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Weight Loss » How Long To Lose 30 Pounds: Getting Into The Nitty-Gritty Of Long-Term Weight Loss

How Long To Lose 30 Pounds: Getting Into The Nitty-Gritty Of Long-Term Weight Loss

how long to lose 30 pounds

How Long to Lose 30 Pounds Safely?

How long to lose 30 pounds? This is a question many people who are struggling with weight management might have in mind. An unhealthy lifestyle has made millions of people across the world suffer from overweight or obesity. Sadly, excessive body fats expose one to health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, and some cancers, among others. It is, therefore, necessary to adopt healthier eating habits and  using sustainable and healthy means.

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According to WHO statistics, the number of obese people has tripled since 1975 (16). Being overweight or obese, in most cases, means that you have excessive fat accumulation. An overweight adult has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of equal to or above 25, while an obese one has a BMI of 30 or more. If you are in this range, you need to consider finding a healthy way to shed the extra weight.

Losing even 5 pounds can be difficult. Shedding off 30 pounds will require high levels of discipline and commitment. To cut 30 pounds, you must make serious lifestyle decisions involving dieting, exercising, sleeping, and stress management, among others. Although there are quick and drastic weight loss alternatives, it is important to go for a plan that is safe and will boost your overall health in the process.

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Dieting

The first and most important step to losing weight is changing your diet. It is easier to improve your eating habits than it is to burn the extra by working out or leading an active lifestyle. Eat consciously by only consuming what is good for your body. 

  • Avoid Processed Foods to Minimize Calorie Intake

Since you have to be on a calorie deficit to lose weight, you have to consume less than what your body needs to burn in a day. Avoid processed food such as fast food, French fries, cookies, instant noodles, and crackers with high amounts of empty calories and less important nutrients. Instead, eat low-calorie, nutrient-rich meals that will make you feel satisfied even between meals and minimize your calorie intake. Such meals include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and lean meat.

Note that you should not go too low on calories. A drastic reduction in calorie intake can slow down your metabolic rate, and this will make it impossible to lose weight.

Experts recommend that men and women should consume an absolute minimum of 1500 and 1200 calories daily, respectively. For effective weight loss, minimize intake by 500-700 calories below your daily energy requirements to shed 1-2 pounds in a week. To know your daily energy requirements, key in your age, gender, current weight, and activity level in an online calorie calculator.

How long to lose 30 pounds for women? It will depend on their age and level of activity. For instance, a moderately active woman who needs about 2200 calories a day only but eats 1200 calories instead, she will likely lose about 2 pounds weekly (12). Therefore, it will take her approximately 15 weeks to lose 30 pounds. 

Also, stay off processed and sugary beverages such as soft drinks, alcohol, and sweetened tea. It is because they contain high amounts of added sugars that can lead to weight gain. Instead, drink unsweetened coffee, tea, or just water. 

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  • Increase in Protein Consumption

Protein consumption promotes weight loss. Research shows that a high-protein breakfast is more satisfying than a high-carbohydrate morning meal. One of the reasons is that it suppresses hormone ghrelin levels, which is responsible for hunger feeling stimulation (8). Also, doubling daily protein intake considerably minimizes calorie intake, resulting in weight loss in the long-run.

High protein foods include eggs, legumes, dairy, fish, poultry, and meat that can be included in a healthy weight loss diet.

  • Consumer Fiber-rich Foodstuffs

The human body cannot digest fiber, which means a fiber-rich food is a great way to fill you up without adding calories to your diet. 

Soluble fiber found in fruits and vegetables absorbs water, increases stool bulk, dragging the emptying of the stomach to make you feel full for a long time. It also stabilizes blood sugar levels and prevents crashes and spikes, which results in increased hunger.

Insoluble fibers, on the other hand, are not altered during digestion. They encourage the normal movement of intestinal contents. Example foods rich in soluble fibers are vegetables, fruits such as apples and oranges, and legumes like dry peas, beans, and lentils, oats, and barley. Those rich in insoluble fibers include vegetables, fruits with edible peel or seeds, cereals, brown rice, and whole-grain products like whole-wheat bread and pasta.

In a study conducted by PubMed on 252 women, it was established that raising dietary fiber minimized the risk of gaining weight and fat in women (14). In this research, 1 gram of fiber consumed led to 0.5 pounds weight loss and a quarter less body fat over 20 months. The American Heart Association Eating Plan recommends the consumption of 25 grams of fiber on average per day (15).

This finding was independent of many potential confounders, such as exercising and dietary fat intake. It appears that the impact of fiber occurs mainly through reducing energy intake over time. Also, the intake of high-protein high-fiber beverages before meals reduces hunger, leading to weight loss.

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  • Taking Plenty of Water

Another factor that determines how long to lose 30 pounds is water intake. Research has established that a cup of water before meals reduces the calorie intake (20). How long will it take to lose 30 pounds with lemon water depends on how often you take this warm or cold mixture of water and fresh lemon, usually low on carbohydrates (7).

