If you weigh more than you’d like to, you probably want to drop weight quickly to achieve your goals. If you’re preparing for swimsuit season, a wedding, or another event that’s 30 days away, you might be wondering how much weight can you lose in a month? The answer might surprise you!
How Much Weight Can You Lose in a Month?
A healthy rate of weight loss is different from the maximum amount of weight you can lose in one month, as rapid weight loss isn't always sustainable long term.
What is Healthy, Sustainable Weight Loss?
A good rule of thumb is to drop 1-2 pounds per week, as this is a weight loss rate you can maintain long term, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports.
In order to lose 1 pound of body fat per week, you must expend about 3,500 more calories than you eat each week.
This requires dropping your current energy intake by 500 calories per day.
Because 7,000 calories equates to 2 pounds of body fat, reduce your energy intake by 1,000 calories daily to achieve a weight loss of 2 pounds per week or 8-10 pounds in a month.
What is Rapid Weight Loss?
The maximum amount of weight you can lose in one month is about 20 pounds, or 5 pounds per week.
But to achieve this goal you’ll likely have to eat just 500-800 calories daily for 30 days vs. 1,200-1,800 calories often recommended during a 1-2 pound per week weight loss.
Diets containing just 500-800 calories per day are classified as very low-calorie diets (VLCDs), which are best suited as medically supervised weight loss programs for people with immediate obesity-related health risks.
That’s because following VLCDs long term puts you at risk of nutrient deficiencies, fatigue, gallstones, hair loss, and other unwelcome side effects of rapid weight loss.
To achieve safe weight loss, stick with a goal of dropping about 10 pounds in a one-month period vs. rapid weight loss.
Sample Calorie Deficits
Below is a list of various calorie deficits and the amount of weight you can lose:
- 500 daily calorie deficits: 1 pound per week
- 1,000 daily calorie deficits: 2 pounds per week
- 1,500 daily calorie deficits: 3 pounds per week
- 2,000 daily calorie deficits: 4 pounds per week
These numbers are just estimates, as everybody's metabolism is different. As a general rule, the more calories you burn (or the fewer calories you eat) the more weight you’ll drop!
What Does Losing Weight in 30 Days Entail?
Shedding pounds involves making simple lifestyle changes that allow your body to burn more calories than you eat on a regular basis.
Following the tips and tricks below can help you safely lose 8-10 pounds in a month!
#1 Alter Grocery Shopping Lists
Foods you’ll likely end up eating are the foods you keep at home, which is why creating smart grocery shopping lists is an important step in losing 8-10 pounds in 30 days.
Make the decision to avoid buying junk food.
Steer clear of chips, fried foods, baked goods, sweets, sugary drinks, pizza, processed meats, refined grains (white bread, white rice, etc.), and other highly processed foods. Instead, choose:
- A variety of fresh fruits and vegetables
- Organic chicken, turkey, fish, seafood, eggs, tofu, or seitan
- Oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, whole-grain cereals, or other whole grains
- Olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, nut butter, olives, or other healthy fats
- Protein powder for meal replacements
- Low-fat milk, Greek yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, reduced-fat cheese, or calcium-rich plant milk
- Coffee or green tea
By keeping only healthy, whole foods in your pantry, slimming down in a month will happen quickly!
#2 Replace Sweetened Drinks with Water, Coffee, or Tea
You probably already know that sugary drinks can hinder weight loss.
Increasing your water intake and cutting out sodas, sweet tea, lemonade, and other sugary drinks can drastically improve weight loss in a month.
#3 Cut Out Alcohol
Eliminate alcohol to drop as much weight as you can in one month. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram and can provide 100-500 calories or more in just a single drink! If you’re unable to nix alcohol entirely, cut back to just one drink or less per day.
#4 Make Time for Regular Exercise
Don’t forget to exercise regularly to drop up to 10 pounds in one month.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise daily up to 60 minutes per day to burn extra calories and enhance weight loss.
The Fit Mother Project 30X (FM30X) provides numerous fat-burning workouts you can easily fit into a busy schedule.
Give a free workout a try by signing up for the Fit Mother Project 3-day weight loss jump start kit today!
#5 Eat Non-Starchy Vegetables and Protein First
Eating lower-calorie, satiating foods FIRST helps fill you up to make eating less at mealtime easier.
Examples of low-calorie, non-starchy vegetables to eat first include celery, leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, and asparagus.
Fill half of each plate with non-starchy vegetables.
Next, eat lean protein foods, which are also low in calories and keep you full for long time periods.
Examples include grilled chicken, turkey, fish, shrimp, other seafood, eggs, tofu, and seitan.
Fill one-fourth of each plate with protein-rich foods to lose a significant amount of weight in one month.
#6 Be Smart When Dining Out
Studies show that eating at home vs. dining out is associated with lower body mass indexes (BMIs). But that doesn’t mean you have to eat at home for every meal.
When dining out at fast-food or sit-down restaurants, consider the tips below to control calories and avoid unwanted weight gain:
- Order a salad with lean protein vs. hamburgers, fries, pasta, or sandwiches
- Include 1-2 vegetables with each meal
- Order salad dressing on the side instead of on the salad
- Choose avocados, Italian dressing, another oil-based dressing, or oil and vinegar instead of sweet-tasting salad dressings
- Avoid fried foods, breaded foods, and gravies
- Choose water, black coffee, or unsweetened tea as your drink
- Say no to appetizers and desserts
- Choose broth-based soups instead of cream-based soups
- Order small portions or eat just half of your meal (take the rest home)
You don’t have to avoid dining out entirely for effective weight loss, but prepare meals at home as often as you can.
#7 Complete Daily Weigh-Ins
Weighing yourself every day enhances weight loss, according to a study published in 2015 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
During your one-month weight loss journey, aim to weigh yourself when you first wake up each morning and record your results in a journal.
