthy weight.

I might add to my many words above that I track my loss on a spreadsheet, and altho this number is high, it is extremely regular. Even when I started excercising, it remained the same rather than increasing, probably because I was more fat and less muscle once I hit the gym. It appears from my own analysis that 5lbs is my limit at my weight, and I think now that I am excercising I am losing a healthier, fattier 5lb per week.

And I feel good about it, but I have friends who are actually worrying about me and I want to know everything I can.

Thursday, July 27, 2006, 1:55 PM

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As is said on this site constantly, if in doubt, go see your doctor. He/she can test for any problems that your body may be suffering from this rapid weight loss, and test your blood to make sure you're getting all the nutrients you need, etc.

You're probably fine, but just for that back-up peace of mind, you might as well get all of the info directly from the source!

Thursday, July 27, 2006, 3:07 PM

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If your concerned

Talk to your Dr... if your only concerned cause people are telling you it can't be healthy... well just look at that show the Biggest Loser those people are losing lots of weight and they are under Dr supervision.

If you are eating and eating enough and excercising and not taking some silly pill to lose the weight then your doing it right. The more overweight you are the more your body is going to want to lose the weight so be prepared that while the first lbs are literally melting off with how good you are doing if you are doing things right you will probably hit a point where that slows and your down to the 1-2lbs a week range.

Thursday, July 27, 2006, 3:45 PM

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well, how are things going? hope all is well!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006, 3:28 PM

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Hello again and thanks

I'm the original poster. Thank you for your interest.

I am fine and still rolling right along on the weight loss. I haven't been around PT as often, but I am probably going to update my stuff here and be a little more active.

I've lost 84 so far. The slowest month I had was 15. I've never had a week less than 3lbs and most have been 5. Back when I first posed the question I was coming off something more like 20 in a month i think. My average is still almost 18 a month since the beginning. This week already appears to be better than average because of some changes in my workout routine perhaps.

So as I get lighter my calorie needs go down and I lose a slightly lesser rate. But still doing quite well. I had goal to lose 100 by January. It seems I will do in October, at least two months ahead of a schedule everyone told me was ambitious, or impossible.

And I feel great. I run now. I spring out of bed. I have solid energy all day long. I can't imagine any drawbacks.

I have been very careful about this. I have a doctor. I don't take drugs or anything harder than the cup of green tea I sip each morning. I work out, mostly at a very moderate pace. I meditate and do breathing exercises. All my allergies and asthma have dissappeared. And my doctor and I acknowledge I still have another 70 or so I can lose, but I appear to have completely turned back all the bad stuff.

Just moving forward a day at a time. Thanks for the support and concern.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006, 3:53 PM

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What a great post and congratulations on your excellent progress!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006, 5:00 PM

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You for you ! you sound like your doing really good.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006, 7:58 PM

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You are definitely a motivation! Hope you continue like this! I'd like to check out your logs, however I don't know who you are....would you be able to post your username...if you don't feel comfortable...don't worry :)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006, 12:42 AM

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Hi, LP (Last poster). I'm the OP.

Thank you for the encouragement and acknowledgement. I really appreciate it.

I don't actually keep logs, so far, not public PT logs anyway. I keep a spreadsheet and diary on my computer. I joined PeerTrainer some months back and wrote up a lengthy profile. I bounced around here in the forums answering questions and asking them. I keep all my weight loss on a spreadsheet at home (which I update religiously) and enjoyed the interactive areas here at PT. My posts are all over the place.

I never logged my weight or workouts at PT, and I didn't hook up with anyone in the short time I was around (ready to change that)

I was away for a bit, and when I came back this week I just bulldozed all my profile info because all the weight and fitness stuff was out of date. I am "JoeLemon", but you'll find my profile blank at this time and I have no one I am PT-ing with. I'm in Austin, Texas.

But I'm in the second phase of my "project" and I've evolved to different kinds of motivation, and PT appeals to me again. I'll probably restore my profile and be around on a regular basis now. My weight loss I take for granted now. I want this second phease to be about getting more athletic and making this life change permanent. I think I would like to start getting into some groups here and leaning on and helping others.

I don't know how much of my data can be gleaned from above. but I can fill in the blanks. I weighed as much as 372 early this year. I weigh 287 today. That's 85 down, 65 of which I lost since June when I began formally tracking. I lost the other 20 in April and May, doing nothing in particular and not really counting.

