I have a friend who’s struggling to lose weight. He asked for my advice, so I asked ChatGPT for some suggestions.
I asked for the best way to lose weight and how long it would take to drop from 200 lbs to 150 lbs. My friend currently weighs around 200 lbs and would like to lose 50 lbs.
First off, ChatGPT gave some general advice:
Losing weight involves a combination of a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and lifestyle changes.
It then offered 5 specific suggestions.
Create a calorie deficit: To lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn. Calculate your daily calorie needs based on your age, gender, weight, height, and activity level. Aim for a safe and sustainable calorie deficit, typically around 500–1000 calories per day, which can result in a weight loss of 1–2 pounds per week.
This suggestion is just plain common sense. But many people that want to lose weight don’t seem to consider this. My friend says he’s cut back on his calorie intake and doesn’t understand why he isn’t losing weight.
But the answer is obvious. He eats too much. I don’t know his exact calorie intake, but just seeing him eat is enough to know that it’s t0o much. Other friends that are nearer his ideal weight eat much less than he does. For some reason, he’s blind to it. I have suggested he starts counting his calories and aims for 500-1,000 fewer calories than he needs in order to create a deficit.
Just this one suggestion from ChatGPT should go a long way to helping him lose weight.
Eat a balanced diet: Focus on consuming nutrient-dense foods that provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats in your diet. Avoid or limit processed foods, sugary snacks, and beverages.
This is yet more common sense. Yes, he needs to count calories, but those calories should be made up of quality food not junk food.
If I eat junk food I never feel satisfied. That leads me to want yet more junk food and I end up overeating. I’m aware of it when it happens though, so it’s pretty rare these days. But healthy food is so much more tasty than sugary food that it’s easy for me.
Portion control: Be mindful of portion sizes and avoid overeating. Use smaller plates, measure your food, and pay attention to hunger and fullness cues. Eating slowly and savoring each bite can help you feel satisfied with less food.
This is almost a repeat of the first point. If you’re controlling your calories you must be using portion control. And vice versa.
I recently read an article about a man that lost weight while eating nothing but 3 McDonalds’ meals a day. But he had a secret – portion control. He only ate half of each meal for breakfast, dinner, and lunch.
Regular physical activity: Engage in regular aerobic exercises, such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming, for at least 150 minutes per week. Additionally, incorporate strength training exercises to build muscle, which can boost your metabolism. Consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate exercise regimen based on your fitness level and any underlying health conditions.
Yet more common sense. Just look around you. The most active people tend to be slimmer. The most sedentary people tend to be fatter.
You don’t need to work out at the gym every day though. Just build activity into your regular daily routine. Walk instead of using your car or getting a bus. Even walking to the next bus stop can help. Or park your car further away than you usually do. Walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator.
In my case, I’m currently traveling, so it’s easy to walk 10,000 to 20,000 steps a day without it feeling like exercise. Additionally, most of our Airbnb apartments have been on upper floors so that’s extra free exercise. I also get some weight training done by carrying our suitcases up to the 4th or 5th floors.
You can get some weight training by carrying your shopping how from the supermarket. I always do that.
Get enough sleep: Aim for 7–9 hours of quality sleep each night. Sufficient sleep helps regulate hunger hormones and promotes overall well-being.
The final suggestion is not one that many are aware of. It turns out that not getting enough sleep can result in weight gain. This is mainly because people tend to eat more junk food when they’re tired.
It’s important to note that weight loss is a gradual process, and individual results may vary. Losing weight too quickly can be unhealthy and unsustainable. Aim for a steady weight loss of 1–2 pounds per week, which is considered safe and more likely to lead to long-term success. Therefore, to go from 200 lbs to 150 lbs, it might take around 25–50 weeks or 6–12 months, depending on various factors such as your metabolism, adherence to the plan, and individual differences. Remember, it’s essential to prioritize your overall health and well-being rather than solely focusing on the number on the scale.
Slow and steady is the way to win the race.
As soon as I’ve posted this article I’ll be forwarding it to my friend. I hope he follows these suggestions but I fear that he won’t.
I’ve known many people over the years that said they wanted to lose weight, but the majority don’t seem to want to make any changes to their diet or lifestyle. It’s similar to those that want to get wealthy but don’t want to put in any work.
Yes, I get it. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all magically become slim and rich while sitting in our butts eating pizza and watching Netflix?
Unfortunately, we need to put in some effort if we want to improve our situation.
So, no excuses. If you really want to lose weight, follow the suggestions above.