If you want to lose 20 lbs in two months, you should aim to lose two and a half lbs each week. A good diet plan will involve reducing your caloric intake as well as exercising during that period. Since losing 20 lbs in two months is considered rapid weight loss, make sure you consult your doctor before beginning a diet plan.
Figure Out How Much You Eat Each Day
Before you can reduce the number of calories you eat, you need to know how many you are eating. A week before beginning your plan, record every piece of food you eat every day. Record even the smallest portions, any beverages you drink and any gum you chew. If the food you are eating doesn’t come with nutrition information, you can use an online calorie calculator to determine the number of calories it contains. At the end of each day, total up the number of calories you’ve consumed. At the end of the week, add your totals together and divide by seven to get the average number of calories you eat daily.
In order to lose 2.5 lbs a week, you need to reduce the number of calories you take in by 8,750 weekly, or by 1,250 calories a day. Subtract 1,250 from the average number you eat daily. If you take in 2,500 calories per day, you will need to reduce your intake to 1,250 calories.
Set Up Your Meal Plan
The key to thriving on a reduced calorie plan is making sure you do not feel deprived and that you do not experience feelings of hunger. One way to prevent feelings of deprivation is to allow yourself little treats, such as the occasional cookie, glass of wine or serving of French fries. You prevent hunger by eating plenty of low-calorie, high-fiber foods like raw vegetables, fresh fruits and whole grains such as brown rice and quinoa. How you set up your meals is up to you. You may want to eat three larger meals daily. If you are a snacker, you may stick to your plan better if you decide to eat five or six smaller meals throughout the day.
If you add exercise to your diet plan, you can eat more each day. If you plan on burning 100 to 200 extra calories daily, than you can eat those 100 to 200 extra calories. When figuring out how much you will exercise, it is important to maintain a realistic idea of how many calories your activity will burn so that you do not end up overeating or under-exercising. If you plan on walking, multiply your current weight by 30 percent (0.3) to figure out how many calories you will burn per mile (assuming you walk at a speed of three to four miles per hour).
Maintaining Your Weight Loss
After you’ve dropped those 20 lbs, give yourself a pat on the back, but don’t celebrate too much. The real challenge is maintaining your weight loss. You may be tempted to go back to your old ways after finishing your diet plan, but you shouldn’t or else the weight will come back. You can slowly increase the amount you eat until the amount you burn off daily and the amount you consume daily is back in balance.
- walking image by astoria from Fotolia.com