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Lots of people ask us how to lose 20 pounds easily — whether it’s for your cousin’s wedding or an upcoming high school reunion…
Maybe you just want to kickstart your weight loss goals.
After all, losing 20 pounds easily can be the momentum you are looking for to commit to a healthier lifestyle.
Whatever the reason for your weight loss journey, here are some ideas you can use starting now to begin dropping unwanted pounds.
How to Lose 20 Pounds Safely
We need to talk about safety first.
While there are lots of tips online featuring pills, extreme diets, and over-exercising – some can have devastating results.
How serious is this?
When it comes to over-exercising Health Central said, “Studies have shown that too much exercise can actually lower your immunity, making you more susceptible to viral illnesses.”
In some cases, people turn to what’s commonly known as starvation diets – you’re taking in significantly fewer calories than your body needs to function.
These can result in gallstones, dehydration, malnutrition, and more according to WebMD.
But perhaps the most extreme case was in 2015 when a woman took a bunch of diet pills that literally burned her stomach from the inside out. Unfortunately, the doctors couldn’t save her.
Extreme measures are not to be trifled with. They can end in tragedy.
That’s why our most important tip for how to lose 20 pounds safely is to not start any extreme exercise or diet regimen without first talking to your primary care physician.
Now that we have this important disclosure out of the way, let’s get to those tips you came here for. Shall we?
How to Lose 20 Pounds The Right Way
1. Swap that sugary soda and “healthy” fruit juices for water.
Did you know that the average can of soda contains 150 calories? And many people who consume sodas drink two or more a day.
And those “healthy” fruit juices?
Many of them actually contain more calories and sugar than soda.
Don’t go for zero-calorie drinks either.
They can actually cause you to gain weight!
If a pound contains 3,500 calories, you could drop a few pounds in a month just by switching to water instead of soda or juices.
2. Say no to carbs – empty ones, that is.
While we admit that bread and pasta and pastries can taste good, they can destroy your weight loss goals.
For some people, letting go of carbs is extremely difficult, but abandoning them is one of the most effective ways for how to lose 20 pounds or more.
This is why a complete carbohydrate detox is one of the core principles in our fast weight loss program, the 21-Day Fat Loss Challenge.
3. Say yes to complex carbs.
At least we’re giving you carbs back, right?
Swap out the following:
- White potatoes for sweet potatoes
- White rice for brown rice or quinoa
- Sugary cereal for oatmeal
- Regular pasta for brown rice or protein pasta
Note: If you are insulin resistant or diabetic, you may need to cut carbs even more than this to lose weight.
You can read our post about insulin resistance and weight loss to learn more.
4. Workout, but focus more on diet.
You may not need to exercise as much as you think you do to lose weight!
In fact, exercise isn’t even required in our 21-Day Fat Loss Challenge!
It’s true that the CDC says that adults need “150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination each week.”
But, diet is 80% of the equation, and exercise is only about 20%.
To lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume, and that’s why in our signature program we share the best meal and food ideas for weight loss.
All that being said, we do believe exercise is very important to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
If you are going to focus on exercise, the next tip is critical.
5. Lift weights.
According to Very Well Fit, “ A pound of muscle burns about 10-20 calories a day while a pound of fat burns 5 calories. That means any growth in your muscle tissue is going to help you burn more calories all day long.”
By adding weights to your workout regimen, you can meet your weight loss goals that much faster.
Can’t get to a gym?
No problem, we’ve got you covered with our post “7 Best At-Home Workout Routines – No Equipment Required.”
6. Consume more protein.
One of the biggest complaints people have with dieting is feeling hungry.
The problem is that people fill their plates with simple carbs and other foods that aren’t as nutrient-dense as lean protein.
The good news is, you’ll have a hard time feeling hungry if you eat the right kinds of foods.
Increasing your protein intake can help you stave off hunger.
You don’t have to eat meat either!
You can consume more protein even as a vegetarian.
Here are several sources of protein to consider:
- Greek Yogurt
- Cottage Cheese
- Nuts (but use caution as these are high in fat!)
- High protein veggies like lima beans, soybean sprouts, spinach, asparagus, and broccoli
- Protein powder (There are vegetarian and vegan options!)
- Meat (Stick to lean options such as turkey and chicken breast)
7. Start doing yoga.
The benefits of yoga are plentiful.
Not only will it help you become more flexible, and control your stress and breathing, it’s great for weight loss!
To get you started, check out our “20 Minute Yoga Workout For Weight Loss.”
8. Get some sleep.
We’re betting you didn’t see this one coming as a method for how to lose 20 pounds!
From emotional well-being to healthy brain function, there are several reasons sleep is critical to your health.
In terms of weight loss though, believe it or not, proper sleep is key to dropping those pesky pounds.
Top Fitness Mag said, “You produce the most growth hormone while you’re sleeping, which helps burn fat as well as repair and build muscles so you can increase strength and lose weight.”
How much sleep should you be getting for best results?
The National Sleep Foundation says adults aged 18-25 should aim for a range of between 7 and 9 hours.
How to Lose 20 Pounds and Keep It Off
Losing the first 20 pounds isn’t so tough when you set your mind to it.
We hope this post inspired you to begin working on your weight loss goals.
But what happens next?
Doesn’t the weight just come back?
What if you have more weight to lose?
Our fast weight loss program was designed to help you lose 10-21 pounds in just 21 days!
The 21-Day Fat Loss Challenge will show you exactly how to put the core principles from this article into an organized plan for maximum weight loss.
It’s an exact step-by-step guide for 21 days.
The Challenge was also designed in a way that it can be repeated in multiple rounds if you have more weight to lose!
Tons of our clients have turned it into a lifestyle diet and have lost as much as over 100 pounds with the diet!
You can check out Lexie’s story to hear about her experience with the Challenge and how she has lost over 100 pounds with the program!
It also comes with access to a private Facebook group with thousands of women going through the Challenge together and sharing recipes, motivation, encouragement, and more to support each other on their journey!