Losing Fat & Cutting, Without Losing Muscle

The art of cutting, losing body fat without losing muscle mass. Learn how you should eat and train if you want to keep your lean muscle mass and lose that excess fat!

Planning

In order to lose body fat we have to have a reason as to why we want to achieve this goal, is it (a) Make you look good (b) Health benefits (reduce heart disease, lower cholesterol etc) (c) Holiday/Vacation (c) Competition (d) or just to see if you can.

There are many reasons why people choose to get to a low body fat percentage, but to achieve your goal in a half-hearted fashion will not work. Remember that the body likes to be at a set point of body fat and will try everything it can to maintain this set point, the main way that the body achieves this is by slowing the metabolism down, or by holding body fat and using muscle tissue, the body is clever and it has evolved over thousands of years, so were not going to trick it into change over night.

You have to plan your life around wanting to change, your aim must be clear and precise as to why you want to do it, you must set a date to start, tell your friends/family that you are going to do it, and that you are going to start on a certain date, you will need the support from the other people whilst you are embarking on this new regime. It is not easy to achieve a low body fat percentage and you must be 100% committed to your aim.

Setting Goals

Write down the reasons as to why you want to achieve this aim, i.e., “I want my body fat to be ...X...” But be realistic, you wont achieve a 15% reduction in a few weeks.

By writing down your aims you have made a statement and setting yourself a goal, and get rid of any thoughts of “I wish I was…….etc. Your statement now is I will loose “X” amount of pounds in “Y” amount of time. Set goals that are ambitious yet achievable. You might not know how far you can go in losing fat, so find an example like in fitness magazines, you might of seen the before and after pictures of people who have been losing fat for a while, and pin it on your wall for inspiration.

Now you have written your goals down make copies and hang them everywhere you see them regularly, i.e. bathroom mirror, refrigerator door, inside the car, just to reinforce what you are about to achieve, Remember that there will be set backs, but you will be able to get back on track because remember “you are going to achieve this”.

Male fat loss

The RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) is a means of determining how hard you are exerting yourself, including physiological and muscular strain.

Nutrition

Restricting calories does not work, your body has safety mechanisms which will work the other way and store fat, an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase is the enemy in trying to lose fat, it slows the metabolism and makes you store fat as a last resort for energy, and on top of that the body then gives up our muscle tissue for energy, you will lose weight but the wrong weight, Muscle is 70% water so on the scales you think you are doing well but it is muscle and water that has gone and considering that muscle burns calories this then further reduces your metabolism, when you come off the diet you will gain back every ounce of the fat you had and some more for “insurance” in case you do this again, so now you can eat less and still get fat.

Meal Frequency

You must eat regularly which means never go more than three hours without eating food, which means that you will be having six or seven meals a day. You won’t be eating any more calories than you need but all you have done is spread the calories evenly over the day, this in turn increases the metabolism, stops craving, and stops the highs and lows of blood sugar. You will have more energy and less hunger pangs, the food will be more easily digested and you will create a metabolic environment that supports healthy fat loss and muscle gains.

Meals

When trying to lose body fat we have to eat less then our body requires in the day to create a “negative balance”. Instead of counting every single calorie that you eat, we go about this differently we count portions, and a portion is the size of the palm of your hand, or the size of a clenched fist. This is a basic easy way to eat your food. Without the right foods you will not see results, food and training is the key.

Food Groups

Essential Fatty Acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6)

 The quality of health reflects in large measure the quality of the food we eat. Research has identified 45 essential ingredients. "Essential" means; we absolutely have to have them to live and be healthy. Our bodies cannot make them from other substances. We must therefore obtain them in their natural state from the foods we eat (or from food supplements). Deficiency of any of the essential nutrients has to result in deterioration of health. Large scale nutritional surveys have shown that over 60% of the population are deficient in one or more essential nutrients.

Of the hundreds of fatty acids found in nature, about 20 are common to human food, and two are essential to human health - the essential fatty acids - EFAs. It is a fact that many of the classic degenerative conditions (cardiovascular disease, some cancers, diabetes, MS, arthritis, PMS, osteoporosis, sterility and miscarriage, schizophrenia, depression) are fat-based and have a proven link with nutritional deficiency.

The Omega 3s are known to play a key role in maintaining a healthy immune system and protecting against everyday pollutants. Harmful processed oils and margarines block the activity of EPA and DHA in the body and are directly linked to the upsurge in many of today’s major diseases.

Abdominal exercises

Don’t think that you need to exercise every day to achieve your goals, you don’t, and we still stick to a routine of exercise

Omegas 3s in particular are required for normal brain development. In the adult, Omega 3s are required for visual, brain and nerve, adrenal and testis function. Clinical studies indicate that Omega 3s bring a sense of calmness because they interfere with the production of chemicals that the body makes in response to stress. They seem to improve the condition of those suffering from schizophrenia and the behavior of juvenile delinquents resistant to counseling.

EFAs stimulate metabolism, increase metabolic rate, increase oxygen uptake, and increase energy production. They also stimulate the process of oxidation because they attract and somehow reversibly react with or activate oxygen. People who begin to take EFAs when they have been deficient feel an increase in energy levels. Athletes and others appreciate finding that their muscles recover more rapidly from exercise fatigue.

The Omega 3 essential fatty acids include alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

The richest food source of ALA is flax seed (linseed oil). EPA and DHA are found in fish oils such as cod liver oil.

The Omega 6 essential fatty acid itself is called linoleic acid (LA) and it is found in most seed oils. The body converts this to gamma-linoleic acid (GLA). GLA is ultimately responsible for the production of two other prostaglandin series - PG1 and PG2 which are essential in the production of reproductive hormones, maintenance of healthy skin and regulation of blood pressure.

