General Question

AllyMay's avatar

Is it possible to shed 20lbs in 3 months?

Asked by AllyMay (239points) September 30th, 2008

I am 145lbs – I wish to be 125lb by christmas -I’ve battled with this goal for a long while and I’m running low on time. is there any key tricks to stick too? other than the “put down the fork method” – I am a mom and its mostly tummy stuff and I have lower back problems that prevent me from impact excercises suchs as running – speed walking etc.. any and all advice/answers are welcome.

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29 Answers

PupnTaco's avatar

Swimming is a great low-impact exercise that works your whole body.

Pay attention to the whole picture, diet-wise: not just calories, carbs, & fat, but the sneaky stuff like sodium and high-fructose corn syrup.

Welcome to Fluther!

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Take a shot (typical shot glass size) of vinegar before every meal. It will help, I kid you not. 20 pounds in three months is very, very doable – and not unsafe. (As long as you do it correctly, obviously.) I lost weight doing the vinegar thing. Disgusting, at first, just make sure you have water on hand so you can rinse the taste out of your mouth. And don’t freak out when you feel the vinegar winding its way through your intestines… ;)

Nimis's avatar

I think it also depends on how those 145 pounds are distributed.
How tall are you? Can you afford to lose 20 pounds?

AllyMay's avatar

OMG yes, I’m 5’4” – i think the acceptable weight for a 26 yr old female is around 125 – 130. I love the swiming idea – never thought of that. good thing I asked eh? I’ll try the vinegar thing, but i’ll really have to work myself up for that haha.

Nimis's avatar

Dropping 20 pounds in 3 months sounds totally do-able.
But trying to drop those pounds during the holidays is going to be rough.

PupnTaco’s suggestion for swimming is a great low-impact exercise.
But I definitely wouldn’t go on any crazy fad diet.

• Wake up early and eat breakfast.
(Will help your metabolism. If you’re not a breakfast person, eat something small.)
• Cut out frozen foods or anything with trans fat, hydrogenated fats, etc.
• Cut down on your sodium intake.
• Keep healthy snacks around. Something sweet and something savory.
• Don’t eat any complex carbohydrates after 5pm.
• Chew slower. (Something about saliva helping your body process the food.
Plus it will give you time to realize that you are full.)
• Elevate your feet above your heart several times a day.
(Helps circulation, which helps digestion, etc.)
• Whenever you step into the kitchen, drink a glass of water.
(Get your 8 glasses while curbing some of your munchies.)
• Listen to music and dance around for at least an hour each day.

Good luck!

La_chica_gomela's avatar

frozen foods? what’s wrong with frozen food Nimis?

I consider frozen vegetables one of my best and most favorite diet tricks! They’re easy, they’re quick, they’re incredibly healthy, and you know exactly what you’re getting. You control the fat, the salt, everything.

I dont know what you’re talking about nimis!

I also don’t know what’s with the comments about cutting down on sodium. Sodium is one of my OTHER favorite diet tricks! I find that if I’m generous with my salt and pepper on my frozen green beans, carrots, broccoli, etc, that I don’t need as much butter or olive oil on them. I also only buy salted butter, because I can use less of that than the other kind, and everything still tastes really good.

You guys that are saying to cut down on sodium are silly! salt doesn’t have any calories!!! fat, carbs, and protein do!! Yes, salt makes you retain water, but that’s a short term thing, if you’re trying to fit into a dress TONIGHT then yes, don’t eat a bunch of salt, but if you’re trying to ACTUALLY lose weight, then salt is HELPFUL!

Nimis, I have to disagree again, about the complex carbs. To eat a healthy diet, almost all carbs should be complex. Simple carbs are really not a necessary part of the diet. There is NO reason to substitute simple carbs for complex ones ANY TIME OF THE DAY!

Nimis's avatar

I think if you’re just talking about frozen vegetables, they’re not so bad.
Or if you go to Whole Foods or Trader Joes.

But as a whole, a lot of your average grocery store frozen foods
rely on those hydrogenated fats to keep. Not so good for you.

And you can just as easily control the fat, salt, everything with fresh vegetables, no?

Sodium is bad for you in the long run. It’s not just about calories, fat and carbs.
Just think about the body as a machine. The better it runs, the better it is able to process food efficiently and not gain weight.

