Eat in a Calorie Deficit
You've probably heard that losing weight is 80 percent diet and 20 percent fitness. And while there are no hard-and-fast facts to back up this claim, losing weight does boil down to your diet. To lose body fat, you need to eat in a calorie deficit — as in, expend more calories than you take in.
"You've got to burn more calories than you eat," Kimberly Gomer, MS, RD, LDN, director of nutrition with the Pritikin Longevity Centre, told POPSUGAR. "Create a calorie deficit, keep at it, and you will lose excess fat, wherever it is on your body."
To find the calorie target you should aim for to meet your goals, meet with a registered dietitian who can help you make an eating plan. If that's not in the cards for you, use this formula to get an approximate calorie target to lose weight. Just make sure you don't eat fewer than 1,200 calories a day for women; eating too few calories will slow down your metabolism (not to mention make you deprived of essential nutrients!)
However, it's not just the quantity of calories that matter, but also the quality. You need to focus on nutrient-dense foods that give you more bang for your buck. Think: leafy greens, nonstarchy vegetables, and fruit.