To win the photo contest or the bodyfat contest, you will certainly need to exercise, and exercise hard. However, 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 photo contest participants will see better results as well by building more lean muscle, and the bodyfat loss contest participants will also find that adding some lean muscle mass will help them because it will stoke the 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 400-800 calories per hour, depending on how much you weigh and how vigorous the activity). You also burn calories just from being alive and going about your daily routine: most people burn between 1500 and 2500 calories even without exercising on a certain day. The number of calories burned depends on the amount of muscle you have on your body as well as how active you are during the day. While you can (and should) exercise to burn extra calories, you can create an even greater calorie deficit by eating less. Generally, the more healthful a food is, the lower in calories it is. For instance, vegetables are almost all less than 100 calories per 1-2 servings, while deserts are typically over 400 calories for the same volume of food. For most people, it is easier to create a calorie deficit by eating 500 calories less per day than it is to run the 4-5 miles it takes to burn off those 500 calories. Of course, you can do BOTH and achieve an even larger calorie deficit and improve your chances of winning the bodyfat contest. In order to avoid slowing the metabolism, which means you will burn fewer and fewer calories (making it harder to maintain the calorie deficit in the long run) you shouldn’t ever create larger than a 750-1250 calorie deficit per day. The 750 figure is for those under about 150 lb. And the 1250 is for those over about 150 lb. These deficits are fine if you limit your dieting to 12 weeks. These figures are estimates only; consult with Gina for advice for your specific situation.
Resistance training should be performed at least twice a week for all major muscle groups if your goal is to lose bodyfat and win the bodyfat contest. 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 up to a 500-extra-calorie burn per day, which will add to your calorie deficit to result in faster fat loss. Click here for a good resistance training routine to use during the photo contest and bodyfat loss contest.
If you want to maximize your chances to lose the most bodyfat during this contest, avoid saturated fats, sugar, and alcohol at all times, or at least most of the time. These three all put a roadblock on fat loss. They will derail your efforts to lose fat as rapidly as possible.
Low-carb diets such as Atkins will result in lots of water weight loss, but not necessarily much fat loss, especially if you’re loading up on high-fat, high-calorie foods. Low-carb diets such as South Beach that encourage more low-fat eating and include some carbs for energy are preferable for this contest. Basic portion control and avoiding saturated fat, sugar, and alcohol also will work just fine for this contest. Fill up on veggies and lean protein for best results, and drink tons of water to quiet your appetite and keep energy up. Click here for more diet information to help you win the Bodyfat Contest.
If you register for the contest, Gina will design a specialized diet program just for you. Click here to learn more about registering for the 2005 Body Challenge fitness contest.
Click here for advice for the cardio endurance contest
Click here for advice for the strength contest