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10 Things You Need To Know To Lose Body Fat

10 Things You Need To Know To Lose Body Fat

Wanting to lose weight is too broad of a claim. In almost all cases, what you actually want to lose is body fat. It’s only that excess layer of soft fat that’s hiding your sexier physique! Resorting to drastic weight loss methods will sacrifice your precious muscle mass, leaving you looking (and feeling) starved and weak. This is certainly not a desirable result for women either!

So, we need to lose body fat while preserving existing muscle mass to reveal a fantastic figure. Here are 10 essential tips to help you reach that beach body you deserve!

1. Don’t Starve Yourself

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    In order to lose body fat, you must be eating less than you are burning. In other words, you need to have a caloric deficit.

    Experiment with your diet to find your maintenance calories, i.e. the amount of calories required to maintain your current weight. When you think you have found it, reduce it by 500-800 calories per day. Cutting calories to dangerously low levels will lead to muscle loss with fat staying put! Use a calculator to estimate a good starting point.

    2. Be Careful With Cardio

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      With your diet on point, cardio can speed up fat burning by using up extra calories. However, getting carried away will actually hurt your progress. Too much intense cardio in a caloric depict can turn your body catabolic, shedding muscle over fat. This will also make you feel depleted, flat and tired!

      To lose body fat as fast as possible, use cardio, but limit it to a maximum of 3 x 30min sessions per week.

      3. Start Weightlifting

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        Yes, that’s right, weight lifting is actually a great way to supercharge fat loss! It’s a common misconception that it can only be used to build muscle. In this case, you can use it to maintain muscle mass and burn a significant amount of calories.

        For best results pick a popular barbell routine (such as “Strong Lifts”). These full body movements will engage the most muscles at once and burn off fat like a knife through butter!

        4. Control Your Carbs

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          Low carb is not the answer for everyone. However, many can benefit from cutting carbs and boosting protein/fats. But depriving yourself of carbohydrates for too long can lead to muscle loss and generally feeling lifeless. Manipulate your carbohydrates primarily before and after your workouts for best results!

          5. Allow Yourself Time to Transform

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            Don’t set unrealistic expectations; otherwise, your impatience will force you into dramatic measures. Depending on how much body fat you need to lose, commit to at least 3 months of solid commitment to the cause. You may well look like a different person!

            Make sure you track your caloric intake, weight and before/after photos.

            6. Eat a Grapefruit Before Sleeping

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              Now, this may sound like one of those bogus claims, yet medical studies have actually found grounds for grapefruit’s metabolism boosting abilities. Try squeezing or eating a fresh grapefruit every night before bed!

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              7. Are You Hungry? Good!

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                If you are dieting correctly you are going to feel hungry at times. Otherwise, something has gone wrong in the calories department. If you’re severely restricting your calories and suddenly don’t feel hungry anymore, your metabolism has slowed down. However, you need a fast metabolism on your side to help with fat loss efforts.

                You should feel moderately hungry when you wake up and between meals, but not excessively. A weekly “cheat meal” can be used to fire up your metabolism once more!

                8. Be Careful With Weight Training Volume

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                  Weight training is a double-edged sword. Yes, it helps to preserve muscle mass while dieting, but you don’t want to over-train or injure yourself. When you’re in the gym, work on maintaining your strength levels and push gently. You should not be doing extra sets, going to failure or going there more than 3 times per week!

                  9. Get Plenty of Rest

                  Dieting can have an effect on sleep; it can be harder to sleep if you feel a little hungry. However, 8-10 hours of quality sleep per night is vital, many of fat-loss processes occur during this time.

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                  Consider taking a melatonin supplement to help you get to sleep. Otherwise, you could save a small carbohydrate dense snack, such as oats, for before bed. So long as your total daily calories are in check, this will not hurt progress!

                  10. 3 Drinks To Boost Your Metabolism and Lose Body Fat

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                    If you can drink only these three beverages for 99% of the time, you will be able to lose body fat faster than ever.

                    1. Coffee – The caffeine boosts metabolism and helps you feel energized
                    2. Green Tea – Contains many beneficial antioxidants that support weight loss
                    3. Water – Essential for all manner of body functions but also boosts metabolism

                    Featured photo credit: Leeroy via stocksnap.io

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                    Last Updated on September 4, 2020

                    How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle to See Results Fast

                    How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle to See Results Fast

                    There’s a lot of confusion, mystery, and desperation around how to lose fat and gain muscle. We applaud body transformation pictures we see on Instagram, Facebook, and magazine covers but are never able to replicate the results ourselves.

