How to Lose 10 Pounds by the Fourth of July

Follow these weight loss pointers to wow everyone at your cookout.

It's entirely possible to lose ten pounds in a month, but it's going to take increased visits to the gym and major discipline in your diet. To lose 10 pounds in four weeks, you'll need to create a calorie deficit of about 500 calories a day. That means reducing your food intake by 20 percent and burning off the rest with exercise. Here's your plan—and follow these tips to look slimmer right away.

Part One: Your Gym To-Do List

Dumbbell chest press for dropping ten pounds

Aim for three weekly exercise sessions, split between 20 minutes of strength training and 20 minutes of cardio. Your strength sessions should involve at least four exercises divided into supersets, which simply means running pairs of exercises back-to-back. Begin with dumbbell chest presses and body-weight split squats, doing four supersets of eight reps per exercise with one minute's rest between supersets. Next, pair dumbbell rows with decline push-ups. Same sets and reps as the previous superset. Finish off with a 20-minute interval workout of your favorite cardio exercise (e.g., running, cycling, rowing): a five-minute warm-up, 10 minutes of alternating between 30 seconds of intense effort and 90 seconds of active rest (at a cooldown pace), and a five-minute cooldown. Short bursts of intense activity boost metabolism for up to 30 hours after you work out and increase the production of fat-burning hormones. And for more great advice on staying in shape, here is the workout plan that will keep you lean for life.

Part Two: Your Eating To-Do List

Eggs on spinach for dropping ten pounds

Calculate how many calories you eat each day (you can use to add up the caloric value of what you eat) and then reduce that by 20 percent—probably about 400 to 500 calories. Trust me, you won't starve. Just decrease your intake of processed foods, which tend to cause swings in blood sugar, triggering feelings of hunger, and bulk up on unprocessed foods such as eggs, spinach, oatmeal, and lean meat. The fiber in the produce and the protein in the meat will help keep you fuller longer. Log your food and workouts at, a free Web site that tracks your progress. For added insurance, challenge a buddy to lose 10 pounds too. Research shows that the support and accountability provided by a training partner boosts exercise adherence and weight-loss success. And here's even more advice on how to eat well and lose weight.

Ballantyne is a trainer in Ontario, Canada, owner of CB Athletic Consulting, and creator of the Turbulence Training System.

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