Can you lose 30 pounds in 30 days? Weight loss is something that many of us struggle with. Whether you are losing weight to better your health, increase your lifespan, or just so you can fit in that new dress or pair of jeans, shedding those extra pounds can be a pain and fast weight loss is often preferred.
In today’s article, we are going to look at the possibility of losing 30 pounds in 30 days. Is it something that can be done? If it is even a possibility, is it safe to do so and can your doctor recommend it? We shall also be letting you know the quickest way to lose weight as well as giving you a simple sample menu to help you come up with a 30-day diet for weight loss.
Is It Possible To Lose 30 Pounds In 30 Days?
No, you cannot. Contrary to what some ‘fitness expert’ or diet guru may have told you before, there is no possible way, physically and scientifically that you can lose 30 pounds in 30 days. But why is this? The truth is that, for you to lose 30 pounds in 30 days, you would need to lose 1 pound a day for 30 days and this, again, is impossible. Here is how to look at it:
- On average, a normal man or woman looking to maintain his or her weight consumes 2500 or 2000 calories, respectively, a day.
- 1 pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories so for you to lose 1 pound a day you will have to burn 3500 calories daily.
- Burning 3500 calories a day is not possible because you cannot burn what you do not consume. I.e., A great example by Medicinenet.com says that for you to burn 3500 calories a day, you would have to starve yourself the whole day and exercise as much as to lose the remaining calories, which again is impossible. You cannot fail to fuel your body and still expect to workout (5).
- The only way for anyone to burn 3500 calories a day is if they consume more calories than this a day and workout for hours each day to burn them – a feat only possible for some athletes and Olympic competitors (6).
If You Cannot Lose 30 Pounds In 30 Days, How Much Weight Can You Lose In A Month?
On average, a person can lose anywhere from 4 to 8 pounds in 30 days. This is in line with the CDC guidelines that suggest that a gradual and steady loss of 1 to 2 pounds a week is what is best and sustainable for long-term weight loss (11).
While this may look like a small and insignificant number, remember that weight loss requires patience and over time the numbers will add up eventually getting to 30 pounds total (or even more).
Can you lose 30 pounds in 60 days? In the same way that you cannot lose 30 pounds in 30 days, you cannot lose the same in 60 days. However, you can try aiming for a more achievable number of 10 to 16 pounds in 60 days- which equates to losing 1 to 2 pounds a week for two months.
Dangers Of Attempting To Lose 30 Pounds In 30 Days
If you are still not convinced that attempting to lose this much weight is bad for you, here are some health risks that you will be exposing yourself to through rapid weight loss.
Non-life-threatening side effects of fast weight loss include headaches, hair loss, irritability, dizziness, fatigue, as well as constipation. Women who lose weight too fast may find themselves plagued with menstrual irregularities (9) or Amenorrhea – a condition where they lose one or more periods.
While the condition is caused by multiple factors from hormonal imbalances to medication, pregnancy and menopause, low body weight, excessive exercise, and stress – all factors caused by fast weight loss – can prompt it (1).
Some other more severe side effects that could come with trying to lose 30 pounds in 30 days include:
These are pieces of solid material that form in your gallbladder and cause immeasurable pain when they block the bile duct, something that usually needs immediate medical attention. Losing weight too fast is one of the risk factors associated with gallstones’ growth (4).
Malnutrition Aka Nutritional Deficiencies
A common theme in any fat loss diet that you may come across in a bid to lose 30 pounds in 30 days is that they are very low in calories. While such diets can help you lose weight, they not only fail to provide you with enough food energy to survive, but they also cut out a lot of foods, further failing to provide your body with all the nutrients it needs. Nutritional deficiencies lead to a slew of illnesses and complications such as anemia, mental disorders and illnesses, digestion problems, skin issues as well as defective bone growth (8).
Slow Metabolism (7)
Extreme calorie deprivation from a bad fat loss diet causes your body to slow down its energy use and expenditure to save you from perceived starvation. Once this happens, your metabolism slows down, which means you keep having a harder time burning calories and you may even realize that you are adding on weight instead of losing it.
As stated above, any fat loss diet that claims to help you lose 30 pounds in 30 days is most probably not providing your body with enough food. When you do not eat enough, your body has to turn to other sources to use them as an energy source to keep you and your body going. Without enough calories, your body will start getting the said energy from siphoning it from your muscles, leading to muscle loss.
When you don’t eat enough, your stomach will always be growling and you will find yourself always thinking about food.
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What Is The Quickest Way To Lose Weight?
