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It’s a bit of an odd question, but is often asked when the discussion of weight loss is on the table, “do obese people lose weight faster?” It’s quite noticeable on reality TV shows like The Biggest Loser where the heavier people lose more weight compared to the less overweight folks on the show. But is this the norm, or just the result of an obese person working harder to shed the pounds. The simple answer to that question is yes, although the reasons are a bit complicated.
The American Heart Association says that losing weight can reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. In addition, your metabolism can increase simply by reducing your body weight by 10 percent. With a faster metabolism, the body can turn food into energy at a faster rate.
What is Morbidly Obese?
We all know the BMI is a bit whack, but nonetheless, knowing when you are obese compared to morbidly obese is important if the aim of the game is to lose weight.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, you are considered morbidly obese if you have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher. The CDC states that obesity is often subdivided into three categories. Class 1 obesity occurs if you have a BMI of 30 to 34 while Class 2 is a BMI of 35 to 39. Class 3, which is called either morbid, extreme or severe obesity is the most dangerous of the three.
People who are morbidly obese are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, arthritis, sleep apnea, mental illness and body pain. They are also more likely to develop endometrial, esophageal, liver, kidney, pancreatic, colorectal and other types of cancer.
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How Do Obese People Lose Weight Faster?
One benefit that morbidly obese people have over those who have just a few pounds to lose is that they seem to lose weight faster. One reason is that people who become obese often have a sedentary lifestyle.
Extra weight on the body makes you less inclined to move which can create a cycle of obesity. When an obese person decides to lose weight by exercising, their bodies tend to react quickly to the calories they are burning, allowing them to lose weight quickly.
In addition, obese people have biophysics on their side when it comes to weight loss. The more someone weighs, the more calories they burn during activity.
For example, a 150-pound person burns, on average, 236 calories walking at 3 miles per hour for 60 minutes. A 250-pound person burns 393 calories walking at the same speed for the same hour. The 150-pound person would take two weeks of daily walks to burn one pound while the 250-pound person could burn almost two pounds doing the same exercise.
The Metabolism of the Morbidly Obese
Another factor that the morbidly obese have going for them when it comes to weight loss is their basal metabolic rate. This is the number of calories you burn simply living each day.
Even when you are relaxed in your big man recliner with your feet up, your body is burning calories as your brain functions, you breathe and your heart beats. It is also burning energy as it repairs and replaces your cells and tissues. Now, this is the kind of weight loss I can handle.
This means that the more you weigh, the more energy your body burns even when you are doing nothing. Therefore, a morbidly obese person could lose weight by significantly cutting calories, exercise little and still lose more weight than a smaller person who eats less and works out often.
We All Make Bad Food Choices
Whether you are morbidly obese or not, chances are the food choices made are not always the best. Even when I am deadset committed to a weight loss goal or exercising hard on my treadmill, I know that sometimes the food I eat is the wrong choice.
But the thing is, once I realized how many calories were in my night time movie snack (m&m’s) and the fact that the hard work I did on the treadmill that day was made redundant from these m&m calories, my mindset shifted a bit. I thought to myself, ‘are these m&ms really worth spending 45 minutes on the treadmill?’
Not all, but many people like myself are likely to have bad eating habits or are partaking of foods that are not healthy. It’s only natural to want to enjoy tasty food and snacks.
Cutting Back, But Not Cutting Out
In some cases, someone who is morbidly obese can lose weight simply by cutting out some of these energy-dense foods that contribute to their calorie intake each day. Now, this is certainly not the case for everyone, as there are medical conditions at play here also.
Simply by dropping from a 3,000 calorie per day diet to a 2,000 calorie per day diet could lead to weight loss for someone who is extremely heavy while a thinner person may not lose at all on a 2,000 calorie per day diet. This is one reason why obese people lose weight faster.
How Much Weight Can a Morbidly Obese Person Lose in a Month?
Losing weight can be difficult whether you’re obese or not. For some of us, just starting the notion of losing weight can be too challenging to do alone. This is why many people who are extremely overweight are more likely to try fad diets that promise quick weight loss, especially if the diet says you can lose weight without exercise.
Safe and sustainable weight loss often requires a lifestyle change and research shows that slow weight loss is actually more sustainable than fast weight loss. So when determining how much weight can an obese person lose in a month is a challenging question to answer.
Factors That Influence How Much Weight You Can Lose
There are many factors that can have an impact on how much you can lose in a month. In order to lose one pound per week, you will need to take in about 500 calories less a day than you expend. However, that is a rate for an average sized person.
Someone who is heavier may find that they lose larger amounts of weight during the first few weeks, sometimes as much as ten pounds per week. In the first month, it may be possible to lose 20 to 30 pounds if you consistently eat far fewer calories than you burn. However, keep in mind that as your weight drops, your weight loss may slow, both because you are losing weight but because your body will adjust to your new eating and exercise schedule.
How Can a Morbidly Obese Person Lose Weight Fast?
The best way to begin losing weight quickly is to eat fewer calories. One of the best ways to start is to track everything you eat. For some people, tracking for a week before they decide to start their weight loss plan gives them an idea of just how many calories they are eating each day.
Once you know how much you are eating, cutting your calories by 500 a day could help you lose a pound a week and 1,000 a day could help you lose two pounds a week, a healthy rate of weight loss. It is very important that you do not cut your calories too drastically, however.
If you are 100 or more pounds overweight, a 1,200-calorie per day diet could be dangerous for you as you will not get the nutrients your body needs. Simply reducing your calorie intake by 500 is enough.
How Should a Morbidly Obese Person Start Exercising?
If you have 100 pounds or more to lose, it can be frustrating when people tell you to exercise and lose weight. When you are morbidly obese, it may be difficult to stand at all for long periods, let alone walk around the block.
In fact, it can be dangerous for an extremely overweight person to jump right into rigorous exercise. Talk to a personal trainer who can help put you on an exercise plan. Some gyms offer free personal training services with a membership.
It is also critical that you speak to your doctor before starting a weight loss program to avoid injury. If joining a gym is not possible, start making small changes. Instead of using the remote, walk across the room to change the channel.
While watching television, use arm weights or stand and do squats during commercials. Even those small moves can help you burn additional calories. If you don’t have weights, use items around our house. Soup cans make great hand weights. Lift your feet up off the floor and put them down to strengthen muscles.
Obese People May Lose Weight Quicker, But Remember It’s a Long Term Game
It is possible for someone who is morbidly obese to lose weight and, by setting goals, getting your body moving and reducing how many calories you eat, you may see the weight coming off quickly initially which can help keep you motivated.
Staying motivated is what I believe to be my biggest hurdle to overcome. It’s far too easy to become depressed as a big man and finding the motivation to better improve my life is challenging at the best of times. But staying committed to the end goal is my personal approach and for you, it may be different. You may not even want to lose weight and that is totally fine with me also. Weight loss is a personal choice and not one that is mandatory.