How to

How to lose 20 pounds in a month

Learning how to lose 20 pounds in a month is indeed very challenging. A month is a long period of time, but in terms of weight loss one month is quite short. Though the goal is not actually impossible, in fact a lot of people have been successful with losing 20 pounds in a month. What you need is willpower and a good plan.

You don’t have to spend endless hours in a gym or spend your money on any new supplements or crash dietsto look great and slim. Rather what you need to do is to focus on how to promote and accelerate weight loss. Remember that failure is minimized once you commit to yourself and to your plan. Let’s leave it to the thought that there is no best plan without commitment.

Step 1: Understand what we mean by losing 20 pounds in a month

To get started you first need to understand that basic concepts behind weight loss. The ratio between pounds and calories is 1 pound = 3500 calories, in other words it takes about 3,500 calories to get a pound. Doing the math you will need to burn 70000 calories (20 pounds X 3500 calories per pound), which is the calories equivalent to 20 pounds. It may seem a huge amount, and indeed it is, but you can still try it out and see how many pounds you can lose in month.

Caution: You need to consult your doctor first before attempting to lose 20 pounds in a month. The recommended amount of weight to lose per month is 6-8 pounds and anything above that should be after the approval of your doctor.

Take note that your body burns calories daily in order for it to function. The number of calories burn depends on your BMR or basal metabolic rate. Basically BMR is based on your current weight, height and also the level of activity. The usual range is 1,600 to 1,800 calories for men and 1,300 to 1,500 calories for women.  The bottom line is that you need to focus on a plan that can help you burn more calories and increase your resting metabolic rate. These are the key factors that consistently help you deduct from the stored calories and lose weight.

Since we know what to focus on, it’s time to get into action and discuss the approach you can follow in order to learn how to lose 20 pounds in a month which basically has to do with diet and exercise.

Step 2: Adjust your diet

Eating small but frequent meals

This is not like any sort of fasting or restricting, you will only have to eat minute meals composed of varieties of food, preferably with low calories, and take them in small intervals. This maintains an increased metabolic ratesince the body takes the signal that your stomach is having food so the digestion process continues. Even though you only eat in small amounts, you will less likely starve because you eat frequently enough to keep your satiety.

Don’t resort to eating just anywhere

Sometimes thinking about what to eat helps you get to your ideal weight. Most people work on hectic schedules resorting to fast food diets and other easy access processed foods to sustain them. Unplanned meals may either get you in trouble or may take a lot of your bucks. The best way to handle this is to plan ahead or even prepare food ahead. It is better to have a healthy meal in the middle of the work day when you most need it. It can be a healthy fruit snack, a wheat sandwich or packed vegetable saladfor main meals.

Make it half or go small

If you can’t really let go of your high calorie fast food items like your regular hamburgers, then one technique that may work is cutting food into half or going for small sized meals. If you are able to resist the temptation and go over small size, then that will be good enough, but if you can’t then cut it into half, make sure you spare the other half for later. Sometimes it is even good to tag a friend with you when eating; you may share the other half to him or her and that will leave you with fewer calories.

Water and fiber

Water and fiber rich foods are the safest food items to take. Both will help you cleanse your body and get you closer to your ideal weight. Fiber may help increase your resting metabolic rate as well and it makes you feel full for longer period of time. Water definitely clears clogs and helps metabolism in cellular level.

Step 3: Exercise more

Every minute counts

This means that you can spread the time you spend on your weight loss exercisesthroughout the day. This may consist of cardio exercise to target calories or weight lifting exercises to build more muscles.  A good start gives you motivation to finish it. So starting the day with just a simple brisk walk will be enough and it may even improve your morning. Finishing one simple task is rewarding. Make sure you complete your 40 minutes of daily cardio, though you may increase it to an hour if you only do brisk walks.

Do some variations

You don’t have to stick to one cardio exercise; do some other variations that you can easily enjoy without bothering you. There are a lot of activities that may include sports, hiking, trekking, walking, dancing and many more.

Build muscles and increase basal metabolism

It has been proven that the bigger muscle mass you have the greater is the increase in the metabolic rate. More muscle means more need for calories for it to function. So it is a good plan to have at least 3 times a week to practice some strength training and weight lifts. You may start with the basics like targeting the core muscles and with the help of a trainer move onto more difficult and effective exercises.

Give yourself a rest and a treat

Always have days of rest for your muscles to grow and to replenish. Weight lifts are strenuous and you should focus on alternating days, say two days in between workouts or at least a day.

As we said at the beginning, learning how to lose 20 pounds in a month is not easy and actually going through such a process is challenging. Following these simple tips won’t guarantee that you will lose 20 pounds in month but it is a step towards the right direction. All you have to do is to focus and continue doing it until you meet your targets. It may take more than a month but at least the tips suggested above are both safe and effective.

What is your take? Did you ever tried to lose weight fast in a period of a month?

About the author

Hara Hagikalfa

Hara Hagikalfa completed her BSc(Hons) in Health and Exercise Science, Sports Science and Medicine. She is a certified Personal Trainer and Pilates instructor. You can learn more about Hara and connect with her on Facebook