• Autumn Bates, CCN, MS

How Long Should it Take to Lose 20 Pounds?

Updated: May 27

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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.

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

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. Learn more HERE.)

Today I'm sharing with you 5 overlooked factors of weight loss that will help you to lose the 20 pounds (or more/less) faster than simply counting calories and exercising. (hint: counting calories is not involved.)

Pssst... want to checkout how Lane lost over 20 pounds in a few months? Learn how HERE.

1. Up your magnesium intake.

Chances are, you aren't getting enough magnesium. As a result, your sleep quality is likely suffering. Low quality sleep is strongly linked with weight gain and obesity... but why?! Sleep is the time where your body rests (duh) and repairs. If this process doesn't occur or if it doesn't occur the way it should (ie poor sleep quality), then this increases your body's stress hormone cortisol the next day. This up-tick in cortisol leads to fat burning mechanisms being shut off and increased weight storage around the belly.

Magnesium supplements and magnesium rich foods - such as almonds and pumpkin seeds - help to naturally boost your sleep hormone melatonin, which allows for deep, restful zzz's.

2. Switch from running to walking.

Remember how increased cortisol leads to weight gain around the belly? Too much running or even too much exercise in general can lead to excessive amounts of cortisol and therefore weight gain. Yup - your workout routine may just be working against your goals. Walking, on the other hand, can reduce your cortisol levels and tap into fat burning mechanisms. Get the science-y deets with the video below.

3. Stop counting calories.

The theory of counting calories relies on the assumption that we KNOW how much we're burning everyday... which we don't. It also relies on the assumption that our body's are simple machines that equivocally burn energy on any given day... which it doesn't. Stressing yourself over trying to juggle these assumptions and continuously make stab in the dark guesses at how many calories you should be consuming is likely just going to increase your cortisol levels. And as we know, that's not a good thing.

Get the details on why counting calories doesn't work HERE.

4. Eat avocado, olives and nuts/seeds.

For a very long time, most of America was terrified of eating any fats for fear of gaining weight or developing heart disease. As we know now, fats are not only essential for heart health, it's ALSO a key aspect to weight loss! Fat acts on your satiety hormones - namely CCK - by turning them on and reducing your appetite. This helps to keep cravings in check and reduce the urge to snack on weight gain promoting sugar.

Try topping your Cauli Rice Burrito Bowl with avocado and pumpkin seeds. You'll even get that sleep inducing magnesium in, too!

5. Shift into fat burning with Intermittent Fasting.

Intermittent Fasting increases fat burning without having to reduce your calorie intake. It does this via a variety of pathways, including boosting your growth hormone and testosterone. These two hormones help to increase your fat burning mechanisms while also protecting your muscles from breakdown. With typical calorie restriction, you run the risk of breaking down your muscles at the same time as fat. Intermittent Fasting helps to protect you of this while also working toward your wellness goals. That's a win, win!

Turn on your fat burning mechanisms AND eat food that actually tastes GOOD! Join thousands of men and women around the world (like Lane!) in achieving your wellness dreams with The Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle!

Get meal-by-meal guidance, 100+ recipes, 3 week workout plan, restaurant guide and MORE - all designed to help YOU achieve your goals!

Get started TODAY!

Your Nutritionist,


Autumn Elle Nutrition


Manhattan Beach, CA



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Medical Disclaimer

This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors, nutritionists and/or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Autumn Elle Nutrition nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

© 2020 by Autumn Bates, CCN