Losing weight is a challenge for many people. Along with a controlled diet and exercise, it requires commitment and dedication. So, if you are looking to lose 20 pounds fast and in a healthy way to finally achieve your summer body goals, or simply want to feel healthier and more confident, here, we’ll share some proven methods to drop extra pounds quickest and safely.
The statistics for obesity are shocking. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), over two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese. Carrying excess weight puts you at risk of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Hence, it is advised to keep your weight maintained at recommended BMI.
Want to lose more? Read how to lose 50 pounds in a healthy way.
Note: These strategies are proven successful for many people. However, everyone’s situation is different, it’s best to consult with a doctor or registered dietitian before starting any weight-loss plan.
Table of Content
- Proven Strategies to Lose 20 Pounds Quickly and Safely
- Workout to Lose 20 Pounds Fast
- Final Words
Proven Strategies to Lose 20 Pounds Quickly and Safely
Weight loss goals are mostly left halfway because of a lack of motivation and a specified reason to lose extra pounds. Do not try to overdo yourself to drop 20 pounds in a month – that’s not a healthy way, aim for 2 – 3 months. According to fitness experts and dietitians, losing 1 – 2 pounds a week is safe and healthy. (2 pounds x 8 weeks = 16 pounds in 2 months)
There are multiple approaches to achieve weight loss goals, below are some strategies for men and women that are marked as healthy and effective to lose 20 pounds in 3 months;
1. Cut Down On Refined Carbs and Sugar
Sugar is not your friend when you want to lose weight. It has zero nutritional value and only contributes to adding empty calories. Moreover, it triggers insulin resistance, which is one of the major causes of obesity. So, cut down on sugary drinks, desserts, and processed foods as they will only help you pack on the pounds.
Instead, focus on consuming complex carbs as they are rich in fiber and other nutrients. Fiber helps keep you full for longer and also aids in digestion. Dietitians recommend adding 5% carbs to your daily diet on a weight loss plan.
Best carbs resources for a weight loss diet:
- Whole grains
A vegetarian diet is highly effective for weight loss.
2. Incorporate Healthy Fats into Your Diet
Contrary to popular belief, not all fats are bad for you. In fact, your body needs certain types of fats for optimal health. Healthy fats help burn stubborn belly fat, promote fullness, and also reduce the risk of heart disease.
Keto is the most popular and trendy diet these days that speed up weight loss. Ketosis recommends adding 75% fat to your daily diet – but healthy fats, derived from the above mentioned resources.
Some good sources of healthy fats are:
- Unsalted nuts
- Oily fish like Solomon and mackerel
3. Eat More Protein
Protein is an essential nutrient that plays a key role in weight loss. It helps boost metabolism, reduce hunger, and ensure satiety. Furthermore, it also helps preserve muscle mass during weight loss.
A recent study showed that people who increased protein intake by 15% felt the feeling of fullness for longer. In addition, protein lowers the level of ghrelin (a hormone that stimulates hunger), which means you’ll intake fewer calories and carbs – best for weight loss.
Good sources of protein are:
- Dairy products
4. Drink Plenty of Water
Water is essential for our bodies as it plays a superior role in several bodily functions. It also helps keep us hydrated and feeling full. In fact, drinking water before meals can help you eat less and lose weight. So, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
A survey showed that people who drank more water with low cards diet lost 40% more weight. Below is a water drinking guide throughout the day by professional dietitians;
- 1 glass of lukewarm water as you wake up in the morning.
- 1 – 2 glasses of water before the meal.
- 2 liters of water every day (for a healthy man).
5. Avoid Eating Late At Night
Eating late at night can lead to weight gain as our bodies don’t have enough time to burn off the calories. In addition, late-night eating can also disrupt our sleep patterns, which can further lead to weight gain.
So, it’s best to avoid eating late at night. Finish your meal at least 2 – 3 hours before bedtime and walk for 15 minutes to enhance digestion.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is critical for our overall health and well-being. It also plays an important role in weight loss. Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain as it increases the levels of ghrelin (hunger hormone) and reduces the levels of leptin (satiety hormone). So, make sure to get at least 7 – 8 hours of sleep every night.
