Weight Loss
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Do Obese People Who Start Losing Weight Lose Rapidly at First?

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Hi, I am brand new here.  I would like to ask a question about the initial rate of weight loss for obese people and/or people who were heavy drinkers who've quit.

8 weeks ago, I weighed 278 lbs. (my heaviest ever).

Today, I weigh 258 lbs.

I am not starving myself.  I eat between 1500 and 1800 per day, sometimes more.  I also walk more than I used to, but it's not like I overdo it.

Before, I was a heavy drinker and I ate a lot of food when I was drinking.  I also specifically ate a lot of cheese (drinking made my cheese cravings stronger).

Now, I do not drink any alcohol at all and I rarely feel the urge to overeat.  My cheese consumption has gone way down.  I am eating more healthy foods.

Why am I losing weight so quickly?  Is it because I've cut out the thing that was at the center of my weight gain (alcohol)? And now my body is able to regulate itself because that barrier is gone?  Is my body regulating (shedding fat) quickly because I have so much more fat than my body is meant to carry and now the cause of the fat gain is gone?  Will the weight loss slow down as I get smaller?

The websites all say that I should be losing a maximum of 2 lbs. per week, but I am losing more quickly, it seems.  I don't want to lose weight in an unhealthy way.  I am wanting to have a healthier, more active lifestyle without alcohol, with healthier foods, and with little cheese consumption.

Any other people out there with more than 50 pounds to lose who initially lost more rapidly than 2 lbs. per week when they changed their consumption and exercise habits?  Any other people who were heavy drinkers who quit alcohol  and found themselves losing weight more quickly than they thought?

Thanks so much!  :)

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I am 5ft 9in, and my start weight was 242lbs, the heaviest I’d ever been. I started with CC on May14th. I reduced massively my alcohol consumption from 2-3 glasses of wine five out of seven days a week to 2-3 glasses of wine once a week. When I drink I crave salty things like crisps and salted nuts also cheese. So now I just have a glass of wine with my meal and not as an all evening thing. I also gave up bread because for the last 3 to 4 years I have suffered with chronic indigestion and heartburn and my husband suggested that it might be bread that was causing my problem. Within 24 hours of stopping eating bread I realised I no longer had heartburn. I wish I had stopped eating bread sooner, if I had known the heartburn was going to disappear so easily I would have just stopped eating the bread years ago!

In my first month of using this fabulous tool I lost 18½ lbs the following month it was 5½ lbs and the third month 5.92 lbs and to date in total I have lost 32 lbs.

What I have discovered is that my weight goes up and down all the time so the only measure I’m using is my monthly weigh ins. Also, I was eating a really healthy diet (except for the alcohol) and it was my portion control that was completely wrong.

SO I guess when any one, like us, makes a huge change to their eating habits they will see early success. For me the challenge will be to stay with this until the end and not get discouraged and give up when I do get plateaus etc. Although the pleasure of sitting here typing this in a pair of shorts I haven’t been able to wear for 3 years is enough to keep me on track.

I just keep sticking to my one rule, ‘whatever I eat or drink is weighed, counted and logged’. Some days I have exceeded my allowance by double, but not often and the next day I just treat it as a new day. I really am determined that this will be my last ever diet.

SO stick to your allowance and enjoy the health and cosmetic benefits that reducing your weight bring, I know I do :o)


btw I still have 65 lbs to go I refer to this as my supermodel to lose :o)

Original Post by fuzzyblue:

Any other people out there with more than 50 pounds to lose who initially lost more rapidly than 2 lbs. per week when they changed their consumption and exercise habits?  Any other people who were heavy drinkers who quit alcohol  and found themselves losing weight more quickly than they thought?

Thanks so much!  :)

Very overweight people with a very poor diet typically lose a lot of weight Week 1 or 2 before it settles down.   If your calorie intake is right (and 1500-1800 sounds a little light for someone your size) you should go on to lose anything up to 1% of your total body-weight (2.5lbs) per week.  If you're losing more than that after 2 weeks, it's often a sign that your calorie intake reduction has been too harsh.  I would suggest going with a steady 1800-1900 for now... no lower than that or you might end up feeling below-par and/or tempted to overeat.

