Are you interested in feeling better, looking fitter, and getting healthier?
Knowing how many inches you can lose in a month will help you get realistic expectations and have something to look forward to.
Keep reading to learn just how many inches you can drop each month and get some tips on how to speed up the process!
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How many inches can you lose in a month
The reality is that there is simply no “one size fits all” answer to this question.
It is possible to lose as much as four inches a month around your waist, but this is rare. Most people lose about one to two inches around their waist.
The amount you lose depends on:
- How overweight you were before you began dieting
- How much water weight you were holding onto when measuring
- Your personal metabolism levels
- The amount of exercises you do
- How much food you are eating
- The types of exercises you do
Adding up fully-body measurements of the waist, hips, arms, and legs, most people lose five to 10 inches.
How many pounds do you have to lose to lose an inch?
On average, 8.5 pounds of weight loss will reduce your waistline by one inch (1).
This is going to vary a little because muscle is denser than fat.
If two people have the same weight, but one has more muscle mass, the more muscular person will have smaller measurements.
It may take a little less weight loss to lose an inch if you have a high body fat ratio.
How many pounds can you lose safely in one month?
When talking about how many pounds and inches you can lose in a month, we’re talking about how many you can safely lose.
It is possible to drop fat drastically, but this can lead to major problems, including dehydration, muscle loss, malnutrition, and a slowed metabolism (3).
The CDC recommends people try to lose no more than 8 pounds of fat per month (2).
Is losing inches better than losing weight?
When it comes to losing inches around the waist, losing inches is always better than just losing weight.
The reason for this is that a high waist measurement means you have a lot of visceral fat.
2010 research that looked at thousands of participants found that high waist measurements were more likely to be a sign of future heart disease and diabetes than just basic obesity (4).
How much belly fat can you lose in a month?
Many studies have concluded that you cannot target fat loss in any area of the body (5).
No diet or exercise will make you lose more fat in one specific spot.
Therefore, the amount of belly fat you lose is mostly affected by how much fat you lose overall.
Someone who manages to lose about 8 pounds of fat a month may lose three to four pounds of belly fat.
Can you lose 20 pounds in a month?
You cannot lose 20 pounds of fat in a month.
Since you need to burn 3,500 calories for each pound of fat lost, you would need to burn 2,333 calories every day for a month to lose 20 pounds of fat.
This much of a deficit is impossible for many and unsafe for all people. However, fat loss is not the only way to drop pounds.
You can also drop water weight by cutting carbs and improving hydration. It can result in five to ten pounds of extra weight loss, but it is only temporary.
Therefore, it may be possible to have a 20 pound weight loss in a month, but you should expect some of that weight to reappear once you start eating carbs again.
What’s the best exercise to lose belly fat?
A 2015 study showed that ab exercises did not result in any more belly fat loss than full-body exercises (6).
The best exercise for losing belly fat will simply be one that burns calories and aids in overall weight loss.
Exercises that burn the most calories in the least amount of time tend to be high intensity cardio. Good options include:
- Jumping rope
- Stair sprints
- Cycling intervals
- Kettlebell circuit training
Is it more important to focus on diet or exercise to lose inches off your stomach?
A common proverb among bodybuilders is “abs are made in the kitchen not the gym.”
Essentially, getting a small waist is all about dropping pounds, and exercise does not burn as many calories as just not eating the calories in the first place.
Focusing on your diet will help you lose inches around the waist more easily. All you have to do is calculate your TDEE and make sure you eat less calories than you burn in a day.
How fast does intermittent fasting help you lose belly fat?
Intermittent fasting can make sure you are losing as much belly fat as you can safely can.
Though you might eat massive meals during your eating window, your calorie consumption overall is very low.
You may find that your belly looks significantly smaller during fasting periods because there will be less food filling up your gastrointestinal tract and making you hold onto water weight.
Are meal plans or keto better for losing belly fat?
This really just depends on your own personal lifestyle.
Do you struggle with impulse eating and binge eating? Then a meal plan may be more effective because it helps you eat healthier volumes of food.
If your main problem with dieting is constant cravings and feelings of hunger though, keto might help you lose more belly fat.
Another big benefit of keto for reducing your waist is that it is so low carb you lose a lot of water weight. This makes your waist measurements get even smaller.