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March 12, 2022 11 min read

It is natural to want to lose weight quickly. Perhaps you simply want the fulfilment that comes with watching the numbers on the scale finally go down, or you need to fit into the clothes you picked out for a party whose date is awfully close by.

Regardless of the specific reason for your embarking on a weight loss journey, we want to assure you that it is possible to lose weight in a month. You have probably come across an article or website that promises to help you lose as much as 20 pounds in a month. Is this possible? Is it even healthy? Below, we have the answers to the rapid weight loss you seek.

Male on the weight scale for check weight, Diet concept

Is It Possible To Lose 20 Pounds In A Month?

Losing weight in 30 days can be an awfully dreary challenge but don't fret! It is a possible feat to pull off. However, the amount of weight that an individual can lose safely and healthily varies from person to person. Everyone's body is the same. No weight loss formula assures and determines the amount of fat that a person can lose in a day. But regardless, is it possible and safe to go 20 pounds lower on the scale?

Yes, it is possible to lose 20 pounds in a month. No, it is not safe. 

A month is not enough time to lose so much weight. 20 pounds in a month is a drastic weight loss that can lead to health issues. Research by the CDC even shows that  the healthy amount of weight loss in a month is between 4-8 pounds a month. While this might not sound like much, it boosts your chances of keeping the weight off in the long run. When done correctly, weight loss is beneficial to the body and the mind. Some of the benefits of shedding some fat include: 

  • Lower risk of stroke and heart diseases
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Increased mobility
  • Better regulation of blood sugar level
  • Improved heart health 
  • Deeper and better quality sleep
  • Reduced chances of joint pain
  • Increased sex drive
  • Energy boost
  • Reduced risk of cancer
  • Improved confidence

Simply cutting back on your body fat can make living a lot easier and more fun for you. Its physical and mental benefits are long-lasting and are evident in all areas of your life. On the flip side, losing weight too quickly can be detrimental to your health. It is often caused by an indulgence in fad diets with fake promises that often always do more harm than good. This unhealthy weight loss is often triggered by calorie deficit, or in more extreme cases, starvation.

Effects of Drastic Weight Loss

Losing 20 pounds a month is going as far as losing 5 pounds per week, which is a lot more than the recommended weight loss limit. Some severe consequences of drastic weight loss include:

  • Loss of muscle mass: When you lose weight, you also lose muscle mass. Your muscle is more than a skeletal frame but is often also called the engine of your body. This is because the muscles work with your metabolism and determine the state of your internal system. Higher muscle mass can lead to lower body fat for a healthy fat-to-muscle ratio, increased metabolic rate, excellent energy levels, and a stronger immune system. Losing a lot of weight in a short period destabilizes your muscle mass which also disrupts your fat-to-muscle ratio, weaker muscles, fatigue, and a host of other inconveniences. While you might be pleased with the effect of your unhealthy weight loss plan on the outside at the end of the month, your body is probably suffering on the inside.
  • Imbalance of electrolytes: The body fuels itself on many compounds, including naturally occurring chemicals called electrolytes. These chemicals carry out duties like regulating nerve and muscle function, hydrating the body, and repairing damaged tissue. Drastic weight loss can destabilize the proportion of these elements in the body. This, in turn, will lead to many dangerous conditions like muscle spasms, muscle weakness, irregular heartbeat, and even bone disorders.
  • Nutritional deficiencies: To lose as much as 20 pounds in a month, chances are you skipped a lot of meals and deprived your body of the nutrients it needs to function correctly. Food plans that promise up to 20 pounds gone in a month often do this by cutting out whole food groups from regular diet plans. In the end, your body will be deprived of crucial nutrients like proteins, vitamins, and minerals that you need to stay healthy. This malnutrition could be potential for nutritional deficiencies like calcium and vitamin D, leading to an onset of bone problems. Nutritional deficiencies can lead to a lot of health problems like anemia.
  • You could gain weight: Sure thing, you are losing weight… Or are you? As we mentioned, drastic weight loss is often a result of cutting short your recommended calorie intake and placing your body on a calorie deficit. While this might look genius, it often proves the worst idea many people have ever tried. When you start your body of calories, your body senses this as a threat, shuts down, and goes into starvation mode. To make up for the loss of calories, your metabolism slows down and saves the little energy you have. During this conservation period, your body also hangs on to fat. The more you starve yourself, the more fat pockets you gain.
  • Dehydration: Chances are your drastic weight loss plan to shed 20 pounds in a week begins to pay off in the first two weeks. You are elated to see such rapid results, but little do you know that most of this weight you lost can be attributed to water weight. The average adult body contains 45-65% of water. Water regulates various internal functions like saliva production and cell survival. The muscles especially contain about 75% water. Drastic weight loss can lead to water weight which in turn leads to the false feeling of feeling light and smaller. Water loss leads to dehydration, which is highly harmful to the body. Dehydration disrupts the body's normal function and leads to thirst, fatigue, dizziness, or constipation. 
  • You could starve: So your ingenious weight loss plan is to limit as much food that you eat. This would help you reduce calorie intake and lead you to lose up to 20 pounds in a month. The downside to this supposedly ‘foolproof’ plan is you are human, and shortening your ration will cause you to get hungry. What makes it worse is most of these drastic weight loss meal plans often reduce or totally eliminate the consumption of carbs and fats. Carbs and fats contain fiber, and fiber helps you feel full for longer, thereby warding off hunger. Without this, your satiety is reduced, and you will find yourself even hungrier than you usually are.
  • Mental effect: Weight loss has a significant impact on your mental health. When done incorrectly, drastic weight loss can elicit feelings from mental fatigue to extreme sadness and depression. Losing as much as 20 pounds in a month also does not provide enough time for you to settle into your new body. Everything will feel rushed, and you might feel out of control. Excess weight loss might also increase pre-existing or underlying mental body image problems. This might lead to psychological consequences like body dysmorphia, anorexia, or bulimia. 

