Q: I have a lot of weight to lose. What type of exercise and diet routine should I get started with, for someone who has to lose more than 200 lbs.
Congratulations on making the decision to lose weight. Losing 200 lbs is no easy task and I applaud your desire to get healthy. I would strongly urge you to consult with your Doctor before starting any type of program. Depending on your total weight now, you will most likely be losing at least 1/2 of your body weight and your health provider should be on your team to ensure the steps you are taking are being monitored for a safe and lasting endeavor. Any weight loss over 50 lbs should be medically advised and I strongly urge you to consider a nutritionist or weight loss program that has counselors and advisors monitoring your progress. Weight Watchers is also a great program that offers support and guidance.
That being said, If you have never worked out or examined your nutritional intake, it is imperative that you take it slow and ease into the transition. You will be making a life change and the body will need time to adjust slowly. Because I don't know of your age, gender or starting weight, I recommend starting with 3-4 days a week of cardio exercise. Walking will be your best choice to start with, 5-30 min each session. It is easy on the body, gets your heart rate up enough to start the process and can be done anywhere. When you feel comfortable you can add more time or days. Other cardio activities can be done - bike, swim, aerobics etc. Again, because the amount of weight you are looking to lose falls under the medical guidance considerations, your doctor will better assess your progress and when to increase activity.
Regarding nutrition, this is also an area you need to have professionally monitored if you are seeking over 50 lbs of weight loss. You can start by cutting back on sugar, processed foods, fried foods and fast food restaurants. Be sure to increase your intake of fruits, vegetables and water to help ensure proper nutrients are in the diet. But again, a nutritionist, dietitian or weight loss program will be imperative to help guide and support you.
You are on the road to a healthy life change, I wish you the best of luck.