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Information and exercise tools to help you keep track of your calories burned.


Nutrition and dieting tools to help you keep track of your calories consumed.


Weight loss is more than a fad, it is about healthy lifestyle changes.


All the latest and greatest when it comes to weight loss.

How to Lose Weight in a Month Smartly

woman at computer dieting smartly

While losing weight too quickly is not healthy, there are healthy ways to lose 10 to 12 pounds, the equivalent of one clothing size, in one month. The four keys are changes in diet, changes in habits, increases in exercise or activity, and increases in drinking water.

For most people, a weight loss rate of one to two-and-a-half pounds per week is considered safe. Since one pound represents 3,500 calories, achieving that weight-loss rate presents three choices:

1. Reduce food intake by 3,500 to 8,750 calories a week, or 500 to 1,200 calories per day;
2. Increase daily exercise or activity to burn those calories;
3. Combine a reduction in food intake and an increase in exercise and activity to eliminate those calories.

Any of the three choices achieves the weight-loss goal, but the third choice encourages learning about healthy food choices as well as increasing fitness.

When losing weight, it is easy to focus solely on how many pounds are being lost. However, tracking how many inches are being lost and where they are being lost offers further proof of progress. Tracking the inches lost also lets you know how to adjust your exercises or activities to encourage the loss of inches all over your body. Measure your shoulders, bust or chest, waist, hips, thighs, calves, ankles, upper arms, and wrist before you begin and repeat the measurements each week. Proof of lost inches and lost pounds adds up to motivation to keep going.

Research shows that another tactic that keeps people motivated when they are attempting to make changes in their lives is a system of punishments and rewards. For example, snacking on chips or candy or drinking a soft drink might mean putting a dollar in a shoebox. Not snacking for a whole day might mean taking a little money from the shoe box to buy and download a new tune, game, or mobile app. Create small rewards for small accomplishments and large ones for large accomplishments, but since the goal is to lose weight, don't make the rewards food-related, unless the food is healthy food.

By Dieting

lettuce with tape measure

Diet changes require making healthier food choices, but that may not be all that needs to change. Keeping a food journal shows when and where food is eaten as well as what is eaten. If certain situations prompt snacking, a food journal shows that. If some foods prompt cravings for more foods or other kinds of foods, a food journal also shows that. Reviewing entries in a food journal reveals situations and food-choices that require alertness and caution. When a craving or the urge to snack hits, be sure healthy choices are available. Fruits satisfy cravings for sweets, and a V8T satisfies the need for salty snacks. If the craving for an unhealthy food or snack cannot be denied, eat less of it. Limit yourself to one small scoop of ice cream or one bite-sized candy bar, for example.

When it comes to cravings or the urge to snack, however, most people give up the search if the desired food is not readily available. Those who live alone or with others who want to lose weight can clear the house of temptation. Donate tempting non-perishable items to a food pantry and throw out perishable ones. Those who live with others who are not trying to lose weight should ask roommates, housemates, or family members to keep their tempting snacks in one designated space. It then up to the will power of the one losing the weight to stay out of that designated space.

When shopping, one easy route to follow that leads to the healthiest food choices is to circle around the outer perimeter of the store and avoid the processed, prepackaged foods in the center aisles. The produce and meat departments are usually out along the perimeter. Still, even those departments require some changes.

In the meat department, the leanest choices are poultry and fish. If you must have beef or pork, look for cuts that have little or no fat around the outside and only a fine marbling of fat within the cut. However, at the dinner table, fill up with nutritious fruits and vegetables and reduce the portion of meat. When shopping for bread, pasta, and other grains and carbohydrates, choose brown rice and multi-grain or whole wheat breads, cereals, and pastas.

Those who have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism have lower rates of metabolism, so they may want to limit or avoid fruits, vegetables, and carbohydrates with high-glycemic indexes. Foods with high-glycemic indexes create a faster rise in blood sugar levels after they are eaten, and those with hypothyroidism may not metabolize that higher level of blood sugar quickly enough to prevent the body from storing it as fat. Among the foods with high-glycemic indexes are beets, carrots, corn, peas, red and white potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams, winter squash, bananas, clementine's, grapes, honeydew melons, citrus fruits, watermelons, and raisins, dates, and other dried fruits.

Another way to reduce weight is to reduce fat and salt intake. Reducing fat and salt does reduce flavor, but that is why herbs and spices exist. Search online for spice charts that list the herbs and spices that are best with different meats, fruits, and vegetables. Some charts list the herbs and spices used in various national cuisines. Because flavor is influenced to a large degree by scent, use the charts and a sniff of the nose to choose seasonings when creating variations on recipes, original oil and vinegar salad dressing, or herb and spice blends. Do another online search to find herb and spice blends created by others for inspiration. Mastering creating flavors with herbs and spices is fun and creative, and family and friends will be impressed at dinner

Reducing calories is only part of the plan, though, burning them through increasing levels of exercise and activity is another important part of a weight-loss plan.

