Have you ever wondered what percentage of body fat you need to be at to see your abs? If you are into fitness, or have ever cut weight to achieve your best look, then you have likely pondered this question. And although this number and exact percentage is different for everyone, there are some good general guides to get you close. This article will cover those.
As a general rule, 10% body fat for men (14-17% for women) is the key number to really show your abs. You will start to see the definition of your abs before you get down to 10%. However, to really see the definition of your 6-pack, then 10% is your best target number.
Getting to 10% is simple, but it’s not easy. And always keep in mind that most of the work and heavy lifting is done in the kitchen, not in the gym.
Many people have the opposite perception of this important fact. You can do ab work and core work every day for hours, but if your diet is full of fat and unhealthy foods, then it’s a nearly impossible journey to get to 10%.
The Fundamentals of Getting to 10% Body Fat
Reality is, to cut weight and get to 10% body fat you simply must lose excess fat on your frame.
And the most effective way to do this is to consume less calories than you burn over a given period of time. And that period of time of course depends on your starting point.
If your body fat percentage is 25% or higher, then that is defined as obesity. So the journey will take longer but it’s still totally achievable. Whereas if your body fat is 15%, then you are very close to your target and it will not take as long.
However, if you have ever cut weight and reduced your body fat to 10%, then you likely know that the last 5% are oftentimes the most challenging. If you are obese, or severely obese, the weight falls off rather quickly when you start dieting and cutting weight. The first few months it’s possible that you might lose 5 pounds a week just with small changes.
But as your body adapts and becomes more efficient, and your metabolism changes to adjust to the reduction in calories, it is natural for the process to slow and become more challenging. But look at this as a positive thing, as your body is becoming more efficient.
Check out our friends at A Lean Life for more info on the process of getting lean.
Reduce Carbs…But Not Entirely
Most people trying to get extra lean need to reduce their carbohydrate intake. Carbs are a major stumbling block for many people, and the key to getting to 10% body fat is reducing carbs.
Cutting back on carbs has plenty of health benefits like losing weight, and it can also get you closer to getting your target % body fat. But how does one actually do this when most of us have diets that include a lot of carbs?
Here are some Diet Tips to get you to 10%:
1 – Enjoy healthier drinks.
Sugar-sweetened drinks like soda or iced tea are high in sugar and carbs. If water quenches your thirst, but not your craving for something tasty to drink, add lemon or sugar-free sweeteners like Stevia, Erythritol, or Xylitol. This will make your iced tea or water pretty tasty!
Also, fruit juices contain lots of carbs and so much sugar. Even those that claim they’re 100% fruit! So, you might as well eat the actual fruit so you can have some fiber too.
2 – Low-carb snacks can also make you feel full.
If you get really hungry a few hours before a meal, enjoy a quick fix of low-carb snacks like nuts and cheese—make sure you have them in small servings! Protein bars (100 to 250 calories) also work really well.
3 – More veggies, less bread and potatoes!
Especially when eating out, a lot of meal choices include bread and potatoes. Check with the restaurant if you can replace these high-in-carbohydrate foods with healthy vegetables instead. White bread and pasta are considered simple carbohydrates, and are on the no-go list when you’re cutting to get shredded. Not to be mistaken with complex carbs, such as brown rice and whole wheat bread (which are healthy and necessary).
4 – Load up on protein.
This will make you feel full because of the “fullness hormone” PYY that’s released by protein. It reduces the feeling of hunger, and can help stop certain cravings of more food. Have at least one of these with breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
Lean meats (sirloin steak)
Poultry (white meat chicken – grilled, no skin)
5 – Read food labels and count carbs!
Choose food items that have lower carb and sugar content, and also watch your calorie count. A good target is a calorie deficit of 200-300 calories per day.
You’ll lose fat, but not too fast where you start to lose muscle also.
You can even try out using nutrition trackers – look for available apps on your phone. These trackers will help you keep count of your carbohydrate intake.
