Right off the bat, let’s get one thing straight: diet and exercise are the only safe and effective ways to lose weight. Juice cleanses, fad diets, and slimming pills are not, nor will they ever be, safe ways to lose weight.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s tackle the question: can you lose 100 pounds (or 45kg for our metric friends) in 3 months? More importantly, can you do it safely?
Surprisingly, the answer is: Yes, you can lose 100lbs in 3 months safely and effectively. It will, however, take time and effort, but hey, if it promotes optimal health for yourself, why not?
Take note, though, that health experts recommend only losing 1-2 pounds a week, with this number being the safest amount of weight to lose without suffering any adverse side effects. That being said, if you’re eating right and if you’re following a regular workout regimen, you could push the weight loss to about 10lbs a week, but only if you’re following a diet that fulfills both your caloric intake requirements and your nutrient requirements for the exercise routine you’re following. Here are some diet and exercise options you should consider if you want to lose 100lbs in 3 months:
One of the most popular diets out there, the ketogenic diet (or keto diet, for short) is a low-carb, low-sugar, high-fat diet that’s designed to bring your body into a state of ketosis; that is, a metabolic state wherein you start burning fat for energy rather than carbohydrates.
The ketogenic diet actually started out as a type of therapy for people suffering from epilepsy. Researchers found that the presence of ketones, a type of metabolic chemical that is produced by the liver during low-carbohydrate states, is effective in stopping, or at the very least controlling, seizures in people with epilepsy. Because it cuts out carbohydrates and sugar, the keto diet is perfect for people with insulin issues or diabetics, with the diet helping people drastically reduce blood sugar and insulin levels.
While weight loss is a major benefit of the keto diet, that’s only one of its varied benefits: scientists are finding evidence that the keto diet is very effective in helping people with various health conditions, such as helping people with heart disease manage their HDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure, not to mention aid people recover from brain injuries. The keto diet has also shown evidence of reducing symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Of course, most of the research into the health benefits of the keto diet is far from conclusive, the preliminary results are promising.
Fasting has always been one of the fastest ways to lose weight, although it takes the right kind of fasting to lose weight safely. Out of all the fasting schedules available out there, Intermittent fasting, or IF, has been shown to be the most effective. Intermittent fasting is a type of fasting wherein a person cycles through long periods of fasting with a small window of a few hours for eating.
Unlike most diets that control what you eat, intermittent fasting restricts when to eat, with the idea that eating your daily caloric intake in a short period of time will be enough to not only get you through your fasting period, it will also help your body regulate the amount of fat it processes.
There are 4 main methods of doing intermittent fasting:
- 16/8: a method that restricts your eating into an 8-hour window, followed by a fasting period of 16 hours. This is the most popular method among regular people with day jobs as this allows them to work around their time restrictions.
- Eat/Stop/Eat: a type of intermittent fasting that involves a twice-a-week 24 hour fast. It’s important to note, however, that the fast days must not happen consecutively.
- 5/2: a simplified version of the 16/8, 5/2 restricts your caloric intake to 500-600 per day for two non-consecutive days in a week.
- Warrior: developed by Israeli Defense Force veterans, the Warrior diet sees dieters eat very small amounts of raw fruits and vegetables during the day and a giant calorie-rich meal at night.
As one of the easiest ways to restrict your calorie intake, intermittent fasting is also one of the fastest ways to lose weight, provided, of course, that you don’t go beyond your target daily caloric intake within your eating period.
Unlike other types of fasting, intermittent fasting has been observed to cause less muscle loss as compared to other calorie-restricted diets, with some studies showing that intermittent fasting can actually boost your metabolism and HGH levels by up to 14%.
However, some studies also show that women might not benefit from IF as much as men due to the difference in metabolic rates and hormone levels.
The Paleo diet is one of the newer ‘fad’ diets out there, but unlike other fad diets, the Paleo diet has proven scientific results. This diet seeks to replace all your food with the type of food our hunter-gatherer ancestors consumed before the development of agriculture and processed foods. Basically, it centers primarily on meat, nuts, wild vegetables, and a complete rejection of all things processed.
