How To Lose 70 Pounds (A Guide to Make Dreams a Reality in 9 Months)

Weight Loss & Diets | Written by Nathan Petitpas | Updated on 18 June 2024

In the image, a person wears a 70-pound weight shackle around their ankle, symbolizing excess weight, while a staircase with 10 steps represents a 10-step guide to weight loss.

Losing 70 pounds or more can be fulfilling and challenging all at the same time, but you don’t have to do it alone.

Our step-by-step guide is here to guide you along your weight loss journey, but it’s crucial to find something sustainable for your lifestyle and be persistent. It’s absolutely okay if you fail or fumble along, but the truth is you only truly fail once you give up. As Dory from Nemo would say, “Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.”

Although we all want to see results in 24 hours or less, it’s important to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. How long it should take to lose 70 pounds varies from person to person and people can do it in 9 months or less. While others may take twice as long. Don’t stress too much about the pace, just don’t give up.

Healthy Weight Loss Won’t Happen Overnight

Most healthcare providers suggest losing 1-2 pounds per week is a healthy rate to lose weight, but people who are obese may see results even quicker than that. In total, that’s only 4-8 pounds per month, but try zooming out and imagine yourself losing 12-24 pounds in 3 months. Or even 70 pounds within 9 months!

That’s right, by cutting out 500 calories a day for 9 months, you can lose around 70 pounds in a year. If you’re aiming for short-term weight loss, it’s possible to lose weight within 7 days, but perseverance is essential.

If you’re thinking about losing 70 pounds in 4 months or less, it’s best to remember that weight loss doesn’t happen overnight and losing weight too fast can lead to issues.

As they say, you’d be surprised how much you can get done in months or years, but it may seem like you’re not making progress on the day-to-day. You must trust in the process and don’t let any hiccups or the scale deter you from reality. Just keep swimming or striving towards your goals with process-oriented steps.

Step 1: Calculate BMR

When you first start your weight loss journey, you should calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR) to get an idea of how many calories your body uses in a day [1]. This amount is how much energy it takes to solely keep you alive without moving, in a comfortable temp, and without digesting anything.

There is a lot of math involved to calculate BMR, and it’s different for both men and women, but this calculator from the U.S. Department of Health will do all the work for you. After you use this, the section labeled “In order to maintain your current weight, you should eat:” is your BMR or what you can consider as a baseline.

Of course, these calculations have some discrepancies so it’s important to weigh yourself every 1-2 weeks and see if you need to adjust your intake.

Step 2: Log Food & Maintain A Calorie Deficit

Now that you know how much you need to maintain, the calculator above can guide you on losing 70 pounds in 9 months or more so, how much to eat. Of course, this will require some level of calorie counting or at least trying to watch what you eat, which we’ll touch on below.

There are many different apps on both android and apple stores that will aid you in logging your daily food habits. Most of them will even allow you to scan a barcode, and it will input all of the nutritional info, which ultimately makes counting calories less cumbersome.

Even if it’s just for a few days, try logging all the food you consume so you can gauge just how many calories you consume each day. You would be surprised how many calories your favorite snack contains, and it’s easy to underestimate how much you consume.

While it’s challenging to solely monitor your food intake, if counting feels too scientific or complicated, we recommend trying intuitive eating despite its requirement for heightened awareness. This is where you essentially teach your body to recognize whether you are physically hungry or emotionally hungry and change your mindset on food.

No matter what you try, it’s important to avoid junk food and replace it with healthier alternatives.

Step 3: Make Healthier Food Choices

This might sound obvious, but even substituting one meal with a salad, nuts, fruits, or any other healthy alternative you can withstand can really make a big difference.

It’s okay to start small by just replacing one meal a week and eventually working up to replacing one meal a day and so forth. One healthy meal keeps the doctor away, but of course, the more healthy meals the better. In summary, prioritizing a healthy diet to cut down on calories is crucial, but ensuring an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals can also support weight loss.

In addition to replacing one meal a day, try keeping hydrated since we occasionally mistake thirst for hunger, and you can still get that full filling without adding more food to your calorie log [2].

Step 4: Watch What You Drink

Again, if we simply replace one soda or sugary beverage a day, we can begin to see weight loss progress and an energy boost, better complexion, and more. We suggest starting your day with one glass of water as soon as you wake up and try to notice the mental clarity or boost of energy.

If you begin to associate positive feelings with water, you’re more likely to begin enjoying it. If the taste is too bland for you, try to infuse your water with fruit for extra yumminess.

Despite being tasteless, water is life, and the benefits are not exaggerated.

