As Chag mentioned earlier, you can lose fat with weightlifting alone. But if you want quicker results, she recommends doing cardio and eating healthy foods as well. "When trying to change our body composition, increase lean muscle, and decrease fat mass, taking a moment to look at what we eat is absolutely a part of the equation," she said. However, cutting out entire food groups, like carbs, isn't necessary.
Here are a few tips to follow instead.
- Don't eliminate food groups. Instead, "try eating a little less" of foods that aren't as nutritious, Chag advised. Having those foods in moderation, rather than giving them up altogether, can help you avoid cravings and makes this less of a one-time diet and more of a sustainable lifestyle change.
- Don't think of foods as "good" and "bad." Chag recommends changing your mindset around food. Instead of assigning moral values to foods, think of foods as "every day" and "sometimes." Meaning, there are foods you should try to have every day like vegetables, fruit, lean proteins, and whole grains. "Sometimes" foods are foods you should eat some of the time, she explained, like pastries, fried foods, and candy. "If you can focus on shifting this just a little, you'll be moving in the right direction," Chag said.
Losing fat may not happen overnight, but now you've got a game plan; time to implement it! Here's an eating plan you can follow and a four-week strength-training program that will help you burn fat and build muscle.