How to Lose 80 Pounds in 5 Months

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According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 66 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. That means weight loss is a concern for more than half of the people who live in the United States. Slow, steady weight loss may be the most frequently recommended way to shed extra pounds, but you can jump-start a weight loss plan and make a big impact on your health and your appearance by losing 80 pounds in five months.

  • Talk to your doctor. To lose 80 pounds in just five months requires intensive changes to your activity level and diet. If you have underlying health problems, you could become seriously ill. An appointment with your doctor should reveal any health issues you need to consider.

  • Start keeping a food journal to keep track of how many calories you're consuming each day. You want to shoot to eat 1,200 calories per day, a drop of about 1,000 calories for most people. Because eating so many fewer calories can make you feel hungry, try to eat foods like fruits and vegetables, nonfat dairy and lean meats and fish, which will fill you up with fewer calories. Following this diet will allow you to lose 2 pounds a week, or about 48 pounds in five months.

  • Add one hour of intense cardiovascular exercise to your day. Cardiovascular exercise---like biking, running or aerobics---generates the greatest calorie burn, so it's your best bet for short-term weight loss. Once a week, add an extra hour of cardiovascular exercise to burn even more calories. It's not an easy workout, but following it will help you burn about 27 pounds over 5 months, a little more than 5 pounds each month.

  • Stop eating all starchy foods, such as pasta, bread and potatoes, and limit the amount of salt you eat as much as you can. Starches and salts encourage your body to hold on to water weight by soaking up excess water and storing it. Cutting them out of your diet will help you lose those last 5 pounds before your 5 months are up.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always double-check nutrition labels to confirm the serving size of a particular food. You may be surprised to find that the nutritional information, including the number of calories, applies to a much smaller amount of food than you thought.
  • Never lower your calorie intake below 1,200 calories a day unless you're doing so on your doctor's recommendation.

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