How to Lose 20 Pounds in 30 Days

Christian Coulson
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclaimer for more information.

Looking to lose 20 pounds in 30 days? Let me tell you something… It’s going to be a bit challenging, but super rewarding.

As long as you stay focused, determined, and disciplined, you will be able to lose those 20 pounds in 1 month.

This article will walk you through the steps you must take to make it happen!

Here’s what we’ll cover:

How Long Does It Take to Lose 20 Pounds?

Truth is, there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question.

How long it takes to lose 20 pounds will depend on your genetics, metabolism, eating habits, and activity levels.

Some people are able to lose 20 pounds in 20 days, others in 30, and some in 2-3 months.

Can I Lose 20 Pounds in 30 Days?

While many things can affect how fast you lose weight, if you’re determined to diet and put in the work, you can absolutely lose 20 pounds in 30 days.

The following section will go over some steps you must take if you want to lose weight fast.

How to Lose 20 Pounds in 30 Days

1. Do a 7-Day Carb Detox

While it’s okay to eat carbs in moderation, many people who struggle with weight loss do so because of carbs.

Carbs are addictive, and since they aren’t as filling as protein and fats, they’re easy to over-consume.

Why Do a Carb Detox?

Have you ever felt sluggish and tired right after eating lunch?

That’s probably because you ate a lot of carbs.

Eating a high-carb meal can cause your blood sugar to spike and crash, which leaves you super sleepy and lazy.

The carb detox will help you reduce cravings and keep your blood sugar and hormonal responses under control.

How to Do a Carb Detox

A successful carb detox should be easy and yield results.

For this carb detox, you’ll need to eat less than 30 grams of carbs per day for 7 days.

It’s not uncommon to lose 5-10 pounds after 7 days of a carb detox.

Keep in mind that this also include any creamers and sugar you add to your coffee.

TAKEAWAY

A carb detox will help you reduce cravings and balance your blood sugar. Aim to eat no more than 30 grams of carbs per day for 7 days.

Start your journey to losing 10-21 pounds in just 21 days.

Get the free 21-Day Fat Loss Challenge training guide!

21-Day Fat Loss Challenge free training guide

2. Eat Fewer Carbs

Carbs, especially simple carbs, are digested quickly and aren’t very filling.

Since carbs are digested quickly, you’ll go hungry within hours of eating them.

Also, out of the three macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fats), carbs are the least filling.

Therefore, after you’re done with the carb detox (week 1), you want to increase your carb intake just a little bit.

On week 2, you could eat between 50-100 grams of carbs per day.

TAKEAWAY

Carbs digest very quickly and are not very satiating. Aim to eat 50-100 grams of carbs per day.

3. Eliminate Sugar

In order to reduce insulin spikes, balance hormones and blood sugar, reduce inflammation, lose weight fast, and improve digestion, you must eliminate sugar.

Sugar is also okay in moderation, however, they are also easy to overeat and don’t have any nutrients.

Therefore, it’s better to just eliminate it.

Studies have shown that eating too much sugar often leads to heart disease, obesity, weight gain, and diabetes. (2, 3)

Prolonged high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) can lead to weight gain and health complications. (1)

If you want to lose 20 pounds in a month, you should cut sugary foods, such as fruit juices, dried fruits, cereals, cookies, cakes, and protein bars.

Yes, some protein carbs tend to be high in carbs and sugars.

Here’s a list of 10 “healthy” foods that are making you gain weight.

TAKEAWAY

Sugars are considered “empty” calories, meaning that they don’t provide any nutritional value, but make you gain weight. Therefore, consider eliminating them.

4. Bump Your Protein

Step number 4 to lose 20 pounds in 30 days is to eat more protein.

Studies have shown that a diet high in protein boosts your metabolism, reduces appetite, and balances your hormones. (4, 5, 6)

Here’s how protein can help you lose weight:

• Burns More Calories Through Digestion

For starters, protein has a higher thermic effect than carbs and fats.

The thermic effect of food (TEF) is a term used to describe how many calories are used for digesting and metabolizing food. (7)

The thermic effect of the different macronutrients:

  • Protein: 20-30%
  • Carbs: 5-10%
  • Fats: 0-3%

This means that if you were to eat 100 calories from protein, you’d burn 30 calories simply by trying to digest it.

• Boosts Your Metabolism

Studies have shown that a high-protein diet can speed up your metabolism and help you burn an extra 80-100 calories per day. (8, 9)

It increases your BMR so you can burn more calories even while you sleep. (10, 11)

• Reduces Your Appetite

There’s no need to buy expensive and useless appetite suppressant pills when you can simply eat more protein to do so.

