Topic: What Are Good Diet And Exercise Programs For Obese People?

Obesity is a major health concern and epidemic in the United States. It's important to encourage and help any obese people who want to change their lifestyle.

What are some good diet and exercise programs for people who are obese?

What are some good foods for them to choose when dining out in a restaurant, e.g. buffet... while sticking to this diet?

If someone you know is obese, how should you go about helping them?

How can you encourage someone who is obese to stick to their diet and training?

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  1. Nevel View Profile
  2. Spaniard00 View Profile

1st Place: Nevel

View This Author's BodySpace Here.

Obesity is a major health concern and epidemic in the United States. It's important to encourage and help any obese people who want to change their lifestyle.

Diet and Exercise

Before I list a long program of sets and reps, we should consider whether a workout in a gym is right for whoever we are trying to help. Obesity is a rather broad term. It can be someone who has just a little above average fat, or it could be someone who is morbidly obese and has other complications as a result of a large amount of fat.

If it is the latter of the two situations, this person could have problems with their bone structure, pains in their feet, or other factors that would prevent them from performing normal, gym type exercises. So we'll start at the top, which we'll call Group A, and work our way down to Group C.

  • "Group A" is made up of those obese people who are able to perform normal "lifting" style exercises and light to moderate cardio with very little to no pain in their bones. (Muscle pain and soreness is always acceptable). My program for this group is made up of some light lifting to introduce them to working out with weights slowly.

  • "Group B" is made up of those obese people who are not able to perform normal "lifting" style exercises without additional pain coming from their joints and bones, but are able to do some light cardio. This workout program is made up of light cardio performed throughout the week.

  • Finally, "Group C" is made up of individuals who have problems moving around for long periods of time. Yes, even these people are able to get a workout, burn calories, and work muscles.

Group A Sample Workout: (3 sets of each exercise)

Day 1:

  • Dumbbell Bench Press
  • Incline Bench Press
  • Cable Crossovers
  • One Arm Dumbbell Rows
  • V-bar pulldowns
  • Deadlifts

Day 2:

  • Dumbbell Lateral Raises
  • Arnold Dumbbell Presses
  • Cambered Bar Curls
  • Seated Dumbbell Curls
  • Seated Triceps Press
  • Triceps Pushdown
  • Wrist Curls

Day 3:

  • Leg Press
  • Leg Extensions
  • Hamstring Curls
  • Seated Calf Raises
  • Standing Calf Raises

*This program also includes light cardio performed on 3 off days for 45 minutes per day. There should be at least one day's rest between each lifting day.

Group B Workout

5-6 days of cardio performed at least twice a day that adds up to 60 minutes per day. Also crunches performed 3 times per week doing 3 sets to failure.

Cardio Activities Include:

  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Biking
  • Rowing
  • Swimming
  • Aerobics class
  • Jumping Rope
  • Anything else you can think of to keep you moving.

Group C Workout

Since this group is unable to perform any activities used by the other groups, we need to just get them moving, period. I know it sounds silly, especially to us iron freaks, but there's a show on public television that has an old lady doing a workout show while sitting in a chair.

They perform these exercises either with no weight, or light weights found around the house (for example, soup cans). Now I laughed when I first heard of this, but I have seen some elderly obese people use this to move towards their goal of being able to perform normal activities. So for Group C, I would advise watching/taping the show and performing these workouts.

Moving Up

Now these three workouts are not going to be for everyone. They should be experimented with to see which level you are at. The point is to start at wherever you are and move up in the groups (for example do the B workouts til you lose enough weight and are comfortable doing Group A workouts).

Then, finally when the day comes that the Group A workouts are a breeze, then it's time to step it up, come back here and find a more serious "bodybuilding" type of workout that you are prepared for.


Now for the nutritional aspect.

Many people would just yell "stop eating too much" at this group of individuals and brush them off as "lazy" or "gluttonous". This however is not the solution. If an obese person stops eating and cuts back on his or her calories too much, then the body will start to feed off of fat AND MUSCLE to fuel itself. But we want to lose as little muscle as possible, in fact we want to gain some without an exercise program.

So what we are looking at is a reduction in calories big enough to cause fat loss, but not so big that the person ends up starving themselves and has a big binge and we end up further away from our goal than where we started. So what we have to do is cut around 500 or more calories depending on how much extra weight you have.

500 calories per day times seven days a week = 3500 calories, which is exactly what's in a pound of fat. Add this to the thousands of extra calories burned each week from our new exercise program we're on and we're talking about some serious fat loss!

