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How to Lose 20 Pounds in 2 Weeks: Mission Possible?
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How to Lose 20 Pounds in 2 Weeks: Mission Possible?

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on August 23, 2022
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7 min

We bring you the reality of losing significant weight in a short period and whether it’s something worth attempting.

How to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks

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Shedding the pounds is hard, whether you want to drop a dress size or lose significant body fat. 

Weight loss has many health benefits, from better heart health to managing medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. 

It’s the right move to make if you’re carrying excess weight. 

Now, if you want to drop 20 pounds, you’re probably wondering how to do it as quickly as possible. It’s only natural to want results now rather than later. 

The bottom line is you need to burn more calories than you take in. The good news is, this is entirely possible when you eat less and move more.

On top of that, you can use several other techniques to optimize your weight loss efforts. 

Before we get into it, we don’t recommend losing weight fast. We suggest dropping the pounds gradually as part of a healthy lifestyle. 

If you’re set on your 20-pound target, this article covers the dangers of rapid weight loss and how to get started with a weight loss program. 

How Much Water Should I Drink to Lose Weight? 

For a general guideline, the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommend the following: 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of water a day for men and 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of water a day for women.

If you know the dieting world, you’ve probably heard that drinking water helps with weight loss. 

It’s true! Increasing your water intake can help in several ways. It can help you burn calories, suppress appetite and fill you up before meals, and reduce your daily calorie intake by replacing other beverages with only water. 

Daily water requirements depend on the individual. For instance, those who are regularly active need more water than those who are less mobile. 

You may also need to drink more water with a calorie restriction, as around 20% of our water intake comes from foods.

While we can’t say how much water to drink precisely, you should aim to drink water frequently throughout the day. 

Rapid Weight Loss: Is It Safe? 

No, rapid weight loss is never recommended, unless in some instances, under medical supervision.  According to most health experts, the safest and most sustainable way to lose weight is to aim for 1–2 pounds per week. 

When you lose weight fast, you increase the risk of health complications, including: 

  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Slow metabolism
  • Muscle loss
  • Gallstones 
  • Dehydration 
  • Extreme fatigue 

Aside from the risks, you’re also more likely to gain more weight when your diet returns to normal. You may reach your temporary weight loss goals, but the results from a short-term diet will soon fade.

With that in mind, you shouldn’t attempt to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks unless under supervision from a trained medical professional. Losing so much weight in a short time is almost guaranteed to cause problems.

How Long Does It Take to Lose 20 Pounds?

As mentioned earlier, losing 1–2 pounds per week is a safe and healthy goal. If you stick with this target and maintain consistency with your weight loss program, you can expect to lose 20 pounds in 10–20 weeks (up to 5 months).

However, there is no definite period to lose 20 pounds, as everybody loses weight at different rates. 

Weight loss success depends on the lifestyle you lead. Creating good habits is the best way to achieve significant weight loss. 

Your ability to lose weight quickly depends on your age, physical activity level, and current body weight. 

Best Foods for Weight Loss

Fat loss starts with a good diet plan.

There are so many diet-friendly foods you can enjoy to get the pounds off while nourishing your body. 

Find a plan that works for you, whether a low-calorie diet, low-carb diet, or a high-protein diet.

#1 Veggies

Green vegetables and fruits are full of essential nutrients. They contain fiber which keeps you full and may boost the metabolism. 

Eat a range throughout your diet plan, from a vegetable salad at lunch to steamed vegetables at dinner.  

#2 Healthy fats

Always choose healthy fats over processed fats for better health and weight loss results. Swap foods high in saturated fat for good fats like eggs, olive oil, avocados, fatty fish, nuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds. 

As healthy fat keeps you full, you can consume fewer calories throughout the day. 

#3 Lean protein

High protein foods and drinks may aid weight loss, reducing belly fat in particular. Alternatively, low-carb diets focus on a moderate protein intake to help keep the body burning fat. 

Either way, protein is an essential part of a healthy diet. It promotes satiety, provides you with energy for working out, and builds and repairs muscles. 

Good protein sources include grilled fish, boiled eggs, low-fat cheese, lean meats, and poultry. Try grilled chicken or steamed chicken for a healthy dinner.

