How to Lose Weight & Get Toned in 4 Weeks

If you’re looking for a quick way to lose weight and get toned, you’re probably not alone. According to the Boston Medical Center, 45 million Americans diet every year, spending $33 billion a year on weight-loss products and diets. But you don’t have to resort to gimmicks, fad diets or other unhealthy methods to reach your health and fitness goals. With proper planning, nutrition and regular exercise, you can lose weight and get toned in just four weeks.

Calculate your Calorie Requirements

Figure out how many calories you need to eat per day to lose weight. Start by calculating your BMR or basal metabolic rate. A simple calculation for men is: 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years). For women, the calculation is: 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years). This is the number of calories your body burns on an average day while at rest.

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Factor in additional calories you burn on a regular basis. Multiply your results by 1.2 if you are mainly sedentary throughout the day. Multiply it by 1.375 if you participate in light exercise or sports one to three days per week and 1.55 if you participate in light exercise three to five days per week. Multiply it by 1.725 if you are very active and participate in hard exercise six to seven days per week and 1.9 if you are extra active and exercise daily in addition to having a physical job. This final number is the number of calories your body burns on an average day or the number of calories you can eat every day to maintain your current weight.

Subtract 500 to 1,000 calories per day from this number to drop 1 to 2 pounds per week. This is the number suggested as safe by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These calories can be subtracted through a combination of diet and exercise. At this rate, you will burn up to 8 pounds of fat in four weeks.

Nutrition Plan

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Cut down on the amount of refined carbohydrates you eat. A study published in the February 2006 issue of the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" concluded that choosing a nutrition plan that incorporates higher amounts of protein and lower amounts of carbohydrates is the most effective way to lose fat. Replace rice and potatoes with vegetables that are high in nutrients but low in calories. The fiber in vegetables will also keep you feeling full longer.

Incorporate lean cuts of chicken as well as fish to increase your protein intake. Protein is actually harder for your body to digest so it burns more calories in the process. Protein will also be helpful in helping you build lean muscle, which will get you the toned look you are striving for.

Avoid empty calories found in sodas, desserts and salty pre-packaged snacks. Instead, snack on nuts, fruits and cut vegetables if you are hungry throughout the day. Make sure you keep track of the calories found in these snacks to avoid going over your daily caloric limits.

Exercise Plan

Skip long jogs and other steady-state exercise and instead use interval training as your primary cardio exercise. High-intensity exercise has been proven to burn more calories. A report published in the 2011 issue of the "Journal of Obesity" reviews a number of research studies that prove high-intensity intermittent exercise is better than steady-state exercises for fat loss. High-intensity exercise is especially important since you only have four weeks to reach your goals.

Add a full-body strength-training program to get you toned. Cardio will help you lose fat but it will not necessarily give you the toned look you want. Plus you’ll burn calories while you strength train and even when you’re at rest because muscle is more metabolically active than fat; the more muscle you have, the more your metabolism works and you burn calories.

Use every opportunity you have to burn calories. Park your car farther from work, take the stairs rather than the elevator and take walk breaks throughout your day if you can. Every calorie you burn throughout the day will help you get to your goals faster.


Keep journal to record the daily calories you eat and the calories you burn from exercise. This will help you better track whether you are meeting your daily calorie goals. Sleep between six to eight hours per day and reduce your stress levels to keep your cortisol levels in check. High cortisol levels are associated with weight gain and increased risk of obesity.


Always speak to your doctor before embarking on a new diet or exercise program. Losing more than 1 to 2 pounds per week can be unhealthy. People who lose weight more rapidly are also less likely to sustain the weight loss in the long term. Stop exercising if you feel faint or if you experience sharp or sudden pain.