I've put on a couple pounds, and I want them gone! Not sure what to do. Would skipping meals be unhealthy? I've been doing ab workouts recently, so maybe I just need to focus on cardio? Lol help me, I don't know
Cardio is better than core work for weight loss, heck you'd probably be burning more taking a nice long walk everyday than doing crunches, but the real work is in the eating habits. It's really difficult to out-exercise a bad diet. You can try any number of options. There are so many ways to lose weight and all of them involve cutting calories using some method or structure. Anything that brings your daily average below maintenance (the caloric requirement to stay the same weight) should succeed in weight loss. The real kicker there is that estimating your actual daily requirement and expenditures is usually very rough guesswork, even using all tools at our disposal.
I'm not sure what your regular diet is so I'm gonna just throw ideas out there..
I use myfitnesspal and count calories and I cycle through different macro ratios throughout the week to do a kind of carb cycling thing, (Google carb cycling) . I stick to mostly whole, real foods, very little processed stuff.
You could just try a basic structured thing like cutting most carbs from your diet and eating plenty of healthy fats & proteins. That's the ketogenic diet, Google for more info. It probably doesn't really work if you just eat all the calories in nuts that you ate in bread before, so calorie counting is still useful, but many people find that cutting carbs means they end up eating fewer calories without really trying.
Look up intermittent fasting. That's another method. Kind of easy way to cut calories a few days a week if you can wake up and go without eating for a while (&still be functional /not grumpy)
You could try snacking on veggies, or fruits even, it helps to develop better habits and get more in touch with your body getting used to real nutrition. You can literally eat a whole bucketload of veggies and barely make a dent in your daily calorie requirement for maintenance. Or substituting veggies for something in a meal every day. Maybe find an extra healthy breakfast to eat everyday like fruit & plain yogurt with a few nuts & seeds sprinkled in.
You could try just cutting anything processed, or with added sugar. No liquid calories, nothing that comes in a box. You know, just fruits and veggies and real meats and natural whole grains like oatmeal and rice.
There are so many methods and they can succeed or not from person to person, it depends on what each person finds easier to stick to and to follow.
Hope this gives you some ideas. Good luck
With Patrick in everything but the strict diet rules tbh. - at least for a newbie.
You definitely can try those methods and they'll all work and are healthy for sure. BUT: if you're new to those tracking your intake thing and kind of liked most of the stuff you ate before, it'll be hard to follow and, most important, stick to harsh rules.
Problem is: most of those millions of diets out there deal with waiving on certain things. Things you're used to, things you like. Things making it hard to be disciplined on leaving out of your meal plans. That's why many have good intentions, keep it for some weeks, and then drop back into old habits with gaining more than they lost during their efforts. Plus: it may happen that you feel cravings all the time and thus are unsatisfied and eventually fail.
Let me introduce you to my approach:
My advice is: start tracking what you eat and drink as a first step. Track EVERYTHING. Don't cheat on yourself. Make it a routine. Visualize what you eat. Create attention for it.
Next: calculate your BMR resp. your TDEE (there's calculators everywhere). Realize what your body NEEDS on a daily basis.
Next: compare those figures after a week or two. Are you above your TDEE ON AVERAGE or below or very close to it? If above, you'll gain. 1kg of fat for every 9000 kcals you eat more than you burn. If below, you'll lose. 1kg of fat for every 7000 kcals you cut down. The same: you'll keep your weight more or less.
Then decide on your goal: wanna lose then SLOWLY reduce your intake week by week or month by month. 50 kcals or 100 kcals less e.g. as a start. Try to leave out crisps or that final chocolate chip, try having less butter on your bread, lower intake of soft or energy drinks (very imortant: most ppl. underestimate how many kcals they only drink during the day), have water or tea instead. Eat a salad instead of a burger... - possibilities are endless. Most imortant message is: start with SMALL CHANGES. Do things that won't really hurt. Get used to that thinking of: I don't have to change my whole life over night to lose it. New studies also prove that it's not so important WHAT or also WHEN we eat. Your body is smart and adapt - and only needs energy to function properly at the end of the day. Sure you can do him good with fruits, vegetables, non-processed, low on salt and stuff like that. Will that influence how much you weigh? Not as much as most ppl think.
Oh, important part: make sure you drink enough over the day. It doesn't have to be a gallon or more per day. But don't get dehydrated, especwhen working out. Sip a good amount of water every hour or so, more during and after training. We're mostly water and won't survive without.
Together with that eating and drinking thing: start working out. It's not so important what and how much you do in the beginning. Important is that you're MOVING. Just a few minutes. Try to do something EVERY DAY to make it a routine.
Those are examples for great starter workouts, depending on your fitness level. They all get your overall body moving and induce a light sweat.
Next level of training is what you're working on. Know that the more muscles you'll build, the more calories your body burns. Know that legs and butt are the biggest muscles in your body and thus need the most energy when trained. Know that cardio exercises will get your heart pumping even after your workouts and thus rise your metabolism to burn more. Know that you CAN'T lose fat in specific areas in your body (e.g. ab workouts won't make your abs flat) - you'll lose or gain overall, where your body stores the fat is in your genes.
Tips to stick with it: Challenge yourself from time to time with harder or longer workouts. Try working different parts of your body. Try doing at least one new workout every other day to not get bored. Do exercises you like, but also try out things you hate: they're most likely the most effective ones. Try ending up in a routine of about 30-60 mins, at least every second day, I prefer daily to keep it an important part of my day and not slouch in whatever circumstances.
The combination of controlled intake and working out should end up on a light deficit of about 10% based on your TDEE. Thus you won't feel hungry or having to train like crazy all day. DON'T try to lose 5 kgs in 2 weeks. Maybe you'll succeed, but it'll be unhealthy and not hold for long! It's still not easy as you've to do it for months, depending on your goal, but it's the easiest, most healthy and proven successful way.
FINAL step: NOW you can think about WHAT to eat, e.g. on a macro level to improve your performance. Proteins make your muscles grow and keep you full on the long run. Carbs will give you quick energy or make you tired when eaten too little. Some vitamins are only liposoluble and can thus be only be processed by your body when you eat fat as well. Millions of things to find out over time but very overwhelming and maybe daunting at the beginning!
That's the best tips I can give so far. Most important about anything above: stay disciplined and persistent! Don't give up too quickly. THIS JOURNEY TAKES TIME!
Important remark: this approach is proven successful. Did it for the last 13 months without cravings or feeling that I'd have to push myself to anything. And without strict rules. I still drink alcohol from time to time. I still have sugar in my coffee. I still eat pizza. Everything balanced and tracked
Result: Lost 18 kgs (20% of starting weight) and went down from approx. 29% of body fat to now 10-12% without losing any muscles (as you would in a diet without training). I'm in the best form of my last 15-20 years.
I don't really eat burgers or like them very much, so...
But I totally get what your saying. I try to be cautious about what I eat. Although there are times when I slack off, I'm usually good about what I eat, that's why I was like why did I gain 3 pounds? But maybe I'm just not burning enough calories. Lol I don't know
Unless you're fasting, I wouldn't recommend skipping a meal. I Intermittent Fast (even though for the past two weeks I've been drinking Slim Fast for breakfast) and it's really helped me lose weight.
As far as cardio is concerned, I think full body workouts are better (i.e. squats with overhead press). Any exercise that gets your heart rate up and steady for at least 30 secs or so would work.