Yes, you CAN make noticeable, satisfying improvements in your physique in as little as a month. But it's important to understand what kinds of changes are possible (and which goals may not be realistic within that time frame). Here are 4 guidelines for achieving results in 4 weeks:

  1. Lose weight gradually -- no more than 1 or 2 pounds a week. It may not seem like much at first, but you could be 8 pounds lighter after a month.
  2. Lift weights! Regular strength training plays a huge role in weight loss. It builds lean muscle mass, which increases metabolism (i.e., you burn more calories). Bottom line: If you want to see results quickly, make sure you're doing both cardiovascular and strength training.
  3. Give up the "spot reducing" myth. You cannot lose body fat primarily from your stomach, thighs or other trouble spot. Our bodies lose fat proportionately.
  4. Know a "body fat" problem from a "muscle tone" problem. If you want highly defined muscles, you won't be able to see them as long as there's a layer of fat hiding them. If you're carrying excess pounds, you need to lose weight while toning your muscles through strength training.