The moment of changes has come – your favorite loose Levis somehow became too tight around the hips. There’s no way to blame the washing for it: just too many snacks and friendly chit-chats while tasting a new dessert, and that ice cream during the movie was probably a bit extra; and cappuccino with croissants; and maybe French fries at the coffee break; and chicken in KFC may also be on this endless list. So, you finally got angry and decided to lose all the bothering and nasty extra pounds. Of course, you need to deal with it quickly, so you wonder how to lose 50 pounds in 3 months – your excess weight and non-fitting jeans leave you with no other choice. However, that’s where the first mistake is made – losing 50 pounds in 3 months is a doubtful approach, providing you with nothing but problems. Let’s dig deeper and find out everything about healthy weight loss.
Understanding Weight Loss
What do we typically imagine when thinking about weight loss? Exhausting diets, exercising, no tasty desserts, gloomy days, and you finally fit into your new jeans and get back to everyday life.
Depending on our genetics, body type, age, weight, and food preferences, we all lose fat differently – some faster, some sooner. But how does the whole thing work?
The amount of energy we use depends on several different factors:
- gender: men burn more calories than women
- age: young people burn more calories than older people
- muscle mass: the more muscle mass you have, the more energy you use
- weight: the higher your body weight, the more fuel you need to perform the activities.
Every bite you make brings your body energy – calories (except for plain water). They are mainly considered as ‘small devils‘ that make you overweight. However, it’s far from the truth. Every movement you do requires energy expenditure – even sleeping or just lying in. Our primary functions like breathing, food digestion, heart beating, and blood flow – are provided by calories. The minimum calorie intake is called a Basal Metabolic Rate.
If your food intake covers your BMR and daily activities, and you have no health problems, your weight is probably under control. However, when the calorie consumption gets higher and higher, the energy is not spent but converted into glycogen storage, and thus, you are saddled with extra fat.
For weight loss, we need to lose fat, burn extra fat tissue, and be involved in a long-term habit of a negative energy balance. Total calories consumed must be less than your body’s calories spent on BMR and physical activities. This is the way to create a caloric deficit, which makes your body use the energy found in the fat depots. Keeping a healthy negative balance for at least 3 months will provide a slow but sustainable weight loss.
Is Losing 50 Pounds In 3 Months Safe?
What’s the first question people typically ask when they want to lose weight? How to do it quickly, effortlessly, in the shortest terms possible. Well, we are sorry to disappoint you, but this approach is a lost battle.
As long as our time limit is 3 months, let’s do simple Maths:
A healthy weight loss is about 1 – 2 pounds per week, which makes 4-8 pounds a month.
3 months – 12-24 pounds of extra pounds .
Another way of counting:
1 pound of fat takes about 3500 calories a week to burn – 500 calories a day.
2 pounds of fat take 7000 calories a week to burn 1000 calories daily.
As you see, a healthy approach is within 12 -24 pounds; however, even the top limit of 24 pounds is hard to reach; better go for a golden middle – 16 pounds. The idea of 50 pounds in 3 months must slowly be fading right now. If you still want to follow this slippery road, notwithstanding the logic, be aware – you’re going to get nothing but health issues, depression, physical exhaustion, loss of motivation, and the most unexpected result – more fat after the torture.
Instead of rushing into decisions, take a slow and healthy approach – healthy nutrition and regular physical exercise, covered with a full commitment.
What Trying To Lose 50 Pounds In 3 Months Looks Like
If you still think you can beat the science, let’s have a look into the things you need to do to lose 50 lb in 3 months and the consequences.
Just to be precise:
50 lbs in 3 months -> around 17 lbs a month -> around 4-5 lbs a week.
4 – 5 lbs a week x 3500 = 14 000 – 17500 calories burnt per week -> 2000 – 2500 calories a day.
The numbers are pretty insane to follow. And if you even survive the first week, there’s a zero to none possibility that you’ll be able to maintain it for 3 months.
If you need more prooves of losing 50 pounds in three months adverse side effects, let’s clarify.
Over Working Out
To be able to burn 2000 calories a day, you need as frequent heck of training and workouts. The outcome will counteract your expectations:
1. Constantly sore muscles
Sore muscles are typically the result of vigorous training and require some time to recover. What do you do instead (to follow the 2000-2500 calories expenditure)? Keep training again, and again, and again – this is a straightforward way to injuries and trauma.
When you constantly keep your muscles under stress, your body doesn’t have enough time to repair the minor strains and injuries; besides, there’s a high risk of aggravating the old strains. Therefore, the minor injuries will grow bigger, bringing you even more problems.