The Bottom Line on Body Fat for Abs
If you want to see your abs, then you need to be 10% body fat (or at least very close). It’s not an easy journey, but it’s very doable with some discipline and a lean diet.
Choosing a Safe and Successful Weight Loss Program
Weight Gain is a major concern among many of the adults and millennials in the modern world. To remedy it, there are a lot of weight loss programs offered to help you reduce the excess weight. We often see different programs through magazines, TV, newspapers, radio, and websites that promise to help you lose weight. These programs often include a combination of a diet plan and exercise activity to help you lose weight.
Now, there are different weight loss programs available to follow that caters to certain individuals. If you are interested in losing extra weight but don’t know which weight loss program is best for you, then this post will guide you in choosing the right one.
Before beginning your weight loss journey, it is essential that you talk to your doctor. You might have a medical condition that restricts you from doing a certain exercise. Or you might not able to follow certain diet-plan due to medication. So, it is important that you consult with your doctor before beginning any new diet or exercise program.
You will also get important information regarding your optimal BMI, weight, and other health-related information from your doctor or health-care professional that will help you to choose the right weight-loss program for you.
Things to Consider in a Weightloss Program
There are a variety of factors that composite a good weight loss program. A single weight-loss plan will not be suitable for everyone as it will change upon an individual’s need. To choose a diet plan that will meet with your liking, you should consider the following things:
Cost and Time
Some weight-loss programs are much more costly than others as they demand you to buy certain exercise equipment and meals. Some weight-loss programs also include visiting clinics and support meetings. So, you need to spend your time when you follow these types of weight loss plans.
If you have time and money, then you can choose any premium weight loss program. However, if you have limited time and budget, then you should definitely try a different weight loss plan as it may interfere with your day-to-day life.
Your current health condition also affects how you choose the weight-loss program.
If you are on daily medication or have any condition that restricts you from following a certain diet, then you should choose your weight-loss program carefully. For example, some people cannot run for long or lift heavy weights because of certain cardiac or bone conditions. So, they should carefully choose their weight loss program as it may interfere with their condition.
As mentioned earlier, it is best to consult with your doctor before choosing a weight loss program.
There are different diet-plans present in different weight-loss programs. You should pick one that suits you best.
A flexible diet-plan has food items from all food groups and doesn’t restrict you from having certain food types. It is good for people who are new to weight loss programs and young people.
A balanced diet plan is like flexible dieting but puts restrictions on how much you can intake certain food items. It is a safe and healthy diet-plan and is suitable for young and older people alike.
Other plans like high-protein, low carbohydrates, low fat, and low calories include a severe restriction on certain food types. It will give you a rapid weight loss than the aforementioned types, but you should choose carefully as they do not suit everyone.
Some other factors that you should consider are the risks and the success of the different weight loss programs. Some programs will have inherent risks but may give you quick success in reducing weight. While others don’t have high risks or good success.
You should do some research behind the science and technique of each weight loss program. Then choose the one that you think is best for you.
The experts at the Mayo Clinic have created a popular weight loss program that is suitable for most people. It includes good guidelines to lose excess weight along with living a sustainable life.
You should follow this plan if you intend to live a healthy lifestyle and have a diet that sticks with you for life.
The two main parts of this program are the losing and living phase. The losing phase happens for the first two weeks where you lose up to 5 kilograms by modifying your diet. The living phase helps you to keep your optimal weight permanently. It is a lifelong approach.
The Mayo Clinic diet plan encourages you to have a good amount of healthy foods that are low on calories such as fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain meals. You also get lean protein food items like fish, unsaturated-fats, etc.
The thing to know is that this food-plan doesn’t eliminate any food items for you to have. You can eat everything but in certain portions.
Also, this plan also encourages you to do at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. You should also be active throughout your day like taking stairs instead of the lift, etc.
By following this plan, you not only get to reduce your weight, but you also reduce your chances of developing chronic health conditions; such as diabetes, heart-related problems, high cholesterol, High Blood Pressure, etc.