I never said that simple carbohydrates should be substituted for complex carbohydrates.
I merely said that you should cut down on the complex carbohydrates after 5pm.
It takes longer for you to break down complex carbohydrates.
This is both the reason why they’re good for you during the day (constant energy)
and bad for you at night (longer to break down, your body is less active).

I have nothing against complex carbohydrates. (I love them in fact!)
But your body processes them better during the day when you are active.
Try it for a month and see if you don’t see a difference.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Nimis, I don’t know where you’re getting your information, but the lines below are patently false. The whole idea of FROZEN food is that it does not need any preservatives, the preservative is the freezer. There is no preservative reason to put hydrogenated oils in anything frozen. That doesn’t make any sense! And if you look at the labels (of the things I buy anyway) there is no transfat on the nutrition info, and no hydrogenated oils in the ingredient list.

“But as a whole, a lot of your average grocery store frozen foods
rely on those hydrogenated fats to keep. Not so good for you.”

Of course you can control the fat and salt content of fresh vegetables, but the reason frozen ones are a great DIET trick is that they have all the same nutrients as fresh, but they are EASIER, so you’re more likely to actually eat them. AllyMay said she’s a mom, and we’re all busy. If you have to do a lof of work to make dinner, it’s very tempting to just go out. Frozen vegetables help you eat healthy and avoid the work.

Sodium is a NECESSARY NUTRIENT for the body to run. Sure, you don’t want to consume it in excess, but just because you’re going on a diet to lose weight is no reason to cut down on it, if you’re already taking in normal healthy amounts. Cutting down on sodium past recommended levels will not help you lose weight at all, but hinder you.

No, you didn’t say “you should cut down on the complex carbohydrates after 5pm.” What you said was “Don’t eat any complex carbohydrates after 5pm”

People haven’t even had dinner yet at 5:00 pm and carbs are part of a balanced meal, so the only way to follow the directions YOU gave would be to substitute simple carbs.

There is nothing wrong with eating complex carbs after 5:00 pm. There’s nothing wrong with having food in your stomach when you go to sleep! I run many many mornings, and if I didn’t eat carbs in the evenings, I would have NO fuel, and I would not be able to do my runs at all.

So I absolutely will NOT try your bad advice for a month or even a day! I’m sure I would see a difference, and not toward the improvement of my speed!

gailcalled's avatar

Keep it simple. Exercise 300 calories every day (Google for chart) and eat well (Michael Pollan-fresh, local, unprocessed, veggies and some fruit, complex carbs.) Then eat 300 calories less each day. 600×7 = 4200 calories per week.

No sugar, no white foods (except cauliflower), four green vegetables (1/2C is a serving) and one red, one yellow and one orange each day. I just roasted the beet from Brobdingnag and ate it with a spoon.

Nimis's avatar

I’m not saying that all frozen foods have hydrogenated fats.
I’m saying that a lot of them do.

It may not be applicable to frozen vegetables.
But the hydrogenated fats do extend the shelf life of foods.
That’s why they are used in many (not all) frozen foods.

Sodium is a necessary nutrient.
You shouldn’t cut it out entirely.
But I suspect you’d still get a good amount of it
without being generous with it on your vegetables.
I don’t think not getting enough sodium is usually the issue.

Not eating complex carbohydrates does not imply substituting simple carbohydrates.

Not to mention, you’re totally missing a key difference here.
You go running many many mornings.
In which case, of course you would need the extra carbs.
A diet needs to take into consideration the lifestyle as well.
As a mother with a lower back problem,
I don’t think she keeps such a rigorous exercise regiment.

gailcalled's avatar

@AllyMay; Learn a few safe stretches for your back and either swim if you are near an indoor pool, or do as I did (I also have chronic lower back issues) or walk. I knocked of a lot of weight by eating less, walking in the nice weather and buying myself a treadmill, which I use every other day – religiously.

Nimis's avatar

Man, someone on here advised me to avoid threads on religion, politics and diets.
I thought they were kidding at the time. I should have taken their advice more seriously!

Megan64's avatar

Eat less food. Weigh and measure your portions. Eat three healthy meals a day. Don’t eat in between meals. I lost 45 pounds in 4 months and I had been trying for over 10 years to lose it. So far kept it off for 5 months, which is also the first time that’s ever happened. PM me if you want to know more.

gailcalled's avatar

@Megan: Did you include regular exercise? If so what (and how old are you?)