Essential Fat also has the following health benefits:

  • Improved delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and other tissues because of reduced blood viscosity
  • Improved aerobic metabolism because of enhanced delivery of oxygen to the cells
  • Improved release of growth hormone in response to normal stimuli, such as exercise, sleep, and hunger, which may have an anabolic effect to improve the post exercise recovery time
  • Reduction of inflammation caused by muscular fatigue and overexertion, which may improve post exercise recovery time
  • Possible prevention of tissue inflammation
Protein

Bodybuilders strive for a high level of muscle mass, a goal that mandates a higher need for energy, Most strength trainers are under the illusion of “the more protein the better” which is not true, ideally bodybuilders should consume between 1.5 and 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, assuming that adequate energy is consumed from carbohydrates. Any excess protein that we take in is simply burned as fuel or could be stored as fat. (Bodybuilders normally have a total intake of 25 to 30 percent of total calorie intake).

Consumed proteins are digested into amino acids, and these amino acids join other amino acids produced by the body to constitute the amino acid pool. The tissues take the amino acids from this pool to synthesise the specific proteins the body needs (muscle, hair, nails, hormones, enzymes, and so on). This amino acid pool is also available for use as energy via a deamination process to be burned if other fuels (carbohydrates and fat) cannot satisfy energy needs. Protein plays a very important role in the body, i.e., protein based enzymes, optimising blood pH, forming antibodies, are components of body tissue including heart, liver, pancreas etc, and muscles and bones, transporter of substances in the blood to the correct receptor sites, controlling fluid volume and osmolarity in the blood and body tissues.

Female fat loss

To transform you body you must lift weight. Cardio by itself won’t help you achieve your goal of a better looking body.

The main nutrients provided by this group of foods are iron, protein, B vitamins (especially vitamin B12), zinc and magnesium. Iron is needed for the formation of haemoglobin and Myoglobin in blood. It is also a component of many enzymes.

Protein must be provided in the diet for growth and repair of the body, any excess is used to provide energy. B vitamins are principally involved in energy metabolism. Vitamin B12 is needed for the formation of blood cells and nerve fibres. Zinc is needed for growth of tissues, immune function, and wound healing. Magnesium is needed for bone development and nerve and muscle function. It is also necessary for the function of some enzymes involved in energy utilization.

Protein foods Choices: All beans and pulses, All fish, All lean meats, All nuts, All poultry without skin, All shellfish, Sushi (raw fish component) and Textured vegetable protein. (E.g. Soya)

Practical advice (protein)

  • Eat moderate amounts of foods from this group, and choose lower fat versions where possible.
  • Choose lean meats and remove visible fat.
  • Take the skin off poultry.
  • Avoid poultry and fish cooked in batter or breadcrumb coatings. Cook these foods without adding fat.
  • Aim to eat at least two to three portions of fish per week, of which should be oil-rich (fresh tuna counts, but canned tuna does not).
Carbohydrates

There are different types of carbohydrate, and each type is treated differently by our bodies. For instance, glucose and bran are both carbohydrates, but they are on different ends of the energy spectrum. Glucose enters the blood stream quickly and initiates a fast and high insulin response, while the energy in bran never makes it into the blood stream because of its indigestibility, and tends to mediate the insulin response by slowing the rate at which other energy sources enter the blood stream. So we should carefully consider the type of carbohydrate that might be best under different circumstances. Glucose is the main source of fuel for muscular activity and the higher the muscular intensity, the greater the reliance on glucose for fuel. Understanding how to keep glucose from becoming depleted should become a major focus of any person’s nutrition practice. Sustaining carbohydrates sufficiency is problematic because, unlike either protein or fat, humans have a limited storage capacity for carbohydrate; some is stored in the muscle and some in the liver as glycogen.

  • Carbohydrates give you energy - They have starches and sugar!
  • Can aid in proper digestion - Go for fibre-rich food choices each day!
  • Provide many vitamins and minerals, fruit and veg; for example, contain vitamin A (beta-carotene), several B-vitamins (including folate), vitamin C, iron and potassium.
  • Help you manage the amount of fat and calories in your overall diet because they tend to be low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol.

Carbohydrates groups:

Starches: (complex carbohydrates) Cereal, potatoes, pasta, macaroni, rice, bread

Dietary fibre: Whole grain cereals and breads, dried beans and peas, fruits and vegetables

Sugars: (simple carbohydrates) Fruit juices, fruits, milk, sweetened cereals and baked goods, jam and syrup

Food Groups And Food For This Plan

Protein Carbohydrates Vegetables
Chicken Breast Baked Potatoes Broccoli
Turkey Breast Sweet Potato’s Asparagus
Lean Minced Turkey Yam Lettuce
Swordfish Squash Carrots
Haddock Pumpkin Cauliflower
Salmon Brown Rice Green Beans
Tuna Pasta Green Peppers
Crab Oatmeal Mushroom
Lobster Whole grain cereals Spinach
Shrimp Beans Tomato’s
Fillet Steak Corn Peas
Sirloin Steak Strawberries Bean sprouts
Lean Minced Beef Melon Artichoke
Lean Ham Apple Cabbage
Egg Whites Orange Celery
Low fat Cottage Cheese Whole-wheat Bread Cucumber
Protein Drinks Yogurts Onion

Remember that each meal should contain a portion of protein and carbohydrates and at least two meals should also contain a selection of vegetables

Protein drinks containing complex carbohydrates (not sugar) can also be used for a meal, but be aware that our bodies also require fibre which comes from Vegetables, Fruit, Oats, Sweet potatoes, Rice, Wheat.

