If we are honest with ourselves, most of us would admit that we are carrying around too much fat on our bodies. We could all benefit from losing body fat. Some of us have only a few pounds of fat to lose while there are others who are carrying around unhealthy amounts of body fat.

Excess fat can lead to a variety of health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and the like. Not to mention that it doesn't make us look too appealing to others nor make us feel very good about ourselves. So for the sake of your health, your self esteem and your perception with others it would be beneficial if you were to embark on a plan to lose body fat.

Well, that is easier said than done. Unfortunately, it requires something more than just wanting to lose 20 pounds to actually make it happen. If you are going to have success at shedding body fat you are going to need a plan and a strategy for making it happen. Below you will find three different suggestions to help you in your quest to become lean.

Consume Fewer Calories Than You Burn

Although there is more to losing fat than consuming fewer calories, it is definitely part of the overall equation and cannot be ignored. If you are taking in more calories than you expend every day then you will gain weight rather than lose weight. In other words, you still be fat or you may get even fatter. You need to create a calorie deficit. Having said that, there is a right way to go about create a calorie deficit and a wrong way.

You cannot afford to so drastically cut calories that your body begins to turn on itself. In the past many people assumed that the fewer calories that they took in the better it would be. They would go on restrictive caloric diets where they consumed 1000 calories or fewer each and every day. Now it may be beneficial to do this every once in a while but it is detrimental to your fat loss efforts if you attempt to do this every day. Your body will assume that you are starving yourself and it will go into protection mode. In doing so, it will begin to store fat for use as energy for a later date and will begin to consume muscle for its current energy needs. I think you can see where this would be a problem if you are trying to get rid of excess fat.

You will want to create a calorie deficit but not a severe deficit. You would probably not want to create a regular calorie deficit of more than 500 calories per day. If you normally consumed 2500 calories each day then you will want to cut it to about 2000. Better yet you should consume about 250 – 500 calories fewer than your calculated Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).

Increase the Metabolic Cost of Your Exercise Routine

Many believe that they can just go out and run a couple of miles each day and achieve the body of their dreams. Unfortunately, this does not work in the real world. Studies have proven that periods of intense exercise are the best for burning body fat. Often this would be done in an interval fashion. An interval would involve performing an exercise at an all out pace for a specified period of time followed by a period of rest. The cycle would be repeated over and over till the end of your workout. If you were going to use running for an interval training program you would sprint for 30 seconds and follow that by walking for 30 – 60 seconds (depending on your level of conditioning). You would then repeat the cycle for as many sets are you were going to do. Often you would be shooting for a particular time period such as 20 minutes. In that case you would be performing about 14 rounds.

The same can also be done with weight training although you will need to use a weight that you can manage safely and effectively. The best metabolic bang for your buck will be to perform barbell complexes. If you don't have a barbell set then you can accomplish a similarly demanding metabolic workout by simply using your body weight.

A sample exercise might combine the following: body weight squats (30 reps), pushups (20 reps), pullups (5-10 reps), squat jumps (15 reps) and handstand pushups (10 reps). The five exercises together would comprise one set. There should not be any rest in between the exercises within the set. You can allow yourself between a 30 – 60 second rest between sets. Perform 5 sets of the routine. This will enact a high metabolic cost on your system.

This style of workout will result in your body continuing to burn calories even when the exercise is over. You will deplete oxygen from your blood stream and your body will burn energy and calories trying to replenish it over the next number of hours. It is actually possible to burn calories for up to 36 hours following a demanding metabolic workout.

Incorporate Strength Building Exercises into Your Workouts

You need to lift weights or at the very least perform demanding bodyweight exercises if you want to burn fat. The greatest fat burning component that your body has is muscle. Simply put, the more muscle that you have the faster you will burn fat. Studies have shown that adding one pound of muscle will require your body to burn an extra 50 calories per day to maintain your new found muscle. You can see the benefit if you were able to add 10 pounds of muscle to your frame. You could be burning an extra 500 calories per day just to maintain this muscle. That could lead to nearly a loss of one pound per week in fat.

If you combine that with your sensible calorie restriction and metabolically challenging workouts, it is possible to lose from 2 – 3 pounds of fat per week. It will require great commitment on your behalf but it is achievable.

You can have success in fat loss if you begin to apply all of the above tips. Before long you should begin to see the results and eventually you should see the body that you have always longed for.