7 Best Weight-Loss Tips If You Have a Lot to Lose

Do you want to lose weight, build muscle, or feel more fit?

Trying to lose 50 pounds isn’t the same as trying to lose five — but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

After all, immediate results tend to be a lot more dramatic in people who have more pounds to lose compared with those who are trying to trim a few.

That’s because the closer your body is to its “ideal weight,” the less apt it is to change. The further you are from that target, though, the more adaptable the body tends to be.

And, according to 2016 research published in Cell Metabolism, the first five percent of weight lost offers the greatest health benefit in people with obesity. Score!

Unfortunately, for many weight-loss warriors (show of hands?) those results quickly plateau. And it’s not for lack of motivation or dedication. It’s pure biology.

However, experts have found that, when people lose large amounts of weight — going, for instance, from 250 to 150 pounds, their metabolic rates don’t decrease to match up with those of other 150-pounders.

They actually decrease much further, working in direct opposition to continued weight-loss goals.

“When a person loses weight, the body senses the new weight as abnormally low or weight-reduced. The body will activate survival mechanisms to restore the lost weight by dropping metabolism,” says Ethan Lazarus, M.D., a board member of the Obesity Medicine Association.

“Several studies, including the recent study on ‘Biggest Loser’ participants, demonstrate a significant drop in metabolism and an increase in hunger persisting 6 years after the weight loss,” he adds.

Researchers with the National Institutes of Health found that, when looking at 14 people who had lost significant amounts of weight on the show, their resting metabolic rates (the number of calories they burn just chilling out) were about 500 calories lower than they should have been based on their weight, body composition, age, and gender. That is why, of those 14 people, 13 regained everything.

So, if you have a lot of weight to lose, how can you make sure that month by month, your weight loss gets easier, not harder? Follow these best weight-loss tips, straight from scientific journals and top obesity medicine specialists.

1. Build confidence with “low-hanging fruit”

When it comes to weight loss, the first step tends to be the hardest one. Make it easier by starting with “low-hanging fruit,” habits that are easily modifiable but can make a big difference in your weight.

These habits can include:

cooking more, taking the stairs at work, cutting back on your soda habit, or drinking a daily nutritional shake to jump-start cleaning-eating habits.