It’s winter, snow is falling, rain is pouring and your mouth is consuming comfort food to warm that hungry cold belly of yours.
I get it.
I’ve been there before and I still fight off the urges to go back to that point again in my life.
When it’s cold and dull, people crave warm food. Salads are definitely not going to cut it and you’re probably having a hard time getting your tight joints to the gym.
But I want you to think about something, you’re going to put on weight and get fat while a select few are busy fighting off these urges and bad decisions.
Those are the people who embrace summer with lean, trim and toned bodies while the rest of us desperately search for “quick weight loss tips” in hopes of losing months worth of weight in a week or 2.
You can never outwork a bad diet just like you can never outwork a year of bad choices overnight. You have to put in the time to change the result of poor decisions or prevent yourself from making those decisions in the first place.
“Prevention and Planning are the ultimate tools for long-term success.”
Let’s go against the tide and use the winter months to prepare our bodies for beautiful summer days at the beach.
If you’re up for it, then you’re going to absolutely love this article because I’ll be detailing how many calories you need to burn to lose weight before summer arrives as well as providing a nutrition plan for optimum results.
How Many Calories Should I Burn A Day?
The answer to the question on everyone’s mind is actually fairly basic – 350 to 500 calories a day.
You could burn more but you shouldn’t burn less than that if you plan on seeing awesome results.
Here’s why – a single pound of fat is equivalent to about 3500 calories.
At 350 calories per day, you can lose a pound of fat in 10 days!
If you need to lose 10 pounds of fat, it would take you 100 days or just over 3 months to burn that weight. If you were to burn 500 calories per day, you could lose 10 pounds in just over 2 months!
That’s not a very long time to see amazing results if you plan properly.
Don’t waste your time with crash diets that force you to starve or deprive yourself because those very same diets end up causing vitamin deficiency and loss of muscle mass.
A healthy body is a prerequisite for a sexy body.
If you make healthy food choices daily and moderately consume junk food, chances are, you’re going to be healthy. If you’re healthy, your body will reflect those healthy food choices in looking lean and toned.
So, let’s talk numbers.
In order to maintain your body’s current composition, you have to consume enough calories to hit what is referred to as maintenance.
You won’t gain weight or lose weight.
That number usually varies depending on a number of factors such as energy expenditure, body composition, muscle percentage, fat percentage and so forth.
If your body requires 2500 calories per day to maintain it’s current form, you simply have to be at a 500 calorie deficit at the end of each day.
To be in a caloric deficit, you can choose between the following:
- Eat 500 calories less than you ordinarily do,
- Eat normally but burn 500 calories through exercise, or
- Mix exercise and consume slightly fewer calories together with the purpose of ending your day on a 500 calorie deficit
I prefer to mix exercise and a small reduction of calories in my diet so that I prevent muscle loss, vitamin deficiencies, hunger, starvation and fatigue.
This approach, in my own personal experience, is the healthiest option for physical, emotional and mental health.
What Foods Can I Eat To Lose Weight?
This is by far the most important factor in weight loss. You can exercise all you want but those pounds are not going to fall off if you eat in a calorie surplus.
It’s as simple as that.
Some people feel like eating anything and anything provided that it remains within macros (If It Fits Your Macros or Flexible Dieting) but I prefer to perform a nutritional change to speed up the process.
As far as possible, I tend to avoid too many carbohydrates like rice, breads and pasta, as well as sugar-laden products. 80% of my diet will consist of healthy unprocessed foods like meat, vegetables, nuts and some fruit. Sodas and sugar-rich beverages are out.
Since vegetables make up most of my plate, it makes room for a small snack or “cheat” in my diet. For instance, a handful of M&M’s.
Keep it small and within your caloric goals. You can do this if 80% of your diet is clean, healthy and low in calories. Vegetables are extremely low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals making them the perfect source of fuel with some meat.
I recommend picking up a cheap food scale and weighing your meals if you opt for an approach that incorporates junk food or all foods including carbs and sugar. This way, you can keep a track of your calories and stop eating when you’ve hit the limit for the day.
It’s not easy but it’s fairly simple.
Stick to the 80/20 rule and it won’t let you down.
What Exercises Are Best For Weight Loss?
Okay, I’ll admit, I’m torn between two approaches.
The usual answer is cardio. If you want to burn a ton of calories and lose weight, cardio is amazing. But, the problem with too much cardio is the effect it has on your physical composition.
The first time I lost weight, I found myself lean and fit but with a body that was skinny fit. I looked thin in tshirt but soft shirtless.
It deflated my ego because I worked really hard to lose all that weight and be summer ready.
The solution that worked for me was weight lifting.
Developing muscle and toning existing muscle is a great way of improving your body’s composition so that you look amazing with or without clothes.
Which is why I suggest incorporating a cardio-weightlifting split comprising of 3 days of weight lifting and 3 days of cardio.
This ensures that you prevent loss of muscle mass from cardio whilst improving your composition with the growth and toning of muscle mass.
For cardio, a simple jump rope and bodyweight exercises are all you truly need to burn a ton of calories and lose fat. I’ve written about jump rope and how it can burn an incredible amount of calories in just one hour.
For weight lifting, start small if you’ve never lifted before, focus on a 5/5 split.
In other words, 5 exercises – 5 reps – 5 sets.
Combine cardio and weightlifting for the perfect balance and you’ll be looking spectacular sooner than you think!
Wrapping It Up
Weight loss is fairly simple but most of us tend to complicate things for ourselves in pursuit of an easy solution.
If you plan and prepare, half the battle is won. I hope, by now, you have the answer to the question that burned brightly in your mind – How many calories should I burn in a day?
The only person standing in your way is the person in the mirror. You have to fight and battle that nasty mischievous voice in your head that whispers lazy and dangerous thoughts in your head.
Don’t skip workouts, don’t sabotage your diet by binge eating junk food and be consistent.
If you can do that, weight loss will be nothing but a notch on your belt of accomplishments!
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