                    Well, that mystery is over because I will tell you exactly how to achieve those results in this article.

                    The journey to getting there is straightforward but not easy. Most people give up too early in the game, when they stop making visible progress.

                    Keep reading to learn how to utilize your metabolism and the laws of muscle building to lose fat and gain muscle fast.

                    Skyrocket Your Metabolism to Lose Fat

                    Learning how to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time is one of the biggest misunderstandings of body transformations because they are opposite metabolic processes.

                    To lose fat, you must have calorie deficits each day, and to gain muscle, you must be in a caloric surplus, but you cannot do both at the same time.

                    When you look at pictures, it looks like it can be done simultaneously, but what is actually happening is a change in fat and muscle percentages.

                    If your weight stays the same through your journey, and you lose body fat, your percent of lean muscle mass automatically goes up by default. You didn’t gain any muscle, but your fat and muscle ratio percentages have shifted.

                    Calculating Your Calories to Lose Fat

                    There are many good calorie calculators out there that will give you an estimate on how much to eat to start losing fat for weight loss. You usually need to cut about 10 to 15% of your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) calories to start the process.

                    You can find a visual explanation of TDEE below[1]:

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                    Use TDEE to learn how to lose fat and gain muscle.

                      Remember that the calculators are just an estimate. It’s up to you to track your measurements and to adjust your caloric intake to ensure you’re getting the results you’re looking for.

                      Metabolism calculators take into account four different ways your body burns calories to come up with your TDEE, or how many calories you burn in a day:

                      • Resting metabolic rate
                      • Thermic effect of food
                      • Thermic effect of activity
                      • Non-exercise activity thermogenesis

                      Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)

                      This is your baseline metabolism at rest, or how many calories your body needs to survive if you spent the entire day lying in bed awake.

                      RMR accounts for about 60 to 75% of your total daily energy expenditure. Your RMR is mostly determined by how much you weigh.

                      A heavier person has a higher RMR than a lighter person, even if the lighter person has a higher lean muscle mass, because the metabolism of muscle only contributes to about 20% of your total RMR energy expenditure[2].

                      Thermic Effect of Food (TEF)

                      You’ve heard that to lose weight and gain muscle, you should be eating lots of protein. This is true for a number of reasons:

                      • Lowers your intake of other types of foods, like processed carbs.
                      • Increases satiety, so you continue to feel fuller, longer.
                      • The building blocks for your muscles are found in protein.

                      About 30% of the calories from protein intake are burned off during the digestion process, which includes absorption and waste removal of it. Eating more protein as opposed to other macros increases the amount of calories burned during digestion. That’s why you feel fuller with a higher protein diet.

                      Thermic Effect of Activity (TEA)

                      The calories burned in TEA are relatively minor in your entire TDEE equation. TEA is any calories burned during official exercise, like going to the gym, doing an aerobics class, or going for a run. It covers any exercise you do outside of your normal activities.

                      Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)

                      The calories burned in NEAT is the big game changer for most people and can vary up to 2000 calories burned per day between people with identical RMRs[3].

                      For the majority of us, when we’re done with our workouts for the day, we don’t do much else for movement. We spend about an hour in the gym, and instead of using the other 15 hours awake as an opportunity to move and burn more calories, we spend it sitting.

                      This is how there can be such a big difference between the amount of calories burned between two people who have the same RMR.

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                      Outside of your gym workout, any additional body movements count towards burning additional calories. The quickest way to add this to your day is to make everything you do as inconvenient for yourself as possible.

                      Examples of inconvenient activities that count towards NEAT include:

                      • Taking the stairs versus the elevator
                      • Parking farther away
                      • Getting up to change the TV channel versus using the remote
                      • Pacing and walking while on a phone call instead of sitting down

                      Increasing your NEAT goes a long way to helping your burn calories faster, leading to quicker fat loss. For more ideas on how to make life a little more inconvenient to up your activity level, check out this article.

                      The Laws of Building Muscle

                      Congrats on reaching the stage where you want to tone and get some definition! Learning how to lose fat and gain muscle isn’t an easy process, so if you’ve taken it on, that’s a huge step.

                      To build muscle, first you want to increase your calorie intake.

