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What Do I Need to Lose Fat?

This Fat-Loss Pyramid Shows the 3 Simple Things You Need to Do to Get Lean

With so much advice and so many different diets out there, it can be confusing to figure out the easiest and most effective method for losing fat. Fitness trainer and fat-loss coach Ivica Fridrih (@ivicafridrih on Instagram) said in a recent post that most people who want to lose weight "overcomplicate the process by thinking they have to follow a specific diet or have to quit all of their favorite foods or some third unsustainable BS…" He added that it's not your fault for being confused with all the misinformation out there, especially for those just getting started on their weight-loss journeys.

If you have a couple of pounds to lose (or more), Ivica said to keep things simple, and do these three things. You'll get the best results while still enjoying life and without having to follow restrictive diet nonsense.

  1. Consistently be in a calorie deficit: ACE-certified personal trainer Susan Niebergall (@susanniebergallfitness on Instagram) said you can calculate your calorie deficit by multiplying your bodyweight by 10 to 12. Your caloric intake should fall somewhere within these numbers. (For a more accurate target calorie number, use this formula). Eating fewer calories than your body needs will help you lose fat. You can do this by measuring your food and counting calories or with intermittent fasting.
  2. Consume enough protein: This is important to maintain muscle mass, recover from workouts, and keep you feeling satiated. Your other calories can come from healthy carbs and fats. Aim to consume 0.7 to 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.
  3. Lift: Weight training coupled with eating enough protein will help you maintain (and maybe even build) muscle so you are almost exclusively losing body fat, explained certified strength and conditioning specialist Sohee Lee. Focus on two to five sessions per week. NASM-certified personal trainer Sam Altieri said usually three to four is a sweet spot for most people. And don't be afraid to lift heavy — it won't make you bulky unless you eat too many calories.
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