We all know summer is here and we want to feel good about ourselves at the pool or beach. There are lots of gimmick diets out there preying on those who want to lose weight as quickly as possible. This article is about realistic methods proven to work!
Everyone sets out with the goal of losing the weight as quickly as possible. Should this even be your goal? NO WAY!!! Maximizing your fat loss is the goal, and this involves keeping as much muscle mass along the way. By keeping the muscle mass you have, you keep your metabolism burning much higher!
With any problem in life, you need to know where you are before you can honestly move in the right direction. This will make our efforts as efficient as possible. The only way to know where you are with your diet is accurately log where you are. Those who tried it are genuinely shocked at the amount of calories they consume, and where they come from. It immediately allows them to assess where they are and how to make improvements. Don't change your normal diet when doing this! It defeats the purpose.
In the past, I've written everything I ate in a notebook. It's still a good option and it has worked for me and for others. Now, with the internet it's even easier with websites, such as MyFitnessPal and Fitday. I personally use MyFitnessPal and its Android app. I like the user interface and the ability to save off meals can really be a time savings.
Also, to precisely measure how much you are consuming, you will need a food scale. They are easy to use and I use the EatSmart Precision Pro Scale.
Once, you have a grasp on where you might be having issues with your diet, it's time to focus on the problem areas. You will want to start making small changes because you want it be a sustainable diet. This is the issue with radical low-calorie diets and fad diets. You should not be following those diets and should stick to what works. Let's face it, you didn't gain weight overweight and you're not going to lose it overnight. But, if you still to the plan the progress you make will be surprising. At first, I recommend you cut down on high calorie items offering no nutritional value. Cutting items out such as soda and fast food can make a significant impact.
Small changes will continue to work for a while, but the body is an amazing thing. It will eventually become harder and harder to make changes. You will need to continue to do more to get more results.
When you do have cravings try to have a healthier alternative. Instead of going for the desert, go for a piece of fruit. Instead of going for fried chicken, eat some lean meat. It's about learning to make small changes, and over time they will add up. These foods will only give instant gratification. But, sticking to a diet and having the discipline to achieve your goals will offer real gratification!
What can you do next? One way is to base your diet on percentages, but it is not the best way. I recommend you based it off macronutrients. Depending on your current weight and your level of activity this will change dramatically. But, everyone should try to get at least 0.8 g per gram per kg. You then need to get enough fats to make sure your body is performing optimally. I've aimed for getting anywhere from 35 g to 75 g per day. Your carbohydrate intake should then fill up the rest of your calories based on your activity level. If you are at a caloric deficit, I would recommend increasing your protein intake as it will help prevent muscle loss. Currently, I use Optimum Nutrition Why Protein, as it is difficult and expensive to strictly eat lean meats.
When losing fat, it is important to make sure you have adequate water intake. Your body stores toxins in your fat cells and as they are utilized for energy, these toxins will release into the blood stream. By increasing your water intake, you helping your body's mechanism for flushing them out.
If you want to prevent muscle loss, or at least keep it to a minimum, then listen up! You should strength train at least 3 times a week. The demands it will place on your body will cause the body to keep the its current muscle mass. Depending on your training level, you might even be able to increase muscle mass while decreasing fat! In order words, if you are new to strength training you can get the best of both worlds! Remember, to take your time if you are not used to this activity level. A good workout is not dictated by how sore you are, but at how much you progress. You are more likely to stick to the plan if you ease into it and don't get yourself sore to the point it is painful to walk.
You can also do cardio in addition to strength training a couple of times a week for 10-30 minutes. You can do aerobic training or high intensity interval training. I recommend easing into this and making sure it doesn't interfere with your weight training. I'm against only doing cardio, as the metabolic benefits only come during the activity. I'm sure you have seen people gain weight as soon as they stop performing cardio, if it was their only source of exercise. The weight training will increase your resting metabolism due to the increase in muscle mass.
The most important point to take home is take action. The quicker you take action the faster you will see results. The more you see results, the easier it is to stay motivated. So, there is not need to wait, what is stopping you from starting today?
Hold yourself accountable! You can share your plans with people you trust, and have them hold you to your goals. Who and how you tell them is up to you!
Also, there are people guided by changes in body weight and I don't want you to be one of them. Is it a way to keep track of progress? You bet it is. Should it be the only way you judge progress? Absolutely not. One quick way to lose weight is to drastically reduce your carbs. Are you losing fat? Some of it might be, but the majority will be water weight in the short-term. This may cause people to have a knee-jerk reaction and think it is the greatest diet ever.
You can take pictures and judge your progress week to week. You can also use calipers as way to measure progress. They are not neccessarilly accurate, but as long as it is done the same way every week, progress is measured. Using a tape measure is a great way to see fat loss in areas you want and muscle gain in areas you don't! The key is to have a way to measure progress and do it weekly at the very least.
Remember, we are out to make a sustainable change, and live a healthy lifestyle. Real results will take real work! Don't forget to contact your physician before making any nutritional changes or starting a new exercise regimen.
If you enjoyed this article or want to see other information, feel free to drop a line. Good luck in achieving your healthy lifestyle goals!