Essential Guide to Fat Burning

If you want to lose fat then you have come to the right place, our essential guide to fat burning should give you the information you need to achieve your goal.

This guide will give you plenty of tips to cut fat while allowing you to maintain muscle mass.

Doing so will leave you looking gas ripped as possible.

Before You Choose A Diet

There are a few things you need to consider before starting a diet to cut fat:

  1. Will this diet ensure you keep hold of that hard-earned muscle mass?
  2. You should be able to lose as much fat as you want
  3. There should not be any drop in your workout intensity

Before you start any diet there is one thing that is essential. You must write down what your end goal is.

Are you looking to get your body fat percentage into single digits? If so then write it down. But remember to be realistic with your goals!

When you write down your goal you are making a statement and are removing negative thoughts like “I wish” or “I hope”.

The reason why you should set achievable goals, as failure to achieve them will leave you feeling deflated and likely to quit your efforts entirely.

Cutting Calories for Fat Loss

To lose fat you simply need to eat less and consume fewer calories, right?

Well, in simple terms. Yes. However, it is not as simple as this in reality.

For example, if you were to cut your calorie intake too drastically then you may find that your metabolism will slow as your body will attempt to hold onto its fat reserves.

Your body may even start to break down (catabolise) your muscle mass for energy. Something you most certainly will not want to achieve if you have been working hard to build muscle [1].

Of course, you will need to cut calories, this is an essential part of any fat loss diet. But certainly not drastically.

You should still aim to eat well and must eat the right kinds of foods and with the correct macros.

Calculating Macros for Fat Loss

There are 4 different Macros or Macronutrients; protein, fat, carbohydrates and alcohol.

I would recommend cutting alcohol completely from your diet if your aim to lose fat. This leaves us to focus on the other three.

There are 4 calories per gram in protein and carbs, while fat, which is more energy dense has 9 calories per gram.

You can work out how many calories a certain food contains by looks at its macronutrients. Say for example a food contains 10 grams of protein, 5 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fat you could work out the number of calories using the following formula:

(10×4) + (5×4) + (2×9) = 78 calories

You are probably well aware of micronutrients too, which include vitamins, fatty acids and other inorganic elements.

These are all essential for muscle growth and the repair of your cells. They are found in much smaller amounts within your food.

So how many calories should you be eating to lose fat? First, you will need to work out your basal metabolic rate or BMR [2]. This is the number of calories required to maintain your current weight.

You can estimate your BMR using the following formula’s:

  • Mesomorphs – Bodyweight x 15
  • Ectomorph – Bodyweight x 16-17
  • Endomorph – Bodyweight x 13-14

If you are an ectomorph who weighed 180 pounds then the following formula would work out your BMR:

180 x 16/17 = Between 2,880-3,060 calories daily

To start losing fat you will need to reduce the number of calories consumed daily. Remember not to be too drastic. I would suggest a figure between 300-600 calories daily.

Cutting calories is just one aspect you will need to look at. To start losing fat there are other things that you will need to look at too.

When Should You Eat?

How often should you be eating if you are looking to lose fat? Here is a rough guide that you may want to follow:

  • Mesomorphs should aim to eat every 2.5 to 3.5 hours
  • Ectomorphs should try to eat every 2 to 3 hours
  • Endomorphs should eat every 3.5 to 5 hours

To ensure you do not lose muscle while losing fat your intake of macros is important. Let’s look at what you should be eating.

How Much Protein Should You Eat?

Protein is incredibly important for muscle repair and growth. It is claimed that you should aim to consume 1 gram of protein for every pound you weigh [3]. I would aim a little higher personally:

  • Mesomorphs should consume between 1.2g/lb to 1.3g/lb
  • Ectomorphs should consume between 1.4g/lb to 1.6g/lb
  • Endomorphs should consume between 1.4g/lb to 1.5g/lb

Using our previous example, you would work out your protein intake as follows:

(1.4 or 1.6) x 180 = grams of protein daily

To work out the number of daily calories of protein you would use the following formula:

252 or 288 x 4 = between 1,008 and 1,152 calories daily from protein

With this figure in mind, you have between 1,872 and 1,908 calories remaining for your fat and carb intake.

The best protein sources include:

  • Lean meat
  • Poultry (without the skin)
  • Beans and pulses
  • Nuts
  • Shellfish
  • Vegetable proteins (for example soya)

How Much Fat Should You Eat?

You may come across many so-called experts that would advocate no fat diets, but the truth is that fat is very important and is needed for good health.

It helps to maintain a healthy immune system and is essential for visual, brain and nerve, adrenal and testis function.

Now when I talk about fat, I am not talking about the saturated and trans fats found in junk food, these should be avoided.

Instead, I am talking about the EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids) that have been shown to stimulate your metabolism, increase oxygen uptake and to increase energy production.

This is important for energy consumption and has been shown to aid in the recovery from exercise fatigue in athletes [4].

There are two sources of good fat that I would recommend, these are fish and flax seeds.

How much of your diet should consist of fats? I would suggest consuming the following percentages:

  • Mesomorphs should aim to consume between 17-23% of total calories from fat
  • Ectomorphs should consume 24-28% of total calories
  • Endomorphs should consume 23-28% of total calories

How Many Carbs Should You Eat?

While some carbohydrates are more effective for helping you achieve your goals I would certainly consider cutting out junk food and processed bread [5]. I would instead eat more fresh vegetables and whole grains.

As you already know how much protein and fat you should be eating the remaining daily calorie allowance should be used for your carb intake.

Fluid Intake for Fat Loss

As we mentioned earlier, if you are trying to lose fat then you should avoid alcohol, or at the very least limit your intake. This should go for soft drinks too. So what should you be drinking?

