Losing weight and reaching your goal weight can be a challenge, whether it’s 5 or 10 pounds you want to lose. And if you have a deadline where you need to reduce weight quickly, it’s even harder. So you might be wondering, “Is it even realistic to lose 10 pounds in a month?”
Losing 10 pounds in a month is a steep goal, but the good news is, it is doable. Most nutritionists suggest going slowly over longer periods of time. Losing one to two pounds a week is a realistic weight loss goal, and this is a bit over that. But it is possible with the right plan and the right mindset.
Your first step is to be prepared to make substantial changes. These changes and consistency will be needed to hit your weight loss goals in just 30 days.
Why Lose Weight?
In the first place, being obese is associated with serious health issues like high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. Carrying extra weight is also linked with increased inflammation and the stress hormone cortisol. Reducing your weight may also help you reduce the amount of medication you are on. So, there are many good reasons to lose weight, whether you are shooting to lose 10 pounds in 30 days or over the course of a year. Being at a healthy weight is essential for your long-term wellness.
So what changes do you need to make for a substantial long-term weight loss? In this article, I have a list of 15 weight loss tips on how to lose weight and keep it off – without crash diets.
Based both on science and my personal experience, I came up with 15 simple tips for healthy weight loss in a month and keep it off permanently. My suggestion is to take a few days to clean out your pantry, fill it with good, healthy food, and make a workout plan. Once you have those down, you will be prepared for your first day of losing weight!
15 Best Tips to Drop 10 Lbs in 1 Month
1. Use Portion Control
Eating less is obviously the best way to get started. Whether or not to calorie count has been a hot topic within the fitness community for years; one personal trainer will argue it’s a must, while another says there are better ways. Regardless of your approach, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn to lose 10 pounds.
You can either reduce your calorie intake by changing your eating habits or increase your activity levels; or both. This balancing act is critical when creating a calorie deficit.
Take in more than your body needs; you’ll increase fat storage and gain weight.
Eat less than your caloric needs; you’ll drop weight,
How many calories a day do you need to cut to reach your weight loss goals?
One pound of fat is around 3,500 calories, and losing 1-2 pounds of fat a week is considered safe and realistic. To lose one pound of fat per week, you need to create a deficit of 500 calories per day or 3,500 a month.
Based on this math, to lose 10 pounds in one month, you need a 1250-calorie deficit per day (assuming you don’t add additional exercise to burn calories.) While this calorie deficit seems a lot, remember, it doesn’t have to come solely from reducing food. You can add regular exercise to take the pressure off of your diet plan.
Here are a few simple ways to reduce your daily calorie intake:
- Use a smaller plate size: Downsizing your plate is the easiest way to reduce portions and food intake because we tend to fill our plates when serving. The bigger the plate is, the more food we serve ourselves. For small portions, use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate, which will automatically cut your portion sizes.
- Cut the junk food: Another easy win is banning empty calories. Sugary drinks and candy are the best places to start. For some, cutting your drinks and sweets alone can result in a 500-calorie deficit a day.
- Keep a food journal: keeping track of your meals and food intake throughout the day brings awareness and makes it easier to stay under your calorie budget. There are many great apps for tracking. One of my favorites is MyFitnessPal. I recommend having your food journal program ready for the first day. It will help you set goals and plan for your calorie deficit.
How much you eat every day is going to be critical in your weight loss journey – even after you lose 10 pounds. But you don’t need a fad diet. Instead, swap high-calorie food items for lower-calorie, more nutrition, and filling meals.
2. Eat Nutritious Foods
The type of food you eat is as essential as your calorie consumption, if not more. When you want to lose weight and maintain lower body weight, what you eat matters. A great way to get to a healthy weight is to eat real food. This means whole foods that are high in nutrition and contain fiber. These foods will give you a feeling of fullness.
Different foods have different nutrients. Some are void of nutrients, while others offer them in abundance, and this creates a difference in how your body processes them.
Foods high in nutrition are:
- Leafy greens including kale, lettuce, and spinach
- Vegetables including broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts
- Foods with healthy fat, like avocado, olive oil, and plain greek yogurt
- Whole grains (quinoa, oats, oatmeal, brown rice)
- Fresh fruits (apples, banana, blueberries, strawberries, mangos, are all high in antioxidants.)
- Legumes (black beans, red kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils)
- Lean protein like chicken, egg whites, and shrimp
- Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines)
Enjoy these healthy foods in moderation:
- Peanut butter and other nut butter.
- Almonds, Sunflower seeds, and other nuts and seeds
Foods like these are full of essential nutrients like fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals and should be part of your healthy eating plan. Together they increase satiety, slow digestion, and reduce appetite. They will reduce your overall calorie intake and body weight.
