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Looking good is defined differently for everyone, but many people believe that the ideal body is thin and muscular. This look is not easy to achieve for everyone, as natural characteristics differ a lot from person to person. With hard work and dedication, you can get as close to a skinny, ripped look as possible. Self-acceptance is important to your overall happiness level, however, so keep in mind that some things about your body can't be changed, even if there's room for improvement.
Write down information about your goal body and make a plan to get there in a certain amount of time. It is helpful if you can be realistic about this timeline -- you aren't going to lose 50 pounds in two months, for example. Since your goal is to lose fat and gain muscle, you might not actually need to lose any weight off of the scale at all. Plan to workout at least three to five days per week to be successful in your venture.
Eat 500 fewer calories everyday if you want to lose fat, which will equal approximately 1-pound of weight loss per week. Try to cut out unhealthy items such as sugary soft drinks, candy bars or fast food. You need to eat enough calories to gain or maintain muscle, so reducing by more than 500 calories each day is not generally recommended.
Add between 0.78 and 0.82 grams of protein per pound to your daily diet. This is a good amount for people engaged in strength training, as well as those who are restricting calories for weight loss. Your total diet should consist of 1,500 to 3,500 calories per day depending on your size and activity level. The rest of your calories should come from complex carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, low-fat dairy products and healthy fats.
Engage in aerobic and anaerobic activity on a regularly basis. Get your body moving each week by doing at least three moderate-intensity aerobic activities such as jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing for 30 to 60 minutes each session. Add anaerobic activity by doing 10-minutes worth of interval sprints at the end of your aerobic workout. These interval sprints can be done with any activity, and should include 60 seconds of hard and fast movement followed by a 60 second pause. Repeat until the 10-minute time period is over, cool down for five minutes, and then stretch your muscles.
Train with weights between two and four days per week for 20 to 40 minute sessions. Work your upper body with dips, curls, bench presses, pull-ups and other exercises that appeal to you. Lower body exercises include lunges, squats, leg curls and leg extensions. There are also machines that work your abdominal muscles, which can be done in conjunction with either upper or lower body workouts.