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How to lose 50lbs in 5 months

by Ezra 6 minutes read

Last updated: 18 Aug, 2023

To lose 50 pounds in 5 months requires a lot of discipline. It is possible, however, as long as you remain consistent with diet and exercise. To achieve this goal, you need to maintain a calorie deficit, stay hydrated, exercising regularly, and stick to a healthy meal plan.

Before starting your weight loss journey, you must keep your expectations realistic. To lose 50 pounds in 5 months, you need to lose 10 pounds per month. This means over five months, you must lose 2.5 pounds a week. Losing weight at a rate of between 1 to 2.5 pounds a week is generally considered safe and sustainable.

Staying motivated is one of the hardest parts of weight loss. At the beginning of your weight loss journey, you may see the pounds fall off quickly and then suddenly slow down. This is a natural part of the weight loss process, which you can read about here, but it can be demotivating.

Make sure you have friends and family around you who are encouraging but also able to hold you accountable, supporting you from reverting back to old and destructive eating habits. It can be helpful to join a weight loss support group so you can meet others who are on the same journey as you.

The bottom line is that all bodies are unique and no weight loss journey is the same. Everyone has specific preferences and needs, so consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietician before undertaking any intense weight loss program. They will provide you with personalised guidance and make sure you are losing weight in the safest way.

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Create a calorie deficit

In order to lose a lot of weight, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn. During a calorie deficit, your body will use alternative sources of energy such as stored fat causing weight loss. Calorie calculators and calorie counting apps are useful tools to support your weight loss journey.

To figure out your daily calorie needs, it is recommended to use a calorie calculator. The calculator uses an individual's age, gender, weight, height, and activity level to determine how many calories they must consume in order to maintain, lose, or gain weight.

A calorie counting app can be helpful to keep track of your daily calorie intake. The most popular apps include MyFitnessPal, LoseIt!, and FatSecret. These apps also allow you to monitor your progress and keep track of the amount of weight you have lost each week, which can help you to stay motivated. If you are not losing weight, you will be able to see and can then make adjustments to your plan.

Craft a healthy meal plan

Once you know how many calories you need to consume per day to lose weight, a healthy meal plan needs to be crafted. There is no one set meal plan to lose weight, as everybody has different preferences and needs. All plans, however, should be nutrient-rich and include healthy fats, lean protein, wholegrains, vegetables, and fruits.

A healthy meal plan is one that allows you to develop sustainable eating habits. Unlike some extreme and restrictive diet plans, this form of meal plan is not meant to be a quick fix. Your goal is to permanently establish healthy eating habits, so that you can maintain long term weight loss, and make more mindful choices regarding portion sizes and eating patterns.

The ideal meal plan for weight loss is one that emphasises unprocessed foods such as healthy fats, lean protein, wholegrains, vegetables, and fruits. All of these foods are low calorie but nutrient-rich, giving your body the fuel to function optimally. It is important to avoid, or at least minimise, processed foods like sugary beverages, fast food, and ready meals as these are normally high in calories which can lead to weight gain. Preparing and planning meals in advance can also reduce reliance on unhealthy foods.

A balanced diet will provide you with the correct amount of macronutrients, the main providers of energy, which are proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. All of these macronutrients help to regulate blood sugar levels, maintain muscle mass, and support energy levels whilst encouraging healthy weight loss.

These foods are packed full of fibre and protein which will keep you satiated. Fibrous foods, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, and protein like lean meats, fish, eggs, and tofu reduce hunger cravings that lead to overeating. Make sure you eat slowly and don’t go beyond feeling comfortably full. Using a smaller bowl or plate can help with portion control.

Exercise regularly

Regular exercise, in combination with a calorie deficit and a healthy meal plan, is a crucial aspect of weight loss. Not only does exercise burn calories, but it increases metabolism and improves overall fitness.

Choosing an exercise you enjoy will motivate you to keep up a regular routine. Recreational sports like tennis, basketball, soccer, swimming, hiking, and dancing are fun ways to engage in sports, helping you to stay consistent with exercising, and are not expensive to participate in. These sports are all cardiovascular, which happens to be the best form of exercise to lose weight. Aim to do around 150 minutes of moderately intense cardio per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous cardio.

The best form of cardio is high-intensity interval training (HIIT) because you continue to burn calories long after you have finished exercising. HIIT involves short bursts of intense exercise that is followed by a short recovery period. It can be done with most types of cardio such as sprinting, jumping jacks, burpees, and squats. You can find home HIIT workouts here.

Alongside cardio, it is important to incorporate strength training into your exercise routine. Weight training builds lean muscle mass which is metabolically active, meaning you burn calories even when resting. Using a weight machine at the gym, weightlifting, resistance band workouts, and bodyweight exercises all are types of strength exercises. Aim for two or three strength training sessions per week, making sure to target all the major muscle groups.

Stay hydrated

Hydration is a key aspect of weight loss that many people forget about. Proper hydration promotes satiety, supports metabolism, reduces water retention, and improves exercise performance.

It is common to mistake thirst for hunger, so it is important to make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day. Drinking water before a meal will promote a feeling of fullness, reducing the need to overeat, leading to a calorie deficit. Be mindful to avoid excessive alcohol consumption and sugary drinks as these have significant amounts of calories.

Being hydrated will enhance your metabolism. Optimal metabolic function can only be achieved through proper hydration as dehydration slows metabolism down, making it harder to burn calories. When hydrated, you will find you have better endurance, more energy, and an increased motivation to exercise.

When the body is dehydrated, it bloats and retains fluid. By maintaining proper hydration, your body will flush out any excess water which reduces bloating that can cause you to weigh more.

Disclaimer: We provide this information for educational purposes only. No content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

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