What is the best way to lose 15 pounds in a month?
How to lose 15 pounds in a month. This is a question that many men and women looking to shed some extra kilograms may be interested in. In this article, we are going to take a look at how to lose 15 pounds in a month with and without exercise, what workouts work best and some dietary changes that you should try. Can you really lose 15 pounds in 30 days? Let’s find out.
Weight loss is something that many people all over the world struggle with. For you to effectively lose weight, you must be willing to make changes to your diet and come up with a fun and effective workout routine. These two factors will be the most important elements in your weight loss journey.
How to lose 15 pounds in a month without exercise
When it comes to how to lose 15 pounds in a month, there are multiple factors that would make someone not include workouts in their weight loss plan. These factors are:
- Not having access to a gym membership nor incorporating home workouts in their routine.
- Some people are too busy and cannot make time for workouts.
- Illnesses or injuries that make it hard for people to exercise.
If you fall into any of these categories, here are some changes that you could make to your diet and they may help your ‘how to lose 15 pounds in a month’ plan.
Count your calories
Counting calories can be an important first step on any weight loss journey for some people. This is because, for you to achieve your weight goals, you should eat at a calorie deficit of 500 to 1000 calories a day. The amount of calories consumed per day is dependent on many factors including, age, current weight, lifestyle, and height.
When determining how much energy you need, you must remember that calorie intake should not fall below 1,200 a day in women or 1,500 a day in men, except under the supervision of a health professional (5). Calculating calories might be hard to do manually, instead, use trusted calorie counting apps to help you track how much food you need to and have consumed throughout the day (12).
Avoid or reduce your intake of simple carbohydrates
Simple carbohydrates are also known as refined carbs. Examples of these include foods like candy, sugary drinks, syrups, table sugar, fruit juice concentrate, and products with added sugar, such as baked goods or some cereals.
When it comes to weight loss, such foods are discouraged as not only are they high in calories and low in nutrients, but they are also digested and absorbed too quickly to the body where they cause blood sugar spikes and increased hunger (21).
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Consume more complex carbohydrates
Complex carbohydrates like whole grains include whole-wheat flour, bulgur (cracked wheat), oatmeal, whole cornmeal, and brown rice. They are fantastic sources of fiber and other important nutrients, such as B vitamins, iron, folate, selenium, potassium and magnesium (22).
If you are considering trying to lose 15 pounds a month, whole grains are incredible as they are full of fiber, meaning they take longer to digest, they decrease the number of calories retained during digestion, and speed up your metabolism.
Choose better beverages
Sodas, fruit juices and energy drinks are loaded with sugar, something that will hinder your weight loss goals. Instead choose to drink water, unsweetened coffee and tea, or vegetable juices.
Drink more water
One of the things that many people will tell you when you are trying to lose weight is that you should drink more water. Some reasons that water may help you lose weight include (6):
- It is a natural appetite suppressant. A controlled trial done in 2008 showed that drinking 500 ml or water reduced calorie intake by about 13% (24).
- It increased your resting metabolic rate i.e, the total number of calories burned when your body is completely at rest. In 2003, a study found out that drinking about 500 ml of water increased the metabolic rate by 30% within 10 minutes. The effect lasted for 30 to 40 minutes (23).
- It helps burn fat and metabolize carbohydrates in the body.
Practice Intuitive eating
Intuitive eating means breaking free from the on-and-off cycle of dieting and learning to eat mindfully and without guilt. Some principles of this eating plan include eating when you are hungry, stopping once you are full, and eating healthy foods (20).
Eat more fibre-rich foods
A high-fibre diet can help you reach your weight loss goals as they keep you fuller for longer, which prevents you from overeating and going over your recommended calorie intake. This diet also helps with lowering cholesterol levels, regulating bowel movements, and could reduce your risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases (9).
Eat more protein-rich foods
Protein can help you lose weight as it increases your metabolism, reduces your appetite, and keeps you fuller for longer. Protein sources include eggs, lean meats, and plant-based sources such as legumes, soybeans, and lentils.
Eat more vegetables
When you are planning on how to lose 15 pounds in a month, vegetables should be high on the list of foods that you should consume. Not only are they high in micronutrients, making them good for your health, they are also low in calories. This means you can eat more volumes of veggies without worrying about upsetting your calorie intake.
