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How quickly can I lose body fat?

How many times have you wished you could wake up free of all your excess body fat? Me too. While impressive weight-loss results take a little time there are some quick and easy ways to speed up your progress towards the leaner, stronger and fitter body you want, says New Body Plan editorial director Joe Warner

You don’t wake up one morning completely flummoxed by the overnight arrival of a beer belly, man boobs or moobs, or lower back fat that wasn’t there before. And the same is true with losing weight: you can’t just wish away your excess weight and it’s gone, nor simply turn body fat into lean muscle. If only!

So just as it takes a long time of eating more calories than you burn to gain weight, it also takes a little time of consistently burning off more calories than you consume each day to lose all the excess fat you’ve accumulated.

Lose fat fast!
That’s not to say you can’t lose fat quickly or that it’s never too late to lose weight, because you will if you start doing enough things right, such as introducing resistance training and smart cardio exercise into your day, and following a smart approach to eat for fat loss.

But if you try to lose it too quickly (such as with a very low-calorie diet, insane amounts of excess, or making the most common fat-loss mistakes) any immediate results will soon be lost because it will be impossible to sustain your approach.

It can be very useful to know how many calories you need each day, as well as how many calories you burn, but remember that you don’t need to count calories to lose fat.

In fact, the most important thing you must do before embarking on any weight-loss challenge is identify the real reason you want to lose weight, because once you know that everything else falls into place!

How I lost 10kg of fat in 8 weeks (and 7 ways how you can too!)

Give fat the finger!
Once you find a smart and sensible approach a realistic fat-loss target is around 0.5% to 1% of your total bodyweight each week. That’s just a general rule because some people lose weight very easily, while other people always struggle to shift fat quickly.

The reasons why can be for a great number of reasons, including your genetics and body type, previous weight history (if you’ve been overweight for a long period of time, or your weight has yo-yoed up and down over the years it can be harder to lose weight then keep it off for good), and current and previous fitness level (if you are, or have been, physically fit the sooner you can adopt more challenging exercise programmes).

Other lifestyle influences also have a big impact, because people who struggle to sleep and have high stress levels will struggle to lose fat as quickly as someone who can sleep like a baby and will never get stressed.

The most important thing to remember is that anyone – yes, even you – can make massive changes to the way they look, feel and perform. New Body Plan creator Jon Lipsey lost 10kg of fat in just eight weeks to go from dad bod to cover model by following our tried-and-tested fat-loss training and nutrition plan. And if he can do it, anyone can!

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Build lean muscle fast
If, on the other hand, you’re already quite lean and your number one fitness goal is to build new muscle fast, a realist muscle mass gains target is between 0.75% to 1.5% of your bodyweight per month.

If you’re new to weight lifting you might see even faster progress because you’ll benefit from so-called “newbie gains”, which is when your body must rapidly pack on muscle size and strength to deal with the new physical challenge.

The longer you’ve been weight training the harder it becomes to add muscle mass fast, which is why you need to start to train smarter to keep muscle gains coming as quick as you’d like!

To find your perfect plan, take the New Body quiz!
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