How to lose weight if you are 390 pounds (lbs)

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I met a guy recently in our gym, and he was quite heavy but was not able to find any suitable way to lose weight. Listening to his story, I was quite taken aback as I also used to be over 300 pounds. So, I decided to research all about it, and add my time-tested recipes to help out him and others who read my blog consistently.

How to lose weight if you are 390 pounds (lbs)

390 pounds and not losing weight? Do not worry! Although 390 pounds is quite high in weight, it is not impossible to reduce it within 6 to 12 months if you choose a suitable diet plan and carry on with it. There are additional ways to enhance it like exercising, taking more water, et cetera.

That was the short version. To understand everything more in detail, carry on reading, and do remember to share this article in case you like it.

Understanding the basics of dieting and calories

Understanding the basics of dieting and calories

Before choosing anything, you need to understand why we lose weight and why we gain it.

The main focus of understanding should be on calories as they are the main quantifier of energy consumed in our bodies. A human body requires a specific amount of energy (read calories) to sustain itself and to continue with the various functions of essential organs like heart, liver, kidneys, etc.[1]

When we eat more, the extra energy is not excreted out but saved for later use due to evolutionary causes. If we eat more than required, our body stores that energy as fat and we get obese. On the other hand, if we eat less, our body uses the stored fat in our body, and we become thin and lite.[2]

This is not to say that calories are the only factor in the reduction of weight – there are many other factors like hormones, pregnancy, genetics et cetera[3] – but they are the most significant factor we can change. As they say in physics, energy can neither be created nor destroyed. So, if you eat fewer calories, no one could stop you from losing weight in the long term.

Pro tip: Eating very few calories could shut down your metabolic system and become an obstacle instead of a helper in reducing weight.[4]

Choosing a diet plan

Choosing a diet plan

Now, as you have understood the basics of reducing weight, it is time for you to choose a proper diet plan so that you can continue being healthy for a long time. As the Harvard article says, “the best diet is the one we can maintain for life.” [5] So, let’s check out our options.

There are three popular options available right now. Although there are many others, these are the main ones that we recommend to our users.


The first one is our favorite – calorie-based dieting. In this, you understand your daily energy consumption (the energy required you to function without getting leaner or fatter). Then, you eat fewer calories than your daily requirement and lose weight.[6] In addition to this, there are sub-aspects to this diet plan as you can add concepts like one meal a day or intermittent fasting to it to supercharge this diet plan.

BTW, we have calculated and your TDEE (assuming that you are 6 ft.) and 30 years old is

You can calculate it here.

The second one is the keto diet (a member of the low-carb diet series). In this type of diet, you take your carb intake to very low levels (preferably 20 to 30 g per day).[7] What this does is it to make you eat mostly fats and proteins. As you cannot eat a considerable amount of fat each day, you eat less in calories.

However, recent studies have pointed out that low-carb diets can be dangerous in the long-term.[8] There are other reason too.[9]

There are also plant-based diets, and some people recommend them wholeheartedly. You can read the pros and cons right here.[10]

Creating a meal plan

Creating a meal plan

After choosing a suitable diet, you need to prepare a daily meal plan for every single day. Or, if you are a bit lazy like me, create a weekly diet plan. By creating a meal plan, you prepare yourself to eat what you need to eat without having to make choices at the moment and therefore ending in something that you shouldn’t eat at all.

As we recommend you to do the calorie-based diet plan, here is a sample meal plan for you to lose around 1 pound per week.

  • After waking up — coffee and half a pound of vegetables. You can choose from carrots, kale, cucumber or anything you want. Avoid high carb veggies in high amounts like potatoes though—Thats roughly 200-300 calories.
  • Then in noon — Eat a lot of protein. You can choose from beef, mutton, chicken or scrambled eggs. In case you are vegan/vegetarian, protein supplements like soy or whey can work out well. Mix them with malt or make a shake. It’s your choice. Keep everything under 400-450 calories.
  • After 3 pm — Drink 3 to 5 cups of low-calorie juice. You can use any fruit, be it guava, mango, grape and mix with low-fat milk/yoghurt and then a lot of water and ice to top it up. You sugar substitutes to make it tasty. Keep the juice under 200 calories.
  • In the evening –  Eat soy or two pieces of toast/bread with a cup of coffee. You can add some butter but do not exceed 200-300 calories in total.
  • At night– Drink another round of juice similar to what we prepared at 3 pm.


