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There have probably been more words typed on the subject of losing weight than any other. Yet, the end result of the information overload, for most people, is utter confusion. That’s because much of the information contradicts itself and is so confusing that the average person is left scratching their head.
The majority of people who work out are trying to lose weight. So, it’s hardly surprising that we get a lot of questions about how to do it properly. Here’s a typical letter from a Fit&Me reader:
Help. I’ve got a wedding coming up and I’ve got to lose 2 pounds a week for the next 12 weeks. Can you get me there?
The good news is that it is entirely possible to safely lose 2 pounds per week. The even better news is that that weight can be all fat, rather than a mixture of fat, muscle tissue, and water. Let’s find out how to lose 2 pounds a week the right way!
Lose a Pound of Fat per Week by Making Smart Nutritional Choices
Eliminate Soft Drinks
Call them sodas, soft drinks or carbonated beverages, it doesn’t matter – their effect is the same. These drinks are being consumed in record numbers across the globe. And they are pouring tons of sugar down the throats of people who are dying a slow death as a result.
Cutting soft drinks completely from your life is possibly the single most effective thing you can do to lose body fat.
Of course, it will take real willpower to wean yourself off the Coke and Sprite. But you simply have to do it. If you don’t, you will NEVER reach your fat loss goals. So get tough on yourself and make the commitment to a soda free life – yes, you can!
Going low carb will remove a lot of the sugars from your diet which will prevent the insulin response that leads to weight gain. In addition, maintaining a low carb diet will force your body into a ketogenic state where it uses stored body fat for energy. Cut your carbs back to 25% of your caloric intake, while boosting protein up to 60%. The other 15% should come from healthy fats like avocado, oily fish and coconut oil.
Eat More Frequently
Eating more frequent, smaller meals over the course of your day will keep a constant supply of nutrients coming into your system. At the same time, you will avoid the hunger pangs that we often feel mid morning or afternoon. As a result, we’ll be far less inclined to stray into the junk food zone.
Set a goal to eat every three waking hours. That will give you about 5 meals per day, which should all be about the same size. Recent research shows that frequent eating will also preserve lean body mass as you lose fat.
Consume More Protein
You probably know that protein will help you to put on muscle. But did you know that it can be just as effective in helping you to get rid of fat?
In a 2005 study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers tested the hypothesis that a high protein diet would curb the appetite and reduce body weight. Their results showed that an increase in daily protein consumption was responsible for a decrease in caloric intake and significant resultant weight loss.
Sample Daily Menu
- Scrambled eggs
- Spinach / Mushrooms
- Protein powder with water
- Green salad
- Chicken breast
Lose a Pound of Fat per Week Through Exercise
A. Weight Training
Get to the gym three days a week and begin a weight training program. Build your routine around basic compound exercises in order to achieve maximum fat burn. You will be able to work more muscles with less gym time and you will burn a lot more calories than if you focused on isolation exercises like barbell curls.
Here is an effective routine to follow:
2. Bench Press
4. (Assisted) Pull Ups
5. Kettlebell Swings
To burn the most calories, you should use relatively light weights that allow you to perform high reps. Go for 15 reps on each set and do 3 sets of each exercise. Rest for 60 seconds between each set.
You can make your fat burning weight workout even more effective by performing your workout according to the High Intensity Training Protocol. Here’s how:
Perform 15 reps of each movement with a weight that is challenging on the last 4 reps. Then go directly to the next movement and do 15 reps on that exercise. Continue on through each exercise with zero rest between them. Once you complete your kettlebell swings, rest for exactly two minutes and then repeat the circuit. Go through the circuit a total of 3 times.
B. High Intensity Interval training (HIIT)
On the days of the week that you are not weight training, you should spend a few minutes doing HIIT cardio training. There are many different ways to do HIIT.
Here’s how to do it on an upright exercise bike:
- Perform a 2-minute warm-up of easy pedaling.
- As soon as your warm-up is over, begin pedaling as hard as you possibly can for 20 seconds.
- Pedal slowly to recover for 10 seconds.
- Repeat the 20 / 10 pattern of sprint / recovery 7 more times.
- Finish with a 2-minute warm-down
If you prefer running, do it like this:
- Warm up with a 2-minute light jog
- Start your session with a 20-second sprint. Push yourself as hard as you possibly can. In fact, imagine that you’re being chased by a big, hungry dog!
- Jog slowly for a 10 second recovery
- Sprint again for 20 seconds – push hard to keep your pace up
- Jog for another 10 seconds
- Repeat this cycle for 7 more rounds.
In order to lose 2 pounds a week, you need to be consistent with eating a clean, lean protein rich, low carb diet. Coupling this with a combination of basic compound weight training and high intensity interval training will see you hitting your weight loss goal week after week.
The key to consistent fat loss, of course, is regularity. We suggest setting a 6-week goal to lose 12 pounds at two pounds per week. Once you’ve achieved that goal, relax a little during the 7th week (take the week off training and have 2 cheat meals). Then come back the following week ready to go on another 6-week, 12-pound weight loss goal. That way you’ll keep yourself mentally invigorated as you reach your stepping stone goals, each of which is propelling you closer to your overall goal.