• Autumn Bates, CCN, MS

How Long Should It Take To Lose 20 Pounds?

Updated: Oct 1, 2020

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It's human nature to compare ourselves to others (although, this isn't always best for us). We want to know exactly how someone else achieved the goal that we're looking to achieve so that we can follow in their footsteps. And this includes the time that it takes other people to achieve said goal.


The same goes for weight loss. Today, I'm sharing the truth on how long it actually takes to lose 20 pounds and 5 strategies for how you can ramp up your weight loss progress.


Related: 20 Simple Ways To Lose Belly Fat In One Week

How Long Should It Take To Lose 20 Pounds

How Long Should It Take To Lose 20 Pounds?

As a Nutritionist, it's not an uncommon question that I get asked: "how long will it take me to lose 20 pounds?"


Traditional Nutrition knowledge will give you a very mathematical answer. It will go along the lines of this: "If you are in a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day, then you will achieve one pound weight loss per week. At this rate, you will achieve 20 pounds of weight loss in 20 weeks."


But guess what? They're wrong.


How quickly you can expect to lose weight depends on factors such as:

1. How much weight you have to lose

Generally, the bigger your weight loss goal is, the faster your body will utilize fat as a fuel source.


2. The types of meals you're eating.

Even if you're eating a "low-calorie" diet, you may still be eating foods that spike your storing hormone insulin, making it impossible to turn on the fat burning process called lipolysis.


3. The quality of sleep you're getting.

Sleep is almost equally as important as the food you're eating when it comes to weight loss. In fact, studies show that poor quality sleep significantly increases your risk of weight gain and obesity.(1)


The body is not this simple, and in all truth of the matter, there's no real way to determine exactly how fast you will lose weight. There are many factors outside of exercise and the food you eat that have a major impact on how quickly you will reduce your body fat percentage. (Note that I said "body fat percentage" and not "lose weight". This is a crucial difference and one that measures REAL results.)


Related: How To Measure Body Fat Percentage.


Examples Of How Long It Takes To Lose 20 Pounds

I do find that it's important to get an idea of what you can expect for how long it takes to achieve your weight loss goal. While following strategies that focus on the fat storing hormone insulin and reducing the frequency that it's secreted, here are some example results:


How Long Should It Take To Lose 20 Pounds?

At age 54, Ron lost over 70 pounds in 6 months, which averages out to be a weight loss of 20 pounds in slightly less than 2 months.

Related: How Ron Lost Over 70 Pounds In 6 Months At Age 54


How Long Should It Take To Lose 20 Pounds?

Monica, a first grade teacher lost around 25 pounds in just 4 months.

Related: How Monica Lost Nearly 25 POUNDS In 4 Months On ACCIDENT


How Long Should It Take To Lose 20 Pounds?

Karola, a scientist in Canada, lost over 33 pounds in 6 months, which averages out to be a weight loss of 20 pounds in a little over 3 months.

Related: How Scientist Karola Lost Over 33 Pounds In 6 Months With Intermittent Fasting


So how do you lose 20 pounds and achieve your weight loss goal? Scroll down for my top 5 tips. (hint: counting calories is not involved.)


How Long Should It Take To Lose 20 Pounds?