You’ve made a goal to lose 50 pounds, and you’d like to do it in 5 to 8 months. Is this possible? Realistic?
It’s quite possible. Medical experts recommend losing 1-2 pounds per week because losing faster than that is often unsustainable. If you can lose 2 pounds each week, that works out to 25 weeks or about 6 months. What are some practical steps to help you reach this goal?
Breaking It Down
Each pound is 3,500 calories. This means that for each pound you lose, you will need to eat 3,500 fewer calories. If you want to lose a pound a week, that works out to 500 fewer calories per day. Losing 2 pounds per week means 1000 fewer calories daily.
You’re probably thinking, eating 500 or 1000 fewer daily calories sounds like a lot! And you’re right! However, it can be done. How? Basically, by changing the way you eat. You will need to bid adieu to fast food, candy, chips, fried foods – you name it, if it’s unhealthy, it needs to go. You didn’t think this would be a walk in the park, did you? We’re talking 50 pounds! Think about how great you’re going to look!
What Can You Eat?
The next step is to think of all the foods you can still eat: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats…the great thing about these foods is that not only are they good for you, but you can eat large quantities of them and keep losing weight. Brainstorm a list of healthy foods you can eat and truly enjoy: large salads full of chopped veggies and topped with fat-free or reduced fat dressings, large bowls of veggies seasoned with your favorite spices (not with butter!), etc. Savor thin slices of apple and other fruits dipped into fat-free yogurt.
Yes, it will take awhile to train your taste buds away from the highly flavored fast foods and junk foods you may have previously enjoyed, but your body and your health will benefit.
Exercise Is Essential
The next step to losing 50 pounds in 5 to 8 months is, of course, exercise. Exercise is vital because you want your body to become toned as well as smaller.
Choose an exercise you can stick with, and hopefully even enjoy. Walking, jogging, riding a stationary bike, swimming, yoga – these are all options. Aim to engage in your exercise of choice for at least 30 minutes, 6 days per week. Begin at a level of intensity you are comfortable with, and increase your speed/intensity as quickly as you can for maximum weight loss.
Drink water. This will keep you hydrated and will keep your stomach full, helping you feel less hungry.
Weigh yourself daily. If you gain a pound one day, no big deal – you can eat less to make up for it. However, if you neglect weighing yourself for a week and put on 5 pounds, that’s harder to recover from.
Tell others about your diet. Most people will be happy to encourage you and cheer you on. You may even motivate some of them to join your weight loss journey.