If you want to lose 10 pounds (4.5 kg) in a month, you have to burn 3500 calories per week (1). A very low-calorie diet, cardio, and lifestyle changes can help.
But studies show that a calorie deficit of 3500 is not always physically possible(2), (3). Moreover, a very low-calorie diet may lead to metabolic slowdown (4). In that case, what should you do if you want to lose 10 pounds in 30 days? Scroll down to find out!
1. Count Calories
Weight loss has a simple equation. More calories out and fewer calories in (5). Counting calories will give you a fair idea of how many calories you are consuming and expending. It will help you better track your weight loss progress.
Ideally, you must reduce 500 calories from your total calorie intake in the first week to kick-start your weight loss. You can further reduce 500 calories in the next week.
But if if you workout, a very-low calorie diet is not ideal. Depending on your daily caloric expenditure, consume 1200-1500 calories per day. Increase or decrease calorie intake according to when you workout.
2. Cut Down On Refined Carbs
Refined carbs have zero nutritional value. They get easily digested, cause blood sugar spikes, and result in low-grade inflammation and obesity (6), (7). Scientists have found that a diet high in refined carbs leads to belly fat or abdominal obesity (8).
Toss out all the refined carbs from your pantry. These may include refined flour, white rice, bread, pasta, rice flour, breakfast cereals, pizza dough, and sugar.
3. Say No To Sugar
Refined sugar and foods containing added sugar pose a serious risk to health. Refined sugar can lead to obesity, insulin resistance, increased hunger, diabetes, and heart disease in the long run (9).
Keep off from refined sugar, sweets, candies, pastries, cakes, chewing gums, pancakes, sweetened beverages, and doughnuts. Cutting down on sugar can lead to reduced calorie intake. This decreases the risk of metabolic diseases (10).
You may consume a maximum of 25 g sugar per day, as per WHO guidelines (11). Check nutritional labels for fructose, high fructose corn syrup, added sugar, etc.
4. Add More Fiber
Consuming more dietary fiber is great for weight loss. Dietary fiber is a good carb that humans cannot digest and absorb (12). It adds bulk to the stool, helps breakdown fat to short-chain fatty acids, and increases the number and variety of good gut bacteria. The fiber also forms a gel-like layer and increases satiety (13), (14), (15), (16).
Consume veggies, fruits, and whole grains to get more dietary fiber. These will keep your hunger in check and help reduce your calorie intake. You can consume these dietary fiber-rich foods.
5. Have Protein In Every Meal
Here’s what you can consider as good sources of protein: skinless chicken breast, mackerel, salmon, rohu, pomfret, basa, murrel, haddock, sardine, ground turkey, mushroom, tofu, ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, casein water, lentils, kidney beans, soybeans, garbanzo beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, peas, soybean milk, egg whites, almonds, pistachios, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, and chia seeds.
6. Consume Healthy Fats
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids found in fish oil, fatty fish, monounsaturated fatty acids (olive oil), and medium-chain saturated fats (coconut oil) are the healthy fats that you may include in your diet (21).
Healthy fats help reduce inflammation and the associated weight gain (22).
Sources Of Healthy Fats –Sardine, mackerel, hilsa, salmon, tuna, olive oil, rice bran oil, peanut butter, sunflower butter, pepita, melon seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, and pistachios.
7. Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods like sausage, salami, ready-to-eat foods, canned fruits or veggies, packaged foods and beverages, and frozen foods are loaded with added sugar and sodium. They also contain preservatives, artificial colors, and flavoring agents. These foods have reduced nutritional value and are high in calories and trans fats.
If you want to lose 10 pounds in a month, you must avoid consuming processed foods. Consume fresh veggies, fruits, protein sources, healthy fats, whole grains, and stay hydrated to lose weight.
8. Avoid Dressings And Sauces
Salad dressings and sauces are loaded with flour, sugar, and salt. Avoid all bottled condiments. Instead, stick to hummus, olive oil dressing, orange juice dressing, and yogurt dressing.
9. Portion Your Meals
Even healthy foods can make you gain weight if you do not practice portion control. Eat in a small plate. Half of your plate should contain veggies, while protein should occupy one fourth, and the other one fourth must contain whole grains.
Also, pay attention to the food when you eat. This will give your brain a cue about the amount of food you have consumed, thereby preventing overeating.
10. Snack Healthy
Unhealthy snacking alone can lead to a lot of weight gain (23). Instead, consuming whole foods loaded with protein and fiber has shown to promote satiety and weight loss (24). Here’s a list of healthy snacks:
Healthy Snacks To Consume
Watermelon, coconut water, melon, apple, strawberries, blueberries, pomegranate, guava, orange, pear, grapefruit, plain yogurt, ricotta cheese, baby carrot and hummus, baked vegetable chips, 5-10 in-shell pistachios, 4 soaked almonds, 2 dates, 1 banana, a handful of soaked Bengal gram, ½ cup whole moong bean with tomato and cucumber, black coffee, green tea, matcha green tea, and fruit juices and smoothies.
11. Be Careful With The Beverages
If you are aiming to lose 10 pounds in 30 days, you must avoid consuming soda, diet soda, packaged fruit and vegetable juices, alcohol, and coffee or tea with creme and sugar. These contain a high amount of sugar and are high in calories. They also contain added flavors, preservatives, carbonated water, and artificial sweeteners.