As a general rule of thumb, most people should drink about 3 liters a day, whereas men should try to drink 15.5 cups (3.7L) of water a day and about 11.5 cups (2.7L) of water a day for women [3]. Start small and work your way up to feel better and look better.

Step 5: Take Progress Photos & Measurements

If you look at yourself in the mirror every few days, it’s hard to notice short-term changes. But with progress photos or measurements, you can literally look back and reference how you looked or how wide you were.

Sometimes your weight loss will plateau, but you are still losing inches off of your measurements and without charting before and after, it’s possible to get down on yourself or think your efforts are wasted.

If you want to keep your hopes high and retain motivation to keep going, be sure to track your progress weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly if measurements get to your head. When taking measurements or pictures, do your best to do it in a consistent manner or even have someone help you. Be sure the pictures are at the same time of day and in the same lighting too.

If you stack exercising of some form on top of the steps above, you’ll be amazed at how your body can transform.

Step 6: Incorporate Exercise

If weight lifting isn’t quite your thing, you can still kickstart weight loss by incorporating more walking into your routine or aiming for 5,000 to 10,000 steps each day. This will help get your activity level up and burn more calories even while resting! Try taking an evening stroll with family or friends if they’re asking you for tips on losing 70 pounds, or take your kids and dogs to the park as a recreational activity. Even the smallest acts will do great things and aid in weight loss.

If you’re up for more, we highly recommend incorporating some form of cardio or engaging in a strength training program like our 6-day workout routine.

Although this plan is 6 days, you can always begin with 1 day a week for 30 minutes each day. There’s no need to go all in and make yourself hate lifting because you’re too sore to move. A core concept in weight lifting and even building habits is frequency over intensity. So in other words, try to go often, but you don’t have to go for 2 hours or even 1 hour to see results.

In addition, if you have difficulty getting yourself walking or exercising, see if you can find someone to tag along which can make the process more enjoyable.

Step 7: Build a Support & Accountability System

Since the beginning of time, people have relied on their support systems to succeed. The best support systems will be ones that are there for you no matter what, the ones that will support you in your success as well as your failures.

There are lots of different support groups that you can join on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and many other social media sites. If you have any questions, try posting them online to get answers from others on a similar journey.

When you feel like you’re at a loss for words, turn to the people that care and support you, whether it’s good or bad. Sometimes life will get you down, but a solid support system will encourage you to keep losing.

Step 8: Weigh-in On Occasion

Weight loss is like a wave, your scale will fluctuate at any time, and that’s okay. You might see a decrease one day, only for it to bounce back the next, and that’s precisely why the scale doesn’t matter.

This is why professionals recommend only weighing in once a week in the morning with an empty bladder. Having a full bladder as well as eating anything could add 1 to even 5 pounds onto your weight albeit some of it might be water weight. Pick any certain day of the week and step on the scale on that day if you feel up to it.

Just with the progress pictures and measurements, it’s okay to weigh yourself less often and it’s important to optimize these steps to work for your life or priorities.

Step 9: Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important things to optimize when trying to lose 70 pounds and can improve an array of other health metrics. Or in other words, sleep is needed to regulate almost every part of the human body.

To maintain a healthy lifestyle, you must get adequate sleep every night, and if you’re having trouble, turn off your cell phone or try to go to bed an hour earlier. It’s best to avoid blue light or cell phone usage at least an hour before you plan to go to bed, and they even make blue light classes to help out with this.

Step 10: Keep A Positive Mindset

When embarking on your journey to lose weight, it is easy to get in your head and try to push yourself too hard or even have negative self-talk. The problem with pushing too hard is that you will burn out relatively quickly, and if you don’t watch your inner dialogue, it can break you down.

When you start to lose weight, sometimes there will be weeks where you are doing everything listed here, and you still don’t see the scale move at all, but don’t fret! Again, weight loss comes in waves so just do what you can and trust in the process.

At the end of the day, weight loss comes in waves, and you have to keep on swimming despite any “failures.” If you get back on the horse or just keep swimming, then you’ve never truly failed in the first place.

No matter what, keep trying to exercise frequently, cut out unhealthy foods, and trust in the process. Losing 70 pounds can be a steep learning curve, but once you’ve figured it out, maintaining a healthy weight becomes much easier since you’ve incorporated these steps into your lifestyle.





About the Author

Nathan Petitpas

Nathan has been a fitness enthusiast for the past 12 years and jumps between several types of training such as bodybuilding, powerlifting, cycling, gymnastics, and backcountry hiking. Due to the varying caloric needs of numerous sports, he has cycled between all types of diets and currently eats a whole food diet. In addition, Nathan lives with several injuries such as hip impingement, spondylolisthesis, and scoliosis, so he underwent self-rehabilitation and no longer lives with debilitating pain.