10 Best Ways to Quickly and Safely Drop 20 Pounds
Updated: Feb 23, 2020
Losing weight can be incredibly challenging whether you want to lose five pounds or 20, and it requires both diet and lifestyle changes. It also takes quite a bit of patience and perseverance. However, there are a few simple strategies you can apply to speed up the weight loss process.
Count Your Calories
1. It really is that simple, and it’s one of the most effective ways to start losing weight. When you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. Counting calories works even better when you also modify your lifestyle, even if it's in small ways. Buy a journal or download a health app, and keep track of the number of calories you're eating. Writing down what you eat will increase your awareness of just how much you’re consuming. Sometimes, seeing that right in front of you helps you to make better decisions. Counting calories alone can increase your weight loss by as much as 5 - 10%.
Drink More Water
2. By increasing your water intake, you will boost your weight loss. Increasing your water intake before meals increases your chances of weight loss by 40% over a 3 month period, and drinking it with your meals will make you fee full faster and longer, which in turn, reduces your appetite. Water also boosts your metabolism, which keeps burning fat all through the day. For maximum weight loss benefits, you should drink between 1 to 2 liters of water every day.
Increase Your Protein Intake
3. If you need to lose 20 pounds fast, add more protein to your diet. High-protein diets decrease belly fat, plus preserve muscle mass and metabolism during weight loss. Protein also helps to reduce your appetite, which decreases your caloric intake. Meat, seafood, poultry, legumes, eggs, nuts and seeds are just a few healthy sources of protein that can easily be added to your diet.
Decrease Carb Consumption
4. Decreasing the amount of refined carbs you eat will accelerate your weight loss. Refined or processed carbs have been stripped of their nutrients and fiber content during processing, which results in a final product that has zero nutritional value. Refined carbs also have a higher glycemic index, which means they are digested and absorbed quickly. When food digests quickly, it means there will be more spikes and crashes in your blood sugar levels, which increases your hunger.
Consuming a high number of refined carbs increases body fat and weight gain. Eating whole grains can reduce belly fat, weight and calorie intake. If you don’t know the difference between processed/refined carbs and whole grains, it means swapping your pasta, white bread, cereal and pre-packaged products for healthier, whole grain alternatives like couscous, quinoa, brown rice or barley.
5. Lifting weights, or resistance training, is exercise that involves working against a force to increase your muscle strength and endurance. If you add resistance training into your routine, you can increase your metabolism, which continues burning fat even while your body is at rest. Ten weeks of resistance training can increase your metabolism by as much as 7%. Your body will also stabilize your blood sugar levels and that is especially important in people who are diabetic.
Eat More Fiber
6. Fiber moves slowly and undigested throughout your digestive system, which slows the emptying of your stomach to keep you feeling full longer. Men who eat 33 grams of insoluble fiber (commonly found in wheat and vegetables) find that they have a decreased appetite, and as a result, they eat less. Increasing your fiber intake will cause you to consume less calories, and you will lose more weight.
Set a Sleep Schedule
7. Changing your diet and exercise routine are the two most important factors for losing weight; however, the amount you sleep also plays a role. Your body needs to time to rest and rebuild itself. Sleeping at least seven hours each night and getting a better sleep quality increases your chances of weight loss by 33%. On the other hand, sleep deprivation can slow your weight loss or can cause the weight to come back slowly over time.
8. Being accountable to your weight loss goals is key to your long-term success. Weigh yourself daily. Being aware of your numbers each day increases your chances for weight loss and reduces your risk of gaining it back. Keep a food journal to help you monitor your calorie intake and your daily progress. It will not only motivate you in the short term but will also help you lose more weight and keep it off longer. Sometimes, it's a good idea to have a workout/weightloss partner or support group can give you much- needed motivation when you need encouragement.
Add Cardio to Your Workout
9. Whether you want to lose one pound or 100, adding cardio is an absolute must. Cardio, or aerobic exercise, is physical activity that increases your heart rate and helps strengthen your heart and lungs. It also increases the number of calories your body burns. Cardio alone can lead to significant weight loss. For maximum benefits, do 20- 40 minutes each day. Walking, running, jumping rope, rowing and boxing are just a few easy and enjoyable cardio workouts that can really boost your weight loss.
Eat Slowly and Mindfully
10. Be more aware of your thoughts and feelings while shifting your focus to the present moment. Learn to enjoy your food by eating slowly and practicing mindfulness. Focus on why and what you are eating. Eating slower will help you realize when you are actually full, so that you won't overeat. Minimize distractions while you are eating. Chew your food more thoroughly and drink water with your meal to help yourself slow down and enjoy it.
Losing weight may seem like a major challenge, but it can be done faster and safer than you think by making a few simple changes to your diet and lifestyle. With patience and determination, it’s possible to lose all the weight you desire. Follow these tips, stay the course, and you’re sure to reach your goals in no time.