How to lose 20 pounds as fast as possible

Losing weight can be incredibly challenging, regardless of whether you are looking to lose five pounds or 20.

Not only does it require changes in diet and lifestyle, but it also requires a lot of patience.

Fortunately, the use of a combination of proven strategies can simplify and accelerate weight loss.

Here are 10 of the best ways to lose 20 pounds quickly and safely.

How to lose 20 pounds

It may sound like a no-brainer, but counting calories is one of the easiest and most effective ways to start losing weight fast.

Weight loss occurs when you consume more calories than you consume, either by reducing your intake or by increasing your physical activity.

While reducing calories on its own is generally not considered a sustainable way to lose weight, counting calories can be an effective tool for losing weight when combined with other diet and lifestyle modifications.

Keeping track of your caloric intake can increase your awareness of what you are putting on your plate, giving you the knowledge you need to make healthier choices.

Interestingly, a review of 37 studies found that weight loss programs that incorporated calorie counting led to a weight loss of 7.3 pounds (3.3 kg) more than those who did not (1).

Try to track your calorie intake using an application or a food diary.

Summary When combined with other changes in diet and lifestyle, counting calories can help you make healthier choices to increase weight loss.

2. Drink more water

Increasing water consumption is a simple way to increase weight loss with minimal effort.

In fact, one study found that combining a low-calorie diet with a higher water intake before meals resulted in 44% more weight loss over a 12-week period (2).

Research shows that water can increase weight loss by increasing metabolism, temporarily increasing the calories the body burns after eating.

According to a study in 14 adults, drinking 16.9 fluid ounces (500 ml) of water increased the metabolism by 30% after 30 to 40 minutes (3).

Drinking water with meals can also make you feel full, reducing your appetite and intake.

For example, a small study showed that drinking 16.9 fluid ounces (500 ml) of water before a meal reduced the calories consumed by 13% (4).

For best results, drink at least 34-68 fluid ounces (1-2 liters) of water per day to maximize weight loss.

Summary Drinking water can temporarily increase metabolism and reduce appetite to improve weight loss. For best results, drink at least 34-68 fluid ounces (1-2 liters) of water per day.

3. Increase your protein intake

To lose 20 pounds quickly, including more protein-rich foods in your diet is absolutely essential.

A diet high in protein has been associated with decreased abdominal fat, as well as muscle mass and metabolism preserved during weight loss (5, 6).

Protein can also help reduce appetite and decrease caloric intake.

A study in 19 adults found that increasing protein intake by only 15% increased feelings of fullness and significantly reduced calorie intake, abdominal fat and body weight (7).

Another study showed that eating a breakfast rich in protein decreased the levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates hunger, to a much greater extent than a breakfast rich in carbohydrates (8).

Meats, seafood, poultry, legumes, eggs, nuts and seeds are some healthy sources of protein that you can easily add to your diet.

Summary It has been shown that protein decreases belly fat and body weight. It can also promote feelings of fullness to reduce caloric intake.

4. Cut your carbohydrate intake

Decreasing the consumption of refined carbohydrates is another useful strategy to accelerate weight loss.

Refined carbohydrates have been stripped of their nutrient and fiber content during processing, resulting in a final product that is poor in nutrients.

In addition, they typically have a high glycemic index, which means they are digested and absorbed quickly. Rapid digestion leads to peaks and shocks in blood sugar levels, followed by an increase in hunger (9).

The consumption of a high number of refined carbohydrates has also been linked to an increase in body fat and weight gain.

For example, a study in 2,834 people found that a higher intake of refined carbohydrates was associated with an increase in abdominal fat, while a higher intake of whole grains was associated with less abdominal fat (10).

Another small study had similar findings and reported that a diet rich in whole grains decreased both body weight and caloric intake compared to a diet centered on refined grains (11).

To begin, simply exchange refined grains in pasta, white breads, cereals and prepackaged products for healthy alternatives of whole grains, such as couscous, quinoa, brown rice or barley.

Summary Refined carbohydrates can increase hunger levels and may be associated with an increase in abdominal fat and weight gain compared to whole grains.

5. Start lifting weights

Resistance training is a type of exercise that involves working against a force to increase muscle strength and endurance.

Adding resistance training to your routine can increase fat burning and metabolism to help you burn more calories, even while resting.

A review showed that 10 weeks of resistance training can increase metabolism by 7%, stabilize blood sugar in people with diabetes and carry 4 pounds (1.8 kg) of fat loss in adults (12).

Meanwhile, another study in 94 women suggested that resistance training retained fat-free mass and metabolism after weight loss, which allowed the body to burn more calories throughout the day (13).

Start by hitting the gym or doing bodyweight exercises at home, such as squats, tables and lunges.

Summary Resistance training can help increase metabolism and preserve fat-free mass, which helps burn more calories throughout the day.

