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15 Daily Habits to Lose 5-10 Pounds in 30 Days

These habits will impact your waistline and your health.
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

Depending on your starting weight, losing five to ten pounds in a month is possible to do in a healthy way. Making a few specific lifestyle and dietary changes and sticking to them will positively impact overall health as well as encourage weight loss. "The foundation of successful weight loss remains a healthy, calorie-controlled diet combined with increased physical activity," says the Mayo Clinic. "For successful, long-term weight loss, you must make permanent changes in your lifestyle and health habits." Here are 15 daily habits shown to help lose up to ten pounds in 30 days.

Eliminate Empty Calories

People clinking glasses with wine on the summer terrace of cafe or restaurant

Alcohol is full of empty calories, so it's best to cut it down or simply stop drinking it altogether. Every calorie counts when you're trying to lose weight, so make sure you use those calories to fill your body with healthy, nutrient-dense choices. Drinking too much also disrupts sleep.

Are You Actually Hungry?

Man eats

Eat when you're hungry, and only when you're hungry. "Listening to your hunger works much better than relying on willpower," Kayla Kopp, RD, LD, tells the Cleveland Clinic. "When you're tempted to overeat, have a conversation with yourself: Are you feeling hungry, are you bored or are you feeling emotional? Will eating right now get you closer to your goal?"

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Work Out First Thing

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Working out first thing in the morning means you don't have to make time for it later. It also starts the day off on a good note. No excuses!

Don't Skip Breakfast


Studies show people who eat breakfast (provided it's a healthy one) make better food choices for the rest of the day. "Studies have found that although people who skip breakfast eat slightly fewer calories during the day, they tend to have higher body mass index, or BMI," Christy C. Tangney, PhD, tells Rush University Medical Center.

Take the Stairs

Determined woman running up on seaside mountain stairs

Walk as much as possible—park away from the grocery store entrance and take the stairs when possible. Walking will encourage fat burning and mental wellness, and you can do it throughout the day, no equipment needed.

Count Your Calories

Calories Nutrition Food Exercise Concept

This one is boring but crucial—to lose weight, you need to take in less calories than you're burning off. "For example, to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week — a rate that experts consider safe — your food consumption should provide 500 to 1,000 calories less than your total weight-maintenance calories," says Harvard Health.

Try Intermittent Fasting

Skip breakfast concept with no symbol and clock on plate

Intermittent fasting can be a powerful weight loss tool for some. "The weight loss effects of time-restricted eating derive primarily from achieving a negative energy balance," Richard Joseph, MD, tells Harvard Health. "If you maintain your regular diet and then limit the time window during which you eat, it is likely that you will eat a few hundred fewer calories per day."

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No Nighttime Snacking

woman eats sweets at night to sneak in a refrigerator.

Snacking can undermine your healthy eating weight loss plan. "Try to eat most of your daily calories before sitting down to relax for the night," Kopp tells the Cleveland Clinic. "Many of us have a tendency to overeat without thinking about it while we watch TV after dinner, and we tend to forget just how much we've had before calling it a night."

Be Picky About Carbs


You don't have to eliminate carbs—but be choosy about them. "Not all carbohydrates are created equal," says Corewell Health. "Eating a slice of white bread won't give your body the same nutrition as eating a slice of whole grain bread. When you're looking for options for carbohydrates, look at the ingredients. If the first ingredient is a whole grain (like whole wheat), you're going in the right direction."

Eliminate Temptation


Keep junk food out of sight and out of mind. "Don't keep problem foods around the house and/or at work," says UC Davis Health. A problem food is a food that you are likely to eat too much of or too often if readily available."

Get Enough Sleep

Top View Home: Handsome Young Man Sleeps in His Bed in a Stylish Bedroom, Sun Shines on Him. Morning Concept. Peaceful Sleeping and Relaxation, Important for Wellness . Top Down Above Shot

Sleep is important for weight loss. "No one can make mindful food choices when they're tired. Even missing an hour of sleep can increase your appetite because your body is craving that energy and food is fuel for your body," psychologist Susan Albers, PsyD, tells the Cleveland Clinic. "You need a clear, focused head to make healthier food choices."

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Lift Weights


"Resistance training can also be a really effective way of losing weight," Tessa Strain, physical activity epidemiologist at the University of Cambridge, tells The Telegraph. "All weight loss comes down to a calories in/calories out equation. resistance training is a really effective way of losing weight because you're expending energy, which involves burning calories."

Manage Stress

woman sitting down, his face unsettled. At the computer desk she has headaches and stress. Cause of hard work and insufficient rest.

Stress can undermine your weight loss efforts. "More commonly, people turn to — or away from — food as a way to help deal with stress," says Penn Medicine. "Your metabolism can change if you regularly eat large amounts of food or don't eat enough or at all."

No Junk Food


Ultra-processed foods are terrible for weight loss. Not only will they not fill you up, they could make you hungrier. "Processed and fast foods contain enhanced ingredients that hit the dopamine center in your brain and make you want more," Dr. Albers tells the Cleveland Clinic. "They are designed to be addictive to the brain."

Drink More Water

Fitness woman drinking water from bottle. Muscular young female taking a break from workout outside.

Choose water over high-calorie drinks. "Sometimes we respond to thirst signals by eating — when actually what our bodies want is water," Dr. Albers explains. "It's easy to confuse our thirst and hunger signals, or to override thirst signals."

💪🔥Body Booster: Focusing on long-term health and wellness will make weight loss easier.

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more