How Long Would It Take To Lose 50 Pounds
How Long Would It Take To Lose 50 Pounds If I Wanted To Do It Safely?
Quick answer – your body type matters in how long it takes to lose 50 pounds.
We’ve all seen these headlines like “Drop 7 in 7” and “Lose 20 before summer” on the covers of magazines and online.
But are these numbers realistic?
Will they help you if you have to lose more, like 50 pounds perhaps?
In short, possibly not. A weight loss of 50 pounds or more is a journey and can take quite a bit of time, depending on various factors. Read on to learn more.
What do Doctors say about how long would it take to lose 50 pounds safely…
Doctors and other weight-loss experts recommend a slow and steady loss of about 1 to 2 pounds per week. Suppose you go by your doctors’ recommendation; it would take you about 25 to 50 weeks.
Anything faster than that is usually recommended only under supervision. But here’s why this traditional view still holds in the medical community. If we do the math, weight loss of 1 pound per week only requires that you cut 500 calories each day. If you divide that equally to diet and exercise, it comes to cutting 250 calories worth of food and exercising to spend additional 250 calories every day.
These numbers are realistic for an average person who needs to go to work or school, or both, take care of their family, socialize, etc. The traditional “calories in, calories out” method may as well become a full-time job.
Have you ever seen any of those weight-loss shows on TV? Contestants can only achieve those big weight loss numbers because they are removed from their everyday lives and do very little but exercise each day. You and me, and everyone else who can’t afford to take time off. We have to go slow or find extra help.
Men vs. women: who will lose 50lbs first?
Men usually lose weight faster. This has to do with their body composition and hormones.
Oestrogen and progesterone, primary female sex hormones, have a significant impact on weight loss and gain. Unlike male hormones, these are often not in balance throughout the majority of a woman’s life. If you ever had to deal with monthly cycles and pregnancy, you know what I’m saying. And you definitely know how your appetite skyrockets in those days.
The other important factor in how long it will take to lose 50 pounds is your body composition.
Men have larger and heavier bone structures, plus they have less body fat and more muscles. A healthy body fat range for a man is 10-25%, while it’s 20-35% for women.
You’ve probably heard before someone say that muscles burn fat. They do, but not in the way you think. Muscles at rest need more energy than fat at rest. This means that two people of the same height and weight but different body compositions can have different daily calorie needs. A person with more muscle will need more calories each day than a person with a higher body fat percentage.
And we will talk a bit further on how muscle-building impacts weight loss. For now, you need to understand that women store more fat and need more fat to be healthy.
However, good news for ladies out there: women have more brown fat on average. Brown fat is the “good fat,” at least in terms of calorie expenditure. Its primary function is to keep you warm, and to do that; it needs to spend some calories. If you “grow” a lot of regular fat, it will serve as an insulator, which may “kill” some of the brown fat. But no worries, all you have to do is lose that excess weight, and your brown fat will recover.
Your body type, shape, and height – it all matters when losing 50 pounds.
We covered the reason why body fat percentage to muscle ratio matters. But humans come in so many different shapes and sizes, and each factor will have an impact on weight loss and maintenance.
Let’s talk height first since it’s the simplest one. The taller you are, the larger your frame is. Even without additional fat, you are walking around with extra weight (in comparison to someone who is only an inch shorter). This is what we were talking about previously.
Tall people need more calories each day just because of their size. A 6-foot tall person will cut out 500 calories from their diet a lot more quickly than someone who is only 5-foot and already needs to eat less than they do.
In terms of shape – we only need to concentrate on “apples,” and everyone else can be in the other group. The apple is what we call bodies that store fat in their abdominal area primarily. Almost all men are apples, and only some women fall into this category.
The reason why we are concentrating on this apple shape is because of visceral fat. This type of fat stores around your organs and usually causes numerous health problems. It’s the most dangerous type of fat and one of the reasons why apples should work twice as hard to maintain a healthy weight.
But the main problem with this type of fat is it’s pretty challenging to get rid of belly fat. You can see a reduction in your waist circumference quickly, but visceral fat tends to cling on.
All other shapes (hourglass, pear, etc.) can also suffer from visceral fat. However, it’s usually the last type of fat to form when you’re gaining weight. While having a little bit of padding is generally acceptable, if you’re any other shape than the apple, it’s time to worry when your stomach starts to grow.
And finally, the body types. All bodies fall into one of the three major body types:
- Endomorph – Endomorphs tend to be chubby, and they store fat efficiently. They can get fit and build some serious muscle, but they will have to work twice as hard to achieve that “cut” look.
