In this age of almost unlimited access to food, many of us are eating far too many calories, and the wrong types of calories on a daily basis.
Think about the last time you ate fatty, sugary, starchy foods like pizza, burger, bread, ice cream, crisps, biscuits, jam, and pretty much any processed breakfast cereal. For most of us something on that list, or something close to it, will be on the menu every day. At times this so much processed food out there, it’s almost impossible not to slip up unless you are following a proper strategy.
It’s this shift in diet away from wholesome foods towards poor quality convenience and filler foods, mixed with busy and distracting lifestyles, which is at the heart of the obesity crisis being felt across the Western world.
But the great news is that it’s perfectly possible to lose an incredible amount of weight, healthily and in a reasonable space of time, if you follow a key set of basic principles.
It will take discipline, education and a change in habits for the long term, but the great news is that following the guidelines we set out here, it’s perfectly possible to stop struggling with your weight and to instead begin to enjoy food and higher levels of energy.
Is it Physically Possible to Lose 20 Pounds in 2 Weeks?
It’s not physically impossible to drop 20 pounds in two weeks, let’s put it that way. It’s perfectly possible to do, and can be achieved healthily. But it’s not easy.
So a better way of looking at it is yes it’s physically possible to lose as much as 20 pounds in two weeks, but mentally it’s far harder to stick at it for 14 days to achieve it.
The great news is that with some education and effort you can shift your body into a perfectly natural state called ketosis. This is where the body is starved of its main energy source, glucose obtained through carbohydrates, and instead has to burn fat to get the energy instead.[Source]
Too many diets based around ketosis are linked to high fat intake to replace the carbohydrates. You don’t have to do that either. It’s perfectly possible to learn how to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks once you understand and believe in the basic principle that by only consuming natural foods, alongside gentle daily exercise you can achieve it.
Get Mentally Prepared to Stick at a Weight Loss Plan
Before we get stuck into the main diet discussion, we have already touched on this important point a moment ago. You have to be mentally prepared to stick at any type of weight loss plan or exercise regime to lose weight.
You also have to understand and stick to these basic principles:
- You will only lose weight if you burn more calories than you consume.
- Ketosis can only be achieved through replacing glucose by removing most carbohydrate intake.
- You have to increase calorie burning through exercise.
Once you understand the principles, you can form a plan. Planning and preparation will make things easier, as it increases your personal buy-in. Anything you begin you don’t believe in is more likely to fail.
Most diets also fail when people get caught out or have to make instant decisions on food. Likewise with exercise. If you don’t have it planned, and have the foods available, then you won’t stick to it.
So be mentally prepared by setting yourself goals for food and exercise, creating a personalized meal plan, maybe even a food diary, or reporting daily to somebody about your progress, all these things can help you stay strong enough to reach the end of 14 days.
Tips on When & How to Eat
Psychology plays a big role in dieting successfully. Firstly you have to feel full. This means eating regularly, and it means eating what you feel is an adequate amount of food.
It is not just about the type of food, it’s about how it’s presented and how it tastes. Effort taken in the meals you prepare and how they look will really help. On top of this, where you consume the food can help as well. It’s scientifically proven that people feel fuller consume less calories if they are sitting doing nothing when they are eating, than they do if they are distracted, for example eating while watching television.
You should also eat three meals a day, as you normally would. If you try to bust on calories by skipping breakfast for example, you are just storing up huge cravings for later in the day as your energy levels get lower.
By keeping your body and mind energized with fresh intakes of calories, you will stop yourself from going into starvation mode which can completely stall weight loss even with minimal calorie intake.
Foods to Avoid
This is not going to come as a surprise at all, but the foods that stuff is full of calories are mainly based around fatty, sugary and carb-rich foods. Mostly any processed food, ready meal, pizza anything like that should be completely out of bounds.
The only way to losing up to 20 pounds in 2 weeks is to completely eradicate fast food and unhealthy food from your diet from day one.
Getting rid of junk food should also be a lifestyle change for the long term. Most people fall into the trap of convenience. But within your preparation for your 14 day meal plan, you should be setting the foundations for a long term mental change your attitude to food.
So generally, foods to avoid are:
- Anything greasy or fatty
- Anything sugary
- Anything covered in batter
- Anything packaged or processed
- Anything containing chocolate
- Anything fried
- Anything preserved
On top of that, you need to get educated on the foods that people think a healthy, but that often actually are not. As an example, yogurt is often considered a healthy food, but take a look at the sugar content in a lot of pots of yogurt and you will see that it’s astronomical.
To get your body burning fat rather than glucose, you also need to be cutting out carbs. White carbs especially, stuff like pasta and anything containing flour. You have to think of processed carbohydrates as disguised sugar. Even though they don’t taste sweet, your body converts them into glucose sugar which is burnt while fat reserves are built up as well.
White bread, white rice, even things you consider normal like potatoes, they all have to go. If you want something to bulk out on, then you need to consider healthy choices to replace these with, for example quinoa.
So let’s say it one last time, ditch processed carbohydrates. When you eat them your body converts them to glucose sugar, which provokes a spike in insulin production in the body.
Insulin is a hormone that encourages the body to store blood sugar in cells, so the more of it there is, the more fat your body stores. Insulin production takes a lot of calories, meaning that your then hungry again sooner. That’s why people who eat a lot of carbohydrates get stuck in a vicious cycle.
