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Last Updated on February 25, 2021

How to Lose 50 Pounds in 3 Months: 10 Unconventional Diet Tips

How to Lose 50 Pounds in 3 Months: 10 Unconventional Diet Tips

When starting a new diet or exercise regimen, it’s often a dieter’s dream that they will drop weight quickly, allowing them to get back to a place where they can worry less about what they put into their bodies. This is often the first mistake they make. We will discuss how to lose 50 pounds in 3 months, but this requires a radical lifestyle shift that many aren’t prepared for. 

If you do a crash diet for 3 months and then return to your old ways, you’ll find those 50 pounds return just as quickly as they left.

Losing this amount of weight will, of course, be easier the more you have to start with. If you are sitting at a healthy BMI, learning how to lose 50 pounds in 3 months isn’t realistic. However, if you are overweight or obese, this can be a worthy goal and one that is certainly achievable with dedication and a plan.

If you want to shed weight but just can’t seem to stop procrastinating, check out Lifehack’s free Fast-Track Class: No More Procrastination. It will help you focus on your weight loss goals and start taking action today.

Here are some weight loss tips to get you started on your weight loss journey and achieve your goals.

1. Buy a Digital Scale

I recommend that before starting a diet, you buy a scale that is accurate to .2 (two-tenths of a pound). I also recommend either buying a scale that can record your daily weight, or manually logging your weight every day.

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2. Weigh Yourself Every Day

You’ll find that almost every other dieter will tell you to weigh yourself only once a week, and this can also work for the right people. However, if you are goal-oriented and like to see consistent results, weighing yourself every day can help keep you motivated.

The reason I recommend buying a scale that is accurate to the .2 is that there is a big difference between weighting 170.8 one day and 170.0 the next day. Losing .8 pounds in one day is excellent. However, if your scale is not accurate enough to report the loss and still shows 170 after a day of healthy eating and working out, you will feel extremely discouraged.

A more detailed scale makes it easier to keep a positive outlook. The more successes (days with positive weight loss) the easier it is.

When you’re trying to learn how to lose 50 pounds in 3 months, it’s important to keep in mind that weight naturally fluctuates on a daily basis. Certain foods will cause you to retain more water weight, which can shift what the scale is telling you, so take these numbers with a grain of salt. If you’re seeing good results overall, you’re on the right path!

3. Drink 8 Glasses of Water Every Day

Drinking eight glasses of water per day helps you feel less hungry, which can help in all weight loss efforts.

In one 2014 study, 50 overweight female participants were instructed to drink 500 mL of water, three times a day 30 min before breakfast, lunch, and dinner. At the end of 8 weeks, body weight, BMI, body fat, and appetite were all lowered, proving that water can play a crucial role in weight loss[1].

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4. Make Your Diet and Goals Public

Telling your coworkers, partner, or family members that you have started a diet and are hoping to learn how to lose 50 pounds in 3 months will increase your accountability and help you stick to your plan. For me, it also helped to put a “before” picture on my fridge, in my cubicle, and on my wall to have a continual reminder to lose the weight. Being able to note how different I began to look after a couple of weeks was a huge motivating factor.

In order to lose 50 pounds, don’t forget that you’ll need the support of those around you, so make sure they are in the loop, even if it feels uncomfortable at first.

5. Decide If You Want to Use Cheat Days

Research has yet to come to a definitive conclusion on whether cheat days help or harm a diet plan. However, most researchers do seem to agree that whatever you do, the diet that works is the diet you stick to[2]. If you have one cheat meal each week that is planned for, it’s unlikely to throw off your entire diet.

However, if you randomly decide you deserve a snack a couple of times a week, this can be detrimental to your plan as it will increase your desire to eat junk food when you should be eating a healthy, planned snack.

6. Don’t Sacrifice Your Life

On occasion, you will find yourself unable to eat healthy. Whether this is because of lunches with your team at work, birthdays, or special occasions, there will be events that you just can’t (or don’t want to) eat healthy.

