Advertising
Advertising

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

shutterstock_363999569

    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.

    Advertising

    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

    Advertising

    Repeat for 3 sets.

    End with 20 minutes of slow-paced jogging.

    Week Two: Dieting

    shutterstock_305974658

      “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.

      Advertising

      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

      shutterstock_345372893

        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

        Advertising

        shutterstock_276808691

          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

          More by this author

          Lim Kairen

          Content Writer

          If You Want To Be Successful In Life, You Shouldn’t Say These 7 Phrases Easily Here Is What Your Farts Reveal About Your Digestive Health Everyone Is Talented In Their Own Way: The 9 Types Of Intelligence You Should Know Psychologists Explain How Boring Buildings Are Harmful To Our Mental Health Upgrade Your Water: 6 Things To Add To Water For Better Digestive Health

          Trending in Exercise

          1 8 Yoga Poses to Help You Achieve Strong and Toned Inner Thighs 2 3 Home Exercises To Fix Your Rounded Shoulders In One Month 3 Workout Every Day: Thursday Music Playlist 4 Cut down on drinking! Time for a post-holiday detox 5 How To Get A Six-Pack In One Month

          Read Next

          Advertising
          Advertising
          Advertising

          Last Updated on January 5, 2021

          15 Fitness Goals That Will Help You Live a Healthier Life This Year

          15 Fitness Goals That Will Help You Live a Healthier Life This Year

          Starting a journey with fitness goals is never easy, and you must remember this is not a crash diet; it is a lifestyle. Don’t panic and think you have to do it all at once, as this will most likely overwhelm you. You may also find yourself giving up because crash diets are not sustainable.

          The best approach is to make simple changes to your daily habits, and over time, you will notice all your bad habits have turned into good ones.

          Accordingly to a study by Phillippa Lally, a health psychology researcher at University College London, on average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact.[1] And how long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances.

          Here are 15 fitness goals to help you on your journey:

          1. Drink More Water

          W.H. Auden said it best when he said,

          “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.”

          With any diet, the most important thing to remember is to stay hydrated. Drinking water will support your body with digestion, transporting nutrients to your bones and muscles, and even improving cognitive function.

          Ideally, you want to drink about half your body weight in ounces per day, i.e. if you weight 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water a day.

          2. Add Some Lemon and Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Water

          It is recommended we sleep for about 8 hours a day, but this means we spend about 8 hours per day dehydrated. Therefore, hydrating your body first thing in the morning is absolutely necessary.

          The best way to achieve hydration is by starting your day with a glass or even two of water. For that extra boost, add lemon juice and ½ teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. The lemon and apple cider vinegar will help your body with detoxifying, cleansing, and digestion.

          Advertising

          3. Stop Drinking Your Calories

          Yes, keeping hydrated is important, but try to avoid high-calorie drinks, such as soft drinks, specialty coffee, and juices as they are full of fast-acting sugar.

          Really push yourself to stop drinking such drinks, and before you know it, you will notice the benefits.

          4. Start Stretching More Often

          The benefits are vast and the repercussions of failing to stretch can be dramatic.

          Do yourself a favor and always stretch before and after a workout. This will promote a healthy cool down, improve flexibility, and reduce next day aches. Failure to stretch can lead to injures and muscle damage.

          Here’re some simple stretching exercises to get you started: 15 Static Stretching Exercises to Totally Enhance Your Workout Routine

          5. Add in Some High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

          You may have heard about HIIT training because it is the big thing right now, and believe me when I say that it works and should absolutely be included in your fitness goals.

          The benefits include lower body fat, increased stamina, leaner muscles, and fantastic hormonal benefits.

          HIIT is where you perform an intense exercise for a very short time frame (about 30 seconds), followed by a slower exercise for about 90 seconds.

          Performing a HIIT routine for 1-3 times a week will lead to great results.

          6. Focus on Your Breathing When You Work Out

          For the most part, breathing is second nature, but when exercising, you may find yourself holding your breath, and this can have negative consequences.

          Advertising

          It is important to consciously take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth, as this will fill your lungs with oxygen and give you the necessary energy to continue your workout.

