Overweight and obesity issues are a challenge for about 2/3 of Americans, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. If you want to lose 20 pounds quickly, you need to make healthy long-term lifestyle changes. Through regular exercise and dietary modifications, you can meet your quick weight loss goals.
Set Fast Weight Loss Goals
The fastest weight loss goal recommended is 2 pounds weekly, according to MedlinePlus. Create this weight loss by burning 7,000 calories weekly, because a pound of fat contains 3,500 calories. Split your calorie-burning goals between exercises and reduce your caloric intake. For example, for a 2 pound weekly weight loss, decrease calorie consumption by 600 daily and work out to burn 400 calories daily. At this pace, you will lose 20 pounds in about 10 weeks.
Calorie Burning Cardio
If you want to lose 20 pounds fast, select cardio activities that burn the most calories during your workout. For example, walking at 3.5 mph burns only 298 calories an hour for a 155 pound person, according to Harvard Health. However, increase the intensity to jogging and burn 744 calories an hour. Other high calorie-burning cardio options include using an elliptical, which burns 670 calories an hour and rollerblading, which burns 520 calories an hour. Discuss a healthy level of activity with your doctor.
Special Food Choices
Decrease calorie consumption by selecting foods that are low in calories an high in volume. For example, fruits and vegetables contain high volume and low calories. These foods are also high in fiber, which takes longer to digest. Other healthy food choices include whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean sources of protein. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids are another good option. Salmon, tuna, flaxseed and walnuts are foods that contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
Avoid Fad Diets
Some fad diets promise fast weight loss. However, this isn’t the best way to lose 20 pounds quickly. Fad diets recommend using special powders, pills or eating a single food, like grapefruit, for several days. The weight loss sustained during fad diets is difficult to keep off long term. A healthy weight loss plan needs to include foods you enjoy eating and regular exercise. Always discuss a new weight loss plan with your doctor to ensure safety.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Statistics Related to Overweight and Obesity
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Exercise
- Fitness: The 10 Best Foods for Flat Abs
- American Dietetic Association: Staying Away from Fad Diets
- Harvard Health Publications: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights