Quick results in weight loss require consistent action. You can safely lose 3 to 6 pounds in 20 days by making changes in your diet and physical activity. According to the Weight-control Information Network, incorporating healthy habits into your daily life not only increases the chance of weight loss, but will help you keep the lost pounds off. Avoid fad diets and adopt a reasonable plan for losing weight. Consult your physician for guidance if you have any medical condition.
Calculate your daily calorie needs based on your current weight. Use an online calorie counter to determine a deficit for weight loss. Creating a deficit of 500 calories per day equates to loss of 1 pound per week. You can safely lose up to 2 pounds per week by creating a 1,000-calorie daily deficit, notes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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Limit foods or beverages that add empty calories to your daily diet. Soda or sugar-filled beverages, processed foods such as chips and candy bars, and high-calorie fast foods can significantly increase daily calorie consumption and contribute to added weight.
Replace high-calorie foods with low calorie options such as fresh produce and water. Fruits and vegetables are naturally lower in calories and do not contain additives, such as salt, that can bloat or cause water retention. Drinking water instead of sugar or calorie-filled beverages is an easy way to boost weight loss results, notes the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition."
Watch your portions. Use a smaller plate at meal time or simply reduce the portions of food on your plate by half. Continuing to eat regular, balanced meals is important so you don't slow down your metabolism and slow down weight loss. Avoid the urge to skip meals.
Up your physical activity to burn calories. Take a brisk 30- to 60-minute walk or jog during your lunch hour, try a new aerobics exercise video or include interval weight training into your day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate- to high-intensity cardio exercise, such as cycling, swimming, brisk walking, jogging or running, each week. Meet this goal by engaging in at least 30 minutes of cardio five days a week. If you have a tight schedule, break it up into three 10- minute workouts per day. Aim for up to 300 minutes of moderately intense physical activity per week to torch even more calories.
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Record food intake and calorie consumption in a daily journal to help you stay on track.
Supplements marketed for weight loss may not prove effective, but could prove dangerous. Consult your physician before attempting to incorporate supplements into your weight loss plan.
- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Association Between Water Consumption and Body Weight Outcomes: A Systematic Review
- Weight-control Information Network: Weight Loss for Life
- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Weight Loss and Complementary Health Practices: What the Science Says
- American Cancer Society: Calorie Counter Calculatory
- Weight-control Information Network: Weight-loss and Nutrition Myths
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Losing Weight; What is Healthy Weight Loss
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight
- Fitness.gov: Ways to be Active