If you're looking to lose 20 pounds in 60 days, it is recommended to spread this weight loss out evenly over the 60 day spread. Your body functions best when it loses no more than 2 pounds a week, possibly more when you're just beginning your weight loss routine. To lose 2 or 3 pounds a week, you will need to adhere to a strict plan in which you consume a nutritious and low-calorie diet, while engaging in physical activity each day.
Since you will be incorporating a great deal of exercise into this weight-loss plan, you shouldn't consume less than 1500 calories a day to sustain your energy. Below is a sample weight-loss plan that includes food and exercise recommendations:
To keep your metabolism burning fat all day long and to prevent yourself from overeating at a given sitting, you should eat several mini meals throughout the day instead of 2 or 3 large meals. Your body has trouble digesting large portions of food at once, and anything excess gets stored as fat. Therefore, if you continuously feed your body small and nutritious portions of food throughout the day, you'll remain satisfied and keep your metabolism working at its maximum capability.
It is essential to consume a well-balanced diet, as your body requires nutrients from every food group. You need to incorporate carbs, lean protein, fruits, veggies, non-fat dairy and small amounts of healthy fats into your diet. You need to carefully choose foods from each group, and ensure you're making the right choices. Your carbs should consist of whole grains and fiber, and your fats should come from healthy sources like avocados, nuts and olive oil.
Below is an example of what a healthy day of eating looks like:
- 7am : an egg white omelet with veggies and half of a banana
- 11am: non-fat yogurt mixed with natural oats and berries
- 1pm: grilled veggie sandwich on whole wheat bread with avocado and mustard (no mayo)
- 3pm: carrots and other raw veggies with hummus
- 6pm: grilled chicken breast or fish with spices and veggies
- 9pm: apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter
Your weight-loss plan should include at least 5 days of cardio in order to burn calories and benefit your heart. You should aim to work out for 30 minutes to an hour during each of these sessions. Anything that elevates your heart rate and causes you to sweat can be considered cardio, whether it's jogging, swimming, hiking, biking or simply speed walking around your neighborhood.
Strength training is an equally important part of your fitness plan, in order to tone your body and build lean muscle mass. The more muscle your body contains, the more efficiently it will burn calories...even at rest. Start off lifting 3 to 5 pound weights and gradually increase the resistance. Try engaging in other strength training moves, like squats, while lifting weights to increase the intensity. Strength training should be performed at least 3 days a week.
Don't forget about flexibility exercises, as they will also tone your body and help prevent your muscles from enduring injury. Yoga and Pilates are great flexibility exercises to engage in that will not only give you a great stretch, but will help you lose inches as well.