There are a few things to consider before learning how to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks. First off, losing that many pounds is not a permanent weight loss plan. It’s an emergency weight loss plan that will help you shed some pounds quickly. For long periods of time, this diet is not sustainable. However, you can apply some of the changes for your permanent diet. Make sure to use this plan only if you absolutely have to lose weight for a special occasion like a wedding, reunion, vacation, or a trip to the beach.
How much you need to lose?
Another question that comes up (aside from how to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks), is how many calories that is. The simple math is that one pound equals 3,500 calories. That means that in order to lose 20 pounds, you need to lose about 70,000 calories. That might seem like a mission impossible at first glance, but it’s doable.
For starters, you don’t need to lose 70,000 calories in a single day. Exercising can help, and cutting your calorie intake can help as well. For example, just 30 minute of jogging can shed 300 calories. The math is that 15 days x 300 calories = 4,500 calories. But if your goal is to shed many pounds, you should up your exercise regime. We’ll talk about that later.
Change your diet
The first step towards losing 20 pounds in 2 weeks is changing your diet. Or in other words, change what you eat.
The most important part of changing your diet is drinking. A lot of people “drink their calories.” That means say goodbye to soda, alcohol, coffee, and other drinks that aren’t water. For these two weeks, you should drink only water, as water flushes out toxins and other compounds, making it easier for you lose weight.
But more importantly, water is free of calories. You’ll shed many pounds just by limiting yourself to water and avoiding other drinks. For example, a cup of coffee can contain anywhere between 30 and 50 calories. A soda contains about 150 calories. Fruit juices are also high in calories thanks to the sugar content. Do the math, and see how many calories you’ll shed just by drinking water and nothing else. If you want something flavored from time to time, you can add lemon to your water, as lemon water also flushes toxins. Drink a glass in the morning. Another good option is unsweetened tea, as it’s basically water with flavor.
The next step is cutting junk food from your diet. You know all those empty calories you consume from sweets, cakes, French fries, and other fatty foods? Well, it’s time to say goodbye to them (at least for the time being). If you want to know how to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks, one simple answer is eliminate fast food and consume only healthy foods. Just for your information: a fast food burger contains anywhere between 800 and 1,200 calories. And all of them are empty calories, without a single healthy nutrient inside.
Next on the menu is white carbs, including pasta, cookies, and other products made with white flour. Foods made with white flour can cause a spike in your insulin levels and make you gain weight and fat, not lose it. You might fall into the trap of cutting carbs altogether, but don’t go that far. We need carbs for energy and fuel, and you need energy and fuel for your exercise.
So, what can you eat? Well, if you want to know how to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks, eat lean protein and vegetables. Lean meat, like chicken, turkey, and fish, is best. Fish is even better because in addition to protein, it contains fatty acids that help you lose weight as well. As for vegetables, they should be your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack in the meantime. Veggies are high in fiber and usually free of sugars. The main thing is to avoid potatoes, as they are one of the few veggies high in sugar.
Change how you eat
It’s not just what you eat, but how you eat it. One can even say that how you consume your food is even more important.
For example, never skip breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day—one that will help you start the day with a balance in your body. When you skip breakfast, your insulin levels spike, and you need a quick dose of sugar. That means your insulin will go up and down throughout the day. When you eat a healthy breakfast, on the other hand, your insulin level is balanced and your metabolism works properly. Prolonged fasting is never a good idea. In fact, in the end, you might end up gaining weight instead of losing it.
Be sure to make a timed plan for your meals. For example, there is a rule that you shouldn’t eat after 8pm, as your body needs time to process the food you eat. And when you eat after 8pm, your body doesn’t get enough time to digest everything. Now, this rule is not set in stone—you should always have some wiggle room for going out with friends. But don’t go crazy. Stick to no food after 8pm for at least five days per week.
You should also master portion control. This is probably the key, because how much you eat is very important. I mentioned at the beginning that you need to cut a certain number of calories from your diet. When you fill up your plate, you are probably getting 1,500 calories per meal. Well, that won’t cut it if you want to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks. Use a smaller plate so that you put less food on it and therefore consume fewer calories.
And most importantly, eat more often. Now read that again: eat more OFTEN, not MORE food. That means that you should stick to a plan with five meals per day: breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and dinner. Many people underestimate the power of snacking. But snacks keep your metabolism up and running, which means it helps stop you from loading up later on.
Change your lifestyle
We are now at the part where most people fail. Changing your lifestyle is probably the hardest part of how to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks.
For starters, you should start cooking. No more fast food, no more processed foods. Start cooking so that you control what goes in your body. Use healthy oils like olive oil and cook with less sugar, less butter, and less salt. Control your portion sizes and you’ll be in great shape.
Another important part is to keep track of your eating. Because this diet lasts for only 14 days, make sure that you keep track of everything you eat and how much you exercise. This way, you’ll know how far ahead or behind you are with your plan to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks. This is not a permanent lifestyle change, as it’s demotivating to count calories every single day. But for 14 days? I am sure anyone can do it.
Well, simply put, there is no way for you to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks if you aren’t working out. Exercise is the best way to burn calories. I mentioned previously that 30 minute of jogging equals 300 calories burned. The best way to lose weight is with high intensity interval training, which is a training regimen in which you alternate between vigorous activity and moderate activity. For example, when jogging, that means a slow tempo for about 45 seconds and then sprinting for 15 seconds.
Vigorous activity can burn anywhere between 400 and 600 calories per hour, and that includes running, swimming, aerobics, basketball, and heavy weightlifting. Moderate activity burns between 200 and 400 calories per hour, with some of the popular activities being hiking, light yard work, dancing, and slow walking.
The most important part is to try and incorporate exercise in your daily regime. Take every little opportunity to exercise. For example, do a few push-ups while commercials are on TV during your favorite program. Dance while putting away the dishes. I know it sounds silly, but it’s the little things that help you shed 20 pounds in 2 weeks.