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Baddreamer27's avatar

Is losing 30lbs in 5 months a reasonable weightloss goal?

Asked by Baddreamer27 (705points) January 11th, 2011

Is it possible to lose 30lbs in by May with diet and exercise? I am attempting a low calorie diet with lots of regular cardio/strength training.

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24 Answers

MissAnthrope's avatar

Yes, it’s very possible, though the rate at which you lose will be dependent on your current weight, how much you need to lose, and how committed you are. 30 pounds in 5 months breaks down to about 1.5 pounds a week, which is very reasonable. 2 pounds a week is a good, easy goal to meet and by shedding the weight gradually, it will also help you keep it off down the line.

Good luck! :)

6rant6's avatar

To lose a pound and a half a week, you’re going to have to reduce intake to about 700 calories below your maintenance level. For most people, a 700 calorie reduction is very uncomfortable and statistically, you are unlikely to reach your goal. A 300 calorie reduction is where researchers have said most people can maintain a change.

More importantly, any drastic change like what you are proposing is clearly not supportable long term. Nor does it teach you the skills you need to stay at a healthy weight. For that reason, you are likely (again statistically) to regain all the lost weight AND MORE once you give up the diet. And if that is to be the end result, you are much healthier if you just commit to staying at your present weight.

I think @MissAnthrope is thinking how it’s relatively easy to lose five pounds in two weeks. But you cannot extrapolate to 30 pounds. And the regaining is the real issue, not whether you can reach an arbitrary goal.

jenandcolin's avatar

30 pounds in 5 months is ambitious but, it can be done. I’ve done it (about 10 years ago I lost about 40 lbs. in a little over 6 months). I also kept it off…for about 8 years. I started re-gaining when I attended grad school.
I think big factors are: where your weight is coming from and how much you have to lose. If a large amount of your caloric and fat intake is coming from alcohol it is easy to lose (and keep off that weight). Also- if you weigh 300 lbs it will be much easier to lose 30 pounds than if you weigh 150 lbs. I’m not sure why that it is but it has been true in my experiences.

6rant6's avatar

@jenandcolin I’m glad you’re one of the people who succeeded in keeping the weight off. I just don’t think we should encourage people to try something that’s doesn’t work for most people, when a more gradual approach leads to a healthier lifestyle which CAN be sustained.

kevbo's avatar

I’m working with a plan found in the book 4-Hour Body. In it is an anecdote about a guy who lost 30 pounds in less time simply by tracking his weight every day. He made no other deliberate effort to change other than increasing his awareness by tracking his weight. There’s a free spreadsheet you can download that provides a weight loss curve to follow in the process of tracking your weight. It’s available at One note is that if your low end/goal weight is below 180 or so, you will have to adjust the values on the Y-axis yourself.

MissAnthrope's avatar

@6rant6 – If you’ve ever done Weight Watchers, 2 pounds a week as a goal is considered their ‘easy’ plan, meaning the least amount of dietary change, the slowest results, etc. Trust me, if you have 30 pounds to lose, you’d be surprised. 2 pounds a week is not a difficult goal. It does get more difficult as you gain muscle mass and as you get closer to your weight, but it’s far from being ridiculous.

jenandcolin's avatar

@6rant6 : I apologize if what I said was in anyway promoting anything unhealthy. My intention was to be supportive and encouraging. You are correct- not everyone can lose weight quickly (or easily). I did not intend to say it was easy or always possible.
However, I have lost well over 2 pounds a week and know many people who have and kept this weight off. I just think it depends on the circumstances (including ones I listed earlier, limiting alcohol, how much weight you have to lose, etc.)

mrmijunte's avatar

Talking about my experience. When I was 19 I wanted to join the Navy, my height was 5’10” and my weight was 213 lbs. The recruiter told me that I might be too heavy for Boot Camp, so he told me to lose 20 lbs. and to go back once I was ready and in shape. He told me that a good way to lose weight fast was to try to only eat tuna with pineapple. So what I did was this: Woke up early at 5 am go to the gym and do one hour of spinning class. Ate cereal ( Bran Flakes ) or oatmeal with a bit of pb and honey. Then I would walk at a fast pace for 45 minutes. Shower. Eat a can of tuna with jalapeƱos and a bit of mustard and a cup of pineapple and two slices of bread. For dinner at 5 pm a banana. Repeat for a month and I lost 24 lbs. I cheated twice with pizza and somebody at the gym gave a me pointer of drinking a can of soda after doing pushups and pullups, and boy did that sped things up. ( I started doing pushups after two weeks ).
I did not join the Navy because I had a heart surgery when I was little boy, but I felt very good for the time I tried to stay healthy. I did ate way more after the defeating crush of not joining the Navy but kept working out.
I just wanted to share my experience with you.

Coloma's avatar

A 1.5 lb. loss per week is quite reasonable, and not too difficult.
Of course it goes without saying, that if you ramp up your exercise to a 30— 45 minute a day walk, workout routine the weight will literally fall off of your body effortlessly. Well, after the exercise effort is made. ;-)

Also, eat your larger calorie meals at breakfast and lunch and then a very light dinner.

I have found, for myself, that a light early dinner, before 6 pm works well.

To curb hunger or cravings before bed, have a cup of decaf coffee or a cup of broth.

And, don’t forget, drink LOTS of water, at least 8 glasses a day.

