Stopping/reversing dramatic weight gain

Seirende

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I have gained approximately 60 pounds over the past eight months or so. This after years of staying at 180 pounds, which is solidly in the healthy range for my height (6'3.5"). I'm not quite sure what happened, I suspect a medication change. I switched to Latuda around the time I started gaining and I've seen weight gain with medication before (valproic acid had me gaining rapidly, although the weight dropped off after I stopped the med). The only other big thing is going back to school, but I made it through medic school without anything like this.

I definitely haven't been eating right or staying very active and I did see the gain slow down when I started paying more attention to my eating habits and working out on occasion. I really still struggle in both areas, though, with the main problem being with food. I never learned to cook and I dislike cooking, so I eat very little vegetables (despite being a vegetarian) and I eat a lot of sandwiches. I did join a gym a while back but go infrequently.

Anyone here ever manage to lose a significant amount of weight and keep it off? I'm at a loss here, never having had to worry about weight for most of my life.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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Anyone here ever manage to lose a significant amount of weight and keep it off? I'm at a sloss here, never having had to worry about weight for most of my life.
well, i think you found your cause and solution right here:
I definitely haven't been eating right or staying very active and I did see the gain slow down when I started paying more attention to my eating habits and working out on occasion. I really still struggle in both areas, though, with the main problem being with food. I never learned to cook and I dislike cooking, so I eat very little vegetables (despite being a vegetarian) and I eat a lot of sandwiches. I did join a gym a while back but go infrequently.
Your body is a machine. calories in - calories used during the day = net gain or loss of caloric intake. if you have a net gain, those calories can be stored as fat, while a net loss can result in your body using more stored calories to make up the differences.

That is, of course, a gross over simplification, but it's the basic solution. if you decrease your caloric intake (eating smaller portions) while increasing you caloric burning (by going to the gym more) you should see the lbs melt off, but keep in mind, it's not a fast process.

If you want some articles on how you can do this, I recommend http://physiqonomics.com/ . The author is kind of an arrogant prick, but he's pretty entertaining, and he's not necessarily wrong, as most of what he says is backed up by actual scientific research (and he includes them in his articles).

I've gained 20 lbs over the past year, due to the same reasons you listed. my goal is to start exercising more, whether that means going to the gym or simply jogging 3-4 times a week. It's hard, but if you put it into your calendar, and maintain the discipline to keep going, you will find yourself sticking to your routine.
 

Remi

Forum Deputy Chief
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I have gained approximately 60 pounds over the past eight months or so. This after years of staying at 180 pounds, which is solidly in the healthy range for my height (6'3.5"). I'm not quite sure what happened, I suspect a medication change. I switched to Latuda around the time I started gaining and I've seen weight gain with medication before (valproic acid had me gaining rapidly, although the weight dropped off after I stopped the med). The only other big thing is going back to school, but I made it through medic school without anything like this.

I definitely haven't been eating right or staying very active and I did see the gain slow down when I started paying more attention to my eating habits and working out on occasion. I really still struggle in both areas, though, with the main problem being with food. I never learned to cook and I dislike cooking, so I eat very little vegetables (despite being a vegetarian) and I eat a lot of sandwiches. I did join a gym a while back but go infrequently.

Anyone here ever manage to lose a significant amount of weight and keep it off? I'm at a loss here, never having had to worry about weight for most of my life.
As Parasite says, weight gain or loss does ultimately come down to energy (calorie) balance, but in actual practice it is much more complicated than that. There are just so many factors that effect your metabolic rate, as well as your appetite.

I don't know much about Latuda, but if the weight gain started shortly after you began this med and you can't identify any other big changes in your diet or lifestyle, then it makes sense. I would definitely talk to your doctor about that.

Another thing to think about is aging. We all undergo a pretty gradual slowdown in our basal metabolic rate that usually starts somewhere in our late 20's or early 30's and continues into our 40's or 50's. Lots of us find it much harder to stay lean starting sometime in our 30's. Maybe that's a factor at play?

Regardless of your age or the medication effects on your weight, it sounds like you might really benefit from increasing your activity level and improve your diet. The key to that for me has been to find an activity that I enjoy (for me it's weight training and walking / hiking) and can fit into my schedule with relative ease. Some activities have a bigger impact on your fitness than others, but really the best routine for you is whatever you enjoy and will therefore stick with. Whatever you choose, commit to doing it at least 3, preferably 4 times a week. For your diet, I think it's best to make small changes. Start with low-hanging fruit like drinking soda or other calorie-heavy drinks. If you do that, just stop, or at least switch to diet. A week or so later, make another change, like switching to some lower-calorie and/or whole grain bread for your sandwiches. A week or so later, make a commitment to eating a couple servings of vegetables each day. I use those steam-fresh ones that come in the bag. Super easy. Small changes like that can really add up over time, and consistency really is key.

It's going to take to some determination to get started, and there will be times that you need to just make yourself go do the activity or cook the food because you just don't feel like it. But it you rely solely on willpower, it probably won't work for long. You need to find a routine and strategy that fits your preferences and lifestyle, and make the time for it. There are lots of options out there.

Good luck.
 
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mgr22

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Seirende, you mentioned something about going back to school. Does that mean you've been much less active with EMS? If so, that might have something to do with your weight gain.
 

Seirende

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Seirende, you mentioned something about going back to school. Does that mean you've been much less active with EMS? If so, that might have something to do with your weight gain.
I haven't been active with EMS since 2017.
 

mgr22

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I haven't been active with EMS since 2017.
Ok, the reason I asked is that I also gained a lot of weight during my first couple of years away from clinical practice. I can't claim any expertise on the matter, but I'm pretty sure my excess poundage was related to the absence of free-flowing catecholamines that were such a big part of my EMS experience. For 20 years I was either doing EMS or thinking about doing EMS -- not a healthy situation, but one that sort of fit my mildly OCD personality. Spending lots of time in a fight-or-flight state probably helped keep my weight constant at around 140 (I'm 5-9).

As soon as I left the field, I started putting on weight and maxed out at about 185. I'm not able to exercise much because of EMS-related disability, so the best solution for me has been to eat only one full meal a day, restrict snacking to no more than, say, 300 calories per 24 hours, and eliminate almost all sweets. It took me a year to get used to that and to stop the weight gain, then another year to start losing. After about four years of my regimen, I've plateaued at around 170, which is ok for me.

Each of us has our own circumstances, but maybe some of this will help.
 

VFlutter

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Keto. Can be hard to do and maintain but worked great for me. Lost 40lbs in 4 months and have kept it off at 14% BF for the past year.
 
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