Weight loss and fat loss, while they may both change the number on the scale, are not exactly the same thing. The goal should never be to lose weight. The number represented on the scale is comprised of bone, muscles, organs, fluids, and fat. Try not to pay too much attention to the scale. While it can be a good tool, it can be steering you in the wrong direction. If it goes up it could be because of that extra glass of water or the heavy lift you did the day before. If it goes down it could be because you just went to the bathroom and are eliminating waste and fluids as well as potential loss of muscle. Many fad "diets" and "detoxes" do just that, they decrease the waste and water retention in your body making you lose weight, but they do not make you leaner and more toned. This is also why I see a problem with counting calories. While the basic formula for losing weight is to take in less calories than you put out, it is more a matter of nutritional value in each calorie than the calories itself.
The goal should be to lose body fat. So how exactly do you lose fat and how do you know that your are?
When you begin to lose fat your are simultaneously putting on muscle. Initially the number on the scale may stay the same or even increase. (muscle weighs more than fat) You will begin to see more muscle definition. Your body composition will certainly change, 5lbs of muscle takes up less space than 5lbs of fat. This is what gives you the lines on your abs, tight and firm skin, reduction in cellulite and can remove the jiggle from those unwanted areas.
Tips for getting on the right track:
Begin a training program: I believe in strength training with weights, resistance, body weight and high intensity intervals. This type of exercise helps to put on muscle while reducing fat. Straight cardio like going for a long run without strength training can ultimately result in muscle loss leaving you with that "skinny-fat" look that is not necessarily desirable. (If you need some fitness advice feel free to contact me to help get you started)
Eat Healthy: Eat whole unprocessed (refined sugar free) foods, and lots of quality protein. Drink a ton of water! Eat consistently throughout the day. When you eat this way it is easier for the body to normally processes the foods as well as stimulate your metabolism.
Sleep: While you sleep your body recovers, stress decreases and your body regulates leptin and gherlin (the hormones that tells our body when its full and which stimulate appetite). Make sure you are getting enough each night. Read about some sleep tools here.
How to Track Progress Efficiently:
Take Photos: Do not step on the scale daily. Track your progress every 2 weeks. Take full body images from the front back and side and compare the images.
Log Workouts: If you are able to lift more weight or perform more reps it means your strength increasing and your are gaining muscle. Hence losing fat!
Take Measurements: Girth measurements of your neck, chest, arms, waist & thighs. The waist should certainly go down the others can fluctuate.
Measure Body Fat: I would ask a trainer at the gym or a doctor who knows how to properly use a caliper to take your measurements and calculate your fat. This is not necessary, but it is nice to know.
Again It is important not to obsess with the weight number on the scale, and remember things won't change over night. If you set out for a toned and lean body, the majority of your weight loss should come from fat. Using some of the tips above will certainly get you on the right track. Healthy eating in conjunction with a great exercise program will get you the body you are looking for.
For more specific exercise advice you can always contact me:)