At the beginning of a new year, people write down their resolutions, and losing weight is usually on the list for so many people. Everyone wants to be lean and fit and avoid the many health complications that come with being obese and overweight. With that said, in this article, we will look at how to lose 15 pounds in 4 weeks.
Is Losing 15 Pounds In 4 Weeks Manageable?
To lose this much weight in such a short time will depend on how much weight you currently have. It is possible for overweight and obese people under medical supervision to lose this much weight in such a short period since they won’t be losing fat but mostly water weight. Water weight occurs when fluid collects in your tissues, causing them to swell, and this also makes people very uncomfortable (2). Water weight occurs when water that would typically go to the kidneys is retained in the body. Water weight causes weight fluctuations of up to 2 to 4 pounds in a day.
This shows how it would be possible for people who are obese to lose such much weight in a short period since they will be losing the water weight. It is hard for people who have little weight to lose this much weight in such a short period unless they use extreme measures which are not recommended by nutrition experts. The worst thing about extreme measures apart from all the health complications associated with them is that they are not sustainable. When a weight loss program is not sustainable, it means soon you’ll have to get rid of it, and people end up gaining back all the weight they lost and even more at times.
Weight loss should be sustainable and not force you to go into extreme meal plans or tough workout schedules. Weight loss programs that promise you results first can end up causing more harm, and there is a reason people say, “shortcuts will cut your life short”.
Is It Safe To Lose 15 pounds In 4 Weeks?
Health experts do not recommend losing so much weight in such a short amount of time. There are dangers of rapid weight loss, and some of these dangers are:
- Having loose skin. This happens when the skin loses its elasticity as it did not have time to shrink while your body was shrinking.
- Developing gallstones. These are hard deposits of cholesterol that mostly form in the gallbladder.
- Losing muscles
- Liver damage
- Declining metabolism rate
- Electrolytes imbalance
- Having headaches
- Hair loss
- Menstrual irregularities
To answer the question of whether it is safe to lose 15 pounds in 4 weeks, the answer is no. 1-2 pounds in a week is the recommended weight loss rate by health experts all over the world. So in 4 weeks, you should aim to lose 4-8 pounds.
Losing Weight In A Healthy Pace
As mentioned above, the recommended weight one should lose in a week is 1-2 pounds. You have to burn an average of 3500 calories to lose 1 pound; 7000 calories to lose 2 pounds. In order to lose 3500 calories in a week, you would need to burn 500 calories every day; to lose 7000 calories, you need to burn 1000 calories every day. These numbers will help you healthily lose weight.
What Does Losing 15 Pounds In 4 weeks Mean?
To lose 15 pounds in 4 weeks means losing almost 4 pounds every week, which is 13125 calories every week. Taking it into daily installments, losing 15 pounds in 4 weeks means you have to reduce your intake by 1875 calories every day, and this is way above the recommendations provided by nutrition experts. While doing all this, you need to remember your daily calorie consumption should not go below 1200 calories, as this can be considered as you are starving yourself and could lead to health complications like lack of energy, fatigue, dizziness, and nutrition deficiencies.
Healthy Ways To Lose Weight
Slow and steady wins the race. The logic behind weight loss is that you need to burn more calories than you consume, and the two main ways of doing that are by eating or consuming fewer calories and burning calories by exercising.
Cutting Your Calories
To take this approach, you need first to know your basal metabolic rate (BMR). BMR is the amount of energy your body needs while you are at rest (4). There are different ways you can use to calculate your BMR. Here are some of the ways (4):
- For men, BMR = 66.47 + (13.75 * your weight in kgs) + (5.003 * size in cms [height] ) – (6.755 * your age)
- For women, BMR = 655.1 + (9.563 * weight in kgs) + (1.85 * size in cms [height]) – (4.676 * your age)
Once you’ve calculated your BMR, don’t forget to multiply this number by your activity factor:
- Sedentary (little or no exercise) = BMR x 1.2
- Lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) = BMR x 1.375
- Moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) = BMR x 1.55
- Very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) = BMR x 1.725
- If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & a physical job) = BMR x 1.9
This will result in your daily recommended calorie intake. To lose 1-2 pounds in a week, you will then need to reduce between 500 to 1000 calories from this number on a daily basis, depending on your goal. While doing all this, you need to remember that your daily calorie intake should not go below 1200 calories (5).
Cardio exercises are the best when it comes to burning fat (5). This does not mean that you should do away with strength-training exercises since building strength still helps with weight loss. Here are some exercises that can help with weight loss:
Plank with Dumbbell Row
This is yet another exercise that would help you burn calories. It helps with strengthening the abdominal muscles as well as other muscles, like the triceps and biceps.
How to do it?
- First, take your dumbbells and start in the plank position. Make sure your feet are hip-width apart.
- Using your core, lift one of the dumbbells of the floor. Lift it towards your rib area while making sure your elbows point upwards towards the sky.
- Then lower the weight and do the same for the opposite side.
- Continue switching between the two sides at a fast pace. While doing this, make sure that your hips are still, with your legs engaged in the exercise.
- Do at least 8 reps on each side.
The kettlebell is known to help build strength, improve powers, and helps with one’s posture. Its explosive nature is what makes it effective when it comes to burning fat.
How to do it (1)?
- The first thing to do is to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then make sure your knees are bent slightly, with your toes pointing out.
- Then take a kettlebell and hold it with both your hands. Hold it like it is hanging between your legs.
- Hinging at the hips, lower your body into a squat position, and then extend your hips to come to a stand while you swing the kettlebell in front of you. Make sure to squeeze your glutes when you are at the top of this move.
- Then let the kettlebell swing back as you go back to the original squat position.
- Repeat this until you get tired.
