Forty pounds is no small weight-loss goal, but it's far from impossible. To get rid of those excess pounds, just be consistent. Hit the treadmill on a regular basis and watch your calories. If you can do this, it's a matter of patience. Over time the fat will melt away as you burn excess calories and get fit.
Work out on the elliptical machine for at least 300 minutes per week at a moderate intensity, during which your heart rate rises and you break a sweat, or 150 minutes per week if you're doing vigorous-intensity workouts, which cause you to breathe hard and fast. These are the minimum recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Exceeding the minimum requirements will allow you to burn more calories and help you achieve your goal of losing 40 pounds more quickly.
Count how many calories you burn working out on the elliptical each day. This will vary based on your weight and how long your work out. For instance, according the the Government of Virginia's CommonHealth website a 120-pound person burns 6.5 calories per minute on the elliptical, while a 160-pound person burns 8.7 calories per minute and a 200-pound person burns 10.9 calories per minute. For a more accurate estimate use the calorie counter on your elliptical machine or a heart-rate monitor with a calorie-counting feature.
Create a daily deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories with exercise and calorie cutting. For instance, if you're aiming to create a deficit of 1,000 calories and you burn 500 on the elliptical, you'll need to cut an additional 500 calories from your daily intake. This can be done by reducing your portion sizes, cutting out sugary drinks and removing high-calorie, low-nutrient foods like chips and candy from your diet. With a 500-calorie-a-day deficit you can expect to lose 40 pounds in 40 weeks; a 1,000 calorie deficit will take half as much time.
- Always consult a physician before starting an exercise plan or diet. Your doctor can tell you if your weight-loss goals are healthy and if your plan is right for you.
- Never cut your calories below 1,200 per day as a woman, unless it's part of a medically supervised diet. For men, the daily minimum is 1,800 calories.