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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
7. Are You Hungry? Good!
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
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.
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
If you can drink only these three beverages for 99% of the time, you will be able to lose body fat faster than ever.
- Coffee – The caffeine boosts metabolism and helps you feel energized
- Green Tea – Contains many beneficial antioxidants that support weight loss
- Water – Essential for all manner of body functions but also boosts metabolism
Featured photo credit: Leeroy via stocksnap.io