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How to Lose 50 Pounds the Healthy Way


Article by City Lifestyle

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When you need to lose 50 pounds, there are a lot of different things you can try. Industry experts have a range of different suggestions, and it ultimately boils down to how much time you want to spend.

The suggestions for losing 50 pounds in 6 months is different than in a year. Of course, no matter how you proceed, you need to make sure you do it as safely as possible.

We’re going to discuss how to lose 50 pounds in this piece. In the end, you should have a couple of different options. Don’t worry—it’s a lot easier than you might think.

How to Lose 50 Pounds

1.    Record your current health metrics including average daily calorie consumption and exercise

2.    Set realistic goals for weekly and monthly progress

3.    Identify a diet plan that is customized for your needs, along with an accountability partner

4.    Set up a non-food-based rewards system for achieving your weight loss goals

5.    Stick with it!

But first, a warning.

The Problem with Losing Weight Too Fast

Before getting too far into the weight-loss talk, we should address the problem with losing weight too fast. When you want to start losing weight, you might have a very aggressive timeline in mind. If this leads to losing too much weight too quickly, there might be some medical consequences.

Some common side effects when it comes to rapid weight loss are: Hunger, fatigue, irritability, feeling cold, muscle cramps, dizziness, constipation or diarrhea, dehydration, gallstones, nutritional deficiencies that lead to weak and brittle bones, poor immune function, extreme fatigue, hair loss, a slowed metabolism, and losing muscle.

A healthy pace to lose weight is about 1-2% of your total weight each week. A 200-pound person shouldn’t aim to lose more than 4 pounds a week.

In the beginning, weight will come off a lot faster, so don’t be scared when you see your weight dropping quickly.

With that out of the way, let’s dive into ways people suggest for losing 50 pounds.

How Long Does It Take to Lose 50 Pounds?

The answer boils down to a few factors. It’s important to understand how weight loss works before understanding how long it will take.

The Science of Losing Weight

When it comes to weight loss, it’s all a matter of science. Calories are a unit of measure that your body uses for fuel. Calories, conveniently, can be restored by eating food.

The science of losing weight boils down to a simple equation: burn more calories than you ingest. On a daily basis, if you’re always burning 1 or more calories than you’re eating, you’ll find yourself losing weight over time (albeit, very slowly).

Cutting out 3,500 calories will result in losing 1 pound. So if you eliminate 7,000 calories in a week, you’ll see a loss of 2 pounds.

To cut out 7,000 calories in a week, you’ll need to cut out 1,000 calories a day. In this scenario, you’ll lose about 50 pounds in 6 months. This is a very achievable goal for a lot of people.

How to Lose 50 Pounds Fast

Now, that’s just with diet alone. If you’re including exercise into your daily or weekly plan, you’ll see even faster weight loss.

For example, an exercise that burns 200 calories, performed 3 times a week will shave another 2 weeks from your weight goal. For reference, walking a mile can burn between 70 and 160 calories depending on your weight and pace.

This leads to the next point—if you need to lose 50 pounds fast, you should opt for a combination of dieting and exercise. In fact, it’s the fastest healthy way to lose weight.

Not only are you cutting calories out of your diet, but you’re also burning calories with your exercise.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

When it comes to weight loss, consistency is key. If cutting 1,000 calories from your diet leaves you in a terrible mood every day, it might not be sustainable. For some people, it’s just not possible to cut such a huge chunk from their daily diet.

For people like these, start by cutting 250 or 500 calories. Slowly and incrementally work your way up until you find a sustainable calorie deficit. It’s better to sustain a 500-calorie deficit for years rather than a 1,000-calorie deficit for weeks.

Remember that this is a long haul in most cases. Twenty-five weeks will feel like an eternity if you’re constantly hurting from the calorie cut you took. Losing 50 pounds is very achievable, and you can do it.

Diets to Lose 50 Pounds

One of the most common ways to lose 50 pounds is through a diet. There are a number of different diets to lose 50 pounds that seem to work, and it’s all about finding one that works for you.

The biggest thing to avoid is “fad diets.” These are diets that are popularized and always have big claims associated with them. A cranberry diet might help you lose weight short-term, but in the long run, you’ll gain the weight back twofold.

The historical truth about fad diets is they only help in very short stretches.

When you want to turn to a diet that works, you need to understand a few things: the basics, some tips, and some types. Let’s take a closer look.

The Basics of Dieting

The basics of dieting are pretty simple. By eating fewer calories every day, you’re positioning yourself to be in a daily calorie deficit. As was discussed earlier, this deficit is the scientific reason why we lose weight.

