That first 20 pounds can seem like a mountain. It seems like every season there are new challenges and initiatives to lose weight. New Year’s resolutions, spring vacations down south and beach bodies may instantly leap to mind, but while these promises and challenges may initially peak your interest, how can you find a way to keep yourself on track when the gym quiets down again in February or all your friends are scarfing hot dogs at barbecues? Staying dedicated to your weight lose initiatives can be a truly daunting task, so we’ve compiled five of the best ways to lose 20 pounds in one month!
5Cut the soda
This may be advice that seems like a given these days, but people are still consuming carbonated soft drinks at alarming rates. The average soda contains 9 grams (or more) of refined weight sugar for every 1 fluid ounce of soda. Since refined weight sugar is something that we do not need in a daily healthy diet, any grams are over the recommended amount.
But maybe you’re thinking, well, 9 grams isn’t that much. And you would be right, except that the average can of Coca Cola is actually 355 ml and contains a whopping 39 grams of completely superfluous, incredibly fattening white sugar, and a bottle of pop, like what you would usually find in your work of schools’ vending machines, is 590 ml and contains 65g of sugar!
4Move every day
Exercise is a key component of a healthy weight loss regime.
I know what you’re thinking: ‘I exercise when I can. I lead a busy life.’ And no one is denying that, but what holds many people back from daily exercise is the idea that if they don’t get in a solid, sweat inducing 60 minutes at the gym, then there’s no point. In reality, any exercise is beneficial.
Taking the bus home from work? Consider getting off two stops early and walking the rest of the way while listening to music on your smart phone. It can double as a great way to unwind from a stressful day at the office.
Sitting down to watch a show? Try body-weight exercises while watching TV, like planks and leg raises.
And if you really want to get a good workout in with minimal time to spare, try High Intensity Interval Training. These short workouts focus on maximum bursts of speed and energy, coupled with moving cool downs. They’re super effective for dropping the pounds!
3Come up with a plan you can stick to
Are you the kind of person who has never seen a sunrise and has no interest in rolling out of bed before 9AM? Then you might want to skip signing up for that Bikram yoga class that starts at 7AM every morning.
Do you loath fish but have settled on a restrictive diet that includes glops of the stuff?
Trying to force yourself to enjoy things you hate, while doing something you don’t really enjoy in the first place, namely, losing weight, is asking for failure. If you want to learn to be an early riser, that’s fine, but don’t tie it to your weight loss plan. Fit your weight loss goals and initiatives into the life you already live, and that leads us to our next tip…
2Find someone to hold you accountable.
If it’s a gym buddy, a friend at work or even a structured class, knowing that someone will call you out on skipping your workout is a real good way of lighting a fire under your butt. That and working out with a partner you can chat with and lament to is a great way to keep your mind off your burning quads and focus your energy on something enjoyable. While it may initially be embarrassing to some people to think of someone they know watching them sweat and groan their way through a workout, studies have shown that physical exertion with someone can actually bring you closer together.
1Find someone to hold you accountable.
This can be a hard one for some people but when you’ve decided to lose weight, the worst thing you can do for yourself is move into a workout without a thorough understanding of your caloric needs. Yes, you do want to create a calorie deficit but you do not ever want to starve your body, starving your body will only work against you in the long run as it stockpiles fat in and effort to preserve its stores. Remember that your body is a machine focused only on survival and if it starts getting less calories than it needs to work smoothly, it will do everything it can to fight that.
Start by figuring out your BMR. Your basal metabolic rate is an important thing to consider when figuring out your caloric needs (look for reputable sources for the math and do the calculations yourself, don’t rely on the computer).