BE IN A CALORIC DEFICIT
Everyone has a different base metabolic rate or (BMR). This number is the amount of calories your body burns throughout the day. To lose weight, you must eat less than this number. For instance, if your BMR is 2,000 calories a day, then you should eat 1,500 calories to lose weight. Typically, 500 calories below your BMR is a good amount for steady weight loss. This can take some trial and error. Typically, start high and slowly remove calories from your week-to-week diet.
EAT 1 TO 1.25 GRAMS OF PROTEIN PER POUND OF BODYWEIGHT
A lot of people believe you need to eat a lot of protein to bulk up, but actually, the opposite is true. You can cut back some on protein when bulking, but you should jack up the protein while trying to lean out. You want to keep as much of your hard-earned muscle as possible. You’ll want at least 1g per pound of bodyweight.
DON’T CUT CALORIES TOO FAST
Cutting too much too soon can be detrimental. Far too many people believe that less is more when it comes to weight loss. Cutting calories too low or cutting calories too fast can be detrimental to your weight loss progress. If you’re too low on calories, you will still lose weight, but you will lose a lot of muscle in the process and potentially do damage to your metabolism. Dangerously low caloric consumption is unhealthy and never a good idea.
FOCUS ON RESISTANCE TRAINING
Another huge mistake is focusing too much on cardiovascular exercise. Cardio is a great tool for weight loss, but your focus should be on resistance training. When losing weight, you will inevitably lose muscle. You obviously want to maintain as much of that muscle as possible, to help you burn more fat you burn throughout the day. It increases your metabolism and allows you to eat more without gaining weight. And who doesn’t want that!?
GET AT LEAST 8 HOURS OF SLEEP PER NIGHT
Sleep doesn’t get the credit it deserves for its role in fat loss. The sleep you get per night can make a huge difference when trying to lose weight. Obviously, everybody’s life is different and this is easier for some more than others. But even if you can’t get 8 hours of sleep every night, you should try and get as much sleep as possible.
TRACK AND RECORD EVERYTHING
Tracking your workouts and your food intake is probably the most important thing you can do. While tracking workouts, focus on increasing strength. Even though your goal is fat loss, increasing strength is important for maintaining muscle. Don’t fall into the trap and say, Beacuse I’m trying to lose weight, I’m switching to high reps only.” Keep your weights heavy and your strength up! Recording food has become increasingly easier with the additions of apps like MyFitnessPal. Using these apps allows you to track all your foods and hit your macronutrient numbers, all without having to look it up in other places. Tracking food intake is the single best key for fat loss. You can experiment with all different macronutrient numbers and find what works best for you!