The core idea behind dieting is to make a consumption change that translates into a change in your appearance.

A lot of people don’t realize how bad some of the stuff is that we ingest on a daily basis. It isn’t until you start logging your food and focusing on a diet. Then you’ll realize that some of your go-to foods need to be avoided.

For a lot of people, dieting is a small change in their life. Saying no to treats and limiting calories is easy enough. It’s just a matter of doing it long enough to see real results.

Tips for Dieting

A lot of health experts suggest keeping a daily journal. In this journal, you’ll write a few things. Write the different foods you ate during the day, and how they made you feel. It’s important to listen to your body during this process. You can also write what happened and how you felt prior to eating—finding triggers and stresses can help reduce overeating.

Make sure you don’t become obsessed with the scale. Hopping on the scale every day can actually hurt you in the long run and lead you to break your diet. A lot of people get discouraged if they don’t see weight loss from one day to the next, or if their weight goes up. Only weigh yourself once in a week or once every other week.

Don’t skip meals. This will start an unhealthy relationship with food and lead to more issues down the road. Plenty of people lose a lot of weight while still enjoying three or more meals a day.

Have a cheat day. A single day a week needs to be dedicated to loosening the restrictions a little bit. This allows for a diet that can work with your life. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself binging from time to time, and that does a lot more damage than a weekly cheat day.

Focus on the little steps. Realize that this is a long process, and the best thing that you can do is take it one day at a time. Celebrate the little milestones that you hit, like losing 2, 5, or 10 pounds. Celebrate the days in a row that you logged your food and felt good after eating.

Drink plenty of water. Water will make you feel better during the process and help your metabolism. It will take away some of the hard parts of dieting, and it will improve your overall wellness. A lot of weight loss experts cite water ingestion as one of the top priorities during a weight loss journey.

Make sure you have healthy snacks stocked in your house. Snacks around 100 calories will help keep the temptations at bay as you progress through your weight loss journey. It’s a lot better to snack on healthy treats than unhealthy ones.

Types of Diets

Fasting. The first type of dieting is fasting. In this method, you withhold food from yourself during a period of time to reduce your overall caloric intake. Either every day or a number of times a week, you’ll eat less. In a 16/8 method, you’ll only eat food 8 hours a day. In a 5:2 method, you’ll restrict your calories twice a week.

Fasting works on science alone. You’re consuming fewer calories, therefore you are in a caloric deficit and will lose weight.

Veganism or vegetarianism. In a plant-based diet, you are cutting out foods that are notoriously high in calories. Animal products are often high in fat too, which is another thing that hurts you in losing weight. The other key point of going to a plant-based diet is the fact that it’s a big life change. It’s easier to make a change in your weight when it’s accompanied with a large change in your diet.

Keto diet. A keto diet is the same as a low-carb or no-carb diet. In this method, you’ll be working with the macros of food. There are parts of your food that determine how easy or hard it is for you to lose weight. Carbs are something that will slow down your weight loss progress. By limiting your carbs and replacing them with proteins and healthy fats, you’ll lose weight easier.

Paleo diet. This is another type of diet that got very popular recently. The name refers to an era of humanity that people were hunter-gatherers. A paleo diet will take your diet back to caveman times in the belief that we aren’t any different from our ancestors biologically. What worked for them should work for us, too.

Low-fat diets. Alternatively to a keto or low-carb diet, a low-fat diet has been around for a long time. A low-fat diet will restrict your daily intake of fat to 30% of your daily consumption. More aggressive diets can restrict the number as low as 10%. The remaining pieces will consist of proteins and carbs. They are found to be just as effective as low-carb diets, since both carbs and fats play into weight gain or loss.

Weight loss diet. There are a number of companies that offer their weight loss programs. One of the largest is WW (formerly Weight Watchers). The idea is that experts in nutrition and weight loss put together an entire program. You simply follow their rules and eat their meals and the pounds come off. It takes the guesswork out of dieting, and it makes it into a game. It helps you get into a routine in a month easily.

50-Pound Weight Loss Plan

The best way to start seeing results is to maintain a 50-pound weight loss plan. Just like a lot of things in life, making a plan will help the process come along.

Losing weight has a lot of pieces associated with it. This means there are a lot of opportunities for planning.

Plan to Say No

A big part of dieting is saying no. At work functions, getting together with friends, hanging out with family—there are a lot of times where you’re offered treats or drinks that your diet won’t allow. You need to realize that you can turn down a brownie that’s offered to you.