Anyone who has been to the gym knows lunges are not the easiest of exercises. Now, imagine how hard normal lunges are, jumping ones are even harder than that. However, it is even more effective when it comes to burning calories. Jumping lunges help in toning one’s legs and improve cardiovascular health due to all the jumping involved.
How to do it (1)?
- The first thing to do is to stand with your knees slightly bent; your feet staggered so that your right leg is in front of your left leg.
- Then jump up straight while switching your legs in the air. You should land with your left leg before your right leg. It is important to make sure that your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. This helps prevent injuries, and getting injured is the last thing you want.
- Repeat this move 20 times to complete one set.
This exercise mainly targets your glutes and hamstring, even help with your posture.
How to do it?
- First, take your dumbbells and hold them at arm’s length. Make sure they are just before your thighs. While standing with your feet at hip-width apart and knees slightly bent, shift the weight to one leg.
- While still keeping your knees bent, bend your hips and lower your torso until it is almost parallel to the ground.
- Hold that position for some time, then go back to the standing position.
- You should do at least 8 reps on each side.
This is yet another activity that most people do for fun that is very effective when it comes to burning calories. Most people nowadays use stationary bikes, while others use normal bikes and go out for an adventure. Whichever bike you use, cycling does help burn as much as 1150 calories in an hour (3). A good way of making this exercise as effective as possible is by doing intervals if you are on your stationary bike. You can do this by keeping the intensity high for some minutes and then low for the next; keep repeating these intervals until you are tired. If you are using a normal bike, you can try and go for rough high terrain. You can go fast or slow; keep varying the speed and intensity to enjoy the full benefits of cycling.
This is yet another workout that is known to promote the burning of fat. It helps burn calories and keeps your heart beating, which benefits your cardiovascular health and engages many muscles. These jumps are also known to help improve one’s athletic ability.
How to do it?
- First, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Make sure your knees are bent slightly.
- Then quickly swing your arms backward while bending your knees even more.
- Now jump forward as far as you possibly can while swinging your arms forward.
- Try to land as softly as you can while making sure your knees are bent, trying to remain in an athletic position. Try not to fall or bounce about. You can use your core to keep still.
- Do 8 reps.
Most people enjoy a good swim, especially in the summer when it is hot. Swimming is what most people refer to as a total body workout. Once you enter the pool, your workout session has started. This is because, at that point, your muscles have to keep you from sinking and drowning by fighting gravity. Since swimming engages so many muscles, it is also effective when it comes to burning calories. It is said that swimming for only one minute can burn approximately 14 calories. The longer you swim, the more calories you burn. Furthermore, the type of stroke you use also makes a difference when it comes to the number of calories you can potentially burn. For example, the breaststroke burns fewer calories compared to the butterfly.
From that, we can see the best way to make swimming a good calorie burn for you is to try and swim as long as possible. Try to also change the intensity by swimming as fast as you can. Remember, the more intense an exercise program is, the more calories it burns.
This yet another exercise that involves jumping. (Maybe jumping is the secret to burning calories?) If you’ve seen any boxing movie, you will notice the actors have to jump rope at some point to get all fit and ripped. Jumping rope is a fat-burning exercise that should be included in almost everyone’s workout program. It is easy, there are not so many people in this world who don’t know how to jump rope. It is cheap; the only equipment you need for this is a piece of rope and some comfortable shoes.
Jumping rope helps improve foot speed, and it burns a lot of calories. It is effective when it comes to creating shoulder strength and coordination, as well as increasing one’s athletic ability.
When you jump rope for about 30 minutes, you can approximately lose about 500 calories (3). A good way of making this exercise effective is by doing intervals of fast and slow jumps. You can also just jump for one minute then rest for about 30 seconds. Repeat this until you feel exhausted, and you should be okay.
You want to burn off that extra fat, climb stairs. This might seem like a straightforward exercise, but it is also very effective when it comes to burning fat and calories. One can easily burn up to 500 calories by climbing stairs at a moderate pace (3). Remember, the higher the intensity of the workout, the more calories you are likely to burn. So, if you increase your pace or add a resistance band, you are likely to burn even more calories.
Climbing stairs differ from normal walking since climbing stairs involves a higher leg lift compared to walking. This also means climbing stairs uses more muscles compared to walking. It helps strengthen your legs. For people who have knee problems, stair climbers are not recommended for you, as it can cause a strain on people’s joints.
This is one exercise that most people fear. Most people say it is hard, but the good thing about a hard exercise is that it is proven to be working. Burpees help with fat burning by engaging many muscles. This is helpful in toning one’s legs and for training the core.
How to do it (1)?
- You start by standing straight then lowering yourself into the squat position. Make sure your hands are on the ground just right in front of you while doing all this.
- Then kick back your legs until you enter into a plank position. After you do this, return your legs to the original squat position.
- Jump as high as you can and then return to the squat position.
- Repeat this process as many times as you can.
Yes, just the normal sprints people do can be very effective when it comes to burning fat. Sprinting helps increase one’s speed, athletic ability, and keeps you fit and lean (3). It can also help boost one’s muscle performance.
How to do it?
- First, get into a lunge position with your back at a 45-degree angle, and your weight shifted forward.
- Drive through the big toe so you can take big, powerful steps.
- Sprint for ten seconds, and then rest for 30 seconds before starting your next sprint.
- While sprinting, try as much as possible to shift your hips quickly. The faster you shift your hips moving forward, the quicker you move.
- You can make at least 5 sprints and call it a day.
The Bottom Line
Instead of searching for how to lose 15 pounds in 4 weeks, you should look at healthy ways of losing weight. If you want to lose weight rapidly, you can always consult a dietitian to see if it advisable for you to do so. Weight loss programs should be sustainable because if not, they could lead you to gain more weight than you had before and may result in other health conditions.