Baddreamer27's avatar

I have a very bad habit of skipping meals and not eating properly. I also tend to over-eat when I do eat and I eat emotionally. I am truly making an effort here this time. I am ready for a lifestyle change. I am only drinking water (about 4L/day), I am on a 1200 calorie plan. My plan includes a small breakfast (maybe a peice of fruit/small bowl cereal/skim milk) then a snack or two (fresh fruit or veggies) a healthy lunch (boiled chicken/small green salad) then one or two small snacks (fruit/veggies) and a sensible dinner. For exercise I use the base gym. I am big into cardio and do about 30–35 minutes on the eliptical burning anywhere between 300–500 calories. Then I do crunches (25 each side/25 reg/25leg lifts). I am attempting to get in some strength training also by taking classes offered at my gym on base…I have been on this for only one week and have not seen any significant weight loss.

Baddreamer27's avatar

P.S. Im currently 5’7” and Im at 176lbs. I joined the Navy at 144…

6rant6's avatar

@MissAnthrope I didn’t say, “ridiculous.” Where did you get that? That’s being inflamatory, don’t you think?

All I’ve ever said is that more people fail than succeed at higher weight loss goals. And anecdotal evidence, or marketing literature is not education.

I’m sure there are people in Weight Watchers who lose weight and keep it off. I’m also sure they are small minority. Weight Watchers remarkets to former customers. Do you want to guess why? It’s because they know those are the people most likely to need those services again.

I’m not being a naysayer. There are good things to do. If you’ve got 700 calories a day in alcohol, then by all means, cut it out! Stop drinking sweetened drinks. Reduce meat consumption to less than a pound a week. Eat more vegetables. Don’t get drive thru takeout. Exercise. These are all things that can be done perpetually. None of them has backlash. None of them is hard on your body.

It’s the short term view that’s so unproductive. It doesn’t work for most people. The chances are that anyone who starts on this path is going to get typical results; not everyone is a statistical exception. Why encourage that kind of thinking?

Austinlad's avatar

I just lost 25 in a bit less than 5 months eating “good” foods, just a lot less of it. I feel fine. Go for it, but leave yourself a day each week to pig out.

6rant6's avatar

@Austinlad Yes, I’m sure all the people who have had short term success will ‘Weigh in” on this, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t more people out there feeling unsuccessful and perhaps even shamed at diet failure.

Also @Austinlad, have you ever lost weight before and they gained it back? That’s really the point. Not whether you can lose weight, but is it really a long term solution to the problem.

Yoyo dieting is extremely unhealthy.

Maybe you’ve never had a friend die from this approach to weight management. I have. It’s a bad idea. And for most people, it just flat out doesn’t work to lose weight so quickly.

Baddreamer27's avatar

In your opinion @6rant6 does my approach constitute “yo-yo dieting” I think watching what you eat and how much you eat is an excellent approach.

Austinlad's avatar

Sure, @6rant6, I’ve dieted before and gained some or all of it back. But that’s because all I cared about was losing weight. In recent years, however, I’ve come to understand that losing weight by sticking permanently to a more healthy diet plus exercise has to be a serious life choice, not a short-term thing… and that’s why I think this one will stick.

mowens's avatar

That depends on how much you weigh. :)

6rant6's avatar

@Baddreamer27 I think your approach is great. I hope that you are enjoying it, feeling good about the process, because that’s the only way most of us can stick to a change.

1200 calories seems pretty reasonable. That depends in part on how much you were eating before. If you were eating 3000 calories a day for instance, then that change would seem very painful. If you were about 1800 per day before and gaining slowly then 1200 might be the sweet spot.

Have you had a change of thinking associated with your new approach? For example, have you decided on a new healthy food to name as your favorite food? By doing that, the new food can find a place in your schedule without making you feel deprived.

Baddreamer27's avatar

I didnt think about choosing a new favorite food-I think thats an excellent idea. Im enjoying my new found love of water…I like to add a bit of lemon juice to it, because by the bottom of that second bottle I feel a bit water logged. I asked the question today because I have been on it for about a week and I haven’t noticed any loss. I feel more energy, I feel good about what Im putting in my body and I feel awesome everytime I push it a bit farther in the gym. I would really feel very excited and pumped if I could have lost at least that first bit of weight like 2–3 lbs…

6rant6's avatar

A lot of people say it’s important to drink a gallon (4 liters) of water a day, but that has pretty much been debunked There is no research anywhere, nor even the original advice to back this up. In short, the only people saying this are repeating something they heard.

Research has concluded that people drink enough without having to think about it if there is a source of water which they can drink from when they are thirsty.

And here’s a guy who ought to know who says drinking so much is actually dangerous

6rant6's avatar

@Baddreamer27 My suggestion would be not to focus on the weight. You’re doing good things for your body. You’re addressing a difficult issue in a sensible way. You should be happy about that alone. The fact that you’re feeling more energetic – that’s just great!

The problem with seeing weight loss as THE THING is that is must come to and end. If that’s your primary motivator, it’s going to end up deserting you. What you’re doing is good; that’s enough. Keep it up.

mrrich724's avatar

Yes, go for it! Good luck.

BarnacleBill's avatar

With regards to water, my trainer said to take your weight, halve it, and that’s the number of ounces of water you should drink a day. Not everyone will lose work the first week; your body is perhaps adjusting to the new eating schedule. Stick with it, make sure you get enough sleep.

6rant6's avatar

@BarnacleBill Please Bill, don’t perpetuate one person’s bad advice.

Your trainer is, so to speak, all wet.

No authority anywhere will say a 200 pound person should drink 100 ounces. It’s preposterous! Or that a person weighing 256 pounds should drink 2 GALLONS!

In ten years, this myth will be in the same category as doctors who advised patients to smoke for relaxation’s sake in the 50’s.

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