how long does it take to lose 50 pounds

How Long Does It take to Lose 50 Pounds? My Personal Experience

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I used to be so big that I needed to lose 50 pounds fast. That was my first mistake. My focus was on FAST, so I tried all the fad diets I came across. I would shed off 10 pounds and quickly gain 12 pounds after the diet period.

Safely losing 50 pounds could take anywhere from 2 months to 8 months. In this article, I’ll discuss what I changed and did to lose that excess weight.

How Long Does It Take to Lose 50 Pounds?

According to research, the most excess weight that you can safely lose per week is not more than 2 pounds. It means that from this recommendation, you’ll shed off 50 pounds safely within 6 months.

The actual period in your situation may be longer or shorter depending on the amount of calories you consume per meal, your exercise regime, and your resting patterns.

Easy Steps You Can Do to Lose 50 Pounds

In this article, we’ll discuss simple steps to losing this amount of weight. You can adjust the intensity depending on the number of months you want to shed off 50 lbs.

Setting goals to lose 50 pounds

No less than Thomas A. Edison emphasized the importance of planning, and I bow to that.

I used to say at the start of every year, ‘I need to lose some pounds.’ That I’d say that every year implies that I never really lost weight that year or the next. Or maybe lost some but gained some. Good thing, a friend taught me some secrets to succeed in my weight loss journey. And succeed I did, thanks to my friend.

Let’s say, I’m paying that favor forward and sharing the secret to everyone who experienced the same difficulties that I did. So let’s get it started.

Weight loss diary

First, I recommend you get a weight loss journal. Nothing fancy, just something to record your calorie intake, number of pounds lost, and what works for you.

To set the right goals, the first thing to do is educate yourself on how to lose 50 pounds safely. Here are a few things to track for at least 1 week

  1. Track what you eat and drink. It’s important to record the amount of calorie burn per day so you know what to cut back on when you start your 50 pound weight loss journey.
  2. The second thing to track is your exercise routine. Do you exercise? If not, does your job require you to be on your feet constantly? If you do not exercise or are not able to move a lot during the day, can you set aside at least 30 minutes per day for exercise? Below, we’ll discuss some exercises you can do at home, office, or hotel room.
  3. The third thing you want to check on is your sleep pattern. How long and how well do you sleep?
  4. After tracking these three important areas, you can now set your goal. How long will it take you to reach your goal? Do you want to lose 50 in 2 months, 3 months, 4 months or 6? Your answer will determine how rigorous your exercise or the amount of calories you cut back.

Eat Right

Before I came up with a solid plan, I had tried dieting. I’d lose 5 pounds and gain 7 after the diet period. The secret to dieting is not changing your diet but eating right. After tracking your food intake through your food diary, you can check on what needs to be removed, reduced, or increased.

lose 50 pounds

Consuming the right foods can help reduce the amount of time it’ll take you to lose 50 lbs. One of the things you must do is consume more natural non-processed foods. Foods for weight loss include:

  • Leafy greens
  • Salmon
  • Chicken breast
  • Avocados
  • Cottage cheese and more

Check this 7-day food guide  for the type of food to take every meal, number of calories, and recipes.

Now, another often overlooked area is the snacking. Sorry, the candy got to go. The good news is, there are over 20 types of healthy snacks you can enjoy. These snacks will help reduce your craving for the ‘bad snacks’. Check this list of healthy snacks that aid in losing 50 pounds.

Apart from eating right, you need to reduce your cravings and hunger. Foods rich in fiber, foods with Omega 3, and drinking plenty of water will help decrease your hunger pangs.

To lose 50 pounds within your set time frame, you’ll need to reduce your calorie intake by 500 – 1000 calories. Take note that 1 pound is equal to 3500 calories.

Burn Fat & Exercise

After cutting back on your calorie intake, it’s time to take your game a notch higher. You’ll need to burn the fat accumulated in your body. Get rid of the love handles, thigh fat, and flabby arms.

Here are a few exercises that worked for me. You can opt to work out with the aid of fitness machines, or depending with your schedule, take long walks or jogs.

Upper Body Exercise Machines

upper body machines

Arm bike: This machine helps work your triceps, biceps, and back. An arm bike machine is small and portable and can be used for the legs too.

Chest expanders: This equipment is for body builders. The best chest expander works muscles in your chest and core for the six pack.

Elliptical: You can opt for a traditional 20″ stride elliptical  or the newer versions. These machines work your upper and lower body simultaneously. For example, a 14-minute workout on the HIIT trainer burns up to 300 calories, which is at least 4 times more than the calorie burn in traditional types of exercises.

Lower Body Exercise Machines

Squat machines: There are different squat machines that can be used for different squat variations. For example, a sissy squat bench machine provides stability when doing the basic squat, overhead squat, and squat pulses.

Exercise bike: Another machine you can use to strengthen your core and lower body is an indoor cycling foldable machine. You’ll work your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

Treadmill: I have an Asuna folding treadmill, which lets me work out from the comfort of my home. I don’t have to worry about the weather or queuing for a machine at the gym. Also, if you experience joint pain, this machine is cushioned to reduce the impact. You could start with 1000 steps a day and add according to your needs. How many calories does 1000 steps burn? Learn more from the linked post.

Calf-raise machine: This machine is for body builders, people who want to take their routine a notch higher. Seated calf raise machines will work your calves and lower body.

Homegym: A homegym  with weights is the perfect machine for full body exercising.