When you are working on your weight loss plan, make sure you’re eating a diet rich in nutrients. You don’t need to be a health expert for this, just think high-fiber, high-protein, and healthy fats. Low-calorie veggies also help you add more volume to your meals.
3. Eat Balanced Meals
Nutritionally balanced meals are going to be another key to your weight loss efforts. Each meal of healthy food should include a mix of all three macronutrients: protein, fat, and carbs.
According to the USDA Dietary Guideline, a healthy diet plan should include:
- Carbohydrates: 45–65% of calories
- Fat: 20–35% of calories
- Protein: 10–35% of calories
However, there are several other suggested macronutrient ratios for healthy eating.
Here are the basics of several common eating plans:
- 40/30/30 plan or Zoon Diet recommends 40% of calories from carbs, 30% from lean meats, and 30% from fat.
- A low-carb diet like Atkins has you eat 60%-70% protein, 20% to 30% fat, and 5% to 10% carbs.
- The Ketogenic Diet has macro distributions of 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs, which means carbs are to be limited to a mere 50 grams a day.
There are many other diets with varying macronutrient distributions, and there is no right or wrong plan here. It’s not a matter of a low-carb diet being better than Zoon or any other. Instead, ask which balance of macros can you stick to for the long term. Some may enjoy the high-fat Keto diet while others need a generous carb allowance to enjoy their diet.
What’s important is maintaining your proscribed calorie intake throughout the day with healthy balanced meals that offer the appropriate portion of each macro food group.
Note that the types of carbohydrates included in these diets are vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, not junk food. If you are unsure what plan is best for you for medical reasons, talk to a registered dietitian. A dietitian also can offer assistance if you hit a plateau while losing weight.
4. Eat More Fiber
Eating nutritious and balanced meals are the cornerstone of any good weight loss plan, but there is one essential nutrient you want to be sure you eat regularly, and that’s fiber.
Numerous studies show diets high in fiber have significant effects on the amount of weight you can lose. That’s because fiber is a nutrient that stays intact and undigested as it passes through your digestive system, so your body doesn’t retain calories from fiber. This is why fiber helps you stay regular, which also leads to a slimmer waistline.
Fiber also produces prolonged feelings of fullness. According to one study, eating 30 g of fiber every day results in reducing weight, lowers blood sugar levels, and helps manage blood pressure (1).
There are many healthy alternatives. Fiber-rich foods like legumes, green beans, and whole grains are rich sources of dietary fiber. Lettuce and other greens are also high in fiber, so a good substitute for starch heavy sides like potatoes is a fiber-filled side salad. Fruit juices are high in sugar plus the fiber has been removed, replace your morning juice with a whole orange or grapefruit.
Include foods like these in your everyday meal planning to take advantage of fiber and its health benefits.
5. Avoid Processed Foods
Just as there are foods you should eat to shed excess body weight, there are things you need to avoid. One fantastic strategy to lose weight is to replace processed junk food with healthy food.
A diet high in processed foods is also high in calories and full of preservatives, sugars, and sodium. Preservatives can cause inflammation. Sugar affects your insulin levels. Sodium causes excess water weight. So no matter what your activity level, low-quality food will sideline your fast weight loss.
For your next meal try swapping high-calorie food with more nutritious choices. Here are some examples:
- Use pasta made of grains, or better yet swap your noodles with a small amount of quinoa or brown rice.
- Instead of premade pasta sauce, use chopped tomatoes cooked in a little olive oil.
- Replace fries with a baked sweet potato, or better yet, a side salad with cherry tomatoes, onions, and lemon juice.
- Try black beans in place of taco meat, and lettuce in place of the shell. Top with homemade salsa made of chopped cherry tomato, olive oil, cilantro, and hot pepper.
- Rather than junk food from the vending machine, have an afternoon snack of cut-up carrots, celery sticks, and green peppers with hummus.
- Swap French toast with processed bread for a high protein breakfast of eggs.
6. Workout in The Morning
All exercise helps to burn calories, reduce fat, and increase your metabolic rate. But according to UK research, working out first thing in the morning on an empty stomach can have a significant impact. The experts say exercising in the morning can help you burn extra calories and achieve 20% more fat loss compared to working out during the day or later in the day. This is because when your body is deprived of its energy supply, glycogen, your body taps into your fat reserve for fuel.
Best of all, you don’t need a gym membership or a grueling, long workout to reap the benefits. Your morning workout can be as short as 6 minutes. For example, see this 6-minute morning circuit on the Fitwirr blog that you can do right after you get out of bed. It’s an easy way to burn calories.
If you aren’t a circuit person, brisk walking is another way to get your heart rate up before breakfast. The best thing is to set your gym clothes and shoes out the night before. If you have everything ready to go, it reduces the temptation to skip.