- Ectomorph – Ectomorphs are usually slim and willowy. They rarely gain weight, and they can’t build large muscles without extreme effort.
- Mesomorph – Mesomorphs are the ones who build muscles quickly. They also lose fat easily and don’t have to work as much to maintain a low body fat percentage.
As you can see, your body type may work against you as well. A body falls into one of these categories based on its tendency to store fat or build muscle. A mesomorph will lose excess fat in the blink of an eye, while an endomorph will have to put in a lot more work.
Your starting weight matters as well in how long it will take to lose 50 pounds.
It’s easier to lose a lot of weight when you’re pretty heavy. It’s simple math: a person who weighs 300 pounds or more may quickly need 3000 calories per day to maintain that weight. In comparison, someone who weighs 200 pounds may need no more than 2300 calories per day.
Not only is it entirely painless to create a deficit of 500 or 1000 calories when you need to consume so many, but you also spend more energy when you exercise. For example, a 300-pound person walking for an hour can burn between 270 and 400 calories (depending on the speed and terrain). Someone who weighs 250 pounds will spend between 220 and 340 calories doing the same activity, while a 200-pound person will burn only 180 to 270 calories.
If we were to assume that a person starting their weight loss journey plans to go on a 2000 calorie a day diet, will walk for an hour for exercise, and will do some basic muscle training for 10 minutes every day, how long would it take them to lose those 50 pounds?
A person starting their journey at 300 pounds will lose those 50 in about eight months. If that person begins at 250, they will achieve their 50-pound weight loss in 11 months, while those who weigh 200 pounds will take a whopping 19 months to do the same.
In the middle of their journey, our 300-pound person will quickly have a deficit of 1500 calories each day, while the 200-pound person will barely reach 700.
To round it up (if all the math went over your head), you need more calories at rest and to perform any activity when you weigh more. So, it will be easier to create a large calorie deficit by doing the bare minimum.
Not all diets and activities are the same.
Calories in, calories out works. But how well it works depends on the types of food those calories come from. It’s all the fault of hormones. Insulin, ghrelin, and the whole host of other hormones can make or break your weight loss effort.
Eating junk food within your calorie limitations may work for a while, but it will lead you to a plateau within a blink of an eye. Not only are you not getting enough food, but you are not getting enough nutrients as well. This triggers the infamous starvation mode, and your body will hold onto the fat for dear life.
How long to lose 50 pounds on keto?
The keto diet and high protein diets are designed to send your body into ketosis. Ketosis happens when there are not enough carbs in your body that can turn into energy. Then your body has to tap into the fat cells and starts lipolysis – the process in which fat turns into energy.
Sounds great? Well, again, these diets can work well in the short run but can wreak havoc on your digestive system over time. There are not that many fruits and veggies on the menu, and that’s not really good for your colon. And many other body parts as well, as it will clue in starvation mode when your body feels malnourished. Plus, those types of diets can make you stink.
The best choice is the “fitness” diet, aka the diet that most professional athletes eat. Each meal should have a serving of protein, carbs, healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins (aka 2 servings of fruit and veg). However, you don’t get to cut as many calories this way, and you’ll get a half or a full pound of weight loss per week at best.
Many fad diets (like the cabbage soup or Master Cleanse) promise astronomical results in only two weeks, but most of that is water loss. You’re also bound to lose some muscle and a minimal amount of fat, and we already talked about the importance of muscle in weight and fat loss.
Your workout routine will have a considerable impact on the speed at which you lose weight. The tighter the intensity, the more calories you burn with each minute of exercise.
A 200-pound person who jumps rope 20-30 minutes each day will drop a pound in a week. Cardio is a must if you need to drop those 50 pounds as fast as possible.
However, cardio is a bit like the cabbage soup diet – it can end up costing you some muscle as well, mainly if you don’t feed yourself properly. On the other hand, muscle building is the way to go if you want to target fat. While you’re dieting, you message your body that you’re using these muscles and that they can’t turn them into energy. Muscles are pure protein, and it’s easier for your body to eat it than it is to start melting fat. Also, muscles are the ones that are going to make your weight loss more permanent.
But, concentrating on your muscles will slow down the weight loss (even though the fat loss will skyrocket). Instead of having to burn 3500 calories to lose a pound, you will need to burn over 4000 calories to see the scales shift.
So, is there a way to lose 50lbs quickly?
As you see, a healthy diet and exercise will result in weight loss. But what happens if you hit a plateau or no weight-loss program works for you?
That’s a whole other story. Click on the link below to read about our solution and see how it can work for you.
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