How to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks? This is an often-heard question in the weight loss forums which echoes a sense of urgency to lose 20 lbs fast.
But slimming down very fast within a short period may cause unwanted health issues in most people.
Individuals who are frustrated with unmanageable obesity are always on the lookout for fast weight loss solutions. They explore every possibility of trimming body weight as fast as possible.
A healthy and natural weight loss program consists of a fat loss diet plan, physical workouts, a stress-free mind, and regular night long sleep. The fat loss results from such a program may be slow but very healthy and safe.
Trying to shed weight at terrific speed may take its toll on your health. If you are planning to take up any fast weight loss program, this must be done under the guidance and directions of a bariatric physician or endocrinologist.
Is It Possible To Lose 20 Pounds In 2 Weeks?
It is certainly possible to lose 20 lbs in one week or two weeks with extreme weight loss methods.
Losing twenty pounds is a huge target to achieve in two short weeks. Even the best diet program will begin to show signs of weight loss after 5 to 7 days only.
Most rapid weight loss solutions fall into these categories:
- Starvation Diets: So-called “master cleanse” diet: water, maple syrup, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper.
- Diet Pills and Supplements – there are many of them like Garcinia Cambogia Extract, Hydroxycut, Raspberry Ketones, Orlistat (Alli), Green Coffee Bean Extract, Glucomannan, Green Tea, Forskolin, etc. (though Scientific evidence lacking)
- Very Low-Calorie Diets (VLCDs) – Proven to be effective and healthy.
- Creams, Devices, and Magic Voodoo Spells – dubious products with fake claims and possible side effects on health.
“Aside from the very low-calorie diet (VLCD) and weight loss surgery, no other product, pill, or diet has been proven to work for fast weight loss (1).”
Orlistat (Xenical) is one of the most popular prescription medicines for weight loss. But this pill works slowly with a proper diet plan and workouts. The label on Orlistat warns about the possible liver damage from it.
You may have come across many so-called ‘miracle weight loss pills’ widely advertised in electronic media and web portals, which claim to make you lose 20 pounds or more in two to three weeks. Don’t believe in those claims. Even if those pills work, you are certainly going to face health issues with their unnatural weight loss effects.
You have gained weight gradually over a period of many months; so the weight loss progress must also happen gradually over a few months.
It is ideal and healthy to lose about 10 pounds in a month; that adds up to losing 100 lbs or more in 10 months period.
Ways To Lose 20 Pounds Fast
Healthy weight loss is not about starving or following extreme diets that eventually destroys your health. You should neither be quitting the meals nor making compromises on the nutritional requirements of the body (2,3).
If you desire to reduce weight fast and in a healthy manner, it demands adequate changes in your diet habits and lifestyle.
Let us now look at the necessary steps you have to follow in losing weight fast and steadily while keeping you healthy and active:
1. Meticulous Adherence To A Healthy Diet Plan
You can achieve the fastest weight loss results within 2 weeks or a month by adopting and following a healthy diet plan.
Trying to lose twenty lbs within a short period of two weeks is quite an overambitious goal. Your aim should be to lose weight at a regular pace without making compromises on the nutritional requirements of the body.
Let us now look at some of the important features of a healthy diet plan that can produce fast weight loss at a regular pace:
Do Not Skip Meals
Do not adhere to fasting diet plans like daily skipping breakfast or day-long fasting for shedding pounds fast.
Fasting deprives your body of essential vitamins and nutrients and damages your muscles and nerves. Lack of a regular supply of nutrition makes the body conserve energy, and this makes the person feel weak and tired (4,5).
Skipping meals can produce fast weight loss results, but after a few weeks, the body compels you to eat more food than the usual intake which ultimately results in quickly regaining the lost weight.
Limit Daily Calories Intake To Less Than What Is Required By The Body
Weight loss begins to happen when the calories you consume lower than the calories your body burns.
Counting calories is not the only step to rely on for shedding weight. You have to budget the calories; you are free to eat more calories if you have done workouts more than usual (8).
Approximately 3,500 calories are contained in 1 lb of fat in the human body. To lose 1 lb of body weight, you have to burn 3,500 extra calories (9).
If you are planning to lose 20 lbs (9 kg) in two weeks, you have to lose about 1.5 lbs (675 g) every day. So, you have to burn over 5,000 calories more than you consume each day to lose 1.5 lbs per day.
Running 25 miles at a moderate pace can burn 5,000 calories. You may require more than 5 hours of intense workouts daily to burn 5,000 calories. That is a humongous task for a non-athletic person to perform.
Bring Regularity In Eating Habits And Time
Eating 5-6 small meals per day may benefit in fast weight loss, but frequently eating at your will till you sleep is not correct.
Instead of eating large meals at a time, eat small portions of food 5-6 fixed times a day. Eat the correct amount of food that is just enough for getting rid of the hunger pangs. Do not gorge on foods until you are fully satiated (10).
