I currently weigh 270 lbs. and I’m looking to lose at least 70 lbs. I’m trying to lose at least 5 lbs. per week. What should I eat and how much?

– Niesha G.


Your specific diet for rapid weight loss would need to be developed one-on-one with a dietitian, preferably in conjunction with a medical professional. I can say that we’ve addressed similar requests in the past – and the answer is different for each unique person.

Though it’s certainly plausible the scale could drop 5 pounds each of the first few weeks, it’s likely most of that weight would be water loss. Unless you are burning an extra 2,000 calories (a week’s worth of exercise!) daily there wouldn’t be an energy deficit great enough to promote fat burning to that extent.

So… I’d say to focus on your first 10-15-pound reduction by reducing portions, eliminating fried foods, alcohol, and sweets. For structure, you could follow a moderate diet plan providing no fewer than 1,500 calories a day. Whether it’s Mediterranean style, lower carbohydrate, high fiber or 6 mini-meals, adhering to a regimen for a couple of months forces you to plan, shop and prepare for everything you eat.

Here’s just one sample 1,500 calorie day of familiar American foods to get your started*:

  • Breakfast
    • 1 Cup bran flake cereal, 1 Tbsp. almonds, ½ Cup 1% milk, 2 scrambled eggs, ½ grapefruit
  • Lunch
    • 3 oz. grilled chicken breast, ½ Cup coleslaw, 1 cob corn
  • Dinner               
    • 3 oz. halibut, 1 Cup green beans, 1 Cup wheat noodles
  • Snacks
    • 3 Cup light popcorn
    • 1 C. plain low-fat yogurt + ½ C. berries

Analysis on by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist = 28% Protein, 28% Fat, 44% Carbohydrate, 25 gm Fiber * Findings were used along with RDN’s professional judgment.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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