Is it possible to lose 30 pounds in a month?

A healthy amount of weight to lose per week is 1 to 2 pounds, which equates to 4 to 8 pounds in a month. Losing 30 pounds in a month means you would have to lose 1 pound per day, which would not be considered healthy.

You need to consume a certain number of calories in order to maintain your current weight. The number of calories that you require depends on your age, gender, weight, height and how active you are.

In order to lose weight you need to consume fewer calories than what your body burns. Doing so forces it to use its fat stores as a source of energy.

You can use the calculator below to determine how many calories you need to consume:

Gender Age Weight Switch to lbs Height Switch to feet and inches Activity Level

This calculator will never show a number below 1000 calories per day. Please speak to a qualified health professional before attempting to eat less than that.

For example, a 40 year old lady who weighs 200 pounds, is 5 and a half feet tall and exercises 4 days a week will need approximately 2500 calories to maintain her current weight, 2000 calories to lose weight and 1500 calories to lose weight fast.

When trying to lose weight, your goal should be to burn fat whilst conserving as much muscle as possible.

It is also important to note that weight loss is not a linear process. One week you might lose a lot of weight and the next not so much.

Your body is very dynamic and will make changes (e.g. to your metabolism) as you start to lose weight.

It is recommended that you do not consume less than 1,000 – 1,200 calories per day. Everybody is different so your best option is to speak to your doctor. He or she will be able to advise you on the minimum number of calories you should be consuming.

How much weight can you healthily lose in a month?

By following a strict eating and exercise plan, it would be possible to lose 8 – 10 pounds in a month (this number is not set in stone however and will vary from person to person, depending on various factors.)

In order to lose 10 pounds, you would need to take a close look at your diet to see just how many calories you are consuming per day.

Different foods have different amounts of calories; those with a lot of water tend to be low in calories whereas those with a lot of fat tend to be high in calories. This is why 100 g of lettuce has only 15 calories but 100 g of walnuts has 654 calories.

That being said, not all high calorie foods should be avoided; when eaten in moderation, some can help you lose weight.

Nuts and seeds contain a lot of protein and fiber, both of which assist with weight loss (more on this later). They are also extremely rich in vitamins and minerals.

However other carbohydrate rich junk foods (like doughnuts) are full of calories but provide very little nutritional value. These are the kinds of foods you want to avoid.

Here are some tips to help you lose as much weight as possible in a month:

Monitor your calorie intake

This is fairly easy to do – after every meal write down exactly what you ate. For example:

Breakfast – 2 scrambled eggs, 1/2 a cup of baked beans, a cup of coffee without milk or sugar.

You can then use a website such as calorieking.com or caloriecount.com to calculate the total number of calories. 2 scrambled eggs have 160 calories, 1/2 a cup of baked beans has 140 calories and coffee has 0 calories, so breakfast would be 300 calories in total.

You can also use the calorie counter by myfitnesspal, there is an app available for both iOS and Android. They have a large database of foods, so you simply enter what you ate and the app will automatically add the food to your daily log. At the end of the day you can see how many calories you ate.

Once you know how many calories you are consuming per day, you can then reduce your intake by making healthy substitutions.

For example, a medium sized buttered croissant has 231 calories, whereas a large boiled egg has 77 calories. If you had the croissant for breakfast, you would likely be hungry within 2 hours and would need to eat again.

On the other hand, 3 large boiled eggs have the same number of calories that the croissant does, but eating them would keep you satisfied until lunch time.

Similarly, half of a 14 inch regular crust pizza has 1,200 calories, whereas a chicken breast with steamed vegetables has 384 calories. That’s a difference of 800 calories, which is a large amount.

Eat more protein and fiber

Both protein and fiber help to fill you up faster, so you are less likely to overeat.

This study found that increasing protein intake to 30% of total calories led to 441 fewer calories being consumed per day. Another study found that overweight men on a high protein diet didn’t think about food as much as those on a normal protein diet and also had less of a late night desire to eat. It can also help you to keep the weight off once you lose it.

A study on fiber had similar results. It was found that increasing daily fiber intake to 30 g or more helped people lose weight.

Protein and fiber rich foods include vegetables, eggs, fish, lean meat, nuts, seeds and legumes. You should eat more of these foods whilst cutting back on, or completely eliminating processed carbohydrates.

Watch what you drink

Sugary drinks such as soda are one way in which calories sneakily make their way into your body. A can of cola for example has more than 100 calories, but it provides your body with no nutritional value, so the calories are considered to be “empty”.

Sugary drinks are one of the leading causes of weight gain. This is because when you drink them, they don’t fill you up as well as solid food with the same number of calories would.

Chewing, together with the bulk that solid food adds to your stomach sends a signal to your brain that you have eaten, so you should feel less hungry. Unfortunately your brain does not register the calories from sugary drinks as efficiently.

Sodas tend to contain a lot of fructose and studies such as this one found that unlike glucose, fructose does not satisfy appetite. Indeed, sugar sweetened beverages have been linked to weight gain.

Fruit juice should be drunk with caution as well because it is high in fructose and calories. This study found that drinking apple juice does not satisfy appetite as well as eating an apple does. High quality fruit juice does provide vitamins and minerals but you are better off eating solid fruit instead.

Your best option when it comes to losing weight is to drink plain water. It contains 0 calories, 0 grams of sugar and has been shown to help you lose weight. Tea and coffee are also fine to drink as they contain no calories (when drunk without cream or sugar) and the caffeine in them does help to boost your metabolism slightly.

Exercise more

Your diet is the most crucial element of weight loss but exercise is important as well. It helps increase your calorie expenditure, thereby creating a larger net calorie deficit.

If you don’t exercise already, you should aim to do 30 minutes of exercise that makes you sweat at least 4 times a week. If you do exercise, gradually increase the intensity.

An effective method is high intensity interval training (HIIT). It involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by a longer recovery period.

For example you could cycle on a stationary bike as fast as you can for 30 seconds and then cycle at a comfortable pace for a minute. Repeat this process for 15 – 20 minutes. HIIT has been shown to be more effective than regular cardio.

Weight training is also important. This is because as we mentioned above, you want to retain muscle whilst burning fat. Weight training combined with a protein rich diet will help you achieve this.

This brings up an important point – you shouldn’t rely on the weighing scale too much. This is because once you start exercising you will begin to build muscle, and just like fat, muscle has mass. However a pound of muscle is much more compact than a pound of fat.

So whilst you might not see the numbers that you would hoped to see on the scale, you will see the changes when you look in the mirror. And I am sure your overall goal is not to just lose weight but to also have a better looking body. Weight training will give you a lean & toned body, rather than one that is “skinny fat”.

Conclusion

It will be extremely difficult and unhealthy to lose 30 pounds of fat in a month. A more realistic goal would be to lose 10 pounds in a month or 30 pounds in 3 months. Weight loss takes time and rushing it can have negative consequences. Eat well & exercise regularly and you will be able to lose weight at a healthy pace.

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