There are certain reasons that a person might want to lose weight quickly. They may find that setting a monthly goal is helpful when trying to do this.

People can lose weight in many different ways. However, weight loss solutions that work for some people may not work for others.

One way that a person can try to lose weight is to set a monthly weight loss goal. A person who sets themselves a weight loss goal should make sure that it is realistic and safe to achieve.

Read on to learn how to safely lose 10 pounds (lb) in a month. This article also covers some risks associated with losing weight.

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If a person wants to lose weight, they should try to do so in a responsible and gradual manner. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that a person sets themselves realistic weight loss goals.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a loss of 1–2 lb per week is a reasonable goal for most people to achieve. The CDC also notes that a person who loses 4⁠–⁠8 lb per month is more likely to keep the weight off.

Information from the United States Department of Agriculture states that a healthy weight loss routine should consist of:

  • a reasonable and realistic goal for weight loss
  • a nutritionally balanced eating plan with reduced calories
  • regular physical activity
  • a behavior change plan that helps a person achieve their weight loss goals

Although people may associate weight loss with many health benefits, there are certain risks that a person should be mindful of.

The sections below will look at some of these risks in more detail.

Rapid weight loss

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, fasting can increase a person’s risk of developing gallstones.

Gallstones are hard lumps that often comprise cholesterol. Gallstones can block a person’s bile ducts, which can lead to:

  • abdominal pain
  • inflammation of the gallbladder or pancreas
  • severe damage to or infection of the liver, gallbladder, or bile ducts

Losing weight very quickly can also have an effect on a person’s menstrual cycle. Rapid weight loss or losing too much weight can cause a person’s periods to stop or become irregular.

Certain diets

Low calorie diets that recommend a daily intake of 500 calories or fewer can be dangerous.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a person who only eats 500 calories per day may be at greater risk of:

  • gallstone formation
  • improper nerve and muscle function
  • an irregular heartbeat

Also, diets that recommend sticking to one type of food can restrict the nutrients a person takes in. Following a restrictive diet can cause a person to develop a nutrient deficiency, which can lead to conditions such as anemia or rickets.

Getting regular exercise can help people lose weight, maintain their weight loss, and increase their overall health and fitness.

According to the AHA, a person should aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Alternatively, a person can get 75 minutes of intense exercise per week or a combination of moderate and intense exercise.

Types of exercise

Several types of exercise can help with weight loss.

The following sections will look at some of these exercises in more detail.

Cardiovascular exercises

Cardiovascular exercises, also known as aerobic exercises, can be beneficial to a person trying to lose weight.

Cardio exercises increase a person’s heart rate as well as their body’s use of oxygen.

Cardio exercises include walking, swimming, jogging, and cycling.

Resistance training

Resistance training involves a person working their body against a type of force to build strength and muscle. Weight lifting and workout exercises such as pushups and squats are forms of resistance training.

One 2017 study looked at the effects of cardio and resistance exercises on older adults with obesity.

The researchers found that combining cardio and resistance exercises with a weight loss diet lead to the participants losing 9% of their body weight over 6 months.

High intensity interval training

High intensity interval training (HIIT) involves a person doing quick bursts of activity followed by short recovery periods.

In 2017, researchers in Tunisia studied the effects of HIIT on 20 males aged 17⁠–20 years with obesity.

The researchers found that after taking part in HIIT exercises three times per week for 8 weeks, the participants had significant decreases in body mass and body fat.

However, this study did not note the impact of HIIT on females. The sample size of the study was also relatively small.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a person trying to lose 1 lb to 1.5 lb per week should reduce their daily calorie intake by 500⁠–750 calories. However, this reduction in calories may vary from person to person.

For people who want to control their weight, the AHA recommends a diet that focuses on the following foods:

  • a variety of fruits and vegetables
  • whole grains
  • low fat dairy products, such as milk or cheese
  • skinless fish or poultry
  • nuts and legumes
  • non-tropical vegetable oils, such as olive or sunflower oil

The AHA also suggests limiting foods that contain saturated or trans fats. Additionally, it recommends that a person reduces their salt, red meat, and sugary food and drink intake.

Reducing their alcohol intake can also help a person lose weight. The AHA suggests that a person should not consume more than one or two alcoholic drinks per day.

Eating at a slower pace may also help people lose weight. One 2019 study found that people who ate at a slower pace had increased feelings of fullness and greater suppression of ghrelin, which is a hormone that stimulates appetite.

The following sections will look at some of these dietary recommendations in more detail.

Whole grains

Replacing refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pasta, with their whole grain alternatives can also help a person lose weight. Refined carbs lose most of their nutrients during processing.

In contrast, unrefined whole grains are full of nutrients and fiber. Fiber helps the digestive system work correctly and can help a person feel full.

If a person feels fuller for longer, they may be less likely to overeat.

Water intake

A person who increases their water intake or replaces sugary beverages with water may find that they lose weight.

A study from 2014 looked into the effects of increasing water intake on females with obesity.

The researchers discovered that after 8 weeks, the participants had reduced body weight, body fat, and appetite.

However, this study did not look into the effects of increased water intake on males.

The amount of sleep a person gets may have an impact on their weight. The CDC recommends that adults get at least 7 hours of sleep each day.

Research from 2018 found that adults who regularly slept for under 7 hours each day were more likely to develop obesity.

The researchers also found that people with sleep deprivation had higher levels of ghrelin. Ghrelin is a hormone that the body releases to stimulate appetite. High levels of ghrelin may increase a person’s appetite, leading to overeating.

People who do not get enough sleep may not have the energy to get enough exercise.

Also, people with obesity are at greater risk of sleep disorders, which can reduce the quality of their sleep.

A person may find it helpful to discuss their weight loss goals with a doctor. The doctor can help a person determine how much weight would be healthy to lose and which weight loss methods would best suit them.

If a person finds that they do not lose weight after increasing their exercise levels and improving their diet, they may want to speak with a doctor.

Also, a person who finds that they are losing weight rapidly or without reason should speak with a doctor.

There can be various reasons that a person may want to lose weight. If a person sets themselves a weight loss goal, it could make losing weight easier.

Losing 4–8 lb in a month can be a healthy goal for a person to achieve. A combination of a nutritionally balanced diet with reduced calories and regular physical activity can help most people lose weight.

Increasing vegetable, fiber, and water intake can also help, as can eating at a slower pace. A person should also aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep each day.

If a person has any concerns regarding their weight or weight loss efforts, or if they need guidance, they can speak with a doctor.