Remember that a portion of each food is the size of a clenched fist or the palm of the hand, and the number of meals per day is 6.

On day 7 (Sun) of the week, this is a cheat day when you can eat anything in this day that you want, literally anything….

Fluid Intake

Muscle is comprised of approx 70% water, and fluid is an essential transport mechanism for a number of nutrients, carbohydrates, and is also has an important role in all cellular activity. If your water intake is low then the ability to transport nutrients is compromised, you will lose strength and feel sluggish because of a build up of waste products like ammonia, urea, uric acid. Drink a glass of water before, during and after a meal, this way you will be hydrated sufficiently throughout the day, make sure you also have fluids whilst you train and even more if the weather is hot.

Barbell curls

When trying to lose body fat we have to eat less then our body requires in the day to create a “negative balance”.

The Plan

So to achieve this plan all we have to do is exercise and eat right, “Oh if it was this simple”.

We see constantly advertisements for pills, potions, exercise gadgets, which all say “take this and do that”, and that’s all you have to do. Forget them all they don’t work – Period.

Training

To transform you body you must lift weight. Aerobics by themselves won’t achieve your goal; the best form of exercise to shape the body is weight training for both Male and Females. By resistance training you increase your metabolic rate, which is the rate at which the body burns fat. By increasing muscle mass the body requires more energy to maintain the new mass; fat does not require energy it just sits there annoying us all. So weight training is superior to aerobics as it increases the rate at what the body uses energy, by doing only aerobics you may lose weight but won’t alter your body in the way that weight training does.

Weight training is not just for young people, I have people training who are over 60yrs old, and are in good shape, as our bodies get older we tend to store fat because we tend to slow down and become more inactive, and because we slow down and become inactive we also lose muscle mass and strength. So the end result is someone who is old, fragile, weak, and has physical disabilities. But this trend is reversible, weight training reverses the frailty, muscle weakness, posture, well being.

Don’t think that you need to exercise every day to achieve your goals, you don’t, and we still stick to a routine of exercise. Our routine needs to be brief and intense to be effective. The routine needs to have stimulation to trigger an adaptation response by the body. Remember that the phase “More is not better” High intensity for long periods of training have been shown to be counterproductive.

Some people work out a lot for a long time and have not achieved their aim, but would not think about cutting back on their training so they think “maybe I am not doing enough” and end up doing even more, which further compounds the lack of results.

In weight/resistance training we cause trauma to the working muscle, once that occurs the body responds by repairing the damage we have caused by training, this causes the body to use energy to repair itself and we need nutrients such as protein, carbs, essential fats, vitamins, minerals, creatine to achieve this. But more importantly we need to rest to allow the body to repair itself and it will not do this whilst you are in the gym, it is between sessions that our body repairs the damage and along with all the essential nutrients we can grown bigger, stronger and leaner.

Weight training involves two movements of a weight, (a) the concentric (lifting) and (b) eccentric (lowering). So when we lift the weight, we shorten the muscle and when we lower the weight we lengthen the muscle, both portions of lifting, concentric and eccentric movement are equally important. You have to concentrate on both phases of the movement, lifting and lowering, if you just lower the weight by gravity your wasting this part of the exercise.

In resistance and weight training you have to push your self, don’t just think than you just have to do a number of reps and then put the weight down it’s like everything in life “you get out of it - what you put in”. I see many people doing their training and pushing the reps out as fast as the can, just to get to their required amount of reps, but the exercise is being lost when you do this, slow the reps down and you overload the muscles for a longer period of time.

Training Routines

Intensity

Monitoring your rating of perceived exertion (RPE) by the Borg Scale. The RPE is a means of determining how hard you are exerting yourself, including physiological (how hard you are breathing, how fast your heart is beating) and muscular strain (how much you feel the exertion in your muscles). The scale measures your answer to the question: "How hard do you feel the exercise is?" The scale goes from 1 to 10.

Rating of Perceived Exertion

Rating of Perceived Exertion
Grade Perceived Exertion
0 Nothing
0.5 Very, very weak
1 Very weak
2 Weak
3 Moderate
4 Somewhat hard
5 Hard
6  
7 Very Hard
8  
9  
10 Very, very Hard
  Maximal

Woman doing push ups

You have to push yourself. Don’t think you just can do a number of reps and then put the weight down. Exercise is like everything in life “you get out of it - what you put in."

Aerobic Training

Remember to warm up, stretch, do your aerobics, and then cool down.

The scale above is a reference as to how hard you are working out, if you are unfit then to reach level 10 would be a lot easier to reach than if you were fit, for example, level 1 on the scale would be sitting on the settee watching TV. Level 3 might be carrying shopping bags to the car; level 5 might be carrying the shopping up a few flights of stairs. The scale continues right up to level 10 this is all out “balls to the wall” maximum effort, at this level you just cant do any more or go any faster. And this is the way we are going to do our Aerobic training and weight training, People say that the best way to lose body fat is low intensity – long duration aerobic exercise, but using this method is not the best for getting rid of body fat. Research indicates that not only does high-intensity training burn fat more effectively than low-intensity exercise (up to 50% more efficiently) it also speeds up your metabolism and keeps it raised for quite a while after your workout, provided that you don’t eat after your workout for one hour. The best time to do your aerobic training is first thing in the morning, this can be done at home on an exercise bike, or on the streets running, etc. Scientific studies have found that by exercising first thing in the morning burns fat much faster (up to 300% percent faster) than doing the same exercise in the afternoon. The workout we are going to do is only 20 minutes of aerobic exercise three times per week, no more, and definitely no less. You have to make each and every workout the most effective fat burning, health enhancing 20 minutes you can. And to do that we use the Borg Scale.

