Transforming your body helps you live a healthier life and get fit. When you want to change how you look and get healthier, all it takes is adjusting your daily exercise and eating habits. To know how many calories you need to have or burn each day, you first need to find your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Make sure you have an achievable goal when you start your routines so you’re set to succeed. When you’re finished, your body will look trim and you’ll feel stronger!
EditSetting a Goal
- Make a specific and attainable goal for what you want to accomplish. When you start thinking about transforming your body, make sure to specify the end goal of your fitness routine. Choose whether your goal is to lose a specific amount of weight or to gain a certain percentage of muscle. Write the goal down so you’re more likely to stick to it.
- For example, your goal may be to lose or gain 5% muscle mass.
- Talk to your doctor about your weight loss goals to see if they have any comments or concerns.
- Different goals, such as running a marathon or powerlifting, require different body types and training strategies. Make sure you have smaller goals that work toward what you want to achieve overall.
- Give yourself a reasonable deadline to reach your goals. Transforming your body can take some time to fully achieve, so set short and long term goals for yourself. As long as you work hard, you can usually burn of fat or gain of muscle per week. Set your timeframe to follow how many pounds you can burn each week.
- For example, if you wanted to lose , you can set your goal between 5-10 weeks. If you wanted to gain of muscle, set your time frame for 6-12 weeks.
- Gaining muscles mass is easier when you first start training, but becomes more difficult over time.
- Your age and body type can affect how fast your muscles develop while you’re training. People who are younger can develop muscles faster than someone in their 40s or 50s. total, then work toward losing at a time.}}
- Keep a food diary to track your meals and caloric intake. Write down everything you eat for each meal throughout the week. Don’t forget to include any snacks or drinks you have. When the week is finished, look up how many calories you had for the week so you know your average daily intake.
- Make sure to write down specific portion sizes to see where you’re overeating.
- Many apps are available to help you track your daily intake and nutrition.
- Use a fitness app to hold you accountable for your goals. Many phone apps let you track your goals and send reminders to help you achieve them. Download a few apps to try and put in how much weight you’d like to lose. Use the app to track your diet, log your workouts, and see how close you are to your goal.
- Some free apps that you can try are MyFitnessPal, Fitbit, and Lose It!
- Calculate your BMR to know how many calories you need each day. Your basal metabolic rate, or BMR, is the number of calories your body burns on its own in order to function. Measure your height in inches and your weight in pounds and use an online calculator to find your BMR. If you want to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than your BMR, but if you want to gain muscle, you need to eat slightly more than your BMR.
- You can calculate your BMR with an online calculator here: http://www.bmrcalculator.org/.
- Your BMR is also affected by how active you are during the day.
- BMR readings can be inaccurate since they’re based on just your height and weight and don’t take your bone structure into account.
EditWorking to Lose Weight
- Eat 500 fewer calories than your BMR each day to lose weight. The only way to lose weight and burn fat is to eat fewer calories than you use every day. Instead of having 3 large meals throughout the day, try intermittent fasting to help curb your hunger and control your caloric intake. Choose a 12-16 hour period of time each day where you don’t eat, such as overnight between 8 PM and 8 AM the next day.
- For example, if your BMR is 2,000 calories, then aim to eat about 1,500 calories each day.
- Use a calorie-counting app to help determine what you can eat each day.
- Avoid overeating by only consuming the portion sizes listed on the food’s packaging.
- Choose foods high in unsaturated fat and protein. Incorporate good sources of lean protein into your diet, such as tofu, beans, chicken, eggs, and fish. Avoid using butter or other saturated fats in your diet. Instead, have nuts, avocado, and olive oil to help keep your meals healthy.
- If you enjoy eating butter, you might replace it with vegetable oil butter.
- Avoid processed snacks or fast food since they may have hidden sugars and fats. Look at the nutrition labels on all the foods you buy to see if they are good for you.
- Look for lean recipes online or through weight-loss apps.
- Reduce the number of simple carbs you eat. Simple carbs include white bread, white rice, and baked goods like cookies. Simple carbs are easier for a body to break down and contain simple sugars that can make you gain weight. Instead, try whole grain bread, brown rice, oatmeal, or quinoa with your meal to help your body feel less hungry over time.
- Vegetables and fruit are also great sources of complex carbs.
- Cut sugar from your diet. The sugars in sweets can turn into fat over time, so it’s best to cut them out as much as possible while you’re losing weight. If you feel a craving for sugar, try having a piece of fruit instead. Once you cut sugar out of your diet, you’ll start seeing results quickly.
- Avoid sugary drinks, like sodas and fruit juices, and replace them with water instead.
- Opt for fresh fruit and vegetables. Vegetables and fruits contain natural sugars and complex carbs, which make a healthy alternative to sweets. When you have breakfast, eat a piece of fruit, like an apple or banana, to start your day off. Try incorporating more nutritious vegetables, such as spinach, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts, into the rest of your meals.
- Avoid drinking fruit juices since they’re sugary and don’t have the same nutrients as eating a piece of fruit.
- Bring a piece of fruit with you as a snack to avoid buying any junk food.
- If you get easily tempted by snack foods in vending machines, don’t bring any cash with you to use on them.
