Are you trying to lose 10 pounds in a month? Before you make this your goal, read this article to find out why this may not be the healthiest option.
Achieving your weight loss goals can be a tricky process no matter how much weight you want to lose.
But what is important during a weight loss journey is trying to make your weight loss goals realistic and to lose weight in a healthy way. This usually means losing an appropriate amount of weight in a given timeframe while also making lifestyle changes that become life-long habits.
While you may be wondering how to lose 10 pounds in a month, to put it plain and simple, this isn’t a healthy goal for most people. Most doctors and medical professionals agree that losing 1-2 pounds per week is a healthy way to lose weight (1).
In order to lose 10 pounds in a month, some drastic changes are needed, and they aren’t the healthiest options. We’ll discuss those in this article and then provide some direction on how to lose weight in a healthy way!
Read more about how much time you need to do intermittent fasting before seeing results here.
First, you may have to significantly decrease your caloric intake. There are 3500 calories (also referred to as “kcal”) in 1 pound of fat so if you decrease your caloric intake by 500 calories a day, you’d lose 1 pound each week. This means that in order to lose 10 pounds in a month, you’d have to decrease your caloric intake by over 1000 calories each day.
Decreasing your calories by a mild amount isn’t a problem but significantly decreasing your calories by 1000 calories or more, can do more harm than good. It is recommended that the average person consumes about 2000 calories each day so if you decrease that by 1000, you’re left with only eating 1000 calories each day.
Yes, you will lose weight and you’ll lose it quickly but there are some drawbacks as well. This eating behavior can not only leave you tired and irritable, but it has been shown to negatively affect various hormones and bodily processes (2). It can also be challenging to consume enough vitamins and minerals as well, so you’re putting yourself at risk for nutrient deficiencies.
In addition, you are likely to regain that weight (and maybe more) once you start eating normally again. This is because your body has the ability to adapt. If you drastically decrease your caloric intake, your body is going to decrease how many calories you utilize (burn) each day. So when you start eating regularly again, you will be eating in a caloric surplus and are likely to gain weight in the form of fat (3,4).
You can also incorporate long bouts of cardio every day to try to lose 10 pounds in a month. While cardio is incredibly beneficial for your health, overdoing it can have some negative side effects.
To elaborate, doing this is similar to significantly decreasing your caloric intake – you are in a major caloric deficit relative to your energy expenditure. Your body is going to try to decrease its energy expenditure and you’re likely to regain any lost weight once to stop this exercise pattern.
You also are increasing your risk for physical injury, especially if you aren’t the most physically active to begin with.
Many fad diets promise major weight losses in short periods of time.
Many of these fad diets require individuals to drastically cut their calories or omit certain types of food. The problem with this is that this type of eating can cause an unhealthy approach to food and eating. In other words, some foods will be seen as “bad” or “harmful” and this isn’t a healthy mindset to have when it comes to food and eating.
Some fad diets can cause a significant loss of body water. This means that when you step on the scale, you will have lost weight but most of it is water, meaning you haven’t accomplished what you think you have.
You can’t start a diet hoping to see significant changes in a short amount of time; you need to be patient. This means you have to give yourself realistic goals and have realistic expectations. If you don’t do this, you’re likely to have feelings of disappointment, which can cause you to give up on your health and weight loss goals.
If you want to lose weight and keep the weight off, you’ll need to implement strategies that can become long-term and lifelong habits.
Try making small, realistic goals and then when you accomplish those, you can make more lofty goals, if you want.
For example, make it a goal to start off each dinner with a side salad or to have a serving of veggies as a side dish. Do this until it becomes a normal practice for you, then you can add on to that goal by (for example) having a serving of fruit at every breakfast.
Intermittent fasting is another strategy you can make a life-long habit. And the good news is that intermittent fasting not only helps you lose weight, but there are many other health benefits associated with this diet such as decreased blood sugar, decreased blood pressure, and more (5,6).
Try giving yourself realistic exercise goals as well. If you rarely exercise, make it a goal to do some type of movement – yoga, walking, Pilates, etc. – for 15 minutes a day. When this becomes a habit, increase the time to 30 minutes.
By giving yourself goals like this and constantly improving yourself, you are setting yourself up for success. No, you likely won’t lose a large amount of weight in a short amount of time but you WILL lose weight and you’ll keep it off. You’ll also feel great and that’s just as important!
If you’re wondering how to lose 10 pounds in 1 month, we encourage you to rethink this goal. In order to lose that much weight in such a short amount of time, you’ll have to make drastic lifestyle changes that may do more harm than good. You’re also less likely to keep the weight off either.
Instead, try making realistic diet weight loss oriented and exercise goals for yourself. You’ll still lose weight and you’ll feel great and accomplished too!
The goal of losing weight shouldn’t be just a number on a scale, it should reflect how much energy you have and how you feel.
1. Koliaki C, Spinos T, Spinou Μ, Brinia Μ-E, Mitsopoulou D, Katsilambros N. Defining the Optimal Dietary Approach for Safe, Effective and Sustainable Weight Loss in Overweight and Obese Adults. Healthcare [Internet]. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI); 2018 [cited 2021 Nov 3];6. Available from: /pmc/articles/PMC6163457/
2. Tomiyama AJ, Mann T, Vinas D, Hunger JM, DeJager J, Taylor SE. Low Calorie Dieting Increases Cortisol. Psychosom Med [Internet]. NIH Public Access; 2010 [cited 2021 Nov 3];72:357. Available from: /pmc/articles/PMC2895000/
3. Benton D, Young HA. Reducing Calorie Intake May Not Help You Lose Body Weight. Perspect Psychol Sci [Internet]. SAGE Publications; 2017 [cited 2021 Nov 3];12:703. Available from: /pmc/articles/PMC5639963/
4. Dulloo AG, Jacquet J, Montani JP. How dieting makes some fatter: From a perspective of human body composition autoregulation. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 2012. p. 379–89.
5. Barnosky AR, Hoddy KK, Unterman TG, Varady KA. Intermittent fasting vs daily calorie restriction for type 2 diabetes prevention: A review of human findings. Translational Research. Mosby Inc.; 2014. p. 302–11.
6. Malinowski B, Zalewska K, Węsierska A, Sokołowska MM, Socha M, Liczner G, Pawlak-Osińska K, Wiciński M. Intermittent fasting in cardiovascular disorders—an overview. Nutrients. MDPI AG; 2019.
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