I am a 30-year-old male (183 cm tall), haven't done any sport in the last 4 years and gained around 30 kg.

My plan is to lose 25-35 kg (123 kg -> 88 kg) over the next 6 months.

To do that, I started to count calories and am trying to change my eating habits at the same time. For example, I am trying to drink more, drink before and during I am eating, have smaller portions, eat slower and only eat between 11 am and 7 pm.

If I understand everything correctly, to drop 35 kg, I need to cut my intake by: (35 kg * 7500 kcal/kg) / (6 months * 30 days/month) = 1458 ~ 1500. According to some websites I need 3000 kcal a day (2060 kcal + 940 kcal), meaning I would be allowed to only eat for less than 1500 kcal a day.

I tried this for a weak already and it was honestly fine. I need to get used to the smaller portion size.

Additionally, I am trying to do some sport again. In the beginning, I was planning on spending 20 minutes on the home trainer every second day (which would be around -500 kcal).

Does my plan sound reasonable? Any further tips or advice? I am aware, that my daily kcal is low, but I think it is manageable.

  • 1
    Personally I think the caloric intake drops too much, too fast. Sep 16, 2021 at 11:13

1 Answer 1


Losing almost 30% of your bodyweight in 6 months is an extremely fast rate of weight loss. Common rules of thumb are aiming to lose 0.5-1% of your bodyweight per week, with higher rates of weight loss being less sustainable, and more likely to result in large proportions of the lost weight coming from muscle rather than fat. In short, if it took you four years to put on the weight, losing it in six months is probably not going to be realistic.

A safer plan may be to attempt to get down to 100kg in six months (~1% reduction in bodyweight per week), and then from there slow it down and take another six months to get down to 88kg (~0.5% loss of bodyweight per week).

Regarding daily energy expenditure calculators, please note that these are highly inaccurate and should only ever be used as a starting point. The only way to reliably measure your energy expenditure (assuming you don't have access to a metabolic ward!) is to regularly weigh yourself, observe the trend in your bodyweight, and adjust your caloric intake up or down depending on whether your rate of weight loss is more or less than intended.

Exercise is highly beneficial (physical activity tends to help regulate your appetite, and resistance training will cause your body to preserve muscle and preferentially drop fat), but you shouldn't count calories burned during exercise as contributing towards your caloric deficit. Not only are measurements of energy burned during exercise very inaccurate, but the body is very good at compensating for energy burned during exercise by reducing energy used during the remainder of the day (primarily through reductions in NEAT - Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis).

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