weight loss concept

how long to lose 12 pounds


How long to lose 12 pounds?

On average, it takes about 1.5 – 3 months to lose 12 pounds. It is a healthy amount of time to lose 12 pounds for most people. It’s also in line with what experts such as the CDC (center for disease control and prevention) recommend for safe weight loss.


At a weight loss rate of 1-pound a week, expect to lose 12 pounds in 12 weeks, about 3-months. Double it to a weight loss rate of 2-pound a week to lose 12 pounds in 6 weeks, about 1.5-months.


However, keep in mind that these numbers can vary from person to person. Several other factors influence how quickly you lose weight. These include factors such as; age, weight, height, weight, and activity level. Due to these differences, some people might lose 12 pounds much faster or take longer.


A person who weighs over 250 pounds, for example, might lose 12 pounds much faster than another person who weighs less. The heavier person burns more calories as they need more energy.


In the same way, a person who stays active throughout the day and exercises often will not lose 12 pounds at the same rate as another with a sedentary lifestyle with little to no movement.

overweight woman on color background

Create a calorie deficit to lose weight

Weight loss occurs when the body burns more calories than what you consume. It results in a calorie deficit, thus jumpstarting weight loss. It takes a calorie deficit of 3,500 to lose a pound of fat. Most people can achieve this by eating less and exercising.


Start with portion control to help you eat less. We tend to overestimate how much to eat as the serving sizes and portions have gotten bigger. Serve your food on smaller side plates or bowls to avoid this. Or better yet, fill half your plate with veggies before adding protein or carbs.


Also, consider cutting refined carbs from your diet. These foods are high in calories with little nutritional benefit. Also, as they’ve been stripped of their fiber, they’re easily digested resulting in frequent hunger.


Swap out ultra-processed dry snacks for healthier nuts, greek yogurt, fresh fruit, or hard-boiled eggs.


Opt for high-fiber oatmeal in the morning instead of box cereal. Cut out junk food and other empty calories as these are also highly processed and refined.


Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day with plain water instead of relying on sugar-filled energy drinks or store-bought coffee drinks.

healthy meal

Focus on nutrition

Once you have reduced your calories, focus on eating nutrient-dense foods. Add protein to our diet to reduce appetite and boost your metabolism. Start your day with protein-rich eggs, and you’ll notice a reduced appetite throughout the day. Choose lean meats, poultry, and fish for your protein at lunch or dinner.


Fiber foods are also just as filling and should’ve part of your day. Have oatmeal for breakfast and enjoy beans, lentils, or peas for lunch.


Lastly, fill up on vegetables at all mealtimes. Vegetables such as; spinach, kale, broccoli, swiss chard, and many others should be part of your meals. These veggies are low in calories and are a great way to add volume to your meals. Also, you can enjoy an extra serving or two to improve satiety.

woman exercising with dumbbells

Do some cardio and lift more weights.

Cardio and weight training exercises should be part of your weekly routine to lose 12 pounds.


It is recommended that healthy adults spend at least 200 minutes (more than 3-hours) exercising weekly. Alternate between these workouts for best results.


Start with workouts you enjoy doing and build momentum as you go. You’re more likely to be consistent this way. If you hate running, consider light walking exercise or cycling instead.


If you struggle with a busy schedule, consider HIIT (high-intensity interval training) exercises that take less than 45-minutes to complete.


How long to lose 12 pounds? Conclusion

Generally, it takes 6 – 12 weeks to lose 12 pounds. It is what most experts recommend for safe and healthy weight loss.