Losing weight can seem like a struggle. You can try all the diets in the world and work out until you faint; then, when you step on that scale, you end up getting no results. It doesn’t have to be that way. There’s no quick fix, but there is a way to achieve something in as little as two months. The key is to be strategic. This guide will show you how to plan out a strategy to answer the question, “How much weight can I lose in 2 months.”
Step 1: Find Out Your Base Calorie Burn.
Basal Metabolic Rate, or BMR for short, is the total number of calories your body needs to perform essential, life-sustaining functions. BMR is a solid number to know because it will help you determine how much you need to eat and how much you need to work out.
The most common way to calculate your BMR is the Harris-Benedict Equation. You can learn more about the Harris-Benedict Equation from Wikipedia here.
The equation is as follows:
MEN: BMR = 66.5 + ( 13.76 × weight in kg ) + ( 5.003 × height in cm ) – ( 6.755 × age in years )
Women: BMR = 447.593 + (9.247 x weight in kg) + (3.098 x height in cm) – (4.330 x age in years)
Do it now! Pull out your calculator and calculate your BMR. Once you have your number, keep it handy. The guide is not over. BMR is only 70% of the energy your body will burn in a day. We need to factor in your other activity to figure out what else your body burns.
Step 2: Factor in Your Other Activity
To calculate your Total Daily Energy Expenditure or TDEE, we need to multiply your BMR by one of the four activity levels.
- Sedentary = 1.2
- Lightly active = 1.375
- Moderately active = 1.550
- Very active = 1.725
- Extra active = 1.9
Activity Monitor Explanation:
Like me, if you’re a desk jockey, and the only physical activity you do is walk to your car, to an elevator, then to a desk, I’d recommend using the Sedentary multiplier. The light activity multiplier would be for people who walk a mile or so a day. The moderately active multiplier is someone involved in a sport several times a week or does some activity to raise their heart rate to a low-fat burn level. The Very Active multiplier would be someone who is working out every day for at least an hour. The last activity multiplier, Extra Active, would be a person working out more than once a day at an intense level.
Take your BMR and multiply it by your activity level. This number will be the total number of estimated calories you will burn every day without changing anything in your routine. Keep this number handy because we will use it to figure out how much you should eat over the next two months and how much exercise you should be doing.
Step 3: Set Some Goals
Now that we know how many calories we can burn in a day, we must determine how much we should eat. Yes, this, unfortunately, means that we have to count some calories. I know it’s a pain in the ass, but you will thank yourself for following through in two months.
First, we need to understand what we are trying to achieve here. We want to lose fat. A pound of fat is 3,500 calories. Depending on your goal, we will need to burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound.
So how much should we be eating? Take a look at your TDEE. For me, my TDEE is 3,045 calories per day. If I wanted to lose weight without working out or changing much in my current routine, I’d take that number (3,045) and reduce it by 500 calories. That would bring my calorie limit for each day to 2,545 calories. As long as I don’t eat over 2,545 calories each day, I should expect to lose one pound every week. In about two months, I should expect to lose 8lbs in two months.
You’re probably telling yourself that 8lbs is ridiculous. You’re probably looking to lose more than that, but ask yourself this, how long did it take you to gain the weight you want to lose? Gaining that weight probably took longer than two months. The healthiest way to lose weight is to lose it slowly.
Don’t fear, though. You can lose much more than 8lbs in two months. It will require more work, though.
To lose more weight, you reduce the number of calories in your TDEE by even more. Take a look at the number from earlier; 3,500 calories are in a pound of fat. You can do a reverse equation to determine how many calories to cut to achieve your weight loss goal. Say you wanted to lose 20lbs. (20lbs * 3,500) / 60 days = 1,166 calories. You could then take your TDEE number and reduce it by 1,166 calories, and in two months, you’d lose about 20lbs. If that’s your goal, then woo! No need to do anything else.
I do have to warn you. Reducing calories by more than 30% of your total TDEE can have the opposite effect; all your hard work could be all for not. So if you have a low TDEE and still want to meet your goal, the next step is to exercise.
Step 4: Time to get the sweat on
We have found our TDEE, we have reduced that number by no more than 30%, but we still need to burn more calories to meet our goal. The last tool in our arsenal is exercise. Exercise is an excellent way to increase your body’s caloric expenditure.
When we calculated our TDEE, we found the estimated number of calories our body burns during the day without changing anything. With exercise, we can increase that calorie burn. It’s effortless too. If you’re thinking, “oh great, exercise, I don’t have time for that,” stop that thinking right now. Increasing your calorie burn can be done by the simplest things. Things that you may not consider as exercise add up and help us reach our goal.
Simple exercises to increase our calorie burn can be as easy as:
- Taking the stairs instead of an elevator
- Parking at the back of a parking lot and walking the extra steps to work or the store.
- Going for a walk for 30 minutes.
- Riding a bike
- Playing a sport, etc.
I want to lose 20lbs in two months. My current TDEE is 3,045 calories. I don’t want to reduce my calorie intake by more than 30%. My TDEE reduced by 30% is 2,131. If I eat only 2,131 per day, I will burn 914 calories by just eating less. BUT that’s not the 1,166 calories I need to lose 20lbs in two months. I need to burn an additional 252 calories each day to reach my goal. I can do this by adding a 20 minute, 1 mile walk every day. Voila! I have now reached my goal, and I can expect to lose 20lbs in two months.
Depending on your goal, you may need to do more. But this guide shows you that losing weight is easy as long as you have a strategy. In my example, I showed you how you could lose 20lbs in two months by just adding a 20-minute walk and eating a few fewer calories per day. It’s straightforward. You also learned exactly how I did this, and you can adjust the numbers to fit your goal. You can lose any amount of weight within reason (you aren’t going to lose 100lbs in two months) by adjusting your intake and increasing your activity.
I hope this has helped you. Eating too few calories or over-exercising can lead to some health problems. Depending on your numbers, 40lbs is probably the most you can lose in 2 months, and this is pushing it. 20lbs is perhaps the safest amount of weight to lose. Good luck, have fun and be safe on your journey.