How Long Does It Take to Lose 40 Pounds?

How long before I lose 40 pounds?

A quick google search will let you in on a secret. People don’t really search “how long before I lose 40 pounds”. Instead, it’s always about restricting weight loss goals into a timeframe. Let’s face it. People want to lose weight and they want to lose weight fast. 

"Get off 40 pounds in just 1 month with easy home exercises! Results guaranteed!"

This is the kind of headline that attracts most people. Everyone wants instant results and anything that takes more time and effort are discarded. If you need to shed off weight, why not make it to the fastest time possible, right? That's normal but what most people fail to realize is that losing weight SHOULD take time so that you prevent compromising your health for a few more pounds. What's the rush? 

What is a healthy rate of weight loss? 

When losing weight, it's better to lose it at a healthy and safe rate. According to experts, it is healthy to lose 1-2 pounds of weight weekly, that is less than a kilogram converted. It's best to keep it at a slow, steady pace. This is because 90% of people trying to lose weight regain the weight they've lost in a matter of time. Some regain half of what they lost in under a year while nearly everyone regained all of the lost weight in just 3-5 years.

Studies show that those who lose weight with a slower, steady pace are more likely to maintain the weight loss longer than those who tried to shed the same weight at a quicker pace. 

Aside from the benefits of long term weight maintenance, slow and steady weight loss also influences healthier eating habits such as unconsciously eating or picking fruits and vegetables as well as drinking less sweetened beverages. 

How long will 40 pounds take? 

As mentioned before, a healthy weight loss is around 1-2 pounds a week. If you were to expel 40 pounds off of your weight, you have to cut on your calorie intake. 1 pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories.

Doing a simple math for a 2 pound shed per week, you have to cut your calorie intake of 1000 calories per day. With that pace, you will be healthily losing 40 pounds in around 4-5 months. If you'd go for a one pound shed per week, you will have to cut your calorie intake by 500 calories per day and it would take you twice the length of time to completely lose 40 pounds. 


What are the different factors of weight loss?

But there are different factors surrounding weight loss that can influence the length of losing 40 pounds. One of the main factors is sex. The biological framework of women dictates, in a way, that they lose weight longer than men. Although men lose the same weight quicker, women are more capable of maintaining the loss long term. 


How to Count Calorie Intake 

BUT before you start losing calories, it's important to know how much calories you need to take in a day. Though protein, carbohydrate, and fat ratios are necessary in any weight change either gain or loss, calorie intake remains to be the single most important factor or what we can call the foundation. 

There are methods and formulas provided to calculate an individual's daily calorie intake. The most generalized step by step determination of calorie intake calculation for any individual is as follows. 

First, you need to record your starting body weight for reference.

For a specific timeframe, track and record all of your calorie intake (food and drinks). After that, divide the total number of calories by the number of days in your timeframe which would give you the approximate average calorie intake per day. Lastly, record your weight after the tracking. If your weight did not budge, then you could stick with that number. 

Take note though that this method is not a be-all, end-all method as there are many other factors in play that can directly or indirectly influence your metabolism rate and daily calorie needs. So you would need to adjust the number accordingly.

After determining your daily calorie intake, you can now manage it to your needs, either weight gain or loss. Pick a sustainable strategy and avoid making drastic cuts or addition to your calorie intake. 

The Hidden Factor: Gender 

As mentioned before, sex plays a role in losing the pounds. 

How long will it take for women to lose 40 pounds? 

Women usually spend 1,600 calories in minimum and can only go as high as 2,100. To follow the 2 pound shed per week and cut 1000 calories per day would put their daily intake below the average of 1,200 calories per day.

Although losing fat is automatically a caloric deficit program, cutting off too much calories will result in a more difficult weight loss track. It will cause your body to slow down its metabolism rate therefore making it difficult to lose weight.

In addition, caloric deficit programs without enough protein intake to balance will expend energy from fat stores as well as muscle reserves which will cause further dropping of metabolism rate.

