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Dr Clare Morrison

Article by Dr Clare Morrison

How much weight can I lose in a month?


Do you have a wedding or a holiday on the horizon, or just want to lose some weight in the next few weeks? Whatever your motivation, shedding a few kilograms is good for your health and self-esteem. Let’s look at how to lose weight in a month, see what a realistic goal is and explore some strategies for achieving this.

How much weight can I lose in a month?

It is perfectly possible to lose up to 10 KG (about 1.5 stone) in a month. However, this may not be the best approach because there is a high chance you will put the weight back on quickly – crash diets are not very sustainable and people often return to their normal habits afterwards.

If you want to make a longer-term change, it is usually better to set a lower but more achievable target each month. Perhaps aim for losing 2kg each month for the next six months.

That said, if you want to know how to lose a stone in a month (or a similar amount of weight), some of the tips below may help. Bear in mind, however, that what is achievable for you depends on your current weight, height, gender, medication you take and other lifestyle factors.

How to lose a stone in a month: strategies to follow

If you are looking at how to lose weight in a month, it is important to approach the problem from a few different angles. These include:

Know your current weight and set a goal

By far the most important place to start is to measure your current weight and set a target.  The simplest way to do this is to weigh yourself on some scales. However, while this gives you a rough idea of your weight, it can fluctuate a lot throughout the day. A more accurate measure is the BMI – there are many body mass indicator calculators available online.  Alternatively, you could use a measuring tape and note how much you lose over time from your hips or belly.

Next, you need to set a goal. As noted above, although we all want to lose weight fast, aiming for a big goal like a stone in one month is not always sustainable. Remember that ‘slow but steady wins the race’. All the same, if that is your target, remember to think about what you will do the following months to keep to your new size – losing weight sustainably is about long term thinking and lifestyle changes.

Calorie deficit

A calorie deficit is one of the best ways to reduce your weight. To maintain their usual weight, most people need to eat around 2000 calories per day. So, if you consume less than that you will naturally start to shed the pounds.

Of course, the exact amount varies from person to person, so it is useful to download an app which can calculate your personal plan. Calorie counting apps can be really helpful as they help you calculate the number of calories in the food you eat. Although there will be some variation between what you eat and the numbers recorded, it is convenient and easy to record how much you have eaten each day and stick to your target.

Follow a manageable exercise routine

We all know that exercise is essential for losing weight. However, if you have a busy lifestyle finding the time to fit that exercise in can be really difficult. Fortunately, you don’t have to join an expensive gym or run hundreds of miles to start to see a difference. There are many exercises you can easily fit into your lifestyle or do at home. Try to:

  • Add some walking to your commute. If you normally travel to work by train or bus consider getting off the transport one station or stop early and walking the rest of the distance to your place of work/home.
  • Use the step counter on your phone. This can tell you how far you have walked each day and can motivate you to move more.
  • Following free online exercise videos. There are countless free workout videos on YouTube which you can follow in your lounge or bedroom – they are often as short as 5 to 10 minutes.

Following a healthy diet

A healthy, balanced diet involves a mix of all of the main food groups. The NHS recommends a diet that includes:

  • 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day
  • Meals based on higher fibre starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta
  • Some dairy or dairy alternatives
  • Protein such as beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat
  • Small amounts of unsaturated oils and spreads
  • 6-8 glasses of water per day

By simply following a healthy diet and cutting out junk food that is high in fat, sugar and salt, you may immediately notice a big difference.

Consider weight loss medication

Weight loss medication is also an option to consider when used in conjunction with a wider weight loss plan. These include:

  • Orlistat: Orlistat is a medication which stops your body from absorbing some of the fat in your food and stops it being digested.
  • Xenical: Xenical is a non-brand medication which has the same active ingredient as Orlistat, but at a lower price point.
  • Alli: Alli is a less powerful dose of Orlistat and is available over the counter.

When taken in conjunction with a more well-rounded diet and exercise, weight loss medication can help you shed pounds even faster.

Knowing how to lose weight in a month

If you are looking to lose weight fast it is totally possible, as long as you follow a plan and use techniques which work for you.  Once you have started to lose weight it is important to keep going and focus on a slow but steady decrease. Everybody runs into roadblocks and has disappointments from time to time, but achieving your goals and getting to size you want to be will feel fantastic, so keep on going!

Dr Clare Morrison
Dr Clare Morrison
Experienced General Practitioner in Hampshire since 1995, with particular interest in Nutrition, Obesity and Smoking Cessation.
Originally published August 30 2019, updated August 30 2019