Foods to Include
Before we even talk about food to include in a plan to shed 20 pounds in 2 weeks, let’s talk about water.
From day one you have to start drinking water, and nothing else but water. The reason is simple. It has no calories, it helps to flush out your system of toxins, and it keeps you hydrated to stop you feeling hungry. That may sound perverse, but scientists have found that sometimes food cravings are actually to do with misinterpreted cravings for liquid.
At the heart of a successful diet is to remember the key point that the more hungry you are, the stronger your cravings will get and the more likely you are to resort to old habits.
So it’s not about starving yourself, it’s about changing what you eat to ensure that you are not hungry while eating fewer calories. This means filling your plate with things like vegetables. In fact, some vegetables contain so few calories that it takes almost as many to process then as they contain, which obviously helps with dieting:
- Green beans
As we have already said, need to ditch carbohydrates and replace them with proteins. They need to be high quality proteins that are not high in fat. So replacing pork or beef with chicken is an example of replacing high-fat with low-fat meat protein.
Fish is also an important part of any significant weight loss diet. The additional benefits of eating lots of fish is that fish oil contains fatty acids that the body can use, lessening the cravings of fatty foods.
Protein also gets digested more slowly in the body and requires more effort to do so. That’s why people feel fuller eating proteins than they do eating carbohydrates.
So whichever of the three meals a day you are having, it should contain vegetables to fill you up, fill the plate and provide all the nutrients your body needs, and proteins because they take longer to process and provide slower burning energy.
Plan Your Meals For the Whole Two Weeks
Just printing out a generic diet meal plan and preparing it without your own input is the quickest way to fail. Half of what is on them is usually something most people don’t really like.
It’s far better to use a meal plan as a base, and then to create different meals each day based around the foods that fit the criteria we have talked about, but that you also like.
So it’s impossible for us to just give you a full 14 day meal plan here, you need to create one yourself and invest time in it to think about the foods you like that can help you to lose the weight you need.
But generally, breakfast needs to contain whole grains, protein and vegetables, plus maybe fruit. So looking specifically at breakfast, you could choose from one of the following options (or two if you use slightly smaller portions):
- 1 cup of wholegrain cereal with skimmed milk
- 1 cup of berries
- One handful of unsalted nuts such as almonds
- Two hard-boiled eggs/or an omelet
Remember, starving yourself, especially at the start of the day, is the quickest way to fail and not drop the 20 pounds you need to lose.
So it’s better to have slightly more as long as it’s the right type of food, the slightly too little, especially if you work where temptation is always available.
A great tip is also to make good use of vegetable-based home-made smoothies. These can be made really easily using things like kale, spinach, avocado and berries. As long as you keep the majority of the smoothie focused on the volume of vegetables in it, they can be a great way to get calories and nutrients packed in quickly. Just watch the calories if you are adding fruit.
When it comes to lunch and your evening meal, the same rules will apply: keep it to simple whole foods, vegetables and lean proteins, for example:
- Grilled chicken breast with 1 cup of cherry tomatoes and lettuce leaves
- Grilled salmon with 1 cup of steamed spinach and 1 cup of green beans
Now of course these meals are basic and in many ways unadventurous, but that’s where herbs and spices can come into play. On top of that, you have to understand that to lose a significant amount in just two weeks means that your calorie intake will have to be significantly less than normal.
But that doesn’t mean you should be eating boring, tiny portions. As we have said it’s better to eat slightly more the right things, than to be hungry and end up snacking.
At the heart of learning how to lose twenty pounds in two weeks is the key principle that you have to remove calories, replace foods that create high glucose and insulin spikes with ones that don’t, and to alter your habits in when and how you eat. If you don’t then any weight you lose will quickly pile back in the end of two weeks focus.
You Must Exercise to Lose 20 Pounds in 2 Weeks
Doing physical exercise is as important to losing weight as choosing the food you eat. When you consider that 20 minutes of simple exercise can burn several hundred calories, maybe as much as a fifth of your total daily calorie intake under normal conditions, you can see why it’s important to include.
You don’t have to be doing vigorous exercise, but you should be looking to burn around 300 calories an hour, which means one hour a day, maybe in two half-hour sessions, doing something simple, for example:
- Going for a walk
- Going for a jog
- Playing basketball
- Kicking a ball in the park with your child
- Lifting weights
- Going for a bike ride
- Doing an aerobic DVD in front of the TV
Take every opportunity to exercise on top of eating well and you will lose more weight, and in a more healthy way.
Again, it’s looking at your current lifestyle and making small changes. If you drive to work and you only work a mile away, why don’t you walk a couple of mornings a week?
Losing 20 Pounds in 2 Weeks: Results & Conclusion
Important truth is that there is no blueprint to help you shed 20 pounds in 2 weeks.
Any framework of a calorie controlled meal plan based around proteins, whole grains and vegetables, will succeed. What’s important is tailoring it to you, so it feels personal, tastes right for you, and encourages you to stick at it.
Only you can change your mental outlook to how you approach food and exercise. You have to look at the reasons why you skip meals, binge, make excuses for not exercising, even recognizing if your emotional attachment to food is at the heart of it, you have to go on an emotional journey to reach personal honesty if you are to succeed.
Learning how to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks is easy, it’s a set of principles that you tailor to you. Doing it is tough because there is so much temptation out there to eat rubbish and stare at a screen rather than exercise
But it can be done, and you can do it, especially if you make sure you set personal goals, and include your family and friends in the process.