How long will it take me to lose 40 pounds?
“You can blast away 40 pounds in just one month with this innovative detox one-product diet!” A familiar headline for many who are trying to get rid of some of their pesky extra fat. Proponents and marketers from tons of different dietary regimes promise you super-fast and healthy weight loss, yet can you actually implement those promises and achieve marvelous results? Read this article to find out how much time you’ll need to lose 40 pounds steadily without potentially endangering your organism.
How fast can I lose 40 pounds?
The first thing you need to grasp is the basic: how do fat pounds get stored in your body, and then, with your dedicated efforts, will it possibly go away? The answer is basic and complex simultaneously: you reduce your energy intake.
It is considered healthy to lose 1-2 pounds of body weight per week. Extreme single-product fad diets, juice cleanses, and other regimes implying extreme calorie restriction are considered damaging to your health. They not only lack essential nutrients but soon make you gain all your weight back after you cease sticking to this type of diet.
A healthy weight loss is estimated to 1-2 pounds per week. One pound of fat is approximately 3,500 calories. So, to get rid of one pound per week you need to cut your calorie intake by 500 calories a day, and to shed 2 pounds you have to cut it by 1,000 calories. If you do simple math, this implies that by losing 2 pounds per week you’ll need approximately 4-5 months to lose 40 pounds.
Yet a lot of factors make these numbers vaguer. The first is gender.
How long will it take me to lose 40 pounds as a woman?
Things get more complicated when it comes to several calories you can burn.
Women usually expend only 1,600 to 2,100 calories per day. For some people, cutting 1,000 calories will put them at a daily intake of below 1,200 calories, which is not enough in terms of micro- and macronutrients, and can slow down their metabolism instead of boosting it. Not eating enough calories may also cause your body to burn lean muscle mass, especially if you shy away from workouts. When you lose muscle, which requires more energy for your body to sustain compared to fat, your metabolism drops further and weight loss becomes even more difficult. For most people, consuming a daily regimen of only 1,200 to 1,400 calories constitutes a very low intake that will lead to weight loss, but it might be detrimental to your body. So, you might limit yourself to one to 1.5 pounds per week, or use another very helpful option – you should start working out.
How long will it take me to lose 40 pounds as a man?
Men may lose 2 pounds per week by eating 1,600 to 1,900 calories per day, but the rate of weight loss depends on their size and activity level.
Weight loss and size
The bigger are the numbers on the weights at the beginning, the faster you’ll see the results, partially due to water weight. However, when you’re moving further towards your goal, you may see that you can’t lose 2 pounds a week with the calorie intake and workout regime you were sticking to earlier.
That is because it takes fewer calories to run your metabolic engine, thus greater calorie cuts and more exercise to maintain the 2-pound-per-week weight-loss rate. For instance, you may get results with a 1,600-calorie plan and 45 minutes of exercise per day for the first month or two. At some point, your weight loss starts stalling, and you’ll understand you have reached a plateau. Plateau is the phase you enter when you’ve got a little bit carried away with creating an energy deficit, and your body decreases the amount of work (metabolism) it’s doing to preserve energy, thereby sabotaging your fat loss efforts. You could be eating the same way you were when you were in the fat loss phase, but your body just says, “Enough.”
To lose more weight, you need to either increase your physical activity or decrease the calories you eat. Using the same approach that worked initially may maintain your weight loss, but it won’t lead to more weight reduction. Needless to say, this plateau will increase the time it takes to lose 40 pounds.
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Exercise and weight loss
Exercising is essential for successful weight loss. It tones up your body, making you not skinny but muscled, and it helps you achieve your daily calorie burn goal without unhealthy calorie restriction in diet.
For instance, swimming burns between 500 to 800 calories per hour, similar numbers go to jogging, tennis, or football, while increasing your pace with running will burn up to 1,500 calories per day. That means you’ll be able to cover up more than half of your calorie-burning task with an hour of exercising per day.
Furthermore, regular training yields a big bunch of health improvements on its own.
Exercise has been shown to improve your mood and decrease feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress (3, 4). It produces changes in the parts of the brain that regulate stress and anxiety. Moreover, it can also increase brain sensitivity for the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which relieve feelings of depression. It might reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30% (1). It increases your metabolic rate, opposite to calorie restriction which eventually slows it down (8). Besides, studies have shown that combining aerobic exercise with resistance training can maximize fat loss and muscle mass maintenance, which are essential for keeping the weight off (5). Finally, exercising plays a huge role in strengthening your muscles and bones, helps make your skin smooth, and upgrade your cognitive abilities (6).
Exercise is indispensable for weight loss and it will help you break the plateau, and shed your 40 pounds in 4-5 months.
How long will it take me to lose 40 pounds on the Keto diet?
After your first week of following the Keto diet, you will likely see a significant drop in your weight. On a regular diet with a calorie deficit and regular exercise regime, most people can expect to lose 1 to 2 lbs a week. On the other hand, those following the Keto diet typically see a drop of anywhere from 2 to 10 pounds. However, you should understand that this is mostly water weight, and this is because Keto strongly restricts carbs.
The pace will slow down eventually, and you can expect 4 to 10 pounds a month of burned fat while sticking to Keto. That means you can largely expect to lose 40 pounds in the same 4-5 months as on average.
How long will it take me to lose 40 pounds if I don’t eat?
As mentioned before, fad diets and juice cleanses are extremely harmful to your health. The same goes for long-term fasting (don’t mistake it with intermittent fasting, which is overall a great choice).
Fasting for a few days probably won’t hurt most people who are healthy, provided they don’t get dehydrated. But fasting for long periods is.
Your body needs vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from food to stay healthy. If you don’t eat enough, you can have symptoms such as fatigue and dizziness as a result of orthostatic hypertension (9), constipation, dehydration, and not being able to tolerate cold temperatures. Fasting too long can be life-threatening. Also, you might lose the wrong type of weight, i.e. muscle mass, water, and carbs, besides, you can get dehydrated (yes, water fasting can make you dehydrated as 30% of daily water intake comes from food) (2). Also, fasting, especially long-term, might worsen certain medical conditions such as gout, diabetes, and eating disorders (7).
To sum up, it could take 4-5 months on average for you to lose 40 pounds, provided that you follow a nutritious diet, regularly work out, keep your fluid intake high especially when you work out and have a balanced sleep cycle. You will surely nail it with patience and dedication. Keep in mind that everybody is different and therefore results might vary according to the individual.
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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!
- Benefits of Exercise (n.d., nhs.uk)
- Contribution of Water from Food and Fluids to Total Water Intake: Analysis of a French and UK Population Surveys (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Effects of Exercise and Physical Activity on Anxiety (2013, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Effects of Single Bouts of Walking Exercise and Yoga on Acute Mood Symptoms in People With Multiple Sclerosis (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Exercise and the Metabolic Syndrome (1997, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Exercise, Protein Metabolism, and Muscle Growth (2001, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Fasting Increases Risk for Onset of Binge Eating and Bulimic Pathology: A 5-Year Prospective Study (2008, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The Effects of Weekly Exercise Time on VO2max and Resting Metabolic Rate in Normal Adults (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Water Fasting—The Clinical Effectiveness of Rebooting Your Body (2014, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)