How To Lose 30 Pounds – 10 Science-Backed Steps
How to lose 30 pounds in a month and keep it off for good!
If you’re wondering how to lose 30 pounds fast but safely, this article will help.
Losing 30 pounds is an ambitious goal, and can be a challenge to achieve without careful planning.
To lose that much weight, it takes time, planning, dedication, and some willpower to reach your goal.
From sleep schedule to eating plans, and workouts, it takes adjustments to lose 30 pounds.
Still, building the right habits in your daily life can help you achieve a 30-lbs weight loss.
This article goes over what you need to do to lose 30 pounds and keep it off after.
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Here’s How to Lose 30 Pounds Fast and Safely
Let’s look at some helpful tips to drop those 30 extra pounds.
Read next: How to Lose 50 Pounds As Quickly As Possible
1. Reduce Calorie Intake
It may seem basic, but calories-in, calories-out still holds true.
An easy way to reduce the number of calories you are eating is to swap out high-calorie foods for nutrient-dense foods instead.
Good food includes fruits, veggies, legumes, whole grains, lean meats, or those “clean foods” we discussed earlier.
These foods provide more nutrients to support healthy body weight while also having a lower caloric load than most processed foods.
This is a great way to choose a low-calorie diet without trying to solve a complex math equation every day.
Reduce your intake of packaged items such as sweets, cookies, crackers, and chips.
These items are often high in calories, carbs, and added sugars and low in nutrition.
If you prefer to track your calorie intake, you can do so through many different apps on your phone or by using a food diary.
Calorie ranges differ based on age, height, gender, activity level, and many other factors.
A general calorie range for women is anywhere from 1600-2200 calories a day and 2000 to 3200 a day for men (1).
If you are unsure what your daily energy requirements should be for effective weight loss, consider speaking to a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) for more tailored ranges.
You can also use our weight loss calculator to figure out your daily calorie intake.
2. Eat a High Protein Breakfast
Eating a healthy breakfast is a big component of a healthy diet.
Weight loss is all to do with developing healthy eating habits and maintaining them.
Let’s start with breakfast.
Starting your day with breakfast daily has been shown to help with weight loss by science.
Research has found that more than 75% of people who succeed in losing 30 pounds and keep it off eat breakfast.
Starting a day with a healthy meal can help balance hunger levels throughout the day. It can also keep your metabolism running at its best.
What’s equally important is having the right breakfast.
Studies have found that the best type of breakfast for weight loss is one high in lean protein (2).
Aim to get a minimum of 10-15 grams of protein at your meal from a high-quality, lean protein source.
Good sources of protein include eggs (whole egg or egg whites), meat, poultry, and dairy.
Plant-based protein sources include:
Tofu, beans such as black beans and pinto beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
Toss some black beans in a salad or add some nuts to your morning oats for an inexpensive protein boost.
Check out more delicious high-protein breakfast ideas here.
The Best High-Protein Foods Breakfast
The best high-protein foods are going to be your favorite foods.
If you don’t like a protein source, such as peanut butter, don’t force yourself to eat it.
Some high protein breakfast ideas include:
- Oatmeal with peanut butter or protein powder
- Greek yogurt with granola and berries
- Cottage cheese and fruit
- veggie omelet
- a protein shake or a smoothie with protein powder or greek yogurt added
- tofu veggie scramble
- a half a bagel with smoked salmon and cream cheese
Also, consider adding in some healthy fats to help with satiety as well.
You can find these good fats in foods such as salmon, mackerel, and other fatty fish olive oil or other unsaturated oils, nuts, and seeds.
The best way to feel satisfied after a meal is to include a heart mixture of both these nutrients.
The more satisfying your meals the less you will be reaching for snacks in between.
This means reaching your target weight sooner.
4. Cut Back on Processed Carbs
Packaged and highly processed foods can wreak havoc on your weight loss goals.
Snack foods such as cookies, crackers, chips, candy, and other packaged items are commonly made up of highly processed carbs.
These are the exact foods you need to avoid when trying to lose weight.
Although carbohydrates are one of the essential food groups, eating processed carbs often can result in weight gain and risk for chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
This is because they often contain extra calories from all the added ingredients.
High amounts of processed sugars can also cause problems with our hormones that can affect our waistline.
Swap out some of these snack foods for natural carb sources such as fruit, sweet potato, whole grains such as oats and whole-wheat bread, whole grain pasta, and brown rice.
5. Eat More Veggies
As most of us have heard for years growing up, we should be eating our veggies.
