Small goals help you tackle a significant weight-loss goal, such as losing 70 pounds. Reward yourself for every five or 10 pounds lost along the way, because every pound lost is an accomplishment. You may want to lose it all quickly, but weight loss doesn't happen at a speedy rate. Patience, diligence and hard work are required to lose at a what seems a modest, but healthy, pace of 1 to 2 pounds per week. Although fasts and fad diets promise quicker loss, you'll likely experience nutritional deficiencies, a decreased metabolism and loss of muscle. Also, the faster you lose the 70 pounds -- the more likely you'll gain it back quickly, too.
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Avoid Fast Weight Loss
A pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories, so you must burn 500 to 1,000 calories more than you consume every day to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. At this rate, you can expect to reach a loss of 70 pounds in about 9 months. When you first start a weight-loss plan, you may experience quicker loss, but it'll taper off as your body becomes accustomed to the dietary changes and physical activity and your metabolism drops due to your shrinking size.
Losing 1 to 2 pounds per week is recommended because this rate allows changes that are doable for the average person. You can create a 1,000 calorie deficit by eating about 500 calories fewer and burning 500 calories more through exercise every day. To reach larger deficits, you'd have to sustain extraordinary activity levels and dietary restrictions for which you probably don't have the time or willpower, and which could be unsafe.
Reform Your Eating Habits
Losing 70 pounds requires you to make better food choices. Choose whole grains over refined grains; ditch the soda and sweet treats; opt for lean proteins instead of ones high in saturated fats; and load up your plate with lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. Don't skip all fats; the healthy unsaturated kinds are necessary for brain health and vitamin absorption. Have a tablespoon of olive oil, a scant handful of nuts or a few slices of avocado at one or two meals per day.
Once the quality of your food improves, cut your portion sizes. Invest in a food scale and a set of measuring utensils so you stay on target because many serving sizes are smaller than you may estimate. Some people find that eating five or six smaller meals, rather than three large ones, helps keep their hunger and cravings at bay. A food diary can also help you stay on target with your calorie goal. Do not eat fewer than 1,200 calories per day as this can stall your metabolism and deprive you of important nutrients.
Exercise to Lose 70 Pounds
Exercise expedites weight loss. Aim for at least 250 minutes of moderate activity every week to see significant weight loss, notes the American College of Sports Medicine. Cardiovascular exercise, such as brisk walking or jogging, fits into this category. Work up to longer durations and higher intensities to bring about more calorie burning and faster results so you can hit your 70-pound weight-loss goal sooner.
Strength training is also critical for fast, effective weight loss. A paper in the publication Current Sports Medicine Reports from 2012 notes that 10 weeks of resistance training can increase lean weight, decrease fat weight and improve your resting metabolic rate by as much as 7 percent. An increased metabolic rate means you burn more calories at rest, so it's easier to lose weight. Restricting your calories and moving more puts your body in a state of deprived energy, so it turns to your lean body mass -- or muscle -- for fuel. If you strength train while losing weight, however, you'll prevent the loss of muscle that can happen as a result of this process.
Seek Medical Intervention in Extreme Cases
If you need to lose 70 pounds quickly to mitigate medical complications or to prepare you for further obesity treatment, your doctor may put you on a very low-calorie diet, or VCLD, for a short time -- usually no longer than 12 weeks. This diet restricts your caloric intake to about 800 calories per day by using meal replacements, such as shakes. Side effects, including constipation, nausea and weakness, are possible. Because more serious side effects, such as the development of gall stones, can also occur, you'll be monitored for the short time you're on the plan.
Low-calorie diets that contain 1,000 to 1,200 calories are another option offered by healthcare providers. This diet usually consists of small portions of whole foods, but are designed by dietitians and your progress monitored to ensure your health. Both VCLDs and low-calorie diets don't usually provide enough calories for you to participate in any notable exercise.
- Ask the Dietitian: Overweight and Weight Loss
- American Council on Exercise: Weight loss-Tipping the Scales in the Right Direction
- Shape: Ask the Diet Doctor: Is Losing 10 Pounds a Week Safe?
- American College of Sports Medicine: ACSM Position Stand on Physical Activity and Weight Loss
- American Heart Association: Know Your Fats
- Current Sports Medicine Reports: Resistance Training is Medicine: Effects of Strength Training on Health
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: Very Low Calorie Diets