This plan is one of the most practical and sustainable weight-loss programs for all that you can follow all your life.
When you’re dieting, it’s always recommended to track your weight using weighing scales.
2. Intermittent Fasting
This diet-plan is now the most popular among the young generation. Intermittent fasting includes a time period throughout the day where you can eat and then fast for the rest.
There are different forms of Intermittent fasting that exist today based on the time periods and calories such as 16/8, 5:2, etc.
In the 16/8 method, you can only eat for 8 hours per day and continue fasting for the other 16 hours per day.
In the 5:2 method, you should only take around 500-600 calories for 2 days per week and continue your normal diet for the rest of the days.
By restricting the time and calories that you should intake, Intermittent fasting works well in reducing your weight. If you don’t eat too much in the rest of the time, you can see significant weight loss by following this program.
Studies show that intermittent fasting can reduce up to 8 percent of your weight in just 5-6 months. It can also reduce your belly fat, which is the most harmful fat in our body, by 4-7%.
Research into the intermittent fasting also shows that it can improve your mental health, increase your insulin sensitivity, and reduce inflammation.
Intermittent fasting is a popular weight-loss plan with a lot of health benefits. But it also has its fair share of risks. While it is generally safe for young and healthy people to follow, the same cannot be said for people with a medical condition. People with diabetes, eating disorders, low weight, and pregnant women should talk with their health care professional before following this diet.
3. Paleo Diet
Another popular weight loss program along with intermittent fasting is the paleo diet. It follows the principle of eating foods that our ancestors took before they developed agriculture to lead a healthy life.
Weight gain along with the chronic diseases that plague the modern world can be linked to modern processed foods. If you avoid these foods, then your weight automatically reduces.
In the paleo diet, you get to eat food that is rich in lean protein such as meat, nuts, and seeds; along with different fruits and vegetables. You also limit the food that is processed and rich in calories such as sugar, dairy, etc.
Now, there are different versions of the paleo diet available that includes and restricts different food categories. But overall, following the paleo diet, reduces the number of calories you intake every day.
Studies show that by following the paleo diet, one can significantly reduce their weight along with harmful belly fat. As you intake only foods that are rich in proteins, you get to reduce the risk of developing heart-related problems, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
Like Intermittent fasting, the Paleo diet has risks for some people. People who have kidney problems or other related conditions cannot intake high-amount of calories. So, they should consult with their doctor before following this diet.
It also restricts you to have whole grain and dairy that are healthy and nutritious.
4. Plant-Based Diet
In a plant-based vegetarian diet, you are restricted to have anything outside of plant-related food items.
Foods such as meat, dairy, eggs, honey, and other animal-derived products are restricted in this diet. Plant-based items such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruits are encouraged in this diet.
This diet works well in reducing weight as it contains food that is high in fiber and starch. It keeps your stomach full for a long time, thus reducing the number of calories you intake every day.
Studies too show that people who follow a vegan diet can reduce their weight significantly while also reducing their risk of having heart problems, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.
While the plant-based diet is safe for everyone, you get to lose nutrients such as Vitamin B12, D, calcium, zinc, iodine, etc that are exclusively found in animal-derived products.
5. Low Carb & Low Fat Diets
Low carb and Low fat diet-plans have been popular for decades because of the results they provide in reducing excess weight.
The Low Carbohydrate Diet focuses on intaking a high amount of proteins and fats while limiting foods that have carbs.
Studies have shown that these diet plans are good in reducing your weight; especially the harmful belly fat. They can also reduce your risk of developing heart disease, high cholesterol, high Blood Pressure, and diabetes.
While these diet plans are generally considered safe and good for everyone, they are not suited for all. While some may feel good on the low carbohydrate or low-fat diet, others may feel miserable.
You have to understand that there is no perfect weight loss plan that works for everyone. So, you should carefully consider all the factors and choose the one that suits you best. We hope you got some information on choosing a successful weight loss program to live a long healthy life.