Totally give up eating after 7.30 pm. Eating at night and sleeping immediately after eating increases the calories stored in the body. It is still worse to keep munching snacks all the while you watch TV shows or movies. Avoid having a heavy dinner or buffet in the late evening.
Some of the dietitians advocate the idea of frequent light snacking or 3 hours diet– this fine-tunes the metabolism and prevents you from gorging yourself later (11).
Keep your meal as small as possible; just enough for the body functions because in two weeks you have to shed 20 pounds.
Bring In Mental And Physical Control Over Gorging On Foods
Your diet plan should include how much you eat and what you eat. Even the weight loss-friendly foods must be eaten in moderation.
Binge eating disorders must be tackled if you want to lose 20 lbs fast (12).
Here are a few tips for eating less and in moderation:-
- Start using smaller plates and utensils for eating;
- Do not go for taking second help;
- Cook less amount of food and fill fewer foods in your Office Tiffin;
- Include in your dieting plans the serving size of each food and adhere to it strictly;
- Do not carry or keep near you packet full snacks or cookies;
- Keep reminding you of the ‘eating limits’ you have imposed on yourself.
2. Healthy Diets For Fast Weight Loss
Diet is the most important aspect of stopping fat accumulation in your body. Every little bit of food and drinks you consume daily affects your body weight. Here are some of the best practices you should include in your 2 weeks diet plan for losing 20 lbs.
Eat More Vegetables And Lean Proteins
A major portion of your meals should comprise of lean proteins that are nutrient-rich, low in saturated fat and calories.
A few of the healthy lean protein foods are:
- Lean meats.
- Nuts and seeds.
- Low-fat dairy.
Choose fish as the No.1 protein source; the amino acids in them make your body healthy and suppress the urge to have fatty and calorie-rich foods. Among many verities of fish, the best fishes for weight loss are halibut, oysters, wild salmon, scallops, tuna, Pacific cod, and sardine (13).
Besides the lean proteins, the next most important part of your diet should consist of low calories vegetables, and fruits with a lot of essential vitamins and nutrients.
Vegetables make you feel full and also supply the fibrous content that is necessary for better digestion and bowel movements.
Some of the best vegetables for fat loss are broccoli, spinach, onions, beans, peas, and lentils. All cruciferous and leafy vegetables and fruits like avocado and grapefruits are great for losing weight fast (14).
Reduce Calories Intake
Most of the common foods we eat are high-calorie foods like pasta, bread, cookies, cakes, donuts, pretzels, chips, ice cream, jams, jellies, bagels, pizza, burger, sugary drinks, cookies, snacks, biscuits, cereals, candies, sugars, syrups, and sweeteners. They spike the insulin levels and increase the fat storage in our body which leads to obesity.
Avoid all processed foods made of wheat, rice, and other white flours.
If you aim to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks (which is quite impractical), put your body on ketosis where it is feeding off your fat stores and not your glycogen stores.
To make your body function on ketosis mode, you have to eat the least amount of calories as possible, including starchy vegetables and grains. Do not eat too many sugary fruits like apple, orange, banana, and others.
Eating negative calorie foods are gaining a lot of attention these days. Some of the foods like leafy vegetables take so much energy to digest that eating them actually burns more calories than what they contain (15).
There are many negative calorie vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, celery, cauliflower, green beans, lettuce, radish, spinach, cucumber, asparagus, and turnip.
Fruits such as cranberries, cantaloupe, blueberries, lemons, oranges, mangoes, raspberries, tomatoes, watermelon, strawberries, and tangerines also contain very little calories in them.
Drink Only Water; Avoid Sweetened Drinks
Pure water is the best liquid for body hydration and flushing out the toxic contents from the body.
Do not drink sugary drinks or beverages as they bring in excess calories and toxins into the body.
Another best alternative to water is unsweetened green tea, lemon, or grapefruit juice.
Drinking water makes you feel full and also improves metabolism. Drinking cold water at regular intervals alone can help you lose a few pounds a month.
Avoid Junk Foods And Fad Diets
Junk foods are highly responsible for obesity issues faced by many especially young people.
Some of the common junk food like French fries, soda, fried chicken, Bacon cheeseburger, Pepperoni Pizza, Popcorn shrimp, hot dog, Taco, etc. are terribly bad for obese and overweight persons.
When you are on a mission to achieve maximum weight loss in a short period, you cannot afford to munch on junk foods even for once. Stay away from them forever to maintain a healthy body weight.
Avoid dishes and tasty foods that are greasy, fatty, and high in sugar content. Anything covered in chocolate, packaged, battered, fried, or loaded up and preserved with sugar is a no-go. Do not eat anything sweetened or oil-fired.
Do not fall victim to fad diets that promise quick weight loss through what is usually an unhealthy and unbalanced diet. Most of the popular fad diets like alkaline diets, blood type diet, werewolf diet, cookie diets, five-bite diet, master cleanse/lemonade diet, baby food diet, cabbage soup diet, the HCG diet, cotton ball diet, or saltwater flush are not worth trying as they have only a temporary effect on weight loss.