You should consume leafy greens such as collard greens, kale, bok choy, spinach, Romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, and cabbage, as well as cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. In terms of starchy carbs, e.g sweet potatoes, carrots, corn, beets, plantains, butternut squash, and yams, they should be consumed albeit in moderation since they can be quite higher in calories and carbohydrates (16).
Mind your portions
Practicing portion control is a great way to help you manage your caloric intake for the day. Eat in a smaller plate to trick your brain with an optical illusion!
How to lose 15 pounds in a month with exercise
To lose 15 pounds in a month, diet and exercise plan should be an integral part of your routine. When it comes to exercising, you do not need to make your way to the gym, there are many workouts that can be done outside or in your house. If you are looking for simple but effective workout tips to help you lose 15 pounds in a month, here are some points that you should consider.
Do more cardio
Cardio workouts are the core of any weight loss journey. Other than helping you lose weight, cardiovascular exercises (10):
- Strengthen your heart and muscles.
- Help control your appetite.
- Improve bone density.
- Boost your mood through the release of endorphins.
- Help you sleep better at night.
- Help prevent or manage high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer.
Here are some cardio exercises for you to include in your ‘how to lose 15 pounds in a month workout plan.’
This is among one of the most common options that many choose to help them lose some extra pounds. Running at 5mph burns 240 calories in a 125-pound individual and 355 calories in a 185-pound person. The faster your speed, the more calories you will burn. If you choose to do cross country running, you will burn anywhere between 270 to 400 calories in just 30 minutes (3).
Skipping rope is a fun way to warm-up exercise before undertaking other more intense exercises. However, with increased intensity, this simple exercise can be used as a full workout to help you lose weight. According to Harvard Medical School, depending on how much you weigh, you can lose 300 to 444 calories by jumping rope for about 30 minutes (3).
Many people have started using boxing as a way to help them lose weight and tone up their muscles. Kickboxing also improves your balance, strengthens your core, and is a great way to let out any pent up frustration. Women looking to lose 15 pounds in a month could try this workout as they can burn 350 to 450 calories in a one-hour kickboxing class (4).
Taking your bicycle out for a ride is a great way to try and lose 15 pounds in a month. Like all exercises, the amount of calories you burn is determined by how much you weigh. The heavier you are, the more calories you will lose. Also, note that the faster you ride, the more calories you burn. For example, a 155-pound individual cycling at a speed of 12 to 13.9 miles an hour burns 596 calories. If the same individual increased their speed to 14 to 15.9 miles per hour s/he will burn 744 calories (14).
Going for a swim is one of the most convenient ways to lose 15 pounds in a month for many people. This is because, not only does it help burn calories but it is also a relatively safe workout that works for most people i.e older people, people with bad knees and other injuries, healthy individuals, etc.
Swimming laps or vigorously or using styles such as the breaststroke, butterfly, or crawl will burn anywhere from 300 to 488 calories in 30 minutes. General swimming eliminates 180 to 266 calories, while the backstroke will burn 240 to 355 calories in the same amount of time (3).
Add compound exercises to your routine
Unlike isolation workouts, compound exercises are a group of exercises that work out multiple muscle groups at the same time. Compound exercises burn more calories, improve intramuscular coordination, improve strength and flexibility and help you gain more muscle (11). Some great example of compound workouts to include in your workout routine include:
It is also known as the spider crawl and is an amazing workout that targets multiple muscles including those in the shoulders, chest, upper back, triceps, quadriceps, calves, glutes, hamstrings, adductors, and abductors.
- Get down on the floor in the start of a plank position with your hands on the floor shoulder-width apart, arms extended, shoulders positioned directly over your hands, and legs behind you, feet hip-width apart.
- Push the toes of your left foot into the floor. Raise the right foot off the floor and externally rotate the leg. Contract your core and glute muscles, keep your back flat, and bring your right knee to the outside of the right elbow. When your knee gets close to your elbow, squeeze the core muscles.
- Extend your left arm out in front of you, palm on the floor, while your right knee comes towards your right elbow.
- Staying low to the ground, alternate your bent knee and hand as you walk/crawl forward.
- Continue this pattern, alternating right leg with left leg, until you “walk” the desired distance.
- Set a timer for how long you wish to do this crawl for.
This workout will be targeting your pecs, deltoids, triceps, and the core.
- Get on the floor on an exercise or gym mat on all fours and position your hands slightly wider than your shoulders.
