Reprinted with the kind permission of Dr. Axe.
If you’re reading this and pondering how to lose 20 pounds, I already know something about you: You want to find a fitness program to lose weight, burn fat and look lean. Maybe you want to get that six-pack you’ve always dreamed of or finally fit back into your wedding dress, look great in a swimsuit or just simply feel better.
Whatever the goal, you are certainly not alone. Most people in this world know what it’s like to live with extra body weight, and that it can be a struggle to lose weight.
There are several roadblocks that can keep you from seeing results. You may have already tried dieting, eating less and exercising more, yet still not lost weight like you know you should have. If that’s the case, these common issues may be getting in the way:
- Thyroid issues
- Leaky gut
- Adrenal fatigue
- Cellular toxicity
- Lack of motivation and time
The good news is, I have developed a comprehensive, all-natural weight loss plan and home workout to help you burn the belly fat, lose the love handles, melt your muffin top and banish cellulite fast!
4 Keys for How to Lose 20 Pounds
While the keys to how to lose 20 pounds are simple, they’re also very specific. Yes, there are foods you need to get rid of, but I’m going to point you to the ones that can wreck your metabolism. Meanwhile, you’ll learn about what fat-burning foods to consume more of, what exercise style works best for fat burning and the kinds of supplements that can assist your efforts.
1. Remove the Metabolism Death Foods
These three foods can absolutely ruin your weight-loss efforts. I call these the metabolism death foods. You will want to remove and replace this foods with healthy alternatives if you want to see quick results.
Processed Sugar: Contrary to popular belief, fat isn’t the first thing that will make you fat … it’s consuming too much sugar. Sugar can be hidden under names like corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, juice concentrate, maltodextrin, raw sugar and brown sugar.
These sugars can often be hidden in things that sound like health foods, including fruit juice, granola bars, dressings and protein bars.
What to do instead: Eliminate and replace all of these types of sugar with natural sweeteners like green stevia and raw honey, but even both of these in moderation.
Whole Grains: I know it may seem like “whole grains” like wheat bread are healthy, but most are far from helping your metabolism. Three of the main compounds in grains are gluten, starch and phytic acid, all of which can cause issues. Gluten causes inflammation, starch turns into sugar quickly, and phytic acid binds to minerals, so you are not really getting many nutrients when you consume whole grains.
What to do instead: Replace your daily intake of grains with fruits and vegetables or consuming up to one piece daily of a sprouted grain bread or sourdough. When it comes to using flour, switch to coconut flour — it’s the perfect flour for fat loss.
Canola or Vegetable Oils: Canola oil or other vegetable oils are sure to slow down your fat loss and cause you to store unwanted body fat. Genetically modified hydrogenated oils cause inflammation throughout your body, cellular toxicity and are high in calories.
What to do instead: Replace all vegetable oils with beneficial coconut oil and grass-fed butter to promote more rapid fat loss.
2. Eat the 4 Fat-Burning Foods Daily
Once you’ve removed the metabolism death foods, it’s time to revive your metabolism with the right foods. Here are the top four fat-burning foods to help you master your metabolism and burn fat fast!
Wild Protein: If you want to turn your body into a fat-burning furnace, you’re going to need to eat plenty of quality protein. Proteins are the building blocks of muscles, which support a healthy metabolism. Also, protein is the least likely macronutrient to be stored as fat. Aim to get between 0.5 and 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight a day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, shoot for around 80–100 grams of protein a day.
What to eat: Grass-fed beef, organic chicken, free-range eggs, wild-caught fish like salmon, lamb, venison and bone broth are some of the best foods high in protein.
Coconut: Coconuts contain MCFAs (medium chain fatty acids), a type of healthy fat your body can easily burn for energy. You will want to replace most other sources of fat and oils with things like coconut oil. If you want to know how to steadily lose weight over a period of 30 days and beyond, this is a great start.
What to eat: Coconut oil for cooking, coconut milk in your morning smoothie and coconut flour can replace other flours when baking.
Sprouted Seeds: Seeds that have been sprouted, such as flaxseeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds, are loaded with healthy fiber that can support your fat loss efforts. Also, they are high in protein and contain omega-3 fats, which can help your metabolism.
