How can a person who is 220 pounds and 5 feet and 9 inches lose 40 pounds?

Doctors and dieticians recommend losing weight gradually, allowing a whole month for every 4 to 8 pounds you want to lose. Do not starve yourself, or skip meals, or try throwing up. A cycle of diminished physical fitness will happen if you diet too quickly (too drastically). As soon as you ease up on a drastic diet, your weight will balloon up once again.
Here's a program for the period in which you want to lose weight:
Try to get plenty of moderate aerobic exercise (intense exercise may damage your joints). It isn't essential to join a gym; you can do sit-ups, pushups, dumbbell-lifting, jumping-jacks, and many other basic exercises at home. Walk as much as possible. Bicycling and swimming are good too. Even for people who are not trying to lose weight, being active helps your digestion, your circulation, and other body processes, and will help improve your mood.

Even more important than exercise, is avoiding junk foods and sweetened drinks such as soda. Try to avoid refined flour and pasta, processed foods, fried foods, and fatty cuts of meat. Cut down on added sugar and added salt. Even for people who are not trying to lose weight, it is recommended to have no more than about 6 teaspoons of sugar per day (and many processed foods contain sugar, corn syrup or the like).

Our great-grandparents didn't have the epidemic of obesity we see today, because they had a less-sedentary lifestyle, a much more natural diet, and they ate reasonably-sized portions.

Eat 3 not-large-portioned meals per day; do not skip breakfast; and avoid sugary snacks. If you want a snack, try (for example) an apple or a handful of unsalted nuts.

Limit your calories (best to consult a doctor or nutritionist concerning the amount), and weigh yourself at the same time each day, 2-3 times per week. If you see your weight diminishing at a safe, reasonable rate (1-2 pounds/week), keep it up.

Once you've reached your goal, increase your calorie intake somewhat, so that you can maintain your present weight. And you can then have small amounts of sweetened foods or junk food on occasion (if at all), along with your regular healthy foods. But keep checking your weight 2-3 times/week.

Avoid crash-diets, fad diets, diet pills, etc. These may be harmful, and need not be considered by people who have adopted an otherwise healthy diet.

More guidelines:
Don't concentrate on specific foods so much as on a balanced, healthy diet plus exercise.

Healthy nutrition means eating what your body needs, while ingesting as few harmful things as possible. It has also been described as getting enough of each of the major food categories, in healthy forms (grains, fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy, etc.; plus plenty of water).

In general, an example of a healthy starting point could be a menu of whole-grain foods and bread, a good amount of vegetables, legumes, some fruits and nuts, fish, lean meats in not-large amounts, and some dairy. However, this may need adjusting according to one's lifestyle, age, health, weight and other factors at the outset; and also later, as one sees what works for him/her in particular.

Also...whenever you feel queasy, nauseous, constipated or otherwise not completely well, try to remember what you've eaten over the last several hours or the last day. This is one factor in adjusting one's food habits.

See also:

Could you describe a balanced diet?

What features would a good weight-loss program have?

Different types of fat - which are healthy?

Some healthy snacks

Is it possible to slim down in just one area of the body?

Disclaimer: Sensible diet plans such as the one above may be good for most people, but there are exceptions. Some people with complications such as glandular or other disorders, may find the above plan to be insufficient. If one keeps gaining weight despite eating healthily, professional advice may be needed.

By changing your lifestyle and eating habits.

Adapting healthy eating habits together with regular exercise is the best way to lose weight effectively and keep the fats off permanently.

Dieting may conjure up visions of eating little but lettuce and sprouts.

But you can enjoy all foods as part of a healthy diet as long as you don't overdo it.

By going on Low-Carb, and maintaining a minimal excersize, you can lose lots. The first week you can lose about 10 pounds right off the bat and then 4-6 in the next one or two. The key is diligence with your diet and making those important sacrificeds.

I Would say exercise, exercise is so overated. Even if its light its still good. I'm a similar height to you and lost quite a bit of weight by just jogging 3 to 4 times a week and using weights. It helps to also eat the right foods. I eat as much carbs as i wanted and i loss weight. People say losing carbs you will lose weight but carbs are good for you, that doesnt mean eat a vast amount of them.

Also be patient, dont starve yourslef overwise when u come off your diet or change your eating habits, you will put it all on again twice as quick as you lost it. I used about 1800 calrioes a day and exercised 4 times a week and was losing 2ibs a week, however people react to differant diets.

If you have a lot of muscle, 190 will be in the healthy range. I suggest you cut back on food such as fried/greasy foods, bananas, cheese, juice, and refined sugar. Don't skip breakfast because it will lower your metabolism. And don't eat right before bed (that's how sumo wrestlers gain weight)

I recently lost 40 pounds myself and I had two secrets similar to above answers: exercise and eat "normal" portion sizes.

Exercise goal: For exercise I would do 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of weights 3 times a week. Schedule the time in for before work or after it. Don't worry about not being very good at first: It took me several months just to be able to jog a mile, but eventually I could do three miles pretty quickly.

Portion size goal: For portion sizes I used the size of my palms cupped together as a guideline and avoided eating more than this. Be careful with restaurants as they like to serve more food this, so just draw a line on your plate for what you should eat, or if you have trouble stopping yourself ask for a box immediately and put these extra portions away.

Timeframe: This plan took me around 6 months to lose 30 pounds and 12 months to lose 40 pounds. You will lose the weight and probably more importantly you will feel wonderful for being in better shape.