How to Get in Shape When You Are Morbidly Obese

For those who are morbidly obese and have more than 100 pounds to lose, the best day to start losing weight is today. The process may seem daunting, but consider that with outside support and a few small changes, you can start to see results in as little as a few weeks -- and a significantly healthier life in the years ahead.

Visit your doctor and let her know that you plan to start an exercise regimen to lose weight. Ensure that you are healthy enough to begin exercising and ask for any medical precautions or advice.

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Enlist the support of a knowledgeable fitness professional, spouse or friend who you can talk to along the way. Losing weight has social, emotional, and physical considerations and the process will take approximately one to three years. Having sound support will increase your chances of sticking with your lifestyle changes and losing the weight for good.

Start with a low intensity activity such as walking or swimming and begin slowly. Walk to the end of the driveway, or around the block, and choose a time of day when temperatures are mild. Move at a pace where you’re out of breath, but could still have a choppy conversation.

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Be consistent in your workouts. Start by exercising three times each week with one to two rest days in between, and reward yourself for completing each week’s workouts with a pedicure, a new book you've wanted to read and the like. At the start, focus on establishing healthy habits and less on immediate changes.

Eat decadent foods that you love and that contain a whole bunch of vitamins, nutrients, whole grains and protein. Select foods that contain natural ingredients -- in other words, things you can pronounce -- and stay away from fad diets or packaged diet foods. Give yourself permission to have a small dessert, piece of steak or other favorite splurge food once a week.

Practice eating mindfully. "The Wall Street Journal" reporters and editors suggest in the health section that you “assess your hunger when you first sit down, and again every few minutes…and stop when you are no longer hungry, even if it’s after just a small portion of your meal.” You may find an increased level of satisfaction by really savoring your food and naturally want to eat less.

Increase the intensity of your workouts approximately every six weeks. Incorporate a few hills on your walk, or pick up the pace.


Aim to lose a moderate average of one pound a week. According to The National Institutes of Health, “Extreme diets (fewer than 1,100 calories per day) are not thought to be safe or to work very well. Most people who lose weight this way return to overeating and become obese again.”

Drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated.


Expect to feel your muscles working but never push through sharp pain.

If at any point you feel ill, call 911.