A diet will feel overwhelming if you have to sacrifice special events in your life. This ties into the point above. If you know you have an event coming up, incorporate it into your diet plan instead of using it as just a “special day.” Make a plan to get back to your diet the next day, even planning out the meals you’ll have.

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7. Make Small Changes in Addition to the Big Ones

When you are trying to learn how to lose 50 pounds in 3 months, you’ll be making some big changes, such as incorporating an intense exercise plan into your daily routine, cutting back on sweets, and perhaps even changing who you spend time with in order to find people who will support you the most.

In addition to the big changes, make small changes in your daily life. For example, park further away, walk to the end of the train platform and get in the last car, and vow not to take an elevator for an entire week. If you like coffee, start drinking it black instead of adding cream and sugar.

I also found it advantageous to wear a pedometer and try to compete against myself for how far I could walk in a single day. This helped me up my activity level and the amount of calories a day I was burning.

These small changes can become lasting habits, which will help you keep the weight off once you’ve lost it.

8. Gain Perspective

Your diet is an incredibly small fraction of your life. If you live for 80 years and dieted for four months, that would only be .42% of your life. That’s right, if you diet for four months, it will be less than one half of one percent of your life. 

On the other hand, think of the major benefits you can get from .42% of your life. If it helps you stay motivated, count the days, starting at 120.

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9. Rationalize Your Workouts

Finding the time to get to the gym can be very difficult. However, a 1/2 hour workout is only 2% of your day (assuming 24 hour days). For me, the most motivating thought was comparing my workouts to sitcoms. As a huge Everybody Loves Raymond fan, every time I would sit down to watch an episode, I would remind myself that in the 1/2 hour that I was sitting and doing nothing, I could complete my daily workout.

Many people feel they have to give up other things in order to work out, but that’s often not the case. You simply have to devote time when you would be doing “nothing” (i.e. watching TV, scrolling through Facebook, etc.) to working out. If you don’t want to drive the 20 minutes to the gym, do an hour-long at-home workout instead.

Moving your body in any way is going to help you as your learn how to lose 50 pounds in 3 months, so stay active as much as possible.

10. Have a Red Flag Weight

Once you’ve lost the weight, you need to keep it off, and this is where the red flag comes in. You need to pick a weight and vow to never get heavier than it again. It is normal for your body to fluctuate five to ten pounds, so I recommend picking a weight that is ten pounds heavier than what you “normally” weigh. Setting a red flag weight allowed me to keep off every pound for over a year.

If you find that you do exceed your red flag weight, it’s time to devote a month to getting below it again. Go back to the top of this list and get started.

The Bottom Line

Learning how to lose 50 pounds in 3 months sounds difficult, but it’s not impossible. With both big and small changes to your daily life, you can lose the weight and keep it off in the long term. Turn this short term goal into a long term lifestyle, and you’ll live healthier and happier.

More on Losing Weight Quickly

Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

Reference

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Published on April 8, 2021

6 Health Benefits of Beetroot Powder (And How To Choose A Good One)

6 Health Benefits of Beetroot Powder (And How To Choose A Good One)

Beetroots are vegetables rich in nitrates, antioxidants, and polyphenol compounds that have a role in improved cardiovascular function and exercise performance.[1] However, beetroot juice has limitations with storage and taste preference, and so other more convenient forms have been investigated. One of these forms is beetroot powder.

What Is Beetroot Powder?

Beetroot powder is made by dehydrating or drying out thin slices of beetroot (to remove all the moisture) and then grinding them into a powder. If you don’t like the earthy taste of beetroot, then beetroot powder might be an alternative since it is more concentrated than fresh beetroot but with a relatively neutral taste. One fresh beetroot is the equivalent of approximately one teaspoon of beetroot powder.

Powdered beetroot can be added to sauces, smoothies, pasta, gnocchi, curries, cakes, muffins, or anything you choose to add nutrients and color to. Watch out that your urine may change color too! Due to the natural sugars in beetroot, it can also be used as a natural sweetener. Beetroot powder is even used in natural cosmetics.

