As a beginner just starting out with the goal of fat loss, you may feel as though there is a significant amount of confusion surrounding what you need to be doing to lose body fat.
Some individuals start out aiming to simply increase their exercise as much as possible, while others start cutting back on what they eat. Both methods can be effective for promoting fat loss, but typically a combination of both is what's best.
As a beginner you are in a lucky position because it is likely that just a few small changes will spark some initial fat loss (meaning it's not going to be a great deal of work for you right now to start seeing results).
As you progress along though, you'll likely find that the initial fat loss starts to slow and you must start making more and more adjustments in order to continue to see results. Here are the main points that you should be keeping in mind.
Fat Loss Principals
Use The Plate Division Rule
Eventually the optimal way to ensure fat loss is going to be counting calories, as annoyingly painful as you may find that to be. At first though, you can likely see some results simply by focusing on shifting the composition of your meals, which should automatically lower your daily calorie intake.
Think of dividing your plate up into quarters. On one quarter you place a small serving of lean protein, on another quarter you place a serving of starchy carbohydrates (potatoes, brown rice, whole grain bread, etc), and on the final two quarters (half your plate) you fill up on vegetables (with low calorie sauce if desired) or fruit.
Aim To Walk More
Making dramatic changes to your workouts right off the bat often backfires because it leaves you feeling overwhelmed, sore, tired, and sometimes even injured.
Instead, aim for a moderate approach to your cardio training by adding a bit more walking throughout the day. That in itself should help burn a few more calories each day, increasing the results you see.
Keep in mind that exercise does not need to always be intense in order for you to see progress. Every little bit will add up over time, so making an effort to simply be more active throughout the day will go a long ways towards you getting to where you want to be.
Start Lifting Weights
In addition to your cardio training, if you haven't been lifting weights regularly, now is the time to start. Lifting weights will help to boost your metabolic rate, increasing the amount of calories you burn on a daily basis.
Plus, it's also going to help tone your muscles to a larger extent, giving you the defined look you're going for. Be sure you are making an effort to consume both protein and carbohydrates before and after your weight lifting workouts since this will be important for you to recover properly and see results from the program.
Too many beginners think that by skipping eating around the workout they will experience a greater rate of fat loss, but this isn't the case.
If You're Hungry Eat More Protein-Based Snacks
Chances are at some point or another you're going to get hungry for a snack. Common snacks that most individuals turn to are unfortunately very high in carbohydrates, sugar, or fat, making this less than optimal for fat loss results.
For example, one popular choice is a cereal bar. It seems small, low in calories, and easy to transport. While all of these things are true, on the negative side, it doesn't really provide you with much in the way of nutrition, and can cause certain problems that would possibly leave you wanting more food.
A better option is to choose your snacks based on protein, as this is what will help keep you satisfied for a longer duration of time. Protein also causes the greatest increase to your metabolic rate, further making fat loss that much easier.
Be Sure Your Sleep Is Adequate
Finally, you'll also want to make sure you're getting enough sleep throughout the day. When you aren't sleeping enough, you're more likely to find that your appetite gets out of control and you may wind up binging on foods you didn't intend on eating.
Further, not getting enough sleep is going to leave you feeling more fatigued throughout the day, which also will cause you to put less effort into your workouts, potentially showing decreased results from them.
Follow the program outlined below, allowing for approximately 60-90 seconds of rest between sets. Note that you perform workout A on Monday and Friday of the first week with workout B coming on Wednesday. The second week cycle you'll start with workout B, performing that on Monday and Friday, placing workout A on the Wednesday.
Continue alternating in this fashion as you progress through the weeks. Saturday and Sunday you can perform some light cardio or take the days off as rest.
Fat Loss Diet Plan
So, keep these small changes in mind as you head towards the goal of fat loss. It's perfectly manageable to get great results without feeling overwhelmed or going to the extreme with lifestyle changes.
You'll likely find also that as time goes on, the changes will seem more natural to you to start with, thus it'll seem like less work to maintain the weight loss in the long term.