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Helping Someone Lose Weight (when they ask)

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Something rather unprecidented happened over the weekend...my sister expressed that she was concerned about seeming to have gained a bit of weight.

My sister is a heavy girl, but not hugely so. She is about 5'8" and I would guess 175-185. Mostly in her stomach and breasts (we have great legs, runs in the family). Now, she has NEVER EVER expressed a concern about her weight, she has always been bigger than me, but she is happy and confidant (she likes to go to the library to pick up boys and she does!)

Now...I am very concerned about how to handle this because she is simply not the type to diet (vs. me who has basically been dieting since the age of 13). I don't need to change her, I love her insanely just as she is. I also worry about not accidently repeating mistakes that my mother made with me (mind you I was much much younger than she is now)...I had to spend a really long time learning to love myself and my body, and to tell the truth my sister is probably still better off than I am.

So, when she asked, I went for the most obvious...cut back on soda (she drinks a ton of coke) and drink more water. She said that recently she has been feeling more bloated, so I also recommended that she start trying to really keep an eye on sodium intake.

Other suggestions....this is a girl who mainly eats macaroni and cheese and high fat soups (I was going to have one of hers the other day and I almost dropped the can when I saw 32 grams of fat in the can). So...what other quick fixes can I offer her? She isn't looking to be a skinny girl, but I think a size 12 vs. a size 14-16 is a resonable goal.
post #2 of 12
STOP EATING MACARONI AND CHEESE!
post #3 of 12
Casey, have your sister do the following (not sure if it's going to work, but certainly give it a shot)

(1) increase her fruits and vegetable content AND start out the day with a nice filling (but not stuffed and overboard) and healthy breakfast.

(2) If she isn't doing the following already, have her eat "meals/snack attacks" 6 times a day (i.e. 2 to 2 1/2 hours between each meal/snack)

(3) WATER HYDRATION

(4) Slowly decrease the amount of food intake as the day progresses.
post #4 of 12
Looks like she just has to make a few changes in her eating preferences to lose a size or two. I wouldn't call it so much of a diet diet--just cutting out & substitutions & healthy snakes would work for her. Too much restriction may do more harm than good if she fails. She shouldn't skip meals, if she happens to be doing this! That's very important.

I would definitely ask Rivkah's & PoorPooh's advice on the specifics, but here's my quick & dirty:

Cut the soda (like you said) and substitute water. She could do Crystal Light if she needs flavor. I don't favor soda because the carbonation ruins teeth, bone density, etc. Also limit alcohol.

Try to eliminate "white" carbs such as Wonderbread, regular pasta, white potatoes, etc...better bets are whole/multigrain sliced bread, whole wheat pasta, sweet potatoes (NOT yams), I'm pretty sure there's others....

Neufatchel cheese = cream cheese; turkey bacon = pork bacon; reduced fat mayo = reg mayo; switch to 1% or non-fat milk products.

Increase fiber, water and lean protein intake. Keeps you full faster & longer . . . hope I'm helping a bit
post #5 of 12
She does not need a diet but a lifestyle change. If she does not change that all will be in vain. I recommend the book You on a diet. If she follows this plan she will loose a little weight and will not feel bloated.
post #6 of 12
Is she a vegetarian? If so, cut out the dairy. Cutting out soda will help her loose approximately 20 pounds in a year. Scary but true.

It sounds like any major diet change will be particularly hard for her so I would suggest teaching her good eating habits one at a time, every 2-3 weeks so she can develop good eating habits.

I always suggest a colon cleanse when trying to change old habits. Clogged colons contribute to food cravings. I would also recommend a parasite ceanse for her as well, bloating, food cravings and a diet that poor are sure signs of an out of control bacteria growth rate in the intestines. It's not necessary to lose weight, but it helps a great deal with food cravings, the part most people fail to address when changing their diets. It also helps with energy levels.

She also need to cut out the sodium laden soups and go for sea salt. You actually need salt in your diet, just good salt. A lick of quality sea salt per glass of water always to make sure you are hydrating yourself and flushing out toxins.

Lastly, I would suggest she walk for 30 minutes everyday. It will boost her metabolism, her motivation and her weight loss and keep her goals attainable.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Great suggestions guys...I am going to start off slow and try to lead by example. She lives in the apartment below mine (in a 5 unit building) so we spend a ton of time together. We eat together about 2 times a week and for me those are usually meals that are a bit "bad," but it isn't really a huge deal because what I eat the rest of the time is generally very good. But I should be working to make those meals better, especially as I am a better cook than she is and I could be teaching her how to make yummy healthier food.

Part of the problem is that the food she eats isn't the worst of the worst. Like me she favors organic stuff...so the mac and cheese is Amy's Organic and the soup is Wolfgang Puck. The salt in her shaker is sea salt. She just isn't at all good about choosing the lower fat option.

Pooh....I wish search were working because I know you have answered this a million times. The colon cleanse...what brand do you recommend for the LBB? Also, is that all that is involved? (I'm going to do it too!) And the parasite cleanse, what do we need for that?

