How Do I Lose Bodyfat Properly?
This I one of the most question I usually hear as a Personal trainer and Strength Coach.
People seem to be overwhelmed by the amount of information spread all over the Internet. Various techniques and methodologies had been shared by many experts all over the years, and while some of them are great, others were a complete scam and that left people lost in terms of what is the right way to do it.
How To Lose Bodyfat
So, today I will share with you an article about this topic, which was basically inspired by one of my Quora answers.
First of all, fat loss can be achieved through various methods. However, some are faster than others, and Faster doesn’t always mean better, especially when we are talking about fat loss, because the truth is, the faster the process the less healthy it is. I mean DIETS like the original PSMF or Protein Sparing Modified Fast can make you lose up to 10 lbs in one week, of course, most of those will be water weight but you still can lose up to 3 maybe 4 lbs of pure fat in one week which is crazy.
But the charm end there, because this type of Diets will only give you diminishing returns in the long run and they may cause some serious health issues, so what i am going to discuss here is the proper way to reduce bodyfat. instead of the fastest way to do so.
Reducing bodyfat is an individual process. which mean that every person is different than others both physiologically and psychologically, and both aspects matter because at the end of the day we are not machines. We are humans and we have our own preferences and personalities.
So, I will try to give you a comprehensive guide on how to set your own fat loss plan:
1-Establish a Caloric Deficit:
The number one thing you need to lose bodyfat is a daily caloric deficit, if you establish a caloric deficit you lose weight period no matter what diet you follow.
How much of a deficit is another topic that I will cover in the next point, but first let me show you how to calculate your maintenance calories:
1.1-Calculate your BMR:
I like using the Modified Harris-Benedict formula because I feel it is the most accurate but feel free to use other formulas or calculators. Here is the formula:
BMR = 66 + (13.7 x lean weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age)
BMR = 655 + (9.6 x lean weight in kg) + (1.7 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age)
Your Lean bodyweight is your weight minus your bodyfat percentage if you don’t have clue what that is you can get a rough estimate here:
2.2-Multiply your activity level:
Now you simply need to multiply your BMR by your activity level to get a good estimate of your daily maintenance calories:
Sedentary * 1.0
Very Light Activity*1.2
If you have a non-physical job and workout regularly at the gym you are moderately active. So that will be the factor for most of you.
Now after we established your maintenance calories you need to create a deficit to establish your daily caloric intake, and a deficit can range from 10% deficit to up to 50% depending on the person but we will get to that later.
2-Get Adequate Protein Intake Daily:
After establishing a caloric deficit, the most important thing is to get an adequate amount of protein, because you don’t want to lose your hard earned muscles alongside your bodyfat, unless you love being skinny then you don’t need much protein.
But even if you are not interested in looking muscular, losing muscle is a bad move because muscle is active metabolic tissue that will increase your BMR at rest.
Generally, try to get at least 0.8 gram per lb of lean body weight. This should be a good starting point for most people. But, if you are in a very huge deficit you may need to up it to something like 1.5 gram per lb of bodyweight.
Best protein sources include Eggs, Chicken and Turkey Breasts, Beef, Fish and Whey protein supplements. If you are vegan then try pea protein powder.
3-Determine How Fast You Want To Lose Bodyfat:
This will depend on your preferences. While am not a big fan of crash dieting, for some people, it is the only way they will ever get in shape. That’s either because they have sluggish metabolisms or they are impatient like me.
I mean whenever I start a cut I will go all out because I want to remove that ugly blubber as fast as possible. I would do anything that will enable me to see changes on a daily basis. if I don’t I will get discouraged, but again it is not the healthiest way to do stuff.
Basically, you have two options to approach your fat loss goals:
1-Fast and Furious:
That means going blinkers nuts at it. Starting right away with lots of cardio and a very large caloric deficit but only for a short period of time, 4 weeks max.
This is best suited for those trying to burn the last stubborn fat areas like lower abs and muffin tops.
in this plan, you will establish a 40% caloric deficit from your diet, and you need to do daily 20–30 min of cardiovascular exercises, you also likely to reduce your carbohydrate intake to optimize things even more.
Again, this should never be done more than 4 weeks in a row. so be aware of your own limits.
2-Slow and Steady:
The regular 12–16 Weeks diet period. You will reduce your calories slowly over a couple of weeks and add in some cardio as you get leaner and you want to break through plateaus.
Calorie deficit will be something like a 10–15% reduction. Also, minimal Cardio amounts in the beginning. generally, you need to start with 2 Cardio sessions per week then build your way from there up to 6 times per week by the end of the diet.
This is the healthier way out of the two. But for some people, it is too slow and they can’t stick with it. For others, it works great. Again if I am to choose one of the two I will definitely pick this one.
3-Choose your Cardio Wisely:
There is basically two types of cardio: LISS cardio or Low-Intensity Steady State Cardio and HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training. Both can get you shredded.
However, choosing which cardio you need will depend on so many factors like:
-Your current fitness level.
-Daily caloric intake: is it high or too low.
-Gym routine: is it moderate or draining.
-Your preferences because those play a role as well.
Generally, people will use HIIT at the beginning of the cut to quickly deplete glycogen levels. Then they will switch to LISS in the final weeks when their energy level is at all time low.
if you want to find out more about some effective fat loss Cardio routines you can check The 5 Best Workout To Burn Stubborn Bodyfat.
4-Get Enough Sleep:
It may seem like an outdated advice but trust me it is crucial. I can tell you by experience that the most roadblock I had to overcome when trying to get shredded is to adopt good sleeping habits.
Sleep deprivation will do basically two things:
1-Increase Cortisol production:
which is your stress hormone and it is a catabolic hormone, unlike testosterone. Also, high Cortisol levels will inhibit testosterone production since they are both made from the same enzymes. Also, cortisol is the hormone responsible for you holding fat on your lower abs.
2-It decreases Insulin Sensitivity:
Decreased insulin sensitivity will make the process of burning stubborn bodyfat nearly impossible. heck some people may even get leaner by just improving their Insulin Sensitivity. Because it improves fat distribution.
5-Eat A Lot Of Vegetables and greens:
I think I don’t need to clarify why it is so important to eat enough veggies every day. Eeveryone, even the regular folks, know how vital they are in the process of building a healthy body.
And they are even more important when you are in a caloric deficit and your body is struggling with a lot of stress and deprivation. So make sure get at least 3 cups of veggies per day. Also, try to vary your sources as much as possible to get a wide spectrum of micronutrients.
6-Use The Right Supplements:
They are not essential but they can give you that extra push when things seem to stop working. I am not talking about caffeine pills sold as fat burners, I am talking about pure ingredients that had been shown to improve fat loss.
The best fat burning supplements are:
–L-Carnitine: it will facilitate the transport of fatty acid into the mitochondria where they will be used for fuel.
–CLA: It will stop fat storing since after they break it down into the bloodstream. some people with very inefficient mitochondria will not be able to burn fatty acids and may end up storing it back. CLA wouldn’t allow that.
-Caffeine: The good old coffee is the best pre-workout. It will increase Lipolysis or fat burning by raising your body temperature and stimulating your catecholamines.
–Green Tea Extract: it works the same as caffeine but it contains way more antioxidants. it also favorises fat burning over fat storage.
Those are the top supplements that I found to be helpful to me and my clients whenever we approach fat loss.
That is it. I am sorry if I bored you out with this long article. but, I just want to address this topic once for all since Fat loss is one of those topics that is surrounded by a lot of misinformation and bad recommendations that are sometimes darn stupid.
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