Beetroot Powder VS. Other Beetroot Products

One study looked at the total antioxidant potential, phenol compounds, sugars, and organic acids in beetroot juice, cooked beetroot, powder, and chips. They found higher amounts of total antioxidant potential and organic acids in the chips and powder compared with the juice and cooked beetroot.[2] However, it’s important to consider that it is a lot easier to take larger quantities of beetroot when powdered or juiced than just eating it and this means ingesting much more sugar.

6 Health Benefits of Beetroot

While beetroot may have potential health benefits, it’s not clear if these are temporary or have long-term effects. More research is needed to answer this question and what the optimal dose is. Most studies have focused on beetroot juice, with only a handful of studies investigating beetroot powder. There hasn’t been evidence so far to support the benefit of beetroot powder on blood flow.[3]

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Despite that, beetroot contains several different compounds with different properties. Here are the six health benefits of beetroot powder.

1. Beetroot Powder Is Rich in Nitrates

Firstly, beetroot powder is rich in nitrates. Nitrates have important roles related to increased blood flow, gas exchange, mitochondrial efficiency, and strengthening of muscle contraction.[4] By causing relaxation of the smooth muscles that encircle arteries and veins, nitrate leads to the dilation of these blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure. Nitrate medications are used for people with high blood pressure, angina, and heart disease to relax blood vessels, widening them to allow greater blood flow.[5]

A meta-analysis that combined 22 different trials and analyzed the results together found that additional beetroot juice significantly decreased blood pressure.[6] However, there isn’t evidence to support the long-term effects.[7]

2. Beetroot Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Secondly, beetroot contains antioxidant polyphenol compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants are molecules that have the ability to neutralize free radicals and protect against cell damage that can lead to chronic diseases. Eating a diet high in antioxidants found in fruit and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of chronic disease.[8] Different polyphenol compounds are different colors, that’s why you will often hear about eating a rainbow of fruit and vegetables.

3. Beetroot Has Anti-Cancer Effects

Beetroot also contains betalains that have been found to have anti-cancer effects in cellular models in the laboratory.[9] Clinical trials are now needed to assess if there are potential anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects and the nature of these effects. While the anti-cancer effects of beetroot in humans aren’t known yet, including them in your diet may help and is unlikely to risk harm.

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4. Beetroot Powder Is a Great Source of Vitamins C and Folate

Beetroots are also a great source of vitamins C and B9 (folate). Vitamin C and folate have many important roles in our bodies. Vitamin C is required for the biosynthesis of collagen, which acts as a scaffold in the skin and ligaments. It is also has a role in wound healing and protein metabolism. Folic acid is vital for the production of healthy red blood cells, and cellular growth. Inadequate intake of vitamin C over a 3 month period can lead to scurvy, and smoking can further reduce the bioavailability.[10]

5. Beetroot Contains Essential Minerals

Beets also contain the minerals iron, manganese, and potassium. Iron has a vital role in the transportation of oxygen by healthy red blood cells. Over 40% of children worldwide have iron deficiency anemia and women of childbearing age are also at increased risk because of menstruation.[11] Potassium may actually prevent the harmful effects of eating excess salt (sodium chloride). Manganese has several roles including metabolism, bone formation, and the immune system. Beetroots are a great way of including all these micronutrients in your diet.

6. Beetroot Powder Is a Great Source of Fiber

Fiber is such an important component of our diet, with most of us needing to eat much more to reach the recommended daily amount of 30g. For every 10g of fiber you eat a day, you may decrease your long-term risk of bowel cancer.[12]

Fibre also acts as a pre-biotic, providing food for the friendly micro-organisms in your gut called the microbiota. There are trillions of micro-organisms in your gut that are now known to play a key role in inflammation and both mental and physical health. Eating beetroots can help to increase your fiber intake and support a healthy gut community.

It’s clear that for relatively few calories, beetroot contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, nitrates, and antioxidants. For these reasons, beetroot is labeled as a “nutraceutical” and supplementation has become increasingly popular.[13] While most studies have looked at the effects of beetroot on blood vessel dilation, there are still many unanswered questions about other potential benefits.

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How to Choose a Beetroot Powder

Like all other supplements, there is very little regulation. Therefore, it is very difficult to be sure exactly what is included in the supplement or assess the quality. My recommendations for choosing a supplement are to check for a product license and always buy from a reputable company.

