Losing weight is a process. Especially if you want to lose 30 pounds in 3 months. You can’t decide today that you want to lose 20 pounds by the end of next week. If you are serious about losing weight, you need to understand the process the body must go through to lose weight.
The more information you have and the more you understand about the weight loss process, the greater the chance you have of actually losing weight and reaching your goal.
You may decide to follow a fad diet that promises you astronomical weight loss in a short time and you may even succeed if you are disciplined and committed, but experience and research have shown that you’ll probably put the weight back on again.
The Weight Loss Process
How does the body lose weight?
The food you eat provides your body with energy, called calories. The average adult body needs 1,800 calories – 2,200 calories a day to function properly. To lose weight the body must take in fewer calories or spend more energy through physical activity.
So the weight loss process is easy to understand: if you take in more calories than you spend, you put on weight, and conversely, if you burn more calories than you take in, you lose weight.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the average person needs to burn about 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound. What that means is that if you can manage to consume 500 to 1,000 fewer calories a day than you normally eat, you’ll be able to lose between 1 and 2 pounds a week. That’s not bad at all! With a careful diet plan, it’s definitely achievable.
That means in 3 months – or 13 weeks – it’s possible to lose 26 pounds. If your aim is to lose 30 pounds in that time, you’ll have to consume 1,200 fewer calories a day than you normally do. Keep in mind that that might be hard to sustain.
What role does exercise play?
Smart dieters add exercise to their routine to help them lose weight. But sometimes they do too much exercise and they end up overeating as a result. Or they don’t work out enough and they don’t see any results on the scale. So how much exercise is needed to lose weight?
Exercise is a tricky aspect of a weight loss regime. People who diet either do no exercise or exercise too much and in both cases don’t lose weight.
The reason too much exercise can lead to weight gain is the fact that exercise makes one hungry and many dieters overeat after a heavy workout.
How much should you exercise per day?
There are recommendations by researchers and medical experts on how much exercise is necessary per day and per week in order to slim down.
Following research, the recommendation is that if you want to lose weight you should get between 150 and 250 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per week.
This level of activity will lead to moderate weight loss. If you want to lose a significant amount of weight you must exercise more than 250 minutes per week.
This translates into roughly 22 to 35 minutes of exercise per day. The longer you exercise, the more weight you’ll lose. Substantial weight loss will result from 35 minutes of exercise per day.
What if you have a hectic work schedule that makes it impossible for you to exercise every day? That’s not a problem. You can decide to work out every other day, but for longer sessions. If you don’t like lengthy workouts, it will probably be best for you to find the time to exercise every day if you have your headset on losing weight.
At any rate, it’s a good idea to vary the type of exercise or the duration of your workouts in order to keep your level of interest high. If you decide to go running every day, try to vary the route somewhat so you don’t get bored.
Experts also recommend that you vary the intensity with which you exercise, exercising vigorously for some time and alternating it with an easier intensity.
In case you are wondering how much of what exercise will produce a weight loss of 1 pound, Verywell, suggests the following exercises for a 150-pound person who wants to burn enough calories to lose a pound:
- 5 hours of running per week or roughly 40 minutes per day
- 14 hours of walking per week or 2 hours per day
- 5 hours of vigorous swimming per week or about 40 minutes per day
- 6.5 hours of biking per week or just under an hour each day
Choose a weight loss diet plan
It’s a good idea to choose a diet plan to follow, but you must take care to choose a sensible diet that will deliver reasonable results. There are a myriad weight loss plans around, all promising weight loss success. However, many of them are just a hoax to get you to buy expensive ingredients and supplements.
One benefit of choosing to follow a diet plan is that you know exactly what and how much to eat at every meal, it makes everything much simpler. You don’t need to count calories and plan meals, you just follow the plan.
Having said that, it’s important to choose your diet plan with care.