We select an exercise, like rowing, cycling, jogging, treadmill, etc. You can vary your sessions on different pieces of equipment if you want every session, or every week, your choice; it is you that’s doing the work. We start with 2 minutes at about level five intensity on the scale, after two minutes we up the intensity to level 6 for one minute, then up to level 7 for one minute, then up to level 8 for one minute, then up to level 9 for one minute, after the minute we then go back down to level 6 (a moderate intensity level) We repeat the this pattern 3 times but on the last cycle after we have gone from level six up to level nine we continue up to level 10 this is where you are going faster than you thought you could ever do, it is maximal effort, you cant do it any faster, then after one minute at level 10, we drop back down to level 5 for one minute, this training method is called Interval training is an excellent way of dropping body fat. But not easy!!

Minute 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
Level 4 4 6 6 7 8 9 6 7 8 9 6 7 8 9 6 7 8 9 10 4

Stick to the intensity for the given minute of exercise. Do not try and burn yourself out, that would be counter productive, when you first start you may find that level 10 might just be walking at a fast pace, that is ok as that is your pace, but you have to aim for improvement, you must try to achieve a higher and higher level of improvement.

When you apply the same intensity principles to both your aerobic and weight training you will constantly be moving to higher and higher levels and you’ll continually be stimulating your muscles while losing fat. You will become more metabolically efficient. Your body will burn fat at an elevated rate throughout the day, during your daily activities, and even whilst sleeping.

Weight Training

The weight training element of this fat loss programme upper/lower body based type of training in which we divide the body up into sessions where we do 1st day is upper body, 2nd day is aerobics, 3rd day is lower body, 4th day is aerobics, 5th day is upper body, 6th day is aerobics, 7th day is a day off!!. Then the second week we start with 1st day lower body etc. The routine continues for at least 12 weeks.

  Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun
Week 1 Upper
Body
Aerobic
Day
Lower
Body
Aerobic
Day
Upper
Body
Aerobic
Day
OFF
Week 2 Lower
Body
Aerobic
Day
Upper
Body
Aerobic
Day
Lower
Body
Aerobic
Day
OFF
Week 3 Upper
Body
Aerobic
Day
Lower
Body
Aerobic
Day
Upper
Body
Aerobic
Day
OFF

The above routine continues for as many weeks as is necessary for you to achieve your goal of body fat percentage.

Lat Pull Down

Lifting involves 2 movements, (a) the concentric (lifting) and (b) eccentric (lowering). When we lift the weight, we shorten the muscle. When we lower the weight we lengthen the muscle

Weight Training Exercises

Chest Dumbbell Bench press
Dumbbell flys
Incline dumbbell press
Flat barbell bench press
Shoulders Seated dumbbell press
Side raises
Standing barbell press
Bent over raises
Back Wide grip pulldowns
Reverse grip pulldowns
One-arm dumbbell rows
Dumbbell pullovers
Triceps Barbell extensions
Bench dips
Close grip pushdowns
Lying dumbell extensions
Biceps Incline dumbbell curls
Standing barbell curls
Seated dumbell curls
Hammer curls
Quadriceps Leg extensions
Barbell squats
Leg press
Dumbell squats
Hamstrings Dumbbell lunges
Lying leg curls
Stiff leg deadlifts
Standing leg curls
Calves Seated calf raises
One-leg raises
Standing calf raises
Angled calf raises
Abdominals Floor crunches
Decline sit-ups
Twisting crunches
Leg raises

For guides on how to do these exercises, visit the exercise videos section.

Weight training routine

Remember to warm up all body parts being worked, then stretches, exercises, stretch, and finally complete a cool down.

Pick two exercises per body part. You will perform 4 sets on one of the exercises, with reps and intensity of 12 reps (intensity level 5), 10 reps (intensity level 6), 8 reps (intensity level 7), 6 reps (with intensity level 8) with one minute rest between sets; speed of reps is 2 – 1 – 2 seconds (example, bench press. Lower weight for 2 sec, 1 sec hold at bottom, 2 sec press). Then the last set is a superset where we do two exercises together with no rest, first exercise is the one that you started with, a rep range of 12, (Intensity level 9), then immediately with no rest do the second exercise in the superset for 12 reps (at an intensity level of 10).

Example of one body part and the superset, (we do the same on every body part).

Upper Body Day Exercise Reps Weight (lbs) Minutes
between sets
Intensity
Level
CHEST Dumbbell bench press 12   1 5
  Dumbbell bench press 10   1 6
  Dumbbell bench press 8   1 7
  Dumbbell bench press 6   1 8
* Super
Set
Dumbbell bench press
Dumbbell Flys
12
12
  0
2
9
10

* Superset means both exercises are done back to back with no rest in between exercises

The rest of the exercises of upper body is continued after chest and is completed in the same way, two minutes rest between body parts then the next body part exercises are completed.

Upper body exercises: Chest, Shoulders, Back, Triceps, Biceps.

Lower body exercises: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves, Abs.

Monitoring lean body mass and body fat

 In order to make sure that our calorie intake is adequate we need to monitor our lean body mass, this is done by having our body fat percentage done on a weekly basis, body fat percentage can be done by two means, (1) By callipers, any gym should have callipers and someone experienced enough to use them and monitor the results, with this type of testing it is important to have the same person doing the testing, that way the results would be more accurate. The principle behind this method is that the amount of subcutaneous fat is proportional to the total amount of body fat. However, the exact proportion of subcutaneous to total fat varies with gender, age, (2) By Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis, (BIA) this method is easy to administer, non-invasive and a safe method. BIA involves passing a small electric current through the body and measuring the impedance or opposition to the current flow. Fat free tissue and water is a good conductor of electrical current, whereas fat is not. The resistance to the current flow is related to fat free mass and total body water, both can be predicated by this analysis. This type of testing is either done by a hand held device or a four lead test, in which four leads are attached to the client whilst they are lying on an examination table.

