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Diet Advice for 44 Year Old 255lb Woman

A little about me first:
I am a 44 year old, 255lb female. I am a line cook, who gets up at 10am, and goes to bed between 12-1am. According to my Fitbit, I burn 3000-4000 a day, and about 2500 on my days off.
I received advice from a friend to cut down my calories to 1400 a day. Big breakfast that has the most calories, then lunch, and a light dinner.
I have decided to plan my meals like this:

100 calories before hitting the gym.
(I might add that my friend also gave me a weight lifting workout plan).
11am-12pm - 500 calories which usually consists of two pieces of toast, and 2 eggs, including butter for my toast, and ketchup for my eggs.
5-6pm - lunch 400 calories
10-11pm 400 calories which is usually some kind of soup that I’ve made.
10-11pm is late, but I was told that is ok because I’m finished my dinner rush at work about then, and I go to bed later, so my eating schedule would shift a bit later.

I’m asking for advice on what would some types of food that I would eat during these times. I go back to binging on my days off due to lack of self control, so I’m looking for ways to advoid this.
I know that being a cook, I should know this, but its intimidating, and I just want to make sure I do this right.
Also, I don’t eat seafood, only canned tuna.
Thank you in advanced.

This friend absolutely does not know what they are talking about, has zero knowledge about effective nutrition (and, I’m guessing, training), and should not be listened to. A very general rule is to not drop below bodyweight x 10 calories, at the absolute lowest, even when you want to lose fat.

Dropping down as low as they suggested is a terrible idea because it’ll panic your system, lead to cravings/binges, doesn’t leave any “wiggle room” to cut calories in a few weeks if necessary, and doesn’t provide enough fuel to get through a basic day, letalone support hard training.

These are notoriously inaccurate, so I’d take their specific numbers with a proverbial grain of salt.

A big breakfast is definitely an awesome idea for plenty of reasons, but I don’t see it in your sample plan. Your meals are nearly identical, calorie-wise.

How are you actually eating right now? What did you eat yesterday?

I’d suggest setting up a very simple template to get your nutrition more in order without really counting much and cutting calories hard from the get-go. This article has some ideas that are pretty easy to follow that will help the rest fall in line.

Vegetables and animal protein are never a bad idea. Hard-boiled eggs, turkey or beef jerky, protein shakes, etc.

It’s avoided by planning ahead (meal prep, carrying good foods with you) and by giving yourself enough quality calories (from protein, healthy fats, and carbs) that you don’t really get hit with many cravings.


Thank you for your response.

I guess the 1400 calories a day is contributing to my binge eating.

I have read your answers a few times, and really thought about your advice. I will keep it in mind when reworking my meal plan.

Thank you again.

100% this.

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What are you doing for physical activity?

To keep from detrimental binging, do not keep food lying around the house that does not fit into your diet plan.

In order to stick to that ^^ game plan, DO NOT go grocery shopping when you are hungry; if possible, do it after you’ve just had your biggest meal of the day.

For weights:
Pushups - I would start from doing them off a counter, and find something lower when that got too easy.
Goblet squat - using 10lb weight
Farmers row- 15 lb weight
Deadlift squat - 10lb weight
Not sure what it’s called, but with dumbbells, you raise them in the air and make them touch, and bring them down to your shoulders again. I’m using 10lb weights for this.
Arm curls - 10 lb weights
Then pushups again.

(I hope I have the names of the workouts correct).

I was told to do all of these back to back without stopping. Do 8-12 reps, then increase weight when I can do 12 without fatigue.
3 sets of these, then rest 2 mins in between.
Almost like high intensity weight lifting.
3x a week

For cardio, I’ll go for a walk for a few hours, or ride my bike. When I’m at the gym, I’ll do an incline of 10/11 on the treadmill, at a speed of about 3, for 30-40 mins, then hit the elliptical for 10-15, and maybe sometimes the rowing machine for 10 mins.
I am also a cook who’s on my feet for 12 hours a day.

In all honesty, I don’t always hit the weights. They bore me, and I struggle getting through them all. I love cardio, and can walk for days with no problems.

Not sure why my previous post said deleted by author, but I’ll post again.

%99 of the food in my place is healthy. My biggest problem are my days off where after working as a cook for 50 hours a week, I want some comfort food. I need to put my cooking skills to work and make foods for my days off that I can get excited about.

You guys are great btw. I appreciate all the advice.

