The weight loss industry would like us to believe that losing weight is easy – simply take a special pill, follow a revolutionary new diet, or purchase a scientifically developed piece of equipment, and all that extra weight will simply melt away before you know it.
People spend billions of dollars on weight loss services and products every year, yet a huge number of people are still large.
If you are struggling with losing weight, you know by now that it is not easy to lose weight.
You might be wondering why it’s so difficult and what you can do to make it easier. Although there are no shortcuts to losing weight, you can make it a lot easier by making a few basic changes.
Let’s have a look at common mistakes beginners when wanting to lose weight.
4 Rookie Mistakes of Weight Loss
During the first month of the journey to lose weight, you’ll have high hopes and many questions, mixed in with obstacles and accomplishments, and there will also be some mistake.
Even if you’re highly motivated and prepared, you’ll have days that you feel that nothing is going right. (1)
- Portion sizes
You might be tempted to fill your plate with healthy superfoods, but portion size does matter. If you eat reasonable portions, it will allow you to consume a wide variety containing all the nutrients you need.
The human body has the ability to regulate food intake built in, but we often totally ignore it.
We are unfortunately conditioned to eat and drink at all social events, putting a huge amount of peer pressure on anyone wanting to lose weight. If you learn to listen to your hunger, you’ll be able to eat exactly what your body needs and no more.
- Eating too much fruit
While it’s true that fruit is a healthy alternative to snacks, cookies, and cakes, you won’t be able to lose those extra pounds if you eat, or drink, several servings each day. Fruit contains massive amounts of natural sugar and if don’t work very hard, it will ultimately be stored as fat.
- Eating food you hate
Many diets tend to fail simply because they are not sustainable. Trying to force down foods you hate because they have been prescribed won’t be possible to keep up in the longer term.
When you force yourself to eat specific healthy foods, you may end up hating all similar foods by association.
If you, for example, don’t like kale but keep on eating it, you may eventually get to hate all leafy greens. Where possible, find alternatives that you find more palatable.
If you manage to learn which foods will help you achieve your weight-loss goals but are also pleasing to your palate, you’ll be able to develop healthy habits for life.
Once you are aware of the common weight-loss mistakes beginners often make, you’ll be able to make choices that will help you avoid temptations, frustration and disappointment.
Weight-loss journeys are never free of plateaus or bumps, but tailoring your exercise plan and diet to cater for your individual dislikes, likes, goals and needs will help to keep you going forward.
How to Lose 20 Pounds in 2 Weeks: How does Weight Loss Work?
In an ideal world, weight loss uses excess body fat stored in your fat cells and burns it for fuel, resulting in your fat cells shrinking causing the loss of pounds and inches.
Your total body weight is never only fat, but is made up of seven distinct elements:
- Fluids (including blood)
- Organs (heart, lungs, liver, etc.)
- Waste inside the digestive tract
- Body fat
- Glycogen – this form of carbohydrate is stored in the liver and muscles as the backup fuel
When your weight changes, it’s normally due to variations in the amount of water, glycogen, and waste in the body.
This changes from hour to an hour and day to day, and actually losing body fat takes longer. The only way to lose excess body fat is to create a calorie shortfall, and that is tricky.
To get this right, the following has to happen:
You need to start eating just enough calories to support your “ideal” weight and it has to be done in the right balance. If you, for example, weigh 160 pounds and your ideal weight is only 135, it simply means you’re eating enough to support 160 pounds.
If you’re gaining steadily, you’re eating enough to support more than 160 pounds. For losing weight healthily and safely, you need to eat just enough to support your ideal weight, including your muscles, bones, organ tissue and a smaller volume of body fat. (2)
If you start eating less than what is needed to support the ideal weight, you’ll be supplying too little fuel to your organs and muscles, forcing the body to save energy and burn fewer calories, or activate the muscle mass loss. This results in your metabolism slowing down.
A good rule of thumb is to always eat at least 10 calories per pound of ideal weight. The only exception is when you do a “jump start” for a short period. A person whose ideal weight is 135 pounds should eat at least 1,350 calories per day.
If you eat only enough to support the goal weight rather than the current weight, a calorie deficit is automatically created. For every 3,500 calorie deficit created, one pound of body fat will be mobilized and burnt off. This means that the bigger the difference between ideal weight and current weight, the bigger the deficit.
If two women both have an ideal weight of 135 pounds, a woman who starts at 160 will lose weight slower than a woman who starts at 185.
