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How To Lose 20 Pounds Fast And Easily


Losing 20 pounds in a short time could be a challenge. But if you want to achieve it for a special upcoming event, you must act promptly. In this article, we have devised the right plan that can help you lose 20 pounds fast. The plan works by kick-starting metabolism, aiding detoxification, and shedding water weight.

These 12 best strategies to lose 20 pounds in three weeks are safe in the short run, and if you make them a habit, they can also help with healthier weight loss in the long run.

12 Best Ways To Lose 20 Pounds Fast

1. Drink Up (Water, Of Course!)

Water helps flush out toxins, supports digestion, prevents constipation, reduces bloating, maintains internal pH and homeostasis, and induces thermogenesis (the production of heat in the body) (1), (2).

Drink 3-4 liters of water every day. Also, drink 500 mL of water at least 20 minutes before a meal. This can help restrict your calorie intake (3).

Drink two glasses of water at room temperature as soon as you wake up. Adding two teaspoons of fenugreek seeds to a glass of water can help improve insulin sensitivity (4). You can also make detox water by adding cucumber, ginger, cumin, and mint leaves. This will promote hydration and boosts overall body functioning.

2. Cut Back On Calories

Consuming fewer calories creates a negative energy balance in the body, which helps you lose weight. For quick results, you can cut at least 500 to 600 calories from the total number of calories you consume now (5), (6).

3. Ban Sugar, Junk Food, And Processed Foods

Eliminate all foods high in sugar, sodium, and those loaded with preservatives. Restock your kitchen with whole foods, and low-cal snacks like popcorn, fruits, and veggies. If you crave sweets, have low-cal yogurt with figs or peaches. You can also have one piece of dark chocolate (with 80% or more cocoa) after dinner.

4. Have Five Types Of Veggies And Fruits

Consume five types of fruits and veggies per day (7). These are rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that promote satiety and prevent fat absorption. They are low in calories, improve bowel movement, and help build immunity. Your body’s cells will start to function optimally and use the stored fat as energy and aid weight loss (8). Consume the following:

Fruits – Apple, banana, orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, plum, cherry, apricot, papaya, pineapple, and peach.

Veggies – Spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, carrot, bell pepper, collard greens, chard, radish, turnip, okra, eggplant, tomato, cucumber, onion, bottle gourd, bitter gourd, scallion, lettuce, cabbage, purple cabbage, bok choy, asparagus, peas, and beetroot.

5. Load Up On Protein

Lean protein sources, like fish, skinless chicken breast, lentils, tofu, mushrooms, eggs, pulses, nuts, and seeds, help increase satiety. They also help build lean muscle, and this improves metabolism (lean muscle contains more number of mitochondria) (9).

Whether you are snacking or having breakfast, lunch, or dinner, include a source of lean protein like chicken breast, egg, tofu, mushroom, and lentils and beans.

6. Avoid White Carbs

White carbs (or bad carbs) are foods like flour, sugar, pasta, white rice, crackers, and cereals. These are processed, refined, and high in calories and have minimal nutritional value.

Bad carbs tend to increase blood glucose levels and are easily digested (10). Hence, you quickly feel hungry and munch on other processed and high-calorie foods, eventually leading to weight gain. White whole foods like cauliflower, beans, white potato, and turnip do not fall into this category.

7. Consume Healthy Fats

Healthy fats like fish oil, avocado, avocado oil, nuts, olive oil, and rice bran oil contain PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids). PUFAs help reduce inflammation in the body (11), (12). This reduces the risk of inflammation-induced weight gain.

8. Eat On Time And Control Your Portion Size

Eating at odd times, starving for a long duration, or being unaware of portion sizes can contribute to weight gain more than the food itself (13). Hence, it is important to practice portion control, eat every 3-4 hours, have regular breakfast, take dinner by 7:30 pm, and avoid late-night snacking.

Also, starving yourself can lead to weight gain as the body goes into a famine mode, provoking the cells to store everything you eat in the form of fat (14). Do not starve yourself. If you feel hungry at odd times, have a fruit or baby carrots with hummus.

9. Avoid Distractions While Eating

Toss away your phone, shut down the laptop, switch off the TV, and concentrate on what you are eating. It is a great tip for quick as well as long-term weight loss.

When you look at your food and eat, your brain gets the signal that you have eaten and are full. Multitasking while you eat makes you feel hungry soon after as you have not given your brain the visual cue of how much you have eaten.

10. Stay Active

The problem with quick weight loss is that you not only regain the weight quickly but also have loose skin. You must work out regularly to look toned.

If you are not a fan of the treadmill, you can do yoga, dance, swim, ride a bike, etc. Do a little HIIT and bodyweight training to flaunt a chiseled look. Working out may help mobilize the fat, improve your metabolic rate, and help you maintain the lost weight and sleep better at night (15), (16), (17).

Also, you must keep moving. Take a walk every one hour, walk to and from office, ride a bicycle to the supermarket, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or walk your dog twice a day. This will keep your metabolism firing throughout the day and help you shed the pounds quickly. Make sure you take 10,000 steps a day.

11. Get Your Beauty Sleep

It has been scientifically proven that not getting enough sleep or rest can lead to weight gain (18). When you regularly sleep for less than seven hours, ghrelin (a hormone that induces hunger) levels and inflammation increase and cause salt retention in the body (19). As a result, you will start gaining weight and feel tired, even if you have not moved from your seat the entire day.

12. Take No Stress

You’ve got less time, but you’ve got time! Do not go into panic mode. Stress, panic, and anxiety raise the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone (20). This hormone shuts down the brain’s decision-making process, which may make you an emotional eater. This can lead to long-term weight gain.

You can reduce stress and other negative emotions in simple ways – appreciate people, take a walk, talk to a trusted friend, do something creative, like painting or playing a musical instrument, dance, write a journal, and laugh.


These are the 12 tips that can help you lose 20 pounds in three weeks. Follow these, and you will not only lose water weight but also start mobilizing your body fat. Repeat these for 21 days, and once they become a habit, they can lead to an entire lifestyle change. If you are looking at long-term weight loss, you may try 16/8 intermittent fasting.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to lose 20 pounds?

You can lose 20 pounds in about 20 weeks. However, you may go on a VLCD (very low-calorie diet) and adhere to a workout routine to speed up the weight loss process after consulting your doctor and dietitian.

How many calories do you need to burn to lose 20 pounds?

You need to burn 3500 calories to lose one pound. You need to burn 70,000 calories to lose 20 pounds.

20 sources

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Charushila Biswas

Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. And that prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.