Trying to get rid of that last 10 pounds and tone up all over is tough; trying to do it in just four weeks is insanity. The good news is that you can move a long way toward your goal in just a month, even without going to the gym. Four weeks isn’t a long time when it comes to losing weight, so be realistic about your expectations -- no more than 8 pounds. Most importantly, do it the healthy way. Don’t starve yourself or resort to extreme diet or fitness measures.
Setting a Goal
First things first, set your goal. A healthy weight-loss goal is 1 to 2 pounds per week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now do a little math. One pound of body weight is 3,500 calories, so if your goal is to lose 2 pounds a week, you need to cut 7,000 calories per week from your diet or exercise it off. That’s equal to 1,000 calories per day. You don’t need a gym to burn all these calories; a healthy low-calorie diet and regular exercise can take care of most of them. Bottom line: Write down a weight-loss goal of between 4 and 8 pounds as your eight-week target.
You don’t have to spend time and money at the gym to get a little exercise each day. The key is to stay active. This means shutting off the TV, getting outside, cleaning the house, taking a walk, playing with kids or even shopping. A 150-pound person can burn about 162 calories per hour shopping and 270 calories spending an hour playing with the kids.
Eat This, Not That
Healthy dieting is the key to weight loss. Cut back on your daily caloric intake by eating more fruits, vegetables, milk and fibrous foods like beans and oatmeal. Avoid sugary snacks, salty treats, soda and artificial fruit juice. Eat about five small meals per day, each between 250 and 400 calories. Drink lots of water; it helps you feel full. Cutting out just one soda per day can cut more than 2,000 calories a week from your diet, equal to nearly a half pound of weight loss.
It’s very difficult to get in shape in only four weeks without doing a little bit of actual exercise. But you don’t need a gym to do basic cardio and resistance training workouts. Spend about 30 to 60 minutes per day exercising. Cardio exercises include a brisk walk, jogging, step aerobics, cycling, rollerblading or swimming. Resistance exercises you can do at home include pushups, crunches, planks, squats, bicep curls and triceps extensions with a couple of milk jugs filled with water, lunges, yoga and shoulder presses. Exercise four to six times per week, follow the dieting tips, and your odds of achieving your four-week weight loss goal are within your reach.
Joseph Eitel has written for a variety of respected online publications since 2006 including the Developer Shed Network and Huddle.net. He has dedicated his life to researching and writing about diet, nutrition and exercise. Eitel's health blog, PromoteHealth.info, has become an authority in the healthy-living niche. He graduated with honors from Kellogg Community College in 2010 with an Associate of Applied Science.