Beginner’s Guide: How To Lose Weight

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Beginner’s Guide: How To Lose Weight


If you are overweight, male or female, and need an efficient yet effective method for losing weight, keep reading!

This article is intended for those who are overwhelmed by the amount of information that’s available on the internet, and just want the simple, time-tested, efficient yet effective method to losing weight.

By the end of this article, you will understand the basic principles of weight loss, as well as practices you can incorporate in your daily life regardless of your schedule and responsibilities.

It’s important to note that this is NOT a weight loss program with a pre-defined goal or deadline. We will never promote a program that claims to “lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks”. This form of weight loss is unhealthy, and is very rarely ever effective in keeping the weight off over a long period of time.

At UNALTERED, we believe nothing worth having comes easy. The road to a healthy weight is long and difficult – but the rewards will make it worth it one hundred times over.


Figure Out Your “Why”

Before starting on your weight loss journey, we recommend first figuring out your “why”.

Why do you want to lose weight?

There are countless possible responses to this question, mainly relating to the health benefits, or the improvements to your appearance.

It’s a given that weight loss comes with a reduced risk of disease, an increase in strength and endurance, and a more aesthetic physique.

However, we respectfully ask that you dig deeper than that.

Those who internalize a more emotional, passion-driven reason for exercising and dieting will have greater success in maintaining their habits, and thus see greater results.

Here are some great examples of a “why”:

  • I want more energy to play with my kids, so I can tire less and give them the childhood I want for them.
  • I want to improve my body composition so I can achieve improved mobility, which will allow me to reach my full performance potential in day-to-day life.
  • I want to improve my health and reduce risk of disease, so I can worry less about the future and focus on enjoying the present.

Whether it involves a past event, a current situation, or a concern for the future, the more personal you can get, the better.

Consistently acknowledging the fire that fuels your daily habits will make it infinitely easier to maintain them.


Nutrition To Stay in a Caloric Deficit

If weight loss were to be broken down into a singular concept, it would be “calorie deficit”.

As the name implies, a calorie deficit is the state your body is in when you are burning more calories than you are intaking through food. In other words, you are utilizing more calories via daily activity than you are eating.

Although the math is simple, it is all the actions and habits you execute that will result in a calorie deficit. For example, you would maximize the calories you burn each day (via exercise) and minimize the calories consumed each day (via nutrition).

For this reason, fitness gurus and personal trainers recommend keeping count of every calorie and grams of carbs, proteins, and fats you are eating with each meal. This approach is definitely effective, and can lead to a better understanding of your typical eating habits.

However, many people already lack the time to prepare a nutrition plan, so keeping track of every meal in a nutrition log can become tedious and time-consuming.

Our recommendation is to not complicate your life by counting calories. Instead, educate yourself on whatever you typically consume so you are better prepared to make healthy choices with each meal.

Here are some pointers to keep in mind when selecting food options:

  • Stay away from fat. It is not the enemy and is necessary for your body to a degree. However, even if you are shooting for 0 fat, you will always have enough in your diet as required.
  • Prioritize protein to provide the necessary fuel for your muscles. You should be consuming 1g per pound of body weight. As a rule of thumb, a piece of meat – steak, chicken, fish, or pork – the size of your hand will be about 40g of protein. So, if you weigh 200 pounds, you aim to eat roughly 4 and half pieces of protein the size of your hand, per day.
  • With each meal, have about 2 cups worth of vegetables. They are essential for acquiring the vitamins and minerals your body needs for basic metabolic functions, and are a clean add-on to a meal that helps keep you feeling satiated.
  • Aim to consume only a single handful worth of carbohydrates with each meal. Ideally, this would be complex carbohydrates, such as potatoes, yams, whole-grain pasta and bread, and rice. Stay away from simple carbs which don’t fill you up and spike your blood sugar, such as pastries, white bread, ice cream, etc.

Again, the goal is to make healthy decisions with every meal you eat. Whether you’re at a restaurant celebrating, or cooking a meal at home, take portion sizes into account and try to maximize your protein intake over anything.

We also recommend drinking water every time you get a chance. For your metabolism to function efficiently, experts suggest drinking at least 64 ounces of water every day. On top of having 0 calories, studies have shown that drinking 16 ounces of water (1 water bottle) before each meal results in 30% more weight loss compared to other drinks such as soda or juice.


Perform Cardio To Maximize Calorie-Burning

Cardio training, also known as aerobic training, utilizes your cardiovascular system and converts stored carbs and fats into energy. It is imperative for improving your stamina and endurance.

If you find yourself out of breath from climbing stairs, or even from performing daily household tasks, training your cardiovascular system will allow you to perform with greater ease.

If you are new to fitness, we recommend finding a cardio exercise that you enjoy, not one that will burn the most calories possible in the shortest time. That way, you will feel less pressured to overwork yourself and prevent your chances of burning out.

Try out various activities, including jogging on a treadmill, going for a walk, hiking on a nature trail, cycling through a park, and so on. The best form of exercise is one that you enjoy and actually look forward to doing, at least three times per week.

You will see the greatest progress within the first few months of cardio training, when you are building the foundations of your cardiovascular system. When you feel you can handle more intensity, continue to challenge your body by setting goals to improve your time or distance. If you truly want to burn the most calories in the shortest amount of time, perform High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT for short.


Perform Strength Training To Tone Your Body

The more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn. This is due to the metabolic reactions occurring in your muscles. Thus, the more muscle you build, the easier it becomes to burn more calories in your daily exercises.

In addition, performing cardio training alone will only result in weight loss from fat, but will not result in a toned body. What this means is you will be left with loose, untoned skin.

We recommend that everyone that wants to lose weight should be performing at least two 30-minute sessions of strength training each week. This will:

  • Increase your strength and power output
  • Reduce your chance of injury when performing daily tasks
  • Tone your body to a more aesthetic physique

Because you cannot target a specific area of fat on your body, you should perform exercises that utilize all your muscles. A two-day split would involve two forms of workout: Upper body on the first day, and lower body on the second.

For a full guide on structuring a strength training routine, check out our article “Beginner’s Guide: How to Perform Strength Training to Lose Weight”.


Making a Plan That Works for You

The key concept to know when starting a fitness journey, is that there is no end.

Although you should be setting both short-term and long-term goals, health and wellness is achieved by building healthy habits that you carry out for life.

Therefore, the best fitness plan is the one that works for you. Find and perform exercises you enjoy doing, as well as recipes you love to eat, and staying fit will become second nature. You will be less likely to burn out, and much more likely to achieve the results you want.

Perform three days of cardio training and two days of strength training each week, with each session lasting at least 10 minutes.

For a full guide on scheduling a fitness program, read our article “How to Schedule a Fitness Program with A Busy Schedule

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