Honestly, How to Lose 10 lbs in a Month is not a topic I would have chosen myself. My own weight loss was slow and gradual and I encourage women that weight loss takes time, that an attainable goal is 2-3 lbs a month. That being said, people like to lose weight fast and that’s a question that pops up a lot. What I will do in this post is tell you how you can actually lose 10 lbs in a month and keep it off. Let me just warn you that you most likely feel hungry this month, like a lot! But you won’t have to count calories or measure your food. Plus, you will improve your overall health in the process. Pretty good deal!
How to Lose 10 lbs in a Month (Follow These 5 Steps)
I am going to make the process as painless and effective as I possibly can. Follow these 5 steps and you are on the right track.
Step 1: Take Note of Your Starting Point
First thing first: jot down your measurements, your starting weigh and take before and after pictures. I know the goal is to lose 10 lbs, so technically, you could just go by your weight. However, I think if the going gets rough and you think you are not losing weight, you may be surprised to find you are losing inches and looking slimmer.
Step 2: Do a Modified Fast
A modified fast is based on the concepts of the Fasting Mimicking Diet by Dr. Valter Longo, professor at the University of Southern California, who has been studying the effects of fasting and calorie restriction for decades. His studies show that both fasting and calorie restriction increase longevity and improve overall health. He created the Fasting Mimicking Diet, which allows you to reap the benefits of a prolonged fast without having to go completely without food.
What Is a Modified Fast?
A modified fast is what I call the DIY Fasting Mimicking Diet. I created various meal plans that follow the main elements that make the fasting mimicking diet so effective and that you can recreate at home without having to buy a Prolon kit. The main factors that really matter are as follow:
- Severely restrict calories (you are consuming only 40-50% of your regular calorie intake)
- Very low in protein (9% of our total macros) to trigger autophagy
- Nutrient-dense vegan foods to nourish your body
- About the same amount of good fats and carbs
For a more in-depth article about modified fasting, read Modified Fasting: How You Can Benefit From Fasting Without Giving Up Food.
Your Own Modified Fast
I have a few meal plans you can follow to do your own modified fast. My favorite The Easiest and Simplest Meal Plan Ever For Your Modified Fast. Why? Because it’s simple! You don’t need to spend much time in the kitchen at all. It’s mostly salad based and if you live in a cooler climate, you might prefer soups. I recreated some of the Prolon soup recipes here. Now, I am going to be honest with you: most likely day one will go pretty well (you get to eat more calories and it’s your first day), but after that, you will feel hungry. You may find yourself craving food, a lot! Remember the good you are doing to your body. Read my article about modified fasting to understand how healing this fast is.
Tips That Have Helped Me Get Through My Modified Fasts
I have done four modified fasts since I started experimenting with fasting in general a year and a half ago. I have discovered a few tips that make the experience more manageable:
- Coffee is allowed, so if you drink coffee, just have a coffee with full-fat coconut milk for breakfast. I find that the coconut milk and the coffee keep me full and satisfied until lunch.
- Wait as long as possible until your next meal. Instead of having three very low-calorie meals, I found that having one big meal was more satisfying.
- Drink a lot of herbal tea. Herbal teas have many healing benefits (you check out your health food store and look for teas that target whatever benefit you want to enjoy) and they help fill your belly.
- Drink a lot of water. Water is another way to keep hunger at bay for longer.
- When you decide to break your fast, start with a superfood shake. Most DIY Fasting Mimicking Diet plans online include a superfood shake of some kind. I liked the idea because I am a big fan of superfood shakes myself regardless of whether I am on a modified fast or not. My own superfood shake has 150 calories, which is still very low and it will keep you full for a while longer.
Step 3: Take a 2-Day Breather
You have most likely lost 4-5 lbs already (this is the average weight loss from a modified fast). You might think: Wow! Halfway there and it’s been only 5 days! Well, I am sorry to break it to you, but you will regain some of that weight loss. Don’t worry though, it’s not just about the scale. What I found is that 2-3 days later, I was back to almost the same weight (maybe 2 lbs less still, I can’t remember for sure), but my belly was still much flatter. I still looked slimmer, which was an interesting improvement. I guess the modified fast helped reduce bloating.
Why a Breather?
For two days, I want you to eat until satisfied and not worry about fasting. It’s a good idea to keep a 12-hour period when you don’t eat overnight. It’s just a healthy practice to acquire, but otherwise, eat your three meals a day. Make them satisfying and wholesome. Having refeeding periods will help your morale and is most effective for sustainable long-term weight loss results.
Step 4: Pick Your Intermittent Fasting Method
I have often talked about the calorie deficit necessary in order to lose weight. I am not going to make empty promises with this post and tell you that you are going to lose 10 lbs in a month without taking into account your calorie deficit. It’s the end of your first week, and I am guessing you regained about 2-3 lbs from your modified fast weight loss. For the next three weeks, we are going to pick an intermittent fasting method that will help you lose a steady 2 lbs a week. You know what that means? You will need a calorie deficit of 1,000 calories a day!