While rapid weight loss might sound like an easy way out from a tight spot- pun unintended- it does more harm than good. At the risk of sounding like a broken record,it is not safe to lose 20 pounds in a month. Just because several fad diet trends tell you that you can doesn't mean you should. Take that weight loss idea, crush it in the palms of your hands and through it out the proverbial window. The best way to go about your weight loss journey is to lose a few pounds a month.3 to 6 pounds a month is a significant weight loss number and can be achieved with a healthy and efficient weight loss plan. 

The Healthier Way To Lose Weight  

How I lost 1 pound every day for a week!’ ‘Go from XXL to S in three weeks!’ ‘How to lose 20 pounds in a month!’

These titles have two things in common; false promises and impending doom. While you won't go from a size XXL to a Small in a month, you can still make significant headway and chip some numbers off the scale. All you need to do is go the slow, steady, and effective way to lose weight. You also need to focus on establishing realistic weight loss goals.

This would help you feel better about the whole process of the weight loss journey. To create a healthy weight loss plan, you have to make a calorie deficit meal plan. This sounds very much like what drastic weight loss plans preach but to lose weight the healthy way, you not only need a calorie deficit but also a nutrition-packed meal plan. That's right. You can have both.

The Diet Plan For Healthy Weight Loss

Generally, the recommended calorie intake for an adult woman is 2000 calories daily and 2500 calories daily for an adult man. These amounts are what the body needs to carry on with the internal processes in the body and maintain the weight. While this is the recommended average, the ideal daily intake actually varies with genetics, metabolism, age, and level of physical activities. People with a fast metabolism burn through calories faster than people with a slower metabolism do.

Because of this, people with a fast metabolism find it easier to shed weight than others with a slower metabolism. Your calories are gotten from the foods and drinks consumed throughout the day. Each food's caloric content varies wildly, and while it is not possible to judge the caloric content of a food by looking at it, it can be done by using efficient calorie counting apps.

To lose anywhere between 1-2 pounds a week, you need to reduce the recommended calorie intake you consume. This will mean cutting down your intake between 500 and 1000. To lose weight as a woman, you should consume between 1000-1500 calories and as a man, between 1500-2000 calories. Cutting your calories does not translate to fasting or starving yourself. It simply means you are required to make healthier changes to the food you it. To cut calories:

  • Skip high-calorie and low-nutrition items
  • Switch high-calorie foods for lower-calorie options
  • Reduce your portion sizes

When trying to lose weight healthily, you should stay away from or reduce the intake of foods like:

  • Potato chips/ fries
  • Sugary and carbonated drinks
  • White bread
  • Candy bars 
  • Processed fruit juice
  • Pastries, cookies, and cakes
  • Beer
  • Large servings of yogurt
  • Pizza

Instead of these foods, you are expected to include these in your meal plan:

  • Beans and legumes
  • Nuts
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables and leafy greens
  • Full-fat fruit yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Salmon
  • Whole-grain alternatives like couscous and brown rice
  • Lean meat and chicken breast
  • Potatoes
  • Soups with cream base and processed meat

These foods are healthier versions of what you eat on a typical day. Contrary to many fad diets, you can also choose to snack while on your diet plan. A handful of nuts and some fresh fruits are great snacks to nibble on in-between meals.

