Slim & Happy: 12 Week Weight Loss Program

2nd Place - eXeCuTe

Weight Loss Program: DAY-BY-DAY WORKOUT PLAN
If you factor in the potential inaccuracy of metabolic calculations, you could reasonably expect to lose 15lbs. Eating enough calories to maintain your LBM will help you greatly. Lastly, pre-workout products can help you get through tiring workouts when your stomach is growling. Also, don't adopt some method of training or nutrition just because Joe Bro says it's the right way. Hopefully, you have met with your doctor before you start, so that there will be not one serious problem you will have to face. Sweet potatoes are rich in complex carbs, which will provide your body with energy to develop muscle and burn fat, have many vitamins, and are high in fiber content.

1st Place - BuckSpin

12-Week Weight Loss Workout Plan

When I'm cutting, I like to keep my training as similar as possible to my bulking. That means four days of intense lifting. The only real difference is the amount of added cardio. Fat loss isn't rocket science - you just have to create a caloric deficit, which can be surprisingly simple if you're doing a lot of activity. The reason I like a four-day split for cutting is because it gets you into the gym frequently enough to burn a lot of calories , but no so much so that you'll be limited to a lot of isolation exercises on individual body parts to allow for adequate recovery and may be worn out.

Also, a four-day split gives you a lot of options to prevent boredom from setting in. I feel the week period should be split into two six-week segments. On lifting days, you should warm up with 10 minutes of cardio and cool down with 20 minutes of HIIT. For cardio days, aim for a 10 minute low-intensity warm-up, followed by 30 minutes HIIT and a 10 minute low-intensity warm-down, in addition to ab work, which can be performed before or after cardio.

Try to vary your exercises, whether it be jogging, elliptical or exercise bike, just to keep things fresh. Because creating a caloric deficit is essential to losing fat, you'll want to find out what your maintenance level of intake is. If you already have an idea, that's excellent. If not, you may want to refer to an online calculator, such as this one. However, every one is different, so you may not get the exact number.

In order to cut weight, you'll probably want to eat at about calories below maintenance. If at any time you feel as though you're losing too much or too little, simply adjust the amount you're eating. But what to eat? This will give you plenty of protein for building and preserving muscle, which will help keep your metabolism firing. In addition, you will have plenty of carbohydrates for energy as well as essential fats.

While I'm not a big proponent of carbohydrates, I do realize that they can leave some individuals looking bloated, which is NOT what you want when you're planning on showing off.

Plus, you'll be getting a lot of your calories from fats, which means some delicious food think bunless cheeseburgers and steak , so you may not feel like you're dieting at all! But you also won't have to worry about staying in ketosis, which can be a hassle. Similarly, I don't recommend carbohydrate cycling, because you may be prone to make mistakes and keeping track of different splits for different days can be more trouble than it is worth.

While it is effective, I think the "best" program would be one that allows you to live your life and not become obsessed with diet or training. As for what exactly you should be eating However, it's important to try to eat filling, low-GI foods that will keep you satisfied.

So this means you may want to get your protein from lean meats, fish, cottage cheese and protein powders ; carbohydrates from oats, whole wheat bread, sweet potatoes, fruits and fibrous veggies; and fats from peanut butter, olive oil and almonds. Additionally, meals with all three macronutrients are best for keeping blood glucose levels in check. Eating every two or three hours should keep you from feeling as though you're starving when it comes time to eat, so smallish meals won't be so hard to take.

If you find that being disciplined causes you to crave "dirty" foods, allow yourself a cheat meal once every week or every two weeks. But make sure this is a cheat meal and not a cheat day - it's easy to go overboard, so just give yourself a treat and move on when you are satisfied.

Switching diet and training in the middle of your cut will prevent your body from adapting and you from getting bored or frustrated. Cutting can be tough, but stick with it.

Even if progress seems slow, don't get frustrated, keep your eyes on the prize. Don't dwell on any bumps in the road. No problem can't be reversed with a little extra effort. Get back to your plan as soon as possible, and alter it if need be.

