When you set out on a goal to lose weight, it requires determination, discipline, and consistent effort. These characteristics are a challenge to uphold, so it is understandable that most of us want the weight to come off quickly.
When internal and external factors are favorable, losing 10 pounds a month is a reasonable goal to set. But you may be facing metabolic or environmental issues that make this target harder to hit.
In this post, I’ll discuss the best methods for losing weight fast and the special circumstances that may impact how quickly your body will shed the pounds.
Is 10 Pounds in a Month a Good Weight Loss Goal? [Video]
In this video, you’ll learn…
- Ways to achieve efficient fat loss.
- Things that can be responsible for slowing the fat loss process down.
Setting Your Goal
Provided you have the weight to lose, and you are in general good health, 10 pounds in a month is a challenging, but reasonable amount to lose.
Setting a challenging goal has some advantages.
- For one thing, it requires you to stay strict with your diet and exercise routine, which works as a positive feedback loop because the more consistent you are, the more weight you lose.
- Challenges are also very motivating. The goal becomes more than just weight loss; you also want to earn the satisfaction that comes when you’re able to say, “I did it!”
Four Factors That Lead to Efficient Fat Loss:
#1 A well-formulated low carb, high-fat diet
The first method that leads to the most efficient fat loss is a well-formulated low carb/high-fat diet where your carb source comes mainly from non-starchy vegetables and your fats are healthy choices from both plant and animal sources, like high-quality meats, fish, eggs, full-fat dairy foods, nuts, seeds, and avocados.
This diet provides your body with valuable micronutrients and the right mix of macronutrients to keep your body in a fat-burning state. If you’d like to learn more about how that works, you can watch my two-part series on low-carb dieting.
#2 Intermittent Fasting
The second factor that accelerates fat loss is intermittent fasting, which is simply the practice of consuming all of your daily calories within a short eating window.
A popular schedule is 16:8 intermittent fasting which means that you fast for 16 hours of the day and then consume all of your daily calories within an eight-hour eating window. Eating in this way allows insulin levels in your blood to remain at a low level, which is a state that promotes the release of body fat.
Exercise can play a role in accelerating fat loss, but too much will stimulate your appetite. To improve your results without the hunger, choose an exercise you enjoy and start slowly.
For instance, start by exercising at a level that is just above your comfort zone, and then increase your intensity as you go along.
With exercise, everyone has a different starting point. If you’re not in the habit of exercising, you may want to start walking and insert 30-second bursts of fast walking to up your intensity.
If you exercise regularly, you may feel comfortable with routinely adding high-intensity bursts of resistance training and sprints to your exercise sessions.
#4 Beneficial Attitude
With a sensible diet and exercise plan in place, the only other thing you need to add is a beneficial attitude.
Keep in mind that your motivation to reach your goal will ebb and flow during the month. To stay focused, form a picture in your mind to remind yourself of why you are working to lose weight.
Do you have a special event coming up? If so, picture yourself walking into the event looking fit and trim. If you do this, you will be amazed at how much this mental exercise helps you stay on track.
Those are ways to get the most out of your weight loss efforts. However, you may be living in a body that does not lose as quickly as another person’s, so it is important not to compare your progress with someone else’s.
Five Factors That Can Lead to Slower Fat Loss:
The first factor is age. Fat loss is a hormonally driven process and hormone production changes as we age.
For instance, a woman who reaches menopause often finds that weight accumulates in the abdomen more easily than it did when she was younger. Men may notice a drop in testosterone that can lead to an increase in body fat.
Medications are often overlooked reasons for slow weight loss. If you are on a medication, you may want to Google its side effects. Weight gain is a common side effect for many medications, from blood pressure meds to anti-depressants.
#3 Past Eating Habits
Another factor that influences how quickly you lose weight today is how you ate in the past.
If you have a history of eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates like bread, cereal, pasta, and nightly desserts, there is a higher risk that you have developed insulin resistance.
The chronically high blood sugar and insulin levels that characterize this condition slow your body’s ability to burn fat.
#4 Closeness to Ideal Weight
How close you are to your ideal weight is another factor that will influence how quickly fat is released from your body.
There are many reasons for this, but simply put, it takes more energy to move around a heavier body, so your metabolism must work harder the more overweight that you are.
As you approach, your goal weight, your metabolism is less taxed and has become more efficient, so you don’t burn as many calories from your typical activity level.
Genetics are another factor that influences fat burning. A lot of you know my husband, Keith, from my second YouTube channel, 2 Fit Docs.
When he got his DNA profiled, he found that he had many genetic factors that impacted his ability to lose weight including the presence of the FTO gene which is the main obesity gene.
Genetics are important, but it is also good to mention that despite this genetic disadvantage, Keith lost 80 pounds in about nine months and has maintained that weight loss for years.
The way he did it was by using all four of the methods I referred to at the beginning of this post, namely, a low-carb/high-fat diet, intermittent fasting, regular exercise, and a positive attitude that allowed him to stay focused on his goal and not compare himself to others with a more fortunate genetic profile.
The takeaway is this: comparisons are dangerous things.
Your body is the one you’ve got, and it is doing the best it can with the resources it has available to it. Get started on your path, get your mind and body on board, and you will reach your goal.
About the Author
Dr. Becky Gillaspy, DC graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.