The Ultimate Guide to Fat Loss when Bodybuilding
Your bodybuilding diet plan is probably something your mother never talked to you about when you were a kid, right? No doubt you discovered how important it was to burn fat while on a bodybuilding diet plan later on in life. Although fat is an essential nutrient, ingesting too much of it (especially trans fats) can be detrimental to your bodybuilding diet plan. Additionally, the right type of exercise plays a role in eliminating fat. Read on for some of the top tips that can help you burn fat and become healthier in the process.
Nutritional Fat Burning Tips
1. Cut back on your carbohydrate intake and do not eat carbohydrates before bed…and NEVER eat poor quality carbohydrates. Poor quality carbohydrates are those that contain sugar or are highly processed. These would include most breakfast cereals, breads, snack foods, candies, and even fruits and juices. Eating these foods immediately prior to bedtime will likely result in increased fat deposit and will prevent your body from maintaining a successful fat-burning mode.
Try “Three/One” Carb Rotation. You can throw a curve ball into your nutritional approach by reducing your total daily carb intake for three days. Cut back to 100-150 grams (g) of carbs per day, emphasizing low-glycemic carbs such as oats, rye cereal, rye bread, red potatoes, yams and yogurt. Trimming your carb intake facilitates a small metabolic shift, coaxing your body to rely on body fat as fuel.
Lower glycemic carbs also contribute to a smaller insulin surge than other carbs might generate. Insulin can increase the storage of fat. Three days of consuming fewer carbs can help prevent fat storage without forcing the body into nutrient deprivation. On the fourth day, eat 200-250 g more carbs than you regularly ate before the three-day cutback — in other words, if you consumed 300 g daily, take in 500-550 g on the fourth day.
The high-carb day following three days of lower carbs helps fill the muscles and liver with glycogen (stored carbs). Bodybuilders have learned that this leads to greater mass growth. Such glycogen loading can also support growth factor (IGF) and thyroid hormones that contribute to a leaner physique. Examine your physique after trying this form of carb rotation and use it periodically if it works for you.
2. Never let yourself get too hungry, or too stuffed. It really is all about moderation. Time your meals so that you eat before you are starving . . . doing this one simple thing will cause you to almost always eat less. When you do eat, stop when your satisfied not when you are so stuffed you cannot even get down another bite.
3. Eat more high fiber foods. Most of us do not get enough fiber in our daily diets, and that’s just a shame. Fiber not only promotes overall general health, but also can significantly aid in your fat-burning efforts. Leafy greens and salads are ideal sources of fiber.
4. Additionally, consume more of the following foods in order to promote fat loss. You will need to not be afraid to eat meat as long as you eat lean, natural meat. Lean meat assists in burning fat faster because of the protein content material. Once you eat lean meat, it’ll require far more effort to digest the lean meat in such a way that the metabolism procedure is also enhanced. Turkey breasts, chicken and fish are some examples of lean meats that can help burn calories.
As compared to chicken meat, turkey is the healthier choice. It is naturally lower in fat than chicken and has a lot of protein for rapid calorie burn. As for fish, a tasty and healthy example is salmon. It boosts your metabolism and burns more fat because it is packed with Omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids also make your heart healthy and less prone to heart disease. Lastly, when talking of meat, beef should not be left out. Make sure you choose to buy lean beef meat. Because it is full of protein, it is a great fat burning food. Lean beef also packs a lot of iron. Iron is essential in the formation of hemoglobin contained in the body’s red blood cells.
Dairy products such as low fat yogurt and skim milk aid in fat loss. Skim milk increases your metabolism and burns calories. It contains high amounts of calcium that can help in this process significantly. If you want another refreshing drink you can try green tea. It has a natural stimulant that burns fat and calories. Based on studies, about 70-80 calories will be burned by drinking at least five cups of green tea. Green tea also lowers cholesterol levels and has powerful antioxidants. One last (but not least) beverage ideal for fat loss is water, which helps you stay hydrated.
