You've got just three months to slim down to look your best for that wedding, vacation or reunion. Losing 36 pounds in three months is your goal, and you're dedicated to achieving it. A low-calorie, highly nutritious eating plan combined with increased physical activity brings about weight loss.
Eating fewer than 1,200 calories per day as a woman, or 1,800 as a man, tends to slow your metabolism as your body compensates for what it perceives as starvation. Eating too few calories may also cause your body to burn lean muscle mass, especially if you don't exercise. When you lose muscle, which requires more energy for your body to sustain when compared to fat, your metabolism drops further and weight loss becomes even harder to achieve.
The three months allows you to safely lose 24 pounds, and maybe as much as 30 pounds. You may lose more than 2 pounds per week in the first couple of weeks, because diet and exercise lifestyle habits cause you to drop extra water weight in the first few weeks.
Design meals to include mostly lean proteins and generous amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables. At least 0.55 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day helps with feelings of satisfaction and prevents the loss of lean muscle. This means a 200-pound person's protein goal is 110 grams daily; that's about 30 grams at each meal and 10 to 15 grams at each of two snacks. For reference, an egg contains 6 grams of protein and 72 calories; a 3-ounce serving of turkey breast contains 25 grams of protein and 125 calories; and a 3-ounce broiled lean ground beef patty contains 22 grams of protein and 155 calories.
To lose the 3.3 pounds per week you'd need to reach your 40-pound weight loss goal, you'd have to make this deficit equal to 1,650 calories. Very few people can achieve that deficit and still take in the necessary calories for good health and feel energized. Also know that losing more than 3 pounds per week consistently can cause gallstones too.
The more active you are, the greater your daily calorie burn. This helps
you lose weight more quickly, and will help preserve lean muscle as you shrink. If you don't exercise while you lose weight, especially at a
relatively aggressive rate, one-quarter of every pound you lose will
come from lean muscle mass. Move more every day; these extra calories add up to help increase
your calorie deficit. Park far out in the lot, choose the stairs instead
of the elevator, take the dog for an extra walk, or play catch with
Strength train at least two times per week as well to maintain and build lean muscle. Not only will you look more fit and toned when you lose the 40 pounds, but you'll create more of the tissue that helps boost your metabolism. Aim to work every major muscle group with at least one exercise at two workouts per week. Resistance bands, free weights and machines are all acceptable tools for such training. Consider consulting a fitness professional to help design a program for your needs.