Now I have not even mentioned what we're going to prescribe to eat yet. First of all, throw out all the junk food. You knew that was coming and was hoping I would forget to tell you, but it's got to be done. Goodbye regular soda, goodbye potato chips. It's what has been holding you back all this time.

Time To Say Goodbye.

Doing this alone may cut back those 500 calories or so that you are looking to restrict from your diet. Now you need to fill your kitchen with:

Some healthy complex carbs:

  • Whole wheat bread
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Potatoes

Some healthy protein supplies:

  • Lean cuts of beef
  • Fish
  • Eggs (but don't eat too many yolks)
  • Fat free cottage cheese
  • Perhaps a little protein powder
  • Skim milk
  • Fat free yogurt
  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Fat free peanut butter
  • Any fruits or vegetables you can get your hands on
  • Crisp, refreshing spring water
  • A good multivitamin

Now we're on our way! So for each one of our meals, we want to have a nice balanced plate of one or two servings of each one of these groups. Now after a few days of this, you'll wonder how you ever lived any other way.

Eating Out

What Are Some Good Foods For Them To Choose When Dining Out In A Restaurant, e.g. Buffet...While Sticking To This Diet?

This is a huge (no pun intended) challenge to those trying to lose weight and eat healthier. Restaurants these days are serving larger portions, unhealthier food, and more "all you can eat" style service. I consider these types of restaurants to be terrorists on our own soil. The damage they do to our society is quite sizable.

So what are we going to do to fight these monsters? Are we gonna hide and never go near these places again? Hell no! (but you should eat at these places sparingly) Doing this would most likely cut down on 90% of your options for places to go out to eat. Instead, if we enter the restaurant with the right frame of mind, then we should be able to come out alive and not feel suicidal that night for eating more than we are able to lift.

The first tactic is to eat balanced, healthy meals all day. Don't starve yourself all day in anticipation of going out to eat at night. This will lead to a huge eating binge and give you the "I can afford to eat fried " mind set. A modified version of this tactic is to eat a SMALL, healthy snack about an hour before you plan to go to the buffet. This meal should include slow digesting complex carbs and fiber that will keep you full throughout the night.

Serving sizes is another issue at buffets and restaurants. Most cuts of meat these days are actually 4 or more regular serving sizes. The same goes for most other dishes. At buffets, they use the same size serving spoon for cakes and pies as they do for vegetables. This leads to people eating food items that would be fine to eat in moderation, but instead are loaded onto plates in amounts that should feed entire families.

The final thing you need to do in preparation of eating out is to have a meal planned in your head before you go and stick to that plan. This meal should be made up from items in the above list of prescribed items that you loaded up your kitchen with, remember?

Look over the menu and find the closest item possible to your ideal meal you came up with. If they don't have exactly what you are looking for, ask your waiter/waitress if they will modify something for you so it fits closer into your plan.

Most restaurants these days are more than willing to modify meals to meet their customer's needs. Just remember that your planned meal is absolute and nothing can be added to it. I don't care how much more you can get for 99 cents or how good the chocolate overdose cake looks. At the end of the night, you will be happier with yourself if you avoid the temptation and go for a plate of fruit instead.

Remember, the best way to avoid the evils of restaurants is to not frequent them all the time. Discover the joy of buying and preparing your own healthy meals. Then you know exactly what went into the dishes you eat and there are no hidden calories like there are sometimes in restaurant foods. Think about it, do you think that they are using top quality, low fat meats to prepare the food they make for you?

If Someone You Know Is Obese, How Should You Go About Helping Them?

This may be the most difficult part of the process: getting someone started. The ideal situation would be for the obese person to come to you and ask you for your help. If this occurs, refer to the diet and exercise plan above to guide them along.

An even harder situation to handle would be to attempt to influence someone to start dieting and/or exercising without them asking for help. All people, even bodybuilders, are sensitive about their weight/appearance. Being direct and telling them, "you're obese, you need to lose weight" will probably do more harm than good. Instead, you should find more subtle ways to direct this person down the road of health and well being.

One tactic I have used is to get the person involved in your diet and exercise program indirectly. Invite them to meet you at a restaurant, get there early and order their food for them. Or, perhaps go to their house and offer to make dinner for them. Make them a delicious, healthy dinner that will show them that you don't have to eat crap to enjoy eating.

