If you are just starting to work out, your mission may be to lose weight and fat, or maybe you are just focusing on the idea of fat loss.
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 lucky, because it is very likely that just a few small changes will spark some initial fat loss. Meaning, you will see results, without a whole lot of effort in the beginning.
As you progress along, though, chances are, you will 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.
You will not change until you really want it. When that is the case it doesn’t seem like a chore at all. Frankly, you just do it. If you can’t stay accountable to simple principles such as eating less, moving a little more, and eating better, it’s not a question of some outstanding outside factor. You’re not motivated correctly. You have to want to do it for you and you alone.
2) Meal Frequencies
Recent research has shown that when we eat is almost as important as what we eat, with respect to optimizing our body composition. “We’ve learned that it’s essential to coordinate energy intake with energy expenditure,” explains John Ivy, Ph.D. and coauthor of Nutrient Timing (Basic Health, 2004). “Calories are put to their best possible use when they are consumed at times when there is a strong demand for them in the body.”
Morning is a time of relatively high caloric demand. Calories consumed in the morning, are more likely than calories consumed later in the day, to be used for energy, rather than stored as fat. In fact, a study from the University of Massachusetts found that those who regularly skip breakfast are 4.5 times more likely to be overweight than those who eat it most mornings.
Eating smaller meals more frequently (five or six times a day) is another proven way to better coordinate food intake with energy needs. According to statistical data, the average American eats three large meals per day.
3) Burn More Than You Consume
This is about as simple as it gets. You want to eat a huge meal complete with desert and cocktails? No problem. Just be prepared to work extra hard the next day. As long as you burn those excess calories off, Mangia!
Healthy eating is not like a vaccine: one shot and you’re covered for life. Instead it requires a daily, lifelong commitment. There is growing evidence that the more consistent you are in your wholesome eating habits, the greater your chances of maintaining a healthy body weight.
5) Finding What Works For You
Each of us is unique – metabolically, psychologically, and circumstantially. For this reason, there’s no single diet plan that works well for everyone. “Each person needs to find what works for him- or herself,” says Elisa Zied, M.S., R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.
But there are underlying principles of healthy nutrition and dieting that do apply universally. Understanding these principles is essential to finding the right plan for you.