Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How Long Will It Take me to Lose 50 Pounds?

I'm a 32 year old female and I've been overweight for the past seven years, since I had my daughter and decided to be a stay-at-home Mom. I think I was just more active in my job, and had regular eating habits instead of snacking so much during the day. Now I realize I'm not feeling as young as I think I should and it's even getting uncomfortable to try to keep up with my daughter. I want to try to lose 50 pounds, but I don't know if I'll be able to stay on a diet if it's going to take more than 3 months. I get so discouraged easily when the weight comes off slowly. Can I lose all this weight in 3 months? I'm hoping you can give me an answer that I will like!  Gina S.

Hi Gina,
While it's possible to lose 50 pounds in three months (for 12-13 weeks time this equals about 4 pounds per week), it's not likely unless you are extremely overweight.  The general rule of thumb is to reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories a day (or burn 500 more calories per day--which means exercising hard for nearly an hour--or some combination of both diet and exercise) to lose one pound per week.

Using this math, in order to lose 4 pounds per week, a person would have to burn 2000 more calories per day than usual, or eat 2000 calories less per day. For the average person, 2000 calories IS the total daily intake, so you can hardly cut it down to zero!

The good news is, it sounds like you may have several daily opportunities to both cut calories, and to
burn more. The best way to go about losing weight is to start keeping a food diary. There are numerous free websites that help you log your food while the calorie-tracking is done for you. A few my clients like are,, and

Substituting healthier choices for your snacks, realizing the times you snack out of boredom and not hunger, limiting portions, and eating regular meals can all help you eat a lower daily calorie level. Remember, for every 500 calories you can eliminate, you'll lose about a pound at the end of the week.

As far as exercise goes, it doesn't have to be an hour in the gym. Going for walks, playing ball in the yard, or going for a bike ride all contribute to burning more calories on a daily basis.

If you make small and reasonable changes in both diet and exercise, you can realistically lose 2 pounds a week easily. I know it sounds slow to take nearly 6 months to lose 50 pounds, but it will be a lot easier when you do it by making permanent habit changes instead of going on a diet that leaves you hungry and ready to go back "off" the diet!

1 comment:

  1. All these suggestions are what I did successfully only I would add don't "diet" and lose 1 pound a week over a year. Eat the calories your body needs to maintain your goal weight. Once you hit goal there's no going off your diet. I lost over 50 pounds this way and it teaches you new healthier habits slowly so they will stick and the weight will stay off.