Protein, carb and fat ratios are important. The correct ratios (which can vary depending on an individual's response to food) help to stabilize blood sugar levels, which helps to increase energy and fat loss. Generally, 40 percent to 50 percent of carbohydrates, 25 percent to 30 percent protein and 20 percent to 30 percent of healthy fats is the best starting place.
Carbs are necessary for energy and not the enemy everyone makes them out to be. The key is how much you consume. Protein is also critical to build and retain muscle tissue, which in turn helps to burn more fat.
Finally, good dietary fats are extremely important. They help to balance hormonal levels, increase strength and create satiety (fullness). If you're looking for a plan that takes this into account I recommend eDiets GI plan (Glycemic Impact Diet).
5. Weight Training To affect muscle versus fat ratios you have to train with weights or perform some type of resistance training. An intense weight workout lasting no more than 60 minutes is the most efficient route to go. You don't have to workout with a bodybuilding routine, but you do need to work the entire body approximately three alternate days per week.
6. Cardio Cardio should be approached as a tool to lose fat. It should not be used as a never ending event in the hope that all body fat will magically burn off. Excessive cardio is counter productive and will burn not only fat but also valuable muscle tissue.
If fat loss is not taking place, increase the intensity of your session, not the time. The key is to perform all that is necessary and no more than that. This is accomplished by incorporating interval cardio training (integrating slower levels of intensity for several minutes with very high levels for several minutes). Intervals are great for boosting the metabolism and creating more of a post caloric burn (calories burned 24 hours after the workout.
Many people think they need to perform two hours of cardio per day. Nothing could be further from the truth. Start with a realistic amount of cardio per day and then add to it by five minutes or switch to intervals if you haven't lost body fat in two weeks. This is assuming that you're eating enough calories.
7. Water Intake From the standpoint of water intake and fat loss, you want to be in a position where the liver is converting stored fat to energy. The liver has other functions, but this is one of its main jobs. Unfortunately, another of the liver's duties is to pick up the slack for the kidneys, which need plenty of water to work properly (more than most people realize).