6. Eat more fiber

The fiber moves slowly and undigested through your gastrointestinal tract, decreasing the emptying of your stomach so that you feel full longer (14, 15).

A study in healthy men found that the consumption of 33 grams of insoluble fiber, which is commonly found in wheat and vegetables, was effective in decreasing both appetite and food intake (16).

The effects of fiber that increase satiety could produce great benefits in terms of weight control.

One review reported that the increase in fiber intake by 14 grams per day was associated with a 10% reduction in calorie intake and 4.2 pounds (1.9 kg) of weight loss over a four-month period , even without making any other change in diet or lifestyle (17).

In addition, a 20-month study of 252 women found that each gram of dietary fiber consumed was associated with 0.5 pounds (0.25 kg) less body weight and 0.25% less body fat (18).

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds are excellent sources of fiber that are an integral part of a healthy diet to lose weight.

Summary The fiber keeps it full to reduce appetite and intake, which can increase weight loss.

7. Establish a sleep schedule

While there is no doubt that changing your diet and exercise routine are the two most important routes to losing 20 pounds, the amount of sleep could also play an important role.

In fact, one study in 245 women showed that both sleep at least seven hours per night and improve sleep quality increased the probability of success in weight loss by 33% (19).

And just as getting enough sleep can help you succeed, lack of sleep can cause pounds to accumulate slowly over time.

A study after 68,183 women older than 16 years found that those who slept five hours or less earned an average of 2.5 pounds (1.14 kg) more than women who slept at least seven hours a night (20).

Another study showed that even a single night of lack of sleep can increase hormone levels of hunger, which could increase appetite and increase weight (21).

Try to practice a ritual at bedtime every night, stick to a routine and minimize caffeine intake before bedtime to establish a healthy sleep cycle and improve weight loss.

Summary Getting enough sleep and improving the quality of sleep could benefit weight loss. On the contrary, lack of sleep can lead to increased hunger and weight gain.

8. Stay responsible

Staying responsible for your weight loss goals is key to long-term success. There are many different ways of doing it.

For example, weighing each day has been associated with greater weight loss and a lower risk of regaining weight compared to weighing less frequently (22).

The research also suggests that keeping a food diary to control your intake and progress on your own can help you lose more weight and keep it off longer (23, 24).

You can also try to partner with a friend or join an online weight loss community to increase your motivation and stay on track towards your goals.

Summary Being responsible can help increase weight loss. Weighing yourself daily, keeping a food diary and partnering with a friend are effective strategies to improve weight loss.

9. Add Cardio to your routine

If you are looking to lose a pound or 20, adding cardio to your routine is a must.

Cardio, also known as aerobic exercise, is a form of physical activity that increases your heart rate and helps strengthen your heart and lungs.

In addition, it increases the calories your body burns to help you lose fat and weight.

A study of 141 overweight and obese participants showed that cardiovascular exercise alone was effective in inducing significant weight loss.

In fact, doing cardio to burn 400 calories or 600 calories five times a week for 10 months resulted in an average weight loss of 8.6 pounds (3.9 kg) and 11.5 pounds (5.2 kg), respectively (25).

Another study had similar results, reporting that six months of cardiovascular exercise only decreased body weight by 9% in 141 obese older adults (26).

To maximize weight loss, try to do 150 to 300 minutes of cardiovascular exercise each week, or approximately 20 to 40 minutes every day (27).

Walking, running, jumping rope, rowing and boxing are some easy and enjoyable cardiovascular exercises that can increase weight loss.

Summary Cardio can increase your body's calorie burning rate to increase weight and fat loss.

10. Eat slowly and carefully

Mindfulness is a practice that involves becoming more aware of your thoughts and feelings while also shifting your focus to the present moment.

Eating slowly and practicing mindfulness can help increase weight loss and decrease consumption, while allowing you to enjoy your meal.

For example, a small study showed that eating slowly led to greater increases in satiety hormones and feelings of fullness than eating at a faster rate (28).

Similarly, a study of 30 healthy women showed that eating slowly resulted in lower calorie intake and a greater sense of fullness compared to eating more quickly (29).

Another review of 19 studies found that mindfulness interventions could significantly increase weight loss in 68% of the studies (30).

Try to minimize distractions while eating, chew your food more thoroughly and drink water with the food to help slow down and enjoy.

Summary Eating slowly and practicing mindfulness can increase the feeling of fullness, decrease caloric intake and increase weight loss.

The bottom line

Although losing 20 pounds can seem like a big challenge, it can be done quickly and safely by making some simple changes in your diet and lifestyle.

For best results, combine and combine these tips to improve both weight loss and overall health.

With a little patience and determination, it is completely possible to lose 20 pounds to help you achieve your weight loss goals in no time.

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