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Diet & Nutrition, Fitness

How to Lose 10 Pounds in Three Weeks: 20 Simple Tips

Samantha is an everyday health expert with a background in International Public Health and Psychology.
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Weight loss has become a sticky subject of confusion, conflicting information, and myths. Sustainable weight loss is not a fad diet or program, it’s a lifestyle.

With these 20 weight loss tips, you can learn how to lose 10 pounds in three weeks. Prepare to set yourself up for continued progress every week!

A word of caution: These are general tips for individuals who are healthy overall (no stressful lifestyle, sleep issues, digestive issues, nor poor mood regulation) and already have experience in exercising. These tips are also not recommended for individuals over the age of 40. Consult a specialist if you are unsure whether these tips are appropriate for you.

20 Tips on How to Lose 10 Pounds in Three Weeks

how to lose weight

    1. The Golden Rule: Calories In vs. Calories Out

    This simple fact simply cannot be overruled – to lose 10 pounds in three weeks, you must burn more calories than you consume. A recent study found that eating a low-calorie diet (400-800 total caloric intake per day) resulted in 20% weight loss.[1]

    Always consult your physician or dietician as you start to take control of your caloric intake.

    2. Set Attainable Goals And Track Your Progress

    A recent study found that setting a weight loss goal can lead to greater weight loss than not setting a weight loss goal, so go ahead and try setting one![2] Try making your goals realistic and start small.

    Here is an example of an easily achievable goal progression:

    • Lose weight each week
    • Lose 1-3 pounds per week
    • Lose 10 pounds in three weeks
    • Fit into size 30 jeans!

    3. Consider Skipping Breakfast

    If you want to lose those 10 pounds in three weeks, it’s time to shift your ideas about breakfast.

    Intermittent fasting is a successful strategy for weight loss – it even shows promise for improving glycemic control.[3] Restrict yourself to a smaller eating window by skipping breakfast and only eating from 12-8 pm. You will reduce your daily calorie intake without restricting your lunch and dinner!

    4. Switch Out Your Sodas for Water

    A recent scientific review found that replacing caloric beverages (sodas, juices) with water was the most effective strategy for weight loss achievement.[4] Instead of drinking diet soda, drink cold lemon water. You’ll feel full longer between meals, and because of the lemon juice in the water, your body will digest food slower and can even help keep your energy levels stable.

    Try this simple tip out today and see the pounds shed off!

    5. Make Coffee Your New Best Friend

    Coffee has received a bad reputation in the past, however, a recent study found that more coffee consumption is related to less body weight. [5]

    Take your coffee black, with no added sugar and you’ll be on your way to losing 10 pounds in three weeks!

    6. Make Green or Fermented Teas Your Second Best Friends

    Green tea is widely regarded in weight loss treatment due to its abundance of wonderful catechins. Fermented teas such as oolong and black tea are also effective as green tea for weight loss, so drink up! [6]

    7. Always Check for Added Sugar

    Sugar has demonstrated worryingly strong links with obesity, diabetes, and heart disease (to name a few).[7][8]

    But even if you do not add it yourself, you should check the ingredients of your sauces or packaged foods. Even self-proclaimed health foods can be riddled with added sugar!


    8. Cut Out Simple Carbohydrates

    Simple/refined carbohydrates are quickly absorbed, spiking your blood sugar and insulin levels in the process.[9] As a result, you will feel hunger and cravings come back again in no time!

    Avoid all sugar or refined grains by avoiding the following foods:

    • Cookies, candy and sweets
    • Packaged cereals
    • White bread and rice
    • Cakes

    9. Scale Down Your Portion Sizes

    It pays to become aware of how much you are eating. Exercising portion control and slowly scaling down can determine how much weight you can lose in a week.

