David is a writer and an avid fitness enthusiast who gained a muscular physique through resistance training.
One of the reasons why some people struggle to reach their weight loss goals is because they attempt to lose a significant amount of fat in a short period of time. Perhaps they are planning a vacation or are attending a major event in the future where they want to look their absolute best. They try to lose as much fat as possible, even if that means starving themselves or exercising too much. Drastic weight loss or overexertion can cause burnout.
A caloric deficit is necessary for weight loss, but a huge deficit can cause physical and mental problems. Calories come from fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. They are macronutrients that provide the body with sustenance. Dramatically reducing macronutrients over a long period of time has consequences.
Losing weight too quickly in a short time frame can cause energy loss, muscle loss, irritability, strength loss, and a weakened immune system. Feeling faint, dizzy, depressed, unmotivated, and fatigued may be signs that you're not consuming enough calories. It could also indicate that you're exercising too hard. The body needs sleep, time, and nutrition to recover from tough workouts.
So, how can you shed fat without losing energy, hard-earned muscle, and being hungry all the time? How can you lose the weight without losing your mind? Taking small steps towards your goals is better than taking big steps that cause you to stumble or fall. Haste often makes waste. This article will provide many tips that may help you with your diet and exercise regime.
Reduce Calories the Healthy Way
Eating at your maintenance level of calories means that you won't gain fat or lose fat. A caloric deficit is achieved by increasing your physical activity, eating less, or a combination of both. Cardiovascular exercise and lifting weights will help burn calories. Resistance training will help maintain muscle and strength when you're in the process of losing fat.
You should be consuming approximately 500-1000 calories less than your maintenance caloric intake each day. For example, if you need about 3000 calories to maintain your weight, then eating 2400 calories will eventually cause fat loss. But you must be consistent for weeks or months to see results.
For the majority of people, a deficit of 1500 or more calories per day can cause major energy loss and muscle loss. It will be difficult to stay satisfied if your satiety levels are low. Feeling hungry all the time can be stressful on your mental health. It might cause you to overeat or give up on your goals.
Increase Protein Intake
Decrease the amount of carbohydrates and fats you consume while increasing your protein intake. Protein can help increase your satiety levels. Feeling satisfied and full is the key to diet adherence. It's difficult to feel motivated to lose fat if you're constantly hungry and irritable.
Additionally, protein helps maintain muscle mass. While it's unlikely you'll gain muscle when in a caloric deficit, protein helps to maintain your current muscle and strength levels. Lean meats, eggs, low-fat milk, string cheese, and fish are high in protein.
Eat More Whole Grain, Fruits, and Vegetables
It's possible to lose fat while eating processed foods, junk food, or foods that contain added sugars. But you won't acquire the proper micronutrients like vitamin A, E, and C. Fruits and vegetables are higher volume foods that are lower in calories. Whole grains tend to be higher in fiber. High-fiber diets are useful for weight loss because they help control your appetite.
Eat More Meals Per Day
While eating more often sounds counter-productive for weight loss, it's actually a good idea. Skipping meals when in a caloric deficit may cause your blood sugar to become too low. You may end up feeling unfocused, dizzy, drowsy, or more hungry than normal.
Eat multiple times a day, but make sure each meal contains high-volume foods with plenty of vitamins. Keep track of how many calories you're consuming by checking the nutrition labels or weighing your food. Portion control is a fundamental aspect of weight loss. Make sure to eat every 3-4 hours.
Sometimes you may feel hungry when your body is actually thirsty. Drinking more water helps to control your appetite levels. It's important to drink water before, during, and after fitness activities. Your strength and energy levels will be lower if you're dehydrated. Water also comes from food sources like grapefruit, berries, lettuce, tomatoes, and celery. 8 glasses of water is a good rule of thumb, but you might need more or less based on your activity level, health, and environment. For example, you need more liquids when the temperature and humidity levels are higher.
Avoid Iron Deficiency
Make sure to include foods in your diet that contain iron. An iron deficiency for an extended period of time can cause extreme fatigue. Symptoms of an iron deficiency include paleness, cold hands, shortness of breath, dizziness, weakness, and brittle nails. Turkey, spinach, red meat, pumpkin seeds, and eggs are rich in iron. While iron supplements are available, it's best to eat iron-rich foods that you enjoy.
Continue Strength Training
Even if your diet is on point, you'll still lose muscle and strength if you completely quit resistance training while in a caloric deficit. Additionally, higher repetitions do not tone the muscles when on a weight loss diet. Continue to exercise with moderate intensity, otherwise, you'll lose a lot of the muscle and strength that you worked so hard for.
Building muscle in a caloric deficit is nearly impossible unless you're a complete novice or take performance-enhancing drugs. Your goal should be to maintain the strength you have. Losing body fat will give your body more definition, though.
Cardio Is Too Intense
Intense cardiovascular exercise like sprinting or jumping is not necessary if you're trying to burn extra calories. It's harder on your joints, ligaments, and central nervous system, and drains you of a lot of energy. Recovering from intense cardio sessions takes longer than lower intensity sessions like walking. Going for a walk, swim, or jog will still burn calories without putting excess stress on your body. Cardio at lower intensity lowers can build up endurance to an extent.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 David Patrick