If you’ve lost momentum in your diet or fitness routines, you may be wondering if it’s possible to get in significantly better shape now that summer is here. There’s good news: You can make real progress over the next few weeks without feeling excessively hungry or exercising like crazy. You don’t need to sacrifice your sanity in order to achieve noticeable progress quickly, while also working toward longer-term health goals.
To ensure that you actually lose body fat, follow these guidelines:
- Apply a caloric deficit – To drop body fat, you need to be in a caloric deficit. This means that your total caloric intake needs to be relatively lower than the number of calories needed to sustain your current body mass. In order to drop one pound of body fat in a week, you need to be in a caloric deficit of 500 calories per day.
- Boost protein consumption – Protein gives your body a positive nitrogen balance, which in turn forces the body to utilize fat for fuel.
- Eliminate alcohol – Alcohol consumption adds more calories than protein and carbs—and your body isn’t able to store those calories. Thus, when your body is focused on metabolizing alcohol, fat loss is paused for at least 48 to 72 hours.
- Integrate weight training – Working out with weights enables the body to reveal more muscle definition. By shifting the primary focus of your fitness regime to weight training, you’ll be able to burn more body fat at rest while improving the appearance of your physique.
- Don’t overdo cardio – You don’t need to train like an endurance athlete to look good in a swimsuit. Too much cardio-based exercise can eat away at lean muscle mass and leave you feeling excessively hungry. If you’re not training for a marathon, it’s only necessary to get in 30–35 minutes of cardio, five times a week, while training at 60-80 percent of your target heart rate.
Bonus Tip – Drink a lot of water!
Christine Hronec is an award-winning chemist and three-time champion fitness competitor, nutrition, and exercise expert.
For more information about Christine and how you can get more tips and tricks about losing weight and staying healthy, visit the Gauge Girl training website.