Don’t fall for weight loss programs that promise dramatic weight loss in a short time; rather opt for a plan that will give you moderate weight loss over a reasonable time frame. The latter is more sustainable in the long run.
If you want to get off on a quick start and want to do it through a very low-calorie diet, it’s advisable to do it only for a limited time under medical supervision. If you want to get started today try this meal plan here.
Keep in mind that if you are aiming for permanent weight loss, you must commit to long-term lifestyle changes. You can’t expect lasting results if you’re giving up soda drinks just for the length of your diet. If you want the pounds to stay off permanently, you have to stay off the wrong food and drinks permanently.
When you decide on a diet plan, choose one that you can see yourself committing to. If it is too restrictive or incorporates many foods that you don’t like or don’t normally eat, you probably won’t stick to it.
One diet that has worked for me and it’s the only one where I result fast and sustainable was the keto diet. If you would like to try it, this is the personalized meal plan I used (I’m an affiliate) after having my twins and the results were amazing!.
Also, look for a diet plan that is flexible, which allows for a wide variety of foods. Avoid diet plans that exclude a certain food or food groups completely or that focuses on one or two foods exclusively. Look for one that provides a balance of important nutrients and calories.
To help you choose a diet plan that suits you, here is a list of diet plans and their features compiled by the Mayo Clinic.
Eat more fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables contain important vitamins, minerals, and plant chemicals. They also contain fiber. Fruits and vegetables are also low in fat, salt, and sugar. Research has shown that a diet that consists mainly of fruit and vegetables, protects against a variety of serious medical conditions including cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
The benefits of eating lots of fruit and vegetables every day include the ability to maintain a healthy weight, lower cholesterol, and lower blood pressure. The ideal is to eat five kinds of vegetables and two kinds of fruit every day.
Cut out processed food
Processed food is not good for your health and leads to weight gain. Scientific studies have found associations between processed food consumption and an increased risk of developing a number of serious conditions including obesity, cancer, autoimmune conditions, and even death.
Medical News Today reports that scientists have found that eating ultra-processed foods leads to weight gain in human volunteers in as little as 2 weeks.
Ultra-processed food is energy-dense, high in unhealthy types of fat, refined starches, free sugars and salt, and poor sources of protein, dietary fiber, and micronutrients. These foods are made to be very tasty and attractive, with long shelf-life, and able to be consumed anywhere at any time. Examples include soft drinks, packaged snacks, meat nuggets, and frozen meals.
Processed foods are high in calories and low in nutrition. They are best avoided at all times, but especially if you are trying to lose weight.
Monitor your calorie intake with an app
Tracking your food and calorie intake can help you to stay on track. Research has shown that people who keep track of their calorie intake have more success in their efforts to lose weight because they are aware of what they are eating.
These days there is an app for everything, including counting calories and tracking meals. Here is a list of the best available curated by Healthline.
Drink more water
Drinking water can help you lose weight and has many benefits: it keeps you hydrated, helps boost your metabolism, cleanse your body of waste, acts as an appetite suppressant and helps your body not to retain water.
Since water can suppress your appetite, you can drink water before meals to make you feel full and stop you from overeating. Drinking water before meals results in an average reduction in intake of 75 calories per meal. This means that drinking water before just one meal per day would cause you to take in a whopping 27,000 fewer calories per year!
Another way to incorporate water to help you lose weight is to drink it instead of other beverages like sodas, sugary tea and coffee, alcohol and fruit juice. Water has no calories, imagine the number of calories you’ll be cutting with this simple step.
Another interesting tip is to drink water ice cold. The thinking is that cold drinks boost one’s metabolism because the body uses energy to warm up the drink to digest it. Researchers estimate that up to 40% of the increase in calorie burning is caused by the body’s attempt to heat the ingested water.
It is possible to lose 30lbs in3 months but it won’t be easy. You need to be committed to making real lifestyle changes, monitor your meals and calorie intake, drink adequate amounts of water and eat lots of fruit and vegetables every day. Good luck!