Want to lose weight? Run a lot and eat less right? If I’m burning more calories than I’m consuming, I’ll be able to finally get that beach bod. Not so fast, there’s a more effective way to losing weight and keeping it off.
Most people don’t really want to lose too much weight, they really want to get rid of excess fat while maintaining or even increasing muscle strength. Well to do that you need to incorporate a few of the following methods into your routine in addition to cardio.
1. Start Weight Lifting
You don’t have to start lifting like a bodybuilder but adding some workouts with dumbbells, cables, and/or barbells will do wonders for you. You continue burning more calories after a weight training session than you do after a cardio session. Weight training is also more effective than cardio at building muscle and muscle is essential to losing fat. Your muscles help burn fat so the more muscle you have the more fat you’ll be able to burn.
2. Protein Intake
Protein helps you build muscle which we now know helps burn fat. But eating protein also increases the number of calories you burn by boosting your metabolic rate and reducing your appetite. A protein intake of about 30% of calories is optimal for weight loss. You should be eating chicken, wild caught fish, and grass-fed beef. Make sure you are properly preparing your food so that you aren’t adding dangerous toxins into your body.
Most people don’t get at least 7 hours a night of sleep that is recommend for proper health. Someone that gets at least 7 hours of sleep burns up to twice as much fat than someone who doesn’t get enough rest, even if they are on the same diet. These same people also feel hungrier, were less satisfied after meals, and lacked energy to exercise. Which makes sense since your body didn’t get the rest it needs it is trying to get the energy that it needs to function from food. You still need to exercise in order to lose weight. Doubling the time of your sleep without exercise won’t garner the results you are looking for :).
4. Food Quality
The types of food you eat is very important to weight loss. You want to be eating food that is high in fiber, so that it keeps you feeling full longer, and foods with a low energy (calories) density. Foods such as nuts, seeds, avocados, eggs, yogurt, fruit, and vegetables in addition to your protein are ideal. Avoid sugary and processed foods. By eating real whole foods and eliminating sugary and processed foods you will be most likely already be at a calorie deficit.
5. Calorie Deficit
If the above isn’t getting you the results you want, try incorporating a calorie deficit plan into your routine. You’ll want to be eating at a moderate calorie deficit. If you are eating at a small deficit, you’ll be losing fat very slowly and if it is too large it will be difficult to sustain. Keep it at about 20% of your calorie maintenance level for best results and increased chances of achieving your goals.
When people say they want to lose weight they usually mean they want to lose fat. The best way to do that is to incorporate a weight training regime to your cardio routine, even if it means you sacrifice some cardio time. Eat real whole foods and make sure you are getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night. If you aren’t getting the results you want, then work in a calorie deficit plan into your diet.
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