The world of quick fixes and fad diets has brainwashed us into thinking that we can lose 20 pounds in a month without consequence. We are sold the idea that we can "cleanse" our bodies of years of unhealthy living in just seven days and that Drink X, Eat Y, and Do Z will give us the beach bodies of our dreams—all while fitting into our hectic schedules.
Sadly, these shortcuts do not exist. Any weight loss achieved through extreme diets or toxic cleanses usually short-lived and has several adverse side effects. So how much weight can you healthily lose in a month? Let's explore.
How Much Weight is Too Much To Lose in a Month?
The speed of weight loss is inversely proportional to the sustainability of that weight loss—the faster you try to lose it, the harder it will be to keep off. That's not to say that you can never lose a significant amount of weight quickly; there are times when rapid weight loss is medically necessary. However, sustainable weight loss is always the better option for people who want to lose weight for cosmetic reasons or to improve their health.
So how much weight can you lose without damaging your health or setting yourself up for failure? A good rule of thumb is no more than two pounds per week. That may not sound like much, but it adds to over eight pounds monthly. And remember, sustainable weight loss is always better than yo-yo dieting; even if it takes you a little longer to reach your goal, you'll be more likely to maintain your new weight in the long run.
Tips for Sustainable Weight Loss
The best way to lose weight and keep it off is through sustainable lifestyle changes, including a healthy diet and regular exercise. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Cut out processed foods and eat more whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
- Find an exercise routine you enjoy and stick with it; even 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week will make a difference.
- Try not to go more than four hours without eating during the day; this will help control hunger and prevent overeating at mealtimes.
- Make sure you're getting enough sleep; studies show that sleep-deprived people are more likely to make poor food choices and have higher body weights.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day; staying hydrated will help you feel fuller and less likely to reach for unhealthy snacks.
Losing too much weight too quickly is unsustainable and can also be dangerous. Shoot for 1-2 pounds per week for healthy, sustainable weight loss that will last a lifetime. You can achieve your goals by making minor changes to your diet and exercise routine without jeopardizing your health and depriving yourself!