There are, however, no agreed benchmarks for quality or efficacy. How much and how often are also unknown at this time. Try to avoid powders that have added preservatives, sweeteners, or artificial flavorings. Consider whether an organic powder is worth the extra money to you. I would avoid powders that have added silica to avoid clumping. Some supplements now use 3rd party companies to verify the contents.

There isn’t an agreed dose of nitrate or beetroot powder, so while some powders do contain nitrate content, it is difficult to know exactly what this means in practice. The higher the nitrate content, the more likely it is to have a beneficial effect on raised blood pressure. But if you don’t have high blood pressure, it’s difficult to know if more nitrate is beneficial.

In summary, look for:

  • organic beetroot powder
  • tested for quality by a 3rd party company
  • is free from preservatives, sweeteners, and artificial flavorings
  • avoid powders containing silica
  • buy from a reputable company
  • look at the nitrate content

How to Make Your Own Beetroot Powder

First, wash, peel, and grate your beetroots by hand or using a food processor. Then, place them on a tray, spread them out, and cover them with parchment or grease-proof paper to protect them from direct sunlight.

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Leave to dry until there is no moisture left and shake intermittently so that it dries evenly. When it snaps instead of bending and feels dry, it is ready for the next stage.

The drying stage can take up to four days depending on the air temperature. To speed up the drying process, you can do this on low heat in a saucepan for 15 to 25 minutes or in the oven at no higher than 180 degrees Celsius or in a dehydrator. If you use the oven or on the hob, just be careful not to burn the beetroot.

The final step is to grind the dried beetroot using a grinder. It can then be stored in an airtight container, avoiding sun-light for up to one year.

Should You Try Beetroot Powder?

Beetroot is a great vegetable that contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, nitrates, and fiber. The nitrates present in beets may lower your blood pressure in the short-term, but the long-term effects are not yet known. More research is needed to know about other potential benefits such as the effect on cancer.

So, while beetroot powder may have health benefits unless taken in excess, it is unlikely to have significant side effects. Large doses of beetroot, however, are associated with an increased risk of kidney stones.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, taking beetroot supplements is best avoided as there isn’t sufficient safety information. Beetroots do also contain fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols or FODMAPS for short. These are types of carbohydrates that are hard to digest and can cause symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in some people. FODMAPS are thought to act as prebiotics, feeding the friendly micro-organisms that live in your gut (microbiota). So, for those people who can tolerate them, they are beneficial for a healthy gut.

More Resources About Beetroot

Featured photo credit: FOODISM360 via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] NCBI: Vascular effects of dietary nitrate (as found in green leafy vegetables and beetroot) via the nitrate‐nitrite‐nitric oxide pathway
[2] SpringerLink: Comparison of total antioxidant potential, and total phenolic, nitrate, sugar, and organic acid contents in beetroot juice, chips, powder, and cooked beetroot
[3] Maastricht University: Effects of Beetroot Powder with or without L-Arginine on Postprandial Vascular Endothelial Function: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial with Abdominally Obese Men
[4] PubMed.gov: Effects of Beetroot Juice Supplementation on Cardiorespiratory Endurance in Athletes. A Systematic Review
[5] PubMed.gov: Nutraceuticals with a clinically detectable blood pressure-lowering effect: a review of available randomized clinical trials and their meta-analyses
[6] PubMed.gov: The Nitrate-Independent Blood Pressure-Lowering Effect of Beetroot Juice: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
[7] PubMed.gov: Medium-term effects of dietary nitrate supplementation on systolic and diastolic blood pressure in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis
[8] NCCIH: Antioxidants: In-Depth
[9] NCBI: Red Beetroot and Betalains as Cancer Chemopreventative Agents
[10] Healthline: Beetroot 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits
[11] NCBI: The impact of maternal iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia on child’s health
[12] Cancer Research UK: Does a high fibre diet reduce my risk of cancer?
[13] PubMed.gov: The potential benefits of red beetroot supplementation in health and disease

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