How to Lower Body Fat in 30 Days:
Body fat. We all hate it, but we all have it. In fact, a small percentage of body fat is necessary to live. How much is normal? How much is considered overweight? What percent body fat do I need to “have abs”? How can I get there? We’ve got all the answers in this article on how to lose body fat, and how to do it fast!
Let’s start by answering how much body fat is “normal”. For men, that number is 18-24%. For women, that number is 25-31%. For men, any number below 18% is considered to be in “good shape”. What about abs? To get abs (a visible core) you will need to be under 9% body fat. The 5-8% body fat is the sweet spot for a truly aesthetic looking body. So how do I get under 9% body fat? Getting under 9% body fat is a difficult process that takes the utmost determination and discipline. Here’s your 30-day guide to lowering your body fat:
1. “Abs are made in the kitchen!”
In order to lower your body fat, you’ll need to focus on your nutrition first. To cut fat, you will need to be in a caloric deficit. This means that you need to burn more calories than you consume. What we recommend: on a 2,100 calorie diet, try cutting your calories by 300 a day. This will add up to 2,100 calories in a week. 1 pound of fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories. Therefore, you will be burning a half pound of fat every week from nutrition alone. NOTE: Do not cut your calories by more than 500 per day. This will cause your body to use muscle as energy instead of fat.
2. Cardio is crucial.
Cardio will be the next step to decreasing your body fat. We encourage you to do cardio 4-5 days per week for 30-45 minutes. The key to cardio is getting your heart rate raised. Theoretically, anything could be considered cardio as long as your heart rate is above the 150-160 range. We recommend using either a stair stepper or an elliptical machine. Both are easier on your joints than running while just as challenging. Want to go even harder? Swimming is the ultimate cardio and strength training exercise all in one. You can anticipate to burn another 400-600 calories per hour depending on your intensity level. This adds up to another 2,500 calories burned through cardio alone.
3. Weight Training Keeps Muscle Intact
Weight training is also critical to lowering your body fat. To get the “cut” look you may be looking for, your muscles will also play a key role. By maintaining your weight training regimen, you will keep the muscle you currently have while losing fat simultaneously. If you cut your calories by too much and stop weight training, you run a serious risk of losing a significant amount of muscle. This will give you a thinner look, not muscular. We recommend weight training 3-4 days per week. Be sure to hit each of the major muscle groups: (legs, chest, back, shoulders, core) at least once a week.
4. Rest & Recovery
Rest and recovery are important so that you can perform your next days’ workout to full capacity. We recommend getting at minimum 8 hours of sleep per night. Notice how we calculate sleep on a per night basis. Sleep does NOT roll over into the next day. If you get 4 hours of sleep one night and 12 hours the next, you will not perform at your best. Rest is not only sleeping, however. We recommend recovering in other ways as well. Meditating, foam rolling, and soaking your legs in an epsom salt bath all count toward active recovery.