Losing weight and reaching your goal weight can be a real challenge whether it’s 5 or 10 pounds you want to lose.
Especially if you’re in a timeframe where you need to lose weight quickly like in a month, it’s even harder.
So if that’s you, you’re probably wondering “Is it realistic to lose 10 pounds in a month?”
Well, let me help calm down some nerves for you.
Losing 10 pounds in a month is a good realistic weight loss goal, and it’s totally doable.
In this article, I’m going to share with you how you can do it in a safe healthy manner within a month.
So this is your guide on how to lose 10 pounds in a month a healthy way.
And not only that, it’ll help you keep the weight off for good.
Over the years of working as a personal trainer, I had countless clients successfully reach their weight loss goals.
Despite their past struggles to drop weight, many were able to drop 10 pounds or more in a single month and kept it off.
What’s more, their body fat percentage also went down with their weight.
So what are the changes needed for a substantial weight loss?
Based both on science and my personal experience, I came up with a definitive list.
Here are 15 simple tips on how to lose 10 pounds in a month and keep it off permanently.
Let’s get started.
1. Eat fewer calories
Whether to count calories or not has been a hot topic within the weight loss community.
Some argue it’s a must while others say there are other ways.
Regardless of the approach, the bottom line is that you need to eat fewer calories than you burn to lose 10 pounds.
You can do this by either reducing your calorie intake by changing your eating habits, increasing activity levels, or doing both.
This balancing act to create a calorie deficiency is critical to your weight loss.
Take in more calories than your body needs, you’ll gain weight.
Eat fewer calories than your caloric needs, you’ll drop weight fast and naturally.
So the question is, how many calories do you need to cut to reach your goal.
One pound of fat is around 3,500 calories, and losing 1-2 pounds of fat a week is considered safe and realistic.
To lose one pound of fat per week, you’ll need to create a deficit of 500 calories a day or 3,500 a month.
Based on this, to lose 10 pounds in one month, you need a 1250-calorie deficit per day. This is if you are to add no exercise to burn additional energy.
While this calorie deficit seems a lot, it doesn’t have to come solely from your diet. You can add exercise to take the pressure off of your diet.
With that said, here are a few simple ways to reduce your daily calorie intake:
- Use a smaller plate size: Downsizing your plate is the easiest way to cut your portion and food intake. That’s because we tend to fill our plates when serving. The bigger the plate is, the more food we serve ourselves. By using a salad plate instead of a dinner plate, you get to automatically cut your portion.
- Cut empty calories: Another easy win is banning empty-calorie foods. Sugary drinks and candy are the best places to start. For some, cutting your drinks and sweets alone can result in a 500-calorie deficit a day.
- Keep a food journal: keeping track of your meals and food intake throughout the day helps bring awareness and makes it easier to stay under your calorie budget.
Your calorie consumption is going to be critical in your weight loss journey. This is even after you lose 10 pounds. But you don’t need to follow any starvation diet. Rather, you simply need to eat fewer calories than you burn daily.
2. Eat more nutritious foods
The type of foods you eat is just as important as the number of calories you take in, if not more.
If you want to lose weight and maintain a healthy body weight, what you eat matters. And that’s another reality.
For your weight loss, you need to consume foods with a high nutritional value.
Different foods come with a different set of nutrients and with varying density. Some are void of nutrients while others offer them in abundance. This creates a vasty difference in how they get processed in the body.
Foods high in nutrition are:
- Leafy greens vegetables
- Whole grains (quinoa, oats, oatmeal, brown rice)
- Peanut butter
- Fruits (apples, banana, blueberries, strawberries, mangos, they full of antioxidants.)
- Legumes (black beans, red kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils)
- Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, and Sardines)
- Red meat (grass-fed, organic)
These foods are full of essential nutrients like fiber, protein, and other vitamins. Together they contribute to satiety, slower digestion, and reduce appetite, the feeling of fullness. They’ll reduce your overall calorie intake.
When you creating a weight loss plan, be sure to include lots of nutrient-dense foods.
Think high-fiber, high-protein, and healthy fats. Low-calorie veggies also help you add more volume to your meal without adding calories.
3. Eat balanced meals
Nutritionally balanced meals are also another pillar of a sound weight loss diet.
Each meal should include all three macronutrients: protein, fat, and carbs.
According to the USDA Dietary Guideline, a healthy diet should include:
- Carbohydrates: 45–65% of calories
- Fat: 20–35% of calories
- Protein: 10–35% of calories
However, there are several other suggested macronutrient ratios for weight loss.
40/30/30 plan or Zoon Diet recommends 40% of calories from carbs, 30% from protein, and 30% from fat (1).
A low-carb Atkins Diet has you eat 60%-70% fat, 20% to 30% fat, and 5% to 10% carbs.
Also, a diet that’s on a recent surge, Ketogenic Diet has macro distributions of 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs. This also means carbs are to be limited to a mere 50 grams a day.