The 3 most important keys to successful dieting are: mindset, mindset, mindset.

Dieting is not comfortable, nor is it exciting. Imo, this is true for everyone. That’s the mindset you need if you want to lose weight AND keep it off. Chris Colucci gave you great advice above, with the proper mindset you will succeed.

Also, for most “average” people, myself included, there is not much comfort or excitement in exercising for a goal. Fun activities like hiking, biking, playing games can be different, and for simply losing weight, maybe that’s what you should look into. I personally know someone who shocked me with how much weight he lost simply through dieting plus walking.

The guy who told you to train like that needs to get fierd, for the exercise you need to do cardio, at least 3 times a week, as havy you are cardio isint walking on tredmin speed 3…with a trening you have for my opinion you can only put more weight on… You need to RUN, do ropes, that kind of treining, and diet… Tost with butter? Ketchup… CANED tuna (full pf sodium witch makes you hold alot of water) Ketchup is sugar, toast is bread witch is sugar and with that you eat butter so you are ensuring that you will not lose weight… If you want to lose weight this is what you need to do at : 1-stay away from any sorce of carbohydrates as much as you can
2.eat only 100grams of carbs in a DAY
3.trow out saturated fats (butter)
4.dont eat salat dresing, souces, ketchup, mayo
5.eat fruit salat first in the morning
6.when you are at lunch first eat bolw of veggies and then everything else
7.do cardio at least 3times a weeek (real cardio not walking)
8.do functional trenings with cattbells and havy balls
10.use CLA, omega 3 and multivitamins
11.W8 for the results…

False. I don’t think her training is very good, but it won’t lead to weight gain.

No, she can weight train.

Plenty of people have gotten jacked eating canned tuna, because

This is wrong.

You can eat carbs while losing weight.

This depends on the person.

This will have way more sugar and carbs than bread.

This is just hilarious on so many levels.

Honestly though dude, this is filled to the brim with questionable advice.

@Chris_Colucci had great advice. We have @The_Mighty_Stu and @robstein and @brickhead on here, all who have extensive knowledge (and personal experience) on this subject, perhaps they can lend some insight here.


This sounds like terrible advice for an overweight person who’s new to exercising.

@moncheri - the people on here have already given great advice (some of them). I have nothing new to add, just that I wouldn’t make it too complicated. For someone struggling to lose weight, who’s new to all of this, in my experience, some of the most complicated seeming things to do are count calories and look at their macros (macronutrients = protein, carbs, fat). Those definitely have their place, and plenty of smarter, more experienced people disagree with me, but it can be very overwhelming to take on all at once.

My mom is currently in the process of trying to lose weight after giving birth to 5 children and leading a not very healthy lifestyle, and she has done these things:

1). Walk for 30 minutes daily. She misses a day here and there, and sometimes when she has excess time will go for longer than 30 minutes, but this is almost a constant for her.

2). Strength training - learning how to squat properly, slowly adding weight as she gets comfortable. Practicing pushups - similar to you, she uses a progressively lower and lower surface for her hands to rest. She actually just did her first real pushup on the ground last night - her first since high school, when she had me (she’s 37 now). That was a big moment for her. Other movements like back extensions, glute bridges/hip thrusts (these are very easy for overweight people to do, and with the large amount of bodyweight, can be quite effective for building strength), inverted rows, arm work with dumbbells, some type of overhead pressing all are great. She does strength training 3, sometimes 4 days a week. Oh, and your method of doing 8-12 reps, and increasing the difficulty when 12 is fairly easy is great. Lots of people have had success with that.

3). Some type of conditioning (this is optional). Jim Wendler, a well known strength coach, has this way of categorizing it: there is easy conditioning and hard conditioning. Easy conditioning is stuff like walking, an easy bike ride, maybe the elliptical. Hard conditioning is running, fast biking, pushing/pulling a weighted sled, etc. Basically, easy stuff is easy, hard stuff is hard. Duh. You can do the easy stuff daily without is really taxing your body. You can hold a conversation while doing it, and can not get too out of breath. The hard stuff leaves you out of breath, sweaty, and tired. Wendler’s opinion is that hard conditioning is optional, but everyone needs to do easy conditioning. It sounds like you already are. Keep it up!

4). As far as food, that’s the more complicated (for me). Obviously stay away from sugary drinks, alcohol, fast food, sweets, etc. as much as you can. We all need a little something once in a while, but remember how you got to where you are right now, and how you feel about this current place, when you feel a craving for these types of foods.