7. Do Cardio Exercise
Cardio exercise can improve your fitness and lower your body fat percentage. According to studies, cardio activities, also known as aerobic exercise, are great for reducing your waist size.
Cardio is any type of exercise that raises your heart rate and burns calories. It includes running, jogging, stairs, biking, swimming, Zumba, and even brisk walking. For indoor options, hit the treadmill, elliptical, or try cycling on a stationary bike.
High-Intensity interval training, also known as HIIT, is another fantastic way to burn calories. In HIIT style workouts you alternate short bursts of intense activity with short periods of rest. Examples of interval training with calisthenics might include a minute of jumping jacks, mountain climbers, or burpees followed by 30 seconds of rest.
If you have a busy schedule, look for ways to sneak extra exercise in your day. For example, go for a walk with a coworker on your lunch break, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and park as far from the entrance to stores as you can. You can even sneak in a few reps of bodyweight exercises. Try a few burpees when you get out of bed, or squats in the kitchen while heating up food.
In addition to burning calories, cardio workouts seem to be particularly useful at getting rid of the dangerous belly fat (visceral fat) that resides near your organs, which can cause metabolic disease (2).
8. Do Resistance Exercises
Cardio is excellent for burning calories, but not suitable for muscle building. Muscle is essential; one of the side effects of dieting is a loss of lean muscle mass. The amount of muscle you have can account for around 20 percent of your total metabolism. When you begin to lose your muscles, your metabolism will slow, and it will be harder to lose weight. (3).
Our advice is to incorporate resistance training and weight lifting into your workout regimen to prevent muscle loss. Each rep will help you maintain muscle, and as an added benefit, your body will also look firmer and have more tone.
Here’s a list of resistance or strength training workouts you can do using your body weight or a pair of dumbbells.
You can also hold weights in your hands for added resistance when doing the squats and lunges. If you not sure how to do these exercises above, talk to a personal trainer, or look up these exercises on Fitwirr. We’ll tell you how to do them, and how many reps you need. Aim for at least 30 minutes of resistance training 2 to 3 times per week.
9. Eat a High-Protein Breakfast
If you are starting every day with a bowl of cereal and a bagel, it’s time to rethink your breakfast. Breakfast with plenty of protein like freshly cooked eggs and smoked salmon may help you eat 175 fewer calories on your lunch break, according to Biofortis Clinical Research (4). In their research, those who had a high-protein first meal had better results. They reported feeling fuller, more satisfied, and less inclined to eat after their meal.
Another study found that increasing protein intake from 15 to 30% of total calories helped people eat less per day. Those participants lost over 10 pounds during their 12- week study (5).
Protein-rich foods are a good choice because protein takes more work for your body to digest. It uses more energy in the form of calories to metabolize protein Because it takes longer to digest, it also helps prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes.
To get started, here are some healthy high-protein breakfast ideas that taste amazing!
- Two eggs with a side of salad and a cup of black coffee
- Greek yogurt with fresh berries or any other fruit (Fun fact – berries are also high in fiber)
- Spinach, onion, and tomato omelet with a side of turkey bacon
- Get your greens and protein in at the same time with a green smoothie made with spinach, fruit, and protein powder.
- Tofu scramble with mushrooms, onion, and green pepper.
- Need a quick heat and eat breakfast? Try a cup of bone broth and some hardboiled eggs.
So, how many grams of protein do you need? The Dietary Reference Intake is .8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Use this calculator by the USDA to calculate the right amount for you.
10. Cut Out Sugary Drinks
Cutting out beverages like sodas and fruit juice is one effective way to lose weight, they offer little to no nutritional benefit, but instead are a huge source of sugar and have high amounts of calories. They contribute to weight gain and increase your risk of diabetes.
According to Harvard research, sugary drinks make up 9% of the total calorie intake for both adults and children (6, 7). To illustrate how much sugar soda has, here is one popular soda’s sugar content: one 12oz can of Coca-Cola contains 150 calories and 39 grams of sugar, which is equivalent to about ten teaspoons of sugar! (8) Ice cream only has 14 g of sugar per cup. To keep to your daily calorie intake, switch out sugary drinks with non-sugar alternatives, like glasses of water.
Bonus tip: alcoholic beverages also have little nutrition and a lot of calories. For one, cocktails are usually alcohol mixed with sugary drinks. Booze also causes you to retain water weight.
A glass of wine now and again in moderation is fine, but when you are trying to slim down in a short period of time, it’s best to skip the booze and drink a glass of lemon water instead.
11. Drink Water Before Each Meal
Regular water consumption can help decrease your appetite, especially before meals. Instead of sugary beverages, drinking water enables you to achieve your goal to lose 10 pounds in a month.
For one, dehydration and thirst can be mistaken for hunger, so stay hydrated. Hydration will help prevent overeating and cuts down on unnecessary snacking.
