T Nation

Overweight Friend

Hey all,

Need some advice here. I have a friend who is very overweight (i.e., 6’0 325lbs). He knows a lot about nutrition and has, on a couple occaisions, dropped down to 235 with a solid diet and exercise regime. He trains intelligently and can squat 5 plates for five without much trouble.

However, after losing the weight his diet always goes to shit and he gains it all back. Ulitmately his personality is one of those that is either 100% on or 100% off. He realizes that he has a problem, but I don’t think the foods themselves are it. My take is that even though he can change his behaviour (i.e., get on a good diet and stick to it) the psychological processes that control his behaviours remain unchanged. Once he reaches his goal or falls off the diet he has no sense of moderation. He gains all the weight back and is in a lot of emotional pain/guilt over it.

Is there anything that he can do to change this thought process (are there psychologists for this)? I’m just hoping that someone who has had similar experiences will chime in.


Dont know about psychologists (I guess only he can really make the decision to keep the weight off and if he doesnt want to so be it) but print off the “Merry Christmas Bob” article and give it to him. Heres the link:


Man really wish I had some wisdom to lay down here. I can only speak from my own experience though.

For me, after shedding all the blub from a former just under 300lbs. Just seeing myself and seeing people that are currently in my prior situation is more than enough to keep me motivated. I will NEVER return to what I once was.

That and a very slow transition from a cutting diet to a maint. diet to yoyoing and short little experiments with bulking/cutting. Getting comfortable with losing and learning how to gain properly.

Giving my self one gluttonous meal every week or two. But that one meal is IT for the day. All these help.

1 other HUGE factor in my opinion was that I did all of my initial fatloss with NO supplement help. NOTHING. Now I am a huge fan of HOT-ROX, Red Bands, the occasional E/C stack when cutting after a long bulk. But they are just aids now, to help preserve and speed my progress. I am not tied to them. I can do it without them. They simply make it a bit easier and can help you get to that next level.

The main thing though as I stated is the fact that I will NEVER let myself do that again.

Hope that Blabbing helps somehow.
Good Luck

I talked to a physiologist a few daya ago. He does studies on fat loss in obese people.

He said that it is good to stabilize the weight from time to time. If you do that when you bounce back, you return to that plateau instead of gaining it all again.

So it may be a good idea to loose say 10-20 lbs, stabilize for say 1-2 weeks and repeat.

Just my 2 cents…

Thanks for the replies so far. I was just thinking that I should also mention that my friend has the same tendencies when it comes to almost everything is life. He has that “all or nothing” personality that I remember someone on here talking about. He does everything to extremes. When he diets he diets to the exclusion of all else. When he meets a girl he drops everything to be with her. Perhaps this is an unalterable trait.

Is there anyone here with a similar trait? If so, how do you manage it?

I’m kind of like this, but not so extreme, whether it’s a gym routine, girl, diet, book etc… Depending on what it is, I look at the pro’s and con’s of this behaviour…i.e. gym overtraining/awesome results, girl falls for me/thinks i’m crazy stalker dude, book read it quick/might not see daylight for a week. The point is like you said there are benefits and drawbacks to this ‘ability’ to focus on things, so each time I look at the specific benefits and drawbacks (it always changes depending on how focused I am) and basically try to remember the cost of all my behaviours.

It seems like in your friend it might be a bit more serious, so perhaps he should look at the situations he wants to control and WRITE DOWN the ways he can/will act and how that will positively and negatively affect things. Perhaps him just being more aware of what’s he’s doing in the moment (not a day or a week later) could curb his more self-defeating behaviour.

Then again, he might aleady be as aware as it gets, so maybe you need to figure out something to raise the costs of his behaviour…maybe just a simple as making a bet with him? Just my .02