There are many more diets with varying macronutrient distributions.
There is really no right or wrong plan here. It’s also not a matter of one approach is better than the other.
Instead, ask which balance of macros can you stick to for the long term. Some may find Atkins and Keto diet tolerable or even enjoy their high-fat component. While others need a generous carb allowance to enjoy their diet.
What’s important here is to maintain your necessary calorie intake throughout the day with healthy balanced meals that offer the appropriate portion of each macro food group.
4. Eat more fiber
Eating nutritious, balanced meals are the cornerstone of any good weight loss plan.
But there is one nutrient you want to be sure you eat regularly, and that’s fiber.
Numerous studies show a diet high in fiber has significant weight loss effects (2)
That’s because fiber is one nutrient that stays intact and undigested as it passes through the digestive system. What this means is your body doesn’t retain the calories from fiber.
Moreover, fiber causes you to feel full longer and become regular, leading to more weight loss.
According to a study, eating 30 g of fiber every day can aid weight loss and help manage blood pressure (3).
Fiber-rich foods like legumes, green beans, and even whole grains are a rich source of dietary fiber. Include them in your everyday meal planning to take advantage of fiber and its health benefits.
5. Avoid processed foods
So just as there are foods you should eat to shed your body weight, there are foods you need to avoid.
And as it turns out, one of the easiest things you can do to lose weight is to cut processed foods out of your diet.
They tend to be high in calories, full of preservatives, sugars, and sodium.
What’s more, food manufacturers are more clever nowadays with their marketing tactics to get you to buy these unhealthy foods.
In fact, many processed junk foods are being marketed as healthy, when they actually are not.
Always read labels and stay away from highly-processed and engineered foods.
Here’s a list of healthy foods to base your diet on. This list can be handy when you shop for your groceries.
6. Workout in the morning
The benefits of workouts for your weight loss are obvious.
They help you burn calories, torch fat, and increase your metabolism.
But according to UK research, working out in the morning on an empty stomach can have a greater impact.
The experts reveal morning workouts can help you burn extra calories and 20% more fat loss as opposed to working out during the day or later in the day (4).
This is when your body is deprived of energy supply, glycogen, your body taps into your fat reserve for fuel.
Best of all, you don’t need a grueling, long workout to reap the benefits.
Your morning workout can be as short as 6 minutes like this 6-minute morning workout.
You can easily get it done before taking a shower.
It’s an easy way to score extra calorie expenditures without leaving the house.
Make this part of your morning routine for at least 3 – 4 days a week.
7. Do cardio exercise
While you now know the benefits of a morning workout, you also want to maximize your efforts by doing the right workout to lose pounds.
Yes, not only cardio exercise can improve your fitness but it can also help you lose weight faster.
According to many studies, the most weight loss-friendly workout is cardio, also known as aerobic exercise.
Cardio is any type of physical activity that raises your heart rate and burns calories. It includes running, jogging, stairs, bicycling, swimming, Zumba, and even power walking.
As indoor options, you have treadmills, elliptical – try interval training.
HIIT workouts, and some calisthenics like jumping jacks, mountain climbers, and burpees.
Adding cardio to your workout regimen adds huge value as one of the major benefits of cardio exercise is weight loss.
Cardio burns calories and helps you create the calorie deficit you need to lose weight.
In addition to overall weight loss, cardio workouts seem to be particularly effective at getting rid of the dangerous belly fat (visceral fat) that resides near your organs which can cause metabolic disease (5).
8. Do resistance exercises
Cardio is great for burning calories, but not so good at muscle building, which accounts for 20 percent of your total metabolism.
In fact, one of the side effects of dieting is a loss of lean muscle mass.
And when you begin to lose a lot of your muscles, your metabolism will slow and the body will begin to burn fewer calories (6).
By incorporating resistance training and weight lifting into your routine, you can prevent muscle loss (7).
As an added benefit, your body will also look firmer and more toned with resistance workouts.
Here’s a list full of resistance or strength training workouts you can do using your own body weight or a pair of dumbbells.
You can hold weights in your hands for added resistance when doing the squats and lunges. If you not sure how to do these exercises above talk to a personal trainer in your local gym to make sure your forms are good. You should aim to do resistance training 2 to 3 times per week.
9. Eat a high-protein breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
If you are starting every day with a bowl of cereals, it’s time to rethink your breakfast.
A high-protein breakfast like freshly cooked eggs and smoked salmon may help you eat 175 fewer calories at lunch according to Biofortis Clinical Research (8).
In their research, those who had a high-protein breakfast reported feeling fuller, more satisfied, and less desired to eat after their meal.
Another study found that increasing protein intake from 15 to 30% of their total calories helped them eat fewer calories per day, and lost over 10 pounds during their 12- week study (9).
