1 See your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough to begin an exercise and diet plan for weight loss. Ask if you have any health conditions like diabetes, hypoglycemia or kidney disease, which require dietary precautions. Always incorporate your doctor’s recommendations into your exercise and diet routine. Also ask your doctor what your target heart rate should be for aerobic exercise.
2 Set a weight loss goal of two pounds per week, or less if your doctor recommends slower weight loss. Your body cannot metabolize more than two pounds of its own fat per week, so weight loss beyond two pounds will represent some loss of muscle tissue, which is counterproductive to your goal of looking leaner.
3 Keep a training and diet log to track your weight loss. Your log will help you see your overall progress so that minor weight loss plateaus are not so discouraging. Also use your log to plan reasonable workouts ahead of time according to your fitness level. This will reduce the likelihood that you’ll overtrain and become injured.
4 Strength train with weights and isometric exercises to build lean muscle mass. Building muscle is the fastest route to a leaner look, and it is also key to long-lasting weight loss. Work the muscles of your legs one day and the muscles of your arms and core the next day. Repeat this pattern so that you work each muscle group three days a week, and rest one day a week. If you’re faithful to your routine, you’ll begin to see a difference in your muscle tone in about three weeks. As you lose body fat, you’ll notice definition.
5 Do aerobic exercise like walking, running, swimming, or taking dance or aerobics classes to burn calories. To lose weight fast, exercise six days per weeks, making sure you maintain your target heart rate for at least 20 minutes. Monitor your heart rate with an exercise heart rate monitor available at most sporting goods stores. Each week or two, increase your workout time by 5-minute increments until you reach a workout duration of 30 to 45 minutes. Your aerobic capacity will increase gradually; you’ll begin to notice it in about three weeks.
6 Consume 250 to 500 fewer daily calories than you need for weight maintenance. You can find calorie calculators or charts on the Internet to estimate your daily caloric needs. If you have a gym membership, they may offer body composition testing to help determine your caloric needs. If you have a medical condition affecting your metabolism, like diabetes or hypoglycemia, ask your doctor how many calories you may safely cut from your daily diet.
7 Record you daily food in your log to make sure that each calorie you consume provides maximum nutrition. Protein should make up 10% to 20% of your daily calories, depending on your age, sex, height, weight and activity level. Only 20% to 30% of your calories should come from fat, and only 10% from saturated fat. Continue to eat 5 daily servings of carbohydrates; but cut back on simple carbohydrates like sugar and refined flour bread and pasta, and eat 100% whole grain foods instead. Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Substitute fruit for deserts and vegetables for junk food snacks.