Not so long time ago we wrote an article about the best tips on how to get gains correctly. This time we want to pronounce your best tips to burn fat and get shredded without losing muscles. So, if you are a natural athlete and were trying to gain some muscles you definitely gained some fat, the reason is a surplus amount of calories. Basically, if you want to lose weight you need to do the opposite thing and to have a calorie deficit. Certainly, it sounds simple, but to burn fat and don’t destroy your muscle is a little bit more complicated. But we will try to explain how to do it, pretty simple!
1. Food – Control and Proportions
As we said before, if we compare the muscle gains period where you have a surplus amount of calories, weight loss solution is different, you need to have calories deficit. But below we want to mention some main factors you need to pay attention to, how to lose it correctly. Also, we want to remind you one thing, you need a food scale, because believe me or not, it will make your life easier when you know what and how much you eat. Last but not least factor, please don’t be lazy to read the nutritional facts of the product you are buying, you will be surprised how much you will know when you will start to do that.
1. Protein – your construction material
So, we are repeating our self, but protein is your construction material. If you are getting more physical pressure (like lifting weights for example), your body will need more protein. So, if you will have the lack of protein in your body in the process of burning fat, the organism will start to burn muscles too. Firstly, an organism needs to fix himself after a workout, or in other words to regenerate your muscles. Secondly, if you will be lack of construction material, it will not be able to regenerate and will start to burn your muscles. Our recommendation is about 1.5g – 1.8g of protein per 1 kg of your body weight, or 0.7g – 0.8g for 1 lb. Basically, the main protein source are animal proteins, since they contain complete amino acid composition. Also, there is a plant protein source, most of it has not full amino acid composition, but it can be a good alternative for vegans and vegetarians, and also good extra protein source for you though. So, 100g of meat contains around 20g of protein (or 1 lb. contains around 10g) depending on kind of meat.
The best source of protein:
- Chicken breast
- White and redfish, seafood
- Lean beef
- Milk products
- Protein shakes and protein bars (can be your good support, check our post about 5 Best Whey Protein in 2019)
- Soy, Tofu and other soy products
- Nuts (but contains a big amount of fats)
2. Fats – you need them, just little less than usual
The biggest fear of people who tries to find weight loss solution is usually fat, but they do not understand that it’s not the main enemy of yours. You need to understand that if you will try to completely get rid of fats, then you can expect to have a lot of health issues. Firstly, not all fats are bad, secondly, you need them for normal body functionality. Basically, we need to cut them but exclude them completely. So, we need to get about 0.6 g for 1 kg or about 0.3 g for 1 lb of your body weight. You don’t have to do it rapidly, just make it lower little by little every day. This will be a really good balance, but our proposal is to concentrate on a good source of fats.
Good sources of fats:
- Redfish (salmon etc.)
- Olives and olive oil
- Black chocolate (above 70%)
3. Carbohydrates – energy source which needs to be controlled
In the previous article about the making gains, we talked about how essential part of your ratio carbohydrates is. So, you need to eat a proper amount of carbohydrates. It is your body energy source. If we want to burn fat, we need to reduce the number of carbohydrates. When we cut the amount carbos, our body will start to use energy from our under-skin fat. But, there is a huge amount of traps with carbohydrates everywhere, like pastry, sweets and of course fast food. Usually, people do not feel any difficulty after cutting carbohydrates first 2-3 days but wait a little longer and after 4-5th day, your body instinctively will try to trick you. Basically, you will start to feel that you want more such kind of food subconsciously. So, you have to be smart enough to trick your organism and don’t lose control. For example:
- instead of sweets use berries or some kind of fruits with high fiber amount (raspberry, strawberry, pomelo, apple, dried fruits)
- do shopping only after your meal, it easier to control yourself then
- cut carbohydrates slowly (for example: reduce 10g per day)
- to feel always full, eat more vegetables, which contains fiber (broccoli, salads, cabbage, etc)
Altogether, slowly you need come to the number about 1.5g – 2g of carbohydrates for 1 kg, or about 0.7g – 1g for 1 lb of your body weight.