If using the BIA method you should remember the following points:

  • Abstain from eating and drinking within 3 hours of the assessment.
  • Avoid moderate or vigorous physical exercise within 12 hours of the test.
  • Do not drink alcohol within 48hrs of the test ?
  • Do not use any diuretic agents (including caffeine) prior to the test

Once you know your body fat percentage, you can calculate your lean body mass by multiplying body weight by the percentage of body fat, this will give you total fat mass, then to work out the fat free mass all we do is subtract the total fat mass from the body weight and you have your total fat free mass.

IF YOU FIND THAT THE FAT FREE MASS (MUSCLE) IS GOING DOWN, THEN YOU WILL NEED TO INCREASE THE INTAKE OF CALORIES. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT; It is muscle that burns calories; if calorie intake is to low then the body will release an enzyme that will make you store fat as an emergency store for energy.

Other easier methods of monitoring fat % are:

  • Changes in body composition viewed in the mirror
  • Waist measurements
  • Waist to Hip measurements
  • Weight
  • BMI, although people who weight train would have a higher level of muscle and this would make the results inaccurate.

If you have any questions for Doug about stripping fat, cutting, diets or muscle building you can catch him over on our muscle building forum. His forum name is "Doug". You can register free here.

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About The Author
Doug is an ex-competitive bodybuilder with over 20 years fitness experience, specifically diet & nutrition, weight management and training techniques.

237 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Wed, 03/20/2013 - 19:35
Robert

" The best time to do your aerobic training is first thing in the morning, this can be done at home on an exercise bike, or on the streets running, etc. Scientific studies have found that by exercising first thing in the morning burns fat much faster (up to 300% percent faster) than doing the same exercise in the afternoon. "

care to provide some legit hard science/controlled study proof of this?

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Posted Mon, 03/11/2013 - 12:51
Elliot

I'm confused about one part of this. Is one portion = one meal, or is a meal comprised of one portion each of protein and carbohydrate? I know protein and carbs should be eaten together, so should I be eating a half portion of each per meal? Help would be appreciated

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Posted Wed, 03/06/2013 - 12:55
TerminallyHealthy

In reference to the Borg Scale, it asks, "How hard do you feel the exercise is?"
Does this mean how hard the exercise is after the first set, or third set? There is a big difference there, as you know.

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Posted Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:13
Jessica

Hi there, I have been following a low carb diet for several months. My meals consist of protein (although not always lean protein), nuts and green vegetables. I have cut out sugar, dairy, grains and starchy vegetables from my diet. I don't limit my protein and vegetable portions, I just eat until I am satisfied. Through hydrostatic underwater weigh ins, I have learned that I have gained almost 9 pounds of muscle but I have lost only about 3 pounds of fat. At this point, I really need to cut the fat. I do HIIT 4 days per week and heavy weight training 2 days per week. Can you recommend what I can change or do to lose the fat?

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Posted Mon, 02/25/2013 - 14:14
arnold

hey i'm trying to lose fat and gain muscle. should i use just pure protein shakes or protein and carbs shakes?? gym instructor told me to focus on just losing the fat first then on gaining size but articles here are sayin by buildin muscle i will burn the fat off. which route and supplement should i go for

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Posted Mon, 02/25/2013 - 13:19
Wayne

When you say do two weight exercises per body part,one a super set is that for the entire work out or do you do the other two weight excersises for the same body part also during that work out.

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Posted Thu, 02/14/2013 - 14:40
charles

I am losing weight right now.
I have a high metabolism, and i am losing muscle i am sleeping.
Can i take casein while i'm sleeping?

Joey's picture
Posted Thu, 02/14/2013 - 14:52
Joey

Casein is a great source of protein before bed.

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Posted Tue, 02/12/2013 - 22:22
Dave

This program works and not only works but is by far the best for burning fat and building muscle. I did this very program (Body For Life) 9 years ago. It completely changed my life. Went from 25% bodyfat to 7.8% and put on roughly 20 lbs. of muscle. That was at 47 years of age. I'm now 56, and back to the gym. I've maintained pretty well throughout that period but am doing this program again.......with a slight variation........split lifting the upper body on M-F with Legs on Wed. Cardio (bicycle) every other day........on an EMPTY stomach...........no more than 1 hour though......otherwise you'll burn muscle. It is imparative to eat within one hour's time after lifting or cardio...........and it should be liquid nutrition for quick absorption. Great article.........begin your program today!

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Posted Fri, 01/25/2013 - 01:42
Ish Vicmen

I will do this. I will succeed! I WILL. I WILL. I will =D thankyou for this detailed explanation. It was simple enough for me to understand and well just thankyou! My heart is willing. This will be a drastic change but a change that my body my heart my health my mind my everything has been asking for. I am worth it! I will achieve what I WANT! Il check up in a few weeks to let yawl know how its going =D

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Posted Wed, 01/16/2013 - 03:06
Omar

The workout plan in the article is 6 days per week, with the same format can i do 3 a day workout plan and still achieve great results.

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Posted Wed, 01/02/2013 - 17:17
Matt Joyce

I just wanted to say that this is an absolutely fantastic article and one of the most useful I have read.
I am at the awkward phase of being fairly heavily muscled but chasing the classic fitness model physique rather than power lifter! I have been following this routine with absolute adherence for about 2 months now, the results are fantastic and I can't recommend this enough.

Great article with clear concepts with out all the Bro-Science junk that often comes with this type of work.