Cutting right back on alcohol was exactly the right thing to do.   You're right... it's not just calories, it also triggers cravings for other foods (cheese) and, of course, it's damaging your body at the same time in other less obvious but more permanent ways.  When I had 50lbs+ to lose and chopped my alcohol intake down to just a couple of glasses a week I saw amazing results.  Well done and good luck.



I was obese when I started (6' tall at 249 lbs) and I started living healthier (eating 1400 calories/day) and I lose 15 lbs in the first 2 weeks, more than a lbs a day!  I'm sure a lot of it was water though because I used to eat like 7000 mg of sodium a day, and I went down to like 2500 mg.  I just passed the overweight barrier today, now I'm 219.0 w/ BMI of 29.7.  But yes obese people do lose weight much faster than people who only have a little to lose.  my weight loss has definitely slowed, I have been averaging like 2-2.5 lbs per week, down from 7.5 lbs per week the first 2 weeks.  I don't drink (I'm 17) but I do know that each unit of alcohol contains approx 100 calories, so each shot, each glass of wine, is about 100 calories.  (I think there's one unit of alcohol in a glass of wine but not sure)  So if you were drinking 3 glasses a day before that'd be an extra 300 calories per day which means .6 lbs per week gain. 

I agree with all the other posters, but want to add that often people with a lot of weight to lose make really big changes in their lifestyle (from zero to lots of exercise, or quitting alcohol or softdrinks or all junk food).  This is fine, as long as they feel they are making sustainable changes (that is, changes they feel they can live with happily for the rest of their lives).  If the changes aren't sustainable, I believe that it is better to make haste more slowly and make smaller changes that will be sustainable.  There is nothing worse than losing a lot of weight, getting a significant way to goal, and giving up all changes in despair because of feeling deprived of all joy in eating and living.  Because then those lost pounds are re-found, often with interest.

Yes it does, unfortunately.

From February 18th when I signed in CC until about the end of  April I had lost about 10kg or 22lbs and then I have reached my first plateau and it was hard.

I am a social drinker so, can't advise in this subject, but you should get ready for the darker times.

The weight loss will slow down progressively and you will have to increase your activity level in order to keep losing weight.

Find the amount of calories you feel comfortable with. Time will teach you how much you should eat.

Against all the advisers here I have chosen to follow what my body is telling me and however my weight loss is still slow, it is steady yes.

I am working out up to 6 days a week and all my fat loss is being replaced with muscles I had no idea I had.

Read, ask, search, but most of all ... listen to your body and keep going, all the hard work is worth, you will see.

good luck!


I expect that the heavier you are the more quickly you will lose and then taper off. I had a similar level of weight-loss since earlier this August, when I started. I'm pretty heavy and I've gotten rid of 10 pounds in less than 3 weeks. I also have a calorie deficit of 1000 calories which should translate to .25 lbs. lost per day but it's been more like 1/2 a pound a day. However my metabolic rate and activity maybe higher than CC calculated or maybe it's all water weight.

So if we look at it as weekly weight loss as percentages of total weight rather than whole numbers it may make more sense because it keeps pace with your current weight.

Just to let you know, I just started the food log and since that made me pay more attention to what I was eating, I probably am eating WAY less food than before. I drink 8 glasses more water, take supplements and vitamins and started exercising about 1 hr/day. Before that, I spent all day on a couch or bed. So I guess it was a pretty big lifestyle change. And it's sustainable since the sedentary part had to do with the fact that I was on vacation for 3 mths.

The heavier you are, the more calories you burn just by existing. Exercise, even light activity like walking, burns many more calories for an obese person than a thin one. As you get smaller, your body will have to work less to keep you moving, and you'll also probably get more efficient at exercise, so you'll burn fewer calories and lose weight slower.

Great job by all of you on your weight lost!  Very inspiring and truly outstanding!

fuzzyblue:  I don't know that i was obese, but I had that large, "beer-belly" paunch that so many American males accumulate through the years.  I found out that by cutting and recording calories and doing extra exercise, I lost weight really rapidly--probably too rapidly.  I lost around 45 pounds in less than 3 months.  But I definitely noticed the last 5 pounds seemed as if they would never come off. 

