Scott Markey | Fitness
The question I get asked more than any other is “How do I lose body fat?”
The goal of most everyone, both men and women, is to lose body fat while retaining your hard-earned muscle!
Here are some basic guidelines: First, find out how many calories you need to maintain your current body weight, then subtract 500 calories from that, and spreading it over six meals.
Finding out how many calories you need to maintain your current body weight can be done in two ways: you can do it professionally with a calorimeter, or just write down everything you eat for three days, add up the calories by checking the calorie tabs, then divide by three. This will give you an idea of what your daily caloric intake is.
Remember, for every meal make sure you have a lean protein, a low glycemic carbohydrate and a vegetable. Protein is important as it further decreases the glycemic load of the carbs, and it spares muscle, which keeps your metabolism high. This is what you want. Vegetables are important for gastrointestinal (GI) health and they will keep you full.
I have trained so many people who work out correctly and watch their diet, but fail to consider the basic essentials, such as taking a multivitamin/mineral supplement or drinking enough water. Muscle is comprised of over 70 percent water.
Try to do 45 minutes of low impact to moderate cardiovascular exercise every day to increase your heart rate. Excessive high impact cardio will cause muscle loss. This is what you don’t want.
Some people think cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach (fasted cardio) facilitates fat burning the best. This is debatable, however. If it works for you, then by all means go ahead and do it this way. If you cannot do your cardio first thing in the morning, or do not wish to, then do it in the afternoon or evening; but always after your weight or resistance training.
The most important thing you can do to lose body fat is some sort of resistance or weight training. The more muscle you have, the more calories that are burned at rest, without having to do much cardio at all.
Remember, however, to take it slow. If you are losing more than two pounds per week, you are most likely losing muscle.
Spreading out your meals in small portions, four to six times through out the day, is key here for both men and women. Keep your protein high and it’s OK to have a cheat meal occasionally. It will not be the end of the world. It will actually help you stay on your diet. If you are miserable dieting seven days a week, you will most likely fail at your diet. So have that cheat meal every now and then. It will not matter if you are being strict on your diet most of the week. Proceeding in this manner, you will have a better chance of achieving your goals. So get to it! Stay healthy everyone.
— Scott Markey has over 25 years in the fitness and health industry. He has graced dozens of magazine covers and specializes in physique management, training and nutritional consultation. You can find him on Facebook or reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org