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Weight Loss

From the effects of the hormone cortisol to the role of genetics in weight loss, this category is packed with everything that you need to know about losing weight the healthy way.

Your Step-by-Step Guide to Lose 20 Pounds

Find yourself expressing “I need to lose 20 pounds!” only to Google search “how to lose 20 pounds in a month?” We are breaking down the steps it takes to lose 20 pounds, along with valuable tips to keep the weight off once and for all!


Find yourself expressing "I need to lose 20 pounds!" only to Google search "how to lose 20 pounds in a month?"

While there is a flood of articles that promise such dramatic weight loss in a short amount of time, sustainable and lasting results requires much more than these quick fixes.

We are breaking down the steps it takes to lose 20 pounds, along with valuable tips to keep the weight off once and for all!

How to Lose 20 Pounds

Step 1: Consult with the Professionals

Before jumping into any sort of weight loss program, consult with a primary care provider. They can help address any health concerns, along with assist in a personalized plan to meet individual goals.

Furthermore, the assistance of a Registered Dietitian can also help guide you to appropriate eating plan baring adequate nutrients to support the needs of your body whilst fostering weight loss, while an athletic trainer can assist your efforts in the gym safely and efficiently.

Step 2: Strategize A Safe, Sustainable Plan

One of the primary reasons why most fad diets do not work is because they not only promise fast results, but extreme outcomes. This might be enticing in the moment, but true weight loss requires a safe, sustainable plan.

Though losing 20 pounds fast is desirable and possible, the drop in the scale may be related to the loss of water weight and precious muscle mass. Weight loss in a slow and safe manner bares lasting results. Most nutrition experts encourage no more than losing a pound or two per week, resulting to upwards of eight pounds lost monthly, unless instructed and supervised by a healthcare professional.

Ultimately, make a plan that best fits your personal goals and needs, as the best diet is the one that you will stick to. And by doing works best for you and committing to your newfound lifestyle, long-term results are sure to follow!

Step 3: Evaluate the Diet

In an Americanized diet, refined carbs, fast and fried foods, are abundantly consumed. And unfortunately as a consequence, overweight and obesity rates are on the rise, along with increased frequencies of chronic diseases.

While half of the job is acknowledging such consequences, the other half is implementing components of a healthy diet. As a general rule of thumb, nutrient-dense foods include:

• Whole Grains
Whole grains such as wheat, barley, and oats are packed with fiber and other nutrients that refined grains lack. Include eight, 1-ounce servings of whole grains on a daily basis.

• Fruits and Veggies
Packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals, fruits and veggies are key to providing nutrients the body requires and controlling calories naturally. Consume at least two servings of fruits and three servings of veggies each day.

• Lean and Plant-Based Proteins
Protein is key when it comes to weight loss. Keep overall calories and fat content moderated and protein maximized by incorporating lean and plant-based proteins, including chicken, sirloin, fish, beans, and tempeh. Dairy products are also a rich source of protein and calcium, including milk, Greek yogurt, and cottage cheese. As a general rule of thumb, consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

• Healthy Fat Sources
Whereas fat often has a bad reputation, its inclusion in the diet is essential for overall health and meeting weight loss goals. Swap out saturated and trans fats with unsaturated fat sources, including avocados, nuts and seeds, olive oil, and fatty fish.

Simple tips to nourish the body with adequate nutrients include:

• Fueling up for the day with a well-balanced breakfast, including these breakfast tacos or pizzas to get you out of bed!
Meal prepping to reduce the temptation of drive thru runs and help you stick to healthy meals.
• Shopping the store's perimeter, as the the border houses lean meats, fresh produce, whole grains, and dairy products.
• Making smart and healthy substitutions in the kitchen.
• Taking advantage of the Nutrition Facts and Ingredients labels, ultimately opting for products without an extensive ingredient list and staying mindful of salt, sugar, and saturated and trans fat content.
• Halving at least a quarter of the plate with non-starchy veggies, quartering it with both protein and complex carb sources, and complementing with healthy fat.
• Tuning into hunger and satiety cues and eating when hungry and stopping when full.

Step 4: Increase Physical Activity

As they say "Abs are made in the kitchen," a solid workout regimen can accelerate weight loss results.

Especially if new to exercise, work up to the recommended 150 minutes of cardio per week and include exercises you enjoy doing, including tennis, jogging, swimming, and tabata training.

Though cardio is known to produce the quickest weight loss results, strength training can help you keep it off for good. Strength training is simply the act of building strength, helps grow and support lean muscle mass, and ultimately accelerates metabolism even when the body is at rest. Incorporate at least two to three days of strength training weekly and focus on the major muscle groups, including the chest, arms, back, shoulders, and legs through body weight exercises or using machines.

Step 5: Make Small Changes

Whereas weight loss does require effort on your end, including a sound diet and regular exercise, big results can likewise come from making small changes that develop into healthy habits. These may include:

• Waking up 30 minutes early to eat breakfast or embrace an early morning workout.
• Trying one new vegetable each week.
• Parking further away from entry doors.
• Taking the steps over the elevator.
• Carrying a water bottle to ensure adequate hydration.
• Prioritizing your day, including workouts, meal prepping, and at work.
• Powering down from electronics to calm stress and initiate better sleep.

Step 6: Confide in Support

Though weight loss follows from the efforts you put forth, forming support can ease difficult days and help overcome struggles whenever you need encouragement the most.

Form a strong support system filled with positive and motivated individuals, as vibing with feel-good people can keep you moving in a progressive trend. Support can come in the form of a significant other, family, friends, work friends, online communities, and others you fully trust.

And you never know, you might inspire others to embrace a healthier lifestyle and gain a workout buddy!

Step 7: Fall in Love the Process

Remember, weight loss and keeping it off is ongoing and essentially indefinite. Falling in love with the process makes the journey not only enjoyable, but sustainable.

Also important, do not dwell on setbacks and what the scale reads, as health is much more than the pounds lost as you gain so much more during your health journey! Reflect on the dress you fit into again, strength gained, amount of energy you feel, along with sporting a stronger mindset, boosted mood, and overall healthier, happier you!

Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on May 23, 2013. Updated on April 15, 2019.


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