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Question #59609 posted on 09/22/2010 12:03 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I find myself unable to lose weight. I'm 5'5" and 270-ish pounds, so I know it's not because it's my 'last 20' or whatnot. I've been consistently trying for over a month - going on two? - and I lose motivation because the scale sticks to its numbers, or even goes UP. It's pretty irritating. Not to mention I love Oreos.

I'm not an expert on weight loss, but I know a LOT about it because I've tried to stay informed about everything so I don't screw up my body, and even all the tricks aren't working.

I think it might be partially because I've 'dieted' before and I killed my weight-loss trigger (metabolism?) and now the weight is like, 'naw, I'll stay where I am, thanks.'

Any jump start ideas? Anyone suffered from the same fate?

-Espionage

A:

Dear Espionage,

I'm going to be blunt: you are at an unhealthy weight.  Weight loss is a worthy goal but you are going to have to undergo a complete lifestyle change.

You need to give yourself some time because you aren't going to see significant results in a month.  It took me two years to lose and keep off 30lbs.  Two years!  I consulted with a nutritionist who told me people who lose weight over a long time frame have a greater chance of keeping it off.  The Mayo Clinic suggests that a person not attempt to lose more than 2lbs a week.  Any fad that promises more weight loss simply drains your body of water.  

The biggest advice that I or any doctor/personal trainer/nutritionist can give you is to make exercise a daily part of your life.  Exercise will help boost your metabolism, improve your cardiovascular system, and build muscle (which eats fat!).  It can be intimidating going to a gym when you are overweight so I suggest finding a friend or hiring a personal trainer.  Having someone by your side will keep you going and encourage you to work harder while at the gym.  

Now buckle down for some hard work.  

Proper diet and exercise is the only road gaining muscle and/or losing fat - there are no short-cuts (except for dangerous and illegal drugs)!  No "MIRACLE" exercise device or supplement can build muscle or burn fat, as the key to transforming a skinny, overweight, or average body is proper diet/exercise techniques. (Source, and a good website if you are a woman.)

By the laws of physics, you will lose weight if you have a negative caloric intake.  Burn more calories than you put into your body - that's it.  No miracle, no mystery, just simple physics.  For more of our opinions on the matter of weight loss, be sure to listen to this week's podcast as we had quite the discussion.  Best of luck with your new lifestyle goals!

- Hypatia