Studies have shown that protein helps you reduce appetite, which can lead to weight loss. (12)

A study showed that people who ate 30% of their calories from protein were able to cut their calorie consumption by 441 calories per day. (13)

That’s a lot!

Here are another 8 natural appetite suppressants for weight loss.

• Protein Can Help You Lose Weight Without Counting Calories

Studies have shown that higher protein intake can promote weight loss, even without counting calories or paying attention to your portions. (14, 15)

How Much Protein Should I Eat to Lose 20 Pounds in 30 Days?

You can eat anywhere from 0.8-1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day.

For example, a 200 pound person could eat between 160-240 grams of protein per day.

Foods High in Protein

Foods high in protein include fish, steak, whole eggs, egg whites, turkey, chicken, cheese, and more.

If you find it hard to hit your daily protein goals, you can add some whey protein powder as well.

TAKEAWAY

Protein burns more calories through digestion, reduces appetite, and boosts your metabolism. Aim to eat 0.8-1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day.

5. Binge on Vegetables

Vegetables are a great source of fiber, which is an important nutrient for weight loss and gut health.

Here’s how eating more vegetables can help you burn more belly fat:

• Fiber

Your body produces short-chain fatty acids when digesting soluble fiber (fermentation).

These short-chain fatty acids make you burn more fat and reduce how fast you store fat. However, researchers are not sure about how this works. (16)

Other studies show that people who have more short-chain fatty acids tend to have less belly fat. (17, 18, 19)

• Fiber Reduces Appetite

Just like protein, fiber is also a great natural appetite suppressant.

Eating foods that suppress appetite can help you keep your calories low, which will ultimately make you lose weight. (20)

Studies have shown that soluble fiber lowers the production of ghrelin – the hormone responsible for telling your brain that you’re hungry. (21)

Fiber also slows digestion, which will help you stay full for longer and prevent insulin spikes. (22)

Foods High in Fiber

Foods high in fiber include vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes, grains, and nuts.

However, since you want to lose 20 pounds in 30 days, you should stick only to vegetables, since they’re the lowest in calories and carbs.

Fruits tend to have tons of sugar.

How Much Vegetables Should I Eat?

Eat at least 3 servings or 300 grams of green vegetables every day.

TAKEAWAY

Vegetables that contain soluble fiber can help you burn fat and reduce appetite. Aim for at least 3 servings of green vegetables per day.

6. Drink More Water (what can I drink to get rid of belly fat fast?)

What can I drink to get rid of belly fat fast?

This is a common question I get asked by people who want to lose weight quickly.

The best thing you can do is to simply drink more water.

Studies have shown that drinking water can make you burn more calories while at rest (REE). (23)

This other study showed that you can give your REE a boost of 24-30% after 10 minutes of having drank some water. (24)

Another study found that overweight women who drank more than 1 liter of water per day were able to lose over 4 pounds in 12 months.

This is actually a lot considering that they didn’t exercise or changed their diets, just added more water. (25)

This study found that people who drank water before each meal lost 44% more weight than those who didn’t. (26)

This last study showed that drinking an extra 50 oz of water above your recommended water intake can help you lose body fat. (27)

How Much Water Should I Drink to Lose 20 Pounds in 30 Days?

It’s recommended that you drink 1/2 oz of water per pound of body weight.

So to lose weight, you could drink 1/2 oz of water per pound of body weight plus an extra 50 oz.

For example, if you are a 200 pound women, you could drink 150 oz of water (100 oz + 50 oz).

If you’d like to explore more, here’s an article on how drinking more water can help you lose weight.

TAKEAWAY

Drinking more water can increase your resting energy expenditure and burn belly fat. Aim to drink 1/2 oz of water per pound of body weight + 50 oz.

7. Add 16/8 Intermittent Fasting

16/8 intermittent fasting consists of spending 16 hours without eating (fasting) and then you have an 8-hour window to eat.

This is a simple and healthy way of limiting how many calories you eat.

Here are some benefits of intermittent fasting:

  • Lose weight without having to track calories
  • Boosts your metabolism and increases weight loss (28)
  • Can reduce your insulin levels by up to 31% (29)
  • Can lower blood sugar by 3-6% (29)
  • Might help you live longer (30)

If you’d like to explore more, here are the intermittent fasting benefits on cancer, Alzheimer’s, and aging.

