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Complete Guide To Losing 20 Pounds In A Month

Complete Guide To Losing 20 Pounds In A Month

An important event is coming up in a month’s time. One that might require you to lose 20 pounds otherwise the dress or tuxedo you plan to wear will be close to impossible to put on. A glance in the mirror and it’s a confirmation that you had let loose the past couple of months gaining the unwanted blubber around the waist. Most of us have been here before. The need to shed those pounds which we didn’t realise we had gained is real and we have nothing more than a month’s time before the big day arrives.

The need to lose 20 pounds might seem like an unachievable feat only made possible by fitness gurus. But guess what? It is possible, but like what Rocky Balboa said to Johnson in the movie Creed, “You’ve got to work hard. If you don’t do that. I’m out”. You have to keep that end point in mind every second of every day, and you have to follow the plan that we are about to present forth to you below:

Week One: Prepare Your Mind and Getting Used to The Pain

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    This is an important first step to success and it is advisable not to skip it. With a piece of paper and pen, ask yourself why you need to lose those 20 pounds. Make sure the word “Why” gives you a big enough reason to do it. Just simply telling yourself “I want to look good” will not motivating enough as the reason has to be more specific. An example of a big enough reason will be “I want to look fit and good on John’s Wedding Day that Melissa (a long time crush) is going to notice my change”. Now, paste that piece of paper on the wall next to your bed so when you wake up, you will see it. Once you have established that, it’s time to get down to work.

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    You have to be ready to constantly increase your pain threshold when you go through a series of circuit trainings. According to scientists at McMaster University, circuit trainings of 6 days a week and a low calorie, high protein diet could be the holy grail of all weight loss programs. So if you plan to lose 20 pounds in a month’s time, get rid of high calorie foods and exercise 6 days a week. Get your mind ready for the pain.

    An example circuit training is like this:

    30 seconds rests in between sets:

    30 seconds of Burpees
    30 seconds of Mountain Climbers
    30 seconds of Push Ups
    30 seconds of Knee lifts on the spot
    30 seconds of Planking
    30 seconds of Bicycle Sit ups

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    Repeat for 3 sets.

    End with 20 minutes of slow-paced jogging.

    Week Two: Dieting

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      “Great Abs are made in the kitchen”. I’m sure many have heard this quote before and it is very true. This is the hardest step to adhere to because there are so much temptations around us in terms of convenience and cravings. But do note that short term gratifications will not make you a happy person in the long run. The rule of thumb for dieting is to get rid of high calorie foods such as white bread, ice-cream, potato chips, soft drinks and all the other processed foods that you know are not good for you in your refrigerator right now. Instead, stock up on high-protein foods such as lean meats, fish and green leafy vegetables. For the next few weeks, your aim will be to eat high protein and low calorie foods.

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      For a more accurate measurement of how much calories you need to cut down to shed 20 pounds, you will have to shed 500 calories per week to lose 1 pound per week, this is the general rule of thumb without any exercise.

      Week Three: Don’t Turn Down The Intensity

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        By now, circuit training exercises might be a little too mundane to you and there is a very high tendency to lower down the intensity a little. Some might even turn to low intensity exercises such as hot yoga which is a huge craze now. Many believe that hot yoga helps the body to “release toxins” but little do people know that there is a huge risk of getting heat exhaustion during hot yoga. So it is not advisable to be tempted to be swayed by low intensity workouts which you believe can help speed up the process of weight loss. The only sure way to lose weight is sheer determination and hard work.

        Week Four: Measure Your Progress

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          So you are finally used to eating clean and having six days of work out a week has become part of your lifestyle. Now, it is the time to reap what you sow. You may or may not have reached your goal but you will definitely see the results. However, do take note that you should not turn obsessive with your diet plan as it will be detrimental to your health. The rule of the game is to stay away from foods with high carbohydrates, eat foods with high protein and are wholesome and always challenge yourself to do more when exercising.

          Featured photo credit: Constantin Stanciu via shutterstock.com

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          Published on July 9, 2020

          10 Easy At-Home Leg Toning Workouts for Women

          10 Easy At-Home Leg Toning Workouts for Women

          As you grow older, it becomes hard to balance and have stability in your joints if you’re not engaging in leg toning workouts. You start losing muscle mass, strength, and function over time. Furthermore, if you’re physically inactive, you’ll lose 3 to 5 percent of muscle mass each decade after age 30.

          Thankfully, you can still score your strongest legs ever with the help of leg toning workouts. Strong legs help you support your body better and make you more attractive. Also, they are less susceptible to injuries.

          The best part? You don’t need fancy and expensive gym equipment to fire up those leg muscles. You can do that right at home.

          Ready to get strong? Here are the best at-home leg toning workout moves for women.

          1. Bodyweight Squats

            The squat is often referred to as the king of all exercises. It’s an amazing way to tone your legs. Not only does it help you build lean muscle, but it also works your abs, butt, and hips. Also, if you’re suffering from back pain, it’s a great option as it doesn’t strain your back when done right. To do a squat:

            • Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes slightly turned out.
            • Bend at the knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
            • Pause for a moment and push yourself back to your original position.
            • Repeat.

            For extra support, consider doing this near a wall. Aim for 3 sets of 15 reps twice or thrice a week.

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            2. Forward Lunges

              When it comes to strength training, lunges are one of the most popular choices. It strengthens your legs while improving mobility and stability. Lunges also sculpt your butt and abs. What’s more, it can also help improve your posture. In order to do forward lunges properly:

              • Stand tall holding a dumbbell in each hand with your feet hip-width apart.
              • Take a big step forward with your right leg and lower your body into a lunge until both knees are bent 90 degrees.
              • If possible, lightly touch the floor with your left knee.
              • Push off on your front foot to bring yourself to the starting position.
              • Repeat on the other side.

