What Is It Going to Take to Lose 85 Pounds?

If you've decided that you want to lose 85 pounds to regain the healthy body you once had, it's going to take plenty of work. Losing this much weight is definitely possible, but don't expect the results to come overnight. Through a combination of dedication to an exercise regimen and changes to your diet, you should be able to lose a couple pounds per week and eventually reach your goal.

Realistic Goal

One of the challenges of trying to lose weight is being realistic about your goal. While you might want to lose 85 pounds in a month, it's not going to happen that quickly. MayoClinic.com suggests losing 1 to 2 pounds per week as a reasonable goal to set. Although weight loss at this rate would mean it could take you more than a year to lose the weight, it's important to be realistic. If you set an unrealistic goal, you're likely to be disappointed when you fail to meet it.

Calorie Deficit

How Many Calories Does the Average American Eat Daily?

Learn More

Creating a calorie deficit is the key to losing any amount of weight. This term describes what occurs upon burning more calories than you consume through food and drink. When attempting to lose 85 pounds, aim to create a daily calorie deficit. MayoClinic.com reports a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories results in the loss of a pound of fat. Provided you can continuously create a calorie deficit, you will steadily lose weight.

Regular Exercise

Regular exercise is one of the keys to losing 85 pounds. Although the amount you exercise depends on how fit you are, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 to 300 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week. Aerobic exercises, which burn calories quickly, take many forms and it's easy to find an activity you enjoy and that suits your fitness level. Typical aerobic exercises include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming and jumping rope. Obese people should use low-impact exercises, such as cycling and swimming, to avoid straining their joints.

Healthy Diet

Peanut Butter Sandwich Calories

Learn More

Although you might want to tackle your weight-loss goals solely through exercise, doing so might be difficult. The American Council on Exercise reports that among those who've lost weight and kept it off, only 1 percent use exercise alone. An overwhelming 89 percent of people use a combination of exercise and diet to find success. Consume a diet low in unhealthy fats and sugars, and keep within the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion's daily calorie guidelines. For men, aim to eat 2,400 to 3,000 calories per day. For women, consume between 1,800 and 2,400 calories per day. The CNPP's recommendations are for weight maintenance. Bodybuilding.com recommends decreasing your daily calorie intake by 500 calories to lose weight.

Regular Self-Monitoring

When you're obese, you likely don't enjoy weighing yourself, but on your mission to lose 85 pounds, stepping on the scale should become a part of your daily routine. While you won't see noticeable weight loss daily, a National Weight Control Registry study shows the importance of daily self-monitoring. In the study, people who weighed themselves each day were more likely to continue losing weight or maintain their weight, while those who conducted infrequent weigh-ins were more likely to regain weight. By weighing yourself daily, you can catch any noticeable weight increase or weight loss plateau and take the necessary steps to address it.