Fruits (1-3 servings) and vegetables (3-5 servings) must also be in your natural fat burning foods list. Some of the best are blueberries and grapefruits. Grapefruits are a good supply of potassium and Vitamin C. The role of the grapefruit is to dissolve cholesterol, burn fat and increase the immune method. Likewise, it lessens the blood sugar level also as the threat of heart diseases. What’s more is that pretty much all veggies and fruit are rich in vitamins and minerals that are needed by your body to stay fit and healthy. The bottom line is that there are a lot of fat burning foods out there, you just have to make them a regular part of your diet!
Take a look at http://pinterest.com/stacklabs/healthy-foods/ for a wide selection of recipes, such as a delicious turkey chili, that promote fat loss.
5. Try out some of the following cooking alternatives:
* Steam, boil, broil, or microwave vegetables, or stir-fry them in a small amount of vegetable oil.
* Season vegetables with herbs and spices rather than sauces, butter, or margarine.
* Try lemon juice or fat-free dressing on salad, or use a yogurt based dressing instead of mayonnaise or sour cream dressing.
* To reduce saturated fat, use vegetable oil or tub margarine instead of butter or stick margarine when possible.
* Replace whole milk with skim or low-fat milk in puddings, soups, and baked products. Substitute plain non-fat yogurt, blender-whipped cottage cheese, low-fat sour cream, or buttermilk in recipes that call for sour cream.
* Choose lean cuts of meat, and trim any visible fat from meat before and after cooking. Remove skin from poultry before or after cooking. Monitor portion sizes. (Lean meats end in “loin”.)
* Roast, bake, or broil meat, poultry, or fish, so that fat drains away as the food cooks.
* Use a non-stick pan for cooking so added fat will be unnecessary. Use a vegetable spray for frying.
* Chill broths from meat or poultry until the fat becomes solid. Spoon off the fat before using the broth.
* Eat a low-fat vegetarian main dish at least once a week.
6. Use a thermogenic fat burner supplement. This is a complementary way to stay slim and trim. If you are tired of going on low carb diets and undergoing stressful exercises to cut down your fat content, then look no further. At www.stacklabs.com you can find the right type of fat burner to suit your fat burning needs. But before you choose, be warned that you may get confused by them all simply because of the quantity of fat burners available on the market. Therefore, we recommend that you conduct further research to learn about the various fat burners available. These include:
Thermogenic Fat Burners: These are fat burners without ephedrine. They come with caffeine and indeed work very well by increasing your rate of metabolism thus helping in burning fat.
Stimulant-free Fat Burners: These are made for people who do not like caffeine in their fat burners. These caffeine free fat burners can do miracles to your body, however the results are slow and do vary from person to person. Still, you can expect to lose about 7-10 pounds on an average.
Fat Blockers: For years, these types of fat burners have yielded great results. They bind to fat in our digestive tracts. They are known to bind fats which are about 7 times their weight.
Appetite Suppressors: If you do not feel hungry why would you eat food? And it follows that if you eat less food you should gain less weight. Appetite suppressors can help you greatly in achieving this result. Take any of these with your diet and you’ll see great results!
7. “Cheat days” or days that you splurge food wise in moderation are okay from time to time. In fact, doing so actually promotes fat loss because it prevents binge eating. Satisfying a craving in moderation every so often never hurt anyone. Not to mention, rewarding yourself occasionally for sticking to your diet is a good thing!
8. Include Protein Cycling. Although some bodybuilders tend to fiddle with their carb intake to maintain a lean appearance while trying to add mass, most keep their daily protein intake consistent at one to one and a half grams per pound of bodyweight. But, for those trying to boost their metabolisms or offset the accumulation of body fat, decreasing protein intake a couple of times per week can help.
When you drop your protein intake slightly for a day or two, the body scrambles to maintain an muscle building state. It does so by “fighting” and becoming efficient at holding onto nitrogen, the component of protein that influences muscle growth. When you go back to your normal protein intake, the body is more apt to hold, trap and retain nitrogen, leading to an increase in growth potential that influences the metabolism.
