How to lose 10 pounds in (about) a month—safely and sustainably

by | May 10, 2022 | Last updated May 11, 2022

  • It’s possible to lose 10 pounds in a month, but it’s not recommended. Five weeks is more realistic at a safe rate of losing 1–2 pounds per week.
  • Tracking your food intake, overcoming emotional eating, and choosing more low-caloric density foods can help you reach your goal weight.
  • Instead of crash dieting for a month, lose weight for the long term by making small, sustainable lifestyle changes.

Say your favorite dress has gotten a little snug—or maybe you’re planning a beach vacation—and you want to lose 10 pounds. How long will it take?

Can you lose 10 pounds in a month? Is it realistic?

While it is possible, it typically isn’t advisable. 

Most experts recommend taking 5 weeks instead, as that’s a healthier rate.

So let’s talk about how to lose 10 pounds in (about) a month in a safe and sustainable way.

Note: Consult with your medical provider before making dietary changes.

Ready to make a lasting change?

A healthier you, wherever you are.

But first—how much weight can I lose in a month?

The CDC’s recommendation for safe weight loss is at a rate of 1–2 pounds per week.

So, is it possible to lose 10 pounds in a month? Yes, but 5 to 10 weeks is a more reasonable and healthier estimate.

“For most people trying to lose weight in a sustainable, safe way, 10 pounds in one month is unlikely and not recommended,” said Noom Coach Lexie Abplanalp, a certified health and wellness coach.

“Typically, when we see someone drop a significant amount of weight in a short amount of time, we find the results are not sustainable.”

And keep in mind that age, sex, and starting weight are all factors in how quickly you can shed pounds. So, what does a sustainable rate of weight loss look like?

“Noomers can expect anywhere between 0.5 and 2 pounds of weight loss per week on average,” said Abplanalp.

How to lose 10 pounds with Noom

To lose 10 pounds in 5 weeks, you need to maintain a calorie deficit to lose 2 pounds a week (which means you consume fewer calories than you burn).

To achieve that deficit, it can be tempting to try the latest fad diet that restricts certain foods to help you lose weight fast.

But here’s the problem with those diets: They’re not sustainable.

Restrictive diets can lead to overeating—or even giving up on your weight loss goals completely. And when you “fall off the wagon,” you may gain back every pound that you lost.

With Noom, you’ll learn how to maintain a calorie deficit to lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way—without feeling hungry or deprived.

Eat more low-caloric density foods

At Noom Weight, we believe that no foods are inherently “good” or “bad.” Some are just more calorie-dense than others (meaning, some have more calories relative to their volume).

For example, an apple and a scoop of ice cream are roughly the same size, but while the ice cream has around 200 calories, an apple has half as many.

Low caloric density foods (like apples) are typically full of fiber and other nutrients, so they’re satisfying. And when you fill up on low-caloric density foods, you can indulge in an occasional treat and still maintain a calorie deficit.

We also believe here at Noom that you should indulge occasionally, whether your favorite treat is ice cream, potato chips, or sugary cereal with a cartoon character on the box (we’re not here to judge).

Why? 

“When we call a food ‘bad’ in our heads,” said Abplanalp, “think about the impact that will have on how we feel emotionally after eating it.”

Noom makes it easier to develop healthy eating habits with our three-color system.

  • Green foods (like fruits, veggies, and whole grains) have a low calorie density
  • Yellow foods (like lean meats, rice and pasta, and healthy fats) have a medium calorie density
  • Red foods (like ice cream) have a high calorie density

With Noom, you’ll enjoy foods from all three categories (no food is off limits!), but this system makes it easy to choose more green and yellow foods, which create a feeling of fullness while helping you maintain a calorie deficit.

Address the emotional aspect of eating

At Noom, we understand that losing weight is more complicated than just choosing low-caloric density foods.

It’s also about addressing the emotional side of eating so you can understand why you make the choices you do and develop healthy, sustainable habits.

For example, do you—as many of us do—turn to your favorite foods for comfort after a difficult day? When you recognize that stress is what’s causing you to crave potato chips, you can choose to take a walk or meditate instead.

