If you looking to know how much weight you can lose in a month then there’s a good chance you’re ready to drop some pounds fast.
We all reach that breaking point when we’re finally fed up after taking a look in the mirror and realize it’s time for a change.
Usually, this excess weight on your body tends to sneak up over time. It happens slowly as you start throwing your diet and workouts out the window. Most people view the pain of working out and dieting to be worse than sitting around, skipping the gym and indulging in our favorite foods.
But we all hit that breaking point when it’s time to make a change and realize it’s time to lose a lot of weight fast. The CDC says you can only lose up to 1-2 pounds per week or 8 pounds per month but this couldn’t be any further from the truth.
Most diet and nutrition pundits will tell you losing weight rapidly will only end up sabotaging your long term results. In my experience, I’ve found the opposite to be true and we’ll get into this later.
I’m sure you’ll agree being able to lose the maximum amount of weight in a month is a great way to start your weight loss journey. Here I’ll show you the amount you can realistically lose that quick and the best ways to do it safely.
Your Maximum Weight Loss in One Month
How much you currently weigh, the amount of body fat you have and level of physical fitness will all determine how much weight you’re able to lose in a month.
The more weight you have to lose then the more you’re going to be able to lose over 30 days. So if you haven’t worked out in ages and have an extremely poor diet then you could easily lose 10-20+ pounds over the next 30 days. All by making some dramatic changes in sticking with your diet and workouts.
So if you’re overweight or obese then losing a lot of weight quickly is going to be perfectly safe. You’ll also burn a lot of fat off your body too. Hormones that affect your metabolism such as insulin sensitivity and testosterone (in men) will also be improved after losing weight rapidly (2,3).
But if let’s say you only have about 10-20 pounds to lose then it’s going to be a lot more difficult to lose a lot in just 30 days. Most people in this category who try to lose weight quickly end up losing muscle (5). This results in a “skinny fat” appearance that can end up making things worse.
Quite a few studies are finding those who started their weight loss journey by losing a lot of it quickly at the beginning ended up having more long term motivation (6,7). Think about it. What would be more encouraging for you… getting impressive results in your first 30 days or barely losing any weight?
Problems With Losing a Lot of Weight the First Month
One of the big problems with fast weight loss is most people mostly end up losing water weight and muscle mass (8). If your first step on the scale then you’ll see some weight has fallen off but that doesn’t mean it’s all from fat.
Now like earlier said if you’re obese and have a ton of weight to lose then most of that weight loss will be from fat. But if you only have 10, 20 or maybe even up to 30 pounds to get rid of then it could very easily come from muscle mass.
This is why it’s important to consume a high protein diet and exercise with resistance training during your 4 weeks of fast weight loss (9,10). You’ll not only burn off more fat by increasing strength but you’ll also improve the shape and appearance of your body by adding more lean muscle to it. Use a weight loss calculator to determine the quantity protein you should be eating per day.
I usually don’t recommend extreme calorie-restrictive diets because they’ll initially force the breakdown of muscle for energy. Of course, if you’re obese then cutting your calories a lot will do wonders for losing weight. But if you only have 10-20 pounds to get rid of then there are better ways to get rid of weight then just cutting your calories.
Be sure to also track your girth measurements (inches), body fat percentage and how you look in pictures. This will give you a better overall view of your progress (11). If you end up building some lean strength then it could throw off the scale. You could be burning a lot of fat but also tone up your body too. It’ll be discouraging to only look down at the scale to not see a whole lot of change but in fact, you have lost a lot of fat.
Best Way to Lose Most Weight as Possible in a Month
If you’re trying to lose the most weight possible in only a month then I’d recommend a few things…
First would be to watch and track your calorie intake for each day. I know I just said calories aren’t everything but no workout plan in the world’ll help you drop weight if you’re eating way too many calories.
If you’re a woman then aim for a sustainable 1200-1500 calories per day and if you’re a man then go for a sustainable 1500-1700 per day. Use a food tracking app like Myfitnesspal to measure the amount you’re eating per day. Most people drastically underestimate the number of calories they eat so measuring it will be very important for at least this first 30 days (12). 500 calories a day isn’t going to be very a long term dieting strategy.
Eat more protein, fewer carbs, and more good healthy fats. Eating more protein is going to help your body drop more weight, tone up and fight off muscle catabolism (13). This is what leads to rapid weight loss. Most people overeat on carbs and sugars causing their blood glucose and insulin levels to be thrown off (14). Cut out your carb intake while eating more healthy good fats. You can check out my approved Food List Cheat Sheet for more.
Add in High-Intensity Interval Training, Metabolic resistance training and finally traditional cardio to enhance weight loss, fat burning, and strength. Most of your time should be spent doing the first two but adding in a few extra bouts of endurance workouts during the week will help you drop more pounds.
Finally, add in some Intermittent Fasting during the 30 days you’re maxing out your weight loss. Studies have found Intermittent Fasting works great for fat loss while preventing muscular breakdown (15). Plus with Intermittent Fasting, you’ll be able to skip out on calories in the morning that’ll make your weight loss easier. How much weight you can lose in a week or 4 weeks will be improved with Intermittent Fasting.
Hidden Causes of Not Losing Weight
It can be frustrating to put in the work but not seeing any results from it or reaching your goals. There’s nothing that’ll make you want to throw your diet and workouts out the window faster than stepping on the scale and not seeing it budge at all.
There are a few hidden causes of why you might not be losing weight or have plateaued. Most people don’t consider your hormones to have such an impact on your weight loss but they play a significant role. It’s more than just how many calories you’re eating every day.
Also, try to improve your quality of sleep over the next 30 days. Studies have found lack of sleep causes increases in weight as well as lack of self-control with dieting and exercising (16,17). Lower your stress levels the best you can as the “stress hormone” cortisol can cause increases in abdominal fat (18).
Be sure to get your gut health right which will help with losing pounds too (19). And be sure to get all your micronutrients to ensure your fat-burning metabolism is running optimally (20). I take and recommend this greens supplement for this.
Is it realistic to lose 10 pounds in a month?
It’s more than possible and realistic to drop 10 pounds in 30 days. I know the CDC says you can only really lose up to 8 but that’s such a generic number. Depending on how many pounds you have to drop and your efforts you should be able to easily get rid of 10 pounds in a month. How much weight can you lose in a week will be much better than the 1-2 pounds the CDC says is possible.
The Last Word
How much weight can you lose in a month will be largely determined by how consistent you are daily with creating good habits. If you’ve lost a lot of pounds at the end of the 30 days then you’re going to be more likely to keep going. Getting some fantastic initial results in this first 30 days is going to be more motivating than only losing a few pounds.
Most people who try to drop bodyweight do it by severely cutting their calories but this can end up screwing up your metabolism. Plus most people who drop pounds this way end up losing more muscle than fat. The trick is to add in some resistance training combined with a high protein diet to prevent strength loss while promoting fat burning.
There are a lot of ways to greatly increase the weight and fat you’re able to drop in 30 days. A lot of your results towards your goals are going to be determined by your efforts as well as the number of excess pounds you have to get rid of, to begin with.
Use the tips listed above to maximize how much weight can you lose in a month so you don’t have to do it without eating. Just starving yourself over the next 30 days isn’t going to be the answer for losing fat fast. Instead, follow the above strategies and you’ll be well on your way to getting some impressive results that you can then use to set yourself up for a healthy sustainable weight loss journey.
Josh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Science. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and he’s a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) by American Council on Exercise. He’s worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at the high school and college levels. He has over 15 years of experience as a personal trainer and nutrition coach. He strives to bring inspiration and results for people to live healthier lives through smart diet and exercise.