People may talk about “weight loss” but what they really mean is that they want to lose bodyfat.
You can “lose weight” quickly by dehydration (losing water). Keep in mind that way more than 50% of your body weight is made up of water.
But losing water is not going to improve your appearance or performance at all and it is bad for your health too. Always keep yourself hydrated enough for optimal health and performance.
You can also “lose weight” by losing muscle tissue. Now, the last thing you want is, of course, to lose any of that hard-earned muscle you have been building through hard work in the gym and a consistent, disciplined diet.
So in the end “weight loss” should always come down to getting rid of excess bodyfat while at the same time keeping yourself hydrated enough and holding on to as much muscle mass as you can during your diet.
This will ultimately produce the lean and ripped physique that you want to see in the mirror.
Losing excess fat will also have very benefical long-term effects on your health, as long as you stay lean.
Diet Versus Exercise
So what is the most effective way to lose bodyfat? Should you go on a special diet or should you simply do more exercise?Or should you maybe do a combination of both?
The answer is:The most effective way to lose weight is to create a caloric deficit.
You do this by burning more calories than you consume throughout the day. Do this for a certain period of time and you WILL see impressive results.
A realistic fat loss number would be at about 1-2 lbs of bodyfat reduction per week. This is very doable for most people who follow a sensible and disciplined diet.
Be patient, because if you try to lose fat faster you might mess up your metabolism and lose some muscle in the process too. Your body hates crash diets and will shoot back after an extreme diet, piling the poundages back up again.
At a rate of 1-2 lbs per week, you would lose at least 12 pounds (6 kg) of fat, or more, over a period of three months (12 weeks). If you are not overweight but already relatively lean (14-16% bodyfat), this is what will finally get your ab muscles visible at the end of the program.
Compute Your Calories
Many people don’t like counting calories but this will make things much more effective.
It may even mean the difference between success and failure because you can only improve what you can measure.
So to determine your daily caloric maintenance intake, multiply your bodyweight in pounds by 15.
For example, if you weigh 180 lbs then calculate 180 x 15 = 2700.
In this example you would need to consume 2700 calories per day to keep your body weight where it is.
If you want to gain weight, add 500 calories per day. If you want to lose weight, cut 500 calories from the equation.
How To Burn Bodyfat
Cut your daily caloric consumption first and foremost by restricting your carbohydrate intake.
The current obesity epidemic of our times is partly a result of the sedentary modern lifestyle, but it mostly goes back to people eating an abundance of sugars and carbs that they don’t burn off.
Carbs that you consume but don’t put to use will be stored as bodyfat, plain and simple.
It’s not wise to heavily restrict protein intake during a fat loss diet. You need plenty of protein so that your body can hold on to its muscle mass.
And with regards to fats, stay away from greasy foods (fast foods) and focus on getting your fats from healthy sources like fish, nuts, seeds and olive oils.
Replace the carbs that you’ve cut out from your diet with large amounts of fresh vegetables. These will fill your stomach so that you don’t feel hungry all the time.
They will also provide good amounts of vitamins, fibre and minerals. Cut out white sugars and starches. Replace them with whole grain products.
A pound of fat equals about 3,500 calories. So if your aim is to burn off 1 lb of fat per week, then aim at getting to a daily caloric deficit of about 500 calories.
How To Speed Things Up
So you have restricted your caloric intake and are following a healthy diet, every single day.
In order to speed things up a bit you can increase your body’s energetic consumption by doing additional cardio training.
If you have the time, take an hour-long walk outside early in the morning before breakfast (but take some water to drink with you). Do this every day of the week if possible.
You can also do High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) for 15-20 minutes right after your weight lifting workouts, 2-3 times per week.
How To Keep Muscle Mass
It is absolutely imperative that you follow a serious weight lifting program while trying to shed fat.
Since you will be in a caloric deficit mode you don’t want your body to start cannibalizing its own lean body mass (muscle) for energy.
Instead, you want your body to convert fat, not muscle, into energy.Note: The weight lifting part is NOT about burning calories. Lifting weights never burns even nearly as much calories as cardio training does.
You lift weights so that your body can keep its muscle mass. Lifting weights puts your body in anabolic mode. Cardio does not.
As long as you lift weights regularly and eat enough protein every day (1 gram per lbs of lean bodyweight) you shouldn’t worry at all about about loss of muscle during your six-pack-abs diet and training program.