The quickest way to lose weight is through a combination of a calorie deficit diet and exercise. By cutting 500 to 1000 calories a day from your typical diet, you end up removing 3500 to 7000 calories a week from your meal plan which, as previously stated, equates to 1 or two pounds of fat, respectively (2).
Exercise, on the other hand, helps your body burn more calories during and after your workout. Combining these two factors helps put your body at a calorie deficit which is the quickest way to lose weight.
Sample Of A Lose 30 Pounds In 30 Days Meal Plan
Below is a simple 6-day plan to help you lose weight. Please note that this meal plan will not help you lose 30 pounds in 30 days, but it is a guideline to help you eat healthier and more wholesome foods, which will eventually help you achieve your weight loss goals.
If the calories per serving are above your recommended daily calorie intake, be sure to alter the servings or recipe to help you eat at a calorie deficit. Remember that a good fat loss diet does not cut out any foods and includes all the five major food groups (10).
- Meal 1 – Oat Porridge
- Ingredients: 50 g frozen raspberries, 1/2 an orange (Juice a quarter of it and slice up the other quarter), 75 g porridge oats, 50 ml milk, 1/4 large banana, 1 tbsp smooth almond butter, 1/2 tbsp goji berries, 1/2 tbsp chia seeds.
- Nutrition Info: Calories: 533. Fats: 19 g. Protein: 17 g. Carbs: 66 g.
- Meal 2 – Quinoa Salad
- Salad Ingredients: 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, 113 g cherry tomatoes, 1/2 large cucumber, 1/4 cup red onion, 141 g chopped spinach, 1 large ripe avocado, a handful of chopped cilantro, feta cheese to taste (optional).
- For The Dressing: 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, 2 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 garlic clove, 1/4 cup olive oil, Juice of half a lemon, salt and pepper to taste.
- This recipe makes 4 servings.
- Nutrition Info: Calories for one serving: 313. Fats: 23.5 g. Protein: 6 g. Carbs: 22.8 g.
- Meal 3 – Sandwich and Vegetables
- Sandwich: 1/2 packet of sticky brown rice, 1 nori sheet, 1/8 cup cream cheese, 1 tbsp chopped green onions, 28 g smoked salmon, 1/4 cup sliced cucumbers, 1/4 cup matchstick carrots.
- Vegetables: 113 g broccolini, 1/8 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce, 1/2 cup steamed edamame in pods, 1/2 tsp. of toasted sesame oil.
- Nutrition Info: Calories: 413. Fats: 13 g. Protein: 23 g. Carbs: 51 g.
- Meal 4 – Baby Carrots
- 3/4 cup
- Nutrition Info: Calories: 40. Fats: 0 g. Protein: 1 g. Carbs: 10 g.
- Total Intake for the Day: Calories: 1299. Fats: 55.5 g. Protein: 47 g. Carbs: 149.8 g.
- Meal 1 – Breakfast Wrap
- Ingredients: 1 tsp homemade chili paste, 1 medium-sized egg, 1 tsp rapeseed oil, 50 g kale, 7 cherry tomatoes, half a small avocado, 1 wholemeal tortilla wrap.
- Nutrition Info: Calories: 366. Fats: 21 g. Protein: 16 g. Carbs: 26 g.
- Meal 2 – Green Strawberry Smoothie
- Ingredients: 80 g ripe strawberries, 80 g baby spinach, 1/2 small avocado, 150 ml yogurt, 1 small orange.
- Nutrition Info: Calories: 226. Fats: 13 g. Protein: 8 g. Carbs: 16 g.
- Meal 3 – Farro-Egg Salad
- Ingredients: 2 cups water, 1 cup green beans, 1 tbsp wine vinegar, 3/4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 2 cups cooked farro, 2 cups kale, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 14 g feta cheese, 1 hard-boiled egg, 6 g prosciutto, 1 small orange.
- Nutrition Info: Calories: 440. Fats: 20 g. Protein: 17 g. Carbs: 52 g.
- Meal 4 – Stuffed Zucchini
- Ingredients: 1 halved zucchini, a dash of olive oil and a sprinkle of chopped coriander leaves.
- Stuffing: 125 g lean minced lamb, ground cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon.
- Sauce: 1/4 tbsp olive oil, 1 garlic clove, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 200 g chopped tomatoes, 1/4 tsp sugar.
- Nutrition Info: Calories: 200. Fats: 12 g. Protein: 16 g. Carbs: 8 g.
- Total Intake for the Day: Calories: 1232. Fats: 66 g. Protein: 57 g. Carbs: 102 g.