    Even small reductions of 10-20% are often enough to tip the balance and trigger weight loss. Try measuring your portions more carefully and don’t underestimate the power of using smaller bowls![10]

    10. Keep Healthy Food On Standby for Stacks

    Snacking during the day instead of delayed eating promotes weight loss and improves energy metabolism.[11]

    Keep healthy snacks within reach to stay on track with losing 10 pounds in three weeks! Here are some healthy ideas to stock your cupboard:

    • Whole fruit
    • Handful of nuts
    • Hard boiled eggs
    • Vegetables

    11. Spice Up Your Life

    Breathe new life into your dishes and reinforce your weight loss efforts with the power of cayenne pepper! Capsaicin from cayenne pepper and other spicy foods helps to prevent fat production in our bodies.[12]

    12. Top Up Your Protein Intake

    A recent study shows that healthy protein intake is crucial to preserving healthy muscles during weight loss, so don’t forget your protein![13]

    Here are a number of protein-rich food sources:

    • Lean beef
    • Skinless chicken breasts
    • Eggs
    • Salmon
    • Low-fat yogurt

    13. Cut the Carbs

    Eating a low carbohydrate diet turns on the fat loss switch in your body.[14] The foods you need to really limit for the next three weeks include processed carbohydrates (bread, cookies, pasta, rice) and simple sugars (candy, fruit juice, and soda).

    You can easily keep hunger and cravings at bay with these nutrient dense complex carbs:

    • Vegetables
    • Fruit
    • Brown rice
    • Whole Grains
    • Beans and legumes

    All in all, your daily carbohydrate quota should not exceed 75 grams. Don’t worry about counting carbohydrates excessively or reading the label for every food you eat. Instead follow this simple tip, if it’s white or comes in a bag or box, don’t eat it and you’re most likely eating the right amount.

    14. Forget About Fast Food

    No matter how healthy it may claim to be, fast food is almost always laden with heart-clogging trans fats, excessive sugar, and salt that can set you back on your journey to lose 10 pounds in three weeks.[15]

    Worse yet, these meals are high in calories whilst low in nutritional value, making them a terrible choice for fuel. Before you know it, you will have broken the cardinal rule of calories in vs. calories out!


    15. Watch Out for “Hidden Calories”

    There’s no need to completely forgo your favorite condiments, just make sure you are aware of their true caloric impact. It’s easy to go overboard and negate much of your hard work!

    Go easy with the following condiments and toppings, they are surprisingly heavy in calories:

    • Mayonnaise
    • Salad dressing
    • Cream
    • Cheese
    • Butter
    • Oils

    16. Choose Low-Medium GI Foods

    Studies shows that a lower GI foods are associated with weight loss.[16] Check out the GI scale and choose from the variety of low-medium GI foods.

    Your insulin levels will remain under control, you will feel fuller for longer and find it easier to lose weight!

    17. Stop Doing Hours of Slow, Boring Cardio

    Forget about spending hours every day on the treadmill to burn calories. The better way to exercise for weight and fat loss is to do interval style resistance training workouts, also known as circuit training.

    Circuit training reduces body mass and increases your energy.[17]


    Choose a routine that uses compound lifts such as presses, squats, and deadlifts. These exercises recruit the largest amount of muscles per movement, ideal for maintaining lean muscle mass and trimming body fat.

    Circuit workouts are easy to perform and are great if you want to lose 10 pounds in three weeks. You can do them with barbells, dumbbells, and machines at your gym. One of the best ways is bodyweight workouts. This is because they can be done anywhere, are effective, and don’t require any equipment.

    You can see an example of a circuit training workout here:

    When you train this way, the key is to choose exercises that train several muscle groups (squats, push-ups, pull-ups, shoulder presses, etc.). This will make the workout more challenging and burn more calories. Select 4-5 exercises to ensure all of your major muscle groups are being trained.

    You’ll perform each exercise, one after the other, with no rest between sets. Only rest after you’ve performed the last exercise of the circuit. Rest as little as possible between circuits. Do 8-10 reps per set and repeat 3-5 times every workout.

    Below is a sample bodyweight exercise circuit training workout for fat loss:

    • Squats
    • Push Ups
    • Burpees
    • Pull Ups

    Here’s a circuit workout that can be done with a dumbbell or kettlebell.

    • Two-handed Swings
    • Standing Shoulder Press
    • Squats
    • Arm Rows

    If you are just getting started and want to lose weight fast, give yourself a chance to get used to the intensity of these workouts. Rest as long as you have to between circuits, and do as many reps as you can, with 10 per exercise being your goal. Stick to it, and you’ll be doing these workouts like a pro.

