Friday, January 13, 2012

What to Know Before Losing 20 Pounds?

Losing 20 pounds requires forward planning and a commitment to weight loss that lasts more than a few weeks. Although you theoretically could lose 20 pounds in a week of fasting, water deprivation and exercise, this would be dangerous and potentially fatal. Instead, a slow and steady approach is the safest route to losing that much weight.
What 20 Pounds Represents
It takes 70,000 calories to make up a 20 pounds of fat. At the U.S. Department of Agriculture's recommended 2,000 calories per day, this represents 35 days' worth of food. That's more than a month without eating. Obviously, this is not to recommend fasting for a month to lose 20 pounds. Instead, this is to illustrate just how large an undertaking this kind of weight loss is.
Safest Time Frame
According to health counselor and nutrition writer Maya Paul at, 1 to 2 pounds each week is the maximum rate for safe and sustainable weight loss. At that rate, it would take 10 to 20 weeks to lose 20 pounds. Bear in mind that 2 pounds per week requires cutting 1,000 calories per day out of your diet — or adding that many calories' worth of exercise. That's a high level of commitment, so aiming for 20 weeks is the most feasible for many.
Days Off
Celebrity personal trainer Bill Phillips and health researcher Timothy Ferriss both recommend a weekly day off from your diet during long-term weight loss. This slows immediate results, but benefits you because it helps you stay on track for your diet. It's easier to resist temptation on Wednesday if you know you can indulge on Sunday. A day off per week might add some time to the duration of your 20-pound weight loss project, potentially extending your time frame into 22 or 24 weeks.
Common Sense Caution
The recommendations here are for average people based on the recommendations of a health expert in a published article. They are not specifically calibrated for your body and metabolism. You should always check with a doctor before beginning any weight loss or exercise program. If your doctor's recommendations differ from those given here, trust your doctor.

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