Maintain a Caloric Deficit
No matter what approach you take to losing body fat, the bottom line is that to lose the flab, you have to burn more calories than you consume. Sure, sounds easy, right? Well, it can be. The first way to do this is to simply cut your calories back and be patient. The second is to continue your diet as-is, and start or pick up your workout routine. Both work, but the best way to lose that extra heft is to do both; cut back the calories and increase the intensity of your workouts. The good news is that it’s a pretty simple theory. The bad news — it’s hard to stick to.
So, below are a few tips to keep you on track to reach your weight loss goals:
Weigh Yourself Often
As soon as you get up in the morning, jump on the scale. Do it every day for a couple weeks and see if the numbers are heading south. If they’re not, drop 300 calories and monitor the change.
Okay, we know what you’re thinking. Climbing on the scale every day can fuel a pretty unhealthy obsession. This may be true for some, but according to study by the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) that followed over three thousand dieters found that 44% of those who weighed themselves daily were able to lose and keep off an average of 60 or more pounds for at least a year. According to James Hill, the director of the center for human nutrition at the University of Colorado. “They use it as an early warning system for preventing weight regain,” he explains. “If your goal is to keep your weight at a certain level, you have to have feedback to see whether you’re successful.”
High Protein Diet
You’ve no doubt heard it before and it may even sounds like a lot of hype, but there is solid evidence that backs up why a high protein diet as the best way to lose the fat. First off, protein is the most important building block in adding muscle. It’s also one of the only macro nutrients that your body cannot create on it’s own. And, protein requires more calories to metabolize than both carbohydrates and fats. Now, as far as quantity goes, a good rule of thumb is to shoot for .8 to 1.5 grams per pound of body weight every day.
Cardio is for Conditioning Not to Calorie Counting
Take a new approach to cardio. It’s not about how much you burned on the treadmill. It’s really about developing your cardiovascular conditioning so you have more stamina for those anaerobic exercises like weight training that pack on muscle. So, you’re better off limiting your cardio routines to short and intense sessions and focusing more on heavy weight training. After all, the more muscle you have to move the more calories you will burn.
Beyond that, the main problem with doing just cardio and not incorporating a strength training routine is that as soon as you step off the Elliptical, the calorie burning stops whereas if you build a strong base of muscle, you’ll be increasing your metabolic rate and burning more body fat just sitting around.
Get Some Sleep
Often overlooked, a good nights sleep is critical to losing body fat. It’s important not only because it allows your body to refuel energy stores, but also to balance the intricate mix of hormones that are released through the different stages of sleep that contribute to fat loss. While it’s easy to say that the more sleep the better, it’s also a tough proposition these days. So, we say shoot for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
Give these tips a try and see what happens. We’ll make sure to keep the tips coming to help you reach your weight loss goals.