Weight Loss NHS
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Obese 19 year old male. Where to start?

Hi, I'm 19 in a few months and am currently obese. I have no idea how and where to start as I'm really overweight and all these 'fitness guides' or whatever seem designed for people that are just overweight and it's making me feel helpless. I really want to lose weight and I would appreciate advice from anyone.

BTW I own a treadmill, so I was also wondering whether running can help me lose weight? If anyones got any routines, I'd be grateful.


9 Replies

Hi GreenOut,

Just got your post this afternoon and want to congratulate you for taking your life into your own hands and sorting your weight problem for yourself.

My son recently lost 3 stones by doing the 5:2 fast diet - loads of web sites to help you out there.

Are you responsible for your own meals or are you having to fit in with others? If you are doing your own meals it will be a lot easier I guess.

About the treadmill - yes it's a great way of getting exercise, particularly in this dreadful weather! A lot of us cannot get out as much as we would like at the moment!

Here is the page to go to to download the pod casts:


I think you would probably enjoy starting off on the treadmill and then move outdoors as you get more used to it. C5K is a great community who help each other out and encourage you, answer any questions you may have. We get some really wacky, often silly laughs out of each other and I know we all find the support critical in keeping up the effort.

I hope you do manage to continue. Remember the hardest part is now behind you - you've made the effort to make a change - and you will!

Take a look at some of the posts by going through the communities tag at the top of the page and you will see how much fun we have!

I wish you well and hope we will be seeing your posts as you progress. Go on! New Year, new YOU!

Just DO IT! You'll never regret it - promise!


Yes, GreenOut - fantastic to hear! At 19, you have made the best decision of your life! Beek has asked the most practical question because if you're eating with others you'd really really need to get them on board too. I was also going to suggest that you find out what it is about your lifestyle that has allowed this weight to creep on. Perhaps you should keep a food diary to see where you're making bad choices, not just what you ate but why: bored, feeling low, stress, craving something sweet/salty. You'll be surprised how rarely it is because we're hungry! Are you a student? Do you have a sweet tooth? Is alcohol your weakness? My son went through a period when he was borderline obese and it was comfort eating of carbs that did it, although he got it under control by 16 and is now, five years later, the chunkier end of the 'healthy' range.

As for running, it might be better to start with walking until you've lost a bit - your knees are very precious and to start with your extra weight might put undue stress on them. I used to run but following a bad motorcycle accident four years ago was advised against it, so now I find walking more achievable although it's not so good for the cardio, I know - plan to start cycling a bit once the weather improves.

Beek mentioned the 5:2 plan which is what I'm using for my last 9 lbs. I love it because it suits my busy lifestyle but it might not suit someone who has a lot of time on their hands and so can graze; on the other hand it does mean you can eat 'normally' for 5 days of the week so you don't feel you're depriving yourself; instead of having to say 'no', it's just 'not today'.

I suppose the only other thing I can think of is perhaps you should check in with your doctor - what you are about to do can only be the most amazing gift you can give yourself but it would be as well to make sure you have sound medical support too. I don't know whether local surgeries/GP's would do this, but a monthly weigh/blood pressure check would be a sensible idea - in the long run you will be saving them time/money as you will be beating diabetes, heart disease, well...you get the picture!

I have rambled on a bit but I really really want this to work for you. Beek has it spot on when he says you will never regret it!

Keeping posting.


I would very strongly recommend searching out zoe Harcombe on YouTube, she is a nutritionalist and has created the Harcombe diet, most if not all the information is free she has a website and sells books but they are not essential to do the diet. The most interesting thing for me was the 25 diet myths busted, explaining why all of the current diet advice is wrong and why we are in the state that we are at the moment. Very much worth a look especially at your age.



I would second Beek in suggesting the NHS Couch to 5K plan for running. It starts off very gently, although I did struggle to run for 60secs in the first week, but can now run regular 5k and even further. The C25K community is extremely supportive and friendly. I've lost a stone since starting C25K which I put down solely to running, and it has really improved my body shape. I'm still classed as obese but am now starting the Weightloss Club on here on Monday.

Wishing you luck and congratulations on the decision to make changes in your life, and I will look forward to seeing your posts showing your progress.


If you feel it would help you to understand the biology behind weight gain, and what to eat to be healthy, I recommend you look for the book "Fat Chance" by Dr Robert Lustig. He is an American obesity expert and explains how our hormones are affected by food.

He can also be found on the internet.

Good luck GreenOut.

1 like

Sorry Greenout, I forgot about the Robert Lustig link. He gives good sound advice and you'll find several links via Google.

Good Luck in your journey - GREAT decision!

[and to Victoria Plum - I'm a 'she' beekeeper] LOL!


Hi GreenOut,

There's loads of excellent and free advice about weight loss on the NHS live well lose weight pages. It's well worth a read and they're not trying to "sell" you anything! There's even a free 12 week plan.

My advice is not to go on a "diet", but to change your eating habits and your exercise/activity habits too. Ditch the bad ones and take on the good habits. Change your relationship with food.