What also can help your weight loss is to drink 17 ounces of water a half hour before your meal. According to one study, this habit helped dieters increase their weight loss by 44% over three months (9). Another study showed drinking 500ml of water before a meal can cause you to eat less and consume 13% fewer calories (10).
Research also shows drinking water may benefit your metabolism by boosting your resting energy expenditure by 30%. So, fill up that water bottle. It helps increase the number of calories your body burns, which will result in losing weight faster and easier (11).
Tips: I like to mix glass water with a tablespoon of lemon juice, a little extra boost of vitamin C.
12. Drink Coffee or Green Tea
Black coffee and green tea also make great beverage choices during weight loss. According to research, natural chemicals found in both coffee and green tea increase fat burning and stimulate the calorie-burning process by 3-11%. (12).
The caffeine found in coffee and green tea boosts metabolism and effects weight loss.
Hitting a mid-afternoon slump? Coffee and tea are drinks you can enjoy, as long as you skip adding dairy and sugar. If you must put something in your coffee use almond milk or other plant milks.
13. Try Intermittent Fasting or The Military Diet
One popular program for fat loss is intermittent fasting (IF). (IF) is an eating pattern that alternates periods of fasting and eating.
This eating pattern can help people eat fewer calories and optimize some weight loss related-hormones. It works because IF doesn’t regulate what you eat, instead, it helps reduce your total daily calorie intake with a fast. By temporarily depriving your body of food, your body becomes forced to tap into the fat reserve for fuel.
If you are new to IF, the most straightforward plan to start is the 16:8 fasting method. In this method, you fast for 16 hours, which includes sleep and eat in the remaining 8-hour window. In a typical 16:8 fasting schedule, you begin fasting around 8 pm and end the next day at noon. You eat your first meal then and complete your last meal by 8 pm.
Then start another 16-hour fast. Intermittent fasting methods can help you lose weight if you make it part of your everyday routine.
Another eating plan some people chose is the military diet. In the military diet, you have a very controlled diet for 3 days with a huge calorie deficit. On the remaining four days, you can eat with less restriction, but you are still to choose healthy foods and keep under 1,500 calories. The military diet is very difficult for some people, but others find the structure helpful.
14. Cook Your Meals at Home
In weight loss and dieting, small changes can make significant impacts. Research shows those who cook meals at home 6-7 times a week eat about 600 fewer calories, 5 grams less fat, and 16 grams less sugar than those who cook dinner less than once a week (13).
Processed and canned foods also tend to be high in sodium and other ingredients you don’t need. Condiments, for example, can be loaded with sugar, salt, and artificial ingredients. These additives can put all the microbes that live in your gut out of whack, which hurts your metabolism and your health.
Plus, many of the ingredients in manufactured foods are also triggers for inflammation. According to the Arthritis Foundation, sugar and artificial sweeteners, saturated fats, trans fats, refined carbohydrates, MSG, processed meats, and vegetable oils all are triggers for inflammation.
Here’s the bottom line, you don’t have to be a pro around the kitchen. Start cooking simple recipes with whole ingredients and a combination of herbs and spices. Making your own lunches and dinners will help you fit in your jeans.
15. Stock up on Healthy Snacks
Here’s an easy trick to fight cravings: stock your pantry and refrigerator with snacks that are good for you. Healthy snacks can be a diet saver when your hunger strikes unexpectedly. Without having weight-loss friendly snacks, it’s easy to reach for treats like pretzels, cookies, and chips. Having healthy choices within reach will keep you from having to make decisions on the go.
While there are countless snack options, here are some of my favorite weight loss snacks:
- Greek yogurt
- Hard-boiled eggs
- String cheese
- Apple + peanut butter
- Nuts and seeds
Smoothies and fruit are particularly good when you have sugar cravings. Lemon water can also be a great way to replace unhealthy beverages with something better for your health.
If you purchase your healthy snacks, make sure to check their nutrition labels for hidden calories, some protein bars are little more than dessert in disguise.
How to lose 10 pounds in a month? Make small, consistent lifestyle changes and you will see progress. Some may see a massive drop in weight right away. But for others, successful and permanent weight loss may take time. Everyone is a little different in how much weight they will lose.
Regardless of where you are looking for information on how to lose 10 pounds fast or lose weight at your own pace, the tips in this article will help.
In the first month of your healthier lifestyle, you may still have sugar cravings, and struggle to get enough water, daily activity, and hours of sleep. That is okay – you aren’t alone! You may also hit a plateau. If so, make sure you get enough sleep. A lack of sleep can also hurt your ability to reduce fat.
And keep coming back to this article to make sure you are using all 15 tips. The most important thing is to focus on developing healthy habits. Before long, they will become second nature. When all these healthy habits become part of your lifestyle, losing weight becomes part of your gain.