You want to lose weight. More specifically, you want to lose fat. Or maybe you’ve been trying to lose weight and it’s just not coming off.
So, what’s the first thing you do? Eat less.
It’s just not that simple. This can be extremely complex and scientific or we can do it the simple way. I like simple. Go to your doctor and do your own research, tracking, and fancy math if you like science and complexity and need some more of that in your life.
First, what is your goal? You want to lose weight but how much weight?
Second, what’s your activity level? Is your daily life pretty mobile? Or are you fairly sedentary? Are you adding exercise once a week? 4 days a week? 6? Are your workouts low or high-intensity?
Answer those two questions first…..honestly. Write it down………. go ahead. I’ll wait a minute………
Now share them with someone. Science has proven that when you have a partner to work with you, to help you stay accountable and on track as well as cheer you on and support you, you are more likely to be successful. Partner, spouse, friend, parent, or with me as your coach. (It’s my job to help you find the right plan for YOU, get you started, and keep you going until you reach your goal and beyond it and I love every minute of it!)
Easy part’s done. You know what you want. Now let’s work on getting there.
Here are some rules to follow:
1) EAT. yes, that’s right. EAT.
Skipping meals and over-restricting your diet (not eating enough) will actually lead you to gain weight. Your body notices that you didn’t feed it, or didn’t feed it enough, and it starts to prepare for starvation. This means it’s holding onto every calorie it can. Most of what you eat will be stored and not burned. Your body is smart. It knows that muscles burns calories so when you don’t eat your body starts to eat muscle, not fat like you wanted it to. You should be eating every 2-3 hours to keep your metabolic rate up and to keep yourself from getting over hungry and making bad choices.
2) Break your fast.
Everyone fasts. It’s called sleep. When you’re sleeping, you’re not eating; you’re fasting. It’s important to eat a high protein and fiber breakfast within 2 hours of waking up. Not eating breakfast lowers your metabolism and starves your muscles. Totally in a rush and just can’t get it in? At the vert least drink a glass of 1% milk. This will give you protein and calcium. ( I recommend smoothies if you’re in a rush)
Eat high volume and fat-discouraging foods with every meal. These include fruits, veggies and nuts. These are high in fiber to keep you full longer and omega 3’s that are the good fats your body needs. At each meal strive to have 1/2 yourplate be fruits/veggies, 1/4 plate whole grains, and 1/4 plate protein. And eat your fruits/veggies FIRST.
4) Eat before and after exercise
Eat 1/2 hour before working out and within 1 hour after. This will help speed up muscle growth and recovery (muscle burns fat, you want to build muscle. I promise you won’t look like Arnold) and you will limit the release of cortisol, the stress hormone that stores fat. Try to eat a mix of carbs and protein before and something a little more protein heavy after.
Next, how MUCH do you eat? Just because you’re eating all healthy foods doesn’t mean you can eat as much as you want. Extra calories is still extra calories, they’re going to be stored somewhere.
Again, lots of science or something more simple. I choose simple….again.
Take your current weight and multiply it by 10. That number is about the number of calories your body needs, MINIMUM, each day. That amount is for no exercise, no movement. Just to stay alive that’s what your body needs. You should never consume less than 1300 calories each day. To maintain your current weight take that Resting Metabolic Rate (RMB – the number you just calculated) and add 500-600 to it. That’s how much you need to consume per day to maintain your weight.
Now, refer back to your notes about how active you are.
* If your activity level is pretty non-existant but yo do a lot of “life” (kids, errands, groceries, office work etc. etc. etc) multiply your WEIGHT by 13.
* If you are doing an hour of exercise 3-4 times per week, multiply your WEIGHT by 15.
* If you workout 6-7 days a week, times WEIGHT by 20.
Use the number you just calculated as your Calorie Limit (like a speed limit) since you want to lose weight and if you’re going to be under it try to be no more than 300 calories short of your limit. You need to give your body the fuel it needs to be able to kick the fat out.
I’m going to be really clear here and say that this is the super simplified way to do this and it’s a great guideline to start with. Every body is different, each persons metabolic rate is different, some bodies can handle loads of carbohydrates while others need less. Once you have this starting point find a coach or doctor to help you adjust it to your specific needs. It’s always best to consult your doctor before starting a new workout/nutrition regimen.