How Do I Begin A Fat Loss Plan?... Let Me Count The Ways!
Most people are unsure about how to begin a fat loss program. They have many questions about food choices, meal composition and exercise.
Getting yourself in good physical condition will require willpower and dedication and the desire to get results. It is not easy to lose body fat. It took a long time to accumulate the fat and it will take just as long to remove it.
Remember that you should aim to lose 1.5 to 2 lbs. per week. Lose any faster and you are probably losing water and muscle. Losing muscle is detrimental to any fat loss program because it is muscle that burns calories. THE MORE MUSCLE YOU HAVE THE MORE CALORIES YOUR BODY REQUIRES!
If you lose fat slowly while learning to adopt a healthy lifestyle, you are more likely to keep the weight off. And, if you ever falter, you'll know exactly how to get back to your goal weight without returning to your old ways.
Here is how to start a good eating program.
1. Increase your water intake. If you are exercising, try to drink at least 100 oz. to 128 oz. per day.
2. Limit yourself to two drinks per week. Alcohol slows your metabolism and decreases your body's ability to burn fat by as much at 40%. Empty calories!
3. Decrease significantly or completely eliminate sugar from your diet. If you are a dessert person, treat yourself once a week to something sweet. This includes soda. If you are a soda drinker, switch to diet and only have two cans per day?Splenda sweetened preferred!
4. Eat 5 small meals per day. This is the most important factor in losing fat. Eating smaller more frequent meals will speed up your metabolism and prevent your body from going into starvation mode. Each meal should be approximately 3 hours apart.
5. Try to eat a serving of vegetables with 3 of your 5 meals. Vegetables are water rich (so is fruit) and have plenty of vitamins and fiber. They are filling and of course they are good for you.
6. Do not eat 3 hours before bedtime. The evening is when you are least active and your metabolism slows in preparation for sleep. You risk storing late-night calories as fat. IF you are absolutely starving at night, have a few pieces of fat free turkey breast to fight the hunger.
7. Do not skip breakfast. This is the meal that will govern your day. Eat a basic breakfast of carbohydrates, protein and fat to set up your metabolism for the day and to provide fuel for your daily activities. Remember, if you don't feed yourself a small wholesome meal in the morning, your body will draw on your muscle tissue as a source of energy, putting you in a slump and in muscle deficit. This means your body will eat your muscle to fuel your activities and your body fat will grow.
8. To lose fat you must put yourself into calorie deficit. This means you will have to eat less than you have been eating. Try to eat 500 calories less per day than you have been eating or reduce your calorie intake by 250 calories and add enough exercise to burn 250 calories. (Example: 35 minutes on a treadmill at 4% incline at 3.5mph.)
9. Lower your starchy carbohydrate intake, increase your protein intake and be careful how much fat you eat. Some fat is necessary. Try not to eat more than 20% of your daily calories from fat. Starchy carbs are potatoes, rice, beans, bread, pasta, oatmeal, etc. Replace these carbohydrates with fibrous carbs, such as green veggies. The best way to slowly lower your carb intake is to stop eating starchy carbs after 3pm so that your last two meals of the day do not contain starchy carbs.
10. Get 8 hours sleep per night. Sleep, rest and relaxation are of prime importance. It's during periods of sound sleep that our bodies recuperate and build muscle tissue. Lack of sleep encourages the production of the hormone Cortisol. High levels of Cortisol have been shown to promote fat storage.
My fat loss and fitness plan "Every Body Loses" will give you the tools you need to begin a healthy weight loss program. The style of eating and exercising outlined in my book is one that you can follow for life without feeling deprived. If you're serious about losing fat and getting fit go to www.aim4nutrition.com and get started TODAY!
Good Luck and Be Well,
Personal Trainer & Nutrition Analyst
AIM 4 NUTRITION