By Exercising

feet walking on treadmill

People have many reasons for not exercising or being more active. Doing daily reps of pushups, crunches, and lifted weights doesn't sound inspiring or fun. Further, it takes time to do an exercise routine, especially if it involves a trip to a gym. Becoming more active doesn't have to mean working out alone, although the treadmills, the stair-climbers, and the elliptical and rowing machines provide a way to mix up aerobic activities that helps encourage the loss of inches in different parts of the body. Finding your bmr with a good basal metabolic rate calculator can give you an idea of the amount of exercise you will need to meet your goal.

Running, jogging, and swimming are also all good aerobic exercises, and all can be done with family or friends. Fitness walking is a lower impact aerobic exercise that offers the same benefits as running or jogging without the pounding on feet and knees. While aerobic fitness walking is done at a faster pace, slow the pace and go for a more extended walk for weight loss. Invite friends or family for a walk around the neighborhood or in a park. A good pace for aerobic fitness raises the heart rate, but still allows for conversation.

Dancing is another good aerobic exercise. Sign up for hip-hop or ballroom dance lessons, or join a class in a gym that combines dance and exercise. Online searches for dance steps, exercise dance routines, hip-hop dance routines, step dance routines, and other dance related searches lead to instructional diagrams and videos as well as local classes. Choose the style of dance that is most intriguing for now, and try another later. Use reward money to buy some appropriate tunes and cut footloose.

These changes in diet and increases in exercise or activity all represent changes in habits, but other changes in habit also help with weight loss.

Changing Your Habits

green apple with measuring tap

It isn't only the food you eat affect weight loss, but where and when it's eaten. People can be in the habit of tasting food while cooking, eating while watching TV, or snacking at the desk at work. Keeping an honest food journal will reveal some of those habits, but people who taste-test what they cook may not even think to include those sample tastes in a journal.

One habit to adopt that increases your metabolism from the very beginning of each day is to eat breakfast every morning. If mornings are busy, pick something that is fast to prepare like a highly portable whole grain English muffin and add your choice of a healthy topping.

Break the habit of eating in front of the TV or at the desk at work by eating only at a table from a plate. Eating at a table does not mean eating at a coffee table or at a snack tray in front of a sofa or chair.

Try switching to a different kind of diet food. If all you have been eating are carrots and other veggies, try adding a few weight loss shakes to break up the monotony.

Don't place the serving bowls of food on the table where it is easy to reach for seconds. Place the food onto the plates and into the bowls in the kitchen and bring the food to the table. Leave the bowls of food on the kitchen counters.

Use a smaller plate or bowl to trick the eyes and brain by making smaller portions look larger. Use a larger fork or spoon to trick the eyes and brain into seeing the food disappearing from the plate and believing that a larger quantity has been eaten.

Enjoy the taste of the food while you eat. Eat slowly, chew each bite, and rest your fork between bites. Take a drink between bites or, if others are at the table, engage in conversation.

After you have removed tempting unhealthy snacks from your home and confined the snacks of others to a designated area, make healthy snacks more available by putting a bowl filled with apples, pears, and other fruit on a table or the kitchen counter. When you bring them home from the grocery, clean the celery, carrots, radishes, and other vegetables, Cut the celery and carrots into sticks, and put them into plastic bags with the radishes or other vegetables for a healthy, easy-to-grab snack.

You can also substitute flavored water for unhealthy snacks. Increasing the amount of water you drink also improves weight loss in other ways.

Drinking More Water

drinking water with strawberry

The standard advice for those who are not attempting to lose weight is to drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water each day. Drinking even more water, particularly drinking a glass or two of water before a meal or a glass before, during, and after a meal helps those who want to lose weight feel full, so that they eat less. However, do not use the water to swallow the food without chewing as that can mean eating food faster and thus eating more food.

Drinking water also improves digestion and makes metabolism more efficient, further aiding weight loss. Some studies found that the metabolism of both men and women increased and they burned more calories after drinking a glass of cold water, possibly in an attempt by the body to warm the water.

Increasing activity means more water is needed to keep the body properly hydrated. Add another six ounces of water for each 15 minutes of exercise. Water also helps muscles work more efficiently, so keep a water bottle on hand when exercising and take drinks frequently.

Reduce calories by using water as a substitute for sweet drinks such as soft drinks, smoothies, energy drinks, or alcoholic beverages. Although it should not be counted as part of your daily water consumption, when drinking alcoholic beverages, drink an equal amount of water to reduce the dehydrating effects of the alcohol.

Drinking more water reduces water retention, which, in turn, reduces weight. When the body begins to receive an adequate amount of water each day, it stops retaining the extra water it no longer needs.

Using the four keys of changes in diet, changes in habit, increases in exercise or activity, and increases in drinking water is the way to unlock healthy weight loss over the next month. Then you can share your weight loss success story with others to help motivate and give inspiration.