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Posted Wed, 12/26/2012 - 14:51
Preet

Thank you Doug for this great article. I learned so much. I have been doing an hour of cardio/aerobics 4x/week. Then i weight train afterwards for about half hour. i am definetly doing more cardio than weight training. I have been doing this regimen for the past 3 months and have not noticed significant changes in my body. I have more muscle in my arms, legs, but not the results i want. What am i doing wrong? As a woman, I'm afraid to lift heavier or more frequently because i dont want to be bulky and too much muscle. i would like to lose weight, and achieve a lean muscular body. BTW, my nutrition intake is exactly what you described. Any ideas as to getting faster,better results? All comments welcome!

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Posted Thu, 12/27/2012 - 11:20
Joey

I would suggest lifting as heavy as you can. The only way you'll end up looking "manly" is by the use of "questionable" supplements. 3 months is not much time to gauge results. In another 3 months of hard work you should see some pretty significant results. You'll want to make sure your diet really is in order. Here's a helpful fat-loss guide:
https://www.muscleandstrength.com/expert-guides/fat-loss

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Posted Fri, 12/28/2012 - 11:53
Preet

thank you joey! yes, i have to practice patience and keep going to see results! and going yo start lifting heavier.

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Posted Thu, 12/13/2012 - 08:55
tony collet

this is good info but a total ripoff of body for life- bill phillips. I lost 22 kg in 9 months. I felt the healthest I have ever felt.

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Posted Thu, 12/06/2012 - 15:08
Steve887

This is one of those articles that espoused the major beliefs of dieting in 2010, when it was written. We now know far more.. and though much of this article has good advice, much is very wrong.
Meal frequency is not necessary and caloric reduction is necessary to lose fat. It's just going about that reduction in the proper way.
Kind of funny to see the old school way of thinking on things though...

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Posted Thu, 11/08/2012 - 14:45
roohan

thank you for website

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Posted Tue, 10/16/2012 - 03:32
William Jayroe

When I read articles like this I am reminded of how many arm chair physiologists there are. What is said in this article about the body storing fat as a last measure is both stupid and wrong.

Do a little thought experiment for me: If what you say is true then why is it that people starve do death? Shouldn't they just be storing fat and shouldn't their metabolism slow down to the point they aren't burning anything?

If what you say about metabolism, fat, protein burning and everything else is true then how is it that North Koreans are low muscle and low fat? Shouldn't they be high fat with low muscle?

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Posted Sun, 10/14/2012 - 23:43
Gail Miller

Thank you so much for the amount of basic information and knowledge you provided. I thought the outlines for workouts and nutrition were straightforward and without extremes, a very welcome concept indeed. I have been working out but through your article found that I was going about it all wrong and as for the nutrition part I try to be sensible about what I eat but realized that I don't eat nearly as often as I should. I look forward to putting your recommendations to the test and look forward to reading more articles from you. Thanks again and God bless you and yours!Be Well

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Posted Wed, 10/10/2012 - 11:08
David

Hi,
please can someone tell me what does 2 exercises per body part means?? I dont know if Leg extensions in superset with Leg press is considered by one exercise or two. Thx for your response ;)

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Posted Tue, 10/16/2012 - 07:19
RobM

David,
The super-set is NOT considered 1 exercise; it is considered 2. It is however considered only 1 set. That’s what a super-set is: 2 or more exercises completed in succession, without rest. I hope this helps.

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Posted Sat, 10/06/2012 - 19:46
Chris

Hi everyone,

I have a question about intensity and cardio.

*I like to keep my pace consistant throughout the workout. For example: level 6 = 6.0 on the treadmill, level 7 = 6.5, etc, and I keep that pace for all of the sets. Perhaps I am wrong in doing this...

1. For my 21 min cardio session, the first two sets (intensity 6,7,8,9 = 1 set) are quite easy. It gets harder on the last two sets. So my question is, how do I know when to increase my intensity, in other words, how do I know when to increase the speed on the treadmill? If I run my first set starting with level 6 (hard intensity for me), I am unable to finish the cardio session without lowering the speed on the later sets (*If I start at level 6 = 7.0 on the treadmill and increase by 0.5 for each level).

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Posted Tue, 10/16/2012 - 07:12
RobM

Hey Chris, here is what I do for the treadmill cardio sessions.

I started with 5mph and increased it by a whole mph at a time. So, my 1st set would look like 5, 6, 7, 8, 9mph. I completed my entire cardio session using this method so my next session I increased it by 0.1. My next session’s 1st set looked like this: 5.1, 6.1, 7.1, 8.1, 9.1. My rule is if I can complete the entire session then it’s time to increase my speed by 0.1. I hope this helps you.

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Posted Sat, 09/29/2012 - 22:41
Iesha Jones

I'm a 35 year old woman I'm 5"3 211 pounds I've tried so many Weightloss programs it's insane so I've finally come to the realization that there is no quick fix I want to lose 60 pounds in 2 months is this healthy ??
Also do you think I will have the results I'm looking for using this program ?
Im really ready for change today ive written down all the reasons I want to be slim and how I will look and feel I can't wait I know it's going to be amazing but I'm not looking forward to the hard work that will have to happen to see my goal come true but I'm trying to welcome the pain and discomfort because I've been sedentary for so long my body might go into shock but I'm going to make it happen
If there are any people in the north Seattle area who want to workout at 24 hour fitness let me know I could really use a partner in Weightloss
That's all for now

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Posted Mon, 09/24/2012 - 08:17
Banzicyclist

I stumbled on this article over lunch. Great advice, I'll be taking it onto account as I move from a weight loss phase to sustainment and a bit of body fat reduction. I'm currently at 20.1% and want to get to 10-12%. My main goal is to ride fast up hills so power to weight ratio is very, very important, as is endurance and cardo fitnes. Omega-3 works for me, I take a suppliment every morning, eat a lot more oily fish and use flax seeds in porridge , salad and anything else I can think of.

