Losing weight is a tricky subject. For some, it seems to come easy. For others, it seems like it’s a struggle to see any change at all.
If you want to get serious about losing weight, skip the junk food. Start eating clean, and you might just be happy with the results you see from that simple change.
To target fat loss specifically, it can get a little more difficult. Just remember, if it’s not difficult, it’s probably not worth doing.
Below are three simple steps in losing weight. Keep in mind that exercise can be a crucial part of your weight loss journey. If you are looking for an exercise routine, look no further. Go PRO today for access to certified personal trainers, workout plans, and more.
Step 1: Modify Your Mindset
You should be aiming to lose body fat, not body weight. Rather than judge your progress by the number on the scale, make judgments by how you look in the mirror, how your clothes ﬁt, and how you feel and move.
Newcomers to exercise could see a rapid increase in weight during the ﬁrst few weeks. This is just your body responding to the exercise for the ﬁrst time. The muscle growth during the beginning stages scares off many people, (women especially).
However, this growth is just an initial response, and the more muscle you build, the fewer returns you’ll see over time. Women, you won’t begin to look like a man, and the lean muscle you do put on will help you burn fat even more efﬁciently, giving you that toned look you’re after.
Step 2: Calculate Your Daily Caloric Needs
Avoid all fad diets and trendy supplements. The only way to effectively lose unwanted body fat is by eating the proper amount of calories daily.
Your body requires you to take in a certain number of calories every day to supply energy for work. Eat more calories than required and you will gain weight. Eat less than you need and you will lose weight.
It seems simple, but here’s where most people mess up. Eat too little, and the weight you lose can start to come from your muscle. Eat too much, and you store energy as fat rather than building muscle. Below is an equation to estimate your basal metabolic rate.
Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years).
Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years).
You’ll also want to adjust for your usual activity level during the day. Here are some modifiers to account for that:
If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
If you are moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55
If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725
If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9
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The equation has five variables; height, weight, gender and age and activity level. The only factor you can actually work to change is activity level. The more active you become, the higher your daily caloric needs become. Here’s a calculator that makes it simple for you.
In order to maximize fat loss while maintaining lean muscle mass, you should take in 250-500 calories less than your daily requirements.
In order to maximize gains in lean muscle without adding fat, you should take in 250-500 calories more than your daily requirements.
Step 3: Learn to Cheat
Don’t be so uptight. Eating healthy is one thing; never treating yourself is another. Eat two to four cheat meals per week.
This will satisfy your sweet tooth without sabotaging your progress. Just make sure your cheat meal doesn’t become a cheat day!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How many calories should I eat?
How many calories you should eat depends on a number of factors. To get a rough estimate, check out this article.
What is bulking? What is cutting?
Bulking and cutting are techniques used by bodybuilders to grow muscle and shed fat. Bulking requires eating in a surplus while weight training in order to build muscle. Cutting requires eating in a caloric deficit to shed body fat in order to “expose” the muscle built during the bulking phase.
Do I have to bulk? Do I have to cut?
No. Unless you are a professional bodybuilder, you do not have to bulk or cut to lead a healthy, happy lifestyle.
Remember, losing fat can be done efficiently with exercise. Go PRO today for access to certified personal trainers, workout plans, goal trackers, and more!