How to Lose 20 Pounds in 2 Weeks (Fast Meal Plan)

Need to know how to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks?

Sometimes you just need to lose a lot of weight really fast. Maybe it’s a wedding, birthday party, vacation, or some other big event in your life that you need to look your best.

The good news is it is possible to lose 20 pounds quickly, naturally, and safely in two weeks. But 20 pounds is a lot of weight to lose in a couple of weeks, so there are no guarantees.

If you need to lose 20 pounds in two weeks, the dieting plan below can help. Here, you’ll find a diet, a simple meal plan to follow, exercises, and a workout plan.

How to Drop 20 Pounds Fast

Dieting is going to be the most effective and quickest way to drop 20 pounds. There’s a saying amongst trainers that “you can’t out-train a bad diet” and it’s 100% true.

Even if you’re working out all the time, you’ll still struggle to lose weight if your diet is bad. Many make the mistake of thinking that just working out will make them lose weight, only to find out their diet plays a much bigger role.

You can lose 20 pounds in just two weeks without exercise as long as you’re willing to improve your diet. Nothing is guaranteed, but you’ll for sure drop a lot of weight fast with this meal plan. This diet and meal plan can be done at home, and even the included exercises require minimal equipment.

If you do a Reddit search, you might find others saying that losing that much weight that fast isn’t doable, healthy, or sustainable. But dieting for two weeks isn’t that long in the grand scheme of things, and when done right, it should be safe.

Losing 20 pounds of weight is definitely noticeable. You should drop a dress size and fit a lot easier into your skinny jeans. The first place you’ll lose weight is all over your body, but there are stubborn parts that hold onto weight longer.

Meal Plan to Lose 20 Pounds

lose 20 pounds in two weeks

Those who’ll get the best results with this diet and exercise program are those who have a lot of weight and fat to lose. With two weeks, it’s more than safe to lose this much weight in such a short amount of time.

One review study found that a “lack of realism” about losing weight led to greater weight loss.1 So don’t doubt yourself or think getting fast weight loss results is impossible.

Yet, it could be more difficult if you’re trying to lose the last 10 or 20 pounds. Your body will naturally want to hold onto this last stubborn weight. But if you have more than that to lose, then your body will have an easier time dropping it.

Much of the weight you lose initially will be water weight, but you’ll still be able to burn a good amount of excess fat off your body. Since this diet plan is designed to lose 20 pounds in just two weeks, you could also lose muscle mass, especially if you’re not weight training.

Here is the meal plan breakdown for what will work to drop 20 pounds in 2 weeks:

  • High caloric deficit
  • Cut the carbs
  • Intermittent fasting
  • Fat burning foods
  • No alcohol or liquid calories

Put Yourself Into a Caloric Deficit

nutrition facts label calorie counting

It will be impossible to lose 20 pounds in two weeks if you’re not putting your body into a high caloric deficit. This means you should be eating a significantly less amount of calories than you’re eating or drinking.

It’s key to record and track your calories during these two weeks. Most people greatly underestimate just how many calories they’re eating daily.2 You could be doing everything else right, but if your calorie tracking is off, then the weight won’t come off.

Track your calories with a daily food log journal or app like MyFitnessPal. You’ll be able to measure exactly how many calories, carbs, protein, and fats you’re eating daily. You don’t have to do this forever, but it’s a good idea to do it for a few days so you make sure you’re on the right track.

For most women, 1200 calories per day is enough for weight loss without starving yourself. For most men, 1500 calories per day. These numbers will depend on the individual person, so it’s best to adjust them as you go.

The key is not to reach the point where you feel like you’re starving yourself. Feeling famished will cause your metabolism to slow down, and you’ll want to binge eat everything in sight.

We’ll also discuss the best fat-burning foods to keep you feeling full while enhancing weight loss…

Drop the Water Weight

woman in sauna

One of the simplest methods to lose weight fast is to drop the water weight. When wrestlers and athletes need to cut weight leading to a weigh-in, they’ll focus on dropping the water weight.