You will only get out what you put into this process. Take it seriously and think of how awesome it will be when you are turning heads everywhere you go. A little pain pays off in the long run and makes you a stronger person. Don't compare yourself to others and don't judge your progress on anyone else's. Also, don't adopt some method of training or nutrition just because Joe Bro says it's the right way. No food before bed? The laws of thermodynamics can't be defeated - at the end of the day, it's calories in vs.

Drinking water will keep you satisfied and purify your body. In addition, the more you drink, the more efficient your body becomes at getting rid of water, so you will look more vascular down the road. Drinking alcohol is not your friend during cutting, and other beverages will cost you precious calories without filling you up.

You'll be surprised how quickly an extra scoop of oats, an extra slice of cheese or an extra splash of milk can add up. But look for unlikely sources of calories too, such as supplements. If your pre- or intra-workout supplement is loaded with calories, usually from simple carbs, consider an alternative or cut it out altogether.

Cycling off may make it more effective in the future. Looking great is super, but if you're not feeling great, then it's irrelevant.

Don't make yourself sick with too much activity or too little food. Maintain a reasonable deficit and ensure that you take in enough calories to fuel your exercise. If you get very hungry between meals which is unlikely if you're eating every hours, but still , chew on some sugar-free gum or grab a diet soda.

While not exactly nutritious options, they are nearly calorie-free and can keep you on track. If you're creating a deficit of about calories daily, as I recommended above, you'll lose roughly one pound per week. This would mean that you can expect to lose 12 lbs during the 12 week period. However, cutting carbohydrates during the last six weeks may prompt you to lose additional weight. If you factor in the potential inaccuracy of metabolic calculations, you could reasonably expect to lose 15lbs.

Don't try to drastically cut calories in an attempt to drop more weight - this is not healthy and can slow down your metabolism in the long run. In addition, you'll be dropping lean mass, not fat. Twelve to fifteen pounds is still considerable, though, so don't sweat it.

If you want to keep as much muscle as possible while shedding fat, you have to be realistic. Don't think that the less you eat, the more fat you'll lose. If you don't provide adequate energy for your body, you will store fat and drop muscle.

You'll also want to keep your protein intake high. This will ensure that you have sufficient amino acids for the maintenance and building of muscle, even as you are in a caloric deficit. In addition, you'll probably want to use a BCAA or EAA product to boost recovery and provide your body with amino acids without having the significant caloric weight of whole food. Other supplements you may want to use are multivitamins , fat burners and pre-workout products.

Multivitamins will help you make sure your diet does not have glaring deficiencies, which is possible when you are on a reduced-calorie plan. Fat burners are not necessary, but they will probably flush water out of your system and boost your metabolism slightly. Lastly, pre-workout products can help you get through tiring workouts when your stomach is growling.

Watch out for the caloric content though! Also, try to eat smaller, more spread out meals. This will prevent you from becoming ravenous from waiting too long and will keep your energy levels stable. Whatever you do, don't skip meals! This will be more harmful than helpful. Remember to work out hard and believe in yourself.

You can definitely maintain your gains if you continue to challenge your muscles and keep your protein intake at adequate levels. On the flip side, though, don't overdo the cardio - this can lead to muscle loss if done excessively and proper nutrition is not followed. Other than that, give it your best and make sure you get plenty of water. Anyone can be shredded if they want to be.

There are many fad diets out there and commercials, "Lose 30 lbs in one month", "I dropped 2 dress sizes in a week". These are outrageous claims and if they some how end up working, it is only temporary. Fat loss takes time and effort.

Yes someone could drop lbs in a week or two, but how much of that is going to be fat and how much is going to be muscle? The key to fat loss is minimizing muscle loss. The more muscle your have the more calories your body will burn.

So if you lose muscle, your body will need fewer calories to run. First and foremost, you need to have your nutrition in order.