Sample 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Schedule

Here’s how you can use intermittent fasting to lose 20 pounds in 30 days:

  • Last meal by 8:00 p.m.
  • Fast from 8:00 p.m. to 12:00 p.m. (16 hours)
  • Have your first meal at 12:00 p.m.
  • Eating window from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Curious about what happens to your body when you fast? Check out this article about the stages of fasting.

TAKEAWAY

16/8 intermittent fasting can boost your metabolism, increase weight loss, and lower your blood sugar and insulin levels.

8. Walk 30 Minutes Every Day

Walking is often underestimated, however, it is a simple and great addition to your weight loss routine.

Walking can obviously help you lose a few extra calories with almost no effort, and it is great your your heart.

Studies have shown that a 30-minute walk, five times a week can decrease your chances of developing coronary heart disease by 19%. (31)

A low-intensity walk will mostly use fat as fuel instead of carbs.

Therefore, consider going on a 30-minute walk each day.

Here are 5 awesome tips for walking to lose weight.

TAKEAWAY

Walking is an easy way to burn belly fat without too much work. Add a 30-minute walk to your daily routine.

9. Lift Weights to Lose 20 Pounds in 30 Days

Not only does weight lifting burns more calories than cardio, but it also helps you retain muscle mass.

Muscle mass is important to help you burn calories even while at rest (REE) and boosting your metabolism.

So yes, you could be sitting at home watching Netflix and still be burning calories.

In fact, if you have a slow metabolism, lifting weights is one of the most efficient ways to speed it up.

Lifting weights also increases bone density, which helps you prevent injuries and fractures, especially when you get older.

If you have diabetes, weight lifting will also help increase your insulin sensitivity, which makes it easier to manage both your diabetes and your weight.

Will Lifting Weights Make Me Bulky?

This is a common misconception among women.

Lucky for you, lifting weights won’t make you bulky.

It takes years of heavy lifting and meticulous dieting to build muscle.

You can learn more about it in my article about why women should lift weights and why it won’t make them bulky.

How to Add Weight Lifting

You can lift weights at least 3 times a week.

When lifting weights, you want to use a weight that’s challenging for you, but allows you to perform the exercises with correct form.

HIIT Workouts

You’ve probably heard about HIIT workouts before.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) consists of doing short bouts of a high intensity activity followed by a few seconds of rest.

HIIT stimulates your muscles the same way weight lifting does, so it’s important that you recover properly.

It will also help you burn more calories while at rest.

Here’s an example of a HIIT workout:

  • 2-minute warmup (2 min)
  • 4 rounds of 40-second mountain climbers followed by a 20-second rest (4 min)
  • 4-minute cooldown (4 min)

This whole workout should last only 10 minutes.

It doesn’t seem like much, but if you’re really going at a high intensity, you’ll end up super tired.

A lot of people give you 30-40 minute HIIT workouts, but in reality, those are not really HIIT workouts.

HIIT requires you to bring your heart rate up to 90% of your max heart rate.

This level of intensity is difficult to maintain for more than 10 minutes.

Want to learn more? Check out this article about the differences between HIIT, MISS, and LISS cardio.

TAKEAWAY

Weight lifting burns more calories than cardio, boosts your metabolism, and helps you retain muscle mass. Aim to lift weights at least 3 times a week.

10. Get Good-Quality Sleep

If you want to lose 20 pounds in 30 days, you must make sure that you get proper sleep.

Unfortunately, 1 out of 3 adults sleep less than six hours per night according to the CDC! (32)

This study showed that not sleeping enough increased the risk of obesity by 89% in children and 55% in adults. (33)

This other study showed that adults who slept only 5 hours per night for 5 nights gained about 2 pounds. (34)

Here’s how sleeping helps you lose weight fast:

• It Reduces Cravings

Lack of sleep can affect brain function, which makes it difficult to make healthy food choices. (35)

Other studies have found that it can increase your cravings for foods high in calories and carbs. (36, 37)

Therefore, proper sleep will help you reduce cravings, which can make weight loss easier.

• Keeps Your Metabolism Running Fast

Studies have shown that lack of sleep can lower your resting metabolic rate (RMR), which is the calories you burn when you’re at rest. (38)

This study showed that men who didn’t sleep for 24 hours had a decrease of 5% in their RMR. (39)

• Increases Insulin Sensitivity

Low-quality sleep can cause your cells to become insulin resistant. (40)

This study showed that people who slept only 4 hours every night for 6 nights increased their insulin resistance by 40%. (41)

How Long Should I Sleep?

