If you're not sure where to begin on your fat-loss journey, here's a simple checklist posted by CPPS (certified physical preparation specialist) coach Nick Krantz (@nickkrantzfit on Instagram). He's also a precision nutrition certified coach, with experience helping hundreds of people at his gym get lean and build muscle. "The only way this process is going to work is if you stay true to yourself and your plan," he wrote in his Instagram caption. This list lays out exactly what needs to happen in order to ensure you're doing everything right to reach your fat-loss goals.
- Calorie deficit: Set your calorie range by multiplying your body weight by 10 to 12. Your caloric intake should fall somewhere within these numbers. Figuring out an appropriate calorie deficit will take some trial and error, so monitor your calorie intake for two to three weeks, and if you don't see a change, decrease by five percent. Tracking your calories by measuring your food and using an app like My Fitness Pal for accuracy is key.
- Strength training: "Women should lift four times a week if possible," said Jillian Michaels. "Train each muscle twice a week with two days of rest between training days." These types of workouts will build muscle and burn fat to help you get lean. Don't be afraid to challenge yourself and lift heavy!
- Adequate protein: Protein builds muscle and satiates hunger. NASM-certified personal trainer Sam Altieri said you need about 0.7 to 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, depending on how active you are. A good rule of thumb is to aim for 20 to 30 grams of protein per meal, including sources like salmon, skinless chicken, tofu, beans, plant-based protein powder, or eggs.
- Get more sleep: Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Aside from helping you rest and recover, getting enough sleep regulates the hormones in charge of hunger. If you don't get enough sleep, cravings will actually increase.
- Be extremely patient: You didn't gain weight overnight, so don't expect your fat to disappear overnight either. Be patient, don't give up, and you will see results.
- Repeat all steps above consistently: Stay consistent over time with both your calorie intake, your workouts, and your sleep. You can't expect to see results if you put in the effort half the time.
"Cycle through all the steps above day in and day out!" Nick added in the caption. "There will be days that you may fall off but that's OK!! That's life! You just have to jump right back on the train!"