Countless diets and exercise programs promise rapid weight loss in weeks. However, this type of weight loss can damage your body and cause you to lose muscle. On the other hand, losing one to two pounds each week is considered a healthy weight loss pace.
That means you can safely lose 15 pounds in about eight weeks. Concentrate on burning more calories than you consume through exercise. Write down your fitness goals using a calorie counter app and recruit a friend to help you lose 15 pounds in just a few weeks.
Lower Your Calorie Intake
Figure out how many calories you would normally consume in one day by multiplying your weight by 15, says Harvard Health Publishing. Reduce your daily calorie intake by 500 to 1,000 calories each day. At the end of one week, that will result in 3,500 to 7,000 less calories, and will equal about one to two pounds of weight loss. Harvard also warns that the caloric intake for women should never fall below 1,200 calories a day and 1,500 for men.
Eat enough protein to fill 25 percent of your daily calories. This will keep you full, making dieting easier. Include beans, dairy and nuts in your diet as well, since they are also a healthy protein option. Also, drink plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks.
Don't skip breakfast. Breakfast jump-starts your metabolism and may keep you from wanting to snack throughout the day.
Calorie Burn With Cardio
Add 150 to 300 minutes of moderate cardio to your routine each week, recommends the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Bike, swim, jog, dance or use the rowing machine. Bicycling at 16 to 19 mph will burn 360 calories in a 125-pound person, 446 calories in a 155-pound person and 533 calories in a 185-pound person in 30 minutes, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
Additional cardio calorie burn estimates from Harvard Health Publishing include:
- Swimming laps vigorously for 30 minutes burns 300 calories in a 125-pound person, 372 calories in a 155-pound person and 444 calories in a 185-pound person.
- Running at 5 mph will burn 240 calories in a 125-pound person, 298 calories in a 155-pound person and 355 calories in a 185-pound person in 30 minutes.
- Dancing burns 90 calories in a 125-pound person, 112 calories in a 155-pound person and 133 calories in a 185-pound person in 30 minutes.
- Rowing will burn 210 calories in a 125-pound person, 260 calories in a 155-pound person and 311 calories in a 185-pound person in 30 minutes.
Body Weight and Strength Training
Do strength training at least two times per week. Strength training burns calories and also builds muscle, which burns more calories than fat, even at rest. Use dumbbells, barbells, cable machines and other devices found at your gym.
If you're a newbie to the gym, ACE Fitness suggests adding body-weight circuit training to your weekly routine. Do push-ups, jumping jacks, step-ups, lunges, squats, jump rope, crunches and triceps dips, performing each exercise for 30 seconds. Repeat the sequence until you've reached 30 minutes.
Perform circuit training exercises two times per week. With 30 minutes of circuit training you will burn 240 calories if you weigh 125 pounds, 298 calories if you weigh 155 pounds and 355 calories if you weigh 185 pounds.
Talk to your doctor before starting a new weight loss program.