- February 20, 2016
Weight loss and gain is controlled by the difference between how many calories you use every day and how many calories you eat every day.
- To lose weight, you must eat fewer calories than you use, a deficit.
- To gain weight, you must eat more calories than you use, a surplus.
- To build muscle, you must eat at a surplus and do resistance training.
- To get a "toned" look, you need to build muscle and have low bodyfat.
The modern diet is grossly deficient in hundreds of important plant-derived immunity-building compounds which makes us highly vulnerable to viruses, infections and disease.- Joel Fuhrman
Most beginners have one or more of the above basic goals and all of these goals are achieved the same way, by losing fat and building muscle. The only difference between these three goals is the degree to which each applies. Improving the way you look is 80% about diet. To lose fat, gain muscle, or "tone up", you have to eat correctly. This should be your first priority and your only priority for a period of time. Getting your diet in check is of the highest importance.
Correcting your diet means being conscious of what and the amount you eat. The best way to do this is to keep track of the calories you eat over the course of the day. Use a calorie tracking application such as MyFitnessPal or your brain, a pen and paper. A food scale makes for much more accurate assessments. To get an estimate on how much you should be eating, you'll need to figure out your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). It's best to remain conservative and stay within 500 calories above or below, for gains or losses respectively.
Once you have your diet in check, it's time to add exercise into the mix. Which variety of exercise you choose is dependent on your goals and your activity levels during your free time. The most important thing is that you find something that you either like doing or want to do. Don't choose a certain type of exercise you hate with a burning passion because it's what you feel you're supposed to do. There are many choices. If you find one thing boring, then try something else! We are looking for activity's that raise the heart rate and features some form of resistance. Exercise can be broken down into four main categories:
This is how you get stronger and build muscle mass. There are many different ways to go about this, but all of them will work with similar levels of efficiency depending on your specific goals. The most important part in choosing a program is finding one you will stick to.
Conditioning refers to training your cardiovascular system to pump blood, and thus oxygen, throughout your body better. This is how you improve cardiovascular health and general endurance. Running and Swimming are great examples.
Flexibility and mobility are basically the same concept, describing the range of motion that a person has. There are plenty of ways to improve flexibility and mobility. In general, foam rolling and mobility exercises should be included in your warmup, and stretching should be done post-workout.
This catagory covers just about anything else that simply gets you up and moving. From Yoga to Mixed Martial Arts and anything in between. If you have a dog, simply taking them on a nice long walk or to play at the dog park could be a great way to not only get you in shape but also benefit your pet.