How to Lose 30 Pounds in 6 Months

Mid adult woman exercising
A woman is training in the gym. (Image: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images)

Losing 30 pounds in six months can be done in a healthy and gradual manner. Weight loss should occur at the rate of one to two pounds lost per week. A goal of six months gives you 24 weeks to shed the weight. which is plenty of time, if you stay on track. Ease your body into the lifestyle changes necessary to lose the 30 pounds by doing cardio and eating fewer calories for the first 18 weeks to lose your first 18 pounds, and then up the difficulty level by doing more exercise and eating less for the remaining six weeks to lose your last 12 pounds.

First 18 Weeks

Step 1

Add up all the calories you are eating, including drinks and candies. Read labels and measure everything you eat or drink. Use a journal or online food diary to keep track of what you are eating. Books like "Calorie King" will tell you how many calories are in most foods, even ones that do not have labels.

Step 2

Reduce your calories by 500 per day. Harvard Health says that a 500-calorie reduction will result in one pound a week of weight loss.

Step 3

Do at least 30 minutes a day of moderate-intensity exercise, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can roller blade, walk, swim, hike, jog, play tennis, garden, use an elliptical trainer, take an indoor cycling class or choose any other activity you want to as long as you are working hard. Do not exercise at an intensity level so high that you cannot carry on a conversation.

Last Six Weeks

Step 1

Reduce your calories by another 500 per day, for a total of 1,000 calories off your original number of daily calories consumed. A 1,000-calorie reduction will result in two pounds a week of weight loss, according to Harvard Health.

Step 2

Increase your exercise to between 60 and 90 minutes a day, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control for weight loss. Exercise at a moderate intensity.

Step 3

Up your intensity to vigorous if you are not dropping the two pounds a week. The National Academy of Sports Medicine says that the more vigorous your exercise intensity, the faster your metabolism will be after exercise. Your metabolism may just need this signal to work harder for your weight loss plan to get back on track. Increase your speed, resistance or incline level to increase the intensity of your workouts to a point where you can no longer hold a conversation.


Check with your health-care provider before beginning an exercise program for the first time or if you have been away from fitness programs for a while, or if you have any chronic health issues.

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