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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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          Last Updated on February 18, 2019

          8 Best Cardio Workouts for Efficient Weight Loss

          8 Best Cardio Workouts for Efficient Weight Loss

          When people think of cardio, usually a boring treadmill, elliptical machine, or other mundane activity comes to mind. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

          When you’re short on time or easily distracted, there are a variety of fat-burning cardio alternatives that will increase your body’s metabolism, boost weight loss, and keep you interested.

          Here’s a list of different types of cardio workouts:

          • Steady State (Burns less fat, but isn’t as demanding on the body)
          • Interval Training (Burns more fat)
          • HIIT
          • Spinning
          • Stairs
          • Weight Training (Supersets) short rest periods
          • Weight Training (Compound Sets) short rest periods
          • Machine Circuit Training

          And I’m going to talk about each of them in detail:

          1. Steady State

          Steady state cardio involves working at a low to moderate intensity — around 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate, for a sustained period of time. This type of cardio doesn’t burn a huge number of calories, but it does burn a high percentage of fat tissue for fuel, and it isn’t too draining.

          An example of steady state cardio would be a long outdoor walk at a moderate pace. Interval training, on the other hand, is much more intense.

          2. Interval Training

          Similar to HIIT but with exercises that are slightly longer in duration, interval training alternates levels of intensity. For example, if you enjoy running, you would run or sprint for 30 seconds, then bring down your heart rate and walk for two minutes.

          Pick two intensities per interval, usually one at 85 percent of your maximum heart rate and the other at 60 percent, and alternate between them. I find that 85% for 30 seconds and 60% for one minute, not only burns more calories but increases my energy level as well.

          Another example would be jumping rope. Jump rope for two minutes, rest for one minute. Begin again, this time jumping rope for one minute and resting for one minute. On the third and final round, jump rope for 30 seconds and resting for 30 seconds. Repeat five sets of this routine.

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          3. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

          Have a busy schedule? Fifteen minutes a few times a week is all you need. HIIT is an extremely popular workout because it can be done quickly, burn calories in a short amount of time, and can even be done in your home or during a lunch break at work. And the best part – You don’t need any equipment.

          With the use of your body weight, HIIT is typically 20 seconds of high intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of active rest which means your heart rate remains elevated for the entire 15-minute workout.

          Check out this HIIT routine by Fitness Blender: 15 Minute HIIT Workout

          4. Spinning

          Spinning is a great way to get your heart up and keep it up in a 45-minute spin class. Our thighs and back are our largest muscles so they work the hardest.

          To get the most out of spinning, try to stay out of the saddle throughout an entire spin class. That way, you are forced to hold up your body weight which burns more calories and increases intensity.

          It’s also great for stabilizing and building strong core muscles, versus cycling outdoors, where most of the time you are sitting in the saddle and going for distance (steady-state cardio).

          5. Stairs

          One of my favorite places to get out of the gym for cardio and trim fat from my thighs and butt is the Santa Monica Stairs, near California’s most popular beach. Climbing 170 steps a few times builds the glutes, leans the thighs, strengthens the calves, and builds endurance.

          So, if the gym is not your scene and you love the outdoors, climbing stairs is a great alternative. Find a place with multiple steps, do six or seven rounds, and you’ve easily burned around 600 calories.

          6. Supersets

          A superset is two exercises that work opposing muscle groups, such as biceps and triceps, quadriceps and hamstrings, or different body parts such as the lower and upper body with little to no recovery between sets.

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          The superset may include two to five sets of 8 to 15 repetitions of each exercise or more.[1]

          So, if you love to workout with weight-training but aren’t really feeling cardio, supersets with no more than 30-second rest periods between exercises will keep your heart rate up. Not only will you build muscle, you will burn fat!

          For example, say you are doing a leg workout, five sets of exercises with high reps and low weight is all it takes to turn your weight-training into a cardio workout.

          Here’s one of my leg training workouts:

          i. Dumbbell Step-Ups on a secure bench or box (4×15, each leg)

          ii. Front Squat (4×15)

          iii. Wide Stance Dumbbell Goblet (4×15)

          iv. Leg Extension (4×15)

          v. Leg Curl (4×15)

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            Photo Credit: Shape Magazine

            vi. Front Squat


              Photo Credit: Stack

              vii. Wide Stance Dumbbell Goblet Squat

              viii. Leg Extension

              ix. Leg Curl

                Photo Credit: T Nation

                7. Compound Sets

                Compound exercises are exercises that recruit muscles in the entire body, such as pull-ups, squats, bench press, etc. However, a compound set simply means to “compound” the number of different exercises into a series of sets with little or no recovery between, similar to supersets.

                  This may be accomplished by performing four to five exercises for the same muscle group, opposing muscle groups or total body exercises performed in succession such as full body extensions, followed by squat/cleans and complete the compound set of compound exercises with lunges with biceps curls.

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                  Compound sets put stress on the body and are great for expending additional calories while strength-training.

                  8. Machine Weight Training Circuit

                  Like compound exercises, a machine circuit workout targets the entire body, upper body, lower body, or core. The difference is, with the use of machines instead of free weights, muscle strength is increased by by making your muscles work against weight.[2] By limiting rest periods between exercises to 30 seconds, your metabolism will go into over-drive!

                  Machines also give you better control over the exercises, which decreases risk of injury.

                  Here’s a machine circuit training example: Muscle and Strength Machine Workout

                  The Bottom Line

                  The above-mentioned workouts should be completed within 30 minutes, unless you’re taking a class which is typically 45 to 60 minutes, giving you time to get on with the rest of your day.

                  By keeping your rest periods to a minimum between exercises, your heart rate will stay elevated and you will burn more calories, get lean, and have more energy.

                  Don’t be a gym rat, spending unnecessary time doing lengthy workouts that give you minimum results. For efficient weight loss, perform these workouts three times a week and watch the fat melt away while achieving your fitness goals.

                  More Resources About Weight Loss

                  Featured photo credit: Spencer Dahl via unsplash.com

                  Reference

                  [1] Mountain Life Fitness: Super sets, compound sets and giant sets
                  [2] Better Health Channel: Resistance training – health benefits

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