You can instead go for plain water, detox water, coconut water, freshly pressed fruit juice, or a glass of red wine.
12. Fast Intermittently
Intermittent fasting has been scientifically proven to create a caloric deficit and aid weight loss (25). The 16/8 intermittent fasting is one popular method. You fast for 16 hours and feast for 8 hours.
This method of eating also has many health benefits apart from weight loss. Start by fasting once a week and gradually make it a routine gradually.
13. Eat Slow
Slow eating has been proven to be a dietary strategy for people with obesity and diabetes (28). Hence, chew slowly and pay attention to your food when you eat.
14. Do More Cardio
Cardio is great for weight loss. A study found that high intensity cardio results in lower body fat and waist circumference (29).
15. Do Strength Training
Strength training helps prevent muscle loss. Cardio causes both fat and muscle loss. After the second week, when you have lost a considerable amount of water weight and fat, start strength training twice a week.
16. Sleep And Rest
Sleep and rest are as important as working out 5 hours a week. When you work out, your muscles undergo wear and tear. It is when you sleep and rest the muscle fibers rebuild themselves and recover. Moreover, sleep deprivation causes weight gain.
17. Feel Beautiful
It all boils down to how you feel inside. Yes, you must lose the excess weight and strive for better health. But don’t blindly follow a trend or a celeb. Also, not stressing about weight can help you lose weight faster. If you are stressed out about anything, talk to a licensed psychiatrist or a confidant.
These are the 17 ways you can lose 10 pounds in a month. Here is a sample diet plan you may follow:
1-Week Diet Plan
|Monday||1 cup water with juice of ½ a lime and 1 teaspoon honey||½ cup oatmeal with seasonal fruits and melon seeds||3 oz grilled fish/tofu and greens salad||1 cup seasonal fruits||1 cup dahl soup with cauliflower, peas, and squash|
|Tuesday||2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds soaked in a cup of water||Spinach egg frittata + 1 cup black coffee|
Tofu scramble + 1 cup green tea
|1 cup vegetable millet + 1 cup buttermilk||1 apple or an orange||3 oz peri peri grilled chicken/ tofu with Chinese cabbage, tomato, and cucumber|
|Wednesday||1 cup water with juice of ½ a lime and 1 teaspoon honey||½ cup vegetable semolina + green tea||Lettuce, purple cabbage, carrot, tomato, and broccoli salad with olive oil and lime dressing + 1 cup buttermilk||10 in-shell pistachios + 1 cup green tea||1 cup chicken clear soup|
|Thursday||2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds soaked in a cup of water||½ cup oatmeal with seasonal fruits and melon seeds||Grilled chicken + mashed cauliflower||1 cup black coffee + 1 digestive biscuit||1 cup mushroom clear soup|
|Friday||1 cup water with juice of ½ a lime and 1 teaspoon honey||2 wheat and millet pancakes with 1 tablespoon honey + 1 cup black coffee||Tuna or tofu salad||1 cup green tea + 1 digestive biscuit||1 cup vegetable millet or quinoa + 1 square dark chocolate|
|Saturday||2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds soaked in a cup of water||Blueberry and oats smoothie||Egg salad with veggies|
Dahl soup with veggies
|1 cup seasonal fruits||Zoodles with shrimps or mushrooms and nuts|
|Sunday||1 cup water with juice of ½ a lime and 1 teaspoon honey||Bacon, eggs, and baked beans + 1 cup black coffee|
|Chicken patties with a slice of cheese and tomato, lettuce, olives, jalapenos, and cucumber||1 cup coconut water||1 cup seasonal fruits + 1 cup buttermilk|
Losing 10 pounds in a month is definitely a challenge. But if you have an upcoming event, make sure you follow the tips and diet mentioned in this post. Talk to your doctor if you have a medical condition or are on certain medications (antidepressants or birth control) and get a customized diet chart. The right planning and preparation can help you shed those pounds.
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- Spadaro, Paola A., et al. “A refined high carbohydrate diet is associated with changes in the serotonin pathway and visceral obesity.” Genetics research 97 (2015).
- Khan, Tauseef A., and John L. Sievenpiper. “Controversies about sugars: results from systematic reviews and meta-analyses on obesity, cardiometabolic disease and diabetes.” European journal of nutrition 55.2 (2016): 25-43.
- Stanhope, Kimber L. “Sugar consumption, metabolic disease and obesity: The state of the controversy.” Critical reviews in clinical laboratory sciences 53.1 (2016): 52-67.
- Bovi, Anna Pia Delli, et al. “Obesity and Obesity Related Diseases, Sugar Consumption and Bad Oral Health: A Fatal Epidemic Mixtures: The Pediatric and Odontologist Point of View.” Translational Medicine@ UniSa 16 (2017): 11.
- Dhingra, Devinder, et al. “Dietary fibre in foods: a review.” Journal of food science and technology 49.3 (2012): 255-266.
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- Wong, Julia MW, et al. “Colonic health: fermentation and short chain fatty acids.” Journal of clinical gastroenterology 40.3 (2006): 235-243.
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