Bodyfat Loss Contest(#1) and Body Transformation Contest (#2)
While you certainly will need to exercise (and work hard during your training) to win either of these contests, your success will be largely based on how “clean” your diet is during the twelve weeks of the contest. The winner of both of these contests will have to lose a significant amount of bodyfat. The Body Transformation contestants in particular will have a better chance of winning if they also build some lean muscle mass. It will behoove the Bodyfat Loss contestants to add some lean muscle mass as well because that will stoke their metabolism, leading to greater fat loss.
Each pound of bodyfat stores approximately 3500 calories of energy. To lose bodyfat you must burn more calories than you consume, which creates a “calorie deficit.” For instance, if you eat 2000 calories one day but burn 2500, you will have created a calorie deficit of 500 calories (or 1/7 pound of fat). Exercise burns calories (about 300-800 calories per hour, depending on how much you weigh and how vigorous the activity). You also burn calories just by being alive and going about your daily routine: most people burn between 1500 and 2500 calories even without exercising on a given day. The exact number of calories burned depends on your bodyweight, the amount of muscle you have on your body, as well as how active you are during the day, both during daily life and during exercise.
While you can (and should) exercise to burn extra calories, unless you plan to work out for hours and hours every day, you have more potential to create a larger calorie deficit by eating less than by moving more. Just by cutting portion sizes down a little, you can save yourself hours of exercise to burn off those calories. Generally, the more healthful a food is, the lower in calories it is. For instance, vegetables are almost all less than 50 calories per serving, while deserts are typically over 300 calories for the same volume of food. Most people find it easier to create a calorie deficit by eating 500 calories less per day than to create the deficit with EXTRA exercise (for example, running the four or so miles it takes to burn off those 500 calories). Of course, you can do BOTH to achieve an even larger calorie deficit.
In order to avoid slowing your metabolism by losing too much muscle, you shouldn’t allow your calorie deficit to be larger than about 1000 calories per day. Although 1000 is a fairly large deficit, this won’t hurt you if you limit your dieting to a twelve-week period of time.
You should perform resistance training at least twice per week for all major muscle groups if your goal is to lose bodyfat. Resistance training (with minimal rest between sets) burns about the same number of calories as brisk walking, and the muscle mass you build can result in greater calorie burn, which will add to your calorie deficit to result in faster fat loss.
If you want to maximize your chances to lose the most bodyfat during this contest, avoid saturated fats, sugar, and alcohol at all times. These three types of food all put a quick halt to fat loss. They will derail your efforts to lose fat as rapidly as possible.
Low-carb diets will result the loss of lots of water weight, but not necessarily much fat loss, especially if you’re eating high-calorie foods. Moderate-carb diets such South Beach that encourage more low-fat eating and include some carbs for energy are preferable for this contest. Basic portion control and avoiding junk food will serve you well in this contest. If you know you are going to have something that is high in calories, eat lightly the rest of the day, but be sure to still eat regularly throughout the day. Be sure to eat lots of veggies and protein and drink lots of water every day. A multivitamin is a good idea when you are on a reduced calorie diet.
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