Losing stored water can help you lose weight quickly. Even though you aren’t burning fat, the water pounds and bloating will quickly go away, giving you some instant results.

Seeing these quick results can help to boost your motivation.

It’s best to reduce your sodium levels and track how much water you’re drinking throughout the day to drop the excess water weight.

Try to keep your sodium levels at the absolute maximum of 500-1000 mg per day over the two weeks. While your body needs sodium to thrive, most of us consume too much from processed foods.

Cutting your carbohydrate intake will instantly help you flush out the water weight. Stored carbohydrates (glycogen) hold 3 grams of water for every 1 gram of glycogen. So, by cutting your carb intake, you’ll instantly start flushing out the water retention within days.3

You can also try using the sauna to help sweat out any excess water and salt from your body. A few sauna sessions per week for 20-30 minutes should do the trick.4

I wouldn’t recommend going to extremes to lose water weight. It can be very unsafe if you’re not carefully monitoring yourself. Once the two weeks are up, you’ll want to make sure you replenish sodium levels and electrolytes and rehydrate.

Keep in mind that much of the water weight you lose will come back the instant you start drinking a lot of water, eating carbs, or adding salt to your body. But for some quick weight loss, it’ll work.

Just be sure not to completely avoid drinking water. Drinking water will help your body lose weight. But at the same time, you don’t have to drink a ton of water either.

If you don’t like drinking water because it tastes too plain and bland, then add in a flavor enhancer like Mojo H20. It also contains electrolytes that will be beneficial when you’re cutting water weight.

Cut the Carbs

The problem with eating too many carbs is that they’ll spike your blood sugar and insulin, putting your body into a “fat-storing” mode. And your body first uses the sugars and carbs you just consumed for energy instead of your body fat stores.5

When you eat sugars, refined carbs, and starches, your blood sugar spikes and your body releases insulin to balance it back down. Insulin is a fat-storing hormone that promotes weight gain.6

Your body uses carbohydrates as a fuel source. So unless you burn them off right away with exercise, you’ll end up storing them as glycogen or body fat. And 1g of glycogen carries 3g of water, which can cause water retention and bloating.

Over the next two weeks, limit your daily carb intake to 50 grams. This will put your body into a keto state, which will promote fat burning.

Try to stick with eating fibrous vegetables with low glycemic index and glycemic load. They help make you feel fuller while providing you with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, collard greens, swiss chard, etc. And cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc. If you don’t like eating green veggies then consider a super greens powder to help replace the nutrients.

Avoid starchy vegetables like carrots, potatoes, peas, and corn. High-sugar fruits can also spike insulin. Some examples are watermelon, bananas, pineapple, mango, and dates. Fruits should be limited during these next couple of weeks unless they’re low-sugar berries.

If you have trouble cutting your carb intake, then at least be sure to take a carb blocker like IC-5 beforehand. It’ll help prevent the insulin spike from eating sugars and carbs that lead to weight gain.

Best Weight Loss Foods to Eat

The best weight loss foods you can eat over the next two weeks will be ones that are:

  • low calorie
  • low carb
  • anti-inflammatory
  • high protein
  • highly satiating (make you feel fuller)

Prioritizing your protein intake is key to losing weight, keeping lean toned muscle, increasing metabolism, and making you feel full.7 If you’re only eating 1200 calories per day, then you should first factor in your protein intake

Try to get at least 0.8g of protein per pound of body weight.8 So if you weigh 160 pounds, then you should aim for 128g of protein. 1g of protein contains 4 calories. So 128g of protein is 512 calories.

You’d then subtract these calories from the total daily calorie intake. If you’re following a 1200 calorie intake per day, then you’re left with 688 calories. If you’re consuming only the recommended 50g of carbs, then that’s 200 calories. So you’re left with 312 calories for fats, which is 34g.