Aim to drop 1-2 pounds per week and stay hydrated, so water weight fluctuations don't alter your true body weight.
#8 Enlist Social Support
Dropping weight on your own can be challenging, without somebody keeping you accountable for weight loss failures and successes.
Studies show that wellness and weight loss coaching helps reduce BMI in overweight adults.
The Fit Mother Project 30X (FM30X) offers weight loss coaching from health experts, which can drastically improve success when losing weight in one month is your goal.
Sign up for the FREE 3-day weight loss jump start kit to give it a try!
#9 Try Healthy Food Swaps
Instead of dwelling on the foods you shouldn't eat during weight loss, focus on healthy food swaps instead. As long as your food swap is healthier than its replacement food, you’ll likely cut calories for weight loss. Examples of swaps to try are:
Replace Sweets With:
- Fruit dipped in peanut, almond, or cashew butter
- Dark chocolate-covered almonds
- Fruit-flavored Greek yogurt
- Protein-rich, fruit-flavored smoothies
Replace Sugary Drinks With:
- Ice water with lemon, lime, or other chunks of fruit
- Black coffee
- Unsweetened green tea
- Water mixed with a small amount of fruit juice
- A protein-rich fruit smoothie
- Unsweetened protein-fortified almond milk
- Unsweetened soy milk
Replace Potato Chips and Granola Bars With:
- Pita chips dipped in hummus
- Kale chips
- Baked veggie chips
- Roasted chickpeas
- Fresh veggies dipped in hummus
- Reduced-fat string cheese
Replace White Bread, White Rice, Bagels, and Regular Pasta With:
- Whole-grain bread
- Whole-grain cereal
- Brown rice
- Whole-grain pasta
- Starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes, corn, peas, black beans, lentils, etc.)
Replace Regular Fruit-Flavored Yogurt With:
- Greek yogurt
- Low-fat cottage cheese
- Unsweetened kefir
- Low-fat milk
- Unsweetened almond milk
- Unsweetened soy milk
- Protein-rich fruit smoothies
Replace Bacon, Sausage, Ham, and Other Processed Meats With:
- Uncured turkey bacon
- Fresh, organic meats
- Canned light tuna
- Reduced-fat cheese
- A protein shake or bar
Replace Alcohol With:
- Ice water
- Water with lemon or lime
- Black coffee
- Unsweetened tea
Replace Sweet-Tasting Salad Dressings With:
- Oil-based (unsweetened) dressings
Replace Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, and Brats With:
- Lean turkey burgers wrapped in lettuce
- A veggie or black bean burger wrapped in lettuce
- Ground turkey chili
Replace High-Carbohydrate Breakfasts (Pancakes, Waffles, Bagels, etc.) With:
- A veggie omelet
- Oatmeal with eggs plus fruit or veggies
- Uncured turkey bacon with whole-grain toast and avocados
- Low-fat cottage cheese with fruit and nuts
- A protein shake or bar
By replacing foods that hinder weight loss with healthier items that taste just as great, you won’t feel deprived during your weight loss journey!
#10 Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting helps cut calories so you can reach your goal weight safely.
Try skipping a meal or snack, or eat only between the hours of 10:00 am and 6:00 pm (or another 8-hour window of time).
Another intermittent fasting option is to drop your food consumption down to 800 calories per day – but only do so 2-3 days per week.
Avoid eating fewer than 800 calories every day unless being supervised by a doctor.
#11 Move More Throughout the Day
In addition to regular workouts, alter other parts of your daily routine to boost calorie expenditure for weight loss. For example:
- Walk your dog two times a day instead of one
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator at work
- Park further away while shopping
- Bike to work or the store instead of driving
- Add extra house chores to your daily routine
- Do yard work most days of the week
- Use a standing computer desk vs. a sitting desk
- Take periodic sit-up, plank, push-up, or squat breaks throughout the day
- Do something active with your husband or kids every day
The more you move, the easier weight loss (and healthy weight maintenance) is!
#12 Set Goals Regularly
Studies show that setting goals, even if you don't always achieve them, is an effective weight loss strategy. Set goals related to your:
- Body weight
- Body fat percentage
- Waist circumference
- Workout minutes
- Calorie intake
- Sleeping patterns (aim for at least 7 hours each night)
Write down daily and weekly habits and accomplishments, so you know if you've met weight loss goals. Reward yourself for your successes!
#13 Join the FM30X Weight Loss Program for Women
Joining a weight loss program specifically designed for women can drastically increase your chance of successful weight loss.
That’s because women have unique calorie, nutritional, and weight loss needs when compared with men.
The Fit Mother Project 30X (FM30X) is a structured weight loss plan developed by medical experts with proven success!
It’s helped thousands of busy parents reach their goal weights and keep lost weight off for life. FM30X helps boost your energy so you can become a healthier, happier version of yourself! The program includes:
- Custom fat-burning workouts
- Weight loss meal and menu plans
- Weekly newsletters
- Q & A support from health experts
- Fit mom social media access and support
- Healthy recipes
- Much more
When you’re wondering how much weight can you lose in a month, give FM30X a try! Sign up for the FREE 3-day weight loss jump start kit!
You’ll receive a FREE weight loss workout, FREE healthy eating plan, FREE email coaching support from medical experts, and FREE private fit mom Facebook group access. Try it out today to drop 8-10 pounds in just 30 days!
Erin Coleman, R.D.
Writer, The Fit Mother Project
Erin is a registered dietitian who earned a nutritional science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she worked as a health educator for the department of internal medicine.
Her published work appears on hundreds of health, fitness, nutrition, and medical websites – including doctors’ offices, rehab centers, urgent care clinics, and hospitals.