In order to lose 40 pounds, a person must burn a total of 140,000 calories. The quickest and safest way to achieve this is by creating a caloric deficit that does not exceed the range of 10,500 to 17,500 calories per week, according to WebMD. A caloric deficit can be achieved by cutting back on calories and increasing physical activity.
Eating a healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean meats such as fish, turkey and chicken will help the body burn energy more efficiently. It is also advisable to cut back on starches and refined flours, like white pastas and breads, rice and potatoes. WebMD recommends drinking plenty of water and avoiding sodium and added sugars found in processed desserts.
It helps to keep busy and avoid eating out of boredom. Keeping a food and exercise journal will assist in identifying habits which may be stalling weight loss. It is important to maintain a healthy balance between diet and exercise. Any weight loss incurred above 3 to 5 pounds per week can signal unhealthy habits, such as starvation or over-exercising. WebMD notes that a steadfast approach to weight loss will yield results that are longer-lasting and do not compromise a person's overall health.