Some examples of healthy protein foods:

  • Chicken breast
  • Turkey breast
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Lean beef
  • Pork loin
  • Egg whites
  • Dairy products

Eating healthy, good fats will also be a big part of this two-week meal plan. Healthy fats are satiating, don’t spike your insulin, and contain essential fatty acids your body can’t make. But fats are high in calories, so you shouldn’t eat too many.

Some examples of healthy fats:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Avocado
  • Nuts & seeds
  • Eggs
  • Fatty fish like salmon & sardines
  • Grass-fed butter & ghee
  • Coconut oil
  • Dark chocolate

Avoiding foods that are going to cause weight gain, bloating, and inflammation are a big no over the next couple of weeks. These foods will derail your results and keep you from getting results.

Stay away from these bad foods:

  • sugar
  • processed foods
  • refined carbs and grains
  • seed oils
  • starches
  • alcohol
  • baked goods

So no pasta, bread, pizza, cheeseburgers, Cheetos, potato chips, cake, French fries, pie, muffins, fried rice, etc.

During these next two weeks, it’s also a good idea to skip out on the milk or dairy in your diet. Milk can cause an insulin response in your body that will increase the likelihood you store it as body fat.9

It can be beneficial to have dairy the rest of the time. Especially if your body feels good when having it. But to maximize weight loss the goal is to keep your insulin levels down. So it’s best to cut out the dairy for the next two weeks.

Intermittent Fasting for Fast Weight Loss

Intermittent fasting is one of my favorite ways and most effective ways to achieve rapid weight loss.

It’s been proven to help people lose weight and increase metabolism while keeping lean muscle.10 You’ll also enhance your fat loss hormones by lowering insulin and increasing growth hormone.11,12

With intermittent fasting, your body will start burning your fat stores for fuel since you won’t have any calories coming in. Once you start running low, your body will be forced to switch over to burning your body fat as an energy source.

Intermittent fasting has been found to reduce daily calorie intake by 550 calories.13 Fasting also prevents late-night snacking, one of the most common causes of weight gain.

I try to aim for at least 14 hours of fasting, but 16-20 hours will get much better results. If you’re not used to it, you can start off on the low end and work your way up.

For the 16-hour fast, start a timer from your last meal, say 8 p.m. By around noon the next day, you will be able to eat again. When you break your fast, be sure to stick with the healthy foods in the meal plan and not give in to food cravings.

The trick with intermittent fasting is to only consume pre-approved drinks that will not break your fast. These drinks will curb your hunger, boost up energy levels, and speed up your results.

These metabolism boosting fasting drinks include:

The C8-MCTs are quickly converted into ketones in your body.14 These ketones are what your body makes from fat stores for fuel. So by taking them with your morning coffee while fasted, you’ll help kickstart the “metabolic switch” over to fat burning.15 And they won’t break your fast.

I usually recommend having only two meals during your feeding window. This will prevent snacking in between meals. Many have also had fast weight loss success on an OMAD (one meal a day) meal plan.

If you want to step up your intermittent fasting, you might consider a 7-day water fast. You could lose 10 pounds guaranteed with a pure water fast, but it’s incredibly difficult if you’re not already used to fasting.

A 3-day fast is also an effective way to kickstart fast weight loss and isn’t as demanding as a 7-day fast.

Next Level Supplements

keto elevate coffee

You might want to take a handful of supplements if you want to lose 20 pounds in the next two weeks fast.

Taking the right supplements can accelerate your weight loss and ensure you’re not nutritionally deficient during these next two weeks.

C8-MCTs. When fasting in the morning, add a scoop of MCTs to your coffee. It’ll “flip the switch” for your metabolism to start burning your fat stores for fuel. Your liver quickly converts these MCTs into ketones.16 Taking these MCTs can kickstart your body into burning your fat for fuel.

