Ten pounds in a month is a lofty weight-loss goal that may not be possible for everyone. With a healthy diet and lots of exercise, you can expect to lose between 1 and 2 pounds per week, although you may lose more in the first week or two. You'll have to burn 3,500 calories through exercise or eliminate 3,500 calories from your diet for each pound you want to lose.
Calculate your daily caloric needs. If you're currently gaining weight, you're eating more calories than you need. Ask your doctor to help you figure out the number of calories you need to take in each day, which will vary depending upon your age, weight, health, sex and activity level. If you're not gaining weight, then you aren't eating excess calories, and can begin reducing your caloric intake based on your current diet.
Start a rigorous aerobic exercise routine using workouts such as rowing, running and swimming. The precise amount of exercise you need will vary depending upon your weight and the type of exercise you're doing. A 185-pound person, for example, will burn 377 calories every 30 minutes on a rowing machine, but 444 calories spending the same amount of time on high-impact step aerobics.
Calculate how much exercise you'll need to do to meet your weight-loss goals. To lose 10 pounds in a month with exercise alone, you'll need to burn at least 7,000 calories a week. This will require a significant amount of exercise, and may even be too much exercise depending upon your overall health and fitness. For example, to lose 10 pounds with high-impact aerobics at a starting weight of 185 pounds, you'd have to do almost eight hours of exercise each week.
Boost the amount of weight you can lose by cutting calories from your diet. If you can cut out 500 calories a day, for example, then you'll only need to burn 3,500 calories via exercise each week to meet your goal. If you drink lots of sodas or sugary drinks, you may be able to get to 500 simply by cutting these from your diet. Examine other sources of empty calories, such as salty snacks. By eating multiple small meals during the day, you can feel fuller. Replace cookies and potato chips with nuts and berries, and cheesy, buttery meals with lean proteins such as fish.
Incorporate weight training into your workout routine. Lifting weights won't burn as many calories as aerobic exercise; however, you burn more calories as you build muscle, because muscles require more energy to sustain. Try body-weight exercises such as squats and pullups, or use weight machines such as the leg press. Lifting kettlebells or hand weights can also help you build strong, healthy muscle. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a minimum of two days spent on weight-training per week; your strength-training routine should incorporate all major muscle groups, including your back, arms, legs, shoulders, abs and chest.
For most people, healthy weight-loss is no more than a pound or two per week, so it might take you slightly longer than a month to lose 10 pounds. However, some people drop more weight during the first few weeks of dieting and exercising, particularly if they are very overweight.
Talk to your doctor before beginning a fitness routine, particularly if you're trying to quickly lose weight.
- Harvard Health Publications: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- The Dr. Oz Show: 5 Rules to Lose 10 Pounds
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Back to Basics for Healthy Weight Loss
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do You Need?
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Losing Weight