Developing a lean physique in a short period of time takes dedication and discipline. Using weight loss quick fixes may help you shed extra pounds, but they are not enough to help you get cut. Leaning out requires building muscle and decreasing your body-fat percentage to see more definition. Engage in strength training and aerobic activity while following a low-fat diet to lose a lot of weight and get cut quickly.
Eat less to create a calorie deficit and encourage weight loss. Record everything you eat using a food journal or an online tool like LIVESTRONG’s MyPlate to monitor your daily caloric intake. Subtract 500 to 750 from your average to calculate the number of calories you need per day to lose one to two pounds per week.
Consume a high protein low carbohydrate diet to facilitate fat loss. Eat lean proteins like skinless poultry, cold-water fish, eggs, lean cuts of steak, cottage cheese and Greek yogurt to aid in tissue repair and muscle recovery. Consume slow-digesting complex carbohydrates like whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal, vegetables and fruits to increase energy levels. Stay away from refined sugars that cause dips in blood sugar levels and are more likely to be stored as fat.
Eat a small meal every three to four hours to increase your metabolism. Digesting food burns calories, so eating often increases the amount of calories you burn even when at rest. Have a serving of lean protein and complex carbohydrates at every meal. For example, consume 4 ounces of baked tilapia, 1 cup of broccoli and ½ cup of brown rice.
Engage in strength training for 20 to 30 minutes at least two to three days a week on non-consecutive days. Use dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells or cable-pulley machines to build muscle and ramp up your metabolism. Start with a weight that is comfortable to life and perform eight to 12 reps or each exercise. Add more sets of reps as you grow in strength and increase the amount of weight you lift. You can also use your own body weight as resistance in exercises like lunges, squats and yoga.
Perform 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise in the morning before breakfast five days per week. Walk on the treadmill at a high incline, ride the stationary bike at a slow pace and high resistance level or jog outdoors. Slowly add in interval training. If you walk or jog, proceed at your normal pace for five minutes and then increase your pace for up to two minutes. Resume your normal pace and then alternate between a moderate and high intensity for the remainder of your workout.
Increase your water intake to eliminate extra weight gain caused by water retention. Drink at least eight cups per day to stay hydrated.
Check with your health-care provider before beginning an exercise program for the first time or if you have been away from fitness programs for a while, or if you have any chronic health issues.
- ACE Fitness: 6 Strategies for Losing the Spare Tire
- Harvard Health Publications: Calorie Counting Made Easy
- Harvard Health Publications: 7 Habits to Help You Lose Weight and Keep it Off
- Natural Health: Eat Around the Clock
- US News: 7 Ways to Lose Fat Fast—And Fit Into Your Skinny Jeans!
- ACE Fitness: Strength Training 101