If you are like most Americans, these aren’t commonly on the top of the list when it comes to making a menu plan.
Vegetables are an essential component of a healthy diet that will help you meet that goal weight.
Not only are these nutrient-packed plants good for us, but they are also low in calories and often high in fiber.
This means we can eat more, and they help to keep us feeling satisfied.
Adding more of these foods into your daily routine can boost your weight loss and decrease your risk for health conditions.
If you aren’t a big fan of vegetables, consider blending them up and adding them to foods such as muffins or smoothies to help you add more to your diet.
6. Eat More Fiber
High fiber foods are vital for gut health but they also play an important role in satiety, metabolism and promote a healthy weight (3).
There are two types of fiber, insoluble fibers, and soluble fibers.
You can find insoluble fibers in wheat bran, nuts, seeds, beans, and various vegetables such as potatoes and green beans.
Soluble fibers can be found in foods such as oats, apples, lentils, and barley.
Soluble fibers tend to be more viscous, creating a gel-like substance that sits in your gut and prolongs fullness (4).
Both types of fiber have many functions and health benefits.
It’s recommended to consume at least 25 grams of fiber a day for women and at least 38 grams a day for men or 14 grams for every 1000 calories you consume (5).
When increasing your fiber intake, be sure to also increase your fluid intake to avoid nausea or constipation symptoms.
7. Drink Lot of Water
It may not have any flavor, but water is the nectar of life.
With so many tempting beverages around, it’s easy to forget about plain old water.
Unfortunately, a lot of those other beverages contain a ton of added ingredients, most commonly sugar.
This means they can also contain a ton of additional calories.
Although there are no outlined recommendations for required daily water intake, it’s commonly recommended to consume at least 64 ounces of water a day.
If you have trouble remembering to drink enough water throughout the day you can try an app to help you keep track or set reminders to take a drink, such as Hydro Coach or WaterMinder.
If you don’t like the taste of plain water, you can infuse it with various fruits, vegetables, and herbs to give it a subtle flavor, such as cucumber and mint.
Check out these 17 infused water recipes for more ideas.
Healthy Lifestyle Changes
Making these adjustments above along with adding in physical activity are all examples of healthy lifestyle changes.
It’s important not to try and change all these things at once but instead incorporate them slowly into your normal routine.
Make small swaps in your diet and find ways to make the activity enjoyable.
This will help ensure it is more sustainable in the long run.
No one wants to do all this work to lose 30 pounds only to regain the weight again later.
8. Add Cardio to Your Routine
If you haven’t already, consider adding in a little exercise.
An active lifestyle can help you reach your ideal weight faster and improve your chances of long-term success.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 150 minutes of low-intensity aerobic activity a week, such as walking, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity, such as jogging as general guidelines for activity.
You can also do a combination of both.
If you have a gym membership you can add some time on the treadmill machine or try your hand at water aerobics for light exercise that is gentle on the joints but still gets your heart rate up.
Aerobic exercise helps with getting down to and maintaining a healthy weight along with reducing your risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease.
9. Try Resistance Training
Any good workout plan will combine both cardio and resistance training.
Resistance training, also known as strength training, helps to build muscle mass.
Increased lean muscle mass helps to boost our metabolism. This allows us to burn more calories at rest.
You can use free weights such as dumbbells, weight machines, or do circuit classes. You can even perform bodyweight exercises, such as squats to accomplish this.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 2 or more days a week.
Work for all major muscle groups.
This includes legs (hamstrings, quads, and glutes), hips, back, abs, chest, shoulders, and arms.
When adding strength exercises to your routine it’s recommended to meet with a personal trainer or fitness coach.
It’ll ensure you are using proper form to avoid injury.
It’s also important to take proper rest days in between training sessions.
This gives time for the lean muscle tissue to repair and grow.
Choose high protein foods during your snack or mealtime immediately following your workout.
Proper post-workout nutrition ensures healthy lean muscle tissue growth.
Give yourself grace with the scale during this period as a pound of muscle is denser than a pound of fat.
The scale does not always reflect all your progress.
Instead, pay attention to how you feel and how your clothes fit your body.
It can be a better indicator of healthy body composition changes.
10. Give HIIT Workouts a Try
To lose 30 pounds you need to burn more calories than you take in.
HIIT workouts, a.k.a high-intensity interval training is particularly effective in burning calories and fat.
It combines both cardio and muscle-building exercises in one single exercise routine.
The best part? It’s fast and intense.
There is no need for lengthy workouts with HIIT.
