Weight loss and fat loss are not the same. Chances are if you have ever said to yourself that you want to lose weight what you are really referring to is that you want to lose fat.
Losing weight is simple. Do not eat for a day, juice for a week, or simply go to the bathroom. All of those will result in you losing a few pounds the next time you step on the scale, but it will not help you burn fat.
If you want to tone up and look lean instead of possessing a skinny, fat physique, then focus on building, or at least trying to maintain, muscle while at the same time losing body fat.
Most people assume that cleanses, fasts, pills, or various detoxes will produce long term results but they will not. When you drink nothing but liquids or go without food for days, you are in turn reducing the stored carbs in your muscles and dropping water weight. This is the reason the pounds add back up once you resume normal eating.
Many people also feel that by cutting down on calories they will lose fat quickly. Though it is true that a calorie deficit is necessary for fat loss, if you drop your calories too low, too quickly you are at risk of losing muscle. Also by doing this you reduce the chances of lowering calories further once the results you are getting stall.
If your goal is to look lean and toned, you need to only lose fat but maintain a decent amount of muscle. In order to burn fat but maintain muscle try the following:
- strength training 3-4 times per week
- perform small amounts of cardio (relying on cardio causes muscle loss)
- eat enough protein (reduces your hunger)
- get enough sleep
- manage stress properly