8 Easy Ways To Lose 20 Pounds Quickly and Safely

ou’ve decided you want to lose 20 pounds. Great! So, um, what should you be doing to get started and reach said goal as quickly as possible?

Weight loss — whether the number you have in mind is big or small — basically comes down to burning more calories than you take in. You can make that happen by eating less and moving more (and maybe giving your body an extra nudge with a few lifestyle changes).

Keep in mind that losing 20 pounds “quickly” doesn’t mean losing 20 pounds in a few days, a week, or even a month. Healthy, sustainable weight loss generally happens at a rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week.

These strategies can help you hit your goal as quickly as possible without falling into the realm of crash dieting (which won’t keep the weight off long-term and could be unsafe).

Here are 8 best ways to quickly and safely drop 20 pounds.

1. Drink More Water

Upping your water intake is a simple way to boost weight loss with minimal effort.

Research shows that water may enhance weight loss by bumping up metabolism, temporarily increasing the calories your body burns after eating.

According to one study in 14 adults, drinking 16.9 fluid ounces (500 ml) of water boosted metabolism by 30% after 30–40 minutes .

Drinking water with meals can also keep you feeling full, reducing your appetite and intake.

For example, one small study showed that drinking 16.9 fluid ounces (500 ml) of water before a meal reduced subsequent calories consumed by 13% .

For best results, drink at least 34–68 fluid ounces (1–2 liters) of water per day to maximize weight loss.

2. Stay Accountable

Staying accountable to your weight loss goals is key to long-term success. There are many different ways to do so.

For example, weighing yourself daily has been associated with increased weight loss and a reduced risk of weight regain compared to weighing yourself less frequently .

Staying accountable can help increase weight loss. Weighing yourself daily, keeping a food journal and pairing up with a friend are all effective strategies to enhance weight loss.

3. Eat Slowly

Mindfulness is a practice that involves becoming more aware of your thoughts and feelings while also shifting your focus to the present moment.

Eating slowly and practicing mindfulness can help increase weight loss and decrease intake while also allowing you to enjoy your food.

Eating slowly and practicing mindfulness can increase feelings of fullness, decrease calorie intake and enhance weight loss.

4. Count Calories

It may sound like a no-brainer, but counting calories is one of the easiest and most effective ways to start losing weight fast.

Weight loss occurs when you use more calories than you take in, either by reducing your intake or increasing your physical activity.

When paired with other diet and lifestyle changes, counting calories can help you make healthier choices to increase weight loss.

5. Cut Your Carb Consumption

Decreasing your intake of refined carbs is another useful strategy to accelerate weight loss.

Refined carbs have been stripped of their nutrient and fiber content during processing, resulting in a final product that is nutrient-poor.

What’s more, they typically have a high glycemic index, which means that they are digested and absorbed quickly. Rapid digestion leads to spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels, followed by increased hunger.

Consuming high numbers of refined carbs has also been linked to increased body fat and weight gain.

6. Increase Your Protein Intake

To lose 20 pounds fast, including more protein-rich foods in your diet is absolutely essential.

A high-protein diet has been associated with decreased belly fat, as well as preserved muscle mass and metabolism during weight loss .

Protein can also help reduce appetite and decrease calorie intake.

Protein has been shown to decrease belly fat and body weight. It may also promote feelings of fullness to reduce calorie intake.

7. Start Lifting Weights

Resistance training is a type of exercise that involves working against a force to increase muscle strength and endurance.

Adding resistance training to your routine can bump up fat burning and metabolism to help you burn more calories, even while at rest.

Resistance training can help increase metabolism and preserve fat-free mass, helping you burn more calories throughout the day.

8. Set a Sleep Schedule

While there’s no doubt that switching up your diet and exercise routine are the two most important routes to losing 20 pounds, the amount you sleep could also play a role.

In fact, one study in 245 women showed that both sleeping at least seven hours per night and getting better sleep quality increased the likelihood of weight loss success by 33%.

And just as getting enough sleep can set you up for success, sleep deprivation can cause the pounds to slowly pack on over time.

Getting enough sleep and improving sleep quality could benefit weight loss. Conversely, sleep deprivation can lead to increased hunger and weight gain.

The Bottom Line

Though losing 20 pounds can seem like a major challenge, it can be done quickly and safely by making a few simple changes to your diet and lifestyle.

For best results, mix and match these tips to enhance both weight loss and overall health.

With a little patience and determination, it’s entirely possible to drop 20 pounds to help reach your weight loss goals in no time.

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