- Meal 1 – Egg and Avocado on Toast
- Ingredients: 2 fried eggs, 2 toasted slices of whole-grain bread, 1 small avocado, 1 tsp lime juice, sea salt, chili flakes, and black pepper to taste, parsley or coriander to garnish.
- Nutrition Info: Calories: 509. Fats: 32.7 g. Protein: 22.2 g. Carbs: 35.4 g.
- Meal 2 – Vegan Pasta
- Ingredients: 226 linguine noodles, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, 3 minced garlic cloves, 1 cup canned coconut cream, 1/4 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp chili powder, 1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese, 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, 5 fresh basil leaves.
- This recipe makes 4 servings.
- Nutrition Info: Calories for one serving: 471. Fats: 26 g. Protein: 11 g. Carbs: 53 g.
- Meal 3 – Prawn Salad
- Ingredients: 1/2 wholemeal pitta, 1/2 tbsp rapeseed oil, 1 tsp Tabasco, 1 tsp low-sugar, low-salt ketchup, 1 tbsp low-fat mayonnaise, 1 tbsp fat-free natural yogurt, 1/2 lime, 60 g cooked king prawns, 1 lettuce, 1/4 small cucumber, 4 cherry tomatoes.
- This recipe makes 2 servings.
- Nutrition Info: Calories: 345. Fats: 16 g. Protein: 19 g. Carbs: 26 g.
- Total Intake for the Day: Calories: 1325. Fats: 74.7 g. Protein: 52.2 g. Carbs: 114.4 g.
- Meal 1 – Shakshuka
- Ingredients: 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 finely chopped yellow onion, 1 garlic clove, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 226 g tomatoes (cut into halves), 4 large eggs, 1/4 cup chopped baby spinach.
- This recipe makes 2 servings.
- Nutrition Info: Calories for 1 serving: 235. Fats: 16.5 g. Protein: 14 g. Carbs: 8 g.
- Meal 2 – Salmon and Noodle salad
- Ingredients: 2 skinless salmon fillets, juice and zest of half a large orange (peel and chop the other half), 125 g French beans, 50 g mange tout, 75 g frozen peas, 75 g vermicelli rice noodles, 2 tsp red curry paste, 1 tsp fish sauce, 3 spring onions, half a pack basil or coriander.
- This makes 2 servings.
- Nutrition Info: Calories for 1 serving: 517. Fats: 22 g. Protein:36 g. Carbs: 39 g.
- Meal 3 – Chickpea-Avocado Sandwich
- Ingredients: 4 slices whole-grain bread, 425 g canned chickpeas, 1 large ripe avocado, 2 tsp lemon juice, 1/4 cup dried cranberries, salt and pepper to taste.
- This makes 2 servings.
- Nutrition Info: Calories for 1 serving: 406. Fats: 13.5 g. Protein: 12.3 g. Carbs: 60 g.
- Total Intake for the Day: Calories: 1158. Fats: 52 g. Protein: 62.3 g. Carbs: 107.5 g.
- Meal 1 – Overnight Oats
- Ingredients: 1/4 cup oats, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp honey, 2/3 cups of milk.
- Nutrition Info: Calories: 365. Fats: 12 g. Protein: 12 g. Carbs: 57 g.
- Meal 2 – Rice Noodle Salad
- Ingredients: 100 g rice noodles, 300 g silken tofu, 1 carrot peeled and cut into thin ribbons, 1 zucchini cut into thin ribbons, thinly sliced radishes, 1 red pepper cut into matchsticks, some fresh basil.
- Dressing: 1 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp olive oil, 3 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp agave syrup, black pepper to taste.
- This makes 2 servings.
- Nutrition Info: Calories: 422. Fats: 18 g. Protein: 12 g. Carbs: 51 g.
- Meal 3 – Shrimp Zucchini Pasta
- Ingredients: 1 tbsp olive oil, 453 g asparagus, 5 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp sea salt, crushed red pepper to taste, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 453 g peeled and deveined shrimp, 2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice, 2 medium zucchini, spiralized into noodles, freshly chopped parsley, for garnish.
- This makes 2 servings.
- Nutrition Info: Calories: 321. Fats: 9 g. Protein: 37 g. Carbs: 23 g.
- Meal 4 – Cashew Chicken Stew
- Ingredients: 1 inch of fresh ginger, 2 cloves of garlic, 3 tbsp avocado oil, 1/4 cup onion, 2/3 cup raw cashews.
- For the sauce: 3 tbsp coconut aminos, 2 tsp sesame oil, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 pinch of red pepper flakes, 3 tbsp cashew butter, 1.5 tbsp honey, 1/4 cup water.
