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Healthy Weight Center

How Can I Lose 15 Pounds in 2 Months?

03/12/2009

Question:

How do I lose 15 pounds in 2 months?

Answer:

Thanks for your question. Losing 15 pounds in 2 months is not unreasonable, and can be accomplished with discipline. A pound of weight equals 3500 calories. So, by decreasing your intake by 250 calories per day and also burning up 250 calories (through exercise), you should be able to lose at least one pound per week. This may vary depending on your intake and exercise habits. The best way to lose weight AND keep it off is to change your eating and exercise habits long term. Crash diets may work in the short term, but usually result in weight gain once you resume your usual eating habits. Weight cycling may also lead to binge eating and poor self esteem. These are some tips for weight loss: * Avoid high fat foods (fried foods, processed meats and cheeses, high fat desserts). Fat has more calories than any other food and is stored more easily as fat. Leave off the butter, margarine and gravy and limit salad dressings. * Eat foods high in fiber daily (fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals, dried beans). High fiber foods keep you feeling fuller longer and also help to maintain blood sugar and cholesterol levels. They are also high in vitamins and minerals. * Drink 8 glasses of water daily. Water also helps keep you feeling full and aids in elimination and hydration. * Exercise (walk, jog, bike, swim) for at least 30 minutes 3-5 times per week. Exercise reduces stress, burns calories, increases metabolism and tones up muscles. It also improves sleep, mood and cardiovascular health. If you`re currently exercising, increase the amount of time and intensity of your exercise. * Avoid high calorie beverages and snacks (soda, alcohol, candy bars, cookies, chips). Any excess calories eaten that are not burned up turn to fat. Choose diet sodas, unsweetened tea or coffee or diet kool-aid. * Eat only when you`re hungry, not because of boredom, stress, etc. Listen to your body`s hunger cues. Space meals 4-6 hours apart and don`t skip meals. * Keep a food diary. By writing down what you eat, you`ll be more conscious of what and how much food you`re actually consuming. * Eat at least 1200 calories per day (this may be more depending on your sex, weight and exercise habits). Very low calorie diets are difficult to maintain and may result in muscle loss and malnutrition. For more information about weight loss, search the Diet and Nutrition site of Netwellness for previously answered questions. You may also want to invest in nutrition counseling by a registered dietitian for more individualized meal planning and support. Good Luck!

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Response by:

Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD
Adjunct Faculty
University of Cincinnati