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Posted Sat, 09/15/2012 - 10:32
Grant

Great article

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Posted Sun, 09/09/2012 - 20:10
Annie

I just read this article today after averaging my calorie intake for the last 37 days. (never heard that cutting calories was a bad idea :) anyway I've been eating about 1,500/day of cereal, egg white omlet w/veggies, fish, chicken,lots of fruit/veggies and have lost 10 lbs without starving. I workout 3-4 days a week doing about 20 min. cardio then weight training. I'm a 40 yr.old female who is 5'7" and 130 lbs. now. Though I wasn't overweight I wanted to be able to "see" the muscle I'd been working so hard to achieve. (been staying in shape for many years now) There was enough fat on me that I couldn't see any muscle at all, hence the weight loss. I don't want to lose anymore weight so will have to play around with the numbers until I can figure out how many calories to eat and maintain my weight. I too was trying to figure out when I lost the 10 lbs. in 37 days was it muscle? I seem to be very strong, lifting as much if not more than usual, ripped abs etc so not sure what to think.

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Posted Wed, 08/29/2012 - 17:12
varun

hey, good article. i got a doubt.i'm targeting to cut fat while keeping my muscles i run in the evenings. just after a small snack meal. should i have to do high intensity or low or mixed, and should i have to do in empty stomach.

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Posted Sun, 08/19/2012 - 12:58
Smylie

Hi....
I am absolutely new to this and have made the decision that I will be making a pradigm shift in respects to living a healthier lifestyle....

Question....on the Aerobic Days, do I only have to work out for 21 minutes? Like I should do absolutely nothing else on these days?

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Posted Tue, 08/21/2012 - 00:03
RobM

Hi Smylie, I train and run 10Ks and 1/2 Marathons. My suggestion is try the aerobics plan for 2 weeks and try your hardest to do aerobics within 1 hour of waking. This burns up to 300% more calories than any other part of the day. So a typicval workout that burn 500 calories just used up to 1500 instead. It's an old training philosophy that the military uses as well. If you are following a good diet not getting the results you want by training on cardio only 3 times/week then either increase the length of each session or do it twice per day. I hope this helps and good luck!

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Posted Sat, 08/18/2012 - 07:54
RobM

Has anyone tried this? I normally build, cut, then maintain throughout the entire year by devoting 4 months to each phase. Does this plan actually work?

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Posted Fri, 08/17/2012 - 16:02
shumriaz shahid

i really love this article but i just want to know that can i take tuna in can on daily basis as 98g drained can contain 25 g protein.similarly can i take sliced turkey or chicken breast which also contain almost 25 g protein.actually i cant prepare at home bcz of my bzy day but i take proper protein carbs and fat which u mentioned.

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Posted Wed, 08/15/2012 - 09:32
jack

Hi everyone, i am nearly 18 and i am a very keen cyclist, after exercising less on holiday my weight has remained the same but i clearly have put on fat whilst losing muscle as i am struggling in th gym and visually i'm not as lean as i was. Since i began weights and cycling i have become very health conscious, but in order to get in shape after my holiday i have been eating under my GDA and exercising more. But reading this i worry that eating little and doing so much will resultin muscle mass loss. I looked at carb cycling but many different sites give different answers. can anyone suggest good action to take for me to be a lean cyclist witha good a
mount of muscle power?

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Posted Wed, 07/25/2012 - 17:34
Vishal Makhija

Am sure you aware on the information and opposite views that people have towards building / leaning up, but i loved your article and book the most. Simple and straight. Seems to be working for me. But the question is as below :-

I am ofcourse pushing myself, been a few months, (6+ ) and i do see some results, but not to the extent i hope. But i know i'lll get there. I basically want to get my abs, and thus reduce body fat, and am not looking to bulk up, just be cut, not ripped, or shredded etc.

I am 5,9'' measure 143 pounds, with a 12% body fat , ( measured myself last month from fitness 24*7).. My calorie defect in an average is around 2500 calories a week.. as i consume in an average 1800 calories a day..

My basic confusion is, i ensure my intake of protein per day in an average is around 90 grams.. with calories being at 1800 avg, i am assuming i wont become too thin, and lose my muscles too right..

Also i do eat lots of fruits, and have once in a while diet coke.. how bad is that ? As i understand from your theme

1) Calorie defect - Check, doing the same
2) Protein intake - Check , ( include a supplement ofcourse )
3) Weight training and cardio - Check..

Should i cut down totally on my carbs aka high sugar fruits like grapes, lychees etc( i have around 500 calories per day of that )

Also isn't 90 grams of protein enough. Or should i actually increase that further ? ( I take 25 grams through supplement ) and then mainly grilled chicken..

Would await your advice on the same.

Best Regards
Vishal

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Posted Sat, 07/21/2012 - 17:36
Kevin

There is no strong scientific evidence to support the notion that increasing meal frequency has any effect on resting metabolic rate. The overall concensus amongst sports nutrition experts and endocrinologists is that while increasing meal frequency does have other benefits, an increase in resting metabolic rate is not one of them.

