The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
I could come up with dozens of articles within the next hour that promise you a guaranteed fat loss routine & fail to keep every bit of that promise. We have over complicated fat loss so much over the years. Getting healthy & shedding fat is probably one of the easiest changes you can make to your body, but it does require a decent amount of time. There is no shortcut to this but if you give your body a period of about 3 months, the changes will be massive. That being said, fat loss is nothing but a bit of basic math, a lot of patience & a few “cheat codes”.
The first and primary principle of losing fat is being in a calorie deficit. Your maintenance calories is your daily calorie intake which keeps your weight the same. A daily calorie intake above that is known as calorie surplus & helps in gaining weight and one below that is known as calorie deficit & helps in losing weight. On average our maintenance calories are about 2500 calories (but it differs from person to person, you can use trial and error to see what your maintenance calories are); so gradually decreasing that amount in your diet overtime will result in consistent fat loss. Apps like “my fitness pal” will help you track the nutrition of the foods you’re consuming.
As much as you’re allowed to fit in all the foods of your choice in the diet, do choose wisely. Focus more on satiating foods like vegetables, proteins & complex carbs. If you’re someone who’s trying to put on muscle mass too, you need sufficient protein everyday which is about your bodyweight (in pounds). So if you weigh around 150 pounds, your protein goal should be 150g/day. Eat the foods you love but also eat healthy, there’s always a grey area.
This needs to be in your routine regardless of your fitness goals, it helps tremendously. Be it bodyweight exercises or lifting weights, it should be a part of your routine. Building muscle mass will increase your metabolism which indirectly helps you burn fat. Adding a cardio routine right after that is an icing on the cake. Your muscles have recently used up their glycogen reserves so whatever calories you burn from the cardio will mostly be from your stored fats.
I have struggled a lot with this and I’m sure you all have. Cardio doesn’t need to be a long run or a HIIT workout. It can be anything you love doing! If you love swimming, cycling, jogging, walking or even cleaning the house, that can be your cardio! You will never be able to stick to a long term plan if you don’t shape it with the things you love.
Here is the most interesting bit. There are a few adjustments here and there which boost your fat loss journey. Implement a decent amount of cinnamon powder in your diet. It gives your body a false alarm of sweet consumption and spikes your insulin levels. Drink lots of water, about 4 litres daily. It will help flush the toxins out which sometimes cause a lot of bloating & add to your weight. Lastly, get a lot of sleep. The more you sleep, the faster your body recovers and the healthier it gets.
Don’ts: There are a lot of fitness influencers on social media and I appreciate taking knowledge from them but do not get lost in the thoughts of why your body isn’t as good as theirs. It took them years and they stuck to their goals. What you see is a result built out of years of hard work and you will get there too if you put in the work. It’s your body, treat it at your own pace and cherish it rather than doubting it.
Pro Tip: Check your weight every morning right after waking up (do not drink or eat anything) and coming out of the washroom as that’s when you get your most accurate bodyweight. Note them down everyday but only compare weekly weights and not daily ones as our bodyweight fluctuates a lot day to day and it can be very discouraging if you let it get to your head.
Good luck on your journey. I hope you stick to it for a lifetime!