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30 Days to Weight Loss

What it takes to lose weight


Updated November 22, 2011

30 Days to Weight Loss
Getty Images/George Doyle

How much exercise do you really need to lose weight? That answer is different for every person, but for most of us, it's probably more than we think.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends accumulating 200-300 minutes of exercise each week to lose weight (and that's without changing your eating habits), which translates to about 30-45 minutes of exercise every day.

So, what does a program like that look like in real life? My 30 Days to Weight Loss Program below offers one option, 4 weeks of cardio, strength and flexibility workouts ranging from 200-300 minutes each week.

This program is not intended for beginners. If you are, or it's been awhile since you've exercised, I have two other programs that are great precursors to this one: 30 Days to Health and Fitness or 30 Days to Weight Gain Prevention, both of which offer a less strenuous schedule.

A few caveats:

  • Don't be a slave to the workouts or schedule: This is just a sample program and many of the workouts are advanced and intense. Not everyone is ready for this level of exercise. Take extra rest days or go back to an easier program if you feel sore, tired or your performance suffers.
  • See your doctor if you have any medicial conditions, illnesses or injuries
  • Substitute your own workouts if you have other activities you enjoy

30 Days to Weight Loss

Week 1

Goal: 215 Minutes of Exercise, Varying Intensity

Total Workout Time: 215 Minutes

Week 2

Goal: 250 Minutes of Exercise, Varied Intensity

Total Workout Time: 250 Minutes

Week 3

This week, you'll back off your workouts to allow time to recover, recuperate and get ready for next week.

Goals: 200 Minutes of Exercise, Varied Intensity

Total Workout Time: 200 Minutes

Week 4

Goals: 300 Minutes of Exercise, Varied Intensity

Total Workout Time: 300 Minutes

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