Oh and that walking recommendation is a good idea. We are writing a book together and are at the point where we need to talk about it a lot (it is about 450 pages and we need to cut it back to 300)...so I am going to suggest we start off our meetings by taking a walk together.

She does yoga for at least an hour a minimum of three times a week because it makes her feel good, so I know that she is capable of making changes that will make her feel better.
post #8 of 12
I think it's great that she talked to you about dieting. It shows a level of seriousness when you involve other people into helping you lose weight. Accountability works!

I saw a special on tv about dieting and the people who involved others in their lives and let them know they were on a diet took it seriously because they saw these people everyday. Others were challenged to lose 25 pounds or else they'd have pictures they took in a bikini plastered on national TV. All of them lost the 25 pounds that they had failed to lose numerous times. They didn't want to be embarassed!

It sounds like you have some good ideas and luckily you sister can make small changes and see some pretty big results, which should make her happy. Let us know how it's going!
post #9 of 12
I'm glad you're asking for advice in this area, because the last thing you want to do is share your neuroses. I am sort of the same way - I'll PM you to explain the situation.

I'd focus more on the food guide since it seems that she has absolutely no idea what to eat whatsoever. If she focuses on what TO eat, she won't have enough room for stuff NOT to eat.

The main staples of her diet should be whole grains and fruit and vegetables, with some lean protein, some dairy and some fats. If she focuses on the first parts though, the rest isn't really as important and those changes will probably be enough for a change.

As a rule, every meal should have at least one serving of produce (fruit or veg), preferably more. For breakfast, most people prefer fruit alongside a grain product and perhaps a dairy. Good options are cereal (Kashi go lean is great if she likes organic stuff) with banana or strawberries and milk, or oatmeal (you can get organic oatmeal) with yogurt and fruit.

For lunch, good options are salad with a sandwich or TV dinner on the side. If she likes the convenience of TV dinner and likes things like Amy's stuff, she should choose things that have vegetables in them. Ignore the fat content for now -people fixate unhealthily on that stuff and if she focuses on choosing the options with vegetables in them, they'll be much healthier. Good Amy's options include the tofu veg lasagna and the sheppard's pie. (The tofu veg lasagna is my favourite.) Soup instead of salad also works and is really easy. I heat up prepared vegetable soup a lot because it's filling, counts as a vegetable, and I'm lazy!

For dinner, the vegetable rule applies. A lot of the time I might have something like pizza for dinner but because I have salad beforehand, I don't eat too much. Again, the focus is on adding in the healthy vegetables, and not on eliminating pieces of pizza or whatever food is her favourite.

Honestly, if she simply cut out the soda, drank water, and added in 3 servings of fruit and vegetables a day, I bet that would be enough to lose some weight. By having more fruit and vegetables, she'd be too full for as much of the more fattening stuff. If she is willing to exercise 3 times a week for 30 minutes, that's even better, and she'll definitely see some results. But seriously, cutting off the coke alone would make about a size of a difference and it's always good to leave more room for a gradual change later if she does decide to get really into health.
post #10 of 12
Reduce or eliminate: all canned foods (sodium is always sky high), sugar, starchy carbs (white bread, potatos), fatty foods. Also, stop eating out. Even the sandwiches and salads your might think are healthy are loaded with fat. Avoid and snacks or cookies that say "low fat", like Snackwells, they have tons of sugar.

Increase: Water, fresh fruits and veggies, lean protien (poultry, fish, nuts, peanut butter is Ok as long as it doesn't have too much sugar), whole grain breads and pasta. and EXCERSIZE!

Also, don't consume any calories within 3 hours of bedtime.
post #11 of 12
Damn, good advice people...

I like the fact that you are setting reasonable goals for her. ie Dropping a size or 2. Its more likely that she will continue with a healthy life if she meets her goals. People that set stupid and unrealistic goals are constantly depressed and give up because they cant meet them.

I would go on about water intake, and reduced sodium but that has been answered already. Make sure to have no fatty and carb filled foods ANYWHERE in the house. She will get massive carb cravings, usually occuring late at night if she cuts out all the macaroni and pop at once, bring her down gradually.

Also, getting her to eat 4-5 small meals a day instead of gorging herself in a matter of 2 or 3 large ones makes a huge difference. The body will digest the nutrients much better and give her a constant source of energy, she will be less likely to binge that way. Changing to whole grains and not white will make a big difference as well.

Instead of spiking the insulin and crashing ( with white breads,pasta ect) she will have a steady supply of energy released over a long period. More energy and less cravings for food.

Also make sure she doesnt eat any crap ( carbs)after 8:00pm. The body shuts down big time and her metabolism doesnt work half as well as during the day. If she needs to have a late night snack, flavoured rice cakes are great ( they taste like chips) and Mr Chrisities thins ( oreo cookies with only 100 calories in a packet) should curb her urges.

And WATER WATER WATER. She will actually feel less bloated if she cuts out the pop and drinks lots of water. It also aids in flushing out the body of toxins and helps nutrient absorbtion.

Excersise, even light cardio will do her wounders. Both for the heart and her metabolic drive.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Damn, good advice people...
Most of my advice is stuff I've read in your posts. You're the personal trainer of HF.
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