Can You Lose 12 Pounds in a Month?


Yes, you can lose 12 a month. Losing weight is a balance between a healthy diet and an exercise plan. As long as you are taking in the necessary amount of calories per day and not exercising to the point of injury or starvation, a 12-lb. weight loss is within your reach.


Get checked for medical conditions that could effect weight loss. Make sure a medical condition is not the cause of your current weight. If your body gains muscle rather quickly, you will burn more calories. Muscle burns calories throughout the day, even at rest. The more muscle you build, the more calories you burn. Genetics may be on your side. If you happen to be overweight but your family line has a fit physique, you may be genetically inclined to lose weight at a faster rate than others. Slow-twitch muscle fibers can benefit your weight loss. Slow-twitch muscle fibers allow muscles to contract continuously over a long period of time. What does that mean? You will be able to perform cardiovascular exercises for longer periods of time. It may be easier for you to stay on the treadmill for 45 to 60 minutes, allowing you to expend more calories.

The Diet

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends no less than a 1,200-calorie-per-day diet. Write down everything you eat and drink for a week and calculate how many calories you are taking in per day. Gradually adjust your diet until you reach the desired amount of calories you need. For instance, if you are taking in 2,000 calories a day, start by cutting 200 calories. After a week, cut 200 again and so forth until you reach your daily caloric goal.


Once you have figured how many calories you need per day, figure out how many calories you need to burn in order for weight loss to occur. Cardio exercise along with strengthening exercises will burn calories. Cardio = walking, running, jogging, dancing, biking, hiking, etc. Strengthening = weight lifting, resistance bands, calisthenics (push ups, pull ups, sit ups) etc. If you are taking in 2,000 calories per week and burning 2,000 calories per week, your weight will remain the same. YOU MUST BURN MORE THAN YOU TAKE IN!


Usually during the first and second week of beginning a diet and exercise plan you will lose more weight than the average. The ACSM recommends a weight loss of 1 to 2 lbs. per week. However, because the body is not accustomed to the new regimen, weight loss of three or more pounds per week is possible. After the second week, it will usually average out to 1 to 2 lbs. per week.


Losing 12 pounds in a month is emotionally and physically daunting. One pound of fat equals 3,500 calories, which means you need to get rid of nearly 1,400 calories per day to lose 12 lbs. by the end of the month. Sound rough? It is. When your muscles are sore and hunger pangs kick in, more than likely you will want to quit. Stay persistent and never lose sight of your goal. Write everything down (how many calories you take in and how many calories you burn). Use it as a countdown to your goal or as motivation to see how far you have come. The results will be worth the pain.


  • American College of Sports Medicine
Keywords: Calories, Weight Loss, Diet

About this Author

Ronny Marie Tucker is a certified personal trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine, and certified group exercise instructor through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. Tucker began writing articles in 2009 and is the fitness contributor for "Urban Views Weekly." Tucker holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Virginia Tech.

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