In order to prevent this, women can opt to limit to at most 1.5 pound loss per week which will take them 6-8 months to shed off 40 pounds. Or one may also explore a healthier diet plan and partner it up with exercise. 

How long will it take for men to lose 40 pounds? 

Men find it easier to lose weight than most women. Men are capable of losing 2 pounds per week with a calorie intake of 1,600-1,900 per day but the rate of weight loss is not definite as it depends on their size and level of activity. 

What's Better for Losing Weight: Diet or Exercise? 

The bigger you are (or the heavier), results will be seen faster mainly because you are expelling water weight but towards the middle, the same combination of calorie intake and physical activity may not yield the same results as you did in the beginning.

Greater calorie cuts and increased physical activity level should be done in order to get over the plateau, a state wherein your weight starts stalling as metabolism slows down to preserve energy. This means that it would take longer than 4-5 months in order to shed off 40 pounds (which is the ideal length, by the way, according to calculation). 

In terms of healthy weight loss, it's better to up your activity level than continue cutting off calories which will only provide unhelpful in your daily functions. You can try swimming, jogging, tennis, or football which burns 500 to 800 calories per hour. You can also burn up to 1,500 calories with running. Exercise is an indispensable part of the weight loss process and can help you reach the ideal 4-5 month timeframe to shed off that extra weight. 


Why 40 Pounds? Benefits of Losing Weight 

You might be asking why shed 40 pounds specifically? I know because that was my first question as well. This is because there are certain health benefits achieved in every landmark pound lost. 

0 pounds 

You might be looking at me now and saying, "Really?" And I am going to tell you, "Yeah, really."

When you start exercising and shifting to a healthier lifestyle, your body responds well to that. In a study published in the American Heart Association Journal, the results showed that being physically active even without any visible weight loss results is associated with a longer lifespan! 

2 pounds

Did you know that for every 2.2 pounds lost, your blood pressure drops by 1mmHg. Needless to say, losing weight is beneficial to anyone's health. 

10 pounds

In a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, in a course of 6 months and 10 pounds off, the risk of dying from heart diseases is lessened by 30%. 

14 pounds

By 14 pounds off, you're celebrating reducing the risk of contracting and developing Type 2 Diabetes. Studies have shown that people who dropped 14 pounds reduce their risk by a large chunk of 58%. 

18 pounds 

This applies to those suffering mild obesity and hypertension. In a study published in the American College of Cardiology, patients suffering from the aforementioned diseases experience reductions in heart-wall thickness (which can lead to heart failure) as soon as they drop 18 pounds. 

40 pounds

There weren't much medical statistics in terms of health benefit with 40 pounds off but if you're suffering from sleep apnea (a disease that can cause inability to lose weight), there is a significant 58% decrease in symptoms when you lose 40 pounds. 

In general, losing 5% to 10% of your body weight can give you lots of benefits including:

  1. Ease of Joints 
    For every extra 10 pounds gained adds 40 pounds of pressure on your knees and other lower joints. Losing at least 5% of your weight will prove to be beneficial for your joints

  2. Reduced Risk for Breast Cancer
    For women, losing at least 5% of your body weight can reduce your risks by 12%.

  3. Manage Triglycerides
    These particles are responsible in the transport of fat and storage and high levels of these can increase chances of heart attack. Close it down to a healthy level of 150 mg/dl by slimming down. 

  4. Reverse Insulin Resistance
    Insulin is a hormone that checks and maintains your blood sugar to a normal level. Resistance to insulin means this cannot be regulated and may cause to an extent, weight gain. 

  5. Better Sleep
    Inadequate sleep can cause obesity. Studies show that losing 5% of your body weight can help you get longer and better sleep.


No matter what your weight loss goal may be, whether it's 4 pounds or 40 pounds, know that it's a long journey ahead. Be forgiving of yourself if you face unexpected setbacks, but don't let yourself get lazy or complacent in your diligent habits and then fall back into an unhealthy state. It's about being healthy to prolong your life, not only about looking good. 

What was your weight loss journey like? Did anyone successfully lose 40 pounds or reach their weight loss goal? What are your tips and advice? Leave us your comments below! 

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