To lose 7 lbs. in 20 days, you need to create a total calorie deficit of 24,500 calories, as it takes 3,500 calories to burn 1 lb. of body fat. To achieve this in the desired time frame, it is necessary to burn 1,225 calories a day more than you consume. A calorie deficit can be achieved by eating less than your daily energy requirement, or by exercising to burn more calories; the Prevent Disease website recommends using a combination of both.
Drink at least 64 oz. of water daily. If you are not drinking sufficient water, your body will retain every drop possible, as it thinks there is a shortage, and you are unable to obtain supplies. This can lead to increased weight and bloating. Study findings in a 2003 edition of "The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism" further report that if you drink around 4 pints of water each day, your body will burn approximately 95 calories more daily.
Say no to alcohol. Until you meet your weight loss goal, it is advisable to abstain from drinking alcoholic drinks. Alcohol contains "empty calories," which are calories that provide energy but little else in the way of nutrients or vitamins. Furthermore, when you drink alcohol, your body will immediately burn the calories from the alcohol as energy, ignoring calories available from existing body fat. If you customarily drink around two glasses of wine a day, you can reduce your calorie intake by 3,600 in 20 days, which equates to more than 1 lb. of body fat.
Replace processed and baked snacks with fruits and fresh vegetables. Not only will you reduce your sodium intake and, in turn, decrease your risk of heart disease, you will also reduce bloating and water retention. One medium-size apple contains around 80 calories, compared to around 200 calories in a plain bagel. This equates to around 1.5 lbs. of weight loss over a 20-day period if you eat two snacks per day.
Exercise for an hour each day. Choose an exercise that is not too strenuous, that you can perform at least five times a week for 20 days. One hour of brisk walking would burn around 350 calories per hour, and leisure cycling would expend about 270 calories per hour. If you exercise five hours per week, you will burn around 1.5 lbs. of fat in 20 days. By performing tasks around the house, such as gardening or clearing gutters, you can burn approximately 350 calories per hour.
Performing tasks manually and doing without labor-saving gadgets can expend a further 100 to 200 calories daily, according to Dr. James Levine from the Mayo Clinic. Levine recommends changing the TV channel and washing dishes manually, as well as leaving the car behind when traveling short distances. By moving more throughout the day, you can induce fat loss by a further 1 to 2 lbs. during a 20-day period.
- MedlinePlus: Tips for Losing Weight
- PubMed.gov: Water-Induced Themogenesis
- Weight Loss Resources: Calories in Alcohol
- ShapeFit: How Alcohol Effects Weight Loss - Calories & Carbs In Alcoholic Beverages
- Fruits and Veggies More Matters: Too Much Salt In Your Diet Can Lead to Hypertension And Other Cardiovascular Diseases
- Prevent Disease: Calculate Your Daily Energy Requirement (DER)