You can even use this opportunity as a way to explain the weight loss journey you’re going on. Tell them how much you’ve lost and how much you have left. People will always get excited and support you after hearing this news. In fact, they might even ask you for some tips after offering a compliment!

If you already have a plan to say no before arriving at the party, it’s easier to say no when you get there.

Plan Your Year

This is a little trickier to think about. We already know that your weight loss journey might be done in a year (depending on the things discussed earlier in this article). A year is a long time.

Plan your year to understand how often life will get in the way, and what you can do during those times.

For example, you can plan your cheat day of the week for Thanksgiving day if you know you’ll be celebrating with family. You can shuffle around your workouts to accommodate for a day-long training you have coming up.

This is not a minute-by-minute plan, mind you. This is just an exercise of looking in the future with your diet in mind. If you already assume that in four months something will have to change due to your weight loss journey, you’re less likely to give up during those four months.

This can be a long and difficult journey, but taking a look at the year as a whole can help you to understand how small of a sacrifice you’re making.

Plan Your Exercise

This is a very standard thing to do for people who use exercise to help their weight loss plan.

A typical exercise plan will highlight which days of the week will be spent working out. You might also determine which workout will be done each day.

Try to establish how long you would like to work out for each day. Alternatively, you can aim for a certain amount of calories burned for each workout.

Plan Your Route

If you’re a walker or runner, put in a little time upfront to plan your route. A mile seems to go faster when you know where you’re going.

It also gives you an opportunity to know exactly how far you’re going to run or walk if you don’t have a fitness tracking device.

You can do this in your head or use Google Maps to quickly scan for a route. Obviously, you don’t have to perform this step if you use a treadmill or live in a rural area.

Plan Your Food

Meal prepping a big deal in the weight loss community. Instead of scrambling last minute and resorting to fast food, people will plan their meals for the week.

Some people will even spend a few hours cooking every meal they’ll eat for the coming week. Other people will resort to a calendar that details each meal that they’ll eat.

If it seems like a chore, just stick with it for a little bit and make it fun. After a while, it will become second nature. Planning your meals will also allow you to get a rough count for what your daily caloric intake will look like.

You can even plan upcoming treats! The broccoli on Tuesday tastes better knowing that there is a sweet treat coming on Wednesday.

Does an Expert Fit in Your Plan?

Something else to consider: Would you benefit from having an expert with you during this journey? It could be a nutritionist, dietician, personal trainer, fitness instructor. Someone who works professionally in a field that you’ll be using to lose 50 pounds.

Do you have the budget and time to schedule sessions with a trainer three times a week? You’ll feel a sense of responsibility to show up to each session and try your hardest. It’s also really hard to give up with a trainer encouraging you during the session.

Can you afford to go to a nutritionist weekly? A lot of local health shops have a nutritionist on staff that you can consult with. Tell them about what you ate during the week and how you feel. They can offer suggestions and tips to help you.

Plan for the Milestones

A part of your plan is reaching milestones and celebrating them. This could come in the form of officially losing your first pound, losing 10 pounds, going five weeks while maintaining your diet and exercise.

Whatever milestones will excite you, you should write them out ahead of time. Never include time limits that you need to hit the milestones by (unless they’re milestones of time, of course).

You shouldn’t ever tell yourself that you need to lose 5 pounds by next Tuesday. If you fail to hit that timed milestone, you’ll get discouraged and can give up. These milestone celebrations are just to keep encouraging you to go further.

Now you know how to lose 50 pounds. It’s a matter of finding what works best for you. You just learned some dieting tips and types, and you learned more about putting together a plan. The most important step to take is the first one. Get started, and the weight will start shedding away!

Personal Trainers in Kansas City

All of this can be a lot for one person to think about. If you want to lose weight in a healthy way, that means taking on a holistic method that involves thinking about what you are eating, how you are moving your body, and monitoring the health of your internal organs and muscles all at the same time. You don't want to push your body too hard and exercise to the point of injury or be deficient in nutrients from dieting.

If you feel overwhelmed, consider consulting a personal trainer to talk about your exact weight loss goals and health concerns.

The Port KC Fitness + Performance in Westport has six excellent certified personal trainers who can help answer all of your fitness questions and get you on the right plan for your exercise goals. With a membership at The Port KC, you'll receive 24-hour access to the gym, and there are no binding contracts or down payments required. You can choose to may monthly for just $50 a month or buy a six-month or year package to save some money.

Follow The Port KC Fitness + Performance @theportkc

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