weight loss concept

how long does it take to lose 120 pounds


How long does it take to lose 120 pounds?

On average, it takes 15 – 30 months to lose 120 pounds. It is a safe amount of time for most people to lose 120 pounds. It’s also in line with what most experts and the CDC (center for disease control and prevention) recommend for healthy weight loss.


With a daily calorie deficit of 500, expect to lose 120 pounds in 30 months. Double it to a daily calorie deficit of 1000 to lose 120 pounds in 15 months.


However, keep in mind that these numbers can vary from person to person. Several other factors affect how quickly you lose weight. These include factors such as; activity levels, age, gender, height, and weight.


A person who weighs over 300-pounds, for example, will not lose 120 pounds at the same rate as another who weighs less. The heavier person burns more calories as their energy needs are much higher.


In the same way, a person who stays active and exercises daily will not lose 120 pounds at the same rate as another with a sedentary lifestyle with little to no activity.


While it is possible to lose 120 pounds much faster, it is not recommended. This is especially if you have to use extreme measures such as exercising too long or severely restricting your calories. These measures are unsafe and cannot be sustained long-term. As a result, you’re more likely to gain all the weight back.

weight loss concept

Understanding how weight loss works

Weight loss occurs when you consume fewer calories than the body needs. It results in a calorie deficit forcing the body to tap into stored fat. It takes a calorie deficit of 3,500 to lose a pound of fat.


Most experts recommend losing about 1 – 2 pounds a week. You can achieve this by eating less and exercising more.


Start by counting your calories to determine how much to eat daily to lose weight according to your height, age, gender, weight, and activity levels. Use this online calorie calculator to ensure all your meals are within the specified number. Keep track of all the food you consume with myftnesspal or in a food journal.


You have to eat less to lose 120 pounds. Most experts recommend moderate calorie reduction of at least 500 – 1000 to jumpstart weight loss.


Make small changes such as cutting junk food and other empty calories. These foods are high in added sugar and other additives that only increase your appetite and cravings.


These include food such as; sugary drinks, ultra-processed snacks, candies, cookies, cakes, pastries, fried foods, and alcohol, especially beer. Eliminate these from your diet to lose weight.


Also, consider portion control to help you reduce your calories. Use simple tips such as serving your food on smaller plates or bowls. Use the side plate instead of serving your food on the dinner plate.

grilled salmon

Eat more protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs.

Focus on eating more nutrient-dense foods to make up for the reduced calories. Eat more protein, vegetables, healthy fats, and complex carbs. These foods are great for weight loss as they keep you full for longer.


Ensure your meals are full of these foods, and you will notice a reduced appetite throughout the day. Start your day with high-protein oatmeal or protein-rich eggs instead of the usual sugar-filled bowl of breakfast cereal.


Enjoy high-fiber beans, lentils, or peas for lunch/dinner. Or better yet, have some fish, poultry, or lean cuts of meat for protein.

woman on pull up bar

Do some cardio and lift more weights.

Exercising can help you burn more calories to lose 120 pounds. What’s more, the heavier you are, the more calories you burn once you get started exercising.


It is recommended that healthy adults spend at least 200 minutes exercising weekly. Alternate between cardio and weight training for best results.


Focus on workouts you love doing. You’re more likely to be consistent this way. If you hate running, consider walking, swimming, or rowing instead.


How long does it take to lose 120 pounds? Conclusion

Generally, it takes 15 – 30 months to lose 120 pounds. It is a safe and healthy amount for most people to lose 120 pounds.