A 12-Week Fat Loss Plan: Phase One: Week Weight Loss Program
The first phase of the 12-week fat loss plan is based on calorie counting. You will have to count calories every day during this period.
Your goal is to lose at least 10 pounds (4 kg) over the course of 12 weeks. During this time you are not allowed to eat any foods or drinks containing added sugar, artificial sweeteners, or other unhealthy ingredients.
You must keep track of your food intake and exercise. If you miss one day, then you cannot start the next one from the beginning.
However, if you do not lose any weight during this period, then it means that you need to increase your caloric intake by 500 calories per day until you reach your target weight. This way, even if you don’t get all of the way there in a single week, but rather gain some extra weight, then you will still have made progress.
During this phase, you will only be able to consume water and non-diet soda. You may drink fruit juice, milk, coffee or tea.
You can also use a sports drink such as Gatorade or PowerBar®. Do not take vitamins or supplements unless they contain no more than 100 calories per serving. These include multivitamins and herbal teas. If you smoke, then you must also quit.
The best way to deal with hunger pangs is to remain busy at all times. You should avoid situations in which you might be tempted to snack.
Keep healthy, nutritious food handy so that you may grab it quickly and get back to work. If you do not have anything else to do, then go for a walk or take up another activity to keep your mind off of food.
If you want to consume alcohol, then it is best to do so only on weekends. Limit your intake to just two days per week and no more than four drinks per day.
You should also eat before and while drinking alcohol, and make every other drink a non-alcoholic beverage. Drinking on an empty stomach can lead to nausea, dizziness, and blackouts. If you want to be social and have a good time, then it’s best to stick with non-alcoholic beverages.
Your exercise should begin at the start of week 1 and may take several forms. You can walk, jog or run in the mornings on an empty stomach.
This helps burn fat during the day and is the most nutritious when done on an empty stomach. You can also do weight training or yoga. Make sure to get at least 30 minutes of activity per day. You may also do some combination of the two, such as walking or jogging for 20 minutes and doing weight training or yoga for another 20 minutes. Make sure you also get your heart rate up for at least 10 minutes every day.
Drink water before, during and after your workouts to prevent dehydration. Take a multivitamin 2-3 times per day and never eat more than 1,000 calories per day.
Here are some sample menus for the first phase of the 12-week fat loss plan.
Sample Menu For Women Daily Eaten Calories Protein Carbs Fat Sunflower seeds, 1 oz 163 6g 5g 8g Apple, 1 medium 70 0g 12g 0g Black Beans, 1 cup 289 7g 46g 2.5g Lentils, 1 cup 358 18g 46g 6.5g Bagel, 1 medium 500 75g 8g 11g Olive oil, 1 tbsp 119 13g 0g 0g tuna in springwater, 3.5 oz 36 24g 0g 0g ham, 1 slice (8 slices) 80 7g 0g 2g cheddar cheese, 1.5 oz 406 36g 0g 32g Milk, skim, 8 fl oz 92 8g 12g 3g Whole eggs, 2 600 13g 9g 56g Peanut Butter, 2 tbsp 237 16g 8g 10g Banana, 1 medium 90 1g 27g 1.5g
Sample Menu For Men Daily Eaten Calories Protein Carbs Fat Sunflower seeds, 1 oz 163 6g 5g 8g Apple, 1 medium 70 0g 12g 0g Black Beans, 1 cup 289 7g 46g 2.5g Lentils, 1 cup 358 18g 46g 6.5g Bagel, 1 medium 500 75g 8g 11g Olive oil, 1 tbsp 119 13g 0g 0g tuna in springwater, 3.5 oz 36 24g 0g 0g ham, 1 slice (8 slices) 80 7g 0g 2g cheddar cheese, 1.5 oz 406 36g 0g 32g Milk, skim, 8 fl oz 92 8g 12g 3g Whole eggs, 2 600 13g 9g 56g Peanut Butter, 2 tbsp 237 16g 8g 10g Banana, 1 medium 90 1g 27g 1.5g
There are many different things that can affect the way in which you should eat. For example, if you are a growing teenager or you are still involved in an intense activity such as sports, then it may be best to increase your calories by up to 40%.
