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Drop 40 Pounds in 6 Months with These 7 Simple Adjustments

Yes, it can be done with these simple changes.
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

Losing 40 pounds in six months may seem like a tall order, but it can be done with a few lifestyle adjustments. And the benefits go beyond merely losing weight. "Don't have a dieting mentality," Jeffrey McDaniel, M.D., tells Piedmont Health. "Have a lifestyle-change mentality. Success, in my mind, is losing weight that's predominantly fat mass, not losing your muscle, and having a better quality of life." Here are seven adjustments that can help you lose 40 pounds in six months.

Stick To a Calorie Deficit

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A calorie deficit is essential to losing weight. "It is important that certain individuals identify foods that will be low in caloric intake but also high in nutritional value to allow your body and cells to be fed appropriately but not swing you out of your caloric deficit," physician assistant Briana Silvestri tells Banner Health. "It's said that in weight loss food choices are roughly 80-90% of the equation and exercise is generally 10-20%."

Walk Every Day


Walking is good for both mental and physical health. "For a person with excellent fitness, an approximate moderate walking pace is 15 minutes per mile (4 miles per hour), says the British Heart Foundation. "Walking speed will depend on your level of fitness and walking experience. Difficult terrain or traveling uphill and downhill also affects your overall speed."

Lift Weights

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The more muscle you have, the more fat your body will burn. "What is important to note, however, is that while doing resistance training, you'll want to ensure you are consuming enough calories to help rebuild muscles and fuel the body," Silvestri says. "If you don't, then your body will break down muscle mass to fuel itself, which is actually the opposite of what you are trying to obtain."

Eat More Protein

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Protein not only encourages satiety but also helps boost your metabolism. How? The body uses more energy to break down protein, so it has a higher thermic effect on food (TEF). "Protein is invaluable when it comes to increased fullness and satisfaction after a meal," registered dietitian Annalise Pratt, RD, tells the Cleveland Clinic.

RELATED: 15 Quick Ways to Lose Body Fat Percentage in a Week

Slow and Steady

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Be realistic and focused on your weight loss goals. "Set a realistic goal of losing 5% to 10% of your weight, and give yourself plenty of time and some flexibility to reach that goal, keeping in mind that most people take at least six months to achieve that degree of healthy weight loss," advises Harvard Health. "Also try to avoid generalized goals, such as 'I should eat less at dinner and exercise more.' Instead, set specific and short-term (that is, daily or weekly) goals."

Don't Sit All Day


While exercising every day is beneficial for weight loss, sitting can undermine efforts. "The impact of movement — even leisurely movement — can be profound," Edward R. Laskowski, M.D., tells the Mayo Clinic. "For starters, you'll burn more calories. This might lead to weight loss and increased energy. Also, physical activity helps maintain muscle tone, your ability to move and your mental well-being, especially as you age."

RELATED: This is the Optimal Amount of Protein You May Need Every Day, According to Expert

Keep Track Of Everything

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Knowledge is power. By tracking calories, exercise, and movement, you will stay accountable and more likely to succeed. "Make a list of what's important to you to help you stay motivated and focused, whether it's an upcoming vacation or better overall health," says the Mayo Clinic. "If you prefer to keep your weight-loss plans private, be accountable to yourself by having regular weigh-ins, recording your diet and exercise progress in a journal, or tracking your progress using digital tools."

💪🔥 Body Booster: Make your weight loss a sustainable lifestyle change for long-term success.

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more