          7. Build More Lean Muscle

          We all want to have lean muscles. Not only does it look good, but it also has great health benefits, including:

          • Improved posture
          • Reduced body fat
          • Improved metabolism
          • Strong bones
          • Protects and improves joint health
          • Improved stamina

          You can build lean muscle by lifting weights or through other specific exercises. Learn more about building muscle in this guide: How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle and Increase Fat Loss?

          8. Decrease Body Fat

          This may seem like an obvious one, but it is one of the most important steps to a healthier you. Reducing your body fat has a lot of benefits such as:

          • Improved joints and tendons
          • Lowered risk of diabetes
          • Reduced risk of heart disease
          • Reduced inflammation
          • Better performance and endurance
          • Improved appearance and confidence
          • Better hormonal profiles in your body

          Remember, it is not a race to see how quickly you can decrease your body fat. Healthy weight loss is around 1-2 pounds a week for your fitness goals.[2]

          Crash dieting or pushing yourself too much in the gym can lead to you achieving an unrealistic target, and you may find yourself gaining all the weight you have lost.

          Think of it as a lifestyle, and take it slow and steady.

          9. Eat More Greens

          What you eat is the most important factor in a healthier living plan. It is important to ensure you are getting as many nutrients and vitamins from the food you are eating as possible.

          Focus on dark, leafy greens, as they will provide you with a wide array of vitamins, minerals, nutrients and antioxidants—all of which you body needs!

          Don’t forget to avoid processed and manufactured food. They are usually high in fat and have minimal vitamins.

          Advertising

          10. Start Eliminating Sugar

          Another top goal you can start immediately is reducing the amount of sugar you consume. It also won’t cost you anything, and will save you money and improve your health in the long run.

          There’s no surprise we eat too much sugar, and this should be one of your top fitness goals moving forward. Cutting out liquid calories is a great way to start. If you’re looking for something sweet, turn to fruits or even dark chocolate.

          Be careful to eliminate sugar from your diet slowly. Cutting it out all at once can cause symptoms of sugar withdrawal, which can drive you back to sugary snacks[3].

          Common symptoms of sugar withdrawal

            11. Allow Yourself to Rest and Recover

            The workout is where you go to break down muscle tissue, and it builds back through proper nutrition, rest, and recovery[4]. It might be tempting to go to the gym for two hours every day as hard as you can to achieve your goals, but that’s not the most effective approach.

            If you don’t allow for proper rest and recovery, it can set you back a few steps. Your body is more prone to injury and even illness as you can weaken your immune system from all the progressive intensity the body is facing.

            12. Get More Sleep

            When you are deprived of sleep, you make it next to impossible to achieve your health and fitness goals. Lack of sleep can increase stress hormones in your body, and over time these can lead to inflammation and chronic diseases.[5]

            Make sleep a priority to let your body heal and rejuvenate. A good approach is 7 to 8 hours. Also, allow yourself some wind-down time and a pre-bed routine to help get more consistent sleep every night.

            13. Focus on the Habit, Not the Result

            It’s easy to get caught up in trying to achieve a certain look or shed time off of your mile, but the more important focus is on the habit that will bring you closer to those fitness goals.

            Don’t look at the scale, the tape measurer, or the body fat percentage. Focus on the habits that will lead to those achievements.

            Advertising

            Don’t compare yourself to where others are; you’re right where you need to be.

            14. Take Your Fitness Outside

            This may be hard depending on the weather you experience, but the more you can be outside exposed to fresh air and sunlight, the better.

            Being stuck in the gym doing cardio while staring at a wall won’t do much for your mental stimulation.

            Try to challenge your body more by getting outside. Hiking is great and also just running and walking. Give yourself more access to nature and a constantly changing environment. It also beats breathing in that recycled gym air.

            15. Do at Least One Pull Up

            This is a great last goal to focus on because it’s a great test of strength and to see how you are progressing with your fitness.

            If you haven’t been able to do one, you know what a challenge it can be. Having the goal of doing at least one pull up will not only show you how far you’ve progressed, but it is a great way to become dedicated and motivated.

            The Bottom Line

            These fitness goals will become more attainable through the year if you’re consistent with your fitness. Set yourself a concrete timeline for when you want to accomplish some or all of these in order to create realistic goals in the short term. In fact, start making one of these goals happen this month!

            More on Setting Fitness Goals

            Featured photo credit: Ivan Torres via unsplash.com

            Reference

            Read Next