In my opinion, you should stick to plain tap or bottled water. It contains zero calories so will not affect your calorie allowance.

Muscle is made up of roughly 70% water, so it is important that you drink plenty of water to ensure the various nutrients are transported effectively for cellular activity [6].

Failure to drink enough water will lead to poor performance, and will likely lead to a build-up of waste materials.

At the very least I would recommend consuming a glass of water, before, during and after each meal. If you are exercising then you may want to increase your intake of water.

Tracking Your Calorie Intake

Tracking what you eat and the calories these foods contain is incredibly important and will allow you to make changes if needed.

There are various tools and apps that can track your calorie intake but my suggestion would be MyFitnessPal.

Remember, losing fat is not just about the amount you eat but the types of food you eat too. So, again I would recommend avoiding junk food and to opt for whole foods that are healthier and more nutritious.

These foods will contain all the macros your body needs as well as those micronutrients too.

Training for Fat Loss

You should already know that to build muscle you will need to lift weights. Doing so will cause micro-tears to occur in your muscle fibre. When this tissue heals it will be stronger and bigger.

When you are trying to lose fat you won’t be trying to build muscle, although this may sometime occur. But rather you are trying to lose as much fat as possible without losing any hard-earned muscle mass.

To do this you should consider adding some regular cardio sessions to your workouts [7]. HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is often chosen, but this is not the only method you could choose.

With HIIT you would perform one exercise, perhaps running for example, and then run at 60-70% of your max heart rate for a minute. You would then sprint for 15-20 seconds.

You would do this for a 15-minute workout, never exceeding this time duration.

I would recommend HIIT 3 times a week, usually at the end of your usual workout.

If HIIT does not seem like your thing you may want to consider low-intensity cardio, which will be a much longer workout, but with less intensity. Often you will find bodybuilders using this approach and will sit on a stationary bike for around an hour.

Don’t forget that if you want to maintain muscle mass then you will need to still be lifting weights [8].

Personally, I would opt for compound exercises like the bench press, deadlift and squat, as they work multiple muscles, therefore will enable you to get a good workout in a shorter space of time.

Finally, if you are not putting in any effort then you are not going to see any results. Make sure when you work out that you are giving your all.

You may not see the results overnight but if you remain dedicated and give 100% each workout then you will soon start to see results.

Supplements for Fat Loss

While your diet is the most important aspect of your fat loss journey, closely followed by your training regime, there are certainly some supplements can help too.

But which supplements should you be looking at? Here are the types of supplement I would recommend adding to your arsenal:

Multivitamin

You may try to get every nutrient your body needs through your diet this may not always be possible.

Taking a multivitamin may help you overcome this hurdle, filling any gaps in your nutrition.

This can improve your overall health, which in turn should lead to better results both in and out of the gym.

BCAAs

There are a few reasons why you may want to take BCAAs when attempting to lose fat.

For a start amino acids are the building blocks of protein [9], so will help repair damaged muscle tissue, plus will help improve recovery from exercise.

Amino acids also help to block the entry of fatigue-inducing tryptophan into your brain, which helps to reduce fatigue.

One of the biggest benefits of BCAAs is that they help to prevent catabolism. This is when your body breaks down muscle tissue for energy. This often occurs in those in a calorie deficit.

Whey Protein Powder

Protein is incredibly important and will help both build and maintain muscle mass while you lose fat.

Sometimes it can be difficult to get enough protein into your body through diet alone, an occasional protein shake throughout the day could help top up your intake.

Creatine

Creatine can help provide your muscles with much-needed energy.

I would suggest that you choose creatine monohydrate as it is the type that will cause the least amount of bloating.

Joint Support

Glucosamine is an amino acid that can help repair damaged cartilage, which may occur when lifting weights.

Glutamine

When you work out your glutamine levels will be depleted, which may lead to catabolism occurring.

Luckily there are supplements available that contain glutamine, which can stop this from happening.

Pre Workout

If you find that you are struggling when you work out, either due to early mornings, or a lack of energy after a hard day in work perhaps, then you may want to start using a pre-workout.

A pre-workout will contain ingredients shown to improve the quality and intensity of your workouts.

For example, the pre-workout may contain nitric oxide that can increase blood flow, ensuring that more nutrients are delivered directly to your muscles.

L-Arginine is another ingredient shown to benefit your training. This amino acid has been shown to release growth hormone and will help with fat metabolism too [10].

Fat Burner

Fat burners can help break down and metabolise fatty tissue, this means that they are broken down and are then available to be used as energy.

Caffeine is one of the more popular fat burning ingredients. However, it is a mild stimulant so is not suitable for everyone.

Other ingredients found in fat burners include:

Yohimbine, Green Tea (EGCG), Cayenne Pepper (Capsaicin), L-Carnitine, Green Coffee Bean, 5-HTP, L-Theanine, Ashwagandha Root, Niacin, Chromium, 7-Keto, CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), Citrus Aurantium (Synephrine), Yohimbine, Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PQQ), Hesperidin and Naringin

There are also plenty of ingredients shown to burn fat that are best avoided, as they have been shown to cause numerous side effects, including death in some cases.

The fat burning ingredients that are best avoided include:

Ephedrine, DNP (2,4-Dinitrophenol) and Clenbuterol

In Conclusion

Hopefully the above has given you some tips to help you achieve your fat loss goals.

It won’t be easy, but if you want to lose fat while maintaining your hard-earned muscle mass then you will need to remain dedicated to this goal throughout the process.

To lose fat you will need to adjust your diet, be intense with your training and perhaps consider taking a fat burner. I wish you good luck with your journey!

If you have managed to lose fat and wish to tell us about your success you can use the comment form found below.

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Essential Guide to Fat Burning
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If you want to lose fat then our essential guide to fat burning should give you the information you need to achieve your goal.
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