Drink a lot of water, make sure you eat veggies and fruits, make sure you eat protein, and that’ll get you going just fine. By protein, you don’t need to picture a bodybuilder with his dry chicken breast, you have a lot of options. Chicken, turkey, beef, salmon (or any type of fish), eggs, etc. Maybe sauté some veggies with olive oil and have some meat with a little hot sauce or something. That’s a fairly tasty meal that’s pretty healthy. The aforementioned Jim Wendler has this strategy - eat and fill up on the protein on your plate first, then the fruits/veggies, then save the carbs for last. Carbs aren’t evil, but meat and veggies will be healthier and more conducive to losing weight.


100% this as well.
Why do people keep stealing my replies?

Most of the advice on here is great. I am confident enough to spot out the ones that aren’t. But I am grateful for the time spent on the replies.

I do know that because I have an active job, I need to push myself harder. Yes I am overweight, but I am not lazy. I enjoy pushing myself hard, I love a good sweaty workout, and in time I will have it all figured out.

Thank you for all the advice.

Do the program you’ve been given for 6-8 weeks to get in the swing of things and then try out fatloss templates off this site.

As you mentioned rower, this is great for heavier people…

do one or two pieces once or twice a week and one of those sessions really go for it. As he says chipping away at your 2k time is brutal but just might be king for fatloss across all sports.

There are likely hundreds of articles on general nutrition on this site. Christian Thib even had a beginner series on nutrition for newbies. I think you really should just work on portion control, adequate protein intake, staying away from highly processed foods, and focusing on meat, veggies; starches like potatoes, beans, bread, cereals like oatmeal or grits, and rice; fruits; nuts and seeds. This is pretty much what every gym rat and bodybuilder does. The best infographics I have seen on portion control are at the website of Precision Nutrition which is run by a former writer on this website, John Berardi. To discuss individualized macro and calorie counting is too detailed for here.

I actually do suggest calorie counting in the beginning for some time, but eventually this is unsustainable for people with normal lives. Which is why you’ll need to move onto portion control.

I think you need to get to the bottom of why you are inclined to binge and possibly have an attachment to food. I am in no way saying this to be condescending, considering I am a healthcare worker, a registered dietitian, and I understand the sensitivity of the condition of obesity.

I think most are inclined to say that someone inclined to binge, “Just do something else to to keep yourself busy and your mind off of food.” Though I think of course that can work, I don’t think it works in most cases for people inclined to binge.

This is an alright article for exercise for the obese.


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Please don’t be afraid of offending me, I do not offend easily, if at all. I understand that you are being helpful, and I took your advice as such.
I have a list of suggested reads that I will be following up on when I can.

I am a cook that works long, hard hours, pretty much running a kitchen myself.
I get a 6 day vacation once a year, I work 50 hours a week, and get no timed breaks. When I get the chance to eat, I would scarf down whatever was quick and easy before the next order came in. On my days off, I don’t want to cook. I just want to chill out, watch a movie, and order food.
If I happen to go out with my friends, it’s to a movie, or restaurant.
Funny enough, I have been dating a 29 year old bodybuilder for the past 3 years. I ask him for advice sometimes, and he’s given me what I feel, really good tips. But I didnt want to bother him all the time. He suggested this site so I can read, and understand a lot of things on my own. (Not that he doesn’t want to teach me, he said he’ll always help me with whatever I need). But I like talking with others as well.

I have learned to eat slower, I’m working on pre prepping my meals, but I have been getting bored with salads all the time because that’s what I thought I had to eat. As per someones suggestion in this thread, I switched around my calorie intake, and reworked my meal plan.
It’s almost embarrassing to say, that I’ve been a cook my whole life, and I am just learning to eat properly now. But hey, I’m not really all that embarrassed because it is what it is, and at least I’m trying.

I think, by reading everyone’s suggestions, I have a better idea on what to do, it’s just a matter of putting my new knowledge to good use, and work.


You’re having an awesome outlook on all of this, and I wish you the best! This is a very great community of people who try hard to help others achieve their goals, and I’m sure you will find help whenever you need it. Good luck!

You know what happens when a 250 lb. woman runs?

They destroy their fucking knees.


Omg, i didint mean to do sprints, what i mean was joging, adjust trening to her weight and years…