No more hiding behind cozy winter sweaters! If you’re dreaming of that hot beach bod and want to lose weight before summer hits, I totally get where you’re at. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy feeling fit and skinny, right? Not too mention totally sexy in the little bikini you’ve had your eye on.
Twenty pounds is totally realistic, though the best type of weight loss is slow and steady. But if time is an issue, check out these killer strategies for shedding the pounds fast to get the results you crave.
Continue reading to learn our best tips and diets like the military diet!
How to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks
This is really a short term solution. Think vacation or wedding prep. It’s going to be super calorie restrictive, and isn’t really sustainable.
It’s important that you start by drinking half your body weight in water (but aim for more.) So if you weigh 140 pounds, you need to be consuming a minimum of 70 ounces daily. It’s common to confuse thirst for hunger, so this helps combat that, not to mention keeps you hydrated. Drink a glass as soon as you wake up and throughout the day to curb your appetite.
Cleanse and Detoxify
I love a good cleanse every now and then because it’s a way to get rid of that icky I-feel-gross-from-eating-too-much feeling. Say goodbye to coffee and carbonated drinks, and stock up on leafy greens like kale and spinach. Try herbal drinks like fit tea that have shown to suppress appetite. Pick up some low-sugar fruits like berries, and blend it all with 2 cups of water. Now just divvy it up into 3 meals and you’re good to go. Keep to it for 10 days. Then you can start to re-introduce a very limited amount of lean proteins like chicken breasts, leafy greens, and other non-starchy veggies, all of which should be eaten only with water. Make sure to buy everything fresh and eat vegetables raw to preserve all of their nutrients. No fats, processed carbs, dairy, or refined sugars. A girl’s night out or evening out on the town with your man will have to wait.
Don’t plan on doing much of it. Nobody said this would be easy, after all. Try drinking a big glass of water first, then check in with yourself. If you still feel really hungry, it’s watery veggies only for you. Think a celery stick or two or some sliced cucumber.
You’ll need to be pushing yourself 5-6 times a week. If the thought of hitting the gym and doing anything but the treadmill or a class seems overwhelming, I get it. Check out these awesome ideas, or better yet, invest in a personal trainer. It’s totally worth it. You’ll want to see him/her at least 4 times a week.
How to lose 20 pounds in a month
Planning is everything. Break it down hour by hour if you need to in order to ensure you eat (and don’t eat) specific things at certain times of day.
No matter the time frame or amount of fat you want to nix, knowing how much to eat of what is everything. Don’t get discouraged if these portions look smaller than what you’re used to. Just chew slowly, enjoy your food, and let your brain catch up with your stomach.
- Lean proteins – 3/4 cup (or the palm of your hand)
- Fruits and veggies – 1 cup (or one generous fistful)
- Health fats – 1/8 cup (or the length of your thumb)
- Carbs – 1/2 cup (or 1 cupped hand)
Limit Your Carbs
A big ol’ bowl of pasta makes for great comfort food, but not if you want to lose 20 pounds in a month. Stick to no more than 2 servings a day and become besties with foods like sweet potatoes and quinoa.
There’s something to that popular rule of not eating within 3 hours of bedtime, but it’s also not always realistic. If that’s just not something you can’t work with, turn the kitchen into an off-limits zone an hour before hitting the sack. And now the strategy part comes into play. I recommend the following:
- Stay away from carbs after lunchtime.
- Combine a carb, protein, and healthy fat at breakfast or lunch.
- Limit dinner to non-starchy veggies and a lean protein – check out paleo diet reviews.
- Eat low-sugar fruits only.
To burn fat, you’ll want to combine resistance training with cardio. Tabata workouts are awesome for giving your heart a good joint and can be done anywhere. The idea is to work for 20 seconds and break for 10 seconds, using your ‘work’ time to do things like tuck jumps or ice skaters. Try to keep at it for 10-15 minutes before moving to weight training.
How to lose 20 pounds in 2 months
I like this plan the best. You’re way less likely to feel deprived if you choose a two month time frame because it becomes an awful lot less restrictive.
Also see: Adele’s weight loss
Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time
Prepping your meals and snacks for the week ahead is easy and takes way less time than you may think. Mix it up by finding some new healthy recipes, then write out your shopping list. Aim to get most of your groceries from the perimeter of the supermarket, meaning fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and dairy, and stay away from most shelf-stable items in the aisles. Cook a batch of grilled chicken for the week ahead, slice and dice your fruits and veggies so they’re ready for snacking, and try your hand at things like egg muffins. They’re packed with protein and are a convenient, grab-and-go choice that’s way healthier (not to mention tastier) than a fast food breakfast or something you’d find off a coffee cart.
Catch Some zzz’s
Getting a good night’s rest is important no matter what. Make sure your bedroom is a serene sanctuary, sans TV and cell phone. Pick soothing paint colors for the walls, add some blackout shades, and diffuse some lavender essential oil. Aim for 8 hours of shut eye.
Play Social Director
Eating out is totally fine if you’re careful about where you go and what you pick off the menu. Take charge of the next girl’s night by vetting out restaurant options that serve things that cater to your healthy lifestyle. Or instead of heading to happy hour, suggest other outings, like group mani/pedis or a movie. Follow these tips and you can learn how to lose 5 pounds in a week with ease.
Finally, remember that no matter the goal, an active lifestyle is vital for weight loss. Cardio is always more fun with friends, so grab a few for a kickboxing class and make sure that resistance training is part of your routine. The more you train, the stronger you’ll get, so keep challenging yourself by increasing the weight you’re using each week. Strong is the new sexy and here’s a 30 day ab challenge that will flatten your tummy in no time!