How to Lose 20 Pounds in 11 Weeks

Healthy weight loss is around one or two pounds a week. This figure is not set in stone, but rather is just a guideline--three pounds in one week then one in the next is acceptable, but seven pounds in a week is too rapid to be healthy.

This means that it is perfectly reasonable to lose 20 pounds in 11 weeks. This is just under two pounds a week and will require a concentrated, sustained effort over the course of the program.


    • 1

      Write down the calorie content of everything you eat on an average day. The total (provided you are not gaining weight) is your maintenance calorie level--the amount you need to consume each day to neither gain nor lose weight.

    • 2

      Reduce the amount of calories you take in each day. The best way to do this is to replace high-calorie foods with low-calorie foods. Bread, for example, is a calorie-dense source of carbohydrates while vegetables are less calorie-dense.

    • 3

      Eliminate soda, candy and fast food, as all three of these contain large amounts of calories but do not leave you feeling very full.

    • 4

      Speak to a personal trainer about a weight lifting program. Weight lifting forces your body to divert more energy to your muscles, thus leaving it less to store as fat.

    • 5

      Perform 30 minutes of cardiovascular work on the days that you don't lift weights. This will burn calories and strengthen your heart. When you are done, your heart should be beating fairly rapidly and you should be sweating.

    • 6

      Combine exercise and diet to create a deficit of 1000 calories under your maintenance level per day. So, if you eat 1000 less calories, you do not need to exercise at all. If, on the other hand, you exercise enough to burn 1000 calories, you do not need to eat less than your maintenance level. Ideally you should find a middle ground between the two extremes so you don't have to exercise for hours each day or spend most of your day hungry.

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