You can also stock your kitchen with low-caloric density foods, like fruits and veggies, instead of potato chips and other red foods. That way, when you come home from a stressful day (or if you just need a snack), you have healthy options at your fingertips.

But some days, you’ll give in to your cravings—and that’s okay.

Part of reframing your mindset around food is giving yourself permission to treat yourself now and then without feeling like you’ve “cheated” and ruined everything you’ve worked for. (We call this “all-or-nothing” thinking.)

“The biggest obstacle I see is people making a decision they view as a mistake or bad and ‘starting over’ the next day or next week,” said Abplanalp.

With Noom Weight, you’ll receive short, digestible daily lessons based on psychology to help you overcome this all-or-nothing thinking and other thought distortions that prevent you from reaching your weight loss goals.

“One decision doesn’t have to define how the rest of our day or week goes,” said Abplanalp. “This isn’t a test, so you can’t cheat—and there is no wagon to fall off either!”

Track your food intake

Research shows a strong positive relationship between diet monitoring and weight loss. Food tracking can help you stay in a calorie deficit and enables you to:

  • See how many calories you actually consume
  • Learn which foods you can fill up on for the fewest calories and which ones to enjoy in moderation
  • Recognize what a proper portion size looks like

With a food tracker app (like Noom’s), all you have to do is provide your age, sex, and weight loss goal, and it will calculate your daily calorie budget for you. As you log your meals, it then calculates your calorie intake.

When you enter an item into the Noom food tracker, it shows you whether it’s a green, yellow, or red food to help you maintain a good balance of all three. The tracker also has a searchable database of delicious and healthy recipes to try and even shows you how they fit into your calorie budget.

Ready to make a lasting change?

A healthier you, wherever you are.

What else can help me achieve maximum weight loss in a month?

While maintaining a calorie deficit is the key to losing weight, there are other factors that can help you stay on track to reach your goal weight.

Coaching and support

Losing weight is never easy, but it can be especially challenging when you go it alone. With Noom, you’ll have a 1:1 coach (plus a whole community of Noomers) who can help you stay motivated and accountable.

They’ll support you by:

  • Suggesting healthy food swaps, recipes, and activity ideas
  • Helping you meal plan and prepare for challenging situations
  • Talking you through a frustrating plateau
  • Celebrating your success and cheering you on when things get tough

Your coach can even look at your food log to help you identify unhealthy eating habits and patterns that prevent you from reaching a healthy weight.

They can also help you build a healthy mindset around losing weight in a short time frame.

“I would reframe the goal,” said Abplanalp.

Is your true goal simply to see 10 pounds gone? Or is it to feel good when you get dressed for a date night with your partner, or have more confidence in photos, or energy to play with your kids?

“When we shift the goal from a specific number to a specific why, we create space for gradual, meaningful change,” said Abplanalp. “This is where the work really begins!”

Exercise

Exercise is not a requirement for weight loss, but it’s a positive habit that comes with many health benefits.

Physical activity can improve your:

  • Cardiovascular health
  • Muscle mass
  • Bone strength
  • Mental health

If you’re not currently active, that’s okay! Find an activity that you enjoy and build it into your routine at a pace that works for you, whether it’s dancing, yoga, or biking.

If doing hours of cardio or weight lifting at a crowded gym feels like punishment, don’t! That will only make you less likely to keep doing it.

And start slow. If you’re not active currently, don’t aim to walk 10,000 steps tomorrow—shoot for 200 instead. The next day, shoot for 300, and so on.

Many Noomers who thought they would never be physically active started exercising this way—gradually—and now walk 2–3 miles per day, six days per week.

Sustainable weight loss takes time

Remember that weight loss is not a race. When you try to rush it at a rate that isn’t sustainable by cutting out carbs or sweets (or any food group), you’re more likely to feel deprived and defeated.

“Slow down, focus on one thing at a time, and give yourself grace,” said Abplanalp.

“Losing weight is a process. There will be ups and downs (both literally and figuratively!). Trusting the process and granting yourself permission to move at your own pace will serve you well in the long run.”

Ready to make lasting change? Start your Noom trial here.