- Extend your legs back so that you are balanced on your hands and toes. Keep your body in a straight line from head to toe. Avoid sagging in the middle or arching your back.
- Brace your core by contracting your abs and tightening your core by pulling your belly button toward your spine.
- Inhale as you slowly bend your elbows and lower yourself until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle.
- Exhale as you begin contracting your chest muscles and pushing back up through your hands to the start position. Don’t lock out the elbows; keep them slightly bent.
- Repeat this 10 to 12 times for one set.
If this is too hard for you, opt to do the push up on your knees instead of straightening your feet all the way. You could also do an inclined push-up where instead of going all the way to the floor, you can do the same movement against a couch or table.
Burpees are a full-body calisthenic workout that targets muscles in your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and abs. Not only do they build muscle, but they are also great weight loss exercises.
- Start in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Squat down with your back straight and your hands on the floor between your feet.
- With your weight on your hands, kick your feet back so you’re on your hands and toes, and in a pushup position.
- Do one push-up before jumping your feet back to their starting position.
- Push strongly from this position and jump, reaching your arms over your head.
Burpees are considered a pretty hard workout even by gym veterans. If you are a beginner, here are some things you can do to make this exercise easier:
- Omit the push-up entirely or do it on your knees.
- Instead of jumping, just stand and stretch your hands in the air.
This is a great calisthenic workout for your deltoids, biceps, triceps, chest, obliques, core, quads, hamstrings and hip abductors.
- Begin in a traditional plank position with your shoulders directly over your hands and wrists.
- Be sure to keep your back flat and your butt down, maintaining a neutral spine – do not curve your back or sag your hips.
- Engage your core and lift up your right knee, bringing it toward your elbow (or as far as you can). Return the right knee back to the starting position as you simultaneously drive your left knee up toward your left elbow
- Return to the starting position and continue switching legs as you pick up the pace. It should feel like you are running in place in a plank position.
Walking lunges (and other lunge variations) strengthen the leg muscles as well as the core, hips, and glutes.
Stand with your feet roughly hip-distance apart. Keep your torso upright and tall, core engaged, your shoulders back and chin lifted, and look straight ahead.
- Take a wide step forward with your right foot and plant it roughly two feet ahead, allowing your left heel to lift naturally as you step forward. You may want to put your hands on your hips, and elbows bent at 90-degree angle as you take each step.
- Keeping your core engaged and upright, breathe in and bend both knees lowering your back knee toward the floor. Stop just before it touches down.
- Breath out as you press firmly through your right heel and extend the right knee to rise to stand as you lift your left foot from the ground, swinging it forward to plant it about two feet ahead of your right foot. Avoid leaning your torso forward from your hips as you take this step.
- Continue stepping forward with each lunge, alternating sides as you do. Set a timer for yourself and try doing this for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Finish your set by bringing your back foot to meet your front foot on the final lunge.
While cardio is a great way to lose weight, combining cardio and strength training increases the number of calories burned in a single workout session.
How to lose 15 pounds of belly fat in a month
As stated above, a healthier diet is one of the most important factors when it comes to losing stomach fat. However, if you are considering how to lose 15 pounds in a month, you must consider adding aerobic exercises and strength training workouts to your routine (18). Other than the above-mentioned cardio and compound exercises, here are some other workouts to help you lose belly fat and tone your abs.
These are great compound workouts that target the love handles, glutes, legs, shoulders, and pecs:
- Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart as you hold a kettlebell in front of your body with both hands, arms straight.
- With a slight bend in your knees and a flat back, hinge at your hips and swing the kettlebell back through your legs.
- Use that momentum to stand and swing the kettlebell out in front of your body, up to shoulder height. Thrust your hips forward, and engage your glutes and core as you stand up straight.
- When the kettlebell hits shoulder height, your knees should be straight, and glutes contracted in a full hip extension.
- Allow the kettlebell to swing back down through your legs.
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These are among the most popular workouts for anyone who hopes to lose 15 pounds of belly fat.
- Lie on your back on the floor or a bench. Bend your knees and hook your feet under the couch or heavy suitcase. You could also ask someone to hold your feet for you.
- Put your hands on the sides of or behind your neck. If you choose to place them behind your neck, be sure not to pull on your neck.
- Bend your hips and waist to raise your body off the ground or bench.
