So you want to lose weight. Great! So what’s it going to be? Drastically cut your calories to 500 a day? Eat only when you are absolutely starving? Not eat at all? Although it may seem like dramatic cuts in your food intake will lead to dramatic weight loss, you’ll find that if you cut your calories too low the only thing that you’ll succeed in is being miserable, hungry and slowing DOWN your metabolism?!? Then you’ll find yourself right back at square one.
Not this time. This time make it once and for all: lose the fat, keep it off, and feel great!
By reducing your caloric intake below 1000 calories per day you are not doing your body any good! You are basically telling your body to “hold on to that fat for dear life.” Your body is composed of many defensive mechanisms and when you cut your calories too low, your body releases fat at a much slower rate. If you ask any fitness model about their diet, you would be surprised at the number of meals they eat per day- probably between 5 and 8! You need to fuel your body for fat loss.
Fueling your body means providing it with the right amount and balance of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, carbohydrates, enzymes, etc. to function optimally, to get rid of unwanted fat, and to kick your metabolism into gear. Calorie levels below 1000 should be avoided, because they decrease metabolism and are usually hard to follow for any length of time! This type of unnecessary deprivation is a major cause of binge eating.
Where to Start
Ok. So you’ve decided. You’re going to lose the weight THE RIGHT WAY. How many calories should you start at? Well caloric needs for weight loss vary from person to person depending on age, gender, height, body composition, body frame and fitness level. Wow that’s a lot of variables!
But complex diet formulas are not what you need. Trust me, keep things simple. Here is a general rule of thumb for weight loss that makes for an excellent starting point:
Average 5’5 woman looking to lose 10 pounds or more: current weight (lb.) x 10 = # of calories
Average 5’9 man looking to lose 10 pounds or more: current weight (lb.) x 10= # of calories
Example- if you are a woman and weigh 160 pounds and want to lose 20 pounds: 160 x 10 = 1600 calories per day
Ok, so we’ve got a simple calorie guideline to start with. Now it’s time for food choices and preparation.
You should check out labels when shopping and become familiar with food portions, calories, fat, protein, and carbs so eventually you don’t need to scrutinize over numbers. Like the fitness models, you want to break your total calories down into 5-6 small meals during the day. Why?
This helps your body maintain a constant level of energy without dips and swings which lead to cravings, fat storage and binges. Small, balanced meals provide your body with a constant flow of nutrients!
The Golden Rule: Stay away from highly processed foods, fast foods, sugary foods, sweets, and high fat foods (6 days a week). These are deadly when it comes to weight loss–they do nothing for your body but store fat. Notice I suggested that you eat “clean” 6 days a week. Most successful weight loss plans have a ‘free day,’ one day per week where you can eat whatever you want. This helps in preventing splurges and the feeling of being deprived and also keeps our metabolism running at full steam ahead.
Your diet should consist of approximately 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates and 20% fat.
Good protein sources include: eggs/eggwhites, fish, lean meat, chicken, turkey, cottage cheese, protein powders. Good carbohydrate sources include: vegetables, fruits, whole grains and oatmeal. Good fat sources: olive oil, flax, fish and olives.
Switch to lower (not non) fat food items like cheese, milk, meats, condiments. Drink at least 8 glasses of water throughout the day- stay away from soda and juices.
Plan ahead! Plan meals for when you are away from home, especially at work. This helps prevent temptations and ensures a balanced diet.
Each meal should be a balance of protein, carbohydrate and fat. Example meals:
** ½ cup oatmeal
3 eggwhites/1 whole egg scrambled with 1 ounce low fat cheese
** 6 oz grilled chicken (cooked in 1 tbs. olive oil)
1/2 cup brown rice
1 cup steamed broccoli
** Meal Replacement Shake or Bar
Choosing Fat Loss Supplements
Supplementing your weight loss program with a fat burner may increase your fat loss results. There are literally hundreds of different fat burners on the market today. These include, but are not limited to, thermogenics, non-stimulants and carbohydrate blockers.
In the thermogenics category, the top products are better. Thermogenics are ephedrine based. These products yield the top results, but also have a possibility of various side effects. If you feel comfortable taking a thermogenic, start out slow so you can judge your own tolerance level to the product. Be sure to read and follow the label suggestions closely.
So you ask, which thermogenic of the hundreds available is best? Which is going to make me lean and mean again? All four I mentioned are excellent, but I would have to give the edge to this one. It is a time proven product, and based on customer reviews results have been outstanding.
The second category is non-stimulant based products. These products are ephedrine-free,and are therefore less risky as far as potential side effects are concerned. While they are sill effective, they will not give the same kind of results as the one above or other ephedra-based products.
Let’s Get Busy
Ultimately, those who are successful in losing the weight and keeping it off are the ones who stop making excuses and start making the necessary changes in their diets and lifestyle to guarantee success. Commit to your goals and you WILL make them happen!