There are many websites, weight loss supplements, plans and fitness apps claiming they can help you lose 10 pounds in a week. However, there is no one size fits all approach for weight loss that can guarantee losing 10 pounds in a week.
Losing 20 pounds in 2 weeks will take significant changes in food intake, exercise and may also include changes in sleep patterns and stress management.
A typical healthy weight loss per week is about 1-2 pounds. So, losing 10 pounds a week is quite higher than suggested guidelines.
One thing to keep in mind is quick weight loss may mean you are not just losing fat mass. You could also be losing water weight (which is easy to gain back) and muscle tissue.
Rapid weight loss can be achieved by drastically dropping calorie intake below 1,000 calories per day, but this should only be done under physician guidance.
The following tips for exercise and diet are listed to help you lose weight in the fastest, healthiest way possible.
It is recommended to consult your physician before making changes in your exercise habits and diet especially if you are taking medication or have an underlying health condition.
Exercise guidelines for losing 20 pounds in 2 weeks
The role of exercise in weight loss is significant but can still be a paradox for weight management.
The American College of Sports Medicine (1) suggests exercising 200-300 minutes per week for long term weight loss.
Exercise more than 250 minutes per week (5 days a week for 50 minutes for example) has been associated with significant weight loss.
A 2014 review (2) looking at the exercise has in preventing weight gain and weight loss suggests unless the exercise amount and/or intensity is very high, significant weight loss is unlikely to happen.
Weight loss of 20 pounds a week may require more than 500 minutes of exercise per week.
The exact type of exercise and intensity of exercise for best weight loss results can vary. There are weight loss benefits from moderate intensity aerobic exercise because this range burns calories and also can utilize fat as a fuel source.
Moderate exercise can include activities such as: walking, jogging, riding bike, dancing, etc.
Higher intensity exercise gives a higher calorie burn and can boost metabolism well after exercise.
Resistance exercise may not have as high a calorie burn, but incorporating resistance exercise can help keep muscle mass and encourage fat loss.
In general, to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks, a higher volume of exercise is necessary. How much you will need to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks can vary.
Doing a variety of exercise can be beneficial to encourage weight loss and to reap the benefits associated with moderate intensity, high intensity and resistance exercise.
What to change in your diet for losing 20 pounds in 2 weeks
Combining changes in diet and exercise can be important for long term weight loss. However, short term weight loss could be achieved through diet alone or a combination of diet and exercise according to a 2014 review (3).
Of the eight studies researchers analyzed, they found no significant differences in weight at 3 or 6 months between diet alone weight loss or combined exercise and diet weight loss interventions.
However, at 12 months, significant weight loss was seen only in combined diet and exercise weight loss interventions.
Therefore, losing weight in 2 weeks could be done through diet alone or with diet and exercise. However, if you want to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks, combining diet and exercise will most likely be needed for this significant weight loss.
Here are some general diet tips to get you started for weight loss in 2 weeks.
Cut down on carbohydrates – Some studies have shown a lower carbohydrate diet may be more effective for weight loss in the short term.
For example, a 2014 study (4) found weight loss was greater in a low carbohydrate group compared to general low calorie diet after 3 months in diabetic and non-diabetic study participants.
Cutting out sweetened beverages, baked goods and packaged snacks is the first step for cutting out excess calories and carbohydrates.
Keeping sources of fruits and vegetables can be important for keeping sources of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in the diet.
Keeping high fiber foods in the diet can also provide satiety after eating which can help regulate appetite.
Keep protein levels up. Higher protein diets that provide around 1.2-1.6 grams/ kilogram body weight or around 25-30 grams of protein at each meal.
Studies have shown greater fat loss and preservation of lean muscle mass after high protein energy restricted diets compared to lower protein energy restricted diets.
More than just the number on the scale
Making healthy changes in your food and exercise habits can be beneficial to health despite seeing a weight loss of 20 pounds in 2 weeks.
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute suggests a 10% weight reduction can be beneficial for health, and some studies suggest even a weight loss of 3-5% may be beneficial.
So, even if 20 pounds don’t drop off your scale weight, the changes you make to lose any weight can benefit your health. There may be significant changes in your body composition that do not show up on the scale.
Avoid the tendency to go on a fad diet or use weight loss supplements for rapid weight loss. Even if you do have rapid weight loss with these methods, the chances of regaining the weight are high.
Making healthy changes through diet and exercise can be helpful for long term weight loss and can also benefit your health.