weight loss concept

how long to lose 21 pounds


How long to lose 21 pounds?

On average, it takes about 2.5 months to 5 months to lose 21 pounds. It is a safe amount of time for most people to lose 21 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 21 pounds in 5 months. Double it to a daily calorie deficit of 1000 to lose 21 pounds in 2.5 months.


While it is possible to lose 21 pounds much faster, it is not recommended. You’d have to resort to unsafe measures such as exercising too long or severely restricting your calories to low.


Overall, you’re better off losing weight at the recommended rate. It is better for your health, and it also increases the likelihood that you keep the weight off for good.

healthy food in container

Decrease your calories.

You have to eat less to lose 21 pounds. It creates a calorie deficit that forces the body to tap into stopped fat.


Start with small changes to your diet such as; cutting out junk food and other empty calories to reduce your calories. These foods are high in calories with little nutritional benefit. These include; ice-creams, sugary drinks, cookies, cakes, pastries, ultra-processed snacks, fried foods, and alcohol.


You can also consider portion control to help you eat less. Use simple tips such as serving your food on smaller plates or bowls. This simple hack can help reduce your calories at mealtimes. Oversized dinner plates make it hard to portion your food.


Or better yet, fill half your plate with veggies before protein or carbs to avoid overeating.

healthy food

Focus on nutrition.

Make up for the reduced calories by eating more nutrient-dense foods. Eat more vegetables, protein, and fiber. These foods are great for weight loss as they keep you full for longer.


Start your day with eggs, and you’ll notice reduced appetite throughout the day. Enjoy some high-fiber oatmeal instead of the usual sugar-filled bowl of breakfast cereal. Alternate between animal protein or legumes for your lunch or dinner as they’re both just as filling. Besides, if you want to eat healthy on a budget, legumes are a must-have as they’re cheaper.


Veggies such as; spinach, kale, broccoli, swiss chard, and Brussel sprouts add volume to your meals. Also, as they’re low in calories, you can enjoy an extra serving or two to improve satiety.


If you struggle with a busy schedule, you can always pack healthier lunch or snacks from home. Avoid the temptation of ordering fast foods or take-out with meal-prep or planning.

woman doing plank - exercise

Stay active.

It is recommended that healthy adults spend at least 150 – 300 minutes exercising weekly. It is not only good for your heart but also for weight loss. Alternate between cardio and weight training for best results.


Cardio exercises such as; swimming, running, rowing, or cycling burn calories fast. Weight training exercises such as; squats, deadlifts, or lunges build muscle and boost your metabolism.


Focus on workouts you enjoy doing. If you hate cardio, consider weight training and vice versa. You’re more likely to be consistent this way.


If you find exercising overwhelming, start small with a brisk 20-minute walk and build your momentum as you go. Or better yet, sign up for a class such as; Tabata, Zumba, or kickboxing class. The good thing with exercise is that the more you weigh, the more calories you burn once you get started. Do these, and you will lose 21 pounds.


How long to lose 21 pounds? Conclusion

Generally, it takes about 2.5 – 5 months for most people to lose 21 pounds. It is a safe and healthy amount of time to lose 21 pounds.