By: Author Caroline Geoghegan
Posted on Last updated:
Looking to lose 30 pounds in 30 days?
It can be time consuming and challenging to lose weight, especially 30 pounds, but with the right approach and mindset, you have every chance of achieving your goals.
A successful weight loss strategy should look at everything from your eating habits and exercise habits to your sleep schedule and even things like managing your stress levels.
In fact, weight loss requires an entirely holistic approach, not just a look at what you are eating and when.
So if you’re looking to lose 30 pounds in 30 days, in this guide we’ll share some tips and advice for shedding the pounds.
More crucially, we’ll look at whether it’s safe to lose 30 pounds in 30 days.
We’ll look at:
Let’s get started!
There are various factors to consider which will affect how much weight you are able to lose in a month.
These factors explain why some people find it hard to lose weight, whereas others may find it relatively simple.
From factors you can’t control such as your genes, age and gender to factors you can control such as your eating habits and ability to manage stress.
These all play a role in your ability to lose weight.
These factors include:
Let’s take a look at some of these in more detail.
Your genes and family history
Experts agree that conditions like obesity run in families.
So your chances of being overweight are significantly greater if one or both of your parents are overweight or have obesity.
Your genes determine how much fat you are able to store in your body, and where on your body you carry the extra fat.
Your race and ethnicity
Research tells us that obesity rates are highest in certain racial and ethnic minority groups.
According to a 2016 study on the trends of obesity amongst adults in the United States, obesity rates are highest in the following racial groups:
The study also found that Asian American men and women have the lowest rates of obesity.
Adding, however, that this population can still be at risk of disease associated with obesity if they carry extra fat around their abdomen.
Your age and gender
Typically, adults gain weight as they age.
Your sex and gender will also determine where your body stores fat.
Whilst women tend to store fat in their hips and butt, men usually build up fat in their abdomen and belly.
Your eating habits
If you have a diet that is high in calories and fat, you are more likely to find it difficult to lose weight.
In addition, a diet high in processed foods, fast food and sugar has also been shown to have a detrimental impact on weight loss.
Your exercise habits
Various studies have shown that leading a sedentary lifestyle is bad for your health.
There are several negative health impacts linked to being sedentary.
These include an elevated cancer risk, risks for metabolic diseases and musculoskeletal diseases such as knee pain and osteoporosis.
Your sleeping habits
Sleep is incredibly important for general health and wellbeing.
Research tells us that people who don’t get enough sleep may eat more calories and snack more throughout the day.
Related: The best HIIT running workouts to do today to lose weight
In order to lose 30 pounds in 30 days, you’d need to shed 7.5 pounds per week over 4 weeks.
While this may be possible, it is not recommended nor deemed safe to do so.
You then may be wondering: “How much weight can you lose in a month?”
Experts generally agree that a healthy weight loss goal is losing about 1 to 3 pounds per week by following a healthy, balanced diet and exercising regularly.
This means it may take you more than 30 days to lose 30 pounds.
However, the plus side of this is that the results will be more sustainable.
Meaning you will have a better chance of meeting your long term weight loss goals and may be less likely to put the weight back on.
Related: Do you burn more calories on your period? Your common questions answered
If you’re looking to lose 30 pounds in 30 days, you may question whether this goal is feasible or even realistic for you.
Several factors are at play when it comes to how fast you are able to lose weight.
Weight loss shouldn’t be seen as a quick fix, no matter what the fad diets like to tell you.
As we explained earlier, most health experts will tell you that aiming for about 1 to 3 pounds of weight loss per week is safe and realistic.
Moreover, this approach will promote long-lasting weight loss.
The bottom line? It may take you several weeks or months to lose 30 pounds.
Therefore, it is key to set a realistic time frame and review your progress over time at regular intervals.
Related: The best HIIT running workouts to do today to lose weight
If you’re used to working in kilograms, you may be wondering how many kilograms are in 30 pounds.
There are 0.4 kilograms in one pound, so in kilograms, 30 pounds equates to 13.6 kilograms.
Here is a breakdown of pounds to kilograms depending on different weights.
Related: What does it mean to be fat protein efficient?
Scientifically speaking, you need to be in a calorie deficit in order to lose weight.
This means you need to be eating fewer calories than you burn each day.
Your calorie needs will vary based on a number of factors, including your age, gender, weight, height and activity levels.
According to the US Department of Health, you need the following amount of calories to maintain weight:
General guidelines tell us that you need to reduce your calorie intake by about 500 to 700 calories below your baseline.
So if your daily calorie intake is 2,400 calories, you need to reduce your calorie intake by 500 to 700 calories per day to really see results.
The key is to reduce your calorie intake in a balanced way, which means avoiding significant drops in your daily calorie intake.
Dropping your calorie intake completely will do more harm than good in the long term.
It is recommended that you consume at least 1,200 to 1,500 calories each day.
Going below these levels may end up slowing down your metabolism, meaning weight loss may be harder.
Related: Running for weight loss: The most effective running workouts
To lose weight successfully, the general advice is to follow a healthy, balanced diet consisting of whole foods that are high important nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
This means eating regular meals and eating plenty of fruit and vegetables.
It is also recommended you:
Increase your protein intake
Eating more protein is a simple way to better your chances of losing weight.
When you eat a meal that is high in protein, as opposed to a high carb meal, you are reducing the levels of hormones that stimulate feelings of hunger.
Studies have also shown that increasing your protein intake (by double in some cases) can help to significantly reduce the calorie intake, body weight and fat mass over 12 weeks.
Examples of high protein foods are:
Increase your fibre intake
Fibre is found in many plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.
