T Nation

Need help with diet for old fat guy

I am trying to create a diet for my dad. Now I know how to make a diet for bodybuilding but not one for somebody who doesn’t lift weights. My dad is 60 years old, 6’0, and 325 pounds(a big man). I tried to get him to lift weights but all he tells me is that he is 60 and doesn’t have enough energy to lift weights. So I will have him walking. I might be able to get him to lift 2 days a week but that’s all. Any suggestions on exercises. I already know what exercises he could do for upper body but not lower body. He works out at home and doesn’t have leg extension machine. I have a power rack and dumbells. He can’t do squats, he’s too big. I also don’t know how many cals. or protein he will need if he’s not training. He also has an extreme craving for junk food. He owns his own business and says the stress gets to him (I know that shouldn’t be an excuse but I am trying to help him). I had him on a diet a year ago and he lost 35 pounds in 3 and a half months. He just couldn’t stick to it though. He doesn’t like the way thermogenics feel, neither do I. Any suggestions?

What does your dad like to do? When I was training people, I always would poke and prod people into telling me what their interests were. You know not everyone likes to lift weights. We here in the forum understand the benefits - however the average person doesn’t think that way. I know this is your dad. But, was he ever athletic? Physically active in anyway? WHAT was the reason he enjoyed those activies when/if he was? My purpose as a trainer was not to just to get the person in the gym, but to get them interested in a physically active lifestyle. I used EVERY angle - gardening, walking/hiking, etc. It usually worked.

I see what you're doing, and believe me, I think it's really cool that you're helping your dad and he enlisted your help, but you have to think on more simple terms. In other words, think outside the box of weight training. What else is there for your dad to do, that he woud love to do?

If this is kewl, then I certainly can provide some ideas, if not and weight training is the route - then I'll help ya there, too!

It seems that his motivation is just not there. I think maybe having everything step by step. Have him do the walking and weights twice per week. Have him do circuit full body workouts. As for legs…have him try doing squats for a while without weight, and get used to the movement, also lunges: either walking, forward, backward, and stationary. Food is the toughy though. It seems he won’t give up too easily the junk. Try to get him to eat more fruits and veggies, increase the protein intake ofcourse. A quick little trick on the T-dawg diet to figure out how much calories need to lose weight is this: if your dad has a low metabolism then remember #16. if it’s medium #17, and high (which I doubt) it’s #18. Take the number and multiply it by his current weight in pounds. That’ll give you the calories he takes to keep him where he is. Subtract 500 colaries, and that would be the calories he should intake. As for the food, it’s going to be hard. Get him to lessen the amount of junk, and advise him if eats the junk, count it into his calorie intake. Help get used to eating a fruit or veggie when he feels like snacking, or even nuts. As for ratios, 40-30-30 (C-P-F) would be good for your dad since he’s not doing a lot of weights. Remember, try to get him to have quality carbs & fats!! I know people are going to say tell him to smartin’ up, or if can’t do it then it’s useless. But some people need to ease into it sometimes, and it’s better than doing nothing!! I hope this helps.

Actually when my dad was young(around 20’s) he was real lean, probably like 8-10% body fat. He lived in southern Louisiana and would walk the marsh to trap animals and hunt. Walking in the marsh is like jogging if you ever did it (Yes I know I live in the boonies). Nowdays he doesn’t like to do anything active. I guess I have to try to get him to workout if only 2 days a week.

I forgot to mention that he doesn’t like to hunt anymore. He grew up doing it everyday and got burnt out on it. The only other hobbies he has is horse racing.