Try eating 0.8 g of protein per pound of bodyweight for one or two days a week, then return to your regular protein intake. Be sure to keep up your intake of healthy fats and add more low-glycemic carbs, such as brown rice and oatmeal, on lower-protein days.
9. Take Glutamine and BCAAs. When it comes to boosting your metabolism, a major issue is supporting metabolic recovery and tissue repair. A combination of glutamine and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) taken after training can promote protein synthesis and prevent muscle protein breakdown. These two supplements are great to use regardless of your current diet, but are especially important during times when you are restricting the amount of carbs you intake in an effort to trim fat. Adding to your muscle mass will, in turn, keep your metabolic rate elevated or boost it higher. Taking 10 g of glutamine and 4-6 g of BCAAs can help keep you lean while enhancing your muscle building. Fat burning supplements can also be taken to improve your body’s ability to shed fat.
10. A percentage breakdown of 50% carbs, 40% protein and 10% fat is the best ratio at the beginning as your body begins to shed fat. Food intake should be spread over 5 to 6 meals, with a large amount of your total carbs consumed right after training preferably in the form of a post-workout drink consisting of 30g-60g of simple carbs and 20g-50g of Whey Isolate.
Protein: Eat 1-2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you want to eat 150-300 grams of protein per day.
Carbohydrates: Eat 1-1.5 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you want to eat 150- 225 grams of carbohydrates per day.
Fat: Eat 0.3-0.5 grams of fat per pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you want to eat 40-75 grams of fat per day.
Note: The amounts above are for males. Females should eat only 60% of the above amounts.
If your body is prone to storing fat, start off eating the lower recommended amounts of each macronutrient. One day a week, treat yourself by having a “high-carb” day. Feel free to eat 2.0-2.5 grams of carbohydrates per body pound. One “high-carb” day per week keeps your muscles filled with glycogen (muscular fuel) and keeps your metabolism up high.
11. Don’t avoid all dietary fat. The healthiest types are:
* Monounsaturated fats should account for the majority of fats you eat. Examples include:
Almonds, peanut/peanut butter, Olive oil, and Avocados.
* Polyunsaturated fats consist of Omega 3′s, 6′s and 9′s. Omega 3 fats are very scarce in our diets and are essential to weight loss. The best source of Omega 3′s is flax oil. Fish fats are also good and provide other health benefits.
Of course eating and avoiding these specific foods all of time would be very boring and difficult. You don’t have to memorize these foods, simply READ THE LABELS of the foods you eat. Everything you need to know about a food’s nutritional value can be found on its label.
Exercising for Fat Loss
1. Increase your muscle mass! The more lean muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn even at rest. Muscle is extremely active metabolically. Do some resistance training, add some muscle, and crank up that metabolism.
2. Double up on your cardio training. From time to time it may be beneficial to the fat-burning process for you to split your cardio training into two short sessions rather than one longer one. Studies suggest that people who do 30 minutes of morning cardio and then 30 minutes of evening cardio lose more fat than those doing just one 60 minute session.
3. Try circuit training exercises. If you are growing tired of doing the same old cardio exercises like stair stepper machines, treadmills, etc., then why not try something different but just as effective at fat burning?
Circuit training can be done with either weight training exercises and body weight exercises. The idea is to use three to five different exercises with no rest between sets. Choose compound exercises that work more than one body part and alternate between upper and lower body exercises.
Here is an example of an effective circuit training exercise routine:
Barbell Bench Press: 1 set of 15 reps
Barbell Squats: 1 set of 15 reps
Lat Machine Pull downs: 1 set of 15 reps
Lunges: 1 set of 15 reps
Press Over Head: 1 set of 15 reps
* Go through all 5 exercises without resting between sets.
* After you complete all 5 exercises, rest long enough to catch your breath, then repeat the circuit.
* Do this 3 to 5 times. If you are not used to this type of training, you can start off with 3 exercises instead of 5.
*Do this routine 3 days a week for 6 to 8 weeks.
