As a personal trainer, I can honestly say that this question is probably the most frequent question I am asked. The reason behind it is that everyone at some point of his/her life will want to lose fat. There are two usual scenarios people face. The first one being that they might have just finished bulking, and realized that they went overboard with their food intake, and now have to suffer with a very high body fat percentage and excessive stubborn visceral fat. The second being that the person just decided to transform his body and needs to lose fat to look better. Anyway, whatever your reason is, I can confidently and happily tell you that you can lose that fat.
In order to lower your body fat percentage you will have to follow three steps. The first one is having a proper diet, the second one is following a weight training routine and the last one is to incorporate cardiovascular activities in your daily life. I will therefore divide this article into the three different steps for convenience.
In order to have a fat losing diet you will want to burn more calories than you consume, this will result in your body using your fat store as energy, but you still have to consume food so that your body will be able to repair itself and continue functioning. To do this you will want to know your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) which you can find out like this
1.4x (655 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years))
1.4x (66 + (6.3 x weight in pounds) + (12.9 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years))
When you find your BMR remove 500 calories from it and that will give you how many calories you should be consuming a day.
The basics of Nutrition
Now that you know how many calories you should intake, let us calculate your macronutrient division.
1 gram of any source of protein is about 4 calories
1 gram of any source of carbohydrate is about 4 calories
1 gram of any source of fat is about 9 calories
For a general fat loss diet your macronutrient calorie division should be composed of:
Proteins are crucial to bodybuilding as they are used to build up muscle. You should not consume too much protein in one sitting as you might feel discomfort.
Carbohydrates are used to fuel your body with energy and glycogen, so you can lift weights and repair muscle.
Fats are necessary to produce hormones in your body that will aid to the recovery and production of muscle. I do not recommend Saturated fats and Trans fats although, I do recommend Polyunsaturated and Monounsaturated fats.
Where to get your Protein
Getting lean sources of protein that are not expensive can be very difficult; here is a list of foods that have a good quantity of protein in them:
– Turkey breast (30 grams per 100g)
– Cottage cheese (11 grams per 100g)
– Egg whites (11g per 100g)
– Plain yoghurt (6g per 100g)
– Tuna water canned (28 g per 100g)
– Walnuts (15g per 100g)
– Pork Loin (25g per 100g)
– Lean beef (36g per 100g)
Where to get your fats
Yes that’s right not all fats are created equally. Some fats like saturated fats are not good for you as they increase LDL cholesterol unlike unsaturated fats that increase HDL cholesterol.
– Olive oil (100g per 100g)
– Walnuts (65g per 100g)
– Flax seed (42g per 100g)
– Avocado (21 g per 100g)
– Tofu (4.8g per 100g)
– Soy milk (1.8 per 100g)
– Peanut butter (50g per 100g)
– Peanut oil (100g per 100g)
Where to get your carbs from
Dietary fibers, sugars and complex carbohydrates are all carbohydrates. I strongly recommend you not to take in too much sugar as this can be harmful to your body. Complex carbohydrate and dietary fibers on the other hand are beneficial to your body.
– Quinoa (64g per 100g)
– Barley (73g per 10g)
– Red Kidney Beans (23 per 100g)
– Banana (23g per 100g)
– Brown rice (23g per 100g)
– Oat meal (12g per 100g)
– Whole grain bread (41g per 100g)
– Whole wheat pasta (27g per 100g)
The supplement industry has revolutionized bodybuilding. Yes that is right, a single pill or two can provide you with all the vitamins and minerals you need. That is pretty neat considering you won’t have to eat a ton of fruits like bodybuilders used to do back in the days. Here is a list of supplements that I recommend you to buy in order to supplement your diet. I would like to stress the word supplement here; supplements should absolutely not be used as a meal replacement!