Start out by finding your BMR. This will give you a baseline for your daily calories to maintain your current weight. Once you have this figured out, you will have a good idea of how many calories you burn a day just living.

Ok your have your BMR, now what? Well you need to figure out how much fat you want to lose. It is a good idea to lose 1. While you may not think that is a lot, over a 12 week period it adds up to almost 25 lbs.

Who wouldn't want to lose 24 lbs and maintain as much muscle as they could? So let's say you are going to shoot for 2 lbs a week. It takes roughly calories to lose a lb, so two lbs would need calories, or calories per day.

Now you don't want to create that calorie deficit in diet alone, so let's create a calorie deficit from diet. So now take your BMR you calculated earlier and subtract from it and you will have your new calorie total for the day. The key to a successful diet is also nutrition timing. If your adjusted daily calorie total is calories, for a lb man that is 25 and is 6 foot tall and moderately active, you are going to see a lot better results splitting those calories into 5 - 6 meals a day instead of 1 giant meal.

You will also need a good balance of protein, carbs, and fats. Carb cycling is a great way to lose weight while maintaining muscle. You use a mixture of high, medium, and low carb days that a based on your workouts. Lets see an example:. Your body is going to most likely exert more energy on your leg and back workout days, than your arm or shoulder days. They are also bigger muscle groups and need more nutrients.

So make these your high carb days. These days, you have a higher amount of your calories from good carbohydrates and less of them from fats.

Protein will stay the same typically no matter what day it is. So let's go back to the example with a daily calorie requirement of calories. Protein is be around - grams a day. You typically will keep protein to 1 to 1. So let's go with to stay right in the middle. So grams of protein is going to be calories, since 1 gram of protein is equal to 4 calories.

The same goes for carbohydrates; 1 gram of carbs is equal to 4 calories. So for a high carb day you will want to get around grams as well. So that gives you another calories, and a total of calories from carbs and protein alone, leaving you for healthy fats. You would want to split these number up into your 6 meals relatively equally giving you:.

Now on your other workout days, you will drop the carbohydrate intake to about half and up the fat content. So you will be left with, grams of protein, grams of carbs, and grams of fats. You will also try to keep the carbs around your workout and first thing in the morning. So if you workout in between your 4 and 5 meal of the day, you typically would put the carbs into your breakfast, pre- and post-workout meals and keep the rest of your meals with just protein and fats.

Finally the off days you would see another drop in carbs to about 50 grams a day and would keep them in your first meal of the day. You would again add more healthy fats to your daily total and a little more protein to make up for the calorie drop. So based on the workout schedule above your days would follow this plan:. So now we have figured out where the first part of the calorie deficit is coming from, now we figure out the second half. Most of us will get a lot of this taken care of with weight training, but cardio still has to be used as well.

Cardio is a necessary evil for weight loss. Nobody likes to do it, but it is essential to a healthy plan. When I start out a diet, I like to start with different types of cardio to make it interesting and less stagnant.

So you need to come up with a calorie deficit from weight training and cardio. On days you are training, you will have to do less cardio than on off days. I typically start with 20 minutes of low intensity cardio every morning when I wake up. It gets my day going and gets it out of the way. On days I train, that is all the cardio I do.

On off days I will do another round of cardio later in the day. Now as your weight goes down, so will your BMR. While you could adjust the daily totals every couple of weeks, I find it easier to add 5 minutes of cardio to each session as my weight loss starts to stall.

This is an easy way to adjust for the slight difference your body will need in calories without all the math, ha-ha. As I stated earlier, don't expect to drop 40 lbs in a month. You are going to lose a lot more muscle than fat by taking things to extreme and will most likely put it right back on once you go off the diet. It is safe to go by the standard 1.

It is a healthy, maintainable way to lose weight and keep it off for good! You have to eat to lose weight; don't think skipping meals is going to make you lose weight faster. Common symptoms of B12 deficiencies include severe exhaustion and confusion. Individualized Weight Loss Plans.

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