Here’s How To Lose 20 Pounds In 2 Weeks, Safely And Effectively

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Because the process of losing weight can sometimes feel like an endless battle, particularly if you have a lot of weight to lose, most people are drawn to strategies and advice about how to lose weight fast.

But, can you lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks? What are the best tips for how to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks?

In this guide to how to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks, we will discuss whether you can lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks, how long it takes to lose 20 pounds in a healthy manner, and the best tips for how to lose 20 pounds fast yet safely.

We will cover: 

  • Can You Lose 20 Pounds In 2 Weeks?
  • How Long Does It Take to Lose 20 Pounds?
  • Tips for How to Lose 20 Pounds In 2 Weeks (Or How to Lose 20 Pounds As Fast As Possible)

Let’s dive in!

A person stepping on a scale.

Can You Lose 20 Pounds In 2 Weeks?

Although we would love to jump right in with a magical 20-pound weight loss plan that would help you lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks, the hard truth is that losing 20 pounds in 2 weeks is not safe, not recommended, not healthy, and generally not even possible.

Therefore, we are approaching this guide on how to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks with the critical disclaimer that we are not recommending a 2-week 20-pound weight loss challenge or that it is even safe to try to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks.

Rather, we hope that by discussing how to lose 20 pounds fast yet safely, we can draw in those unsure how long it takes to lose 20 pounds and hope that losing 20 pounds in 2 weeks is possible.

Since it is not, we believe that by explaining why trying to figure out how to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks is a futile and unsafe weight loss plan, but that it is possible to lose 20 pounds fast (well, “fast” in relative terms), and keep the weight off and improve your health, we can help you be successful.

Lose weight for good health written on a board.

After all, there’s no point in doing a 20 pound weight loss challenge where you have rapid weight loss and then compromise your metabolic rate moving forward, which can happen if you follow an extreme diet or lose weight too quickly.

Or, you gain all of the weight back once you stop your 20 pound weight loss diet plan due to the extreme, restrictive nature of the diet.

Overall, the best tip for how to lose 20 pounds or lose weight fast, in general, is to follow a lifestyle diet and exercise plan that facilitates weight loss rather than jumping on a short-term 20 pound weight loss meal plan and then abandoning it when you have lost 20 pounds.

Most likely, in these scenarios, you will regain the weight.

A person standing on a scale.

How Long Does It Take to Lose 20 Pounds?

When discussing how to lose weight fast, it’s important to differentiate between “overall weight“ and “fat. “

Losing 20 pounds of weight can include body fat and water weight.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a healthy amount of fat to lose in a week is 1-2 pounds.

Losing body fat requires generating a caloric deficit; the rate of fat loss is 3500 calories for 1 pound of fat, meaning that if you want to lose the recommended 1 to 2 pounds of fat per week, you need to create a daily caloric deficit of 500 to 1000 calories.

If you have been following an unhealthy diet, such as one high in processed foods, salt, alcohol, and inflammatory foods, and not exercising consistently, your body is likely holding onto a lot of water weight in addition to excess body fat.

Therefore, if you are looking into how to lose 20 pounds fast but don’t have a lot of extra weight to lose and have been following a generally healthy diet so you aren’t holding on to a ton of water weight, it will take about 10 weeks, or 2 1/2 to 3 months to lose 20 pounds quickly.

A person pulling their jeans to the side showing weight loss.

This may sound like a long time, but once you start making healthy changes and following a good 20 pound weight loss diet plan and exercise program, you will be amazed at how quickly the time goes by and how much better you feel each week as you approach your weight loss goal.

Moreover, there is a little bit of good news if you want to know how to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks, and the very notion that it may take three months is very disheartening:

If you have a significant amount of extra body fat and are clinically diagnosed as morbidly obese according to your BMI (body mass index over 35 kg/m2), and/or you are holding onto a lot of extra water weight, you will likely lose 20 pounds much faster, though a lot of the initial weight loss will be water weight.

The best 20 pound weight loss diet plans will help you shed water weight from loading water retention by balancing your hormones and decreasing chronic inflammation that is underlying not only water retention but also obesity.

Plus, you will safely lose actual body fat at the recommended rate of fat loss.

A food tracking app on a tablet.

Tips for How to Lose 20 Pounds In 2 Weeks (Or As Fast As Possible)

While most people should not try to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks, here are some tips for how to lose 20 pounds fast but in a healthy manner:

#1: Start Tracking Everything 

Remember: the key to actual fat loss is creating a caloric deficit (1000 calories a day if you want to lose the recommended 2 pounds per week).

This means that you need to know exactly how many calories you burn and how many calories you consume in a day and make sure to have the deficit be 500 to 1000 calories.

Use a good weight loss app or online calculator to determine your energy expenditure, and be honest and thorough with measuring and documenting every single thing that you eat or drink that contains calories. 

A person eating a salad.

#2: Clean Up Your Diet

The single best tip for how to lose weight fast is to clean up your diet.

This means eliminating all processed foods, added sugar, alcohol, fried food, artificial sweeteners, sweetened beverages, etc.

These foods provide no nutritional value, and they can increase cravings, cause blood sugar and insulin spikes, leave you feeling lethargic and hungry, and increase water retention and inflammation.

#3: Try Going Low Carb

A low-carb diet will be the fastest way to lose water weight because your body holds an additional 3 to 4 g of water for every gram of glycogen stored.

Plus, many people lose weight on a low-carb diet because it is harder to overeat lean proteins and healthy fats, and if you have insulin resistance, a low-carb diet will help control blood sugar levels.

A person tying their shoe.

#4: Cut Your Portions

One of the first steps you can take in your healthy weight loss plan is to use a smaller plate, as research shows that this helps trick our minds into thinking that we are more full and ate more food than we did.

Then, focus on changing the composition of your plate to be at least 2/3 non-starchy vegetables, with the remaining majority being lean protein and a little bit of healthy fat.

The goal should be to eat as much fiber and lean protein as possible, as these nutrients contribute to satiety.

#5: Move Your Body

If you want to lose 20 pounds quickly, you not only need a good 20 pound weight loss meal plan diet but also a consistent exercise routine and an active overall lifestyle.

Get at least 45 to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio or 30 to 45 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardio five days a week and accumulate an additional 7000 to 10,000 steps daily.

Physical activity will contribute to your caloric expenditure to help you lose weight faster.

Plus, you’ll feel better physically and mentally, decrease inflammation, and boost your metabolism.

A person asleep in bed.

#6: Get More Sleep

Consistently get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night, the recommended amount for adults.

Insufficient or excessive sleep can contribute to weight gain by decreasing energy, increasing appetite hormones, and potentially causing you to eat more food. 

#7: Drink More Water

According to research, drinking more water increases metabolic rate, burns calories, and controls appetite, while improving health and decreasing inflammation.

Plus, we often confuse thirst with hunger, causing us to eat more calories than necessary.

Consider trying our 14-day weight loss challenge by drinking more water here.

A person drinking a bottle of water.
Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

1 thought on “Here’s How To Lose 20 Pounds In 2 Weeks, Safely And Effectively”

  1. Sure it’s possible. I’ve gone from 156 pounds to 134 pounds in about the last 12 days. Here’s how. Drink half as much as normal, eat once every 2-3 days, but not a meal. Just like a sandwich, a banana, snack size bag of cheetos, or a pot pie. Voila! Fast weight loss. Oh, did I forget to mention I’ve been sick for 2 weeks? Lol


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