Of course, we all want to build a pair of sexy six-pack abs. The problem is, that it is not easy! It takes hard work, dedication and time. But if you can stay focused, then you, just like anyone else, can get ripped! You just have to lose that belly fat and get those ab muscles bulging! This article will teach you how to do it best! Then you can get those ab muscles bulging in time to show off your summer beach body!
We all want those nice-looking, six-pack abs that everyone stares at. However, few people know how to get them. There are just too many ab myths around to sort through for people to really the truth of how to get a nice pair of abdominals.
Some people say it’s all diet, while others say diet doesn’t matter. And too many people believe that if you just do a bunch of abdominal exercises you will get those abs popping. While others say you don’t need to train them at all.
A lot of people also believe it is all about genetics, and how fit your parents were.
So with all these beliefs, which one is it? How do we get those nice looking six-pack abs? How do we get ripped?
The truth is, most of those beliefs are true. However, doing only one of those things will not give you those nice looking six-pack abs we all want. It takes a lot of things added together to get yourself a pair of ripped abdominals that really show.
It takes a lot of things added together to get yourself a pair of abdominals that really show.
Exercise for Six Pack Abs
First and foremost, many people believe that weight loss is 70% diet and 30% exercise. This is absolutely NOT TRUE.
How can it be? Diet only adds in calories while exercise takes away calories. Plus, exercise gives you long-lasting benefits, including metabolic effects that can continue burning off calories long after your workout ends. Read more on this here! >>
Therefore, the main piece to any weight loss, or transformation plan MUST BE EXERCISE.
By exercising often, especially on a daily basis, you are constantly burning off calories and gaining the muscular benefits of exercise. And, when training that frequently (5+ days per week), you should do moderate-intensity exercise.
Moderate Intensity Exercise
The minimum amount you need to do is 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise daily. Also, make sure to keep your heart rate up to where it is difficult to breathe the entire time. Examples are running, cycling or a circuit at the gym with minimal rest periods.
You can also do bodyweight exercises or any other form of exercise that keeps you moving the whole time. But focus on keeping your heart rate up.
High-Intensity Interval Training burns the most belly fat the fastest!
If you have a lot of belly fat to remove in order to see your developed abdominals, you should consider doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) 2-3 days per week.
High-intensity training done 2-3 days per week, in the form of sprinting, burns the most belly fat the fastest. And, therefore, is the fastest way to get RIPPED six-pack abs! The problem is, most people are unwilling to put in that kind of work.
It is best to do sprints, but you can also do other forms of high-intensity cardio training such as cycling or jump roping. But, with any exercise you do, it MUST BE INTENSE.
An example is sprinting for 20-30 seconds, then resting for up to a minute. You can also do shorter and longer rest periods, but a 1:2 work to rest ratio works well with high-intensity exercise.
Again, this should only be done 2-3 days per week. And it replaces your moderate-intensity exercise for that day.
However you choose to do your daily exercise, just remember that it is the main piece to any weight loss, transformation or six-pack abs plan. However, there is still more to it.
Diet for RIPPED Six Pack Abs
You simply cannot eat your way to a six pack.
The next important piece to getting ripped is diet. Your diet is important and plays a major role in fat loss. But, it is not the main piece.
You cannot eat your way to a 6-pack from a high body fat state, without the use of exercise. Again, diet can only add in calories, it does not take them away.
Also, there is nothing magic about your diet that is going to suddenly make you lose fat or weight. It is as simple as calories in, versus calories out. If you eat more calories than you lose from exercise, you will gain weight. If you eat fewer calories than you use daily, you will lose weight.
However, when you lose this weight, you are more likely to lose muscle than fat. That is unless you give your body a reason to maintain the muscle mass you have.
