How to lose 15 pounds in a month: Can you do it?

Components of healthy living: fresh fruits and veggies, water, exercise equipment and weight and measurement tools.
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Losing 4–8 pounds a month is a healthy and realistic goal, but can you lose 15 pounds in a month? If you want to know how to lose 15 pounds in a month, read on to know more.

The growing risk of chronic illnesses, such as obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease, is why most Americans have turned their attention toward a healthy lifestyle. And losing excess weight is the first step to paving the way to a healthy life. According to a survey conducted in 2021, 51% of Americans said they desired to lose weight.

According to the CDC [1]Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Losing Weight, aiming to lose 4–8 pounds a month is a healthy goal. However, if you are wondering how to lose 15 pounds in a month, you may need to go the extra mile with your efforts to achieve weight loss. Here is a guide describing the best and fastest way to lose 15 pounds in a month. Have a look.

13 best ways – how to lose 15 pounds in a month

A rapid weight loss of 15 pounds a month can be achieved with the right balance of diet and exercise. Although there is no definite, quick way to lose 15 pounds, you can pair diet and exercise along with some lifestyle changes to achieve your weight loss goal. Below are a few tips for achieving the same:

1. Count calorie intake 

Counting calorie intake is an essential factor to consider for losing weight. You need to burn 3,500 calories more than your calorie intake to lose one pound of body fat. This is where counting calories will give you a clear understanding of what to eat in a day.

The recommended daily calorie intake for men and women is 2,500 and 2,000 calories, respectively. However, the amount of calories needed per day depends on certain factors, such as age, gender, current body weight, height, levels of physical activity, and lifestyle.

2. Ditch refined carbs

Refined carbs, also known as simple carbohydrates, are low in nutrients and high in calories and hence can lead to unnecessary weight gain. They also cause blood sugar spikes since they have a high glycemic index. Such carbs include sugary drinks, white bread, pizza, pasta, white rice, desserts, and baked goods with added sugar.

3. Have a high protein breakfast

Many dieters say that the best diet for weight loss is one that’s rich in protein. Proteins help to shed extra body fat, reduce appetite, develop lean body mass, and improve metabolism. Consuming 30% of total daily calories from proteins is the most beneficial for weight loss. And the evidence [2]National Library of Medicine: Protein for Life: Review of Optimal Protein Intake, Sustainable Dietary Sources and the Effect on Appetite in Ageing Adults is strongest in support of animal proteins and soy proteins. So, have a high-protein breakfast comprising lean protein, such as lean meat, eggs, tofu, lentils, nuts, seeds, and low-fat cottage cheese. 

4. Consume more whole-grain foods 

Whole grains are complex carbohydrates high in fiber and essential nutrients such as iron, folate, potassium, magnesium, and B vitamins. Consumption of whole grains leads to increased calorie loss by reducing the number of calories retained during digestion and speeding up metabolism. So, if you are looking forward to a 15 lbs weight loss and want to achieve your weight loss goals faster, include whole grains in your daily diet. This can include whole wheat flour, oatmeal, and brown rice. If you are on a keto diet, you can rely on whole grains like buckwheat, millet, rye, couscous, and quinoa.

5. Forgo sugary beverages

Sugary beverages are a calorie bomb. Energy drinks, soda, cola, and prepackaged fruit juices, are laden with sugar and can lead to weight gain. If you were to drink just one sweetened drink every day and not try to cut back on calories, you could gain up to 5 pounds in a year. So, it’s wise to ditch these beverages and choose healthy ones instead. Drink more water since it increases the total number of calories burned at rest. You can also count on unsweetened lemon water, green tea, low-fat milk, and homemade smoothies. 

6. Reduce the plate size

The size of your plate affects how much you eat. One study [3]PubMed: Portion size me: plate-size induced consumption norms and win-win solutions for reducing food intake and waste has found that if you use a 10-inch plate instead of its 8-inch counterpart, you may eat 52% more food. So, be mindful of portion control and use small plates wherever you eat. 

7. Add fresh vegetables to your diet

A healthy diet consists of whole vegetables since they are a good source of fiber and increase feelings of fullness. Since they have a high water content, they are low in calories. Studies [4]PubMed: Relationship of fruit and vegetable intake with adiposity: a systematic review have shown people who frequently eat lots of vegetables tend to weigh less. Use fresh, whole veggies like sweet potatoes, spinach, mushrooms, lettuce, and beans to prepare healthy meals.

8. Try intermittent fasting

The 16/8 intermittent fasting plan is highly effective for weight loss. It involves consuming foods during an 8-hour window and calorie restriction, or fasting, for the remaining 16 hours of the day. Instead of fad diets, try intermittent fasting to safely and effectively lose 15 pounds per month.

9. Do cardio exercises 

Cardio is the best form of exercise to lose weight. You’ll need up to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity every week to lose weight. Take up running, jump a rope, cycle, swim once in a while, or do HIIT like aerobic exercise. The best thing is to do a full workout comprising belly-fat burning body-weight exercises that can get your heart pumped up. Cardio can achieve just that.

