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How to lose 10 pounds in a month

14 simple steps and tips

While losing 10 pounds in a month may seem like a lofty goal, it’s entirely possible. Learn more here.

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Last updated on January 1, 2023, and last reviewed by an expert on November 25, 2022.

You can lose 10 pounds in 1 month by changing your diet and lifestyle habits. However, weight loss is different for everyone.

Reaching your weight loss goals can be a big challenge, regardless of how much you want to lose.

However, taking it one step at a time and making a few modifications to your diet and lifestyle can make weight loss much more manageable.

By making minor changes to your daily routine, you can safely lose up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) in just 1 month, hitting your weight loss goals quickly and easily.

Here are 14 simple steps to drop 10 pounds in a single month.

1. Try cardio for weight loss

Aerobic exercise — also known as cardio — is a type of physical activity that increases your heart rate to burn more calories and strengthen your heart and lungs.

Adding cardio to your routine is one of the most effective ways to increase weight loss quickly.

One study of 141 adults with obesity found that combining 40 minutes of cardio 3 times per week with a diet focused on weight loss decreased body weight by 9% over a 6-month period.

For best results, try to fit in at least 20–40 minutes of cardio daily — or about 150–300 minutes per week.

Walking, jogging, boxing, biking, and swimming are just a few forms of cardio that can boost weight loss fast.

Summary: Cardio can help you burn more calories to increase weight loss quickly.

2. Eat fewer refined carbs

Cutting down on carbs is another simple way to improve the quality of your diet and further weight loss.

It’s especially beneficial to decrease your intake of refined carbs — carbohydrates stripped of their nutrient and fiber content during processing.

Not only are refined carbs high in calories and low in nutrients, but they’re also absorbed quickly into your bloodstream, causing blood sugar spikes and increased hunger.

Studies show that a diet high in refined grains is associated with higher body weight than a diet rich in nutritious whole grains.

For best results, replace refined carbs like white bread, breakfast cereals, and heavily processed packaged foods with whole grain products like quinoa, oats, brown rice, and barley.

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Summary: Refined carbs, which are low in nutrients, can cause spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels. Research shows that a higher intake of refined carbs may be linked to higher body weight and increased belly fat.

3. Start counting calories

To lose weight, you need to use more calories than you consume, either by decreasing your calorie intake or increasing your daily physical activity.

Counting calories can keep you accountable and increase your awareness of how your diet may impact your weight loss.

According to a review of 37 studies in more than 16,000 people, weight loss regimens incorporating calorie counting resulted in an average of 7.3 pounds (3.3 kg) more weight loss per year than those that didn’t.

However, keep in mind that cutting calories alone is not considered a sustainable strategy for long-term weight loss, so you’ll likely need to pair it with other diet and lifestyle modifications.

Recording your intake with an app or food journal is an excellent way to start.

Summary: Counting your calories can help increase weight loss combined with other diet and lifestyle changes.

4. Choose better beverages

In addition to changing your main courses, choosing healthier beverages is a simple way to increase weight loss effectively.

Soda, juice, and energy drinks are often loaded with sugar and extra calories that can contribute to weight gain over time.

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Conversely, water can help keep you full and temporarily boost your metabolism to reduce calorie consumption and enhance weight loss.

One older study of 24 adults who were overweight or had obesity showed that drinking 16.9 fluid ounces (500 mL) of water before a meal decreased the number of calories consumed by 13% compared to a control group.

To bump up weight loss, cut out high-calorie, sweetened beverages and aim to drink 34–68 fluid ounces (1–2 liters) of water throughout the day.

Summary: Soda, juice, and sports drinks are high in calories and can contribute to weight gain. Water, on the other hand, has been shown to decrease calorie intake and temporarily increase metabolism.

5. Eat slowly

Slowing down and focusing on enjoying your food while listening to your body is an effective strategy to decrease intake and enhance feelings of fullness.

For example, one study of 30 women found that eating slowly decreased calorie intake by an average of 10%, increased water consumption, and resulted in greater feelings of fullness than eating quickly.

Taking smaller bites, drinking plenty of water with your meals, and reducing external distractions can help you eat more slowly to increase weight loss.

Summary: Eating slowly can decrease intake and improve feelings of fullness to enhance weight loss.

6. Add fiber to your diet

Fiber is a nutrient that moves through your body undigested, helping to stabilize blood sugar, slow stomach emptying, and keep you feeling full longer.

Multiple studies demonstrate that fiber has a powerful effect on weight loss.

Aim for at least 25–38 grams of fiber daily from foods like fruits, veggies, legumes, and whole grains to optimize your health and increase weight loss.

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Summary: Increasing fiber consumption has been linked to calorie and body weight decreases.

7. Eat a high-protein breakfast

Starting the day with a healthy, high-protein breakfast is a great way to stay on track toward your weight loss goals.

Increasing your protein intake can help you lose weight by reducing your appetite and reducing your calorie consumption.

An older study of 20 adolescent girls found that eating a high-protein breakfast increased feelings of fullness and lowered levels of certain hormones that stimulate hunger.

Plus, multiple studies link a higher protein intake to decreases in body weight and belly fat over time.

Oats, yogurt, eggs, cottage cheese, and peanut butter are a few staple foods you can enjoy as part of a healthy, high-protein breakfast.

Summary: Increased morning protein intake is associated with greater feelings of fullness, decreased calorie intake, and reductions in body weight and belly fat.