Instead of saturated fats, consume unsaturated oils like those in mackerel, plant oil such as olive oil, sesame, and flaxseed. Processed meats like sausages should be replaced with lean alternatives such as turkey or chicken breast and sirloin. It is also important to control your portion sizes by dividing your plate into three parts: ½ plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables, ¼ with protein, and the last ¼ with whole grains.

Exercising

Working out will help you get rid of unwanted weight or help you maintain your ideal weight. It is important to set realistic workout goals. Start slow, then gradually increase the intensity and frequency of the exercises as you go on.

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  • Resistance Training

This type of workout uses resistance to shrink your muscles and build strength and endurance. It enhances physical performance, functional independence, walking speed, movement control, and cognitive abilities, among other benefits. Resistance training increases lean body mass and boosts the number of calories the body burns while at rest, thus, effective weight loss in the long run.

According to PubMed, 10-week resistance training reduces fat weight by 1.8 kilograms, which is about 4 pounds (9). Based on this, it will take you about 75 weeks to lose 30 pounds if you are relying on resistance training alone. Some of the resistance training activities include lifting free weights, push-ups, crunches, squats, planks, and using weight machines.

Guide On Doing Basic Weight-Training Exercises

Always start by warming up for five minutes by doing light aerobics.

  •  Dumbbell squats and press are done by holding the dumbbells at chest height with an overhand grip. In this position, drop into a squat, and when your thighs are parallel to the floor, pause for a second, then press back up to the starting position, raising the weight above your head.
  • Proper weight training exercises are performed as a circuit. Complete a set of 10-12 repetitions of each movement before resting for 1 minute. Repeat the sequence 1-2 times for a total of 2-3 circuits, then reversing the order in which the exercise is done. 
  • Basic push-ups are done by supporting the body with your feet and hands. Place the hands slightly wider than the shoulder-width apart, with the palms flat on the floor. Without locking the elbows, straighten your arms, then lower your torso until the chest is just above the floor. Push back to the starting position and repeat.
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  • Cardio Exercises

Aerobics or cardio workouts increase the heart rate, which leads to burning off extra calories. These exercises build muscle mass and remove body fats. In order to lose 30 pounds within a considerably shorter period, aerobics is a must-do. Take 20-40 minutes daily to do aerobics. These exercises include biking, jogging, walking, hiking, swimming, and boxing.

Research by NCBI proved that aerobics alone (without a change in diet) causes a significant weight loss (3). It was found that doing cardio 5 times a week can result in a weight loss of up to 11.5 pounds in 10 months. Therefore, if you are wondering how long it takes to naturally lose 30 pounds by exercising without dieting, the answer is about 26 months.

 How To Do Basic Aerobics:

  • Mountain climbers: Begin in a plank position, then bring your leg forward so that your knee faces your arms. Move the leg back and bring the other forward, then repeat.
  • Burpees: Stand straight with hands on the sides. Speedily squat, placing your hands on the ground. Push your legs out into plank posture with the weight on your arms. Do a push-up, jump back into a squat, and then return to the standing position.
  • When skipping, stand with feet apart. Hold the skipping rope handles on each hand, then using the flick of the wrist, fling the rope over your head and under your feet. Jump over the rope as it comes towards your feet.
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  • High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

This physical activity entails alternating between bursts of intense workouts and moments of rest. By doing so, you will keep your heart rate high. This type of exercise is proven to burn more calories than others, such as aerobics and resistance training (4). 

How To Do HIIT:

To begin, alternate between 20-25 seconds of HIIT, such as high jumps, jumping rope, or burpees, followed by 30-40 minutes of rest.

Always consult an approved personal trainer before undertaking any exercise.

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Other Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Apart from dieting and working out to lose 30 pounds, you may also practice these healthy habits:

  • Eat slowly, because research shows that doing so will minimize calorie intake and meal size, leading to weight loss. A meal should last at least 15-20 minutes. 
  • Avoid fad diets because they encourage unhealthy eating habits. They are extremely restrictive, which causes cravings and overeating.
  • Adequate sleep and reduced stress levels are recommended for weight loss. This is because sleep deprivation and stress can result in weight gain from emotional and binge eating. 
  • Monitor your food intake if it helps you control your portions.. Monitoring your food consumption will help you track your progress and identify areas that need improvements.
  • Plan your weight loss journey. You can get an accountability partner to motivate you. It can be a professional or a friend who will ensure that you follow the plan.
  • Stay positive and bounce back every time you get off the healthy routine. 
  • Use a nutrition-tracking app that will help in monitoring your calories.
  • Take pictures of the progress made. It will encourage you to see that you are a step closer to your desired weight.
  • Take part in healthy weight-loss challenges. Some of these challenges encourage specific diets such as Keto, Paleo, and Mediterranean. Make sure you go for healthy eating diets that are not overly restrictive.
  • If you are not disciplined enough, enroll in a gym, where the instructor will ensure you do the right exercises.

When you lose a significant amount of pounds, there will be visible changes. For instance, you will have a thinner face or smaller waist. Later, fat will melt from stubborn regions.