10. Opt for strength training 

Strength training can help lose weight fast by building muscle tissue. More muscle helps to burn more fat by increasing the metabolic rate. Doing just 11 minutes of strength-based exercises 3 times per week increases metabolic rate by 7.4%. This is equivalent to burning an additional 125 calories per day. So, plan a resistance training workout with exercises such as push-ups, pullups, and exercises for biceps, triceps, legs, and arms.

11. Find healthy alternatives for stress-eating

We often turn to our favorite foods whenever we are stressed or bored. This emotional eating can become a hindrance in one’s weight loss journey. However, there are ways to regain control of your eating habits and stay on track. If you find yourself indulging in emotional or stress eating or suffer from other eating disorders, consult a doctor or a therapist for professional medical help. Bring order and discipline into your lifestyle and eating patterns, and find ways to reduce stress and calm your mind. When you find yourself reaching out for stress-eating snack, substitute those foods with healthier, low-cal but tasty alternatives.

12. Get enough sleep

Research [5]National Library of Medicine: The impact of sleep deprivation on food desire in the human brain shows that sleep deprivation reduces the metabolic rate and increases cravings. Poor sleeping patterns can lead to an increase in body mass index. Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night to accomplish your weight loss goals. Also, try to sleep and wake up at the same time.

13. Avoid or limit alcohol 

Alcohol can sabotage your weight-loss efforts. Not only is it full of empty calories, but it can also make you eat more. When you drink alcohol, your body burns it as the primary source of fuel for energy instead of fat. As a result, you may end up carrying around extra belly fat. If you’re trying to lose weight, stick to light beers or wine spritzers, and avoid sugary mixers. Remember that alcohol is full of empty calories, which can add extra calories to your daily total.

How long does it really take to lose 15 pounds?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say one can safely lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. By that logic, if your goal is to lose 15 pounds a month, it can take as long as 15 weeks. However, with a carefully formulated healthy diet and exercise plan, you can achieve your desired weight loss in a shorter period.

It is important to remember that if you wish to speed up your weight loss process and reach your weight loss goals in a healthy way, it is inevitable that you do it under the guidance of a healthcare professional to avoid any health risks.

Losing 15 pounds in a month is an ambitious goal, but it is possible with a little hard work and dedication. Just make sure to follow a healthy diet and exercise plan, and avoid any fad diets or quick, aggressive diets or workouts.

Sample exercise plan to lose 15 pounds in a month

Here is a sample 7-day exercise plan to lose 15 pounds in a month:

DayType of WorkoutExercises 
Day 1Upper body workout3×12 Chest press
3×12 Tricep kickbacks
3×12 Bicep curls
3×12 Barbell overhead Press
Day 2Cardio & bodyweight exercisesMountain climbers, jump rope, planks, crunches, sit-ups, squats, lunges, burpees, and leg raises
Day 3RestRest
Day 4Lower body workout 3×12 Dumbbell squats
3×12 Deadlift
3×12 Glute bridge
3×12 Leg curl and extension
3×20 Walking lunge with dumbbells 
Day 5RestRest 
Day 6Interval conditioningWarm up for 15 minutes. Run or bike for 3 minutes as fast as you can.
Slow down and continue to run or bike for another 3 minutes at a slow pace.
Repeat the cycle 3-4 times. Finish with a 10-minute cooldown.
Day 7Light cardioSwimming, jogging, running, or walking

Sample diet plan to lose 15 pounds in a month

A healthy meal plan can help you significantly on your weight loss journey. Here are 2 sample diet plans for those who want to lose 15 pounds in a month.

Sample diet plan 1

Type of MealFoods to Eat
Breakfast2 boiled eggs, 2 baked vegetable muffins, a protein smoothie with berries
LunchQuinoa, sweet potato cakes
DinnerWhole wheat pasta, lentil soup
Snack 1A handful of nuts and seeds
Snack 2 Sliced bell peppers with hummus

Sample diet plan 2

Type of MealFoods to Eat
BreakfastOatmeal prepared with low-fat milk, mixed berry smoothie
LunchTossed salad with fat-free dressing, 1 calorie-free drink
DinnerShrimp with brown rice
Snack 1Non-fat yogurt and fruit parfait
Snack 2 Sliced bell peppers with hummus

Is losing 15 pounds a month safe?

While losing 15 pounds in a month isn’t impossible, it is not an ideal weight loss plan for anyone. If you wish to lose weight, try to stick to the recommended range of 4-8 pounds per month. Any weight loss plan beyond that, especially without medical supervision, runs the risk of engendering muscle loss instead of body fat loss.

Further, losing weight at such a pace would require you to create an extremely high calorie deficit range. This could have other side effects such as nutrient deficiencies, electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, persistent fatigue, and other ills. So, if you want to lose weight, always do it safely under the guidance of a healthcare professional. They can create a weight loss strategy according to your body composition and help you lose weight safely while minimizing the risks.

Conclusion

When the question of how to lose 15 pounds in a month arises, the best thing to do is to eat low-carb and nutrient-dense healthy foods and do plenty of exercises. Apart from this, a few lifestyle practices such as getting quality sleep, de-stressing, and overcoming emotional eating can help significantly in a weight loss journey. These practices will not just aid your weight loss journey, they will also provide other health benefits in the long run.

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