When it comes to weight loss, it’s a challenge for our mind just as much as it’s a challenge for our body.
Losing weight is hard, especially if you have 50 pounds or more you would like to get rid of.
The more weight you want to lose the more overwhelming it can feel.
It’s all too common for people to lose their motivation on their weight loss journey and feel defeated.
Keeping that motivation is one of the best ways to ensure you stay on track with your goals.
Let go of the fad diet of choice for last summer and consider a new lifestyle instead.
Think about where you would be and what your life would look like if you successfully got the weight off.
Find ways to remind yourself why you want this daily.
Create a board of your goals that you can see every day.
Communicate your goals and challenges with loved ones.
Above all else, remind yourself why you started in the first place.
Once you have that motivation locked down, let’s take a look at some techniques that can help to cut down those 50 or more pounds.
How to Lose Weight Quickly
Many factors can affect how quickly you lose weight.
This includes things such as age, gender, height, current weight, muscle mass, and diet.
In order to successfully lose weight, a calorie deficit is required.
This means burning more calories than you consume.
A calorie deficit is what helps to boost that metabolism and jumpstart weight loss.
To lose 50 pounds or more, start using a food diary to document your calorie intake.
This is considered one of the most effective and simple ways to get the weight down.
Unfortunately, it’s not a perfect science.
Often the weight loss in the first week or two will come off faster and in larger amounts.
After this, it can slow down, and you might experience a weight loss plateau after a period.
This is because as you lose that weight, your metabolism begins to adapt, and it gets more challenging to continue to drop those pounds.
This is a survival technique.
If you continue to lose weight or choose too low of a calorie diet, your metabolism will think it is in a period of starvation and begin to hold on to everything it has.
Remember that these are lifestyle changes, so they need to be sustainable.
Other factors that affect our metabolism include our genetics and our level of physical activity.
How Long Does It Take to Lose 50 Pounds?
The amount of time it takes someone to meet their 50-pound weight-loss goal varies from person to person.
It also depends on the changes you made.
A healthy weight loss range is anywhere from .25-2 pounds per week or 1-8 pounds per month.
The rate at which you lose weight will continue to vary during your weight loss journey.
One week you may lose 2lbs, the next you might not lose any.
This is normal and not something that should discourage you.
A steady weight loss is a healthy weight loss.
8 Ways to Kick Start Your Weight Loss
Below are some tips to help you kick start your weight loss so you can be on your way to your goal weight in no time.
1. Reduce Sugar Intake
Sugar is in everything, even things we would have never thought.
Unfortunately, high sugar foods not only sabotage our weight loss progress, but they are also a strong temptation a lot of people struggle with on a daily basis.
Cutting out sugary treats or swapping for a low sugar alternative can make a huge difference, especially in calories.
Sugary foods and drinks such as sodas, juices, candy, baked goods, and snack foods are also often calorically dense.
This is especially true for sodas which are a notoriously high-calorie beverage.
This is where you want to practice label reading and cut out some of those sugar-laden foods that can increase your appetite.
Check food labels for total sugar, added sugar, and carbs.
2. Eat a Healthy Diet
This may seem obvious, however, not everyone knows what a healthy diet entail.
Choosing a healthy diet means being aware of your daily caloric intake, incorporating plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and healthy carbohydrates.
Consider making a weekly meal plan to keep you on track with your calorie intake and other nutrients.
Limit processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverages and instead choose more whole foods, lean proteins, veggies, and water.
When adding in more of these foods to your diet, you are naturally choosing less calories, making keeping track of your calorie intake a lot easier long term.
Incorporate healthy fats in your diet to keep you feeling full and satisfied, such as salmon, nuts, seeds, and avocado.
Choose high protein foods such as lean meats, lentils, eggs, and low-fat dairy products.
Make sure you are healthily going about things.
Creating a meal plan can help to keep you on track.
If you feel like you need extra support, consider consulting with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).
Another is to participate in a health coaching program or use an online coaching app such as the betterme app.
Avoid too low-calorie or restrictive diets that eliminate complete nutrient groups such as the keto diet or the warrior diet.
If you can’t keep up with it forever, it’s not a successful weight loss plan.
Make sure you aren’t ignoring your body’s hunger cues.
You want to choose less food to lose weight, but you don’t want to starve yourself.
The best diet is all about balance.
Be sure to speak with your general practitioner before making any changes to your diet.
3. Strength Train
Adding in regular physical activity is highly encouraged for those trying to lose weight.
Create a workout plan to incorporate strength training to help boost your calorie burn and get the weight off quickly.
Strength training helps to build lean muscle mass.
The more muscle mass you have the more calories your body will burn at rest.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least 2 days a week of strength training exercises.
These exercises should work all major muscle groups (legs, back, abs, chest, shoulders, and arms).
Be sure to take rest your muscles the next day to allow them to recover and avoid injury.
If you are a beginner, consider taking a few sessions with a personal trainer to help you with your form.
If you are looking for fitness ideas, there are a lot of resources available online including websites such as FitnessBlender.com that have free exercises with video available.
4. Burn More Calories
Along with adding strength training to build more muscle, adding aerobic exercise to your workout routine can make a big difference in your weight loss and maintaining healthy body weight in general.
Aerobic exercise is any movement that gets your heart rate up, often referred to as cardio.
These cardio exercises can include walking, jogging, hiking, cycling, swimming, and more.
The higher your heart rate the more calories you burn during the activity.
You can track your heart rate during exercise with smartwatches or heart rate monitors such as the Apple Watch, FitBit, or Polar Heart Rate Monitor.