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Fish and Krill oil. Taking an omega-3 fatty acid supplement such as fish or krill oil is always critical. Both are great, but I think krill oil is a bit better. Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to lower inflammation and promote weight loss regardless of exercise.17

Low-carb Protein Powder. Make sure you find a grass-fed whey protein shake that’s also low in carbohydrates. If your body isn’t getting enough protein, it will be very hard to lose weight fast. A low-carb protein shake will help fill your stomach, so you don’t get too hungry. You also keep your daily calories low by replacing a meal or two.

HIIT Workouts + Cardio

High-intensity interval Training (HIIT) is by far the best workout for losing 20 pounds in 2 weeks.

HIIT workouts have been found to be much more effective for fat loss than traditional slow-go cardio workouts.18 With HIIT workouts, you’ll burn more calories and fat and increase fat-burning hormones.

Most of your time working out should be spent with HIIT workouts. But if you have the extra time, do a cardio workout such as going for brisk walking, jogging, bike ride, or hiking.

Adding in an extra cardio workout while fasting can add a big boost for weight loss. Even though HIIT workouts will burn more fat cardio workouts have also been found to be beneficial for weight loss.19

A simple way to do HIIT is to sprint on a treadmill for 30-60 seconds, and then slow it back down to walk pace for 2-3 minutes. If you don’t want to sprint, you can put the treadmill on an incline and walk briskly up and then bring it back down to level.

While fasting, you’ll be depleted of an incoming energy source, so your body will start burning your fat stores. Then, if you exercise while fasting, you’ll burn even more fat than usual.

I wouldn’t recommend starting a strength training routine these next two weeks if you want to lose 20 pounds. Since you’ll be consuming a diet more focused on weight loss, it’ll be harder on your body to keep up with a full weight training workout routine, too.

Do at least 20 minutes of HIIT workouts per day 3-5 times per week. You can go higher depending on your current fitness levels and how well your body responds while dieting. You can also do 20-60 minutes of longer-form cardio per day (5-6 days per week).

Women tend to burn more fat from doing longer intervals (45-60 seconds) while men tend to burn more fat with shorter intervals. Women also tend to need less time to recover between sets than men. Women may also benefit from doing longer session HIIT workouts.

Sleep More, Stress Less

Believe it or not, how much sleep you’re getting can greatly affect how much weight you lose in the next two weeks.

If you’re not getting enough sleep, your metabolism will slow down.20 Your body will also release hormones such as cortisol that tempt you to binge eat junk food.

Cortisol is released into your body as a response to the stress of not getting enough sleep. And this hormone promotes the storage of belly fat.21

Your body will also release the “hunger hormone” ghrelin. This hormone will make you hungrier, leading you to eat more. Stress and sleep deprivation cause you to fatty junk foods from sleep deprivation.22

Studies have found that your willpower to stick with your diet and workouts will significantly diminish when you do not get enough sleep.23 Self-control goes down with sleep deprivation, and hormones that promote fat burning are diminished, too.

Drinking alcohol at night might help you fall asleep faster but will likely prevent you from getting deep REM sleep.24 This deep sleep stage is when most of the recovery process happens. Your body prioritizes burning off alcohol, so while your body is working to burn off the alcohol, it won’t be burning off your body weight.25

During the next two weeks, try to get a solid 7-8 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep each night. If you miss this mark, then you can make up for it with a 20-30 minute afternoon nap.

Conclusion

Many studies have found that losing weight quickly can lead to better long-term weight loss.26 Losing a lot of weight quickly can be a great way to kickstart your weight loss journey. It’s highly motivating to see some quick results, and it encourages you to keep going.

One review study found that those who followed up their rapid weight loss with a solid diet and workout program could keep their results and keep losing even more.27 So you don’t have to keep up with such a restrictive diet plan after the two weeks are up.

I would highly recommend using The Flat Belly Formula diet and workout program after the two weeks is up. It’s a much more long-term sustainable program that will help keep losing excess weight while also toning and shaping your body.

If you’re willing to put in the work, the diet plan above will get you the quick results you’re looking for. Now that you know how to lose 20 pounds in two weeks, it’s time to get to work so you can get the results you want fast.