Megan64's avatar

No, I didn’t. I’m 40 years old. I used to totally overeat before, and my portions were WAY off.

gailcalled's avatar

Put yourself into the right mind set, first of all. When I started to walk, I did it telephone pole by pole. The first day I went for five minutes; the next I added one more telephone pole. Eventually I got to almost 4 miles in an hour, but every other day.

fireside's avatar

@ Nimis – I was thinking of asking a diet related question earlier…I’m glad i didn’t…lol

gailcalled's avatar

@Nim: when I moved to this very rural country hamlet in 1986, a new friend told me that the only safe subject to bring up with the very conservative, mostly farming natives was the weather. I was a nice Jewish girl with a fancy eastern education so I kept my mouth shut.

Nimis's avatar

Fire: I’m glad I could provide you with some entertainment.
Gail: Could have learned a thing or two from your friend.
I’m learning though. Just a little bumpy on the way there.

AllyMay's avatar

@ALL – LOL – I had no idea this would of turned into a heated debate – Mind you almost anything can turn heated. HOWEVER lol I have learned a TON and I am starting to form an excellent game plan,I’m even getting the whole family involved with “swim days” – Everyone has great points and I thank you all for your help on this mission.

Randy's avatar

Cardio, cardio, cardio! A high heart rate is the best way to lose fat.

gailcalled's avatar

Randy; Remember that she has lower back problems. Max. heart rate, as I am sure you already know, is a function of age. (220-age) x c.85% = heartbeats/minute. (I’m doing this from memory.If I’m wrong, please correct. Or we can have a “heated debate.” Love that.)

Welcome, AllyMay. Every time you feel like overeating, come to Fluther instead.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

I can’t add anything except to say that I have lost more than 20 lbs in three months so I am certain you can do it to. I was in my mid-40s so my metabolism isn’t quite as fast as yours. You will have no problem if you stick to eating well and exercising regualrly for at least 30 minutes.

Good luck!

gailcalled's avatar

@Sueanne; a few specifics, please, if you have time.

Here’s my tip-of-the-day. Breakfast in warm weather: 1/2 C. low-fat cottage, double the amount of unsprayed fresh fruit, 1 mug of tea with a little skim milk.

Winter: 1 C real oatmeal, a sprinkle of a variety of dried fruits and nuts.

To both I add 1T. freshly ground flax seed and some cinnamon.

Judi's avatar

Skip processed foods and breads (substitute whole beans and whole grains like oats)TV dinners, canned meals, etc. Eat things as close to the way they are made naturally as you can. Eat 5–10 cups of fruits and vegetables a day. (Yes you will get gas. Fart or Fat is my motto!) Eat lean protien in moderation no more than 3 oz a day.), eat 4 cups of non fat milk a day (maybe mix it with fruit and ice to make a milkshake.)and limit fat to a half of an avacado or 10–15 olives a day. If you’re still hungry, eat more fruits and vegetables, but try to make sure you always eat at least 1 more vegetable than fruit.
Weight loss is a mathmatical calculation. Calories in, Calories out. The hard part is, the less you weigh the more energy you have to put out to burn a calorie. At 145 you need to eat about 1600 calories a day to maintain you weight if you don’t exercise. At 125 you only get about 1350 calories to maintain. The less you weigh, the more important it is to exercise to maintain your weight and loss.
I’d try the Walk Away the Pounds videos for starters. That’s how I started and it just grew from there. It can be extra hard when you’re a mom. Videos are sometimes fun because the kids will either do them with you or laugh at you. There’s nothing greater than acting silly and having a kid think you’re the most amusing thing on the planet.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Gail, very close!

You said, “Max. heart rate, as I am sure you already know, is a function of age. (220-age) x c.85% = ”

The MAX is just [220 – age]. This is an estimate of the absolute fastest your heart will beat.

Multiplying by 85% gives you a good Target Heart Rate for your most intense work-out zone.

Judi: FAT OR FART!!! That’s HILARIOUS!!! I love it!

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Starburst's avatar

yes, and like anything worthwhile, it will take hard work and dedication. There is only one way: less food, more caloric burning. That is the only way to KEEP it off..good luck to you.

Nimis's avatar

Better food, more caloric burning.

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