In 6 weeks to a slimmer and fitter body.
I wrote this piece as a follow up on Ready for the beach I got the request if I could rewrite that piece to make it more suitable for the general population, here it is!
Ready for the beach is meant for people who are already pretty fit and want to get in a physical top shape, just the finishing touche for them. That is obviously only for a select few, this piece therefore is more focused on the average person who wants to loose weight and do this in a healthy and sustainable manner.
The plan/aims is to burn 6 kg of fat in 6 weeks, in practice your weight loss will be a little more but that's not all fat, it is mostly fluids in the beginning that you will loose. But the plan is really aimed at of getting rid of 6 kg of fat, not just to loose 6 kg of weight.
For someone who is a bit overweight, 6 weeks is a good timespan to do something about that. If you want or need to loose more, you can still use this program, but than use it as a first stepping stone in the right direction. After the first 6 weeks you can still keep using it. Those first 6 weeks are a good period to form good habbits.
What should you do in those 6 weeks?
First, create a plan for yourself, without a plan it will not work. It doesn't have to be very detailed, but you have to know what you want and need to do. Use this as your guideline. If needed adjust, but keep following that plan!
You have to exercise and use your body, not so much very hard and fanatical but regularly, many little steps get you where you want to be! 25 times some exercise makes for a big chuck as a whole.
You have to watch what you eat! No matter how you look at it, there is no way of getting around this.
But watching out at what you eat is definitely not going on a hunger diet, 1000 calories or less per day is really not going to work! Eventually this will always go wrong, don't do that. Very low calorie diets ruin your metabolism. Don't fall for that trap.
And did I mention that you had to work? :-), I can not emphasize this enough, patience, perseverance and consistency will do the trick in the long run. So keep at it, that is your number one way to succes.
If you actually follow this program, you will loose a lot of fat and weight and your general fitness will also considerably improve.
The program is designed for people with a reasonable overall physical health, who are able to exercise, walk, cycle, etc. Do you have doubts about this, then first go and see your family doctor. If you are, at first, not fit enough to work out lots, start out with less and build on that. In time you can do enough. Every journey starts with the first step.
Principles for Food
1 gram of carbohydrates and 1 gram of protein provide 4 calories per gram
1 gram of fat provides 9 calories per gram.
Furthermore, it costs about 7000 calories to loose 1kg of body fat. The release/burning of 1 kg of fat takes about 7000 kcal, this including the transition from fat to energy, that takes about 9000 kcal, (this is roughly correct but varies according to what we eat.) 1 kg of fat contains 9000 kcal, that is the weekly target we are aiming for to get ride off.
The goal is to eat about 500 calories less than you normally need. This alone is good for 0.5 kg of fatloss.
Principles for excersice
People who want to follow this program have a reasonable basic stamina and are preferably familiar with exercise that works/trains the entire body, this can be by strength training in a gym but also through other activities that use many muscles simultaneously. Yard work, swimming, tennis, etc. are good examples. But every other sport or activity that uses a lot of muscles is also fine.
If you are not fit enough, you first need to work on that and gradually build your stamina and general fitness, you can still use this program but you'll probably loose weight less rapidly.
What you definitely not should do is just eat less to compenate for that!, in the long term this will never work! Always combine both diet and lifestyle. Both should go in the right direction.
If you now don't exercise and don't do much in daily life, you first have to build that up. Any kind of work is good, provided you don’t get injured or get overly tired. But choose an exercise you like, doing things against your will, wil not work for long. Make it fun to do.
If you are unfamiliar with strength training you need to have an alternative for that. If you swim regularly, you can take that in its place. It must be something that works the whole body. In particular, the upper body is neglected during many activities. Cycling, walking, running will work your legs plenty, but for the rest of your body it does a lot less.
Now I understand that a lot of women are afraid to become muscular, but that fear is unnecessary, to build muscle, you need to work hard, need talent to build that muscle or take male hormones (testosterone alike) such as bodybuilders do. A average woman will not find it easy to build muscle. Doing weights will never make you some kind of hulk. Very muscled woman always got that way by using drugs.
The goal is to exercise every day (6 days a week) and burn an extra 500 kcal per day. This is on top of what you already do right now via your normal daily activities.
