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How to Lose 30 Pounds in 5 Months

author image Sarka-Jonae Miller
Sarka-Jonae Miller has been a freelance writer and editor since 2003. She was a personal trainer for four years with certifications from AFAA and NASM. Miller also worked at 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness and as a mobile trainer. Her career in the fitness industry begin in 2000 as a martial arts, yoga and group exercise instructor. She graduated cum laude from Syracuse University.
How to Lose 30 Pounds in 5 Months
Woman with one foot on bathroom scale Photo Credit: Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

Thirty pounds of weight loss in 5 months can be accomplished by following a cardio, strength training and restricted-calorie diet, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You can break down 5 months into 20 weeks to track your progress. The CDC says losing weight at a slow rate of 1 to 2 lb. a week makes it easier to keep the weight off.

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Step 1

Create a caloric deficit. Shave 500 to 1,000 calories off your daily eating, as advised by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Measure everything you eat and read labels so you can be as exact as possible and get an accurate account of calories.

Step 2

Use a notebook to write down what you eat and add up your calories, or use an online food diary to track what you eat and add up your calories. offers a free online calorie tracker called MyPlate, which is linked in the resources.

Step 3

Exercise 5 days a week for 30 minutes. Make exercise easy on yourself by breaking up your 30 minutes into shorter times, like three 10-minute walks or two 15-minute bike rides, as recommended by the CDC. Take a 30-minute cardio class instead if it is easier to stay motivated. Don't worry about what you do at first, just do something you like to create a habit.

Step 4

Monitor and increase your exercise intensity if you are not losing at least 1 lb. a week during the first 10 weeks. The higher the intensity of your workouts, the more calories your body will need to use for energy, and the more weight you will lose. However, if you push yourself too hard too fast you may get discouraged.

Step 5

Ease into exercise, but up the intensity to lose 1 lb. a week at first or you will not make your 5-month goal. Exercise at an intensity that causes your heart rate to speed up and your breathing to become faster, but will still allow you to talk.

Step 6

Exercise harder for the last 10 weeks so you will burn off 2 lb. a week to hit your goal. Jumping rope, jogging, cross-country skiing and rollerblading are all example of physical activities that burn a high number of calories. Do these high-intensity activities 2 or 3 days a week, and then do a combination of easier activities like power walking, light aerobics, weight training, yoga or Pilates at least 2 days a week on nonconsecutive days for 60 minutes or more. Fit in 2 days of muscle-strengthening activities for 20 to 30 minutes as part of your 60 minutes on light-intensity days.

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