When you are carrying excess weight, you are at higher risk of developing several chronic conditions such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes and stroke. Dropping 40 lb. takes discipline, sacrifices and the proper number of calories.
One pound of weight is equivalent to 3,500 calories. You'll need to burn 140,000 calories to lose 40 lb. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, losing 1 to 2 lb. a week is a healthful weight loss goal. You can achieve this by reducing your daily intake by 500 to 1,000 calories. For example, if your current intake is 2,400 calories, your new intake will be 1,900 or 1,400. This will allow you to reach your goal in 20 to 40 weeks.
Two elements need to be considered with your diet -- the foods you eat and the time you eat. Choose nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, beans, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. Instead of trying to eat two or three meals every day, consume five or six and space them no more than three hours apart. This will keep your appetite under control and reduce the chances of overeating.
Exercise is another pivotal part of losing weight. If you were to burn 500 calories a day in conjunction with a 1,000 calorie food deficit, you would lose another pound a week and reach your 40 lb. goal even faster. Choose a type of exercise that you enjoy so you will stick with it every day. Biking, swimming, step aerobics, rowing and running are examples. Use an online calculator to find out how long you have to exercise to burn 500 calories for your body size.