Diet and exercise will burn 500 plus 500 making it a 1000 calories per day and giving the shortage on energy intake that you need to loose weight. On a weekly basis approximately one kg of fat.
Now an example, you don't really need to know this although it won't hurt you, it is purely for information
It's like I said before I am strongly against a very low cal. starvation diet, but think you have to eat moderately.
Take as a starting point for your daily energy use your body weight in kilograms (lbs / 2.2) and multiply that by 24Kcal.
This way you know about your basic energy needs.
As an example a woman of 75 (kg) x 24Kcal = 1800 Kcal. This is the number of calories this woman needs to eat each day to keep at weight as a minimum. The more active you are, stand and walk and the more you are outside the more energy you burn.
Furthermore, the amount of Protein is important, we want to minimize muscle loss, eating enough protein helps doing that. Try to eat at least 1.5 grams of protein per kg body weight. Modern food does often not contain much protein, don't eat foods that don't have enough protein in them. Preferably eat natural whole foods. On this we function best.
In this example, 75 x 1.5 = 112.5 grams. That corresponds with 450 kcal. (112.5x4). Lean protein can be found in meat, fish, eggs, dairy. Some nuts are also fine
There remains about 450 min 1800 = 1350 Kcal.
This we divide in 25% fat and 75% carbohydrates
25% of 1350 = 337.5 = 37.5 grams of fat per day. (337.5 / 9). Here is where you wrong easily, many foods have hidden fats in them. Watch out for those. For the fats you do eat choose as many healthy fats (poly) unsaturated as you can. But make sure not to overeat omega 6 fats, focus on getting enough omega 3 in. Fish is a good provider of this. Coconut oil is also good.
This leaves 75% of 1350 = 1012.5 = 253 1 / 8 gram for carbohydrates. (1012.5 / 4) Select if possible the complex forms, so whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Ditch the sugars. Complex carbs in combination with protein and enough greens will give slow energy and that is what you want.
The overall distribution of 1800 is as follows
112.5 grams protein
37.5 grams fat
253 1/8 grams of carbohydrates.
Divide this food over 3 main meals and 3 snacks. Eating regularly works best.
Now the 500 training Kcal / Movement:
It is intended to burn daily (six days a week at minimum) 500 calories above what you normally do. So in addition to your normal patern.
To reach that you need to exercise moderate for 60 minutes a day. I am talking here about 60 minute’s solid work without breaks. So no fooling around but really doing your best.
Of course this doesn't have to be in one go, preferably not even so.
4 x 15 minutes, 3 x 20, etc is fine. Build this as much as possible in your normal daily pattern, cycle to work or park your car a bit further, walk during lunch, etc. use the stairs.
Below some help that will give you an idea about what you need to do to burm those 500 calories
Our sample woman of 75 kg would need to run 34 minutes at 10 km / hour, if she would walk that distance with 5 km/hour she would need to do that for 68 minutes to get to 500 kcal.
On a bike, at 20 km/hour it would take 30 minutes, on a slower pace say 14 km per/hour she would need to do that for 43 minutes,
Swimming at a firm pace would take roughly 30 minutes for 500 cal
Ofcourse any combination is also possible, just make sure you get upto 500 kcal combined via sport and extra moving in daily life.
To end a few tips!
Weigh at the end of each week, make sure you do not lose more weight than 1 kg, if so eat a bit more! Weigh in only once a week, more often is useless. The focus needs to be on your eating and exercise, the weightloss will always follow that.
Don't eat not enough, crash diets do not work!. They only make you weak and lifeless an burn up your muscle.
Do this together with a friend or your partner, this way you can help each other.
This eating plan is build around eating enough carbs, that is the most easy way. If you use this on a low carb diet it would work even better. But that way you should eat more fat and skip lots of other foods. If you don't have trouble with that I would recommend using this plan on a low carb diet. That way you controle your blood insuline and that is a very important tool is loosing weight.
The numbers I mention are guidelines that you should not take literally, but they generally take as a starting point. Create a weekplan and each week make little changes if needed. Be honoust to yourself, you now what you have and what not.