I basically started my weight loss journey by ditching (or seriously reducing) lots of high-carb / high-fat foods (chocolate, fried foods, biscuits, cakes, creamy foods, sweets, etc., etc.) and upping my exercise and activity levels.

YES - it is a bit challenging at first, but as you get used to the new ways of doing things, these become the 'norm' and aren't strange or new or difficult any more.

It's well worth the effort. Not having to hump around all that extra weight 24/7 and having a slimmer, lighter, more mobile body will feel just wonderful.

Good luck with your weight loss efforts.


My advice would be take it a step at a time. Trying to change too much at once, you'll find yourself overwhelmed.

I managed to lose 3st 2 years ago by reviewing and changing my lifestyle, I've kept 2.5st of this off and I firmly believe it's because I took my time and didn't 'diet'.

Personally I hate the word diet, focus on improving your lifestyle and you'll start to feel and see the small differences which will spur you on.

There's a lot of info on the nhs website, the hints and tips that you might think are silly really work so give them a try.

Good luck!


Whenever I go online to find ways to lose weight, I always come across the same things that help you lose weight effectively.

First is interval training. It can be done on the treadmill. It's when you train really hard for a short period of time(ex. sprinting) and then take some sort of break(ex. walking). Here is a site with some better examples: active.com/fitness/articles... . But you can always change the time limit to make it easier for yourself rather then doing the 15:3 minute ratio it says for walking and sprinting. Maybe start off with a 3:1 minute ratio for walking and sprinting? And you can do this like 5 times or something to start off and then slowly increase your time every few days or weekly according to how much you can keep at it.

Interval training works well for weight loss because it is said that even after you're done your training, your body continues to lose calories more than it would if you simply just ran for 20 minutes straight.

Second is weight training. Cardio is a good way to warm up, but weight training is where that fat really starts to burn. Not saying cardio doesn't burn fat, but it's just not as effective. And plus, another pro is that you'll have nice muscles! =D

Oh, and you can incorporate the interval training into your weight training if you want. And make sure you don't over do the weight training at first. 3 days per week of weight training is ideal. It's also good to do at least 15 minutes of cardio rather than jumping straight into weight training.

***DON'T forget to stretch before and after your workouts(including cardio workouts) because you need to warm up your muscles*** Another thing is that hydration reduces cramps, so drink tons of water!

Thirdly, you need to eat like there's no tomorrow. Kind of. And the crucial thing here is to make sure it's the RIGHT food with proper nutrition. You're going to need a sufficient amount of energy to support all that weight loss you aim to do. It's said that you should eat every 2 hours. But I find that too extreme since I'm quite lazy, so I think 5 meals a day is good. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and dinner. Make sure breakfast is the heaviest meal of the day and dinner the lightest. This is because you need a good amount of energy to start off the day, but near the end you don't need as much because you'll be going to sleep. Also I've heard that it's a good idea not to eat after 6pm. I haven't followed it yet because my stomach is just too demanding and controls my mind. Bad excuse, I know.. *sigh*

*IMPORTANT- eliminate all pop from your diet! If you can't do it right away, then try doing it slowly by maybe substituting pop for juice at first and then ultimately ending with only water for drinking. And try and decrease junk food and processed food of any sort. And again, do it slowly because doing everything at once never works and the cravings can hit you hard! By the way, cravings are scientifically said to pass by if you wait around 10 minutes. When I'm craving something, I try occupying my mind with something else since boredom is a huge cause for my cravings. I even leave the room I'm in because changing the scene or environment can help me forget them.

It is okay to have cheat days, because sometimes things get tough and following a strict diet will sometimes cause a person to snap back hard, like a rubber band. This'll bring about binge eating and some sort of depression-like feelings. So maybe 3 days of cheating per week and then decreasing it to 1 day of cheating per week would be good, because it allows you to build up your will-power slowly.

Lastly, you need motivation! Losing weight can be hard, especially when you lack the motivation. Try and remind yourself daily of how you want to be healthy. Here are some ways to motivate yourself:

- If you're not happy with how you look, then picture yourself thinner and how you would feel. (I do this a lot!)

- If you're about to eat something that will not contribute to your weight loss, then go to the mirror and look at yourself. (I sometimes pick up my shirt and look at my stomach and look at how big it is, which really helps)

- Exercising causes your body to produce Serotonin, which boosts your mood and keeps you energized.

- Exercise also increases your focus/concentration, which is much needed for studying in school.

- Write down reasons on a paper for why you want to lose weight and go back to it whenever you feel yourself struggling. Things like: I want to be healthy, I want to look good naked(*wink wink* :P), or people will find me attractive.

- Print pictures of people you want to look like, like the ideal body you're going for, and post them up on your walls or wherever to be as a constant reminder.

- Always remind yourself that losing weight is a small sacrifice compared to being your current weight for the rest of your life.

Anyways, there are tons of ways to motivate yourself. Just find that thing that hits you the hardest and use that as your power juice. And to keep things interesting, change it constantly, because sometimes our minds like to find stupid excuses/reasons to not follow the main idea. Minds are evil like that.

This is all I can think of for now. I hope you can use something from this for your journey. And knowing that I helped someone is always nice. Good luck! =]


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