HIIT gives you more bang for your buck in the exercise department.
A HIIT program typically includes multiple exercises.
With HIIT, you complete all exercises with short periods of rest in between.
It’s an excellent way to elevate your heart rate and boost your energy expenditure.
Here is an example:
Perform 20 seconds of sprints followed by 10 seconds of rest. This is followed by a combination of exercises such as push-ups, squats, and burpees.
High-intensity aerobics helps to burn off body fat and cut down on weight at the same time (6).
Be sure that you are fueling appropriately for whatever form of exercise you are doing.
Consuming too little and exercising too much can lead to muscle loss. When persisted, it can also lead to nutrient deficiencies.
Fat loss can only happen if you are still providing adequate fuel to sustain your exercise routine.
Is It Possible To Lose 30 Pounds in a Month
The short answer is no, and you shouldn’t try to lose 30 pounds in 1 month.
To lose 30 pounds in a month, you’d need to lose 1 pound a day on average.
While that may be impossible, it’s not a safe practice and can cause a rebound.
It’s certainly not recommended by weight loss experts and it’s unhealthy to lose weight that quickly.
Generally, losing up to 2 pounds a week is considered a steady pace. Alternatively, losing up to 1% of your total body weight a week is also safe.
Depending on where you start, it may take 3-6 months to lose 30 pounds.
Also, keep in mind that weight loss can vary from day to day and week to week.
However, you can also get plant-based sources of protein from tofu, beans such as black beans and pinto beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
Toss some black beans in a southwestern salad or add some nuts to your morning oats for an inexpensive protein boost.
Adequate protein also helps to build and repair lean muscle mass when hitting the gym or adding in a new strength training program to your routine.
How Long Does It Take To Lose 30 Pounds?
Losing weight at a gradual, sustained rate increases the long-term success of keeping it off, so plan on a healthy weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week.
Make the right changes and stay diligent, and you can expect to lose 30 pounds in 3.75 to 7.5 months.
How fast weight comes off varies from person to person.
While it’s tempting to lose 30 pounds rapidly with an extreme diet, it’s usually not the best way to lose it and keep it off.
Losing weight steadily is healthy, and it can also increase your success in keeping it off.
Plan on losing 1 to 2 founds per week for the best sustainable weight loss that’ll be permanent.
Build the right habits and stay diligent. Remember, weight loss is a process.
At a healthy rate of 1 to 2 lbs per week, you can expect to lose 30 pounds in 3-7 months.
Healthy Weight Loss Tips to lose 30 LBS
Here are some other things you can add to your routine that will help you to safely lose those thirty pounds.
- Avoid fad diets – steer clear of very-low-calorie diets or any strict weight-loss regimen that advertises extreme diet measures, such as a 1,000-calorie deficit. These are not sustainable and can cause harm.
- Eat slowly – It may sound simple but eating slowly can be a great way to control your portion sizes. This is because it takes your body at least 20-minutes for your stomach to let your brain know it is full. If you eat too fast, you will get this signal too late (7).
- Get plenty of sleep – studies have shown those who get less than 7 hours of sleep at night are affected by their appetite hormones, leptin (which stimulates hunger), and ghrelin (which stimulates fullness). Ghrelin will decrease while leptin will increase, resulting in a stronger urge to snack and more frequent cravings (8).
- Hold yourself accountable – take progress photos to serve as a reminder for your hard work and dedication, write inspirational quotes or similar content on your bathroom mirror to keep you feeling inspired. You can also hold yourself accountable by using a food journal.
- Reduce stress levels – stress can increase our stress hormone cortisol, which can cause sweet snack cravings and chronically high levels have been linked to increased visceral fat or midsection obesity, inflammation, decreased immune system, heart disease, sleep problems, and infertility (9). Practice guided meditations, yoga, or add in reading or a walk around the block to help reduce your stress levels throughout the day.
The Final Take on How To Lose 30 Pounds
No matter how you look at it, weight loss is a challenge.
With these helpful habits in hand, you will be on your way to that 30 lb weight loss and keeping it off for good.
No more restarting your diet on Monday morning.
Say goodbye to the keto diet, weight watchers, and all. the low-calorie diets that make you miss everything you loved about food.
Choose good food and watch your portion size to improve your eating habits.
Add in strength training and cardio to your routine to help build muscle mass and increase your calorie deficit or get over a plateau.
Always be sure to speak with your physician or family medicine doctor before making any changes in diet or activity.
With these tips in mind, you will be reaching your 30-pound weight loss finish line in no time.