Here’s what the National Sleep Foundation recommends:

AGE RECOMMENDED NOT RECOMMENDED
0 – 3 months 14 – 17 hours Less than 11 hours
More than 19 hours
4 – 11 months 12 – 15 hours Less than 10 hours
More than 18 hours
1 – 2 years 11 – 14 hours Less than 9 hours
More than 16 hours
3 – 5 years 10 – 13 hours Less than 9 hours
More than 14 hours
6 – 13 years 9 – 11 hours Less than 7 hours
More than 12 hour
14 – 17 years 8 – 10 hours Less than 7 hours
More than 11 hours
18 – 25 years 7 – 9 hours Less than 6 hours
More than 11 hours
26 – 64 years 7 – 9 hours Less than 6 hours
More than 10 hours
65 years and older 7 – 8 hours Less than 5 hours
More than 9 hours

TAKEAWAY

Proper sleep will help you reduce stress, keep your metabolism fast, and reduce insulin and cravings. Adults should aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.

11. Eat Slowly

You’ve probably heard that it takes your brain 20 minutes to realize that you’re full. (42)

Well… That’s true, which is the reason why you should eat slowly.

Eating at a slow pace can help you reduce your calorie intake and lose weight.

This study showed that people who ate slowly had a large increase in satiety hormones and sense of fullness than those eating super fast. (43)

This other study showed that when women ate slowly, they were able to reduce their calorie intake and felt fuller than when they ate a faster rate. (44)

TAKEAWAY

It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to realize that you’re full. Therefore, consider eating slowly to prevent overeating and weight gain.

12. Reduce Stress With Meditation

Stress can prevent you from losing those 20 pounds in 30 days.

Therefore, it’s important than you find ways to control it using techniques like meditation.

Studies have shown that high levels of the stress hormone cortisol and unhealthy stress-induced behaviors can cause weight gain. (45)

Whenever you’re stressed, you release adrenaline and cortisol, which causes your body to release glucose (main source of fuel) into your bloodstream.

This is a defense mechanism designed to give you the energy to scape the stressful (risky) situation.

This is often referred to as the “fight or flight response.” (46)

The problem with this is that this energy is not often used during stressful situations, which can result in high blood sugar.

Stress will also increase your cravings for carbs and sugary foods so that you can get more energy. (47)

Consider finding an activity that relaxes you so that you can keep your stress levels in check.

TAKEAWAY

Stress can make you gain weight, make weight loss more difficult, and increase cravings. Focus on finding an activity that relaxes you.

8 tips to lose 20 pounds in 20 days

What Does Losing 20 Pounds Do for Your Body?

Here are some of the benefits losing 20 pounds has on your body:

  • more energy
  • lower cholesterol levels
  • lower blood sugar
  • less inflammation
  • fewer aches and pains
  • better mobility
  • improved breathing
  • better insulin response
  • boost in confidence
  • preventing type 2 diabetes
  • better heart health
  • lower risk of stroke
  • better sleep quality

All of these benefits make the challenge of losing 20 pounds in 30 days worth it.

Is It Safe to Lose 20 Pounds in 30 Days?

A lot of people wonder if it’s safe to lose 20 pounds in a month.

Studies have shown that rapid weight loss is just as good and safe as slow weight loss. (48, 49)

In fact, if you’re overweight or obese, losing weight fast is especially beneficial for you.

You’ll quickly reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis, depression, breathing problems, and more.

Other studies have shown that rapid weight loss is more effective than slow weight loss. (50)

20 Pound Weight Loss Before and After

Here’s how I looked after losing 20 pounds:

20 pound weight loss before and after

These photos were taken at 186 and 166 pounds.

How Do I Get Rid of Belly Fat Without Exercise?

Dieting is by far the most important thing when it comes to losing belly fat without exercise.

If you follow the steps mentioned above about detoxing, reducing carbs, cutting sugar, increasing protein, and eating more fiber, you will easily lose belly fat.

Don’t get me wrong, exercise is super beneficial to your health, but it’s not the key to weight loss.

Think about it this way… You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.

If you want to learn more, check out my in-depth article on how to lose weight without exercise.

Lose 21 Pounds in 21 Days Challenge

If you need help figuring out exactly what, when, and how much to eat, want to lose fat quickly, and connect with others with the same goal, you must take Avocadu’s 21-Day Fat Loss Challenge.

This challenge is designed to help men and women lose 10-21 pounds in just 21 days.

It will give you all the instructions for you to reach your goal weight in no time.

Stop saying you’ll start tomorrow and join the challenge today!

21-Day Fat Loss Challenge Free Training Guide

Get the 21-Day Fat Loss Challenge FREE Training Guide

Start your weight loss journey with this FREE guide!

GET MY FREE GUIDE

Top Picks for You

Leave a Comment