Girl measuring her waist

How long does it take to lose 20 pounds


How long does it take to lose 20 pounds?

In general, it takes between 10 – 20 weeks or longer to lose 20 pounds.


This is in line with the generally accepted weight loss rate of losing about 1% of your total body weight or 1 to 2 pounds every week. However, keep in mind that factors such as your current weight, age, gender, and lifestyle can influence how fast or quickly you lose weight. Someone with an active lifestyle who spends most of their day on their feet will not lose 20 pounds at the same rate as someone with a sedentary lifestyle. In the same way, a person weighing 250-pounds will not lose weight at the same rate as another weighing 160-pounds as their starting weights are very different.

woman shows off weight loss

Can you lose 20 pounds in 2 months?

Yes, you can lose 20 pounds in 2 months with the right diet plan and weight loss routine.


It takes a deficit of 3500 calories to lose one pound. This means, to achieve your goal in 2 months, you need a calorie deficit of 70,000 calories. In 60 days, this comes to about 1200 calories. While it might take some willpower and discipline from you, it can be done. Here’s how;

  • Reduce your daily calories by 600. This is a moderate calorie reduction that you can achieve easily without feeling too hungry. Start by cutting out sugar-filled beverages, eliminating snacks, and reducing the number of refined carbs in your diet. Eat more protein, fiber, and vegetables. This way, you stay full and satisfied even as you cut calories for weight loss.
  • Exercise to burn off the extra 600 calories. Did you know that a 30-minute moderate rowing session can help you burn as many as 252-calories? With the right weight loss exercise, all you need is an hour each day to burn off calories.  Do these every day, and you will be able to achieve your goal in a little over two months.

woman before and after weight loss

Can you lose 20 pounds in a month?

No, it is not possible to lose 20 pounds in a month. This type of quick weight loss is not safe or recommend as it involves making drastic changes to your diet and lifestyle that are not safe or healthy. Here’s another way to look at how unrealistic this is;

  • To lose 1 pound, you need to create a calorie deficit of about 3500 calories. This means, to lose 20 pounds, you need a deficit of about 70000 calories. To achieve your goal is in a month means creating and maintaining a deficit of 2300 calories. An impossible goal even with the combined efforts of exercise and diet.
  • Most experts recommend that adults eat at least 2000 – 2500 calories to maintain their weight. A calorie reduction of 2300 calories is starvation and cannot be achieved. Even if you aim for a deficit of just 1000 calories, it’s too much and not ideal for healthy weight loss.
  • You will need to spend at least 3-hours exercising every day to burn off 1000 calories. This is an impossible task to achieve in a month for most people, especially for those with busy schedules.


How long does it take to lose 20 pounds final thoughts

It takes anywhere from 10 – 20 weeks to lose 20 pounds with a good diet plan and exercise routine.


However, keep in mind that how fast or quickly you lose weight varies from person to person depending on factors such as your current weight, age, height, gender, and lifestyle.