The best sources of carbohydrates:
- Wild rise
- Wholemeal bread
- Wholemeal pasta
- Other cereal products
- Some fruits in limited amounts: raspberry, strawberry, pomelo, apple, dried fruits
2. Create an Environment for Your Body – Working-out and Cardio
Comparing to the making gains workouts, burning fat workouts will be totally different. Besides, you can forget to gain muscles when you are trying to burn fat, one of the goals can be only to keep the number of muscles you have now and don’t lose them and improve their shape. Also, the intensity of your workout should be changed and we will talk about that below:
1. Weight lifting
So, if you want to keep your muscles you still need to make weight lifting, because if you will not, you will lose muscles very fast. Anyway, when you’ll reduce the number of carbohydrates, you will start to feel how your strength is getting lower. You should not be afraid of it, it’s a normal reaction of your body, you will recover after when you will finish your fat burning process. So, best practice shows to change heavy lifting, to lighter weights and change the type of workouts for supersets. What is a superset? It is a form of strength training in which you move quickly from one exercise to a different exercise without taking a break to rest in between the two exercises.
Muscle mass increases your metabolic rate, allowing your body to burn more calories at rest. A study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that resistance training increased resting metabolic rate and reduced body fat in older adults (4). Incorporate compound exercises, such as squats, deadlifts, and bench presses, to engage multiple muscle groups and maximize calorie burn.
Cardiovascular exercise is an excellent addition to your fat loss regimen. It helps to burn calories, improve cardiovascular health, and enhance overall fitness. A review published in the International Journal of Obesity found that moderate-intensity aerobic exercise significantly contributed to weight loss (5). Choose activities that you enjoy, such as running, cycling, or swimming, to keep you motivated and consistent.
The truth is, that you can stay without cardio and just to cut the amount of your nutrition as it was said above, but it is clear that the result will become slower. Also, people just hates cardio very often, and to make your cardio workout easier we have some tips for you:
- Make short but very intensive splits (for example HIIT) about 10-20 minutes 3-4 times a week. Your metabolism will just burst because of such kind of exercise, and it will stay accelerated the rest of the day.
- If you prefer machines, choose the cardio machines where you will use a bigger amount of joints. You just will burn more calories that way, because a bigger amount of muscles will work then.
- To make it less stressful start from shorter and less intense cardio exercises. For example, start from 5 minutes, and every new cardio workout adds 1-2 minutes extra. It will be much easier for you to get used to such kind of pressure.
3. Water – Keep Your Body Function Correct and Don’t Slow Your Metabolism
This is a very important factor, we will try to review the main benefits of the water and why you have to drink enough for you:
Muscle activity and strength
When you are cutting your ratio and especially carbohydrates, you will definitely feel a lack of energy, and if you will drink not enough amount of water, you will feel even worse. In our muscles, there is a huge amount of water. So, filling organisms with water, protein synthesis is accelerated and the activity of hormones is stimulated, which is really important if you want to remain your muscles.
Basically it is recommended to drink at least 1 litter or 0.3 gallons of water (for women it can be 20-30% less), but if you are working out and trying to lose your weight you definitely need to drink much more. Besides, you will feel not so hungry if you will drink more.
Your brain activity
Basically you need to understand that your brain is 80 percent made of water. And for producing a huge amount of tasks, it needs a big amount of energy. When the amount of water is reduced in the organism, you start to feel hunger and getting thirsty. To get energy from food, you need to wait a while, so water can be an instant supporter at that moment. So, you need to understand that water is a kind of mechanism responsible for transferring commands from your brain to your body. So the better connection is between your brain and muscles, the quality of workout will increase as well.
Maintaining the health of all body systems
Water is transferring all minerals and feeding elements to your body. If you are not drinking enough, your organism will start to take it from all possible places in your body and will start to accumulate fat because of stress.
