Regardless of your initial body weight, a slow and steady weight-loss pace is usually best for long-term success, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC suggests a weight-loss rate of 1 to 2 pounds weekly. If you weigh 240 pounds and need to lose 115 pounds to reach your ideal, healthy body weight, however, a medically supervised rapid weight-loss program may be appropriate for you.
Total Calorie Intake
If you're overweight and weigh 240 pounds, aim to eat 500 to 1,000 fewer calories than your usual intake. Or, if your doctor gives you the OK, burn an extra 500 to 1,000 calories daily by exercising, or combine calorie reduction with increased caloric expenditure to create your 500- to 1,000-calorie deficit – which helps shed 1 to 2 pounds weekly. For many adult men and women, weight-loss diets containing 1,200 to 1,600 calories daily are often appropriate, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Individualized weight-loss calorie needs might be higher depending on usual intake and activity level, however.
As you start to lose weight, your calorie needs for weight loss -- and weight maintenance -- gradually decrease. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute suggests maintaining weight loss for six months after losing 10 percent of your initial body weight -- before attempting additional weight loss. For example, if your initial body weight is 240 pounds, aim to maintain a weight of 216 pounds before losing additional weight -- then recalculate your new weight-loss calorie needs.
If losing more than 2 pounds weekly to reach your 125-pound goal weight sounds desirable to you and you're at high risk for obesity-related health conditions, talk with your doctor to see if a very-low-calorie diet is appropriate for you. VLCDs often contain 800 calories per day or less and can lead to a 3- to 5-pound weekly weight loss, according to Weight-Control Information Network. Recognize, however, that malnutrition, fatigue, nausea and gallstone formation are risks when following very-low-calorie diets, which is why medical supervision is necessary.
Attainable Goal Weight
If you weigh 240 pounds, losing 115 pounds to reach a weight of 125 pounds may or may not be appropriate for you. Determine your ideal body weight by using a body mass index chart, such as the one provided by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. For example, an adult who is 5 feet 3 inches has a healthy weight range of 107 to 140 pounds. If you are 5 feet 9 inches or taller, however, weighing 125 pound means you're underweight and at risk for malnutrition and related health conditions.