You could also ask them to help you out, come to the gym to spot you. This will most likely spark many questions in their minds while they are at the gym with you. Not only should you answer their questions, but you should go beyond answering just what they asked and get them excited about what is going on in the gym. Have them do some of the exercises and compliment them on their form.

Another idea might be to invite them to come do activities with you that are aerobic in nature. These include walking, swimming, biking, or whatever other interests they might have that could burn calories. Make this something that you do with them all the time. Not only will this help them to start losing weight and start living a healthier lifestyle, but it will also help you to do regular cardio.

Any one of the above ideas should help to inspire any obese person to start living healthier. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the person has to want to change. You telling them over and over that they need to lose weight and live healthier will not bring about any permanent change.

How Can You Encourage Someone Who Is Obese To Stick To Their Diet and Training?

First of all, before you get to this step, look back and make sure that the diet and training program that you have decided to give this person is one that is reasonable. If you have this person excluding certain food groups from their diet, eating only watermelon all day, or working out for 4 hours a day starting at midnight, then they are not going to stick with your program.

The program should not be a "fad" program or a miracle diet. It needs to be a diet and exercise program that would be reasonable to continue with for the rest of this person's life.

Now, if the program looks reasonable, then your job as a motivator should be relatively easy. There are many factors that could cause someone to give up on their exercise and/or eating programs. Your job is to make sure that these barriers are avoided or broken through along the journey to life long health.

Be A Role Model

First of all, you have to be a role model to the person you are helping. This is one of those "monkey see, monkey do situations." The obese person may assume that since you are skipping workouts and eating like an off season pro, then they can do the same and achieve their goals. You want to implant themes of dedication, discipline, and healthy behaviors in their head.


Another motivational tactic is to pay the person compliments on how well they are doing. If their form is good, tell them. If they are eating perfectly, tell them how much you respect them for it. Most importantly, if they are losing weight and looking better, make sure you tell them.

Most people cannot tell when they have lost 5 or 10 pounds unless the scale tells them so. So letting them know that their program is working might be what they need to keep going for another week.

The most difficult obstacle to overcome is frustration. This evil little item will come in the form of pounds not lost, strength not gained, plateaus, difficulty staying away from nutritional no-no's, and laziness. Even we, the "healthy elite" have to battle these forces of nature all the time (and some times they win). But, if you can help someone through these then they are set. Give them the encouragement to keep going and ensure them that the changes they want to see will come.


The final thing that you have to do to help someone stay with their training/eating program is to constantly modify the program to meet the obese person's needs. Maybe you find out after the first week that they can't handle walking for 45 minutes a day. Instead of telling them to "tough it out," instead maybe it should be reduced to 30 minutes per day.

In another case, this person may not be satisfied with the arm workouts you have given them. So you need to rework the program and find what works best for this individual.

2nd Place: Spaniard00

View This Author's BodySpace Here.


Obesity is not only a health concern but, an epidemic that is getting worse every day. In no other country in the world is obesity so common as in the United States. If you know someone with weight issues it is your civil duty to assist them. Now having said that, I believe that there is only one basic principle that must be used to have your obese friend make an incredible transformation. Your friend can't start off on a rigid diet. This is just unrealistic.

Lifestyle Change

There must be an entire life style change on just about every level. Remember he did not get that way through bad luck, but through his lifestyle. I would have your friend write a journal on what he does on a daily basis. Go through it with him and point out his mistakes. This can include eating, drinking, sleeping, and many other problems that need to be resolved. After your friend self analyzes himself for a week and corrects his basic mistakes it is time to make a plan. The plan must consist of many things.

Goal Setting

First, part of this plan is goal setting. It is crucial that your friend realizes that this will take time. Have him make small monthly goals. For example, the first month make a goal of losing 5 pounds. Instead of jumping into cardio, a rigid diet or resistance exercise, have your friend walk around the neighborhood, wash the car or maybe even some gardening.

If you start your friend off too fast he might get frustrated or even get injured. Remember, he will be excited by the very prospect of accomplishing this goal. After you have set a goal you must think about how exactly this approach will be executed. In order to do this he must educate himself about the basics of nutrition, resistance exercise, cardiovascular, sleep and many other areas. This can be accomplished by reading all of the amazing articles on this website.

Make A Journal

Second, It is crucial that your friend makes a journal and logs when he is eating, what he is eating and what portion sizes. Your friend must clean out his entire house of temptations that will try to test his will and than go shopping and replace that with healthy foods.


Third, and most importantly your friend desperately needs your support. You must have other friends constantly giving him credit for changing his life. If your friend has a family have them keep a track of him and tell him how proud they are of him. This is crucial.