This is because muscle is hard for your body to maintain. So your body tries to get rid of any extra muscle mass that is not important for survival. That is why it is important to do some amount of strength training, or resistance exercise, while on your diet. This will give your body a reason to maintain muscle mass and just burn off fat.
Strength Training for Six Pack Abs
The strength training you do does not need to be highly intense. And can be done as part of your training circuit at the gym.
A third and smaller piece to the puzzle is Genetics. Diet and exercise are the main pieces that take up most of the efforts. But you also need to think of other factors.
Genetics is an important factor. Some people are more predisposed to have less muscle growth and more abdominal fat. While, some people have very clean cut looking abs, almost naturally while others may not ever see them.
The genetics we have effect our metabolism to some degree and also shape how our abs look. So genetics is mentionable as a factor.
How To Train Your Abs
Train your abs for size, not endurance!
Also, you should train your abdominals for hypertrophy (size), if you want them to stick out more. If you train them for endurance, you are more likely to make them shrink than stand out.
They need to be built, not just worked!
Even through layers of fat, large abdominal muscles can give you some base look of a six-pack. So train your abdominals. Not so much with high repetitions like a cardio session, but more like other muscle groups; such as the biceps.
Do 3-4 sets of 10-15 repetitions of abdominal exercises that are difficult for you, 3-4 days per week.
Sleep is very important for not only recovery from exercise, but also to regulate your hormones and rid you of unnecessary stress.
The final extra piece that needs to be mentioned is sleep.
Sleep is very important for not only recovery from exercise, but also to regulate your hormones and rid you of unnecessary stress. Stress leads to increased abdominal fat. And sleep alone can help greatly in decreasing your stress levels.
So make sure you are getting an absolute minimum of 7 hours of sleep daily. However, 8-9 hours per day is best.
Of course, there are many other small factors that can be added into your ripped six-pack plan, but these are the main ones:
So there you have it! Your very own guide on how to obtain those sought after ripped six-pack abs. Now all you have to do is apply it!
You have to choose to go out and exercise on a daily basis. You have to choose to make a change in your diet and eat only what will help you reach your goals. Then you have to choose to put all the pieces together, such as getting to sleep on time every day. And you have to choose to go after the goals you set and achieve them.
If you workout, then we know you want to get SHREDDED; aka Lean, Cut, Aesthetic, Defined and Muscular. I mean, who doesn’t want to have 6-pack abs to show off? The thing is, as with everything in life, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. This article will go over the best way of how to get lean while maintaining your hard-earned muscle mass. So, then you can look like Bruce Lee, Arnold Schwarzenegger, or the new Bodybuilding Mr. Olympia sooner than you think!
First, this article is a continuation of our previous article, JACKED – How to get Big and Strong. In that article, we discuss your basal metabolic rate, activities for muscular growth and nutritional concepts to manipulate your weight. If you have not done so already, I recommend you go back to that article first to get a base for what we discuss here. Then you will have a basic understanding of how to get bigger and build muscle mass, properly.
This article will teach you how to maintain your muscle mass while losing body fat. So then you will look lean and shredded like a pro bodybuilder!
What does it mean to be SHREDDED?
So what do we mean by getting SHREDDED?
What most people want to do when losing weight or getting leaner is lose body fat while maintaining, or even increasing, muscle mass. This helps to give an aesthetic look that shows off the muscle you have already built. But, oftentimes people have a non-optimal way they go about losing body fat that also decreases their muscle mass.
So, before getting into the details of how to get lean, let’s review a little…
“To lose weight you simply must eat fewer calories than you use.”
First, to lose weight you simply must eat fewer calories than you expend through your basal metabolic rate and daily activity, or exercise.
Your basal metabolic rate is the number of calories you expend without activity, or at rest. This rate can be raised by increasing your muscle mass; as muscle is calorie expensive tissue compared to body fat. That means your body has to work to maintain your muscle mass where fat tissue just sits around. This puts stress on your body to keep your muscles working.