2. Poor health
When balanced, sport increases your resistance to illnesses and helps you to recover quicker. However, it has a different effect when in excess. Your body has no time to recover from workouts, desperately looking for sources of strength and energy, leaving you with nothing for immune system functions.
If you’ve noticed that a minor cold takes longer to recover, you might need to slow down.
3. Sluggish and depressed
If you constantly exercise, having no rest, you’ll become energyless and inactive. It will influence your mental condition – mood swings and roller-coasters will become your roommates for a long time. Your ability to focus on essential tasks will decrease as well.
4. Lack of motivation
If you wake up every morning with a sore body, lack of energy and a desire to cry and hide from the whole world, a morning marathon (to burn 2000-2500 calories) will seem like a punishment and an insurmountable obstacle. Your motivation will fall with no chance to return.
5. Sleep problems
Some people, after too active workouts, may feel unable to fall asleep. However, most will experience oversleeping and lying in for longer. You’ll simply have no energy to do something, not to mention the forthcoming workout.
Being physically active is beneficial when you’re trying to lose weight, but you need to know when to push the STOP button. The key to any goal is to make small steps that you can maintain. Weight loss bears no rush; otherwise, you’ll reach a breaking point relatively soon. According to the countless reseaches, adults need at least 150 minutes of vigorous physical activity a week, and you need to exercise more than this if you want to lose weight.
Effects Of Rapid Weight Loss
The main pillar that keeps our body functioning properly is balance. That’s why, every time you read about a super effective and effortless diet, be reasonable and attentive because it may be a super harmful one, affecting nothing but your health. Your weight loss goals shouldn’t turn into health loss ones.
Rapid Weight Loss Employs Harmful Weight Loss Methods
Too restrictive diets
The more restrictive rules you set, the more desire and temptation you have to break them. That’s simple psychology.
Be realistic – cut down on quick carbs, add healthy snacks, and eliminate processed and greasy food. Introduce minor changes to help your body adjust, and then count how many calories are sustainable.
Practice mindful and healthy eating instead of mindless food limitations.
The main idea of liquid diets – having a full stomach and lower calorie intake. This method is used for post-surgery recovery; however, it’s non-applicable for healthy people.
Liquid food isn’t digested properly: you don’t chew on it, so the digestive juices are not stimulated, and the majority of benefits are gone untouched. Sooner or later, you’ll face a lack of nutrients and vitamins.
Liquid food is short on fiber, a common reason for constipation and digestive problems.
With solid food, everything is different. You chew and savor it, which signals our brain and makes us feel satisfied and full. Liquid foods take no time to be savored, which often results in overeating.
Using supplements instead of food.
Supplements are used to fill the gaps in nutrition and help cover the shortage of nutrients. But they can’t be used as a food substitution.
Supplements are not a magic bullet that will help you lose weight; it’s just not possible, despite their manufacturers’ claims.
Some people choose an extreme way to lose weight – crash diets like starving, apple diet, carrot diet, etc. It leads to malnutrition, loss of strength, and muscle mass; your immune system will not function properly, and your metabolism will slow down. You will probably lose some weight, but the price is too high.
It is not advised for people to have less than 1,200 calories intake a day unless they are medically supervised as you could struggle to get enough of the important nutrients your body needs.
Cleanse or detox plan
Typically these ‘cleanses’ provoke weight loss from water and stool weight. However, the promises of manufacturers are highly-attractive. The pounds you will lose will not be connected with losing fat tissue or gaining health benefits.
Rapid Weight Loss Causes Dehydration
Dehydration is dangerous because our body is 80% made of it. A significant drop on the scale right after the beginning of a diet is not the fat tissue decrease but losing water. Losing weight through dehydration isn’t the best weight loss journey. Getting rid of water deprives your body of the possibility to function.
Rapid Weight Loss Causes Malnutrition
While thinking about how to lose 50 pounds in 3 months diet plan, you need to be aware of malnutrition, which can be regarded as a deficiency, excess, or imbalance in an intake of macronutrients or micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals, resulting in chronic diseases .
The most common types of malnutrition:
1. Undernutrition, which is wasting (low weight-for-height), stunting (low height-for-age) and underweight (low weight-for-age);
2. Micronutrient-related malnutrition – a lack or excess of important vitamins and minerals;
3. Overweight, obesity, and diet-related chronic diseases (such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers).
Malnutrition happens when we don’t meet the nutritional requirements. It may occur due to aging, non-communicable diseases, and fast diets, when you don’t eat enough.
