Losing 20 pounds in 30 days is a challenge that requires careful attention to diet and exercise, as recommended by the Mayo Clinic Diet. Maintaining health and making it more likely to keep the weight off into the future requires a steady weight loss of 1 to 2 lbs. per week after the initial higher loss of the first 2 weeks. This program is designed to promote high weight loss in the first phase, and lower, sustainable weight loss in the lifestyle phase.
There are a couple of ways to promote healthy weight loss.
- Eat a healthy diet The first two weeks of the Mayo Clinic Diet are referred to as "Lose It." This phase is designed to encourage high weight loss through adopting healthy habits, including a balanced diet. As with many other diet programs, dieters are encouraged to eat unlimited amounts of fruits and vegetables to suppress appetite and provide nutrients to the body. Other programs, such as the one devised by Dr. Ellington Darden, promotes strict nutrient rationing, dictating a diet of 50 percent carbohydrates, 25 percent fat and 25 percent protein.
- Increase physical activity In addition to taking in fewer calories, losing weight requires burning additional calories. Getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily encourages burning of calories and fat for more rapid and sustained weight loss. Dr. Darden recommends negative-accentuated weight training to increase calorie burning and promote strengthening of the muscles, which increases the body's ability to burn calories more efficiently over a longer period of time.