I don't know what the rest of my goal is since I don't think I've ever known "ideal weight", but I am assuming about 200 is where I am headed. I was into cycling when I was younger, and altho I always had a little belly, I was fairly athletic and I believe was just over 200. I did some serious weight lifting 10 years ago, but I was overweight at the time. I'm a male just about 6 feet tall and with a big frame. I'm 40 years old. I have a work at home job in front of computer (part of how I got this way).

My goal was to lose 77 starting on June 12, and be at 275 by a business trip in January. I have lost 65 of that and still have over 3 months left (the other 20 was less intentional, lost between April and June), I had put down 60 at the exact mid way point. I'm 13 from that goal, and think I will hit it before mid October. I now think I can be below 250 when I go on that trip, and be at a good healthy weight in the Spring.

I tend to think in terms of beginning at 352, which is where I started my spreadsheet and got into the gym, so that's what the numbers I am citing come from. If this is getting confusing, I lost 20 before that, but I tend not to talk about that because I wasn't really tracking in those days. I have data on everything since June and that's what I focus on.

So since beginning to track, I have lost 17 and some change each month, a little higher some, a little lower others, but basically right on track. Despite lower calories requirements now that I am 80lbs lighter, I am having dramatic results this week, already 4 down and I don't really record til Monday (today is Wednesday). The most I lost in a week was 6, and looks quite possible that could happen again this week.

Strangely enough I think the sudden kick start this week is due to a change in my workout - I made it easier :)

I have been trying to learn to run (walking and slipping in running minutes as able) and during the weeks I did the most running, I lost the least amount of weight (frustrating, a little, to beat yourself to death at the gym and stop losing weight, but I more or less understood why). I was pushing pretty hard, and had gotten to where I could run 80% and walk 20%. I was happy with that progression, but was also pretty whipped after work outs. I did that 3x a week, walking and running as able, on a treadmill.

This week, I switched to just walking and went every day (since Sunday) and have already lost 4. I have to assume the walking routine is better than the running - for weight loss anyway. I actually have a theory as to why that works (having to do with slow twitch muscles and metabolism), and I am testing it this week intending to walk every day. I do 2 miles, about 35 minutes on a treadmill, daily. I've been sneaking away for long lunches to work out, but I'm going to be switching to early AM. I'm going to do it every week day, skip Saturday, and run on Sunday just to keep building a little as a runner too. Curious to see how that will work out. My first priority is losing the weight, and becoming a runner is for later. So I am switching to an easier workout, but doing it more often.

I lift weights as well, but not hard. And I am laying off right now because I just got a new tattoo and can't really work shoulders and biceps until it heals. I really don't mind. Despite being into weight lifting when I was younger, not enjoying it these days. I do belive it's necessary and will be doing it again soon.

I would not consider my workout routine "hard". I am in and out of the gym in an hour. At first it was hard to work it in, but now I look forward to that hour. It's the highlight of my day and I'm always eager to go. I believe in the 3 week rule, that if you make yourself do something for three weeks, it becomes significantly easier, a habit. That seems to have been true for me with cooking vegetables every day, going to the gym, meditating, and every other habit I have tried to pick up. The first 3 weeks are a chore, and then one day you wake up and it's just what you do, no big deal.

I appreciate the kind words and interest. What I would tell everybody who is interested is that you can do whatever you want to do, and every single goal is reachable. I think the reason I struggled so much with this in my earlier attempts and now find it so (yes, I'm going to say it) easy, is I didn't have a real model suggesting you can succeed.

People in my family who dieted didn't make it. I didn't make it. I didn't really know anyone who had. Being in peer groups like this gives you a chance to meet people who do succeed. So although I don't know who you are, or who anybody is here, you all inspired me. It was reading about people like you who made it that convinced me I could, when I never had that before. This is why groups like this are a big deal.

I'm not used to talking about myself in this way, but because I know that even one person who is making it can turn on some sort of light for someone else, I am willing to share whatever I can. I have a lot of little tricks I am using, walking, my spreadsheet tracker, the Abs Diet... but the main reason I am succeeding is because I am 100% sure I will. Two weeks into tracking myself, I knew I would go all the way, and I never considered otherwise. That's really what I think is the key, and I hope everybody here can find that same conertainty in themselves.

I've actually used the other part of PT so little that I'm not sure what's over there, but I know there is a way to contact each other. Feel free to say hello if you want to talk further.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006, 9:16 AM

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Don't get complacent with your weight being 200 lbs. You should definitely try for 185 or 175.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007, 1:00 PM

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