8. Get enough sleep every night

Setting a regular sleep schedule and sticking to it may be another important factor for successful weight loss, especially if you’re trying to lose 10 pounds in a month.

In a small 2008 study, depriving nine men of sleep for a single night resulted in significant increases in hunger and levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates appetite.

Do your best to get at least 7–8 hours of sleep per night, set a regular sleep schedule, and minimize distractions before bed to optimize your sleep cycle and reach your weight loss goals.

Summary: While sleep deprivation can increase hunger, getting enough sleep can increase the likelihood of successful weight loss.

9. Add resistance training for weight loss

Resistance training is a type of physical activity that involves working against some type of force to build muscle and increase strength.

In addition to other health benefits associated with resistance training, it may boost metabolism to make weight loss even more manageable.

One study of 40 females showed that resistance training significantly decreased fat mass.

Similarly, another study of 61 people indicated that 9 months of resistance training increased the number of calories burned at rest daily by an average of 5%.

Using gym equipment or performing bodyweight exercises at home are two effective ways to start resistance training and enhance weight loss.

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Summary: Studies show that resistance training can preserve fat-free mass and increase metabolism to boost weight loss.

10. Practice intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting, with fasts typically lasting 16–24 hours.

It can reduce the amount you eat by limiting the time frame in which food is consumed, possibly enhancing weight loss.

Some research shows that intermittent fasting can be a powerful tool for weight loss and may be as effective as calorie restriction.

There are many different ways to do intermittent fasting. You can find a method that works for you and your schedule.

Summary: Intermittent fasting can improve metabolism, increase fat loss, and preserve lean body mass to aid weight loss.

11. Eat more vegetables

Vegetables are incredibly nutrient-dense, supplying ample vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber for low calories.

One study showed that each 3.5-ounce (100-gram) increase in daily vegetable consumption was associated with 1.1 pounds (0.5 kg) loss over 6 months.

Another extensive review of 17 studies in more than 500,000 people found that those who ate the most vegetables had a 17% lower risk of being overweight or having obesity.

Many other studies indicate that increasing your fiber consumption from fiber-rich foods, such as vegetables, is tied to a decrease in calorie intake and body weight.

For an easy way to raise your veggie quota, squeeze an extra serving into side dishes, salads, sandwiches, and snacks.

Summary: Vegetable consumption is linked to increased weight loss and a lower risk of obesity. A higher fiber intake from foods such as vegetables is also associated with decreased calorie intake.

12. Skip the sauces and condiments

Piling toppings on your favorite foods can quickly turn a healthy meal into a calorie bomb.

For example, a single tablespoon (13 grams) of mayonnaise can contain upwards of 90 calories, while ranch dressing packs in 65 calories per 1-tablespoon (15-gram) serving.

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Teriyaki sauce, sour cream, peanut butter, and maple syrup are a few other popular sauces and condiments that can cause the calories to stack up fast.

Using general calorie calculation methods, you can estimate that cutting even one serving of these high-calorie condiments each day could reduce calorie intake enough to lose up to 9 pounds over the course of a year.

This can help ramp up weight loss quickly when combined with other methods.

Instead, try seasoning your foods with herbs and spices to keep calorie intake low and maximize weight loss.

Alternatively, try replacing some sauces and condiments with low-calorie options like hot sauce, mustard, or horseradish.

Summary: Many condiments and sauces are high in calories. Cutting them out or swapping them for low-calorie alternatives could aid weight loss.

13. Do HIIT exercises

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an exercise that alternates between quick bursts of activity and brief recovery periods, keeping your heart rate up to boost fat burning and accelerate weight loss.

Adding HIIT to your routine can be an incredibly effective tool to lose 10 pounds in a month.

One study in nine men compared the effects of HIIT to running, biking, and resistance training, demonstrating that a 30-minute HIIT session burned 25–30% more calories than the other activities.

Another study showed that men who did HIIT for just 20 minutes 3 times per week lost 4.4 pounds (2 kg) of body fat and 17% belly fat over 12 weeks — without making any other changes to their diet or lifestyle.

To start, try switching out your cardio and doing one or two HIIT workouts per week, alternating between running and walking for 30 seconds at a time.

You can also experiment with other activities in your HIIT workouts, such as jumping jacks, squats, pushups, and burpees.

Summary: HIIT can burn more calories than other forms of exercise, thereby increasing weight loss and fat burning.

14. Move more throughout the day

Even when you’re running short on time and can’t squeeze in a full workout, adding small amounts of activity can chip away at your body weight.

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The term “non-exercise activity thermogenesis” (NEAT) refers to the calories your body burns throughout the day by doing regular non-exercise activities like typing, gardening, walking, or even fidgeting.

It’s estimated that NEAT may account for up to 50% of the total calories you burn daily, though this number can vary quite a bit depending on your activity level.

Modifying your daily routine can bump up calorie burning to speed up weight loss with minimal effort.

Parking farther away in parking lots, using the stairs instead of the elevator, taking a walk during your lunch break, and stretching every 30 minutes are simple ways to add more movement to your day.

Summary: Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) can account for up to 50% of the total calories you burn daily. Moving more throughout the day can help you burn more calories to boost weight loss.

Summary

While losing 10 pounds in a month may seem like a lofty goal, it’s entirely possible by making some minor modifications to your diet and lifestyle.

Taking it one step at a time and making a few small changes each week can help you lose weight safely and keep it off long-term.

With a bit of patience and hard work, you can reach your weight loss goals and improve your overall health in the process.

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