Nothing is as important for someone going through troubling times than morale. You must also tell him when you see physical progress, this will only fuel his desire for a transformation even more. Now I will get into more specific aspects of what diet and exercise programs should look like for an obese person.

Part 1: What Are Some Good Diet And Exercise Programs For People Who Are Obese?

Now I am adamantly against someone laying out a rigid diet or a brutal workout routine for someone who is obese. You must remember that their fate hangs on a thread. If they believe this as being impossible they will not accomplish their goals. Now I will lay out some basic information.

The only way of losing fat is by achieving a daily caloric deficit. A calorie deficit is the main factor, which dictates how much fat will be ultimately lost. However, there are many other factors, which can have a positive influence on removing fat.


Nutrition is the most important factor in achieving a calorie deficit. If you consume too many calories, than all the training and cardio will be in vein. However, someone who is obese will lose fat faster in the beginning of their diet compared to someone with 8% body fat who is preparing for a contest. Regardless eating properly is the most effective tool in an obese person's arsenal.

Meal Frequency

Meal frequency is by far an obese person's best ally when it comes to fat loss. Back in the caveman days our ancestors did not have massive food markets, which they could go to. They had to constantly hunt and sometimes did not eat for very long periods of time.

After hours on end of not eating their body went into starvation mode so that they would not die. This mode is the body's self defense mechanism to prevent you from starving, as it would cause the body to preserve fat at the cost of muscle and certain bodily functions. Fat that was at one time necessary for the survival of our ancestors has ironically become the number one killer of our loved ones. That being said it is no longer healthy or necessary to eat 3 massive meals throughout the day.

First of all, when you eat 5-6 smaller meals your body is much more effective at doing favorable nutrient partitioning. Your body will not store fat as easily as it would when you flooded your body with 3 large meals. Having smaller meals also keeps your metabolism spiked and every time you consume food your body creates a process called thermogenesis.

Thermogenesis is a response your body does when food is ingested. Thermogenesis increases the level of heat in your body, which in turn destroys calories in the process. Eating 5-6 smaller meals is crucial for an obese person trying to lose fat.

Good Foods

Just like meal frequency, what foods you eat are especially crucial for obese people. The foods you are consuming should be made up of properties in the right percentages that have been repeatedly proven to eliminate fat. The basic guideline is a 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates and 20% fat split. This means that every meal should consist of this ratio. Now if your friend is obese remember he is not advanced enough nor has the discipline to execute a carb cycling diet or any extreme nutritional program.

Every diet program has protein, carbohydrates, and fats for a reason. Protein preserves muscle mass, increases thermogenesis, repairs muscles, prevents catabolism, and stimulates metabolism. Carbohydrates are needed just as much as proteins regardless of what the media says.

Fats coming in the form of Essential Fatty Acids are also mandatory. Essential Fatty Acids have a wide array of benefits.

View Top Selling EFA Products Here.

Bad Foods

While all these nutritional guidelines will be very confusing to your friend you must keep one thing in perspective. What not to eat is just as important as what to eat. With the elimination of certain foods your obese friend will lose the few first pounds of fat pretty rapidly.

Your friend should remove whole milk, donuts, candies, sugary products, fries, ketchup, mustard, most breads, mayonnaise butter, and anything that adds empty calories. This will be a huge sacrifice for him, but when he sees the fat coming off from this simple change he will be pumped. Remember, these are only the very basic nutritional guidelines to get an obese person started. It is not a good idea to overwhelm him. You do not want them thinking this is too hard.

Good Diet For Obese

Once again keeping it simple is crucial. A good diet for someone who is obese has a 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates, 20% essential fatty acid split for all five to six meals a day. Food should be timed by the clock and consumed either every two and a half or three hours.

Any diet for the obese must keep saturated fat, and sugars to a minimal. Biggest meal portion should be eaten in the morning and smallest at night. Last but not least, remember to eat slowly. If you eat quickly your brain will not know it is full until 15 minutes have passed.

Exercise For Obese

Exercise comes in two forms, cardio vascular and resistance training. When it comes to making an exercise regimen for someone who is obese you must remember that they haven't been lifting for years and at best have minimal knowledge about cardio training. When your friend has a decent diet under his belt it is time to exercise.

Slow and Steady Wins The Race

They should begin with light walking and swimming for the first week. When they have completed one week of daily swimming and walking it is time for them to train with machines. It is best to start off slow with one muscle group a day, 3 sets of each exercise and only three exercises in total.