Although a number of different things affect fat loss, an important key to achieving safe, permanent results is to eat enough to support the goal weight. This does, however, mean that the closer you get to the goal, the smaller the deficit is, resulting in a longer time needed to lose the next round.
The good news is that by doing this correctly by not starving yourself, it will keep your metabolism running properly, and this will have you feeling energized and strong every step of the way.
Once you reach your goal weight, you will already be eating in a way that will allow you to maintain the results easily.Lose 20 Pounds in 2 Weeks - SHARE THIS Click To Tweet
When can I expect to see Weight Loss Results?
Various factors determine how fast diet results will become visible. This means that it will be different for every person. Let’s have a look at some of these factors.
If according to the body mass index, your starting weight is in the obese range, it is possible that your weight may change by up to 15 pounds in a day. That amount may however not be noticeable on a large frame.
If a petite woman loses 15 pounds, the weight loss could be several clothing sizes smaller. It is just about impossible and very dangerous for a small woman to lose that much weight fast. Smaller women will have less weight to lose and it will decrease at a slower pace.
With a larger starting body size, the weight will be lost at a much faster rate, especially at the beginning of the weight-loss program.
Type of Diet
Several diets are designed to have a starting phase where more weight is lost faster. South Beach, Atkins and various other popular diets have a week or two’s jump start with intense food restrictions to help you lose more weight. During this initial phase, it is possible to lose five pounds or more per week and this will result in the weight loss being noticeable sooner.
Restricting carbohydrate intake often leads to fast water loss. Water weight loss is likely to make you look and feel thinner, and it could make the difference between two different clothing sizes for some people. Losing water is however very different from losing fat.
For many dieters, cutting back on carbohydrates is a clever approach to weight loss, but for sustained weight loss to happen, it needs to be part of a comprehensive healthy eating program.
Easy Weight Loss Meal Plans
If you want to lose some extra pounds quickly, it’s possible to do by following a low-calorie diet. It should, however, be done right to ensure you’re consuming all the essential nutrients your body needs.
Following a low-calorie diet is easy if you use lots of foods that are dense in nutrients. It is, in fact, necessary as there is no space for food that isn’t totally nutritious.
How Much Should I Exercise?
Low-intensity exercises increase your heart rate, but not to the point that you need to breathe heavily. On a scale of one to ten, low-intensity exercises score between four and six.
During this type of activity, your heart rate typically falls to between 40% and 60% of your max heart rate. You should also feel comfortable enough to carry on the activity for long periods.
The benefits of low-key activities are that you should be able to do a lot of it. Low-intensity exercises improve the range of joint motion, lowers stress levels, increases calorie expenditure and provide hard workout recovery if you have scheduled these for other days.
Moderate exercise is often recommended for improved weight loss and health. Below are some guidelines to help you determine how much moderate intensity exercise you need to meet specific goals.
- Exercise between 150 and 250 minutes per week at a moderate intensity for modest weight loss.
- Exercise for more than 250 minutes per week at a moderate intensity for clinically significant weight loss.
- If you combine exercise and diet to lose weight, exercise between 150 and 250 minutes per week at a moderate intensity.
- Exercise for at least 250 minutes per week at a moderate intensity to prevent weight gain after you’ve lost weight.
Moderate-intensity workouts allow you to maintain calorie-burning sessions for a longer period.
It also boosts your metabolism, improves heart health, reduces stress and improves cardio-respiratory endurance. Due to the tolerable intensity level of moderate workouts, you’ll be able to do more of them during the week without risk of burnout or injury. (3)
High-intensity workouts will have you breathing deeply and be on the verge of gasping. You should not be able to maintain the activity for more than a couple of minutes. On the exertion scale, you should be working out at level eight or nine.
As you can only maintain high-intensity exercises for a short period, they are often done in interval-style workouts. One popular form is known as high-intensity interval training or HIIT. These workouts combine surges of intense exercise that last between 30 seconds and several minutes, with short recovery periods that last about 30 seconds or slightly more.
Combining Low, Moderate, and High Workouts
Always make sure that you don’t work out too hard too often. Give your body the rest it needs by doing low-intensity exercises on days following hard workouts. During these easy days, the increased range of motion will help sore muscles recover faster.
Your calorie burn will however still increase on these days without exhausting your body too much thereby risking injury or burnout.
Do moderate-intensity sessions for the rest of your workout week and challenge yourself by making those sessions longer. Calorie-burning benefits from moderate workout sessions are derived from the duration, rather than the intensity of the session.