- For the chicken:680 g chicken breast or thighs, 2 tbsp coconut aminos, 1 heaping tbsp arrowroot starch, salt to taste.
- Nutrition Info: Calories: 289. Fats: 13 g. Protein: 31 g. Carbs: 11 g.
- Total Intake for the Day: Calories: 1397. Fats: 52 g. Protein: 92 g. Carbs: 142 g.
- Meal 1 – Breakfast Sandwich
- Ingredients: 6 whole-wheat muffins, olive oil, 2 avocados, 18 slices mozzarella, 3 tomatoes, balsamic glaze, 6 eggs (fried or hard-boiled) 12 slices prosciutto, 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves.
- The above ingredients make 6 sandwiches.
- Nutrition Info: Calories for one sandwich: 373. Fats: 22 g. Protein: 15 g. Carbs: 31 g.
- Meal 2 – Smoothie Bowl
- Ingredients: 1/2 banana, 1 cup mango chunks (fresh or frozen), 1/2 cup pineapple chunks, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk.
- Nutrition Info: Calories: 180. Fats: 2 g. Protein: 3 g. Carbs: 43 g.
- Meal 3 – Vegan Burgers
- Tofu burgers: 400 g firm tofu, 100 g breadcrumbs, 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, 3 burger buns.
- Sauce: 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 onion, a splash of red wine, 230 ml tinned tomatoes, 3 tbsp date syrup, 2 tbsp tamari/soy sauce, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar.
- This makes 3 burgers.
- Nutrition Info: Calories for 1 burger: 443. Fats: 21 g. Protein: 17 g. Carbs: 44 g.
- Meal 4 – Tuna Lettuce Wraps
- Ingredients: 2 drops of rapeseed oil, two 140 g fresh tuna fillets, 1 medium-sized avocado, 1/2 tsp mustard powder, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp capers, 8 romaine lettuce leaves, 16 cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste.
- This serves two.
- Nutrition Info: Calories for 1 serving: 361. Fats: 17 g. Protein: 40 g. Carbs: 8 g.
- Total Intake for the Day: Calories: 1357. Fats: 62 g. Protein: 75 g. Carbs: 126 g.
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How To Lose 30 Pounds In 30 Days?
As previously stated, you cannot lose 30 pounds in 30 days. Not only is it impossible but any attempts to do so will not only land you in the hospital but can also lead to death. If you want to lose 30 pounds overall, increase your weight loss timeline and make smaller more achievable goals.
How To Lose 30 Pounds In 30 Days Without Exercise?
The painful and hard-hitting truth is that wishing to lose 30 pounds in 30 days without exercise is a pipe dream. This is a marketing strategy used by some diet companies or weight loss pill companies to get you to buy their products. Unfortunately, this will only lead to you trying dangerous diets and taking some pills which could bring some dangerous side effects to effectively lose weight (and keep it off long term), physical activity is encouraged as it helps burn calories that turn into fat in the body when they are not used up as a source of energy.
How To Lose 30 Pounds In 30 Days With Exercise?
When looking to shed those extra pounds, exercise is always recommended because it helps increase metabolism, which helps your body burn more calories a day. Exercise also increases your muscle mass, and the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn throughout the day, whether you are working out or while at rest (3).
However, about using exercise to lose 30 pounds in 30 days, this remains an impossible feat. As above-mentioned, to 30 pounds in a month, you would have to burn 3500 calories a day, which translates to eating more than 3500 cals a day.
Most people do not consume this much food energy in a day and you can not burn what you don’t consume/have.
The Bottom Line
As we have seen above, you cannot lose 30 pounds in 30 days but you can lose 30 days over time with the proper diet and incorporating exercise into your plan. While it may be attractive, fast weight loss is very dangerous to your health and not recommended by health professionals. If you are interested in following the above tips or making changes to your diet, please consult a doctor before attempting any tips given.
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!
- Amenorrhea (2019, mayoclinic.org)
- Counting calories: Get back to weight-loss basics (2020, mayoclinic.org)
- Exercise and Weight Loss (2017, healthline.com)
- Gallstones (Cholelithiasis) (2020, webmd.com)
- How Can I Lose 1 Pound a Day? (2020, medicinenet.com)
- How Many Calories Do Olympic Athletes Need? (2016, npr.org)
- Metabolism to Mental Health: 7 Ways Losing Weight Too Fast Will Backfire (2018, healthline.com)
- Nutritional Deficiencies (Malnutrition) (2019, healthline.com)
- Rapid Weight Loss (2019, webmd.com)
- What are the five food groups? (n.d., foodstandards.gov.scot)
- What is healthy weight loss? (2020, cdc.gov)