- Lower your body back to the starting position.
- Try doing this 10 to 15 times for one set.
- Lie on your back and place your feet on a wall. Your knees and hips should bend at a 90 degree angle. Tighten your abdominal muscles as described above.
- Place your hands behind your head and raise your head and shoulders off the floor, moving towards your knees. Do not use your hand to help lift your head.
- Hold this position for three deep breaths then drop down and repeat.
- Do this 10 to 12 times for one set.
To avoid straining your neck or using your hands to push your head up, cross your arms on your chest. Hold for three deep breaths.
- Start on your hands and knees and come up into a push-up plank position.
- Balancing on hands (or elbows) and toes (or knees), align wrists under shoulders. Be sure to keep your back straight and the abs and glutes tight. Do not sag your body to the floor or curl up your spine.
- Tighten your abs, keep breathing and hold this position for at least ten seconds to a full minute.
For an easier variation of this, balance on your elbows and knees. Work with the variation that feels most comfortable to you so you can avoid injuring yourself.
- Lie flat on the workout mat on your back and place your fingertips at the back of your head.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles, bring your knees up to a 45-degree angle, and lift your shoulder blades off the ground.
- Turn your upper body to the left, bringing the right elbow toward the left knee and extending your right leg. Switch sides and bring the left elbow toward the right knee. This action is where the workout gets its name from.
- Continue this pedalling motion, slowly, ten to 15 times.
Please remember that you cannot lose weight in the belly alone (7) and that spot reduction is a myth. Consistently training a certain part of the body will not result in fat loss in that area (13). The secret to ‘how to lose 15 pounds of belly fat in a month’ lies in a clean healthy diet, compound exercises, and the above-mentioned belly fat and toning workouts.
Working out helps you grow more muscle which will help you lose weight. This is because muscle burns more calories than fat as it’s more metabolically active than fat (17). 10 pounds of muscle burns 50 calories a day while 10 pounds of fat burns 20 calories in a day (1).
How many calories should I eat per day to lose 15 pounds in a month?
There is no one umbrella number that everyone can eat per day to help them lose weight. Remember that factors that determine how many calories each person needs per day include the person’s age, sex, height, weight, and level of physical activity (2).
To lose weight, you need to reduce your typical daily caloric intake by 500 to 1,000 calories a day (or 3500 to 7000 calories a week). This should help you lose 1 to 2 pounds a week (8). Using a calorie counting app is the best way to determine how many calories you lose weight in a month.
Is losing 15 pounds in one month safe?
No, it is not. If you are considering how to lose 15 pounds in a month it would be best if you reduced this number or give yourself more time to achieve this goal. Losing 15 pounds a month would be classified as rapid weight loss.
While it may enable you to fit into those jeans or that tight dress, it comes with multiple side effects. They include temporary effects like muscle loss, fatigue, headaches and dizziness, constipation, mood swings and menstrual irregularities in women. Some life-threatening side effects of losing 15 pounds a month include gallstones, dehydration, and nutrient deficiencies (15).
Can you really lose 15 pounds in a month?
Yes, it is possible for you to lose 15 pounds a month. However, this would only be done in the unhealthy way of eating on a very-low-calorie-diet. Such diets are not recommended to people unless your doctor advises otherwise. And even then, you would have to be placed under close medical supervision to avoid complications (19).
In light of this, instead of wondering how to lose 15 pounds in a month, it is better to focus on a smaller number; about 1 to 2 pounds a week. This smaller number could be achieved through a proper diet and exercise.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to losing weight, the question of how to lose 15 pounds in a month is not one that you should entertain. This amount of weight is too much to lose in such a short amount of time and can lead to some life-threatening side effects.
The best thing to do would be to reduce this number to something more manageable; about 4 to 8 pounds a month. This smaller number is more achievable with all the tips mentioned above regarding dietary changes and exercises. However, before attempting any of the tips mentioned, please make an appointment to speak with a doctor or dietitian to ensure that these changes will not adversely affect your health.
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This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any medical conditions. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
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- What Is a Very Low-Calorie Diet? (2020, verywellfit.com)
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- What to know about simple and complex carbs (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Whole grains: Hearty options for a healthy diet (2020, mayoclinic.org)
- Water consumption reduces energy intake at a breakfast meal in obese older adults (2008, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Water-induced thermogenesis (2003, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)