Creating habits to stick to that new plan

Now, most people who go on a diet plan tend to reduce their weight and then gain their weight again. This is known as the yo-yo dieting. It happens because we are not creating new habits to sustain our diet for a long time. Instead, we are using willpower to force ourselves to eat a diet every single day.

Therefore, creating new habits, in our opinion, is a must-have if you want to lose weight. In this case, we recommend two books that would be really helpful for anyone who wants to lose weight –

  • atomic habits by James clear (check it out/listen to the audio version)
  • tiny habits by BJ Fogg (check out the text version/listen to the audio)

Both of these books provide a detailed plan to follow in creating dieting habits for a long time. Therefore, start with small and tiny and then increased by 1% every day.

Additional push to achieve success

Now, the time comes for additional tips to supercharge your dieting.

Tip number 1: use easy to do exercises

strolling to lose weight

There are many who hate doing push-ups, squats, or jumping ropes—high five sister, me too. Here comes the easiest exercise you can perform anywhere (even in your office space) — walking. You can use moderate speed walking as an excellent way of losing weight and reducing your daily calorie consumption. Here is how much weight you will lose just by what walking at a medium pace[11]:

  • 15 mins – 92 calories
  • 30 mins – 185 calories
  • 1 hrs – 369 calories
  • 2 hrs – 739 calories

Tip number 2 – take out the trash

Courtesy: Airftoce medical center

Doing daily chores can be really helpful in reducing calories without having a toll on your mind or your body. Simple tasks like mowing the lawn, brushing your teeth, combing your hair or cleaning up your surroundings can help in burning a lot of calories. Here are some simple chores that you can do for losing a lot of calories

  • Hairstyling – 67 calories in 15 minutes.
  • Washing dishes – 67 calories in 15 minutes.
  • Watering plants – 67 calories in 15 minutes.
  • Making the bed – 44 calories in 15 minutes.
  • Cleaning up your room – 89 calories in 15 minutes.

Check out more here.

Tip number 3 – use mouthwash

Courtesy: NY times

This is our ninja trick — you won’t find it anywhere, betcha! Mostly, we eat because we like to eat rather than we need to. There is a muncher in us all. Therefore, doing gargle with 15 to 20 mL of fluoride-based mouthwash (non-alcoholic like this one) can reduce your cravings for about 30 to 45 minutes. This is entirely anecdotal, and I have not found a good source/study for this online, but this is based on my personal experience.

Tip number 4 – eat a lot of protein.

Courtesy: Jakarta post

Protein is one of the most fulfilling macronutrients out there. So, increase the amount of protein in your diet, and you will feel full for a longer time.[12, 13] Protein is also associated with losing more weight as it helps in boosting the metabolic rate.[14]

Tip number 5 – drink a lot of water

Drinking water before eating is associated with eating fewer calories in a number of studies.[15] It is also found that water increases your fat burning capacity for up to 60 minutes after taking it.[16] You can add additional water in your diet either by drinking a lot of it or making juices filled with ice and water.

Tip number 6 – eat better carbs.

Carbohydrates are the most prominent source of energy for our bodies. Whatever we eat mostly consists of carbohydrates— bread, jam, donuts. But, a lot of foods contain processed carbs that are digested quickly by the body and therefore cause obesity. Hence, eating low glycemic index and fiber-rich foods (that take a longer time to digest[17]) can help you in losing weight.


We have shared in this article a lot of ways through which you can lose your weight from 390 pounds to an acceptable number— whatever it may be for you. Do remember that it would not be an easy or fast process in any manner. But, if you’re consistent and create habits to sustain your meal plans, you will surely see success. In case you have any questions or queries regarding this article, use our contact us page to contact us anytime you want.

Do remember to share this article with your friends and family so that it would help them out too. It only takes 5 seconds to do that.


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