Have you noticed that you can no longer fit in your jeans? Has your confidence been affected by your weight gain? If you said yes to any of those questions, then it’s time to buckle down and work towards a healthier lifestyle. In this post, Susan from Cook The Stone will run you through the basics of reducing body fat. This article is geared towards beginners like you who have never been on a fat loss program or have been unsuccessful in the past.
Do you want to lose weight? Read this simple guide to losing body fat for beginners.
Losing weight vs. losing fat
But before I go into the specifics, let me clear one thing first—there’s a world of difference between losing fat and losing weight. When you want to lose weight, this means you would like to reduce your body weight. This involves not just fat but also the weight of the bones, water and muscles in your body. But if you aim to lose body fat, you’re trying to lower the amount of fat that your body carries. A more sustainable way of losing weight is to lose fat. The ideal range of fat percentage for men is between 10 to 15 percent, while for women is 15 to 20 percent.
Why going on a diet doesn’t always work
I am sure that one of the first things you thought of after realizing that you need to lose fat is to go on a diet. However, I would advise you not to do so because most of the diets these days are difficult to follow and not sustainable. And according to neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt, dieting can lead to weight gain because it is stressful. The author of the book “Why Diet Makes Us Fat,” she says that dieting can cause the stress hormones to induce fat cells in producing more abdominal fat.
How to lose body fats
So if diets don’t work, what can you do instead to lose body fats? As a beginner, you should focus on making small changes in your overall diet. Instead of completely overhauling your menu, why don’t you slowly incorporate healthy foods and cut down on unhealthy food choices? Instead of drinking soda, why don’t you drink healthier beverages like watermelon juice? And why not eat cabbage and egg pie instead of having a Big Mac when you’re hungry?
Aside from being more conscious of the foods that you eat, you should also learn how to count the calories that you are taking. You can find a calorie calculator online and compute your caloric intake by plugging in the foods you eat on a daily basis. It will also help if you find out exactly how many servings you eat in a normal meal. Make this a habit until you get a better appreciation or understanding of your total caloric intake. I know that it can be quite annoying for you to count calories. However, there are other ways for you to minimize your caloric intake. For example, divide your plate up into quarters. You can place a small serving of lean protein like beans and seafood in one-quarter. You can find other good lean protein choices on this page. Then put starchy carbs like brown rice and potatoes in another quarter, and fruits and vegetables in the final two-quarters.
Getting more active
I’m sure you’ve read how getting more active can do wonders for your fat loss plan. And that’s true—the more exercise that you can get the more fats that you can lose. Similar to making small changes in your diet, you don’t need to be an athlete overnight to lose fats. More often than not, making dramatic changes to your exercises can backfire because you will likely feel overwhelmed and tired. There’s also the risk that you will get injured.
Again, aim for a slow and moderate approach to your training. For example, you can walk more. This can help you burn a few more calories. Aside from cardio training, you will benefit from lifting weights. Doing so will boost your metabolic rate and allow your body to burn more calories on a daily basis.
Other Tips to Remember for Losing Body Fat
Apart from limiting your calorie intake and getting enough exercise, there are other things that you should do to lose fats. One is to get enough sleep every day. Aim to get at least eight hours of sleep. When you are not getting enough sleep, you would likely compensate by going on a binge eating.
Even the timing of your meals can impact your progress. Studies have shown that eating six small meals a day instead of the usual three meals a day can rev up your metabolism, and allow your body to burn more fats.
Losing body fat is a more sustainable and healthier process than merely losing weight. Try to aim for 10 to 15 percent of body fat if you’re a guy, and 15 to 20 percent if you’re a gal. Instead of taking a crash diet that you won’t likely sustain, it is a lot better to make small but regular changes in your diet. Count and limit your calorie intake by eating healthy foods like lean meat, fruits, and vegetables. Of course, you should work out more often. And don’t forget to take enough rest to avoid falling into an eating binge.
Hopefully, I have helped you get started on your battle against the bulge. Keep these pointers in mind, and I am sure you have won half of the battle.