Losing weight differs from individual to individual, but for someone with no health issues, losing 2 pounds per week is a healthy way to do so and maintain it for a long time. Losing 50 pounds can take 6 to 7 months if you’re doing it healthily. Remember to eat more healthy fats and carbohydrates, have a calorie deficit diet, switch to more nutritious meals, stop midnight snacking, drink enough water, and exercise regularly. You don’t need to follow a strict routine from the beginning, and you don’t need to cut out your favorite ice cream or alcohol either. Eating things in moderation and being active can help you healthily lose weight and maintain it for a long time.
Weight gain is always easier than losing it, and when it comes to losing as much as 50 pounds, what you need more than anything is self-motivation.
While exercising and diet are equally important, motivation will keep you going.
Sitting in front of the computer working for 8 hours a day is the new normal. And adding the popular fast foods plus having high-stress levels to the list adds to the issue of obesity, making its prevalence 42.4% in 2017-2018 in the U.S.
While many fad diets can make you lose 50 pounds in 15 days, it’s not healthy.
If you’re going through a health issue like PCOS, which makes it difficult to lose weight, then self-motivation and a positive mindset are necessary.
So how can you lose 50 pounds healthily? How much time will it take?
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Losing weight healthily
When we’re trying to lose weight, the most popular question is how can we lose weight fast?
Although various fad diets can help you lose 50 pounds as quickly as you wish to, when you do that, there comes a breaking point where everything comes crashing down.
You might suddenly give up on a diet and go back to your regular diet, which will make you gain even more weight than before, or you might exhaust yourself to the point of malnutrition.
There’re various factors to consider before trying to lose 50 pounds. Considering your BMI isn’t the right way to approach it, as it can be inaccurate.
It doesn’t consider your metabolic factors and parameters, physiological health, physical health, sleep, or mental health.
Everything good for our body requires constant effort. But not everything can be achieved by it, and not everyone has the same ability to lose weight.
Your weight accumulates many factors, such as your genetic predisposition, family history, personal medical history, and relationship to food growing up.
Pounds to lose per week
The healthy way to do this is to lose 2 pounds per week. Generally, the recommended daily calorie intake is 2,000 calories a day for women and 2,500 for men.
You need to have a calorie deficit diet to consume fewer calories than your body requires. To lose one pound of fat, you’ve to cut 3,500 calories.
This can’t be done solely based on cutting down on your meals but will also require you to burn calories by exercising.
By losing 2 pounds per week, you can aim to lose 50 pounds in about 6 to 7 months.
I’m not being too ambitious here because there comes a time when you might take a break or hit a stagnant weight and need to recalculate your plan of losing 50 pounds.
After losing 15 pounds, our body recognizes the pattern, and reducing extra pounds becomes difficult by following the same plan.
At this point, your body requires even lesser energy, and you’ll have to recalculate the calorie intake you need to cut moving forward.
Healthy ways to lose 50 pounds
1. Eliminate munching
The first thing to tackle is eliminating munching from your daily life. It’s easy to fall into snacking or drinking anything when you feel bored, especially the late-night snacking.
This is only adding more calories to your daily average. Unless you eliminate this habit, all the hard work you’re putting in won’t affect your body.
Some people also do emotional eating where if they’re extremely happy, sad, or even stressed, they try to cope with it by filling themselves up with food, and it’s mostly not healthy.
Recognizing when you tend to snack, for example, while working can help you understand the pattern and eliminate it by being conscious of it.
It’s not that all snacking is bad. For example, if you switch to snacking on fruits or nuts, it’s the healthier version of this habit.
2. Making calories work for you
Everyone fusses about the daily intake of calories when looking at ways to lose weight.
Since 50 pounds is a big milestone to reach, you need to understand how to make calories work for you, not the other way.
One thing you should never do is skip your meals.
Missing out on meals or eating half of what you used to before isn’t going to work, and you’ll probably end up being cranky all day long due to hunger pangs or having nutrition deficiency in your body.
Your body needs food like a car needs fuel to work, and it’s as simple as that. Stopping yourself from having proper healthy meals will kick in your body’s primitive instinct.
This will slow down your metabolism as your body goes into survival mode, conserving your energy, and you won’t lose any weight.
Starving yourself can also shrink your muscles which you don’t want to do. You need not eat less than 70 percent of your overall calorie needs.
You need to shift from calorie-dense food to nutritionally dense food. But where you’re deriving these calories from matters the most.
For example, eating a cookie with 100 calories will digest quickly and spike your blood sugar level.
So, when you crash again, you’ll crave more such food. On the other hand, if you have a banana that’s also 100 calories, you’ll get potassium and fiber, keeping you healthy and nourished.
3. You need fats
Another thing people totally try to eliminate from their diet is fats. Thinking all fats are bad for your body, they march forward to eliminating the good ones.
Fats are necessary for absorbing nutrients in the body like vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K.
Fats like cholesterol help your body produce hormones like estrogen and testosterone growth hormone.
Going for that fat-free yogurt could be a mistake because it’s loaded with sugar or salt if you look at the ingredients closely.
When you remove fat, the product doesn’t taste as good, so they replace it with what does.
That 2 percent Greek yogurt is better for your meals than the advertised fat-free yogurt.
4. Say no to a no-carb diet
You don’t need to cut carbs out of your diet to lose weight. In fact, you need them.