Rapid Weight Loss Causes A Loss Of Lean Muscles
When it comes to weight loss in the shortest terms possible, the result is typically a lack of intake or uptake of nutrients (protein, vitamins, and minerals), leading to changes in body composition – reduction of muscle mass and body cell mass. It may lead to further diminished physical and mental function. While being a pretty expected process among the elderly, it’s definitely not something your dieting and exercise should lead to.
If you want to lose 50 pounds in 2 months or 3 months (both unrealistic ideas), the simplest way to do it is to get rid of this idea.
Rapid Weight Loss Often Leaves You With Loose Skin
Loose skin typically occurs in people who suffer from obesity or choose a quick path to lose weight. By losing weight quickly, you don’t give your body any chance to adapt to the changes. Skin’s elasticity doesn’t have enough time to shrink back and stays with you as a reminder of a previous life.
Rapid Weight Loss Causes Gallstones
When you avoid eating to lose weight quickly, you prevent the gallbladder from emptying properly, making the unused bile store in the form of gallstones .
Moreover, your body metabolizes fat during quick weight loss; it forces the liver to release extra cholesterol into bile, which can also cause gallstones.
Healthy Ways To Lose Weight
If you consider a healthy approach to weight loss goals, you need to be consistent and forget about fast weight loss. You’re about to fail if you set your closest goal as 50 pounds in three months. Start with small steps, like to lose 10 pounds in 2 months. You’ll have plenty of time to get used to a new regimen and exercises and determine the foods you like on your menu (healthy options, of course). When you start following our weight loss tips, the beginning of your way will go smoothly with pitfalls.
1. Cutting Calories
Some super-lucky people can lose weight easier than others, some slower. However, one rule is undeniable – if we want to lose weight in a healthy way, we need to burn a lot of calories, more than we eat. To lose weight, you need to create a caloric deficit – eat fewer calories, and exercise more to make the energy deficit.
The more active you are, the more calories you burn. Often times people who are told to have a fast metabolism are just simply active. They don’t wait for others to bring them something, do the shopping, or throw out the rubbish. They take active participation in everything.
To understand your calorie needs, you need to check your basal metabolic rate (BMR), or it may also be called resting metabolic rate (RMR), which means the calories you burn all the days, even while resting.
Let’s follow the formula:
Men: 66.47 + (6.24 × weight in pounds) + (12.7 × height in inches) − (6.75 × age in years)
Women: 65.51 + (4.35 * weight in pounds) + (4.7 * height in inches) – (4.7 * age in years)
Your BMR makes up about 60-70% of the calories to maintain your body’s essential functions, including beating your heart, cell production, respiration, food processing, etc.
Your BMR is influenced by age, weight, height, gender, environmental temperature, dieting, and exercise habits.
You can’t go lower on your BMR when you cut down on calories. It’s your basic energy. Your fitness goals will never be more valuable than your health.
2. Working Out
You should perform some form of aerobic exercise at least three times a week for at least 20 minutes per session. In order to lose weight, you should exercise 30-4o minutes .
If you find physical activity too hard, for a start, incorporate at least 15 minutes of moderate cardio exercises (brisk walking, jogging, etc.) into a daily schedule.
Another beneficial type of exercise is called HIIT – high-intensity interval training. It’s a perfect fit for those who are short on time but require workouts. HIIT consists of short alternating periods of intense exercise with passive or mild-intensity movement. On average, the work intervals last from 15 seconds to 4 minutes approaching 80% to 95% of maximum heart rate. The combined work/rest interval is repeated 6 to 10 times. The total HIIT exercise time ranges from 10 to 40 minutes.
The benefits of HIIT are hard to exaggerate: improved fitness level, increased insulin sensitivity, and regulated blood pressure. Besides, HIIT stimulates weight loss and helps reduce visceral fat, a strong opponent in the weight-loss fight.
Adding weight training is also beneficial as long as it helps you build muscle mass.
In general, exercise can help prevent certain diseases and lower blood pressure and cholesterol, which may prevent a heart attack. Body composition exercises are helpful for weight loss and, more importantly, for maintaining a healthy weight. They help to increase metabolism and the number of calories you burn daily. Working out for an extended period of time also contributes to a sense of confidence and well-being, lowering anxiety and depression.
3. Building Muscles
The more lean muscle mass you have, the more success you have in burning calories. Even resting, your muscles continue to burn calories, as long as muscle tissue is more active metabolically.
Muscle is also denser than fat, so it takes up less space. That’s why two people of the same height and weight can have different clothing sizes due to different fat percentages.
Besides, muscles weigh more than fat – one liter of fat weighs about 1.98 pounds, whereas one liter of muscle is about 2.3 pounds.