Let’s Do Some Math
How many calories you need to maintain your weight varies greatly depending on your age, gender, height, and current weight. Still, since we are not going to be measuring foods and logging calories, this calculation doesn’t need to be 100% accurate. It’s just to give us a starting point to pick an intermittent fasting method that will help you achieve your goal of losing 10 lbs this month. I am going to use 2,000 calories as the average daily calorie number. It will fall pretty close for most people. See, to lose two pounds a week, you would need to consume only 1,000 calories a day. That will be a pretty slow and painful process for the rest of the month. You would feel hungry and deprived all the time. That’s why calorie restriction fails most people. It’s extremely difficult to sustain that much will power.
Why Intermittent Fasting
Instead, we are going to fast some days and refeed during other days. Not only this will be easier mentally and emotionally, but it will mean you don’t need to measure foods, count calories and you will benefit from the metabolic switchover that occurs when you fast. For the rest of the month, as you fast, your body will start using your fat cells to produce ketones for energy. Your body will become less glucose dependant and skipping meals won’t bother you as much. Your appetite and your cravings will regulate themselves.
How to Pick Your Intermittent Fasting Method
Now, you know that you need a calorie deficit of 7,000 calories each week to be able to lose 10 lbs this month. If we are assuming that you eat about 2,000 calories each day, this means you need to fast 3 1/2 days each week (Hey! I told you this wouldn’t be easy!). Alternate-day Fasting will be the way to go for sure. It’s the only method that is intense enough to provide that kind of calorie deficit. Alternate-day fasting will also continue healing your gut and get you into that fat-burning zone longer from these longer fasts.
What Is Alternate-Day Fasting?
Alternate-day fasting will require you to fast for 36 hours on alternate days. It will look like this:
That’s a lot of fasting, but I have two very encouraging thoughts for you:
- You are healing your body on your fasting days. Always keep that in mind. Btw, calorie restriction also heals your body in similar ways, but with fasting, you get the added benefit of ketosis. The advantage of ketosis is that it normalizes your appetite. I found it fascinating that in this study, participants did not want to overcompensate on their refeeding days. That’s what happens when you experience that metabolic switchover.
- Tomorrow, you get to eat to satisfy your hunger. Take each day at a time, remembering that your hunger is only short-term.
You are doing this for 2-weeks and we will re-evaluate.
Step 5: Evaluate Your Progress
You are starting the last week of your one month to lose 10 lbs. By now, you should have lost about 8 lbs. If not, it is possible that you are overcompensating on your feeding days. Please, be patient with yourself.
How Are You Feeling?
I am guessing you are sleeping better and feeling more energetic (unless you were already feeling amazing!). You should find fasting easier by now too. If not, maybe it’s time to take a step back (the next step will help you decide what to do next).
If you are feeling great, keep doing what you are doing for one more week.
How About Your Measurement?
Are you a bit disappointed because you didn’t quite lose 8 lbs? Maybe you lost only 5? Whatever progress you made is worth celebrating. Also, why don’t you check your measurement and compare pictures. You may be surprised to discover some progress that the scale did not reveal.
Where to Go From There
You have finished your 30-day period and lost 10 lbs. Congratulations! But that’s not the end of the story. That was a crash diet and it will be easy to gain the weight back. Where do you go from here? How do you make sure you don’t gain the weight back and possibly lose more weight, if that’s what you want?
Why Fix What’s Not Broken?
If you have progressed well and feel amazing, you can keep doing what you are doing. It’s that simple! Eventually, you may want to fast less, particularly as you are approaching your goal weight. You could experiment with other intermittent fasting methods like the Eat Stop Eat Method or the Warrior Diet, or even modified alternate-day fasting.
When Alternate-Day Fasting Doesn’t Do the Trick
Maybe you are feeling miserable and not getting the results you were hoping to achieve. In that case, don’t despair! I don’t think there is any other method that works as well for quick weight loss, but quick weight loss is not necessarily the best form of weight loss. It took me a year to lose 20 lbs! Understand that means 6 months for 10 lbs! However, the whole time, I felt I was progressing, I didn’t feel deprived, I felt energetic, I slept better, etc. Take a step back. Eat everyday instead of fasting on alternate-day, but play around with your eating window. Notice how you feel. You could also try doing one or two modified fasts a month for 2-3 months. It’s your journey, take ownership for your health, educate yourself about your options and try different things to see what works best for your body.
How to Make Intermittent Fasting a Lifestyle
Ok, so now you are well equipped to figure out how to lose 10 lbs in a month. Not only that, but you should have a better grasp of how to play around to figure out which intermittent fasting method is best for you and how to track your progress. The last thing I would like to talk about is how you can make sure you don’t gain the weight back and make intermittent fasting a lifestyle. Intermittent fasting is far from being just about weight loss (read 14 Proven Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting to learn more).
Once you reach your goal weight, keeping up with intermittent fasting doesn’t need to be as strict. It’s a lot more about listening to your body. I like to keep about two days a week when I fast longer for the health benefits and the rest of the week, I usually start eating around 1 pm. I like to east something light at first like the Power Shake. Sometimes, I will have an egg, a piece of fruit or a piece of bread. It doesn’t have to be complicated, there are no right or wrong answers.
You may also be ready to become more consistent with working out, I would definitely recommend you include physical activity to your lifestyle if you haven’t already. I have some workouts on the blog you can use to get started.