So, if you want to increase or maintain muscle mass while losing weight, you must give it a reason to stay. You can do this by placing stress on the muscles, forcing them to be maintained.
Then, if you want to gain weight, you just have to eat more calories than you use daily. However, if you don’t stimulate muscle growth, then the extra calories will be stored as body fat.
This is the basis for using muscle mass to your advantage when manipulating your body weight.
Designed for Survival
Our bodies are designed very efficiently and only have one goal in mind…survival. So, our body systems work in unison for us to be able to survive out in the wild on our own.
With this in mind, we were not designed to have a plentiful supply of food throughout the day. We can see this through our ability to absorb almost all of the nutrients we consume and our capacity to store body fat.
Our bodies were designed to be ready for fasting, or starved states. So everything we consume is absorbed and what we do not use is stored.
Body Fat Is Necessary
Knowing this, we can see that storing excess calories as body fat is a necessary adaptation for survival. However, that does not always fit into the current aesthetic goals of most people today.
Many people of today want to lose body fat but maintain muscle so that they can look good, or SHREDDED. The problem is our body does not care how we look. It just wants to survive. And, unless properly stimulated, body fat is more valuable to survival than muscle.
This is because muscle is energy costing and vascular, or has blood vessels. These characteristics of muscle make it difficult to maintain compared to body fat; which is stored energy that can be used for survival when needed.
This poses a problem for those trying to maintain their muscle while losing weight. But there is a solution…exercise!
How To Lose Weight
Overall, losing bodyweight is an easy concept to understand. It is just the opposite of gaining size. You just have to eat fewer calories than you expend daily.
This is easier said than done because many people do not like to feel hungry.
Still, what do people do to lose weight? They eat less and start to exercise more by doing a ton of “cardio”. This can work, but it is not the best way for your health or long term success.
If you exercise more, you must eat more, or be in caloric balance, to adapt to the new workload. Otherwise, you will not have enough energy to workout as hard as you should. Then you will lose muscle mass due to lack of nutrients.
Also, “cardio” is not the best way to lose weight.
Doing cardio is great for burning calories but it does not have long-lasting effects extending beyond 24-48 hours after training.
Think of this…cardio burns calories today, muscle burns calories forever. What that means is that when you do cardio you burn calories during and shortly after. However, the effects will wear off within 24-48 hours, depending on the intensity. Then you will have to do another session to get the same results.
When building muscle, though, the new muscle burns calories during your training session and every day thereafter as long as you maintain it.
Of course, resistance training and cardiovascular training should be used together to present the greatest results.
Just remember that whatever you do, it must be intense.
Resistance training must be intense enough to stimulate the muscle to grow or maintain itself. And your cardio should be done as high-intensity intervals. That form of cardio helps to maintain muscle mass while burning the most fat.
Overall, it is better to use muscle stimulating training that will cause growth in combination with some intense cardio training, such as sprint intervals, to obtain the greatest overall calorie deficit.
Training vs. Dieting
“Weight loss is NOT 10% training and 90% diet!”
How many times have you heard people say something like, “Weight loss is 10% training and 90% diet.”?
I’m here to tell you that is not true. Not even close! How can it be? Diet has limits much smaller than that of exercise. Plus, you do not get the same adaptations through diet as you do for exercise.
Diet affects your energy balance, but exercise affects everything.
Exercise influences your energy balance, muscular growth, hormonal changes, cardiovascular system, digestive system, central nervous system and so much more!
Still, don’t believe it?
Let’s think of it like this…an elite athlete is going to look like an elite athlete even on a poor diet. However, a sedentary person will not get a 6-pack no matter their diet.
“When it comes down to it, exercise is what makes people look lean and SHREDDED.”
Sedentary individuals can be lean but they cannot have a strong muscular look without some form of exercise to create muscular growth. This is because diet does not influence your body as much as exercise and activity do.
Yet, it almost doesn’t matter what an endurance athlete eats because their energy expenditure is so high that even if they only eat what we consider to be “unhealthy”, they will still have low body fat. Assuming that their caloric intake to energy expenditure is balanced.
