Whether you’re looking to cut 10 pounds to get to your weight class for the next tournament or need to get rid of that extra fat, you may find tips from this guide to help speed you towards your fitness and health goals. This guide contains no hard numbers or calorie calculations, because every person is different and you may want to lose more or less depending on who you are. However this guide does guarantee results, as long as you stick to the ground rules!
Disclaimer: This is not a strict guide to cutting weight for athletic competitions (although it shares many of the same principles and definitely can be used as a starter guide); there are much more qualified persons who can give you much better and more accurate advice on that topic. Rather, this is an all-around no BS guide for the uninitiated “Joe” to starting a healthy lifestyle / diet to lose weight and cut up to 10 pounds per month or more, all while maintaining your new habit for the long term.
1. Take what you eat now, and divide it.
Whether you eat two meals a day or ten meals, take the total amount that you usually eat (call it X) per day, and divide that into multiple smaller meals that will roll onto the next day (and the day after). Depending on how much you need to slim down, only eat the amount that is divided from your total daily amount.
Example: If you only eat 1 whole chicken per day (X), your maximum amount per day is now half a chicken (X/2, X/3, X/4, etc.), or less.
Why? This helps control the amount you eat and makes sure you’re not just eating an excessive amount of food out of habit / how much food is put in front of you. You will find it tough at first, but your body will acclimate itself and your appetite will start to shrink. Careful not to starve yourself. That’s not the point of the guide and in fact will not work if your body believes you are starving.
2. Eat snacks, not junk food.
It is obvious that you should not be consuming any junk food at all at this point. This includes chocolates, chips, fries, etc. Proper snacks that can fill you up and continue to give you energy to get through your day (at your reduced diet aforementioned in Rule #1) include fruits, almonds, walnuts, and cashews. If you feel hungry in between meals (which you will), just grab a handful of these.
3. Start cooking your own meals.
Only you know what you put in your own meals, so now is the time to start cooking for yourself if you’ve never done so before. This will force you to avoid fast foods (which is 100% junk and should be avoided at all costs) and eat much cleaner / oil-free than food served in restaurants.
Here’s what you should be eating to maximize fat loss:
fish / sushi, lean chicken, veggies, and fruits only.
You may have noticed that this doesn’t say anything about carbs (pasta, rice, bread). It’s true that you need carbs for energy, and you should consume a bit of it for this purpose, but try not to consume a lot of it (and if you’re in weight cutting mode, very little to none at all) because carbs hold onto a lot of water. Try to only have a small handful of it at maximum per day.
4. Exercise at least 5 times a week.
This is the part where most people will make excuses and chicken out. Well, if you give up that easily, then it must mean you don’t really want it that badly and you should stop reading this article now.
For those who are willing to suck it up and get results, here is what you need to do:
2-3 days of low intensity, long duration cardio workouts
2-3 days of high intensity interval training
For your low intensity cardio days, you should be aiming to jog / run at least 6km to 10km in the 30 minute to 1 hour range. Whether you finish it slowly or quickly, as long as you are getting the road work in and sweating yourself out, you’re doing good. You should jog outdoors where the terrain is real and the elevation gives you a realistic workout. If the weather is no good or you live in an area where jogging just isn’t feasible, a treadmill can work as a replacement. Remember to increase the incline to its maximum however, as a treadmill is usually far too easy compared to jogging on real terrain, which would render your workout useless.
For your high intensity days, you should be aiming to exercise at maximum power / speed but in shorter bursts of time. This includes exercises like martial arts training, weight lifting, or sprinting. For example, instead of jogging for half an hour, you could be doing maximum reps of chin ups in one sitting, which would be over in a few minutes.
For a straight forward guide to what you could be doing for high intensity training, refer to:
Dan’s No BS Martial Arts Circuit.
If you’re feeling ambitious, you could combine both cardio and high intensity workouts into a single day. Cardio workout in the morning / afternoon, followed by your high intensity workout in the afternoon / evening. Do this for 5 days and allow yourself 2 days rest and repeat.
If you followed everything correctly, you should be losing 2lbs. to 2.5lbs a week. Refueling yourself with healthy proteins and essential vitamins and oils from fish, fruits, and veggies, while eliminating most carbs and the consumption of junk fats and oils from fast / processed foods. Add to that a professional athlete level workout schedule and you can lose more than 10 pounds in just a short month. It’s not going to be easy, and it will be hard to maintain the same diet and fitness level, but remember: nothing worth having in life is easy!