My cautions to anyone who is losing from 25-200 pounds or however so much,

  1. If you undergo a diet and/or exercise routine that is so severe that some day you will hate doing it, then it will be very difficult to maintain and frustration and weight gain will set in.
  2. Lose weight slowly and intelligently and in a healthy manner.  Losing weight too rapidly can often have negative health consequences.
  3. Do not worry about plateauing or momentary slight weight gains; stick with a intelligent diet/exercise routine and you will succeed.
  4. If possible, consult a health-wellness expert.
  5. Log/record weight, meals, calories, if you can and have the mental willingness to do it.

Best of luck in all things and especially in your weight-loss goals.

If I'm doing the math right you lost 20 pounds in 8 weeks which is averaging 2.5 pounds per week which is just under 1% of your weight.  So you're losing at a perfectly acceptable rate so far.   If you continue to lose 2.5 or more than that as you get closer to 200 you'll want to adjust your calorie intake or exercise, but it sounds like you're off to a good start!

Congrats on your early success!  Keep up the good work!

Hi to everyone who has responded, and thank you!  Your information and advice have helped me a lot.  :)

I am 32 years old and obese, and when I was in my early teens, I was overweight (but not obese).  As I reached my mid-teens, I began dieting and took it overboard.  I developed anorexia nervosa.   I literally became as thin as Kate Moss (the waif look was all the rage then).  I recovered from anorexia by my early 20's, but I just don't want to overdo my weight loss and start down that road again, though I am much more mature and knowledgeable now.

I feel that my lifestyle changes (especially and most importantly the alcohol abstinence) are sustainable.  I am actually an alcoholic, so I have many reasons to not drink at all and have become committed to remaining free of that substance.  Alcohol has hurt me in many ways and I'm done with it.  I want a better life as a sober person.

I've been a vegetarian for 16 years and I eat quite healthy food (except for having eaten too much cheese for years).   I also had portion control problems, usually while drinking. I feel that eating healthy vegetarian food is sustainable because I've been doing it for so long and am committed to it.

The exercise is sustainable because I live in New York City, I don't drive, and I walk around briskly as I go about my day.  I am committing to walking even more than that (like taking specific brisk walks for exercise each day) and I am also doing some weight training now.

I am okay with losing weight rapidly at first if it's because I'm burning so much due to my excess weight and because I've taken out the main weight gain culprits.  I just want my lifestyle change to stay a healthy one. 

My goal weight is 180 lbs., which I know is considered "overweight" for my height (5' 8"), but my body type is large-framed and buxom.  I also feel physically comfortable at that weight.  I don't want to be skinny; I want to be voluptuous and curvaceous but much smaller than I am now.

Anyone else watch "You Are What You Eat", the show with nutritionist Gillian McKeith?  That show has inspired and informed me a lot recently.  For us yanks, it's shown on the BBC America channel.

Thanks again for your responses and I congratulate you on your weight loss.  I wish everyone a healthier future.  :)


It's feeling about the same for me. I've been watching myself for about 2 weeks and although my scale is insane, best I can figure I've lost about 5-10 pounds. I try to never have a deficit of more than 1000 (if that) but I'm still losing fairly quickly. I'm not too worried though since I don't think I'm doing anything dangerous. Just keep readjusting your intake for how much you excercise and currecntly weight. I keep forgetting that I'll have to eat even less when I weigh less. :(

I lost weight SUPERFAST when I was heavier.  Now I struggle for every pound, and I'm still overweight, so I don't know what gives.  The more you weigh, the more calories you burn just by carting yourself around, I know that much.  Major congrats on the lost poundage!

Original Post by fuzzyblue:

Anyone else watch "You Are What You Eat", the show with nutritionist Gillian McKeith?  That show has inspired and informed me a lot recently.  For us yanks, it's shown on the BBC America channel.

 Gillian McKeith's show is compulsive viewing.  Her obsession with faeces and that thing she does where she makes the victim look at a table groaning with a week's worth of their old diet are pure circus.... but it does make you think about your own habits!  I have her book

Good luck

I started counting my losses at 290.  Very quickly, I was down to 270.  Your story is pretty common.  I think it is partially water/inflammatory loss to begin with - you 'de-swell' as you eat a little healthier.  My experience has been that the first 50 pounds were pretty easy to lose.  I've been stuck at 240 for months and months now.  My life has recently taken a major change (I got into vet school) so I'm hoping my new routine will help.


Good luck!  And I know you already feel better - after those first 20 pounds my knees were about ready to send me a thank-you card.

Crikey I hope my first 50lbs are easy too! Then I'll only have another 47 to go :o)


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