4. Perform fast reps, which have two key benefits. The first benefit is that fast reps lead to more muscle power. Specifically, muscle power permits the fast use of strength in exercises. As a result, more weight can be lifted and muscles grow larger. The second benefit is that fast reps burn a great amount of calories. This benefit was even recently backed up by research done by Ball State University. Specifically, the research was done on males that were hooked up to metabolic instruments while they performed reps of an exercise at different speeds.
While performing faster reps, the research showed that the participants burned more than 11% more calories during the exercise and more than 5% more calories while resting after exercise. In other words, the results showed that the participants burned more calories while performing fast reps. Hence, incorporating some fast reps into a fitness regimen is ideal for people that want to get a more lean physique.
The lesson from this study is that when you are trying to build lean muscle mass, incorporating some fast-rep training into your workout is a smart plan. It appears that fast reps burn more calories due to the fact that they utilize the fast-twitch muscle fibers. And since those muscle fibers are not very energy efficient, you burn up more calories during workouts.
Fast reps should be performed a specific way. When performing them, the weight should be approximately 50-60% of a single rep maximum weight. The amount of reps that should be performed depends on the goal. For example, if the goal is to burn calories, reps should be done until the point of exhaustion. This will help you burn more calories (with many of those calories coming from body fat) during the workout, as well as after the workout.
5. Rest. Resting between sets and days off are also a good thing, since they allow your body to recharge or recuperate. Don’t overdo it!
6. Create a support system. Find someone, like a workout partner, to hold you accountable and keep you motivated. Having a support system definitely makes the whole process a little easier.
Understanding the Science Behind Fat
The human body was designed to survive. The way it survives during times of famine is to:
1) Lower the metabolic rate (speed at which you burn calories) to burn fewer calories
2) Burn off lean muscle tissue for fuel.
3) Store as much fat as possible in order to have a reserve of calories for energy.
Most people skip meals or eat too few calories during the day, by doing this you are putting your body into starvation mode, which the body treats as a famine and lowers metabolism. Most people also come home at night and eat a big meal followed by a few snacks, by loading up on calories at night you are signaling your body to store up fat.
The right thing to do is eat several small meals (approx. 6) throughout the day to let your body know there is plenty of food available so it raises its metabolism, burns more calories, and doesn’t need to store fat. These meals should be the types of foods that your body was designed to eat, such as lean meats, fish and fowl, along with fresh raw fruits and vegetables.
Early humans ate what they could hunt and gather, they ate no refined foods, no sugar, no wheat, no grains and they did not drink milk past infancy and that was human milk not the milk of another species. When people stray from this by eating refined foods, candy, bread, chips, ice cream, etc., they tend to get fat and develop all kinds of health problems. My wife changed her daily eating habits and lost 25 lbs without ever counting calories or feeling hungry. She is now healthier and looks younger. Remember that strength training is very important too because it builds or at least maintains lean tissue and therefore keeps your metabolism high thus burning more calories.
Reducing body fat can be done safely (without losing muscle), simply, methodically and in a predictable fashion so that the individual achieves his goal on a predetermined date. The process begins by establishing your present maintenance level of calories. This can be accomplished by keeping a five-day food diary wherein you record everything you eat, including the quantity, for that period.
At the end of each day, sit down with a good calorie-counting book and tally the total calories for that day. On the fifth day, take the five daily totals, add them up for a grand total, divide by five, and you’ll have your daily average calorie intake. If you didn’t gain or lose weight over that five day period, your daily average calorie intake will also represent your daily maintenance level of calories.
Once you’ve established your daily maintenance level of calories, reduce your food intake so that you are 500 calories below maintenance. Since there are 3500 calories in a pound of fat, a 500 calorie daily deficit will lead invariably to a loss of one pound of fat a week.
Over a period of time, as you continue to lose weight, your maintenance level of calories will go down, and weight loss will slow down or come to a halt. When this happens, reduce your calories another 500 or so and the weight-fat loss will proceed.
For more fat burning tips, visit the Stacklabs.com blog. Do you know other fat burning tips you can share?