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Lose 10 Pounds in 4 Weeks?

By Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear Fun and Fit: Do you know of any eating or exercise tips for me? I want to lose at least 10 pounds in 4 weeks. Should I work out even more than 2 hours a day 2 times a week? Lovette, CA

Need Instructions for Jumping Jacks?

Kymberly: Losing 10 pounds in 4 weeks is a big goal, but doable … if you are willing to either work hard and change your eating habits ooorrrr….. take some drastic measures. Let’s check out those drastic measures first, since they are easier. First, cut off as much of your hair as possible. Next, go nekkid (since most people wear clothes when assessing weight usually via a scale). Lastly, embark on some crazy diet. So that about wraps up the bad and popular advice that meets the goal. (Readers – don’t say you never thought of these approaches! We hear of them all the time!)

Alexandra: It’s reasonable, sustainable and realistic long-term to lose 1.5 – 2 pounds per week if you combine intense cardio with resistance training and a nutritious diet. So it will be hard to lose 10 pounds in such a short time. I think you’ll be happier, more motivated, and more successful if you focus on improving your eating and exercise. The weight will drop off more naturally that way.

Eating: Choose foods that are close to the ground. By this I don’t mean, “Oh, I dropped my bag of chips”; I mean the fewer ingredients the better. Even if you eat the same amount in weight/ volume, the healthier foods will tend to have fewer calories. So, enjoy a bowl of strawberries rather than strawberry jam on toast. Move most of your food intake toward the first part of the day. And eat breakfast! (Read all about it!)

Exercise: You can do low intensity movement (below 60% of your maximum Heart Rate, which means about 3-5 on a scale of 1-10) , moderate intensity (60-80% of max HR; 6-8 on 10-scale), or high intensity (80-90% of max HR: 9 on 10-scale). Most people feel comfortable doing low and moderate intensity, yet decidedly uncomfortable at high intensity. It’s a time-saving choice if your joints and current level of physical ability allow you to try high intensity once or twice a week.

Kymberly: Lovette, we made this video just for you (and anyone else we can corral) about the difference between low, moderate, and high intensity cardio levels. Feel free to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Really. Now.

YouTube Preview Image

Alexandra: One little side note (as opposed to “snide,” which I would never use with anyone unless it’s my sister) is to differentiate between high intensity and high impact. Many high intensity moves are also high impact (i.e., jacks, burpees, running), but if you’re like me (one reconstructed soccer knee and two big-headed kids pushed out that tiny birth canal), you don’t like high impact. So you can always do high intensity in the pool, on the elliptical or even on the step or large stability ball!

Go forth. Move and Lose. Eat. Rinse. Repeat.

Kymberly: As for your question as to whether you need to work out more than twice a week to drop this weight in this time frame. HAYUL YES!  Skip the part about 2 hours per session, but you need to get busy at least 5 days a week.  Include both strength training and aerobic workouts.

Readers: Who has successfully lost and kept off 10 pounds? How? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?

Photo Credit: Creative Commons: Mike Schmid

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18 Responses to Lose 10 Pounds in 4 Weeks?

  1. Tamara May 24, 2012 at 7:55 am #

    I have never lost 10 pounds (except after babies), but do train people who have. So I think I’m qualified to respond!

    Consistency, consistency, consistency. In both nutrition and exercise. My 2 cents.

  2. Tamara May 24, 2012 at 7:58 am #

    Ooh. Forgot to add that I’m stealing those step moves!

    • KymberlyFunFit May 24, 2012 at 8:29 am #

      You are more than qualified to respond. You can even give me your abs if you want! As for those step moves, they cost 2 cents so I think we are even! MY step moves are worth at least 3 cents. And that’s in Canadian cents too.

  3. Miz May 24, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    DANGNUBBIT!! you all took my comment :)
    it is one hundred percent about consistency.
    NO FITS AND STARTS.

  4. Jody - Fit at 54 May 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    I have to agree with all of the above!!! ;-) Heck, yes, if you want to go on a pre-show bodybuilding or fitness show diet, yeah, you will lose the pounds BUT are they sustainable, no. You can’t eat like that long term. If you are going on vacation or something like that, the minute you start eating regular type eating, well, that vacation ain’t gonna be fun… Better to take the sensible approach as outlined in the above comments.

    • AlexandraFunFit May 25, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

      The sensible approach is the way to deal with most things in life, wouldn’t you say? Seems to work out better.

  5. April May 24, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

    I’m not Bueller, but I am listening! (I always do the Bueller line when I’m trying to get people to pay attention, but not everyone knows the movie.) You two make me laugh!

    • AlexandraFunFit May 25, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

      I make myself laugh. Out of a sense of duty, of course! Thanks. And I use that Bueller line at the U all the time, but the students are too young to get it and just stare politely at me!

  6. Kulwant May 27, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    Hmmmm ,,,,,,10 pounds a week great

  7. Steve May 28, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    “Losing 10 pounds in 4 weeks is a big goal, but doable … if you are willing to either work hard and change your eating habits ”

    Both would be preferable. It depends on yoru current diet and exercise habits. If you already eat a healthy diet and exercise regularilly, it will be more difficult to implement a program to drop 10 lbs in 4 wks than if you don’t.

  8. Amy May 28, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    I’ve lost 10 pounds several times, maybe even many times. But it was the last time (5 1/2 years ago) that worked. Lots of movement (I can’t always call it ‘exercise’) every day, intense exercise 2 – 3 times/week, and reasonable portion sizes. The combination is a winner – 30 pounds lost, 5 years and counting!

  9. donnaandtora June 3, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

    That’s right! If you are really motivated to lose weight just focus on it by eating healthy foods and do some workouts. Before, I wasn’t motivated enough to have an exercise but then no wonder after a year’s avoiding it I actually look forward to do my workouts every day. Now I find myself that I am much energized, fit and healthier.

  10. Jonathan June 7, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    I dropped a lot more and kept it off. It’s entirely doable, but requires a real change in the way people lead their life. This isn’t a one time effort.
    Jonathan recently posted..14 Exercise Myths That Are Holding You Back From Your Dream BodyMy Profile

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