4. Choosing The Right Weight Loss Diet
The best weight loss diet is about the habit of consuming healthy food and snacks. Give your body enough micro- and macronutrients to provide non-stop and efficient work. You should increase your protein consumption, healthy fats, and complex carbs.
Protein will give your muscles strength and energy and help restore them after training. Healthy fats participate in hormone synthesis; don’t mix them with trans-fats. Complex carbs are a source of energy, slowly released into the bloodstream. It will provide a gradual rise of power rather than energetic spikes and a feeling of hunger in a while.
5. Reducing Your Alcohol Intake
Alcohol causes weight gain because:
a) it stops your body from burning fat,
b) it’s high in calories
c) it makes you feel hungry and consume a lot of food.
Drinking alcohol excessively causes many serious health risks apart from weight gain: high blood pressure, insulin resistance, heart disease, stroke, and liver disease, not to mention the addiction and psychological problems it leads to.
6. Drinking A Lot Of Water
It’s a highly-disputable topic. You may hear different advice on a required water intake. Why is it so crucial with weight-related issues?
Every day we lose water through our breath, sweat, urine, and bowel movements. Typically we replenish its supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.
The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:
- About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men
- About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages, and food.
You may have heard about 8 glasses a day being the right amount, which is a reasonable goal to follow. However, we need to take into account the following factors:
- Physical activities – it’s essential to drink water before, during, and after a workout. Not liters of water, but sips will help you cover fluid loss.
- Environment – hot or humid weather and high altitudes require additional fluid.
- Health issues – high fever, vomiting or diarrhea, bladder infections, urinary tract stones. These health conditions require a higher intake of water.
To meet your fluid needs, you need to use various sources – many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and spinach, are almost 100% water by weight. Beverages such as milk, yogurt, juice, and herbal teas are composed mainly of water. Go easy on sugary drinks; they can replenish you with water; however, they will also add significantly to your calorie intake. And you won’t even notice it.
How to understand if you drink enough?
- You rarely feel thirsty
- Your urine is colorless or light yellow
As with everything in our life – it’s all about balance. Same with water. When you drink too much water, your kidneys can’t get rid of the excess water, and the sodium content of your blood becomes diluted, which can lead to a life-threatening condition.
7. Increasing Your Fiber Intake
A study published in Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that eating 30 grams of fiber each day can help you lose weight, lower your blood pressure, and improve your body’s response to insulin just as effectively as a more complicated diet. Higher fiber diets can help prevent type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Adding fiber to your diet is relatively easy and delicious: cereals, berries, nuts, vegetables, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, dried fruit, whole-grain crackers, etc. High-fiber foods are affordable for everyday consumption for everyone. Not only do they make your main meals and snack healthier, but they also diversify your menu significantly. Seems like getting 2 things in one fell swoop – healthy food and weight loss.
8. Not Skipping Meals
Our working days are nothing but busy – full of phone calls, messages, tasks, and traffic. We often skip meals because we are too busy, or there’s simply no time for that.
Later in the evening, we are under the false impression that we have a massive calorie deficit and can cover it with a substantial dinner, dessert, and something else to chew while watching the news. That’s a huge mistake. We just become super hungry by the end of a day and thus, eat several times more than usual without even understanding it. As a result, you feel like a bubble with stones, and obviously, lots of empty calories will not burn just because you are full and too tired. Sounds familiar?
Many people believe skipping meals or eating less often helps us to lose weight – that’s one of the biggest myths in nutrition.
Skipping meals lowers our metabolism, leads to weight gain, and makes us feel weak and inactive.
To save your health and stomach, have healthy snacks and lunch in your bag. It is way better to have 5 smaller meals, feeling energized, than to have 2 meals, feeling like a balloon afterward.
The Bottom Line
A meal plan to lose 50 pounds in 3 months will draw you into a highly-improbable scheme. The very first rule is to be realistic about weight loss goals. If you set the goals you can’t reach (proven scientifically), you’ll face a loss of motivation, depression because “I-am-a-loser,” and more extra kilos because of an endless number of scoops of ice cream to help you cherish your spirit.
To have the results, you need to aim for a slow pace. That’s how to help your body adjust to the changes and get used to workouts and new food. Don’t rush things if you don’t want to end up with injuries and many health issues.
Your patient determination is the main factor that will help you lose weight in a healthy manner. It will help you move towards the goal slowly, listening to your body, changing the menu, and choosing the right exercises.
Wondering how to lose 50 lbs in 3 months, you need to understand that the journey matters, not the destination. Learn to consume fewer calories, and become a more active participant in life. Make such an approach to your lifestyle, and you’ll no longer have a dieting burden.