What to eat: Use chia, flax or hemp seeds in your morning smoothie and in baking.
Nutrient-Dense Vegetables: In order to lose those unwanted pounds, you not only need to be aware of your calories but also focus on getting more nutrients. Vegetables are your highest source of vitamins and minerals, which regulate metabolic function and support organs like your thyroid.
Subscribe to the World's Most Popular Newsletter (it's free!)
What to eat:Green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables are at the top of the list. My favorites are kale, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus and carrots. Steamed, sautéed and cooked in coconut oil are all great choices.
Remember to have protein, fiber and healthy fat at every meal. Also, when consuming carbohydrates, like fruit, it’s better to have them in the morning and around workouts.
One-Day Sample Eating Plan
Breakfast: Coconut Berry Smoothie
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 cup berries
1 scoop grass-fed protein
1 tablespoon sprouted flax meal
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Lunch: Greek Salad
1 sliced chicken breast
1 cup spinach
1/4 cup sliced cucumber
1/2 tomato sliced
1 ounce goat cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Dinner: Organic Meat (bison burger, salmon, chicken)
6–8 ounces organic meat
1 serving sautéed kale
1 serving sautéed broccoli
3. Exercise Less to Lose More Weight
If you want to break through a weight-loss plateau, jumpstart your metabolism and burn belly fat fast, there is no better type of exercise than burst training and Tabata training. This type of exercise can help you lose three to nine times more body fat than traditional cardio* and causes an afterburn effect in your body so you keep burning fat for 36 hours after your workout!1
To learn how to lose 20 pounds, I recommend doing burst training three to four days a week for between 20 and 40 minutes. Many people have seen amazing results with a burst training workout.
Here is an example of a 4-minute Tabata with 40 seconds of burst exercise and then 20 seconds of rest. You would repeat this set 2 to 3 times for a complete workout:
- Sprint on spin bike // Rest
- Fast push-ups // Rest
- Pulsing squats with shoulder press // Rest
- Sprint on spin bike // Rest
- Squat thrusts // Rest
- Plank walk (spider walk) // Rest
- Sprint on spin bike // Rest
- Lunges with shoulder press // Rest
4. Top Supplements for Fat Loss
To fully understand how to lose 20 pounds, then you need to begin taking certain healthy supplements to boost your weight-loss efforts.
1. Grass-Fed Protein Powder
Protein is essential for building lean muscle and supporting a healthy metabolism. Because it can sometimes be difficult to get all the protein you need through eating meat, protein powder is a great supplement for fat loss. You can add it to smoothies, baking or drink it in water or juice.
The best protein powders available are organic whey protein and collagen protein. One of the benefits of whey protein is that it’s a fastest acting protein, so I recommend that you consume right before or after a workout. Collagen is the most easily digested protein and can help heal your body in addition to helping your metabolism. Take 1–2 scoops daily.
2. Green Superfood Powder
Quality greens powders contain fat-burning compounds like green tea, green coffee and rhodiola that can boost your metabolism. They also contain green foods like chlorella, wheat grass juice and kale that can improve your energy and help give you a better workout. Take one scoop before or after exercise.
3. Fish Oil with Vitamin D
Fish oil is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA. These healthy fats reduce inflammation and support muscle synthesis. Vitamin D is a vitamin and pro-hormone that can help balance hormones, which aids in fat loss. Take 1,000 milligrams of fish oil daily and 2,000 I.U. of vitamin D3.
So, you asked how to lose 20 pounds — and the answers are really as simple as that.
*Results not typical, as regular exercise and proper nutrition are essential to achieving and maintaining your desired physique. Even using the same exact program of diet and exercise, be aware that individual results will vary.
Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, is a certified doctor of natural medicine, doctor of chiropractic and clinical nutritionist with a passion to help people eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle. In 2008, he started a functional medicine center in Nashville, which grew to become one of the most renowned clinics in the world.
Dr. Axe founded the natural health website DrAxe.com, which at over 17 million monthly visitors is considered the No. 1 natural health website in the world today. Its main topics include nutrition, natural medicine, fitness, healthy recipes, home DIY remedies and trending health news. Read more about Dr. Axe.