A study showed that overweight women who slept 7+ hours each night lost 30% more weight than those who had irregular sleeping patterns.
7. Stay Committed to Your Goal
The most important thing to remember is that you have to be patient and consistent with your efforts to see results. Weight loss is a gradual process, and losing 20 pounds isn’t going to happen suddenly – it may take 3 months. So don’t give up if you don’t see results immediately, stay motivated and stick to your weight loss plan.
Speaking of the experience, a realistic weight loss plan on paper works better than one in your mind. It becomes easier to follow the routine, plus you hold yourself accountable for every cheated meal or missed day at the gym.
8. Intense Cardio
As we all know, losing extra pounds means burning more calories than our body requires. And if we want to lose quickly, we need to burn more! Cardio is an excellent way to burn calories and fat to promote weight loss. In fact, a recent study showed that people who did 20+ minutes of extreme cardio four times a week lost 8% more weight than those who didn’t.
So, if you want to lose 20 lbs fast, make sure to incorporate intense cardio sessions into your workout routine. If you normally burn 300 – 400 calories with exercise, powerful cardio will easily boost that to 600 – 700 per session, and that’s great for losing weight fast.
Some enjoyable and result oriented cardio exercises are;
- Cycling (Spinning)
- Jumping rope
See how much weight can you lose in 2 weeks by including intense cardio in your routine.
9. Weight Training
In addition to intense cardio, weight training is also important for losing weight quickly. Weight lifting requires force and energy that increase muscle strength. It also helps build muscle mass, which in turn boosts metabolism and burns more calories.
Resistant training also improves muscle endurance. A study showed weight lifting not only reduces body weight but also reduces the blood sugar level in diabetes patients.
Try the following weight training for strength and weight loss;
- Weighted squats
- Conventional and sumo deadlifts
- Overhead press
- Bench press
- Farmer walk
- Dips and chin-ups
10. Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a popular weight loss method that involves alternating periods of fasting and eating. This method can help boost metabolism, reduce hunger, and promote weight loss. In fact, a recent study showed that people who practiced intermittent fasting lost 3 – 8% of their body weight in just 8 weeks.
I personally prefer intermittent fasting for weight loss goals because it improves the discipline of sticking to a plan. It can be difficult to fast for 16 hours straight, but it becomes easier when you get used to it.
Workout to Lose 20 Pounds Fast
These are some of the best and proven ways to lose 20 pounds quickly and safely. So, if you are looking to lose weight fast, make sure to incorporate these methods into your weight loss plan. While diet and exercise are important, adding in some extra methods like drinking plenty of water, intense cardio, weight training, and intermittent fasting can help boost metabolism and promote weight loss.
And most importantly, don’t give up on your goals, stay motivated and consistent with your efforts, and you will surely see results.
Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs)
How long should it take to lose 20 pounds?
The answer to this question depends on various factors like age, current weight, activity level, diet, etc. But in general, it is safe to lose 1 – 2 pounds per week. That means, it should take around 2 to 3 months to lose 20 pounds safely and in a healthy way.
How fast can I lose 20 pounds realistically?
It is not realistic or safe to lose 20 pounds in a week or two. While some people may be able to lose a lot of weight quickly at first, it is usually not sustainable and the weight is often quickly gained back. So, if you want to lose 20 pounds fast, aim for 1 – 2 pounds per week.
Can I lose 20 pounds in a month?
Losing 20 pounds in a month is achievable but it’s not safe and healthy that’s why dietitians do not recommend it. This is a drastic drop in weight which can lead to many health issues in your body.
Is it realistic to lose 20 pounds in 3 months?
Yes, it is realistic to lose 20 pounds in 3 months. However, it requires commitment and dedication. Losing weight quickly often means making some lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. So, if you want to lose 20 pounds in 3 months, make sure you are prepared to make some changes to your daily routine such as eating healthy, cutting carbs intake, eating more protein, sleeping 8 hours each night, 30 minutes of exercise 4 to 5 days a week.