I always like to tell my clients to plan ahead. Losing a significant amount of weight in a very short period of time is just a recipe (no pun intended) for disaster. And who wants that? Not to mention that it’s just not healthy.
A healthy weight loss rate is anywhere from one half to two pounds per week. So losing 30 pounds in a month is definitely not recommended unless you’re extremely obese. (And even in those circumstances I strongly encourage you to speak with a doctor first.) It’s not out of the question, but when skinny is your goal, a slower and consistent strategy is way healthier. You’re more likely to keep the weight off too that way. And that’s the whole point, right?
Dropping 30 pounds in 4 weeks
Losing at least one pound per day is needed in order for this to work, and is about as far from simple as it gets. It means you’ll need an extremely calorie restrictive diet to see results. As in, no more than 900 calories a day roughly. And just to compare, a woman of average height who wants to lose 20 pounds safely over the course of a few months would eat 1,300-1,500 calories daily depending on her starting weight. See the issue here?
I’m not big on such quick weight loss strategies, but if you’d like to give it a shot, begin each morning with a cocktail. A raw apple cider vinegar cocktail, that is. Mix one spoonful into a heaping glass of warm water and drink up. It’s got an acquired taste, but the benefits are so worth it. Raw apple cider vinegar helps with digestion, and can curb your appetite when you add a glass in before every meal.
When losing fat fast is your thing, you’ll want to stick to a primarily raw diet. Always place emphasis on your veggie intake, but when your goal is to lose weight it’s extra important. And by eating everything raw, you’ll also benefit from the nutrients that sometimes get lost in cooking. If cutting cooked food from your diet is absolutely impossible, limit yourself to one hot meal daily, and save it for dinner. Try two eggs over a bed of raw spinach or some lentils over kale for some extra protein. Lemon juice is a great way to give it extra flavor without adding calories.
You’ll also need to drink a lot of water. A lot. Plan for one ounce for every pound you weigh. Drinking your body weight in water can be totally overwhelming, so I like to recommend setting several little goals that are simple, like drinking a liter within an hour of waking up. Drinking from smaller bottles (but refilling often) will trick your brain into thinking the day’s goal is easy. Plus there are tons of free apps out there to track how much you drank each day. Accountability is vital.
And speaking of accountability, this is definitely the time to invest in a personal trainer. Ideally you’ll want to do intense workouts, but your challenge becomes how you’re feeling. You may be a bit lethargic due to the calorie deficit. But your trainer will help with that. Aim to work together 4-5 times a week. S/he should also give you ‘homework’ for your off days.
Dropping 30 pounds in 2-3 months
Three months is a much more realistic timeframe for a 30 pound weight loss goal. It’s more simple, but don’t mistake that for easy. Remember: getting fit is a journey, not just a destination.
Portion control is everything. Start by using measuring cups to train your eye to learn what a proper portion is. Most of my clients are usually shocked by how much smaller the right size is for things, so I suggest eating your meal on a salad plate. The smaller dish makes it seem like there is way more food in front of you than there actually is. And eat colorfully! Half your plate should be vegetables, then the remaining half should be split evenly between carbs and protein. Opt for fresh, seasonal produce whenever possible, but if that’s not an option, frozen is always better than canned.
This is also a good time to start looking into supplementation. A high-quality multi vitamin is a must, but there are tons of other options out there to complement it. The choices can be overwhelming, and adding to the confusion is the fact that supplements are not regulated by the FDA. So you’ll want to choose products that are third-party tested. They’re pricier, but remember that you get what you pay for. Turn to a nutrition or fitness professional for help in choosing the right product.
Become besties with a calorie tracker while you’re at it. Many people eat roughly 20% more calories than they think, so a calorie tracker can be a great reality check. There are loads of free apps that can help you. Some get pretty fancy, even showing graphs breaking down the amount of carbs, proteins, and veggies you ate in percentages. Just make sure to track everything — both the good and the bad.
Staying active is super important, but for some added motivation, find yourself a weight loss buddy. Partner workouts are always fun but what’s more important is the built in accountability that you get when teaming up with someone. Plus it’s pretty awesome to have someone cheering you on as you work. Just make sure to return the favor.
To burn fat fast, ensure your workout routine combines cardio with heavy training. That doesn’t mean you need to go all out with Olympic weightlifting, but play around with different modalities (trainer speak for exercise equipment.) That can include kettlebells, TRX, resistance bands, or even just your bodyweight. Compound movements like burpees are great because they work multiple muscle groups at once, which makes your sweat sesh very efficient. Just be extra cautious with your form, and if you’re unsure of something ask one of the trainers working the floor at your gym. If that’s not an option, use your judgement. Exercises are meant to tire your muscles, not hurt body parts. So if something doesn’t feel quite right, skip it for now.
No matter what, keep your eye on the prize. You’re going to rock this – just practice patience as you go along.