There are a number of fad diets and quick weight loss tricks that helps you to lose a lot of weight within a short period of time. But most of them are short-term solutions which leave you hungry and unsatisfied. And you gain back the weight you lost as soon as you stop following these diets. This is where a realistic and simple 3 step calorie burning plan comes into play. Weight loss is all about the balance between burning calories and consuming calories and weight loss occurs when the total calorie intake is less than total calories burned. Diet and exercise are the two corner-stones of a weight loss plan. This article provides a simple 3-step weight loss plan that helps to set up your weight loss goals and gives you the guidelines to plan out a balanced diet and intense workout routine to burn calories efficiently.
Set Up Your Goal
The first and most important step towards a healthier self is setting up realistic and achievable goals and sticking to the plan in order to achieve these goals. Noting down your targets on pen and paper and then following them is the best way to burn fat and produce results.
Guidelines to set up your goal
Your goal must be specific
You must be absolutely clear about your goal in your mind. For example write down that “I will lose 50 pounds in the next 6 months” or “I will fit into a size six within 3 months”. Use the word ‘will’ instead of ‘want’ or ‘would’ so that every time you read it, it will boost up your determination to work towards achieving the goal.
Your goal must be measurable
Always set measurable and quantifiable goals such as a number on the measuring scale, a clothing size, a circumference measurement in inches or centimeters. Measurable goals always make us happier when we achieve it. Numbers encourage us more compared to qualitative results and provides us the impetus or driving force to do even better.
Your goal must be realistic
It is completely understandable that you want to lose 50 pounds and you can always do it with regular exercise and diet. But if you set up an unrealistic goal of losing 50 pounds in one month then you are going to fail at it and this will break down your commitment and persistence and take you a few steps back rather than moving forward.
One positive way to set realistic weight loss goals is to set up weekly weight loss goal of a couple of pounds. A 200-pound individual can lose approximately 2 pounds per week, while a 150-pound individual can lose 1.5 pounds per week.
Your goal should be time-sensitive
Allotting a specific time and date to your goal can give you the much-needed push to stay on the right track and continue with your diet and workout regime. You can write down your goal and the time-limit of achieving your goal on a piece of paper and hang it at some place where you can see it every day, such as the refrigerator or your working desk. Keeping your commitment right in front of you will always keep you alert.
Food and nutrition
The next step towards burning calories and promoting weight loss is eating the right foods and cutting out unhealthy foods. Planning out a diet that contains the right proportion of proteins, fats and carbohydrates is the ultimate answer to the question of how to burn calories.
Eat protein-rich foods
Increasing the amount of lean protein in your diet is the first step towards your weight loss journey. High-protein foods boosts metabolism and increases the rate of calories burned in the body. It also reduces the obsessive thoughts about food and reduces the desire to snack by almost half. It also enhances the feeling of fullness so that you eat a whooping 441 fewer calories per day.
Benefits of protein for weight loss
Protein satisfies and saves calories
Protein helps to increase satiety so that you feel fuller for a longer period of time. Protein-rich foods slow down the process of digestion so that you are less likely to go for a second serving. So, consuming fewer calories over a course of several days can help with calorie savings and promote weight loss.
It curbs highs and lows of carbohydrates
A diet rich in carbohydrates leads to sudden rise and fall in sugar which can promote you to make food decisions that you will regret later. Consuming carb-rich foods increases your cravings for more sugar. Pairing carbohydrates with proteins slows down the absorption of sugar from the stomach into the bloodstream which helps sudden fluctuations in blood sugar and wards of cravings.
Protein burn more energy
Proteins have a much higher thermic effect of food (TEF) compared to carbohydrates and fats, so your body burns more calories to breakdown and process protein that to process other types of macronutrients. The thermic effect of food (TEF) is the energy that body uses to breakdown the foods we consume into small, easily absorbable components.
Proteins fuel fat burning
Although, fat acts as a source of energy but the body cannot burn and utilize far as energy if it is not combined with either proteins or carbohydrates. During weight loss through exercise and diet, the body loses both fats and muscles. So, during the process of weight loss it is especially important to include protein in your diet. Including adequate amount of protein in your diet fuels the fat burning process while preserving lean muscle mass.
Protein promotes muscle growth and repair
The requirement of protein increases significantly after a session of intense exercise or workout. So, it is important to increase your protein intake on the days of intense training. If you are into strength training then having a high protein snack just after completion of a training session provides optimum amount of nutrients to the muscles that help the muscles and tissues to grow and repair.
Best Food Sources of Protein
- Meats, poultry and dairy products are some of the most potent sources of high-quality protein.