The reason why the no-carb diet is popular is because of the simple carbs. Carbs that are prepackaged such as chips, cookies, and cakes, are simple carbs, and that’s unhealthy.
Try to understand the science behind it as the chemical structure in them is usually one to two glucose molecules put together, which are easier to break away.
On the other hand, the complex carbs found in fruits and vegetables are healthier because they have long carbon chains that take a while to break away for the body.
This is what your body needs as it helps balance the blood sugar, and the fiber keeps you fuller for a long preventing you from snacking.
5. Don’t overwhelm your body
With the correct motivation, when you finally take steps toward losing weight, a common mistake people tend to make is to do everything at once.
You don’t have to cut out all the snacks, alcohol, and sweets and start exercising simultaneously.
You’re overwhelming your body, and you need to take baby steps towards achieving your healthy body weight.
If you start by walking each day for 45 minutes and just eliminating your midnight snacks, that’s a good first step you should be proud of.
Slowly you’ll start to make more changes.
Also, the idea of cheat days is something most people don’t like because it makes them feel like they did something they shouldn’t have when all they had was a slice of pizza.
Instead of thinking of it as a cheat meal, treat it as ordinary food that you need to have in moderation and not so often.
Losing weight is not just taking care of your diet but also exercising. Find ways to include 40 minutes of exercise in your day for 5 days a week.
Including an activity that gets your heart rate going up for 40 minutes a day, plus increasing your activity level in your daily routine, can transform your life completely.
If you’re struggling, simply starting by walking and increasing it can help you reach your goal. Find out a different form of exercise to try, and you can find one that allows you to remain fit and is fun to do.
7. Importance of water
Hydration is an essential part of the weight loss journey.
When you’re not hydrated enough, your body confuses it with hunger, signaling that it’s hungry when all you need is water.
- Water is a natural appetite suppressant, and just drinking a glass of water 30 minutes before your meals can prevent you from overeating.
- Drinking more water helps you burn more calories. Drinking cold water makes it expand more energy or calories to heat up the water for digestion.
- It helps remove waste from your body and retain nutrients and electrolytes your body needs.
- With enough hydration, your body will burn more fat.
- Water also helps muscles, connective tissues, and joints to move correctly and help other organs function better. It also prevents muscle cramps and fatigue.
Some people indulge in sipping a beverage, such as coke, with their meals.
By replacing it with water, you’re eliminating a lot of extra calories that your body doesn’t need with plenty of water that your body definitely needs.
Plain water can be tasteless to drink, so try changing your water into fused water and adding lemons, ginger, cucumber, or mint leaves to make it more refreshing.
Does the timing of meals matter when losing weight?
No. Some people believe that eating their dinner after 7 pm will automatically make them gain weight.
If you’re able to do that and be happy, it’s wonderful. But if you don’t feel at all, is there even a point to doing this?
You don’t need to punish yourself this way. The timing of the day doesn’t matter when trying to lose weight, but calories will affect you losing your weight.
If there’s a calorie surplus which means you’re eating more than your body requires, you will gain weight.
Does skipping breakfast helps you lose weight?
It depends on the body and the person and their relationship with the food.
Some people can handle not having anything in the morning other than a glass of milk or perhaps coffee and going about their day usually.
On the other hand, some people don’t enjoy this feeling, and they need to fuel their body to have a great kick start to their morning.
If they stop eating breakfast, they’ll lose focus on what they’re supposed to do and feel hungry, making them crash later on.
Can cutting out gluten help you lose weight?
There’re people with gluten intolerance or have celiac disease for whom gluten isn’t suitable. But cutting it out isn’t necessary if you don’t have gluten issues.
It’s a protein found in many grains, including wheat, barley, and rye. It’s commonly found in bread, pasta, pizza, and cereal.
Going gluten-free might seem like a good idea, but if you do, then you need to be aware of a few things.
Gluten-free foods are commonly less fortified with folic acids, iron, and other nutrients than regular foods containing gluten, and these foods also tend to have less fiber and more sugar and fat.
It’s not necessary to go gluten-free to lose weight because most of it is us being influenced by the marketing of such products or by celebrities.
Can intermittent fasting help lose weight?
There’s a massive debate regarding intermittent fasting and if it helps lose weight.
From one point of view, restricting your meals to an 8 hours window will help you keep in check and eliminate extra snacking.
But on the other hand, the rule of consuming anything within an 8-hour window can be made wrong when one eats calorie-dense foods such as cakes, chips, cookies, sodas, etc.
Many people end up gaining weight by doing it wrong.
Can the keto diet help you lose weight?
The Keto diet is followed by eliminating carbohydrates from the diet, and this is why it’s so difficult to follow because your body does, in fact, need it.
You can follow it in the short-term but following it long-term comes with some side effects such as metabolic changes that affect your cardiovascular health and your physiological and metabolic health.
People also face higher cholesterol and irritable bowel or gastrointestinal issues.
There’s no perfect weight loss plan, especially losing as much as 50 pounds.
You should start recording your food intake, see whether your eating is healthy, and recognize the hidden ingredients that could be causing you to intake hundreds of calories.
Being mindful of your diet, exercising, getting better sleep, and hydrating is a healthier way to approach weight loss. You don’t need to cut out everything you enjoy, but eating healthier and exercising can help.