#4 Whole foods

Refined carbs have no nutritional value. They don’t nourish your body, and they don’t support weight loss. 

So, avoid white bread, white pasta, white rice, white flour, pastries, sweets, and sodas. Start eating whole grains like brown rice, whole-wheat bread, and oats.

How to Lose 20 Pounds in 2 Weeks: 7 Easy Ways to Lose Weight 

Here are our 7 quick tips for effectively losing weight.

#1 Take care of your gut

A happy gut can help you reach your weight loss goals as gut bacteria may impact how your body digests different foods.

You can care for your gut by eating a healthy diet with plenty of dietary fiber, fruits, vegetables, and fermented foods. You should also drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

For further support, ColonBroom is a dietary supplement that includes psyllium husk, a natural fiber that helps keep your gut microbiota healthy and provides a gut cleanse. 

#2 Try fasting 

Intermittent fasting is a popular weight-loss method as, when practiced correctly, it can bring significant results

Intermittent fasting speeds up fat loss as the body burns fat for fuel after long periods of not eating. 

Plus, you lower your caloric intake with limited hours to eat as you consume fewer calories each day. It restricts you from eating extra calories that you’d usually consume through snacking. 

A restricted eating schedule is tough to manage at first, but the DoFasting app can assist you with a personalized diet plan. With thousands of recipes and special diets to choose from, fasting has never been so accessible.

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#3 Set realistic goals

Setting realistic weight loss goals will keep you motivated, reduce the pressure, and keep you on track with your targets.

As mentioned, significant fat loss in just two weeks is an unrealistic objective. Reduce your target weight to a number that is safe, healthy, and physically possible to reach.

#4 Walk at a leisurely pace

Walking is an excellent exercise choice to shed pounds. 

Taking leisurely walks burns calories, keeps leg muscles strong, and ultimately promotes weight loss.

#5 Avoid dairy

Removing dairy from your diet can help with weight loss and reduce bloating.

Dairy products contain many calories, so you reduce your calorie intake when you cut them out. You also decrease your sugar intake, as dairy contains lactose, a natural sugar. 

#6 Remember that fad diets don’t work

Generally, fad diets only help you lose weight temporarily. Most people who follow a fad diet lose weight at first but experience weight gain once returning to a regular diet. 

From Atkins to the boiled egg diet, there are many that might tempt you. However, they pose more negative effects than favorable results, with many severely lacking major nutrients. 

#7 Eat more often but in smaller portions

Eating smaller meals more frequently can prevent your blood sugar from dropping, reduce hunger pangs, and prevent impulsive eating. 

How Much Cardio Do I Need to Lose Weight? 

The US Department of Health and Human Services guidelines recommend healthy adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic physical activity. 

Increase your moderate-intensity activity to 300 minutes per week for further weight loss results. Hire a personal trainer if you want to hone in on your fitness.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT), running, and swimming are excellent forms of cardio exercise. Combine your chosen activity with strength training for additional health benefits. 

A Word From Our RD

Losing 20 pounds is possible when you commit yourself to good lifestyle habits.

Try not to rush things, and focus your efforts on gradual weight loss that you can sustain for a lifetime.

Weight loss occurs when you take in fewer calories than you burn. So, you need to reduce your calorie intake and ramp up your activity level to burn more calories.

Eat a healthy diet and choose whole foods over other foods with little nutritional value. Eliminate refined foods that have no place in your eating plan, and enjoy foods that promote satiety, energy, and fat loss.

Get enough sleep, too, as sleep deprivation can quickly lead to an increased appetite.

With two weeks of consistency, you will see a noticeable difference in your body weight.

When seeking to lose a lot of weight, always consult your doctor to determine the best strategies.

Conclusion

If you want to lose 20 pounds as soon as possible, give your diet and exercise routine full attention. The simple strategies are proven ways to reduce body fat and deliver positive results.

Whichever program you decide to follow, plan a visit to your doctor to ensure your plans are safe for your body. With sensible weight loss, you can say goodbye to 20 excess pounds in a few months without jeopardizing your health.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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