While trying to lose weight it is helpful to consume protein rich foods, these will help tame your hunger. In order to lose weight, you must find out your daily calorie maintenance intake (see below). Once you find that out, you have a couple options. You can either exercise to burn calories, simply eat less calories or you can do both. For example:
Maintain Weight = 2000 Calories a day
Lose Weight = Anything below 2000 Calories a day
Lower your calorie intake by at least 500 a day. This will produce a weight loss of one pound per week.
To receive adequate nutrition you have to consume a minimum of 1200 calories per day. This is the lowest amount of calories you can consume healthily. This will produce a weight loss of two pounds per week or more.
*Note: It is very important to diligently count your calories to be as accurate as possible for weight loss.
To find your calorie maintenance intake signup and use the website below: My Fitness Pal This website also provides an application for your smartphone that is highly recommended. (count your calories, calculate calories burned, track your weight loss and much more!)
Losing Body Fat
There is a difference between losing weight and losing body fat. To lose weight is to simply drop pounds on a scale and decrease how much you weigh. To lose body fat is to actually get rid of the loose connective tissue in your body. Have you ever seen someone who is skinny but still looks as if they have a belly or “flab”? That is an example of having a low body weight but still a relatively high body fat percentage.
You can do countless hours of research and studying on how to lower your body fat percentage and yield no results. Tons of websites will tell you that in order to lose body fat you have to do x amount of crunches or sit-ups per day or that you have to repeatedly endure a strenuous abdominal (core) workout, and that is simply not true. In doing those things, you will build your core strength and create muscles in your abdominals but you will not lose any body fat.
The way to lose body fat is by changing your diet! Decrease your calorie intake (see section above) and get rid of the junk food! Limit the amount of carbs, unhealthy fats and sugars you consume. Try eating at least one serving of vegetables a day and fruits in moderation. Be particular about the foods you eat and always reach for the healthy selection. Along with changing your diet, it is important to consume the appropriate amount of macronutrients, click here to learn more.
Although not necessary, cardiovascular exercise and HIIT (high intensity interval training) can complement your healthy diet in your efforts to lower your body fat percentage. In addition to your healthy diet you can perform cardio or HIIT 2-3 times a week.
(Note: Lowering your body fat percentage is the only way to achieve well defined abdominal muscles.)