First off, if you’re 50 or more pounds overweight and are planning on (or even thinking about) losing it – congratulations! Deciding to take action may very well have just saved your life.
For this guide, I’m assuming your goal is to lose 50 pounds in a maximum of 3 months. Your goal might not be exactly this – and it’s definitely easier to take a little bit longer to lose the weight – but this guide is the perfect place to start even if this doesn’t exactly describe your situation.
Three months works out to roughly 13 weeks. That means you’re going to have to lose a little over 3.8 pounds per week – which, with some accurate education and hard work, is just in the realm of doable!
The truth is, if you are at least 50 pounds overweight, then you have a distinct advantage. As a general rule, the heavier you are starting out, the more weight you can lose within a given timeframe – and the faster you can lose it.
That means, at least for the first several weeks, you can likely blow that 3.8 pound goal right out of the water. Savor it, though – because the thinner you get, the longer it will take to drop each additional pound.
This is an Epic Journey – Do Your Research!
This guide is designed to give you a solid foundation for achieving this specific goal. It’s an ideal starting point – not an ending point. The more informed you are regarding weight loss methods, the better your odds are of reaching your 50 lb / 3 mo goal. Plus, the more tricks you learn, the easier it will be.
By all means, read this whole guide to get an idea of what to do and what your journey will look like. Bookmark it, even (Ctrl + D) so you can reference it in the future. But when you’re done, be sure to dig around this site and read some more posts to further your knowledgebase.
Finding an Exercise You Will Do Consistently
You might assume the best exercise for this journey is the one that burns the most calories, or produces the most sweat. I would caution against thinking that way for now, and instead focus on finding the exercise you will actually do (and even enjoy) without skipping sessions.
A 30 minute stroll in your favorite park each evening, assuming it’s something you will consistently do, is far more ideal than a daily, 45 minute, back-breaking run on the treadmill, that you might end up doing three times before you give up.
Even with this looming 3 month deadline, you can afford to take it easy starting out. Bluntly stated, heavier people burn way more calories doing physical activity than more athletic people do. Thanks to the extra mass you currently carry, you can actually burn more calories during your park stroll than the chiseled-abs guy that’s sweating his ass off running.
Also, with 50 (or more) extra pounds to carry, you’re at an increased risk of joint damage if you start out engaging in intense cardio. As you get accustomed to being more physically active, your stamina will improve. As that happens, and you also begin to lose some weight to lighten the load on your joints, gradually start getting more aggressive with your cardio.
Eventually, you should be working towards doing HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). It’s the most effective form of cardio for weight loss. As your body weight lowers, you will need something like HIIT in order to counteract the fact that you won’t naturally burn as many calories compared to when you were heavier.
Moving More During the Day
Exercise is a great place to start, but you can only burn so many calories on a half hour walk. By focusing on tweaking your daily routine to make you more physically active, you can easily burn even more calories without it feeling like you’re doing that much additional work.
Yes, this is where you start doing all those little tricks you’ve heard people talk about – like parking in the furthest away space, every time you go somewhere. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, every single time. Getting a dog so you have a reason to go for a walk instead of just watching TV. Mowing the lawn with a push mower instead of a riding mower. And so on – anything you can think of, write it down and do it.
These “day hacks” can easily get you to burn just as many calories as your daily exercise will. Put the two together, and you’ll already have a lot of assistance towards achieving your goal.
Success or Failure is Determined in the Kitchen
The exercise plans we just went over are important to iron out and stick to consistently. They really will help you see results faster.
With that said, the single biggest source of progress towards your 50 pound weight loss goal is going to come from your diet. Realize from the start that this 3 month deadline is going to demand a lot of you.
In my research, almost all people who have lost weight at a pace this rapid have had to consume the generally accepted “bare minimum” amount of daily calories. That limits you to a grand total of 1,200 calories for all meals, snacks, and beverages each day.
I know what you’re thinking – no, that’s not much food. And it’s well below what most of us are used to eating. To lose weight as fast as you’re aiming to, it’s what’s necessary. Sadly, there are no realistic ways to cheat the system here. This choice is basically between sticking to a minimal diet, or simply extending your weight loss deadline.