- Meat – beef, pork, lamb, bacon, etc
- Poultry – chicken, turkey, eggs
- Fish and seafood – Salmon, trout, mackerel, shrimps, lobsters
- Dairy – milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese
- Nuts – peanuts, pistachios, almonds
- Beans and pulses – lentils, chickpeas, moong beans, soy beans, split peas, broad beans, kidney beans, lima beans, black beans, cowpeas, yellow beans, pinto beans, navy beans
Most people cut out fats entirely from their diet due to the fear of gaining weight. But in reality, lowering fat intake cannot help you to lose weight; on the contrary it can actually backfire and jeopardize your weight loss efforts. Including the right amount of healthy fats in the daily diet help you to make your fat loss more successful.
Benefits of consuming fat for weight loss
Fat displaces carbs
Increasing the amount of fats in the diet means eating fewer carbs. Displacing carbohydrates by increasing the amount of fat in the diet sets the stage for optimal fat-loss. Reducing the amount of carbs lowers overall insulin levels in the body and allows the body to use the stored fats as a source of energy fuel the muscles.
Consuming fat increases the body’s ability to burn fat
A low-fat diet does not condition the body to be efficient at burning fat. Low-fat diets also pose a negative impact on Adipokines that influence fat loss. Adipokines are hormones released by the fat cells. Adiponectin is one such hormone that helps to burn fat and enhances the metabolism of the body which increases the rate at which fats are broken down. It also helps to curb appetite.
Consuming fat reduces appetite
Fats have a great satiating effect that helps to reduce appetite and you end up consuming fewer calories that you do on a low-fat diet. As the fats reach the small intestine and set of hormones are released that regulate satiety and leave you feeling full. The more satiated you are, the less will you snack between meals or reach out for a second helping.
Best Food Sources of Healthy Fats
- Whole eggs
- Dark chocolate
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Fatty fish
Carbohydrates have become a dreaded food ingredient because many of us think that carbs will make us fat. But, most of us don’t realize that carbs are an important macronutrient which acts as one of the most important sources of energy for the body. Depriving your body of carbs completely will have a number of side effects. The trick here is to eat the healthy nutrient-dense carbs loaded with fiber that break down slowly in the body and helps you to stay full for longer.
List of healthy carbs for burning calories
- Whole wheat pasta and bread
- Green peas
- Black beans
- Acorn squash
- Sweet potatoes
- Brussels sprouts
- Swiss chard
Exercise and physical activity
Daily exercise and physical activities are the best answer to the question of how to burn calories fast. It is the final step in a weight loss plan that can make or break your calorie burning efforts. The first and foremost thing is to set a daily appointment with yourself to exercise. It can be just a 10 minutes slot but make sure you devote this time for your health no matter how busy and preoccupied you are with your work and other commitments.
Walking is perhaps the simplest form of exercise, so walk as much as possible. Park your car at the farthest parking spot and walk to your office. Take stairs instead of escalators. Explore activities that your enjoy such as tennis, basketball, kickboxing, weightlifting, dancing, etc.
Cardio is one of the best exercises that you can do for improving overall health. It promotes weight loss, burns fat and improves cardiovascular health. Cardio exercises get your heart rate into your target heart rate zone. The best thing is that cardio involves low-impact exercises that you can do without putting too much stress on your joints.
Doing cardio exercises does not mean sweating it out only in the gym; there are a number of outdoor activities that make great cardio workouts:
- Team sports
Weight training or lifting weights at least 3 times a week help to burn more calories and prevents your metabolism from slowing down. Weight training helps you to gain significant amount of lean muscle mass while losing body fat. Weight training utilizes the force of gravity in the form of equipments such as weighted bars, dumbbells and weight stacks that oppose the force generated by the muscles thought concentric or eccentric contraction.
Benefits of weight training for weight loss
Weight training burn more body fat
Weight training burns more fat compared to cardio exercises and the fat burning effect continues to last for several hours after completion of the exercises. Increasing lean muscle mass through weight training allows your body to burn fat throughout the day. Just two sessions of heavy weight lifting per week can reduce body fat by 3 percent without bringing any changes in the diet.
Weight training burns more calories
1 hour of weight lifting helps you to torch more calories compared to 1 hour of cardio exercises. People who do weight training burn average of 100 more calories during 24 hours after completion of the training session and this calorie burning effect is increased by the increase in the weight.
Weight training helps to lose belly fat
Although, spot reduction in a myth, but the body is designed with pre-conceived places where it wants to store fat. Lifting weights helps to burn more intra-abdominal fat or the deep-seated belly fat compared to cardio.
So, you see you don’t need to starve yourself or spend the entire day in the gym to lose weight. Just set your goal, prepare and healthy diet chart and opt for 30 minutes to 1 hour of exercise daily in order to burn calories, lose weight and improve your overall health.