                      Based on your TDEE, you want to add about 10% more calories as a starting point. This is enough calories to build muscle, and any excess can lead to fat storage if you’re not training hard enough or aren’t active enough.

                      Again, be sure to track your measurements and adjust your calories if necessary.

                      Second, follow a muscle-building program that you can sustain for at least 3 to 6 months.

                      Consistency is key with building muscles because they need to be stimulated and broken down on a regular basis in order to build back up. You want to strength train at least twice a week for at least an hour each time to start getting results.

                      Of course, more often is better but requires better planning and a more complicated body parts training plan. So, start simple if you’re a novice. It’s not necessary to train 6 times a week unless you’re training for a competition.

                      Progressive Overload

                      Muscle needs to be challenged in order to grow. You need to gradually and consistently increase the amount of load and volume you are lifting.

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                      Load means the amount of weight you’re lifting during weight training. Up to a certain point, it becomes unrealistic to keep adding pounds to each exercise every week, at which point you need to switch exercises and work on your weaker points to break that plateau.

                      However, the goal with load is to keep increasing the amount of weight you lift.

                      Increasing the volume you do is another method to progressive overload. Volume means the total number of reps for that specific exercise. If you’re doing 3 sets of 12 reps, it means you’ve done a total of 36 reps.

                      But increasing volume doesn’t mean doing super high reps of 20+ unless you’re training your muscle for endurance versus strength.

                      You want to use a challenging weight and be able to lift more of it each week through increased reps and sets.

                      Here is a visual explanation of how you can engage in progressive overload[4]:

                      PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD FOR MUSCLE MASS by @jmaxfitness - Visit the link in my bio to claim your free 1-week muscle bu… | Muscle, Gain muscle, Weight training workouts

                        Training Intensity

                        Paying attention to what you’re doing is required if you want to lose fat and build muscle because you want to build and improve the mind-muscle connection to optimize growth.

                        A healthy mind-body connection means you’re able to better feel your muscles working during each lift.

                        You know you’ve picked the right weight when the last 2 to 3 reps of your intended rep range is challenging. On occasion, you want to push past the burn and muscle fatigue for the last reps.

                        This little bit of pushing past the discomfort is the difference between an average body and a body with more definition. Lifting almost to failure increases muscle recruitment, metabolic stress, and anabolic recruitment to grow muscles.

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                        Proper Recovery

                        This is the most overlooked aspect of building muscles. We focus too much on pre/post workout meals, macro tweaking, and supplements, forgetting that we already have the ultimate tool for recovery: our own body.

                        For best recovery practices, allow at least a day, but no more than 3 days of rest between workouts that stress the same muscle group. Overtraining results in diminished exercise capacity, possible injury, and illness.

                        Remember, muscles are broken down in the gym and built outside of it during recovery.

                        Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep, and be mindful of your stress levels to optimize recovery time. A lack of sleep and excess stress will spike cortisol levels, leading to hunger cravings, decrease regulation of burning fat, and cause faster aging.

                        You can learn how to lower your stress levels fast here.

                        Stop Program Hopping

                        Every day, there is new workout, new exercise, new program on a website, in a magazine, or in your social media feed. No wonder we’re tempted to try a little bit of everything!

                        Frequent program hopping stops you from getting any results.

                        When you change programs too often, you don’t make progress on each exercise. It becomes hard to gauge whether you’re getting stronger or even getting results because you’re not allowing enough time for your body to adapt.

                        Strength is a skill that needs to be built and developed by practicing it consistently. If you’re changing the skill set too often, you won’t know if you’re improving, and, therefore, cutting yourself short of future muscle gains.

                        Conclusion

                        The steps to losing fat and gaining muscle are simple, but the journey to get there is not.

                        Tracking and measuring your calories is the quickest way to lose fat, along with increasing your activity level outside of the gym. Having a stronger, more toned body can be yours when you follow the laws of building muscles consistently.

                        Applying these methods will guarantee that you get the results you’re after!

                        More on How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle

                        Featured photo credit: Benjamin Klaver via unsplash.com

                        Reference

                        [1] Cheat Day Design: What is TDEE?
                        [2] International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders: Determinants of energy expenditure and fuel utilization in man: effects of body composition, age, sex, ethnicity and glucose tolerance in 916 subjects
                        [3] Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: Variability in energy expenditure and its components
                        [4] J Max Fitness: PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD FOR MUSCLE MASS

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