If you are not very active and you find yourself gaining weight, then cut your calories by 10%. If you want to lose weight faster, then cut your calories by 20%, but no more than that.
Ramp Up/Cut Down Phase: Weeks 1-4
You are now ready to begin your first week of the ramp up/cut down phase. This week is designed to allow your body to slowly get used to the changes you will be facing during this program and to prevent you from gaining a bunch of weight before the eventual cut down period in which you will lose fat weight rapidly.
During this phase, you must eat 100% of the daily calories that you are supposed to be eating according to the guide above. Do not alter the amounts of fat, carbohydrates and protein that you eat.
Even if you don’t like a certain food or it doesn’t seem to agree with you, you need to eat it anyway.
The only thing that you should do differently is consume slightly less calories than you need per day. This will cause you to lose weight, but it won’t be too much that will make you feel sick or unattractive.
On Friday of this first week, you should weigh yourself on a scale and write down the results. This will be useful information for you to track your weight loss during this program.
Weigh yourself once a week on Fridays so you can see how your weight loss is coming along. Weigh yourself at the same time every week and in the nude.
You should also measure your body fat percentage. You can do this by contacting a local college or university and asking if you can have a free body fat test done.
Alternatively, if you know someone who has a Harpenden skin fold caliper, you can measure your body fat yourself. If not, you can purchase one online (just do a search for “Harpenden skin fold caliper”).
Follow the instructions that come with the caliper.
Once you have these two sets of information (your weight and your body fat percentage), you will have the tools you need to properly track your weight loss during this program.
One warning before you begin though: do not use other methods (such as looking in the mirror, measuring your waist size, etc.) to track your weight loss.
As you lose weight, your body is going to change. You may gain or lose weight in different places than you are used to. In addition, leaning down will make you look a bit different than you are used to. As a result, you must rely on the more scientific methods discussed above.
Remember, all you have to do differently this week is eat slightly less than you normally would. The program will tell you how much to cut back after this week, but for now just eat 100% of what you are supposed to be eating.
Good luck! Trust the science!
For this program, I do not recommend working out. The aim here is to lose weight as quickly as possible and burning calories through exercise can hinder your efforts.
If you do engage in any kind of physical activity, do not work out for more than 1 hour per day and ensure that you are not exceeding your caloric intake.
The exercises in this program are all going to be high-rep, high-intensity interval training. This will increase the afterburn effect that you experience during and after your exercise.
Remember that the afterburn effect is a period of time where your body is burning extra calories to recover from your workout. By increasing this effect, you will be burning more calories and losing more fat.
Begin each exercise slowly to ensure that you are performing the exercise correctly. Only increase the pace of your routines once you are sure that you won’t injure yourself.
Crunches: Lie on the floor with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Have your hands placed gently behind your head (touching your ears).
Using your ab muscles, perform an abdominal crunch by pulling your shoulder blades off the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat.
Burpees: Stand straight with your arms at your sides. The last thing you want to do is hurt yourself and have to stop the program because of an injury.
Once you become more familiar with the exercises, you want to do two things: 1) increase the speed of the exercise and 2) decrease the amount of rest between each set. By speeding up the exercise, you will be creating a bigger afterburn effect.
By decreasing the rest time, you keep your heart rate up which keeps the afterburn effect high. Jump up in the air while bringing your legs next to you. Bend down and place your hands on the floor. Kick your legs back behind you so they are in the air (you should be in the top of a push-up position). Quickly do a push-up. As you push up from the floor, jump up in the air and swing your legs forward so they are extended.
Jumping Jacks: Stand straight with your feet together and your arms at your sides.
You want to do this program 3 days per week with at least 1 day of rest in between each workout. If you choose to do the program for the full 6 weeks, then take 2 days of rest in between the last 2 weeks.
This will allow your body to recover a bit more before you start the next round. Remember that recovery is an important part of this process.
