Many people who start on their fitness journey seem to have a very common goal, weight loss. I mean even my initial goal was to lose some weight, but there’s a little more to it than just “lose weight.” First and foremost, what people really mean with weight loss is actually fat loss; so lets make that differentiation now before proceeding. Today, I discuss the right way to lose weight and the proper mentality you should have moving forward so that you can achieve your weight loss goal with confidence.
How could there be a wrong way?
There can be a huge misunderstanding when it comes to weight loss itself. Many people think that simply weighing lighter than what they previously weighed is considered progress, or in other words, good.
However, that drop in weight isn’t necessarily just fat. In fact, that weight loss could also be from various other factors like muscle loss or even water. Remember that your total weight is made of up of several different things including:
- Fluids (including blood)
- Body fat
- Waste (the stuff inside your digestive tract you haven’t eliminated yet)
- Glycogen (the form of carbohydrate you sock away in your liver and muscles as a back-up fuel)
“Most often, when the number on the scale changes, it’s due to fluctuations in the amount of water, glycogen (stored carbohydrate), and waste in your body, which shift from hour to hour and day to day. Losing actual body fat takes longer, because the only way to burn excess body fat is to create a calorie deficit […]” (Laliberte).
In other words, when measuring your progress, don’t just do it by simply weighing yourself. Do it more by looking at yourself in the mirror, or even the classic, check if those pants you used to fit into last year still fit. Fat loss occurs over a period of time, not within a week.; so expect to start seeing progress within months.
So whats the right way?
The right way to lose fat is through a consistent and sustainable caloric deficit, usually of ~100-500 calories under your maintenance along with consistent resistance training.
Now, this is where training and nutrition come into play as they are what’s going to get you into that deficit. There are many different methods as to how you can manipulate these two factors, which can make it very easy to become fixated in choosing the right method.
Well, instead of looking for the right method, look for the best method. The best method would be the way in which YOU can follow consistently and sustainably over a period of time.
Some of these methods include: the keto diet, the paleo diet, the atkins diet, no-sugar diet, the list goes on. However, there’s nothing special about any of these diets, they are simply methods that get you into that calorie deficit; so don’t fall into the trap that a certain diet is the key to your fat loss, the key is a calorie deficit.
First, I want to address that when I mention diet, I simply mean how you eat, NOT a specific way of eating. With that in consideration, if you want to optimize your diet in order to make progress; you want to make it a lifestyle.
Making your diet your lifestyle means being able to include all of the foods you love and enjoy without any restrictions. This will optimize your diet in order to best help you reach your desired goal.
More often than not, when people go through aggressive dieting in order to lose excess fat, they end up gaining back all of the weight they lost if not more, simply because they did it in a way that was not sustainable, completely depriving themselves mentally and physically.
As long as you maintain a deficit, it does not matter what foods you eat. However, mainly eating whole foods will assure your body is getting the nutrients and energy it needs in order to best perform daily tasks and get you through killer workouts.
The quality of the food you eat will determine the quality of your fat loss and performance; so if you decide to eat up your calories with Oreo’s, expect very poor energy, muscle loss, and perhaps bodily malfunctions.
There’s a lot you can do when it comes to training, whether that’s HIIT, LISS, weightlifiting, running, you get the idea; what matters isn’t the type of workout you’re doing, its simply how intense and consistent you’re performing the exercises. Your intensity and consistency determines the effectiveness of your training.
With that being said, feel free to do whatever kind of exercise you enjoy. As long as you train with good intensity and do it consistently. Of course, your body will adapt to the stimulus you apply to it, so change up your training every now and then by slowly increasing volume, changing up the exercises, etc.
“How much weight you lose depends on the amount of exercise you’re willing to commit to […]”
Plan your workouts to include a combination of:
- strength training
- core work
For the best results, a workout program should consist of cardiovascular and strength training exercises. Feel free to check out my free training programs so that you can get an idea of how your training can be set up.
Typically, aim to do either:
- 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio activity at least 2 times per week (60 minutes per week)
- at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity two days per week (50 minutes per week)
Consider implementing a combination of moderate to low activity and/or vigorous aerobic activity.
“Aim for two to three days per week of strength training. Include full-body workouts that focus on compound exercises. These are moves that work multiple muscles at a time. Examples include:
- squats with a shoulder press
- deadlift with a bent-over row
- lunges with a lateral raise
- pushups and plank with a one-arm row
Other key exercises to include in your strength training program include:
- straight leg deadlifts
- pushup dips
- overhead presses
- dumbbell rows
- exercise ball crunches
To get the most out of your weight loss workouts, make sure you’re following these guidelines:
- Vary the intensity of your workouts. Include both HIIT and moderate-intensity exercises.
- Perform different methods of cardio each week.
- Use circuit training when lifting weights to keep your calorie burn high. Circuit training involves doing a series of exercises, one after the other, with no rest between each exercise. At the end of the series of exercises, you typically rest for a set period (30 to 60 seconds) and repeat the circuit two or three more times.
- Take at least two days of rest each week.”
The right way to lose fat is through a consistent and sustainable caloric deficit, usually of ~100-500 calories under your maintenance.
Try eating mostly clean, whole foods in order to best fuel your body; the quality of the food you eat will determine the quality of your fat loss and performance.
Implement a combination of cardiovascular and strength training in order to best maximize the amount of calories you’re burning each session.
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The reader assumes full responsibility for consulting a qualified health professional regarding health conditions or concerns, and nutritional advice before applying the content on this site to themselves. Samuel Navarro will not assume any liability for direct or indirect losses or damages that may result from the use of information contained in this post. You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health.