How To Lose Weight

To lose weight and attain the goal you have in mind, which can be anything from half a pound to two pounds of weight loss a week, you need to keep some things in mind:

Develop Better Eating Habits

Many drastic and fast weight loss plans encourage lousy eating habits. Some encourage starvation and fast while others encourage meals without the necessary nutrition. You can lose weight and remain healthy as you do so. Some of the things to keep in mind include:

  • Count your calories: Counting your calories is one of the most effective ways to be mindful of your eating habits. It is an effective weight-loss tool that ensures you do not exceed your daily calorie-intake limit. Counting your calories not only helps you make healthier food choices but also keeps you on track during your weight loss journey. To know the amount of calories a food contains, use a food app or look it up online. 
  • Eat a balanced diet: A balanced diet contains all the essential micro and macronutrients that will help your body function properly. On your weight loss journey, you want your plates to include protein, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. A high-protein diet is necessary to preserve muscle mass and maintain your metabolism during this journey. Protein also increases satiety, reducing hunger, calorie intake, and helping you achieve your weight goals in no time. Decrease your consumption of processed or refined carbs and choose diets made of whole grains instead. Eat fruits and vegetables for the necessary minerals and vitamins. Support your diet with our  VEG-PRO plant-based,  fast-absorbing, gluten-free protein powder packed full of essential nutrients to promote excellent health and muscle growth.
  • Smaller servings: Be mindful of the size of the servings on your plate. Use smaller plates and cutleries. This will trick your mind into getting satisfied with a serving smaller than usual.
  • Eat slowly: Eating slowly is a trick that helps weight loss by decreasing your intake and letting you enjoy your food. Chew slowly and take your time with each bite. This will help you increase the production of the satiety hormones that increase the feeling of fullness, causing the food to sustain you for a more extended period than it should. It is also essential to be mindful while you eat. Do away with destruction like tv shows and scrolling on your phone while you eat. Minimize distractions that can otherwise cause you to rush your food and focus on eating instead.
  • Drink water: Drinking more water than you usually do is a great way to boost your weight loss chances. In fact, a study shows that  increased hydration can be associated with weight loss. Drinking water increases your metabolism and causes your body to burn calories faster. Drink water with your meals to keep you full and ward off hunger. Drink water before meals to reduce your appetite and, consequently, your food intake.

Exercise

Exercising not only increases your chances of losing weight but also keeps you got as you do. Your workout routine should contain a combination of cardio and resistance training. You should perform aerobic exercises to increase your heart rate and oxygen intake. This not only helps strengthen your heart and lungs but also burns the extra calories you need to get rid of. Perform cardio for 20-30 minutes every day.

Resistance training, on the other hand, involves lifting weights in the form of dumbbells, barbells, weight plates, kettlebells, etc. It increases muscle endurance and strength, keeping you fit during your weight loss journey. Resistance training also increases your muscle mass, helps you burn calories, and increases your resting metabolism, so you burn more calories even while doing nothing. Hit the gym three to four times a week to perform exercises like dumbbell squats and  deadlifts.

muscular man sleeping with stuffed toy

Sleep

Getting enough sleep every night boosts your chances of losing weight. Not getting enough sleep can increase the production of hunger hormones which can lead to intense appetite and slow weight gain. Create a sleep schedule that will help you get up to 7 hours of sleep each day. If you find it challenging to get enough sleep, pair your weight loss plan with our  RESTED-AF recovery supplement for deep sleep.

Losing Weight The Healthy Way

There is no fast or easy approach to losing weight without adverse consequences in the long run. While our healthy weight loss plan does not provide the 20-pound weight loss fad diets promise, it ensures that your health remains in the topmost form. Plus, on the brighter side, if you work to lose 1-2 pounds a week, it will take you just roughly three months or less to crush your 20-pound weight loss goal.

 It is important to note that no weight loss plan yields permanent results. Without the proper weight maintenance lifestyle after reaching your weight loss goal, you might go back to being a few pounds heavier. To help you along, here are the  ten best bodyweight exercises for weight loss.