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How to Lose 180 Pounds

By Lau Hanly ; Updated July 18, 2017

Losing 180 pounds requires serious commitment and drive over a long period of time. Losing that much weight safely is likely to take two to three years, and will require constant work. There will be setbacks and challenges, but this is a completely achievable goal. Your activity, diet and lifestyle habits will all require an overhaul, as will your relationships with food, yourself and other people. It's a long, tough road, but also an incredibly rewarding one. Your health and happiness will increase substantially as you make progress, helping you to become more confident and capable.

Make periodic adjustments to your diet. The most effective strategy to transitioning to healthy eating is to do it gradually; going "cold turkey" is likely to result in frustration, cravings and lapses. To begin with, replace sugary drinks with water. Once this has become easy, eat healthy foods at one meal per day: Choose lean meats such as chicken or fish with lots of vegetables and a small serving of whole grains. Once this has become easy, replace another meal, and so on, until your eating habits have become healthy and sustainable.

Start exercising regularly. To begin with, just go for a walk around your block three times a week. After a couple of weeks, increase this to a few blocks. A few weeks after this, try either increasing the distance or increasing the pace. After a couple of months of walking or jogging, join a gym. It will feel uncomfortable and intimidating at first, so have a trainer give you a tour and show you how to use the equipment. Lifting weights is a highly effective way to lose fat, so start lifting two or three times per week. As the weight continues to come off, you can add interval training, cycling or any other type of high-intensity activity that takes your interest.

Include regular aerobic or "cardio" exercise; this is a key part of the weight-loss process. Walking, jogging, swimming, cycling and team sports are all fun and effective forms of cardio. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that 300 minutes or more of aerobic activity per week, combined with strength training two or three times per week, is optimal for most adults in a weight-loss regimen. That works out to about 60 minutes per day, five days per week.

Keep a record of what food and drinks you have each day, as well as what exercise you've done. This will keep you accountable, and serves as a clear indication of how you are progressing toward your goal.

Take measurements of your body periodically, so that you can track your weight-loss progress.

Be kind to yourself; don't beat yourself up when you go off plan or don't lose as much weight in a week as you expect. Just get back on the wagon and be as consistent as possible. According to the National Institutes of Health, a realistic rate of fat loss is one to two pounds per week.

Tips

Schedule your exercise into your day so you don't put it off. Prepare your healthy meals in bulk and ahead of time so it's easy to just grab one out of the fridge. Ask someone you trust you to help keep you accountable, or find a partner to exercise with. Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Weigh yourself once a week (no more), and always under the same conditions. This will help you track your progress and keep you motivated.

Warnings

Don't go straight into very strenuous workouts; your body will not be prepared for them and you are likely to be injured or become ill. Work up to them.

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