    18. Go Walking or Cycling

    Consistent small actions soon add up to big changes. A recent study found that regular exercise is effective for maintaining weight loss progress.[18] For this reason, why not choose to walk or cycle whenever you can?

    If you’re physically able, there is no excuse. Take the stairs over escalators and lifts!

    19. Get Enough Sleep

    Sleep is highly underrated for weight loss. Forget about the 6-hour minimum claim; many of us require 8-9 hours to operate at peak efficiency.

    Both duration and quality of sleep will have a great influence on hormones that control body composition. In fact, poor sleep worsens the outcomes of weight loss treatments![19]


    20. Be Careful Of Liquid Calories!

    We all know alcohol dehydrates and damages our liver and kidneys. But it can also decrease your chances of long-term weight loss.[20]

    You may be surprised to know a beer can equate to 150kcal, 125kcal for a glass of red wine, and a whopping 400Kcal for a single sweet Piña Colada! Instead, try sticking to tonic water with a slice of lime. Your body will thank you!


    Don't have time for the full article? Read this.

    How to Lose 10 Pounds in Three Weeks: 20 Simple Tips

    Start of slow and make realistic goals.

    Calories are key: you most burn more calories than you consume.

    Try switching out sodas for water, but coffee and certain teas can help you with weight loss.

    Try intermittent fasting, scaling down portion size, and cutting out simple carbohydrates (if it’s white or comes in a bag or box, don’t eat it and you’re most likely eating the right amount).

    Keep in mind that as you lose weight you need to also build health muscle. Try circuit training and walking whenever possible.

    Final Thoughts

    So there you have the 20 simple lifestyle tips that will support you in achieving healthy weight loss. Adopt as many as possible and you will easily lose 10 pounds or more in three weeks!

    Again, when in doubt, always consult a specialist like dietitians or fitness coaches before adopting any of the above tips because everyone’s physical and mental condition is different.


    Featured photo credit: Lecic via shutterstock.com


    [1]Nutrients: Very Low-Calorie Ketogenic Diet: A Safe and Effective Tool for Weight Loss in Patients With Obesity and Mild Kidney Failure
    [2]Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention: The Effects of Behavioral Weight Loss and Weight Loss Goal Setting in Cardiac Rehabilitation
    [3]Canadian Family Physician: Intermittent fasting and weight loss
    [4]Nutricion Hospitalaria: Effect of water consumption on weight loss: a systematic review
    [5]Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism: The Interaction between Coffee: Caffeine Consumption, UCP2 Gene Variation, and Adiposity in Adults—A Cross-Sectional Study
    [6]Molecules: A Review on the Weight-Loss Effects of Oxidized Tea Polyphenols
    [7]Computers in Biology and Medicine: A systematic literature review on obesity: Understanding the causes & consequences of obesity and reviewing various machine learning approaches used to predict obesity
    [8]Metabolism: Heart failure in diabetes
    [9]Harvard Edu: Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar
    [10]Nourish by WebMD: Secrets of Healthy Eating and Portion Control
    [11]Current Biology: Prolonged, Controlled Daytime Versus Delayed Eating Impacts Weight and Metabolism
    [12]Advances in Nutrition: Signaling Targets Related to Antiobesity Effects of Capsaicin: A Scoping Review
    [13]Advances in Nutrition: Preserving Healthy Muscle during Weight Loss
    [14]European Journal of Nutrition: Overweight and diabetes prevention: is a low-carbohydrate–high-fat diet recommendable?
    [15]WebMD: Where Are Trans Fats Now?
    [16]Nutrition Reviews: Low-carbohydrate diets and cardiometabolic health: the importance of carbohydrate quality over quantity
    [17]Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications: Dose-response effects of high-intensity interval neuromuscular exercise training on weight loss, performance, health and quality of life in inactive obese adults: Study rationale, design and methods of the DoIT trial
    [18]Physiology & Behavior: Is regular exercise an effective strategy for weight loss maintenance?
    [19]The Journal of Endocrinology: The links between sleep duration, obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus
    [20]Obesity (Silver Spring): Alcohol Intake and Weight Loss during an Intensive Lifestyle Intervention for Adults with Overweight/Obesity and Diabetes
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