Eating a diet rich in fibre helps to stabilise your blood sugar levels, make you feel fuller for longer and help with digestion.
There is also strong evidence that eating plenty of fibre is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer.
Drink plenty of water
Water is essential for weight loss as your body needs to be performing at its best.
If you’re dehydrated, this can be confused with hunger, making you snack more often.
Drinking plenty of water is also important for general health and wellbeing – after all the human body is made up of 60% water.
Some research even suggests that drinking a cup of water before a meal can reduce your calorie intake.
Aim to drink at least nine cups of water each day.
Related: Carb loading for runners: Foods to eat and mistakes to avoid
You should not ban foods from your diet completely, especially if you like them.
Everyone deserves the occasional treat!
However, it is recommended you reduce your intake of the following foods and beverages:
Multiple studies have shown a link between consuming higher amounts of processed foods and weight gain.
Processed foods like fast food, soda and packaged goods like chips, cakes and cookies are high in calories but low in important nutrients.
Foods high in sugar
Soft drinks, chips, candy, cakes and cookies are all high in sugar (glucose).
Glucose is the preferred energy source for the body and is stored as glycogen in your liver and muscles.
But when glycogen storage is limited, once its limits are exceeded (by eating more calories than your body needs) any extra glucose is stored as fat.
Eliminating your sugar intake completely, however, is not entirely possible or sustainable as many foods contain natural sugars.
The troublesome part is when you eat more sugar than your body can use at one time – which can lead to difficulties with weight loss.
Avoid foods with added sugars, that is sugars and syrups that are added to foods during the preparation process.
Foods and drinks with added sugars, like cakes and pastries, have little to no nutritional value, so it’s best to limit your intake of these where possible.
Believe it or not, a glass of wine can contain as many calories as a piece of chocolate.
Regular drinking can easily contribute to weight gain, so it’s advised you limit your alcohol intake.
Related: The best protein food for runners: What you should know about protein
Regular exercise will help you achieve your weight loss goals sooner.
Studies have shown that activities like aerobic exercise performed 3 to 5 times per week aids with weight loss.
Walking, cycling and running are good examples of aerobic exercise that you can add into your weekly routine.
General guidelines tell us that you should be doing between 150 to 300 minutes of moderate to intense exercise per week.
This works out between 20 to 40 minutes of cardio per day.
Strength training and high intensity interval training (HIIT) are also types of exercise that are good for weight loss.
HIIT in particular has been shown to reduce belly fat, total fat mass and body weight when performed at least three times a week.
Related: Strength training exercises for runners: The complete guide + 30 sample exercises
According to Harvard University, intermittent fasting is a diet that cycles between brief periods of fasting, with either no food or significant calorie reduction, and periods of unrestricted eating.
Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve health markers that are associated with disease such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Supporters of intermittent fasting believe that the stress of this type of diet causes an immune response that repairs cells and produces positive metabolic changes.
Research tells us that intermittent fasting is effective for weight loss – but the results vary.
It is unclear whether intermittent fasting is superior to other weight loss methods with regards to weight loss.
A one-year randomised trial, for example, did not find intermittent fasting more beneficial than calorie reduction.
More high quality studies on intermittent fasting are needed.
Related: Carb loading for runners: Foods to eat and mistakes to avoid
Now you know all about how to lose 30 pounds in 30 days and whether it’s safe, here are some more tips to help with your weight loss efforts.
#1 Reduce your stress levels
Experts generally agree that increased stress levels are linked to a higher risk of health issues like obesity.
When you’re stressed, the stress hormone cortisol is released into the body.
This causes your insulin levels to rise and your blood sugar to drop, meaning you end up craving sugary, fatty foods.
Increased stress levels can also lead to issues like emotional eating and bingeing.
Aim to reduce your stress levels by reviewing your lifestyle.
Stress is normally caused by a number of factors that compound – such as poor diet, poor sleeping habits and leading a sedentary lifestyle.
Maintain physical exercise, good nutrition and connect with others where possible to tame the stress.
#2 Get plenty of sleep
Sleep deprivation is a major cause of weight gain and other health issues.
Improving the quality and duration of your sleep may help you increase the likelihood of hitting your weight loss goals.
#3 Avoid fad diets
Fad diets promote unhealthy eating habits, restrictive eating patterns and unusable combinations of foods.
While some diets promise quick fixes and extreme approaches, they often lack robust scientific evidence to support their claims.
Some diets even demonise certain food groups, and can ultimately lead to cycles of weight loss by weight regain.
In the long term they are not a sustainable approach to nutrition and weight loss.
Focus instead on your diet as a whole and make the necessary diet and lifestyle changes incrementally over time.
Make healthier choices where possible and include variety and balance on your plate.
#4 Plan your meals
Planning your meals such as breakfast, lunch and dinner will help you stick to your calorie allowance.
Oftentimes, people reach for junk food when they don’t have a meal planned after a busy day.
Many people find it helpful to write a shopping list so they are buying the right foods.
#5 Use smaller plates
Using smaller plates helps you to eat smaller portions.
Portion control is crucial when looking to lose weight.
A standard-sized portion will look small on a larger plate, making you feel dissatisfied, so swap for smaller plates.
According to the NHS, it takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain it’s full, so eat slowly and stop eating before you feel full.
Related: Walking 4 miles a day: Is it good for weight loss?
Does chocolate help with period cramps? Everything you need to know
51 inspiring keep pushing quotes to keep you motivated
I'm Caroline, founder of Run With Caroline - the #1 running resource for women! I help women at every stage of their running journey. Got a question? Feel free to contact me at [email protected]
Copyright 2022 Run With Caroline