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.
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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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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
- 17 Ideas to Get Motivated to Lose Weight Now
- Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)
- 10 Best Low Calorie Foods That Help You Lose Weight Fast
Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com
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