It is best to do cardio one day and then weight training the next day. For example, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, you do weight training and cardio should be done on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Sunday will be day of rest. It is important not to over train.

After another week replace some of the machine workouts with barbells and dumbbell exercises and do two muscle groups a day for the same sets. This should be enough to get your friend started when it comes to weight training. Cardio however should remain at swimming and walking for ad least two weeks.

When this becomes to easy you should replace it with light jogging on a treadmill. I specifically say treadmill because it is much easier on your ankles and feet, especially considering your friend is carrying more weight around. Follow this simple routine for that one crucial month and he will be more than happy to continue.

Sample Cardio and Weight Lifting Split

Week 1: Duration: at least 10 min.; Cardio: light swimming and walking; Resistance: none; Sets/Exercises: none.  

Week 2: Duration: at least 10 min.; Cardio: light walking; Resistance: machines, 1 body part; Sets/Exercises: 3 sets for 3 exercises.  

Week 3: Duration: at least 10 min.; Cardio: light jogging on treadmill; Resistance: machines and barbells, 2 body parts; Sets/Exercises: 3 sets for 6 exercises.  

Week 4: Duration: at least 15 min.; Cardio: light jogging on treadmill; Resistance: machines, barbells and dumbbells, 2 body parts; Sets/Exercises: 3 sets for 6 exercises.  

Week 5: Duration: at least 15 min.; Cardio: light jogging on treadmill; Resistance: machines, barbells and dumbbells, 3 body parts; Sets/Exercises: 3 sets for 9 exercises.  


  • Monday: Resistance
  • Tuesday: Cardio
  • Wednesday: Resistance
  • Thursday: Cardio
  • Friday: Resistance
  • Saturday: Cardio
  • Sunday: Rest

Part 2: What Are Some Good Foods For Them To Choose When Dining Out In A Restaurant, e.g. Buffet... While Sticking To This Diet?

A restaurant or buffet, are very dangerous places if one is trying to stay on a diet. Most places give you portions that could be eaten by three people and with more saturated fat than you could imagine.

Too Much Of A Good Thing

So when you order something healthy remember, there is such a thing as eating too much of a good thing. So take all the extra food they put on your plate and put it in a Ziploc bag, so you can take it home and eat it in a smaller portion size.

Some of the foods you should order are:

  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Fruits
  • Oatmeal
  • Wheat
  • Multi grained bread
  • Spanish rice
  • Brown rice
  • Vegetables
  • Olive oil
  • Calamari
  • Tuna
  • Ham
  • And many other choices.

Foods you should ignore are:

  • Most Chinese foods
  • Steaks
  • Butter
  • Hamburgers
  • Cheeseburgers
  • Ice cream
  • Pasta
  • And anything oily, sugary, fried, or saucy.

While you are out or at home you should always be drinking water instead of any other liquid. Not only does it have no calories but it is a great appetite suppressant. It is best to ignore buffets and restaurants but if you are stuck just remember to get a Ziploc bag and chose your foods very wisely.

Part 3: If Someone You Know Is Obese, How Should You Go About Helping Them?

Obesity in my opinion is worse than using drugs. Your life expectancy is literally cut in half if you are obese. Do you want your friend to die prematurely and live a life with low self-esteem and depression? Of course not, so you must start off by being supportive and being a true friend.

You need to be their initial motivation. Most things are momentary but true friendship lasts forever. No one has as much influence on your friend than you do. You must have a serious sit down and be very cautious when you talk about it. Chances are your friend will be uncomfortable and will be very defensive if you make the wrong comment. Whatever you do assist your friend and you will feel great for helping him.

Part 4: How Can You Encourage Someone Who Is Obese To Stick To Their Diet & Training?

Absolutely nothing in this entire article matters if you do not give your friend support. Their will be times when your friend will want to give up. You need to be there to support him and remind him of everything that he has already accomplished.

Visual Motivation

It would also be wise to show your friends pictures of people as obese as him who had made radical changes to their physique on these bodybuilding forums. Show your friend and tell him in his spare time to read all of the excellent articles.

This will not only pump him up, but it will also give him more knowledge to make better decisions. Nothing is as inspirational as seeing someone who went through the same thing you did and coming out on top. It is also crucial to remind your friend that it is a very long journey. It takes persistence and dedication to get anything good in life.

Hope this helps everyone with weight issues

-Thanks for reading, Love Spaniard00

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