However, a sedentary individual that is in caloric and energy balance, meaning they eat the same amount of calories they expend through their basal metabolic rate and any activity, will be much more likely to lose muscle and gain body fat even on a healthy diet.
Diet only plays a role in energy balance and performance but has minimal influence on your ability to lose body fat alone.
Exercise, however, plays a major role in stimulating muscle and reducing body fat. So, when it comes down to it, exercise is what makes people look lean and SHREDDED.
Stimulate Your Muscles
Again, losing weight is as simple as eating fewer calories than you use to survive on or use for activity. This is true, but when losing overall weight on a caloric deficit you will likely lose muscle faster than you lose fat unless you give it proper stimulus.
If you stimulate your muscles for growth or at least put enough stress on them to be maintained, then you will lose less muscle and more body fat.
Again, your body just wants to survive. So if you put stress on your muscles to where they need to adapt by growing you will maintain your muscle mass while using your body fat to balance your caloric deficit.
This is beneficial in two ways: by allowing you to maintain your muscle mass and burning more body fat than you would have without the exercise.
Now in order for this to work the best, and allow for the least muscle loss, you must make only small, incremental changes over a long period of time.
After you have built yourself up enough by eating enough to maintain your current activity load, then you can start cutting back calories to lose body fat.
You should start by being in a 200-500 calorie deficit while training in order to start losing weight. Then, only drop another 200-500 calories after it has stopped working. I recommend you start with 200 calorie change, then adjust as needed.
Whatever you choose, the exercise MUST be intense. Without enough intensity and volume, as discussed in the previous article, your muscle will not have enough of a reason to be maintained.
Also, you must continuously increase your total workload, so your body to be forced into muscular adaptation or maintenance.
With a caloric deficit and intense training, you can force your body to survive in a low body fat state, making you look lean and SHREDDED!
Eat More and Exercise More
“Eat more, exercise more, and then start to drop weight.”
For most people trying to lose weight, it is best to simply start increasing their workload through exercise. Start small and progressively increase over time for the best results.
As you increase your activity, you should actually eat more before trying to lose weight. This allows your body to adapt to the stresses of exercise while increasing your basal metabolic rate, before decreasing body fat. Basically, you need more calories to meet the energy needs of your new activity level.
Then, by eating more you will increase your muscle mass and basal metabolic rate so you can eat more calories than before. This allows you to have more room for free eating, or cheat meals. Then you can stay satisfied with little effect on your total caloric balance.
Which would you rather be?
This can be best viewed by thinking of two situations.
Situation #1: An individual trying to lose weight eats 2,000 calories daily on average. Then they cut out 500 calories per day to be in a deficit. After they plateau, they then cut out another 500 calories to lose more weight. They are now down to 1,000 calories per day which greatly limits the amount of food they can have to reach their nutrient needs and poses health risks.
Situation #2: An individual exercises and eats more calories until they reach a 3,000 calorie daily balance. They then have a much greater amount of calories they can cut down on to lose weight while still getting in enough food to be satisfied and healthy. Not to mention, they also gained more size and strength in the process. So, when they cut back calories they have more room for adjustments. Plus more drops they can do. And that is how the IFBB pro Bodybuilders do it, so it obviously works!
So the best approach is, eat more and exercise more, first. Then you can start to decrease your caloric intake by 200-500 calories while maintaining the same workload.
This allows you to eat more than you would have previously so that you can feel more satiated, while still allowing you to lose weight.
Eat more, exercise more, and then start to drop weight.
Final Notes on How To Get Lean
So, the next time you start on your goal to look lean and SHREDDED or hear of someone trying to lose bodyweight, you have an idea of what it takes.
I recommend anyone trying to get leaner does so with a partner. You can make each other accountable and help each other during the times when it gets hard. Just remember, consistency is the key.
