Dieters who seek to achieve their goal weight may find the beginning stages of exercise and diet disheartening. From doing gymnastics to spending a few hours at the gym, it feels like the workouts you do should be causing the pounds of fat to melt away. For some reason, the stubborn baby fat around your waist is still hanging on as you log extra hours in your running shoes. The problem? You may be going about it all wrong.
Calories in versus Calories Out
As you start down the path towards permanent, consistent weight loss, you need to keep one main concept in mind: calories. If you want to lose weight, your calories burned each day have to be greater than the calories you eat. The only way to get a good grasp on what is going in your body is to keep track of exactly what you are eating and write it down. Carry a notebook along with you to track how many calories you are eating. Many phones now have applications that can tell you how many calories are in each item of food; if not, try checking out your local bookstore for a guide that lists common foods.
Not Just Calories
So in theory you could eat nothing each day and work out for hours, right? Not quite. As you diet you, you should maintain a minimum of one thousand calories a day if you want to lose weight. Any amount less than this will make your body go into starvation mode and actually slow down your metabolism. A diet too low in calories is also often too low in vitamins and minerals and will leave you without enough energy. Try to achieve a four hundred calorie deficit a day for the optimum weight loss. A good rule of thumb is to never lose more than ten percent of your body weight over a six month period. Anything more than this is unsustainable and often unhealthy.
What You Eat
Check out the foods you are eating as well. They should be high in fiber in nutrients so you stay satiated for longer. Fats should come from healthy sources like nuts while your protein should be gained from lean meats and fish. The more fruits and vegetables you eat in your diet, the better. Fruits and veggies provide vital nutrients, are low in calories and high in fiber meaning your body is healthier and it is even easier to lose weight.
Vary Your Workout Plan
Many dieters get too wrapped up in cardio exercise. Although this form of exercise can help you to burn more calories an hour, it does not help your body burn calories over the long run. Strength training exercises should be added. As you build muscle, the muscle will start to burn more calories-even while you are sleeping. The added muscle can also help your body to look more toned. Even before you reach your goal weight, you will start looking thinner! As your muscle mass increases, remember not to panic as you look at the scale. Muscle weighs more than fat, so initially your body weight may go up. At the same time, your actual amount of body fat is decreasing. Over time, the added muscle will ultimately lead to a lower body weight.
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