- Drink water every day. Stay hydrated throughout the day to keep your body functioning properly and to get rid of excess sodium in your body. When you’re hydrated, you’ll feel more energetic and less hungry if you’re having a craving. Make sure to drink water each day to keep your body healthy.
- Make sure to drink water during and after an intense workout when you’re sweating.
- Start weight training at least 3 times a week. While lifting weight adds muscle mass and may make you heavier, lean muscle burns more calories while you’re resting. Start with lighter weights and a high rep count to strengthen your connective tissues so you can safely build and tone your muscles. Weight train every other day and target a different muscle group each time.
- Once you start feeling comfortable with the weight or number of reps you do, try increasing the weight or doing more reps for each set.
- Spread your workouts throughout the week rather than doing them over consecutive days. Leave at least 1 day between each of your weight training workouts.
- Do cardio routines 5-6 times each week. Cardio workouts help burn calories and keep your heart healthy. Include exercises such as running, jumping rope, and swimming. On most days of the week, aim to do a 30-45 minute cardio workout to burn fat.
- Set aside 1 rest day during the week so your body has time to relax.
- Use cardio as a short warm-up to a heavier workout, such as a 10-minute jog before a weightlifting routine.
- Try interval training workouts to burn calories fast. High-intensity interval training increases your calorie burn by alternating between high intensity bursts and recovery periods. For instance, after warming up, you might sprint for 1 minute, then walk for 2 minutes, repeating for a full 20-minute workout. This type of workout can help your body continue to burn fat for the next 24 hours.
- Make sure your body is warmed up before you start interval training or else you could stress or damage your muscles. Additionally, cool down after your workout to slowly bring down your heart rate.
EditBuilding and Toning Muscle
- Consume up to 500 more calories than your BMR daily to build muscles. Muscle growth requires a surplus of up to 500 calories each day or else your workouts won’t help you gain muscle mass. Only eat a small surplus of calories or else you could start gaining body fat. Track how many calories you eat using a phone app or a food diary.
- If you’re overweight and want to build muscle, aim to eat fewer calories to lose weight first.
- You may want to slowly increase your calories so you can figure out how many you need to eat to get the results you want. If you eat too many added calories, you’ll gain fat.
- Eat 0.8 g of protein for every of body weight. Protein is an important part of your diet since it helps build lean muscles. Eat foods like chicken, fish, yogurt, and beans to help reach your daily protein goal. Eat the protein soon after you complete a workout to get the best benefits.
- For example, if you weigh , then you should consume 120 g of protein daily.
- Enjoy complex carbs rather than simple ones. Simple carbs, such as white bread and baked goods, are easy for your body to break down so they don’t give you many benefits. Instead, try eating whole grain bread, brown rice, and quinoa that are more complex. These take time for your body to break down, so they’re more satisfying.
- You can also find complex carbs in many types of fruits and vegetables, like cauliflower and spinach.
- Avoid or cut back on alcohol because it has calories with little nutritional benefits. Additionally, it can slow your metabolism, impair your judgement, and lower your self-control.
- Perform strength training exercises 3-4 times per week. Plan workout sessions that are between 30-45 minutes long, focusing on your upper body one day and your lower body the next. Do your strength training exercises every other day so your muscles have a chance to rest and relax.
- Make sure to use a weight you’re comfortable with when you’re lifting. The weight should be low enough where you can finish all of your reps but high enough so it’s challenging.
- Increase the weight and number of reps when you start feeling comfortable with your routine.
- Choose exercise routines to target specific muscle groups. Each day you do strength training, select a different muscle group to focus on during your workout. This prevents certain muscles from getting overly fatigued and strengthens your entire body. When you finish a workout, make sure to stretch the muscles you used to prevent tightness and increase flexibility.
- For exercising your legs, try doing barbell squats, leg presses, and deadlifts.
- To work out your chest and back, practice dumbbell rows, pull ups, and lateral raises.
- If you want to focus on your core muscles, practice sit-ups, Russian twists, and wood chops.
- Do cardio exercises 5-6 times per week. Do cardio sessions most days to burn fat and stay toned. Try going for a jog, running on a treadmill, or riding a bike to burn calories and develop healthy habits. Aim to do 30-40 minute cardio sessions each time you work out.
- Give yourself at least 1 rest day each week so you give your body time to recuperate.
- It’s safe to do cardio and strength training workouts on the same day.
- Join a fitness class to follow along with group routines. Many recreational centers offer fitness classes that you can join. Look for a class you’re interested in, such as Zumba, CrossFit, or kickboxing, and see if they have a free class session that you can try. Once you find one you like, join the class so you can be around other people and have fun working out!
- If you don’t want to join a class, you may be able to find similar workout routines online.
- Practice yoga to help tone your body. Yoga is a great way to help you stay flexible and builds your muscle endurance. Start with a 15-30 minute routine of simple poses so you get used to the positions. When you start feeling comfortable with the poses, incorporate more difficult ones into your routine.
- Watch videos online to follow along with a virtual instructor.
- Maintain your healthy routine to keep your body in shape.
- Consult with your doctor before setting any large weight loss goals to see if they have any concerns.
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