Body Weight Exercises

If you want to skip the machines, these exercises also burn calories. However, you’ll have to set aside more time, at least 45 minutes to 1 hour a day

  • Walking  and Jogging
  • Running at least 3 miles
  • Hiking
  • Using your own body weight (check the video below)
  • Squats
  • Swimming
  • Light lifting with dumbbells


If you get easily bored, a mix of machine and non-machine exercises will keep you engaged. Also, using different types of workout routines will keep you from the dreaded weight loss plateau.  Remember not to over-exert yourself. Stick to your plan, workout for at least 30 minutes a day, and you’ll lose 50 lbs within your time frame.

Change your habits

In the past, whenever I felt depressed, angry, or emotional, I’d try to calm down over a bowl of ice cream. Well, it didn’t help me cut the 50 lbs. Instead, I gained more. Just like everyone else, you are a creature of habit and that is why you gain the same amount of weight you lose after a diet.

One of the reasons you have your weight loss diary is to help you figure out habits that drive you to consume those extra unwanted calories. For example, if your bad eating habits are brought by stress, the solution is to avoid the stress inducers.

If you can’t, say it’s the nature of your job, the trick is not to completely ignore the comfort food but to eat just a little to satiate the craving. This calls for discipline. You can have your ice cream but not the whole bowl.

The other way get rid of bad habits is by tricking your mind to love new, healthier habits. For example, if you eat out of boredom while watching Netflix, switch to reading books or learning a new language. Opt for something that will keep your mind engaged and not thinking about food.

Rest better

This study found that lack of rest increases the amount of body fat in the body especially around the belly. Create time to rest your mind and your body. Meditation can help rest your mind.

get enough rest

The first thing you need to do is track the hours you sleep. We recommend you get a fitness tracker with sleep monitoring function (see my top smallest fitness trackers here). You can also track it manually, but this often leads to anxiety, which leads to lack of sleep.

If your sleeping habits are out of whack. Here are a few things you can do to change this.

  • Don’t take food or alcohol before bedtime.
  • Don’t use your phone while on your bed.
  • Exercise regularly
  • Ensure the bed is comfortable

Resting well reduces fatigue and  stress, allowing you to exercise better and lose 50 pounds sooner than later.

Drink plenty of water

Another thing I did to lose 50 pounds in 6 months was drink plenty of water. If you are like me and you forget, read put off, taking water regularly, you can change this by having a water bottle close to you at all times. The benefits of water in weight loss include

  • Helps suppress appetite
  • Cleanses the body
  • Reduces fatigue, allowing you to workout for longer
  • Helps burn calories according to this study 

When you wake, start the day with a warm or cold glass of water. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and limit other beverages.

Get a workout pal

get a workout pal

Yes, you are your biggest cheer leader but it doesn’t hurt to get a workout buddy; someone you share common goals, losing 50 pounds, and who can cheer you on and keep you in check.

You can get a workout pal by joining your local gym or if you are using a fitness machine such as the Proform 9000, through the iFit workout app.

Check on your progress

Lastly, it’s important to track your progress throughout the 2 months, 3 months, 4 months, 6 months. Try as much as you can to record what you eat daily. Using a food calorie calculator,  you can calculate the number of calorie per meal and reduce or increase per your needs. And, it’s also important to record the hiccups along the way.

Common Weight Loss Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

Getting Fixated on the Weight Scale

Seeing those pounds drop is gratifying. Unfortunately there is a drawback to this. Most people shed a few pounds fast and then hit a plateau, and your weigh scale showing no weight drop every time you weigh yourself could lead to discouragement.

To put everything into perspective, this is how your 50-pound weight loss graph will look like.

Instead of fixating on the weigh scale, spend time checking on what is working for you and what doesn’t. Limit your time on the weighing scale to once or twice a month.

Skipping Exercising or Over-exerting yourself

50 pounds is not a small amount of weight. And there are two types of people; those who want to skip exercises and those who over-exercise. You need to strike a balance.

Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. Also, it’s important to add weights to your routine for muscle sculpting. Lastly, it’s important to get a fitness tracker to keep tabs on the exact number calories you’ve burned to prevent over-exercising.

Eating wrong foods

To lose 50 pounds, you need to make some alterations on your diet. Eat enough proteins and fibers to keep your body fueled and satiated. Cut back on the fat.

Remember to check the amount of calories using the calorie calculator we mentioned above. Also, if you are like me, you maybe tempted to have a cheat day. Don’t do that.

It didn’t help in my journey. Instead, opt for the lesser evil – a cheat meal instead of cheat day. One small meal of your favorite ‘bad food’ at least once or twice a month is okay.

Setting goals

Lastly, learn to reevaluate your goals if you don’t lose those 50 pounds within the time you’ve set for yourself. For example, if you set your goal to lose 50 pounds in 2 months but did not achieve  this, take time to reevaluate your journey.

On your weight loss diary, check on what caused the set back and set another goal, say losing 50 pounds in 4 months. Just keep at it until your succeed.

Final Thoughts

How long does it take to lose 50 pounds? If you lose 5 pounds a week, it’ll take you around 2 months. Losing 3 pounds a week will take you 4 months. If you follow the recommended rate and lose 2 pounds a week, it will take you 6 months to shed off 50 lbs.

For best results, we recommend you combine exercising with  better rest and watch out for the calories you take per meal. Losing 50 pounds is not an easy thing to accomplish, but if you set the right goals, keep at it, and celebrate your victories with healthy food, there’s no reason to fail.