Weight loss is influenced by other factors such as age, heredity, gender, and baseline activity. It is, therefore, necessary to get a green light from your doctor or dietitian before beginning any weight loss routine. These experts will also help customize the perfect diet and exercise routine for you.

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FAQ

How many calories should I burn to lose a pound?

3500 calories are equivalent to approximately one pound of body fat, therefore to lose one pound, you need to burn about 3500 calories (6). In the same ratio, if you reduce your energy intake by 500 calories every day of the week, you will need about 30 weeks to lose 30 pounds.

How long will it take to lose 30 pounds on a keto diet?

A keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet. The period differs. Some reviews show that one can lose about 10 pounds in 3 weeks, meaning that it takes about 9 weeks to lose 30 pounds while following a  ketogenic diet (13). Others claim to have lost 30 pounds a month by following this eating plan. Therefore, if your goal is to lose weight in 2 months, you can try the keto diet.

How long will it take to lose 30 pounds on a fast?

An extreme fast can cause you to lose 0.5 pounds a day. Therefore, it will take you 60 days to lose 30 pounds. Note that this is an extreme way of losing weight in 2 months, highly unhealthy and dangerous. Thus, it is recommended that you do several fasts of 7–14 days for several months.

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What is healthy weight loss per week?

Health professionals recommend losing 1-2 pounds weekly (21). Therefore, the perfect answer to how long does it take to lose 30 pounds safely is a minimum of 15 weeks to about 30 weeks. To maximize the outcomes and enjoy long-term success, you will have to combine dieting with workouts and other healthy lifestyle habits.

How long you lose 30 pounds will be determined by the healthy lifestyle that you follow. A combination of dieting, workouts, minimal stress, and enough rest, among others, will help you realize this sustainable weight loss goal in about 15 weeks or more. The most important thing is to be committed and consistent with healthy eating and make healthy lifestyle choices.

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DISCLAIMER:

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

SOURCES:

  1. 9 Women Share Exactly How Long it Took Them to Lose 20 Pounds or More (2016, womenshealthmag.com)
  2. 15 Easy Aerobic Exercises to Lose Weight and Get Back in Shape (2019, parenting.firstcry.com)
  3. Aerobic exercise alone results in clinically significant weight loss for men and women: Midwest Exercise Trial-2 (2013, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  4. Caloric expenditure of aerobic, resistance, or combined high-intensity interval training using a hydraulic resistance system in healthy men (2015, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  5. CLINICAL GUIDELINES ON THE IDENTIFICATION , EVALUATION , AND TREATMENT OF OVERWEIGHT AND OBESITY IN ADULTS (1998, nhlbi.nih.gov)
  6. Counting calories: Get back to weight-loss basics (2020, mayoclinic.org)
  7. Does Lemon Water Help You Lose Weight? (2017, healthline.com)
  8. Effect of a high-protein breakfast on the postprandial ghrelin response (2006, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  9. Effect of resistance training on resting metabolic rate and its estimation by a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry metabolic map (2014, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  10. How Long Should It Take to Lose Thirty Pounds? (livestrong.com)
  11. How to Lose 30 Pounds Safely (2020, healthline.com)
  12. How Much Weight Can You Lose a Week on a 1,200-Calorie Diet? (2019, livestrong.com)
  13. .I Tried the Ketogenic Diet for 30 Days and Here’s What Happened (2020, eatingwell.com)
  14. Increasing total fiber intake reduces risk of weight and fat gains in women (2009, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  15. Increasing Fiber Intake (n.d, ucsfhealth.org)
  16. Obesity and overweight (2020, who.int)
  17. Resistance training is medicine: effects of strength training on health (2012,pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  18. This Guy Lost 30 Pounds In 3 Months By Following These Simple Tips (2020, menshealth.com)
  19. This Is How 15 Real People Lost 30 Pounds (2020, eatthis.com)
  20. Water consumption reduces energy intake at a breakfast meal in obese older adults (2008, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  21. What is healthy weight loss? (2020,cdc.gov)
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Jedidah Tabalia

Jedidah is a passionate writer with over 5 years of experience in researching and providing content on healthy eating habits, specifically in relation to nutritious dieting, exercising, and weight loss that contribute to a person's overall well-being. She injects her go-getter mentality and can-do attitude into every article because she believes that happiness begins with good health, so the more people she inspires to embark on a healthy journey, the better. Jedidah provides tailored, evidence-based content that will ensure her readers that fitting healthy diets and workouts into their hectic lifestyles is not only possible, but easy and affordable.
She believes that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and a steadfast commitment to a healthy lifestyle is bound to pay off.

Soraya Ziou

Soraya Ziou

Hi everyone! I am a Canadian Registered Dietitian (RD) who graduated from the University of Ottawa, Canada. I worked at the Montreal Pediatric University Hospital and the Ottawa Heart Institute before joining the International Clinic of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. With a strong interest in community nutrition, I worked in Haiti and in Syrian refugee camps affected by the scourge of malnutrition. I am passionate about food and its science!

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