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Advice for Friend Who Lost 80+ Pounds


My friend (girl) lost 85 pounds, from 250 to 165 doing ton of cardio and starving herself for 1 year. Very motivated as you can see. Almost all she ate: fruits, veggies... occasional cracker. very low calories, very low protein.

She recently starting weight training with me. Her appetite has increased. What are some eating tips you could give her?



How many calories minimum?

What are some easy protein snacks?

Oatmeal for breakfast enough?

Fruits at night OK?


I wouldn't worry so much about calories, focusing on good eating habits and learning how to cook healthy meals is more important than trying to hit a number. I also wouldn't worry about how many times she eats, whatever feels comfortable is best.

In general:

  1. Animal protein, 25-40g per feeding, less for snacks
  2. Veggies, particularly spinach or another leafy green for one meal and another with broccoli (steamed - nuke in a covered bowl for 4.5-6 min; use a plate that seals around the edge of bowl, be careful of steam when you take off plate); any other veggies as an accent or added on top of this is fine, simply these two (spinach and broccoli) will cover most micronutrients that the majority of the population is deficient in

  3. Add a little salt to proteins and veggies, a pinch or two will do; when eating clean sodium is very low

  4. Fruits within reason can be added to any meal, focusing on lower carb berries is a good way to limit carb intake, raspberries are the best with 6-7g carbs per 100g and about that much fiber

  5. Oats, quinoa, sweet potatoes are excellent starchy carb sources high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, most carbs other than fruit should be from these sources; rice is ok after intense workouts or in moderation otherwise but it lacks the fiber and micronutrients (I didn't count veggie carbs because they are usually very low so as to not really matter)

  6. Healthy fats such as milled/ground flax seeds, fish oil pills, nuts, coconut oil, butter, olive oil should round out intake

  7. Dairy - 2% plain yogurt (can be mixed with a scoop of whey and ground flax seeds plus fruit - good breakfast), cheeses up to 25g (go with real cheese from deli or feta) this should be an accent to a meal

Regarding your questions:
calories: 2000 (depends on her size and activity though, but +/-400 is the range she will likely need)
snacks: 1/2 meal to full meal cooked in multiples previously, this will cut down on cooking time, just cook more and store in tupperware once cool; other options are whey or casein/whey shake and fruit and perhaps nuts if she will not be eating for a while

oatmeal: no, preferably she will have at least half a scoop of whey to a full scoop with it and some fruit, maybe even PB or nuts
fruits at night: as mentioned before, within reason, lower carb ones and a whey or casein shake and perhaps nuts is a good prebed snack particularly if exercise was later in the day.


That's some great advice, can't thank you enough Peter. Will show her this theaad.


Protein with every feeding?

She eats/drinks it approx once a day now.

Are salad dressings OK? Any healthy ones?


Yes, Protein with every feeding. Most salad dressings are absolute garbage, being soybean oil-based. Olive oil and vinegar are the way to go. You've been on this site for 5 years and you're asking these questions?


Thanks. This thread is not for me nikoV but my friend. Yes I know most of this stuff but always learn new things.


Fair enough. That's a good attitude to have. I still have a ton to learn myself.


Olive oil plus red wine vinegar, man.


just to clarify, "protein with every meal" doesn't mean "a protein shake with every meal". just make sure there is a good protein source in every meal (meat, poultry, eggs, dairy including whey, etc).

also, making your own dressing is super easy. 1 part vinegar of your choice (balsamic is my fav, but cider or red wine are good choices too) to 4-5 parts EVOO + splenda and italian seasonings (basil, parsley, oregano) to taste.


Hit the gym,

I was pretty fat at one point, and had to crack the whip on myself to lose it.

Having been there myself, I would suggest that she slowly add in healthy foods little by little.

Since you mentioned she has pounded fruits and veggies, she can add more protein, and friendly carbs like oatmeal, quinoa, yams, and just play it by ear.

She does not need a huge change, but to just add foods slowly.


To OP, this is what I meant by animal protein.


She needs to start eating like a healthy person, and not thinking in terms of some unsustainable "diet".

Until she gets to where you weight training can be intense (and I'm trusting you to understand what intense means: most beginners can't push themselves hard enough to qualify as 'intense' because you need a baseline fitness level) the carbs should be low, and come from natural sources (like nothing from a box or package) avoiding grains and grain products like the plague. The one exception would be rice.

She should mostly be eating fats and proteins from whole food sources, and deff. not relying on protein drinks to get most of it.

Eggs/animal protein/fat and leafy greens should be 90% of what she's eating.

Also fruit is the most over-hyped food on the planet. Vegans love it, and health-conscious carnivores are pressured to tell us it's great. It's become one of those "We can all agree that fruits and vegetables are healthy!!!" deals. In the end, it's just sugar. Unless she's burning through her glycogen stores doing intense anaerobic activity, sugar is just going to make her fat. Limit fruit consumption.