Possibly the most intimidating thing for any beginner trying to lose weight is knowing where to start with healthy eating and proper exercise. We made this plan to make that part easier. Everything you need is included, from diet to exercise. Follow the program, and you'll be well on your way.
Your Fat-Loss Workout Program
This will give you a good balance between strength and cardiovascular work, while enabling you to generate a high enough calorie burn to see fat loss taking place. Here is a full-body workout program to follow:
Alternate these workouts with ABA one week, BAB the next week, aiming for one day off between workouts, and a total of three workouts per week.
Right now you want to focus on building up a cardio base, so aim to work your way up to being able to perform 30-45 minutes of continuous cardio at an exertion level of about 6-7 on a scale of 1-10. Beginners can start with low impact cardio workouts like walking or easy bicycling.
Once you are comfortable with that, you can look into implementing interval training, if necessary. Note also that you preferably want to perform these workouts in either a separate session than your weight training workouts (so do cardio in the morning and weights later on), or on a completely different day.
With the overall weekly set-up, though, be sure you still have at least one full day off for rest, as this will be necessary to ensure your body is not becoming over trained.
Always make sure you perform some stretching exercises after each weight-training workout to help reduce muscle soreness and increase your range of motion.
Your Fat-Loss Nutritional Program
As a beginner, what you want to mostly focus on right now is making small changes on a continual basis to help improve your overall diet. If you attempt to completely overhaul your entire menu, removing all the foods you typically eat and replacing them with chicken, rice, vegetables, and other obnoxiously healthy fare, you might find it becomes too much and you're overwhelmed.
Instead, incorporate more of those healthy foods, while cutting back on your unhealthier choices. As time progresses, start tilting the scale more in favor of solid healthy food choices, while limiting the processed, refined, and higher calorie items. This slow elimination process will be much more doable for you than trying to quit cold turkey.
One thing you do want to start doing at this point is making yourself more aware of the total calories you're taking in on a daily basis. While making healthier choices is incredibly important, if you're still eating too many of those healthy choices, you're not going to achieve your goal of weight loss.
Find an online calorie calculator and start plugging in the foods you typically eat. Then get your measuring cups out and start finding out exactly how many servings you are eating in a normal meal (do not skip this step because serving size will make a dramatic difference on fat loss).
Do this for about two weeks until you gain a better understanding of your total calorie intake. At the same time, try to educate yourself about how many grams of carbohydrates, protein, and dietary fats are in the common foods you eat as well.
In terms of your calorie intake to get fat loss happening, aim for about 12-13 calories per pound of body weight if you're active and 10-11 calories per pound of body weight a day if you're not. This is a simple way to estimate your daily calorie requirements for fat loss.
Out of those calories, you want to aim to get about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. So, take your current body weight in pounds and multiply by four (the number of calories in 1 gram of protein). This is how many total calories each day should come from protein foods.
After that, you can spread the remaining calories you have left between carbohydrates and dietary fat, being sure to not eliminate either one entirely (a mixed diet is going to be the best approach for a beginner to get started on).
Focus most of your intake on whole foods such as whole grains, potatoes, oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, lean meat, nuts, healthy oils, flaxseeds, and low-fat dairy products.
Try to also eliminate all beverages that contain calories because most people will not compensate for these calories by eating less solid food. Consuming these beverages makes taking in a lower calorie intake much harder.
The primary goal you want to focus on at this point is fat loss. You might have some desire to also work on building your muscular strength, but that will come down the road once you've stripped off the extra layers and are starting to feel leaner. You want a plan that's going to be easy to follow and will get you results quickly.
Your Source of Motivation
Motivation for fat loss can come from a number of places. Perhaps your doctor has instructed you to drop a few pounds because of your current risk for diseases or other negative health impacts. Or maybe you have finally had enough with your current body weight and have decided to take action to reduce your weight down to where you feel comfortable.
Some people are also primarily motivated by the thought of having more energy after losing weight and getting active, so this could be something else at play for you. Finally, others simply want to look better.
Whatever your source of motivation is, it's important at this stage to pinpoint it and always keep that in the back of your mind as you progress along.