The idea behind the Paleo diet is that most modern diseases can be directly linked to the consumption of processed foods, dairy, and grains, three food groups that are inherently ‘unnatural’ to humans. Of course, most of the food in a typical Paleo diet is arguably modern, it does try to restrict the type of food you eat to just the most simple whole foods like meat, fruits, nuts, seeds, and lean proteins and completely avoiding processed foods like sugar, grains, and dairy. Some Paleo dieters, however, will make concessions for cheese and butter, along with potatoes.
Because the Paleo diet rejects most types of carbs and focuses on the consumption of lean proteins, it’s been proven effective in drastically reducing both weight and waist size, with caloric intake within the Paleo diet typically 500 to 1000 calories less per day.
However, whole grains such as barley and legumes, while not fitting into the Paleo diet, are known to have massive nutritional benefits that, unfortunately, people on the Paleo diet might not have access to. Ideally, if you’re on the Paleo diet, you make up for this deficit by getting those nutrients from fruits and vegetables.
Proper Diet Requires Proper Exercise
Stands for High-Intensity Interval Training, HIIT refers to a type of exercise regimen that uses short, extremely intense, bursts of exercise followed by very relaxed, albeit short, recovery periods. A typical HIIT workout will range from 10 to 30 minutes in duration.
HIIT has been shown to provide the same amount of health benefits as a regular, 3-hour workout, albeit condensed into a short period of time, making this one of the most time-efficient workout routines available to many.
A strength training workout typically burns fewer calories per session as compared to, say, a cardio-heavy workout; however, strength training has been shown to burn more calories over time by changing your metabolism and how it responds to fat.
Although it is also a very effective way to build muscle, strength training doesn’t necessarily build muscle; depending on the type of exercises you’ll be doing, strength training can create lean muscles that are toned but stronger.
Tips On Losing 100 Pounds Safely
Losing weight is never an easy venture, no matter how small or big the goal is. When it comes to losing 100 pounds or more, larger numbers can be daunting, especially if you’re just starting or returning to your workout routines. Fortunately, there are proven strategies that can help you.
Here are tips to remember when trying to lose 100 pounds safely.
Track Your Calorie Intake
A rule of thumb when losing weight: your body should burn more calories than it consumes. There are two ways to achieve this: exercise more or eat fewer calories. If you opt for the second option, tracking your intake is important.
Tracking your calorie intake raises your awareness of the number of calories you consume daily. When you track what you eat, you’ll know if you’re on the right track or need to make adjustments. The number of calories you consume depends on a variety of factors: sex, lifestyle, weight and activities.
To track your calories, you can either maintain a food journal or use an app. However, tracking calories alone is not enough when it comes to weight loss. It works well when you pair it with healthy lifestyle changes, such as exercising regularly or eating more vegetables.
Practice Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is a practice of mindfulness, focus and awareness. It is being present in the moment when you eat and paying attention to your emotions.
There are several ways to practice mindfulness with your diet, but the most common ways include chewing food thoroughly, eating slowly and avoiding distractions during your meals, such as your computer, phone or TV.
According to research, eating slowly — which is a practice of mindful eating — encourages you to eat less and still feel fuller.
Hold Yourself Accountable
If your goal is to safely lose 100 pounds, relying on willpower isn’t enough, especially if you want long-term success. This is where accountability comes in. Holding yourself accountable keeps you on the right path for weight loss success. At the same time, you can still make adjustments along the way.
One way to stay accountable is to weigh yourself often. Another option is to keep a food journal so you can track what you consume, which can help you lose weight. Lastly, you can partner with a friend who is on the same weight loss journey. Working with a buddy will not just help you achieve your goal; having a friend can also make the journey fun and motivating.
How Fast Can You Lose 100 Pounds Safely?
Like any weight loss venture, safely losing a hundred pounds will take time. In most cases, it can take six months up to a year.
If you feel that your progress is slow, that’s OK. It’s better to go at a slow yet steady and sure pace. But there are cases when a person can experience rapid weight loss when they first start a program, especially if they are following a diet low in carbohydrates. Though rapid weight loss can happen, it’s important not to lose weight too quickly to reduce your risk of the following:
- Muscle loss
- Menstrual irregularities
The Bottom Line
The idea of losing 100 pounds can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to weight loss programs. But with several diets and lifestyle changes, it’s a goal that you can achieve safely.