To make your daily 1,200 calories work for you, you will have to carefully select your meals. You’ll want to eat plenty of foods such as egg whites, which contain minimal calories and provide the largest amount of protein & mass to fill your stomach. A lot of steamed green veggies with your meals will help keep hunger at bay without packing on fat. Lean meats, fish, and a dedicated abstinence towards empty calories like soda, simple carbs, and alcohol will be entirely necessary.
Keeping Your Sanity – Planned Cheating
Even with such an aggressive weight loss strategy, you should still find some room for occasional (planned & strictly controlled) cheat meals. These mini rewards at regular intervals help give you something to look forward to, and controlled cheat meals will drastically increase the odds of sticking to your diet faithfully.
If you’re hesitant to allow yourself these cheat meals, just remember that you’re doing it for the good of your diet. People who allow themselves these occasional indulgences dramatically reduce the chance of impulsive binge eating.
For these cheat meals to work, they need to be the opposite of impulsive. They must be carefully planned ahead of time, set for a specific day, and you must define very precisely what you are allowed to consume.
Let’s look at an example that will give you something to look forward to, yet won’t impact your results to any significant extent.
If you’re consistently eating 1,200 calories per day of healthy, lean foods, then you might define your cheat plan as follows: “For Friday night dinners, I will allow myself to enjoy any food I wish, so long as the total meal (drink included) does not exceed 800 calories.”
Cheat meals are normally much more flexible than this – but if you want fast results, it’s going to cost you. Of course, you can define your cheat meal however you wish. The important part is that you not only define your cheat rules ahead of time, but also that you specifically write them down (literally get a piece of paper and write it down so you can read it back to yourself).
This written agreement will help stop you from impulsively bending the rules to binge on a large pizza, wings, a box of Oreos and four liters of soda at once. When the rules are clearly defined, you’re serious about your goals, and you still get to satisfy a craving, you’ll be on a much more stable road to success.
95% of the results you see are going to come straight from dedicated diet and exercise. To help you meet your deadline though, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to make faster progress.
Green Tea: Drinking green tea helps your body metabolize fat, maintain your energy levels to get you through all that exercise, and is somewhat useful for suppressing your appetite. This is optional, but it helps to have all the help you can get. For best results, sip this throughout the day.
Plenty of Sleep: You’ll be under enough stress sticking to this weight loss plan – you don’t need the added stress hormones that accumulate when you aren’t sleeping well. Plus, these hormones signal your body to store extra fat, which you definitely don’t want. Make time for enough sleep.
Lots of Water: When you’re losing a large amount of fat, you’ll want to make sure your body has plenty of water to flush out the undesirables. Drinking plenty of water will help keep you feeling your best throughout this journey. Consider drinking ice water as much as possible – the mere act of your body having to warm that water to body temperature can burn through a nice surplus of calories.
For an adventure as in-depth as this, you’ll want to do accurate logging. Ideally, I would recommend an app on your mobile device – there are plenty designed to record your diet and spit back all sorts of figures with the push of a button. Failing that, it doesn’t really matter what method you use, just so long as you record every bite you eat.
This logging helps keep you accountable, and allows you to make sure you’re staying within your nutritional goals every day.
Never, Ever Gain it Back!
This is perhaps the most important point – don’t go through all of this work just to end up back where you started. When you reach your goal weight, throw out every single item of clothing that is currently too big for you. If you don’t have the clothes to grow back into, you’ll be much more motivated to maintain your new weight.
Finally, just because you hit your goal weight does not mean you are finished! If you aim to stay healthy, then good nutrition and exercise must become a permanent lifestyle change. This will feel easy though, after your 3 month jaunt. You’ll be able to eat much more food (as long as you don’t exceed your maintenance calories), and your exercise can drop back to something more casual and less frequent.
Hopefully this is plenty of information to get you started. I sincerely hope this guide has helped someone, and I wish anyone who is trying this the very best of luck! Leave me a comment to say how it’s going for you!