Exercise intensely while consuming appropriate amounts of calories before starting to slowly decrease calories over time. As you reach your goals, keep training hard but then you may begin to eat more so that you are in caloric balance with your activity level, or excess to build muscle.
I wish you the best of luck and remember to keep getting stronger!
We all know diet and exercise are important. However, it doesn’t have to be hard! So many people make it out to be much harder than it really is. If you just do a little planning and put in the effort, your health and weight loss goals can be accomplished.
Neither diet nor exercise trump the other. They are BOTH important if you want to reach your strength, health and fitness goals! They both work together to help create a healthy body. If you do one or the other well with little regard towards the other, you will not get near the results as if you worked both together.
“Your diet helps to amplify the effects of exercise…”
Have you ever heard something like, “You can’t out exercise a bad diet”? Well, though exercise is highly valuable, and burns a ton of calories, it’s too easy for us to eat more calories than we can burn off. Also, if you have a bad diet, you likely will not have the energy to exercise enough to maintain a healthy body.
Have A Good Diet
Your diet helps to amplify the effects of exercise and gives you the energy to perform at your best. So, in order to perform your best, YOU NEED A GOOD DIET!
That doesn’t mean you should be stuck eating bland foods like chicken and broccoli every day, but you should put more thought into it than “oh look, ice cream has 2g of protein in it!”.
Your calories and their sources matter. Have a reasonable amount of fats, carbs, and protein if you want to perform your best and get the most out of your workouts.
DO NOT make one nutrient out to be “bad” and another the only thing you concern yourself with. Find an equal balance that fits your lifestyle and stick to it with little variation.
Do Real Exercise
“If you want to create change, you have to do things that are harder than walking your dog.”
If you don’t exercise you aren’t going to change much of anything. You can’t diet your way to a 6-pack while just sitting around or going through everyday activities. You need some amount of exercise no matter how clean your diet is.
Exercise not only burns calories, but it also creates numerous changes in your body, including hormonal, that changes how your diet affects you. If you want to look like you are fit and workout, then guess what? You’re gonna have to exercise, and exercise enough to create change.
If you want to create change, you have to do things that are harder than walking your dog! Even if you walk your dog uphill, that is still not considered exercise.
Do some strength training, go for a run, do calisthenics at home, cycle, or anything you enjoy. Do it multiple times per week and put in some strong effort so you can get some great results. This will amplify your results as your diet and exercise routine work together to create the most amount of change within your body.
Make Progress Every Day
“You can do 1 push-up or squat today, 2 tomorrow, 3 the next day and so on.”
Your diet and exercise routine doesn’t have to be complex. Let it be simple.
Let go of the excuses, we all can make them, and get started today. Right now is the time to make a change. Tomorrow is too late!
Get up and do SOMETHING! Anything! Just move and work towards becoming stronger!
Start easy and progress forward by doing just a little more each day. You can do 1 push-up or squat today, 2 tomorrow, 3 the next day and so on.
You can run for 1 minute today, 2 tomorrow, 3 the next day and so on.
The Daily 30 is also a great choice and it was made specifically for beginners!
“Most of us overeat at night due to under-eating throughout the day.”
When it comes to diet and exercise, keep it simple! Start with a simple diet change, like taking a multivitamin or drinking an extra glass of water every morning. Then you can move onto adding in a healthy snack during the day. Such as some fruit, vegetables or some nuts.
YES, I did say “add in” a meal before I said to take anything away. This is because most of us overeat at night due to under-eating throughout the day. If you add in a healthy snack/meal during the day when you need the energy, you will tend to eat less as night, which will make a big difference in itself!
For exercise, start with doing some push-ups, planks, squats, jogging, the Daily 30 or something! You MUST EXERCISE if you want to create change! This tends to be the hardest part for everyone, but it is extremely important! Diet and exercise go together.
Take it slow, but make a change! Your world starts to change the moment you start changing it! So let’s get to it!
“Your world starts to change the moment you start changing it!”