How to Lose 20 Pounds in 2 Weeks: Your checklist for losing 20 pounds, guaranteed
If you want to lose 20 pounds, check out our checklist below for the things you need to do to get those results. Read the list carefully and implement each and every item. If you do, you will lose 20 pounds and will also have created a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.
Determine how many calories you need
One of the trickiest parts of a weight loss program is to determine how many calories you need to consume to lose weight. A simple way to calculate this is to multiply your body weight in pounds by 10-12. A 210 lb person would, for example, eat between 2100 and 25200 calories.
It is better to start at the high end and only reduce this if required. The ultimate goal is to eat as many calories as possible while still losing weight.
If you eat less than 8 times your body weight in calories but don’t lose weight over 3 week period, it is likely that you have some metabolic down-regulation or damage.
Although it is not required to track calories in order to lose weight, it is recommended, at least until you have a good idea of the size of portions.
Fortunately, there are great apps available for free to help track calories, making the process very simple and easy.
Everything you eat has to be captured on the app, and you need to ensure your intake is within 5% of the required calorie intake per day. This means you’ll eat neither too much, not too little each day.
Once you have determined what your calorie intake should be and track it, you need to plan your meals. It’s a good idea to plan meals for a week in advance, as this will help you plan grocery shopping and will prevent you from grabbing convenience food when hungry and not sure about what to eat next. A little planning will go a long way towards keeping you on the right track.
Keep the following in mind when planning your meals:
Plan the number of meals you want to eat based on your own unique lifestyle. Studies clearly demonstrate that the frequency of meals does not really make a difference.
The total daily calorie intake is the biggest factor that will influence your body weight. Pick a schedule that you can stick to easily and consistently for a very long period.
Most meals throughout the week will be very similar. It’s not logical nor sustainable to expect that you should eat 30+ different meals.
You will mostly eat the same 3 to 4 meals or snacks every day and have 1 to 2 different ones for variation. If you do this, it means you’ll only have to plan for about 5 to 10 different meals for one week and you can repeat this schedule in the following weeks.
Try to consume 0.6 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day and include a portion of protein in each meal. You’ll need more protein the more active you are.
Supplement the rest of your calorie intake with carbohydrates and healthy fats. Although the volume of each will differ from person to person, generally speaking, more activity translates to more carbs being consumed relative to fat.
You should also try to consume at least 10 grams of fiber for every 100 grams of carbohydrates you eat.
As this is one of the most important items on this checklist, take your time and read it carefully to make sure you fully understand it.
You do not have to stick to a diet perfectly to get good results. Your chances of success will, in fact, be vastly improved if you do include some foods that you really enjoy.
You can still get good results if up to 20% of your calories come from foods you enjoy and love.
The key is to hit the required calorie intake and manage your protein, fat, carb, and fiber targets. You’ll be surprised at what you can get away with if you manage to maintain that balance.
Long-term happiness and adherence can best be achieved by eating all foods in moderation.
Strength Training and Getting Active
An important part of any weight loss program is to keep the lean body mass working. Muscle is several times more active from a metabolically perspective than what fat tissue is. It uses up fat throughout the day.
People that lose weight too fast or try to lose weight without doing any strength training very quickly lose lean body mass. This is a vicious cycle as a decrease in lean body mass results in a lower metabolic rate which in turn leads to a lower fat loss pace.
Apart from doing strength training, you also need to make sure that you get and stay active. Getting up and moving around is a great way of doing this. Don’t just work out and then be inactive for the rest of the day.
There are many different physical activities you can do throughout the day, including walking, taking the stairs, cleaning and even playing. Get creating, but get and keep on moving!
It’s good to take a number of baseline measurements before you get started. These measurements are critical as they will give you valuable information you can use to decide on any exercise and dietary adjustments that may be needed.
We suggest that you take various measurements before you start on your weight loss journey. These are listed below:
- Body Fat –Measuring your body fat will clearly show you how much of the weight you lose is lean body mass and how much is fat. Some common ways you can use to measure body fat include using hydrostatic weighing, calipers, body fat scales, and DEXA.
- Weight – Weigh yourself at the same time every morning after using the bathroom. At the end of the week, take the 7 measurements for every day and calculate the average. Comparing the week to week averages will ensure that the weight trend is downward.
- Pictures – Take before pictures as well as progress pictures every 2 to 4 weeks. This will help you see the differences in your body that you’ll easily miss when you look in the mirror each day.
- Measurements – Use a tape measure to measure the circumference of different body parts, including your arms, chest, thighs, hips, and waist.