It is good joint lubrication
When we are making physical activity, we straining joints. So, water is a good lubricant and helps also enhance the joints. Besides, you need to understand that the quality of your workout really depends on it.
4. Regeneration – Sleep
So, one of the main reasons why sleep is so important is hormones production. People need to sleep and allow the body to regenerate. Especially if you are on a lower carbohydrate diet, you need to make sure that you will rest enough. Besides, if you will not sleep enough then the production of cortisol hormones will be stimulated. Cortisol is a stress hormone, which is slowing down your metabolism and stimulates muscle loss as well. So, think about it and sleep at least 7-8 hours per day.
Adequate sleep is vital for fat loss, as it helps to regulate hormones, improve recovery, and reduce stress. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that sleep deprivation led to decreased fat loss and increased muscle loss in participants (6). Aim for at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night to support your body’s fat-burning processes.
5. Stay Healthy – Vitamins, Minerals and Extra Supporting Supplements
All mentioned above are very important, but you should not forget about vitamins and minerals. When athletes are working out, they are sweating a lot, and vitamins and minerals are going out from your body with sweat. Also when you have calorie deficit vitamins can be extra energy stimulants. Anyway, you should take complex vitamins and minerals to maintain the level of them in your body (P.S. check our articles about the best multivitamin complexes on the market for Men and Women).
Also, last but not least are fitness supplements. It is good extra support for your muscles and you can kill your hunger with some of them. Sometimes you will really want to eat something sweet, so it will make your life easier if you will just take a protein shake. Or if you feel a lack of energy, you can take creatine or pre-workout.
6. Tracking Calories and Macronutrients
One of the most crucial factors in burning fat is maintaining a calorie deficit. To do this, you need to track your daily caloric intake and expenditure, ensuring that you consume fewer calories than you burn. A study published in the journal Obesity found that participants who tracked their calorie intake lost more weight than those who did not (1). Additionally, it’s essential to monitor your macronutrient intake, focusing on a balanced diet rich in protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates.
7. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT is an effective and time-efficient workout method for burning fat. It involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief recovery periods. A study published in the Journal of Obesity found that HIIT significantly increased fat loss compared to traditional steady-state cardio (3). This approach raises your heart rate and metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories even after your workout is over.
8. Managing Stress for Better Results
Chronic stress can hinder your fat loss efforts by promoting fat storage and increasing cravings for unhealthy foods. A study in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine found that stress increased cortisol levels, which in turn led to increased abdominal fat (7). Incorporate stress management techniques, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises, to keep stress in check and optimize your fat-burning potential.
How long does it take to see results from a fat loss program?
Results vary depending on individual factors, such as genetics, starting weight, and adherence to a program. Generally, you can expect to see noticeable changes within 4-12 weeks with consistent effort.
What is the best type of exercise for fat loss?
A combination of HIIT, strength training, and cardiovascular exercise is ideal for maximizing fat loss while preserving muscle mass.
How important is diet in the fat loss process?
Diet is crucial for fat loss, as you must maintain a calorie deficit to shed fat. Focus on consuming nutrient-dense whole foods and tracking your calorie and macronutrient intake.
Can I target specific areas of my body for fat loss?
Spot reduction, or losing fat from specific areas of the body, is not possible. Fat loss occurs throughout the entire body, and the areas where fat is lost first varies from person to person.
Is it necessary to take supplements for fat loss?
Supplements are not required for fat loss, but they can provide additional support when used in conjunction with a balanced diet and exercise program.
We hope we provided the best correct weight loss solution for you. Basically you need to follow simple rules mentioned above. The process of fat burning is quite slow, but when you will see the result, you will be even more motivated to continue. This rule works for all people, but you need to stick to them. We hope you enjoyed this post, and don’t forget to write your comments with reviews and possible recommendations. We are opened to new ideas and will be glad to hear them from you.
Please note – we do not recommend you take ANY steps featured on this site without consulting a doctor first.
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