If you are reading this, chances are that every year you proclaim, “This is the year I will have my perfect beach body!” However, that beach body you claim you would have in time for summer has slipped through the cracks. Now, instead of flaunting the hard work of achieving your dream physique, you sit on the beach covered in a t-shirt or towel hiding your broken promise.
Whether the goal is to lose 20 pounds or to shred those stubborn five pounds that will not go away, the steps to burn body fat remain the same. As a personal trainer and certified weight management specialist, I am not immune to weight gain, especially during the cruel, cold winter. I did not go on a specific named diet, such as keto, paleo, South Beach, or Atkins, I just carefully monitored my food/drink intake and performed daily exercise to lose weight, which helped me lose 15 pounds during a two month span. My diet consisted mainly of chicken, fish, vegetables, and fruit. Carbohydrates are not evil and fat itself does not make you gain fat. The plan for a good diet is twofold: eat healthy and eat in moderation.
The hardest part for any diet is knowing how many calories are being consumed throughout the day. Walking around with a pad and pen to track calories is far from realistic. Even more unrealistic is the estimation of calories in a given amount of food. To help track my calorie intake I used myfitnesspal.com. Better yet, I used the myfitnesspal app which makes tracking calories on the go a breeze, especially when using the built-in barcode scanner. This website/app calculates the calories, protein, fat, carbohydrate, etc. after you enter the quantity of food consumed.
During my weight loss of 15 pounds in a two month span I exercised six days per week for a duration of 60-90 minutes per session. I would start with a warmup between five and ten minutes via running, elliptical machine, stair master, or rowing. Any form of cardio will suffice. From there it was off to resistance training. I already knew how to properly choose repetitions and weight so based on the day’s goal (full body or isolating muscle groups) I would perform three sets per exercise for eight to twelve repetitions. I found, by doing so myself and based upon my education as a personal trainer, that the eight to twelve rep range is best suited for burning fat while also building strength and muscle. After about an hour of resistance exercise I would perform twenty minutes of cardio to further help burn calories. This combination of resistance and cardio training helped me to not only burn fat, but also gain strength and muscle.
There is no secret diet or plan to my weight loss success, nor to yours. The hardest part of achieving weight loss is consistency. Meticulously keeping track of your calories and performing daily exercise will help you obtain and maintain that summer body all year round. There is no better time to start than now. Do you have your summer body yet?