Below is a chart to help you keep track of when to do each exercise during your workouts. Quickly spread your legs apart as far as you can and spread your arms out at the same time.
Jump and swing your legs and arms back to the starting position.
Sled Drags: Find yourself a sturdy object that you can drag around that has a flat top. Most weight sets with suitable pulling handles will work fine.
Attach a rope to the flat part of the object that you will be able to pull. Make sure the rope is tied tight so it doesn’t come off.
Perform the program 3 days per week with at least 1 day of rest in between each workout. You want to try to never work out more than 4 days in a row, otherwise your body won’t have enough time to recover and you won’t get the most out of your program.
Take 2 days of rest in between the last 2 weeks. This rope should be about three to four feet long so you can easily drag the object around while keeping your hands free.
Jog or run in place for 1 minute.
Sprints: Run as fast as you can for 20 seconds, then rest for 40 seconds. Continue this pattern for the remainder of the time.
Planks: Lie face down on the floor (or a mat) with your elbows bent underneath you and directly below your shoulders. Place your palms on the floor.
Raise your body up until it is in a straight line from your shoulders to your feet by only applying pressure with your elbows and toes. You should be supporting your weight on your arms and toes only. Try not to let your hips or knees drop lower than the position described or raise them higher, as this takes tension off your muscles and allows you to rest. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your feet. If you can do push-ups from this position, then your elbows should be directly underneath your shoulders.
Push-Ups: Begin the standard push-up position by placing your hands on the floor slightly wider than shoulder width apart and position your body in a straight line between your head and your ankles. Make sure your fingers are pointed forward and not turned in or out.
Lower your body until your chest comes close to touching the floor, but do not allow it to touch. Push back up to the starting position.
Crunches: Lay down on your back either on a carpeted floor or mat. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor.
Place your hands behind your head so that your fingers are intertwined and place them behind your head. Now, contract your abs and curl your torso forward bringing your upper body off the floor. Only go low enough that you feel a stretch in your abs. Hold for a second and then return to the original position.
Lunges: Place your left foot forward so that your heel is just in front of your toes and stretch your right leg behind you so that your heel is off of the ground. Your knee should be straight but not locked.
Hold this position for a moment. Now, step forward with your right foot and then bring your left foot over to meet it. Next, take a long step forward with your right foot and then bring the left foot over to meet it. Alternate which legs you use when stepping. Make sure that you only go as far as your muscles will allow, but not so far that your knee goes over your toes.
Sled Drags: Take the rope attached to the object you are dragging and place it around your waist. Have some one pull you backwards for 15 seconds.
Stop, rest for 15 seconds, and then repeat.
Day Three: Rest
Cardio should be kept to a minimum on this day. Keep it to a light jog or leisurely walk.
If you want to do any sort of intensive cardio, make sure to save it until after your workout routine for the day, as it will be hard to recover if you overdo it.
You may also choose to take up to an hour to rest and do some light reading. The magazine we suggested you get a subscription to is a good choice.
(Stern is aware that it tends to promote a bit of leftist propaganda, but the information within is, for the most part, factually accurate.)
Once you have completed your cardio activity for the day, follow the lower body routine we gave you.
Lower Body Routine:
Sit and Reach: Sit on the edge of a chair with your legs straight in front of you. Make sure your legs are straight and your feet are facing forward, not at an angle.
Place your hands on the floor in front of you so that you can reach the floor with your fingertips. Now, using only your legs, reach as far forward as you can. Hold this position for a moment and then return to the original starting position.
Calf Raises: Stand in front of a staircase and place your toes on the edge of the first step. Make sure that only your toes are touching the stair.
Next, rise up on your tiptoes and then lower your heels down so that they are flat on the ground. This is one rep. Try to do this exercise as quickly as possible.
Stiff Leg Deadlifts: Stand with your legs shoulder width apart and your arms at your sides. Bend over at the waist and touch the floor with your fingers, but do not pick anything up.
Your legs should still be straight and your back should be flat (not curved). Hold this position for a moment to make sure you get a good stretch.
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