Monday, May 27, 2013

Lose 20 Pounds In Three Months

A few days ago one of my friends over at MyFitnessPal asked if losing 20 pounds in the next three months is a reasonable goal. What would your answer be?

My first reaction was surprise. She has been very consistent with her exercise, jogging about 30 minutes three or four times a week. During the time I have known her the photos she has posted on MFP show real progress. With this in mind, I answered that "it depends."

My own experience tells me that it is definitely possible to lose that much weight in 90 days. In fact, I lost almost 60 pounds in the first three months after I changed my lifestyle. The answer to the question, "Is it possible?" is Yes; but, she was asking if it was realistic. That requires a little more thought. Losing one pound requires burning about 3500 more calories than you eat. A quick calculation means that my friend will need to burn 5,250 calories more each week than she eats. That's a daily deficit of 750 calories. That's a whole meal or about 75 minutes of cardio over and above what she is already doing. Or some combination of the two.

There's another factor; where is she now compared to where she wants to or should be? If she had 40 pounds to lose (and I didn't think that was the case based on her progress), then losing 20 in three months might be a little more attainable. However, she had already done a BMI calculation concluding that she needs to lose 21 more pounds to be at her ideal weight. I can tell you that my last 20 was much harder to lose and keep off than the first 20. In my case, it took about six months to lose the first 100 pounds, but it took eight months to lose the next 60.

I know that my friend can do it, and I am confident that she will maintain that weight when she reaches goal. Why? Because I know that she is not "going on a diet" but instead is committed to a lifestyle of being healthy.

Be sure to eat breakfast, and take a Clif Bar with you.

Eat Right. Exercise. Get Plenty of Rest.
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