It’s evident protein-rich foods are weight loss friendly, compared to carbs and fats because it uses more energy in the form of calories to metabolize (10).
To get started, here are some healthy high-protein breakfast ideas that taste amazing!
- Two eggs with a side of salad and black coffee
- Greek yogurt with fresh berries or any other piece of fruit is good.
- Turkey bacon and spinach omelet
10. Cut out sugary drinks
Cutting out sugary drinks like sodas and juice is one effective change you can make to help you lose weight.
They offer little to no nutritional benefit. What’s more, they are full of sugar and comes with hefty calories that may contribute to weight gain and increase your risk of diabetes.
According to Harvard research, sugary drinks make up 9% of total calorie intake in both adults and children (11, 12). They are also suspected of partly contributing to the current obesity epidemic.
Just to illustrate how much sugar a sugar-sweetened drink could have, here is one popular soda’s sugar content.
One 12oz can of Coca-Cola contains 150 calories and 39 grams of sugar. This is equivalent to about 10 teaspoons of sugar. (13)
To stay on budget with your daily calorie intake, be sure to switch sugar-sweetened drinks with non-sugar alternatives.
11. Drink water before each meal
Regular water consumption can help you with Appetite Suppressants. Especially before your meals.
Instead of sugar-sweetened beverages, drinking water can help your goal to lose 10 pounds in a month.
For one, dehydration can often be mistaken for hunger.
One way to avoid this is to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. This will help prevent overeating and cut down on unnecessary snacking.
What’s also particularly effective for weight loss is to drink 17oz of water half an hour before your meal.
According to one study, this habit helps dieters increase weight loss by 44% over 3 months (14).
Another study shows drinking 500ml of water before a meal can cause you to eat less and consume 13% fewer calories. (15).
Other research points out drinking water may benefit your metabolism by boosting your resting energy expenditure by 30%. This helps increase the number of calories your body burns and result in losing weight faster and easier. (16).
Tips: I like to mix glass water with a tablespoon of lemon juice, a little extra boost of vitamin C.
12. Drink coffee or green tea
To add to water, black coffee and green tea make a great beverage choice during weight loss for their profound effect on weight loss.
According to research, natural chemicals found in both coffee and green tea are known to increase fat burning and stimulate the calorie-burning process by 3-11%. (17).
In large, caffeine found in coffee and green tea is said to contribute to this boosting metabolism.
In other words, coffee and tea are metabolism-boosting drinks you can enjoy freely, as long as you forego adding cream and sugar.
13. Try intermittent fasting
One of the most popular methods for fat loss is intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting (IF diet) is an eating pattern that alternates between short periods of fasting and eating.
This eating pattern is said to help people eat fewer calories and optimize some weight loss related-hormones.
It works because it doesn’t regulate what you can and cannot eat. Instead, the IF diet helps reduce your total daily calorie intake by incorporating a fast.
By temporarily depriving your body of energy, your body becomes forced to tap into the fat reserve for fuel.
If you are new to intermittent fasting, the easiest plan to start is the 16:8 fasting method. It has you fast for 16 hours a day including sleep and eats in the remaining 8-hour window.
A typical 16:8 fasting schedule has you begin fasting around 8 pm at night and end the next day at noon. You eat your first meal around noon and complete all your eating by 8 pm, to start the 16-hour fast.
Intermittent fasting methods are said to help you lose weight if you make it part of your everyday routine.
14. Cook your meals at home
In weight loss and dieting, small changes can make big impacts.
Research shows those who cook meals at home 6-7 times a week eats about 600 fewer calories, 5 grams fewer fat, and 16 grams less sugar than those who cook dinner less than once a week (18).
To prepare meals at home, you don’t have to be a pro around the kitchen. You can start with simple recipes with whole ingredients.
15. Stock up on healthy snacks
Healthy snacks can be a diet saver when your hunger strikes unexpectedly.
Without having weight-loss friendly snacks insight, it’s easy to reach for whatever your heart desires.
By always having healthy snacks available, you reduce the chance of grabbing something you shouldn’t be eating.
Having healthy choices within reach is the best defense in those moments.
While there are countless snack options, here are some of my favorite weight loss snacks:
- Greek yogurt
- Hard-boiled eggs
- string cheese
- Apple + peanut butter
- Nuts and seeds
If you buy healthy snacks make sure to check their nutrition labels for hidden calories.
So how to lose 10 pounds in a month? It’s by making small lifestyle changes as you see above. If you implement many of these strategies, you may see a huge drop in weight right away. But for some, successful and permanent weight loss may take time.
While you may be full of wonders like ‘how much weight can I lose in a week” and ‘how to lose weight in a month’, the most important thing is to actually not focus on just weight loss.
Instead, focus on developing healthy habits. Start exercising and eating healthy to nourish your body better – not just to shed pounds.
When all these healthy habits become part of your lifestyle, losing weight becomes part of your gain.