Fad diets are not sustainable, and they can cause serious health issues in the long run (16).
3. Set New Lifestyle Habits And Mindset
Two researchers, Bradley Appelhans of the Rush University Medical Center and Sherry Pagoto of the University of Massachusetts Medical calls for the end of ongoing ‘diet wars’ by nutritionists. In their research report, they make the case that lifestyle changes trump diet in fighting obesity (17).
Increasingly more and more dieticians today are realizing the importance of lifestyle changes to tackle obesity and for the long-term maintenance of healthy level bodyweight.
Be Dedicated To Your Goal
Nothing great in life can be achieved without total dedication to what you are aiming for.
If you are determined and committed to achieving your weight loss goal, then you are sure to succeed. Fast weight loss result within 2 weeks is possible only when you are 100% dedicated to the diets and exercise regimen without missing the plan ever for once.
It is best to take the help of a weight loss trainer to monitor and keep track of your diet plan and your adherence to the same.
Maintain A Daily Record Of Your Diets And Workouts
Since you are on a short-term (two weeks to one month) fast weight loss program it is worth keeping track of your daily diet and workouts.
This also motivates and keeps you focused on your goal. You can just jot down the daily diet and exercise plan on a diary or use any of the weight loss apps available in the Google play store to manage your fat loss regimen.
Some of the apps are really great as they make your work easy by helping you count carbs, fat, calories, protein, and lay out the plan for your daily exercise regimen.
Eat Homemade Foods
You can manage the right amount of calories and protein intake by preparing your foods at home according to the pre-fixed diet plan.
If you are eating at restaurants, you may end up eating more calories than you are supposed to have.
The meat or fish you eat from the restaurant may not be of lean protein.
When you cook the planned diet at home, you can make sure that the amount of sugar, salt, oil, butter, and other ingredients used in cooking are of high quality and they do not exceed the permissible limit.
Make Sure To Sleep 8 Hours A Night
Lack of sufficient sleep upsets the metabolic and digestive activities in the body. Most people who sleep less are quite sure to become overweight or obese soon.
Our body recuperates and restores to its full functional capacity and optimum energy level after a night-long sleep. Getting good sleep makes the body healthy and improves the metabolism to burn more calories to reduce body weight (18).
When you are aiming to lose 20 pounds in 14 days, you must get at least 7-8 hours of continuous sleep at night. Good sleep and rest optimize hormone production and reduces hunger.
Engage in Several Hours of Vigorous Exercises and Avoid Being Sedentary
Several hours of intense exercise is necessary to burn away the extra calories. If you want to lose 20 pounds within 14 days, you have to lose approximately 5,000 extra calories daily.
One hour of active jogging, swimming, bicycling, aerobics, or heavy weight lifting can make you lose approximately 500 calories only. You have to do a minimum of 5 hours of intense workouts and active life throughout the day to burn 5,000 extra calories daily for two weeks.
If you are a non-athletic person and not used to several hours of intense exercises, it is going to be hard for you to lose 1.5 lbs of weight per day.
Do not stay sedentary for more than half an hour day. Even the little household chores you do can be done with a lot of physical agility and extra motion to burn more calories.
4. Relieve Stress And Tension
Trying to lose 20 lbs in 2 weeks fast is not an easy task; if you are stressed about this issue, it will become even more difficult to achieve the goal.
Excessively stressed people gain weight, and it is rather difficult for them to lose weight.
A high level of the stress hormone Cortisol has been shown to increase appetite, drive cravings for junk food, and make it so much easier to accumulate belly fat.
Weight loss efforts gain faster results if you can stay stress-free and relaxed. Try to get rid of stress through a few of the helpful steps like (19):
- Longer sleeping hours
- Practice yoga
- Listen to Music
- Spend time in Meditations that calms down body and mind
- Practice deep breathing exercises
- Entertainments that make you cheer and laugh
The Bottom Line
I believe this article has enough hints to explain your doubt about ‘how to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks’.
Liposuction may be an excellent option for reducing larger deposits of excess fat very quickly. But this procedure can have some side effects on health.
Another great option for fast weight loss is surgical procedures such as gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, duodenal switch, lap-band, or gastric balloon. The weight loss results from surgical procedures last long for a couple of years. But they are expensive, and effects can vary from person to person.
The low-calorie diet plan is a proven and healthy method to lose weight fast and at a regular pace.
We do not recommend you to take up extreme fad diets, pills, injections, long hours of fasting, or extremely hard workouts for losing 20 lbs in just two weeks.
Try to lose weight naturally and in a healthy way by following a well-planned diet program, adjustments in your lifestyle habits, and regular workouts. Ideally, you should aim to lose an average half-a-pound daily which adds up to 15 lbs a month. Slow and steady wins the race!
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