How to Lose 60 Pounds in Six Months

When facing the task of losing 60 pounds, if “the quicker the better” is your motto, think again. Although the quickest route possible might seem like a good choice today, it is one with little chance for long-term success. A better choice is to take a slow but steady approach and lose 60 pounds at a rate that ensures you lose fat, not muscle, and in the process, helps you make lifestyle changes necessary to maintain weight loss. A weight loss goal of 60 pounds in six months is a doable, healthy approach.

Step 1
Share your plans with your doctor and listen to her diet and exercise recommendations. Although talking to your doctor before starting a diet and exercise program is always a good idea, it is especially important if you have a medical condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure, or do not already exercise regularly.

Step 2
If you are eating more than 2,500 to 2,800 calories a day and inactive, reduce your daily calorie intake by 1,000 calories per day to facilitate weight loss of about two pounds each week. This healthy weight loss goal will result in about 54 pounds of weight loss from diet alone in over a six-month period. With some exercise added in, you'll be able to reach the 60 pounds goal in that period.

Step 3
If you're already consuming less than 2,000 calories a day, you won't be able to safely cut 1,000 calories out of your diet. Adding exercise will allow you to burn calories and you won't need to cut back on calories so drastically. Set exercise goals with a focus on weight loss as well as fitness. To accomplish this, you need to work up to a point at which you are performing a mixture of light-to intense aerobic exercise 45 minutes a day, five or six days a week, and strength training exercises twice a week. Depending on your current physical condition and the type of exercise you perform, in the beginning you can expect to burn about four to five calories per minute of exercise. As your level of fitness increases, this number increases to 10 to 12 calories per minute. Keep in mind that while this program is more intense than when exercising for fitness only, it is essential to increase total weight loss.

Step 4
Create a plan you can follow if you reach a weight loss plateau. As you start to lose weight, your metabolism slows down, and your rate of weight loss might slow or stop. Two options for handling this are to cut more calories from your diet or increase your level of physical activity. Talk to your doctor about the better option for you, as cutting too many calories is not a good idea, especially if you are already at or near 1,200 calories per day.

Warnings

Avoid a very low-calorie diet (VLCD) -- less than 1,000 calories a day -- unless you are under the guidance of a doctor specializing obesity and VLCD. Cutting out too many calories has health risks.

Tips

It takes a reduction of 3,500 calories to lose one pound of fat.
Reducing your daily calorie intake by 1,000 calories a day leads to consuming 7,000 fewer per week and a loss of about two pounds per week.
You can also increase your level of physical activity by making a few changes to your daily routine. Consider alternatives such as using the stairs instead of an elevator, or parking your car at the far end of a parking lot and walking to your destination.
Incorporating a mix of aerobic exercises is a good idea as their effect on weight loss is different. Low-intensity exercises, such as walking or swimming, are fat-burning exercises, while more intense aerobics, such as running or dance aerobics, increases the total number of calories you burn.