Many weight loss programs pace you so that you see significant results over a matter of time. This is because your general health and personal safety are factored into the equation. Often this is frustrating to people because they are looking to lose some weight for a special occasion, like a wedding or holiday at the beach. Fortunately there are ways to lose weight in as little as a month and stay healthy and safe.
Of course, you have to be reasonable about the amount of weight you want to lose. Shedding more than 30 pounds in a month likely requires you to do some less than reasonable things to achieve that goal. But if you’re looking for a drop of about 10 pounds in a month, there is no reason you can’t achieve your desired result.
The basic recommendation to keep healthy and lose weight is through a regimen of diet and exercise. One nice thing about this approach is that you can actually eat more (in fact, you may have to eat more) if your exercise regimen is ramped up so you are burning off more calories than you are taking in. Before any drastic change in your normal lifestyle it is wise to pay a visit to your doctor, especially if you have any type of medical condition.
While ramping up your exercise routine may seem like a good idea, especially since it seems easy, you need to understand that you can lose muscle as well as fat during the process. It is the muscle in your body that helps you burn off the fat, so the problem is obvious. You need to find a happy medium between increasing the amount of exercise and the amount of weight you want to lose in a month. History shows that you can realistically expect to lose about 8 – 10 pounds in a month without doing any harm. That comes out to about 2.5 pounds per week.
Start with assigning a specific number of calories you will eat in a day. There are several numbers to consider in this calculation. First, the average person requires 1300 calories a day to stay alive. Lower numbers get into starvation mode, which is not where you need to be. Next, a pound of body fat has been created by storing up 3500 extra calories. That means roughly you would have to reduce your calorie intake by 120 calories a day for a month to lose one pound. That really doesn’t seem that bad, but when you are trying to lose 10 pounds your calorie intake has to drop by 10 times that number, or 1200 calories a day.
A general exercise routine will burn off 500 – 1000 calories a day, but this is dependent on a number of factors, including body metabolism and personal health issues. That means your diet will be the key to your one month weight loss plan. The minimum number of calories required to maintain your current weight, which is your starting point, differs by gender. Men require 1800 calories, while women only 1200. Note that these numbers are for maintaining your current weight, not for staying alive (as above).
You may be thinking that simply eating significantly less is the answer based on this information, but the problem is the same as exercising too much – you will start to lose muscle mass and you end up in a cycle of frustration. Also, your general health can be affected due to a lack of essential nutrients.
The foods you select – they are negotiable – should be low calorie, high fiber. The fiber will fill you up and the calories will keep you maintaining a normal lifestyle. Fruit and vegetables are the most common foods that meet these criteria, so you have a wide variety to choose from in making meals and snacking. Whole grains are a popular choice, and don’t forget about the protein. That list can include fish and lean red meat. The total number of calories your diet should have in protein is 25 percent of the total.
A key habit you will need to get into on your diet is controlling the size of your portions. The only one who has control over this is you, even if you go out to a restaurant. You will want to eat the traditional three meals a day, and then add a snack or two during the course of the day. Ideally, every meal and snack will have the same number of calories but as they say, it ain’t a perfect world. Do your best to even things out during your 30 day trial. As a mental note, you may need to decide on your level of commitment to the weight loss regimen.
As for exercise, the general rule is the longer you exercise the more calories you burn. But as mentioned above, you need to keep in mind that too much exercise may have you losing muscle mass – something you want to avoid. Aerobic activities are the most commonly used types of exercises since they don’t require any special equipment and you can do them just about anywhere.
Free weights are also popular for people with gym memberships. One caution when going the free weight route is to avoid overdoing it. The goal here is weight loss, and if you can’t exercise for any reason you will not reach your weight goal for the month. If you belong to a gym you should have an instructor available who can work with you to establish a regimen that meets your requirements. Be sure to specifically tell the instructor what your goal is.
If everything goes well, you will not only lose weight but have a body that is more toned than when starting. Perhaps the most important caution here is not to use this monthly weight loss plan as a way to avoid keeping healthy and fit throughout the year.