Losing any significant amount of weight does not happen overnight. If there is a lot of weight you need to lose, expect to lose approximately 1% of your body’s mass every week in the beginning.
If you however only need to lose 20 pounds to become lean, the weight loss pace will be a lot slower. If this is the case, it is realistic to expect to lose about 0.5% of your body mass per week.
Always try to remember that this is not a race. The ideal long-term outcome is that you manage a weight loss pace that enables you to maintain as much lean body mass as what you possibly can.
Losing 20 pounds with 10 pounds of this being muscle is a pretty pointless exercise. The ultimate aim should be to lose 20 pounds of fat, but at the same time maintaining or even increasing your lean body mass. To do that effectively, you’ll need to always keep running at a small calorie deficit.
Adjust when Required
As you get closer to reaching your goal, it is likely that you’ll need to make some adjustments to either your exercise or diet or both. When you compare your progress measurements every week, check if your progress is slowing down. If this is the case, it might be an indication that you should do some more exercise, or reduce your calorie intake.
Always remember that it is not necessary to eliminate the number of calories from your diet by all that much get your weight loss moving again.
Cutting a mere 100 to 200 calories from your daily intake should be sufficient to see your body fat measurements and scale start moving downward again.
By the same token, adding an additional 100 to 200 calories worth of exercise will also do the trick.
You could also use a combination of more exercise and fewer calories. Make sure you don’t overdo it as this would not be sustainable. Making small changes and repeating these day in and day out is the key to success over the long term.
Lose 10 pounds in THREE (3) days with this diet plan (Essential Plan)
With so many exercise regimes and fad diets on the market, it is difficult to determine the best way to lose weight quickly, but we think we may have found the answer. (4)
This Military Diet has been specifically designed to help burn fat fast and it’s entirely free.
Participants in the diet can look forward to losing as much as 10 pounds in a few days and do not have to do any exercises, although it would most probably help.
The website of Military Diet states that the food combination in the diet is designed to lose weight fast by burning fat and kick-starting your metabolism. They also claim to be a natural diet to lose weight fast without having to use any prescriptions.
It is believed that the diet was created in the 1980s and for military men that were due for their medical check-up and had to lose excess weight really fast.
The diet consists of 3 days where the calorie intake is very low, followed by 4 days of a calorie intake of about 1200 Kcal to 1500 Kcal.
The meal plan for the first three days is given below:
- Breakfast: Half a grapefruit, one slice of wholegrain toast with two tbsp. peanut butter and one cup of tea or coffee.
- Lunch: Half a cup of Tuna, one slice of whole grain toast and one cup of tea or coffee.
- Dinner: Half a banana, one small apple, one cup of green beans, three oz. (85 grams) meat and one cup of ice cream.
- Breakfast: Half a banana, one hard-boiled egg and one slice of wholegrain toast.
- Lunch: Five saltine crackers, one cup of cottage cheese and one hard-boiled egg.
- Dinner: Half a banana, half a cup of broccoli, half a cup of carrots, two hot dogs without the bun, and half a cup of ice cream.
- Breakfast: An apple, five saltine crackers, and one slice cheddar cheese.
- Lunch: one egg (cooked or hard boiled) and one slice of toast.
- Dinner: Half a banana, one cup of tuna, one cup of ice cream. Snacks are not allowed between meals, but green tea and black coffee without sugar are allowed.
This diet results in such fast weight loss because it has such low-calorie intake.
This diet plan is short-term and it should never be used for longer than 3 days.
You can check this military diet training program just right HERE. (Opens in New Tab)
Weight Loss vs Appearance
Many people follow a weight loss plan in order to improve their health, while the main goal of others is to become more attractive by changing their appearance. Although being or becoming attractive is subjective, research has been done to determine how much weight should be lost before a change in appearance becomes noticeable. (5)
Researchers at the University of Toronto did a study to evaluate facial attraction and weight loss.
The findings were published in ‘Social Psychology and Personality Science’ and these indicate that between eight and nine pounds need to be lost before others will notice a difference in your face.
You will, however, need to lose double that amount before others will start finding you more attractive.
Nicholas Rule, Canada Research Chair in Social Perception and Cognition and an associate professor at the University of Toronto and study author explained that facial adiposity (the amount of fat in your face) was investigated because it is seen as a strong indicator of health.
He added that women’s facial attractiveness seems to be more sensitive to changes in weight than that of men. This simply means that women that want to lose weight have to shed fewer pounds than men before people will start finding them more attractive.
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