              Aim for 3 sets of 12-15 reps on each leg. You can also do it without dumbbells if you’re just getting started.

              3. Single-Leg Deadlift

                Single-leg deadlifts targets all the major muscles, such as hamstrings, glutes, and even your core. It develops strength, balance, and stability. Another advantage of doing single-leg deadlifts is that it improves mobility through the legs and hips. To do a single-leg deadlift:

                • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
                • Hold a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing the front of your thighs.
                • Lean forward and shift your weight on the left leg with your right leg extended slightly behind you.
                • Lift your extended right leg until your body is parallel to the floor, arms hanging down.
                • Slowly return to the starting position.
                • Repeat and switch legs after doing all the reps.

                Do 3 sets of 15-20 reps with a 60 second break in between. If you’re new to this, you can also do it without weights.

                4. Jumping Jacks

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                  Jumping jacks are an excellent leg toning workout move. They work your quadriceps, glutes, and hips. According to one study[1], they may also improve bone density. Additionally, this exercise also increases strength and agility. Here’s how you do jumping jacks:

                  • Stand straight with your legs together and arms to your sides.
                  • Jump into the air and spread your legs slightly beyond shoulder-width apart while your arms stretch over your head.
                  • Jump back quickly, bringing yourself to the starting position.
                  • Repeat.

                  Start with 3 sets of 10 or more repetitions of jumping jacks.

                  5. Single-Leg Calf Raise

                  See the source image

                    The single-leg calf raise strengthens both your lower legs and helps improve balance on one foot. This is important because it can improve sports performance and prevent injuries. Furthermore, it can also help prevent the onset of knee pain. Finally, it may also increase the size of your calves. To do a single-leg calf raise:

                    • Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart and arms on your hips.
                    • Bend your left knee and bring it hip-level.
                    • Lift your right heel off the ground and balance on the ball of your foot.
                    • Pause for a moment and lower your heel.
                    • Repeat and then switch sides.

                    Do 3 sets of 15-20 reps on each leg. Consider adding weight to make it more difficult.

                    6. Side Lunges

                      This leg toning workout move targets the sides of the glutes and quadricep muscles. It’s also a great exercise for tight hips and groin. Needless to say, it strengthens both your legs and boosts stability. To execute a side lunge the right way:

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                      • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hands clasped in front of your chest.
                      • Take a big step out to the right and lower your right knee until it is bent 90 degrees while pushing your butt back.
                      • Keep your left leg straight during the process.
                      • Push back and return to the starting position.
                      • Repeat.

                      Shoot for 10-12 reps and switch sides. Aim for 3 sets on each leg.

                      7. Plank Leg Lifts

                        Plank leg lifts work your butt and upper legs. With this exercise, you’ll also be able to get the benefits of a regular plank, meaning it will tone your whole body. It trains your core, glutes, and shoulders. Even better? It also trims body fat and improves posture. To do a plank leg lift:

                        • Begin in a low plank position with your body straight and weight on your forearms.
                        • Tighten your abs and raise your right leg, pausing for a moment.
                        • Lower your right leg and do the same with your left leg.
                        • Repeat.

                        Do 2-3 sets of 15 reps. Brace your abs and glutes during the process.

                        8. Glute Bridge

                          The glute bridge makes one of the best leg toning workouts for beginners. It sculpts your legs and improves hip mobility. If done correctly, it also enhances core stability. This exercise is also safe for people with chronic back pain. To do a glute bridge:

                          • Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Place your arms at your sides.
                          • Squeeze your abs and glutes.
                          • Raise your hips off the floor until your shoulder, hips, and knees are in a straight line.
                          • Pause for a few seconds and return to the starting position.
                          • Repeat.

                          Shoot for 2 sets of 10-12 reps. Do this 2-3 times a week. You can also wrap a resistance band around your thighs to challenge your endurance.

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                          9. Step-Ups

                            If you’re looking to strengthen your thighs, step-ups are an excellent choice. It targets the quadricep muscle that helps protect the knee. What’s more, it also improves balance and stability. You can do step-ups anywhere. All you have to do is find a bench, chair or any raised platform. To do a step-up properly:

                            • Begin standing facing a step.
                            • Place your right foot on the step and left foot on the floor.
                            • Press through your right heel and bring the left foot up until your left knee forms a 90-degree angle.
                            • Hold this position for a moment and then return to the starting position.
                            • Repeat and switch legs.

                            Aim for 3 sets of 12-15 reps on each side. To make it harder, hold dumbbells in your hands.

                            10. Dumbbell Good Morning

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                              Dumbbell good mornings mainly target the hamstrings, but they also improve hip and back strength. You’ll also be able to develop stronger glutes with this exercise. Overall, it’s a great exercise for toning your legs. To perform this exercise:

                              1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent while holding a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level.
                              2. Hinge forward at your hips, and lower your torso until it is parallel to the floor.
                              3. Hold this position for 4-5 seconds and return to your original position.
                              4. Repeat.

                              Aim for 3 sets of 12-15 reps.

                              Final Thoughts

                              There are so many benefits of having well-toned legs. Stronger legs not only look good, but they also give you greater independence as you age. Therefore, it’s important to take good care of them.

                              In addition to exercise, you should also consider exfoliation and moisturization to keep your legs smooth, healthy, and firm. Always remember that strong legs are important if you want to live a healthy and active life. So, start working those leg muscles today, and you’ll thank yourself later.

                              More Tips on Strengthening Your Legs

                              Featured photo credit: Sergio Pedemonte via unsplash.com

                              Reference

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