Losing 15 pounds in two months isn't easy, but it certainly is achievable. According to MayoClinic.com, a healthy, sustainable rate of weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds per week. By staying strict and keeping on track you can hit the upper limits of these recommendations and reach your goal without having to resort to drastic measures or crash dieting.
Check with your health care provider before embarking on a diet and training plan. Avoid resorting to fad diets or extreme eating plans as these can be detrimental to your well-being and aren't sustainable in the long-term.
Reduce your daily caloric intake by 500. It takes a caloric deficit of 3,500 to lose 1 pound of fat, so consuming 500 fewer each day will lead to a pound of weight loss each week from diet alone. The United States Department of Agriculture's guidelines advise that to maintain weight women should eat between 1,800 and 2,400 calories per day and 2,000 to 3,000 for men, so to lose weight, you must eat 500 fewer calories. Use these figures as a guide and adjust them accordingly.
Perform cardiovascular exercise each day. Your energy expenditure should also total 500 calories daily to ensure another pound of weight loss each week from exercise. Choose higher calorie-burning exercises such as running, cycling and swimming, advises David Robson, owner of Elite Physique Training Studio. All of these burn roughly 600 calories per hour, depending on your weight and intensity.
Lift weights twice a week. Weight-training not only builds muscle mass, it also boosts your metabolism which leads to a greater rate of weight loss, claims Dr. Len Kravitz of the University of New Mexico. Focus on multi-joint moves such as squats, dumbbell presses, chinups and the plank, as these hit more muscle groups and burn more calories. Perform four to five exercise per session, hitting all your major muscle groups and do three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions on each. If you're not sure of the form on any exercises ask a trainer at the gym for help.
Monitor your progress once a week. While your weight loss might fluctuate, you should aim for the 2-pounds-per-week mark. If you're losing less than this, lower your calorie intake by another 100 to 200 per day and increase the intensity or duration of your exercise. Always weigh yourself first thing in the morning on an empty stomach to get an accurate result.
Mike Samuels started writing for his own fitness website and local publications in 2008. He graduated from Peter Symonds College in the UK with A Levels in law, business and sports science, and is a fully qualified personal trainer, sports massage therapist and corrective exercise specialist with accreditations from Premier Global International.