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Posted Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:26
BNB

I am 5'9", 150 lb, 8% body fat. I am happy with that, but looking to add 10 lb of muscle. I am a bit confused by the wording of this: "You will perform 4 sets on one of the exercises, with reps and intensity of 12 reps (intensity level 5), 10 reps (intensity level 6), 8 reps (intensity level 7), 6 reps (with intensity level 8) with one minute rest between sets." So, is the author talking about decline set, i.e., starting off with a lower weight/higher rep and going down to higher weight/lower weight, or is he suggesting doing 4 sets of 12 reps, 4 sets of 10 reps, 4 sets of 8 reps and 4 sets of 6 reps with the increasing weight (basically, straight sets but a ton of them)? I assume it's the former, but would appreciate any clarification on that.

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Posted Thu, 06/21/2012 - 15:09
Alex

Insulin levels and eating several small meals.....After reading EAT.STOP.EAT. I'm not worried about loosing muscle if I skip several meals. So long as I'm weight training and taking in the necessary calories....the rest isn't as serious.

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Posted Wed, 06/20/2012 - 09:32
Rachael

I do not understand what exactly I should be eating and how much of it! I am a collegiate basketball player but I still feel when I start to eat more protein and such I look fattier and weigh more... The only way I have found to look lean is when I consume too few calories. When working out more I only look bigger because of my muscle building but still have the layer of fat over it!

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Posted Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:03
Ricardo

Hi, I have been reading about nutrition and exercices for a while now and I can tell you…it is no easy task, so thank you for sharing all of your knowledge with us.
I started working out 3 years ago, started at 138lbs, now I am 176lbs with a body fat percentage of about 12%, I am 5’9’’.
I know just enough about healthy eating and dieting for muscle build and fat loss, but I am ready to take it to the next level, Over the last 2 weeks I have learned that changing the intensity on workouts and rest time are two good things to do, but problem is that I don’t know the exact amount of calories and percentages of carbs and protein I need on the ON-SEASON and the OFF-SEASON.
What will be the my ideal calorie intake (carbs,fat,prot) to build muscle on the off season and to burn fat and keep muscle on the on season.?

Right now im trying to burn fat, I go to the gym mon to fri in the morning to do L.I. cardio and on the afternoon to do weights, MON WED and FRI I do intense abs after my cardio.

And performing a fat burning routine but Im afraid im over eating protein.

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Posted Wed, 06/06/2012 - 07:19
Amr

What's the best time saving Aerobics for weight loss.Can i use HIT or HIIT for Aerobic.

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Posted Mon, 06/04/2012 - 02:09
mal

hi im trying to strip the last bit of stomach and chest fat ,im weight training 3 times a week and doing very mimimul cardio ,im worried that i will lose muscle mass , can you please let me know what a good amount of cardio is enough without losing muscle
and what is the most effective cardio exersise ,my diet is strict and sunday is my free day .
also should i take my prtotien shake straight after my workout or is it better to wait an hour after training?
thank you very much

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Posted Tue, 05/29/2012 - 06:56
skinny

I have a very low bmi (19) but a high fat % (26%) muscle 32%. I dont want to lose any weight but am not sure where I am going wrong. Am I just eating too much?! (5'6" 8st 7lbs female)

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Posted Mon, 05/07/2012 - 08:39
anjana

Hi, i want to loose wt indirectly excess fat from my body. I read the article, i cant lift the weight bcoz of the injury problem can u suggest me some other ideas of exercise to loose the wt

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Posted Fri, 05/04/2012 - 11:28
BF Loser

Question, I'm a female who is losing weight but i'm not necesssarily losing fat. I have been on induction for about 2 weeks now and have been taking in max 20-25 grams of carbs a day and the rest is all protein. I'm not necessarily measuring my caloric intake but rather my protein intake through grams (my calorie intake is roughly 1200-1500 daily). My main goal is to lower my BF% and i haven't seen a big change in that. I'm 5'4, weight 124lbs, and workout 6x a week for an hour and a half a session (cardio + light weight training + Muay Thai). What should I do differently to lower my BF%? HELP!

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Posted Thu, 05/03/2012 - 06:28
chris

Eating every three hours to keep the metabolism going? Tell me you don't actually believe this. You're about ten years behind in the science. I suggest you do a little more research before promoting unscientific articles stupid people will take as scripture.

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Posted Wed, 05/02/2012 - 18:57
fitnessmaniak

You say that 1.5-1.7 gr per bodyweight protein intake is good but anything more you say is useless. I think you should go a little higher, 2 gr per bodyweight. The next thing I want to say is that if you take too much protein your body WILL NOT store this as fast, because protein can not become fat. If you take too much carbs it will turn into fat and too much bad fats will turn into fat. But too much protein will never ever turn into fat, its impossible.

Then if you really want to cut down in bodyfat, for example to 6-7% you should also be aware not to drink too much water. Your body will keep this and it will give you a bloated look. Of course you have to drink enough but if you really want that thin skin and fitness/bodybuilding look, lower your water intake.

Dont forget a cheat meal one day in a week or 2 weeks, it keeps your metabolism working. The moment your metabolism is down you wont lose any fat anymore and I agree your body will take energy from anything it can its most likely going to be muscle.

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Posted Sun, 04/29/2012 - 20:32
Jennifer Jameson

I'd like to know where you get your information from as far as your sources go? I do not agree with the aerobic training portion of your article or it may simply need some wording adjustments. -Jennifer

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Posted Thu, 04/26/2012 - 12:46
Salman

Thanx a lot...good article. Indeed I will follow ur wonderful tips..

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Posted Thu, 04/19/2012 - 14:32
jason

Great article! Thank you for taking the time to present what appears to be an honest and informative article about a topic that is confusing and mysterious for most of us. I also appreciate the focus on the approach and not on the normal crap that plagues this industry ... "you need this pill" ... "you need that supplement". I don't need a magic pill ... I just want to know what goes into creating and then maintaining a healthy and fit way of life, and your article seems like a solid process to doing just that.