Hey everyone! First, congrats to all who got PR'd! Someone PM'd me a question about making weight for MEPS. When I was going through the commissioning process I had posted some questions on here about height/weight standards. So they knew I had struggled with it before I commissioned. Anyway, below is my extensive response I sent to him/her. Since I spent a lot of time formulating a response, I thought I'd also share it here for the PR'd people, if you're having trouble making weight. So here it is:
"Hey! I did end up making it, and before the 60 day commissioning deadline. I commissioned in July (2015). I was over the max weight by about 17 pounds, but I was able to make body fat percentage. Overall from the time I decided on applying to jag, and when I went to MEPS, I dropped a little over 80 pounds. I dropped that in a few months. I went from about 310 to 227. I started dieting when I applied though, not when I got PR'd. So I had a few months.
A little bit of pretext. I used to be in the Marines before law school. Making weight every 6 months was always a struggle when I was a Marine. I too cope with stress by eating. I'm a big food lover. Anyway, my weight swelled during 1L. When I got serious about jag I knew I had to drop a lot of weight. I started the dieting when I applied to jag because I knew if I were to be PR'd I wouldn't have enough time to drop what I needed to before MEPS.
I'm not sure how much experience you have with the military, but this you should know. More than anything else, they care about your weight! That is the surest thing for them to turn you away before you get in, or to kick you out if you're already in. Drugs and weight, they won't work with you on. I say this to impress upon you the massive importance of being within standards when you go to MEPS. It actually boggles the mind how much they care about weight. You could be a fitness champ, they don't care. It is crazy!
But anyway. With that being said, now that you're PR'd you got to get within standards ... fast. This may be easy, or a little challenging depending on how much you're over. If you need to drop a lot you can stall going to MEPS. All the paperwork they give you, just stall getting it done for as long as you can. The MEPS date, just stall. Say you're busy this week or the next. Stall as long as you can, the recruiter can't MAKE you go. And as long as you're in the 60 day window jag isn't going to give you grief. And that deadline may not be too serious if you need more time. Some people on here were way past it and didn't lose their PR. If you go to MEPS and you're over, MEPS will temporarily DQ you for approximately 60 days. So if you go to MEPS prematurely and you're over the max weight, you'll definitely be over the 60 day jag deadline by the time it’s all over. I'm not sure whether they'll take your PR or not, but I don't think it is worth the risk.
As far as losing the weight I have a few tips, being that I've had to cut weight for weigh ins like a damn super model for years. There is the dangerous last minute options to drop like 10 pounds within a week of course. You can starve and dehydrate yourself. You can take a lot of laxatives and sit in the sauna too. Again, these are risky methods, but they are effective in a last minute pinch. Athletes and models do it all the time.
To lose real weight fast, not just water weight, you need to cut calories, fat grams, and sugar. I would highly recommend downloading "mynetdiary" on your phone to help you. It is an app and it costs like five bucks. It is essentially a food diary and will help you keep track of what you're taking in, and what you're losing. Forget killing yourself in the gym. Going to the gym and doing cardio helps you lose weight, true. But losing weight is 90% what you eat. If you never eat it you won't have to go to the gym to lose it. Plus, doing a lot of exercise makes you hungry. Which means you run the risk of killing yourself in the gym, and then accidentally binge eating because you're starving. I lost 80 pounds in a few months, trust me. Not to mention the risk of exercise induced injury.
I'd do light exercise, but primarily focus on what you're eating. I set mynetdiary to a goal of no more than 1400 calories a day. For a 300 pound guy, the weight dropped quick. I was losing 5 pounds a week right away. It was awesome. If you're smaller or need to lose more fast, you may have to eat less than 1400. Keep in mind though, that the professionals say it is only safe to drop 2 pounds per week. So incorporate a multivitamin in your daily routine to ensure you aren't deficient in anything you need. 1400 may not seem like a lot, but I promise I was never once hungry. 1400 in primarily vegetables, fruits, fish, and chicken is a lot of food. It is enough to sustain you for sure. Also drink A LOT of water, I'm talking as close to a gallon a day as you can get. Canned seasoned spinach, with reduced sodium pinto beans, and a dash of A1 sauce were my best friend. Don't drink ANYTHING that isn't water. Sugar might as well be liquid fat. Even if you can stand it in your calorie counting, don't drink it. No soda, fruit juice, nothing. Water only. Try to stay away from excess bread too, carbs will hurt you. You can have it as long as you stay under your calorie count, but only eat it sparingly. Noodles are carb heavy too.
Also, get a food scale from Walmart. You'll have to measure your food EXACTLY in order to get an accurate assessment of exactly what you're putting into your body. They are like $20.
It isn't just the amount of calories either, it is the type of calories. Grease and sugar are heavy in calories but don’t make you feel full. So it takes way more calories to make you feel like you aren’t hungry. Eat mostly vegetables and fruit. Sprinkle in some chicken and fish for protein. Beans are a super food, they are high in protein and low in fat and calories. Eat them! Also, tuna is a good option. Low calories, and extremely high in protein.
At the end of the day I could tailor how much I was losing weekly based on my calorie count daily. Keep an extremely accurate record of what you eat (by weighing and measuring), and stay on target for the total amount of calories you had for the day. I promise the weight will melt away.
As far as this advice goes. Everyone seems to have an opinion when it comes to weight loss. Do this or do that. Some things work better for some people. But calories in and out work for everyone. Think of your body like balancing a check book. I.e. don’t spend more than you make. As long as you don’t bring in more than you’re burning you WILL lose weight, pure and simple. As far as safety. It is my OPINION that so long as you eat your 1400 a day in a lot of vegetables and fruits, with a multivitamin, you should be getting what you need in regard to nutrition. You could probably take it even lower and be okay. People fast for weeks at a time without dying. Not recommending it, but just saying. You may also take a protein shake to help get the protein you need. You can find protein shakes that are high in protein and extremely low in calories. I can recommend a few if you’d like. But the GNC guys can too. The fast methods I mentioned before, like starving, dehydration, laxatives etc., are pretty uniformly recognized as unsafe. Bu they are good to get rid of 10 or so pounds within a couple of days. Again, I’m no expert but I have extensive personal experience. I did it and you can too. Good luck!"