How to Lose 15 Pounds in One Month

Losing weight too quickly can be detrimental, and losing around 1 to 2 pounds per week is optimal, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you are overweight, however, or just beginning a healthier diet and lifestyle, it is possible to lose 15 pounds in one month, provided you do it safely.

Step 1
Create a calorie deficit. You need a calorie deficit of 3,500 to lose 1 pound. In other words, you must burn 3,500 more calories than you consume for this 1 pound loss, meaning over a month you need to eat 52,500 fewer calories than you burn. If you break a month down into four weeks, that works out to a 13,125-calorie deficit each week, or 1,875 per day.

Step 2
Reduce your calorie intake. While you don't want to get the full 1,875-deficit from dieting alone, this is where the majority should come from. While calorie deficits of higher than 500 for women and 750 for men generally are often discouraged, if you're very overweight or obese, you can sustain a higher deficit healthily for a prolonged period, writes nutritionist Lyle McDonald in "Rapid Fat Loss." On his Burn the Fat website, trainer Tom Venuto adds that men shouldn't drop below 1,800 calories per day and women below 1,100.

Step 3
Add exercise into your routine. Obtain your maximum calorie deficit through dietary changes, then add in training to take you up to your daily 1,875 deficit. As a guide, 30 minutes of circuit training or rock climbing for a 185-pound person burns around 355 calories. The same amount of stationary cycling can burn 466; boxing/sparing, 400; jumping rope and swimming laps, 444; and racquetball, 311.

Step 4
Lower your carbohydrate intake. Cutting carbs causes your body to lose glycogen -- the stored form of carbohydrate. This may not be fat loss, but if you're aiming purely to lose weight, then the extra few pounds dropped in the first few weeks of low-carbing can help nudge the scales in the right direction. Reduce your consumption of cereals, breads, pasta and sugary drinks, but keep in moderate amounts of vegetables, beans and fruits. Low-carb diets such as Atkins or South Beach often recommend going as low as 20 grams of carbs per day, though the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine advises that you shouldn't drop below 130 grams of carbs per day. Going too low on carbs can affect your mental performance and interfere with mineral absorption.

Step 5
Eat more protein. Protein-rich foods such as turkey, cottage cheese, lean beef and pork, eggs and lentils help keep you feeling full when your calories are lower, but they're also harder for the body to digest. This means you burn more calories breaking them down, thus aiding weight loss, claims nutritionist Zoe Harcombe in "The Harcombe Diet."


Attempting to lose 15 pounds should only be done if you have medical clearance from a health care professional.
Consult your doctor before starting a diet and training regime and cease your plan should you feel unwell.


If significant weight loss is your goal, please consult a fitness or health professional. Having realistic goals and a detailed exercise plan from a highly experienced and qualified professional will ensure your goals are met safely, and most importantly, that your weight loss is sustainable.

Things You'll Need

Low-carbohydrate foods
Protein-rich foods