It is possible to lose 22 pounds fast through a combination of diet, exercise, and rest? Although “fast” as in a week may not be healthy, it could mean 30 days or three months. The “fast” you aim for should be a decision you make in consultation with your doctor to ensure you do not injure yourself in the process. Whatever you decide, achieving this weight-loss goal requires commitment.
How to Lose a Pound
Before you can lose 22 pounds, you have to understand how to lose one. Your individual body requires a certain number of calories per day to provide the energy to walk to the bus stop, sit at your desk, vacuum the floor, digest food, and other tasks. The American Cancer Society and other health-related websites offer free online Daily Caloric Needs calculators to help you estimate what your body needs. Meeting this calorie intake every day will maintain your current weight. If you want to lose weight, you need to have a calorie deficit. Since 3,500 calories equals one pound, you need to reduce your weekly calorie intake by that amount to lose one pound in that week. That’s 500 calories a day. To lose weight faster, you’ll need a higher calorie deficit.
Eat the Right Foods
One way to create a calorie deficit is to change your eating habits. Instead of cakes and candies, choose healthy fruits and snacks that are lower in calories. For example, a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar has 210 calories, but a medium apple has only 100 calories. To help control cravings and keep your metabolism going, add in healthy mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. When you’re putting food on your plate, stick to whole foods and make sure at least half of your plate is vegetables. Finally, drink more water and less soda. Sweetened drinks offer no nutritional value, only extra calories.
Get Your Heart Pumping
While you can lose a pound a week eating 500 fewer calories a day, you could deprive yourself. If you leave yourself hungry, you may set yourself up for failure. Instead, add cardiovascular exercise to your weight-loss plan. Choose from activities such as walking, running, swimming, tennis, or dancing for 30 to 60 minutes a day. You can get the same benefits by spreading your exercise time out into three 10-minute or 20-minute sessions. Consider that, according to the WebMD Fit-O-Meter, a 150-pound person can burn about 50 calories walking briskly or dancing for 10 minutes, or almost 70 calories swimming in that time. If that person takes two 10-minute walks throughout the day, dancing with the dog for 10 minutes after lunch and swimming for 20-minutes before dinner, that’s almost 300 calories burned. If you add that to the calories saved by switching out that candy bar for an apple and eliminated one soda, you have created a 500 calorie deficit for the day.
Build Lean Muscle
Studies show a combination of cardio and resistance training is best for reducing body fat. Lean muscle uses more energy, burning more calories when at rest. By working in at least two resistance training sessions per week, you can help build your body’s muscle mass, which, in turn, can help you burn more calories. Of course, if you’re looking to lose weight fast, you’ll want to work in resistance training more than twice a week, while still giving your body an opportunity to rest and heal.