Depending on your level of physical activity, you can work your way up to more challenging exercises.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic workouts.
They can be a brisk walk, 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic workouts such as jogging, or a mixture of both.
Create an exercise plan that fits into your personal schedule so you can be consistent.
Keep in mind that exercise is an important component for weight loss however this is unlikely to be achieved by exercise alone (1).
5. Reduce Hunger
It has become increasingly challenging to recognize our hunger and satiety cues.
As humans, we have started to incorporate food into more than just fueling our bodies.
We use food to celebrate, we reach for it to cope when we are sad or stressed, we even seek it out during times of boredom or out of habit.
Often the foods we reach for are highly processed carbs which are a quick energy source however they do not keep us full.
In fact, foods like this release dopamine in our brains when we eat them.
This is the “feel good” hormone.
This makes us want to continue to eat these foods in large quantities.
Frequently eating for reasons besides hunger can sabotage our weight-loss goal by causing weight gain.
Learning how to better manage our hunger and satiety cues can help us healthily meet that weight loss goal.
If you know what you are feeling is more emotional than physical hunger, consider an alternative such as going out for a walk, reading a book, or learning a new hobby.
If you are experiencing true hunger, consider these tips below.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Choose more high-fiber foods such as veggies, beans, and legumes.
These foods empty through our stomachs slower than others, keeping us feeling full for longer (2).
Incorporate more healthy fats such as salmon, avocado, nuts, and seeds.
These foods act similar to fiber and take longer to empty from the stomach and have been shown to help suppress appetite (3).
Make protein the main ingredient during meals.
Many studies have shown an association between higher protein diets and improved body weight (4).
- Prioritize sleep
- Choose healthy snacks in between meals to help keep your appetite under control.
6. Give Your Self a Break
Slip-ups and setbacks are a part of the journey and one of the biggest reasons people give up.
Making big changes is a challenge and healthy eating and exercise look different for everyone.
These experiences are what make you stronger.
Instead of allowing yourself to feel defeated, think about why you started and where you would be if you didn’t stop.
Avoid things such as “cheat days” and instead normalize the occasional treat.
Not every day will be perfect and your weight loss diet plan should have room for those imperfect days.
7. Get Quality Sleep
Adequate sleep is a hugely important aspect of any health and fitness journey.
If you aren’t getting adequate hours of sleep on a daily basis, you are going to have a hard time meeting some of your other goals.
A sleep deficit can also cause us to over-eat during the day.
Sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on our hormones, specifically Leptin and Ghrelin.
These hormones target our appetite.
Leptin is what signals our body that we are full, and Ghrelin is what signals our body that we are hungry.
When we are not getting enough sleep during the night, Leptin will decrease, and Ghrelin will increase .
This means we will feel hungry more often and are more likely to snack or overeat when we are tired.
Aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
Consider setting a bedtime as well as a time to get up each morning to keep you on track.
If you aren’t sure of your sleep quality but feel sluggish and tired during the day, consider tracking your sleep.
You can do this with smart devices such as the Apple Watch or Oura Ring.
You may also consider speaking with your general practitioner to rule out any underlying conditions that may be affecting your sleep.
8. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is periods of fasting followed by a scheduled eating time frame during the day.
There are many different ways to do this and almost all of us already do this when we go to sleep at night.
Intermittent fasting has shown to help reduce overall calorie intake without complicated diets.
It has also shown to benefit our metabolic health (6).
Choose intermittent fasting times that work best for you but avoid ones that have a long fasting period and a short window for eating, such as the Warrior Diet.
This diet includes a 20 hour fasting period and a 4-hour “feasting” period in the evenings.
Consuming a large amount of food in a short period of time can wreak havoc on our digestion.
Instead, consider a more moderate fast, such as 16-hour fasting and 8-hour eating window or no food past 6 or 7 pm.
This is easier to sustain long-term while still providing some benefits for weight loss.
Any changes you make in your diet should be ones you can sustain for a long time.
Avoid fad or restrictive diets such as the keto diet and the warrior diet and instead, look into the quality of foods you are choosing and why you are eating.
Avoid boredom or emotional eating which can lead to excessive caloric intake.
Increase your activity level and choose nutrient-rich foods over highly processed ones.
And above all else, remember that slip-ups and setbacks happen.
With these tips, you will be on your way to a 50lb, or more, lighter you.
If you continue to struggle to lose weight, be sure to visit your general practitioner to rule out any underlying conditions or medications that may be the cause.
Remember that these changes are lifestyle changes not shortcuts to health.
- Cox, Carla E. “Role of physical activity for weight loss and weight maintenance.” Diabetes Spectrum 30.3 (2017): 157-160.
- Lefranc-Millot, C. A. T. H. E. R. I. N. E., et al. “Fiber and Satiety.” Dietary Fiber and Health 83 (2012).
- Halford, Jason CG, and Joanne A. Harrold. “Satiety-enhancing products for appetite control: science and regulation of functional foods for weight management.” Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 71.2 (2012): 350-362.
- Leidy, Heather J., et al. “The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 101.6 (2015): 1320S-1329S. APA
- Leproult, Rachel, and Eve Van Cauter. “Role of sleep and sleep loss in hormonal release and metabolism.” Endocrine development vol. 17 (2010): 11-21. doi:10.1159/000262524
- Patterson, Ruth E., and Dorothy D. Sears. “Metabolic effects of intermittent fasting.” Annual review of nutrition 37 (2017).