Oh, you wanted a more concrete answer. Sorry, I'm not a bull shit artist.
But I could be. It's very easy based on all the stuff people fall for. People will fall for almost anything.
If you're a guy you need to usually be around the single digits of body fat.'
For girls you need to be around 15-18%
So now you know your goal.
Next, you need to know where you are currently.
So get your body fat measured.
I don't care what you use, electronic calipers or skin fold calipers, or if you're rich or well connected dunk yourself in water every time. I don't care.
Whatever you do, do it the same way every time. Same day of the week, same time of day, same routine before you measure.
And if you you're getting pinched, have the same person pinch you every time. Everyone measures different with skin folds. Trust me. Which makes using skin folds a bit more impractical.
Now, you can lose around .5- 1% a week. But it's hard to say, everybody is different.
Plus, it's hard to really measure your body fat in the first place.
Depending on how well you follow your diet, and how often you exercise your calories in vs calories out amount can expedite all this.
If you're planning for some high school reunion, wedding, beach vacation, etc. you want to give yourself plenty of time ahead.
1) In case it takes longer than you planned
2) You will make mistakes. Learn from them
3) So you don't have to rush it, and can keep more muscle during the cutting phase.
If you're just doing it with no deadline. Give yourself one. Measure every week.
Let's say your doing well with your program but the numbers have stopped dropping.
Give it 2-3 weeks.
Have they still not dropped?
Assess the mirror and clothes. If you're looking leaner and clothes are fitting loser than don't worry.
Mirror and Clothes Fitting>Weight and Body Fat.
Water weight can mess up the scales. What you look and feel like are always number one.
Make sure you're on an awesome program.
Like training with me. Either in person or online. Either one get's tremendous results. Ask my clients.
Sorry, had to market myself.
Anyway, you should be lifting at least 3 times a week.
If you got time, add cardio also. Especially if you're a woman. Sorry, guys really do have it easier.
I won't go into all the details about lifting on this.
Nutritionally you should be on around a 30% deficit from your maintenance calories.
Can you do less of a deficit. YES!
But for those that want to lose quick and want more guaranteed results I like this way better.
It's all dependent on your metabolism and if you're reading this, yours probably sucks.
You can cut lower and lose quicker but to safely describe how to do it I would need to post a whole other blog. Just try this first before you do anything extreme.
ALWAYS COUNT YOUR CALORIES.
"But my friend doesn't count calories and he's in great shape" -Some loser
Once again, your friend has a great metabolism. You don't.
Myfitnesspal takes around 3 minutes at most. And it only get's easier after time.
Follow this and you'll get there in no time.