Lean Into 2017

Renew your New Year’s resolution and move that scale in the right direction!

December 19, 2016


Are you one of those who made a resolution to lose weight in 2017? There’s a good chance you did (or that you thought about it) because almost 30 percent of American women 20 and older are overweight.

But have you already given up on your 2017 pledge? Did the endless variety of new and different weight-loss fads overwhelm you? If so, Oxygen is here to help you renew your resolve. With the right kind of fat-loss plan and with consistency, you should see the scale moving in your favor within a month.

Most stories about fat loss start with the training — and that’s understandable. Even if you’re not quite at the point at which you can consider training fun, at the very least it’s the dynamic part of a fat-loss program. But because you spend more time every day out of the gym than in it, nutrition is what’s going to make the difference between where you are now and where you will be next month.

Do The Math

Fundamentally, what you put into your body has a great effect on the number you see when you look at the scale. Science and math tell us that losing weight can be as simple as consuming fewer calories than you burn on a daily basis. At the same time, too high a caloric deficit will waste away muscle mass and impede weight loss because the more muscle a body has, the more calories it burns at rest.

To find the total number of calories you should consume each day, multiply your current weight by 10. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, your body requires 1,600 calories to maintain that weight. Next, multiply your “ideal” weight by 10. If you want to weigh 140, the minimal daily energy requirement would be 1,400 calories. The difference between the first number (1,600) and the second (1,400) gives the deficit that will help you get to 140 pounds safely. (In this example, it’s 200 calories per day.)

Why do we say “safely”? Because active women should aim for a minimum of between 1,200 and 1,400 calories per day. That’s the best calorie range to ensure you’re eating enough food to avoid screwing up your metabolism. (If you go too low, your body will break down muscle tissue instead of fat for energy.) Adding cardio and weight training will burn off more calories and also will help your metabolism.

Mix In The Macros

The next step is to break that total down into macronutrients — protein, carbs and fat. Ingesting an optimal amount of protein, carbohydrates and fat in the right ratio will allow your body to burn calories at an accelerated rate. In addition to your food intake, a strategic supplement plan, along with drinking a gallon of water each day, will enhance the fat-loss process.

Protein is known for its role in the muscle-building process, but it’s also critical for maintaining muscle mass while losing weight. Forty percent of your daily calories should come from protein, and it should be the main calorie source at every meal. (And it should be consumed — in the form of protein powder — before and after training.)

Carbohydrates should not be shunned because, as the saying goes, “fat burns in a flame of carbohydrates.” But at the same time, excess carbohydrate intake will result in bloating and fat gain. For this reason, your diet plan should limit, but not eliminate, carbohydrate intake. As your day winds down, you should restrict carb intake with each successive meal. None of the carbohydrates consumed (other than those immediately following a workout) should come from sugary or starchy sources; rather, get them from fibrous vegetables and whole grains. Your daily total of calories from carbs shouldn’t be above 40 percent.

Fat gets a poor reputation because of its name, but that’s because it’s not very well-understood that dietary fat does not equate to body fat. In fact, an intake of monounsaturated fats and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from healthy sources can be very beneficial to a fat-loss diet. For this reason, you should include some fat in your diet and supplement with fatty acids, as well. Twenty percent of your daily calories should come from dietary fat.

Jump In

To give yourself the most clear-cut path to fat loss, you must first know where you stand. An initial weigh-in will allow you to track your progress week by week, ensure the sustainability of your weight loss and give you a starting point from which to set up a baseline diet. Don’t just guess that you must weigh 160 because your favorite pants don’t fit right. It’s also not a bad idea to take a selfie to use for comparison if you’re not sure you’re making progress.

Finally, set small realistic goals — replace that broad New Year’s resolution to “lose weight” with a specific goal, such as losing a pound a week. Setting unrealistic goals or failing to keep track of your progress are two big reasons our resolutions don’t stick. So rethink your fat-loss resolution and start 2017 over on the right track!