Stop eating...? No, that's not how to lose fat. Even if I've heard people suggesting it to each other so many times.
Too many times, that's why I decided that I'm better take some time and write down an article that explains the best ways to lose fat, hoping to reach as many people as I can.
It's All About Calorie Deficit
Technically speaking, you lose weight when the quantity of calories that you burn during your daily activity is more than the quantity of calories that you take in.
That's the basic rule. Burn more than you take in. If you reach that goal at the end of the day then you lose some weight on that day.
Now, we need to figure out how many calories we take in and how many calories we burn, but that's your job. Nobody can tell you how many calories you should take in.
How Do I Figure Out How Many Calories I Need?
First of all you need to find your balance: how many calories your body needs to maintain your current weight.
Then you can lose weight if you take in less than that and gain weight if you take in more than that.
Food and Drinks: They Both Add Calories
The calories that we take in depend on what we eat...and drink! Don't forget this because it's very important as some drinks can be very high in calories and can represent a big percentage of your calorie intake if drinking is part of your lifestyle.
Did you know that alcohol (especially beer) increases estrogen levels in your body? Estrogen is the big enemy of testosterone. Estrogen is a female hormone that can have undesired effects in men, man boobs on top of all.
From now on pay attention at the labels of the things that you eat and drink. Anything (except pure water) contains calories.
A glass of beer can contain more than 200 calories, basically it's a serving of weight gainer supplement with the difference that instead of containing good ingredients it's full of bad stuff for your metabolism.
There is a reason why the "beer belly" is very well known... So, do your best to quit alcohol! It's a great way to reduce calories, reduce estrogens and increase testosterone.
Why do I keep talking about testosterone? Because it's the male anabolic hormone and low testosterone is responsible of decreased muscle mass and increased body fat beside other side effects that I described in Symptoms of Low Testosterone.
Talking about food, your diet is crucial. Eating healthy is the best way to explain how to lose fat.
You don't have to starve. You don't have to skip meals. Actually, you really shouldn't.
The best idea is to eat smaller meals more frequently. I hear you: how to lose fat by eating more?
Attention, I am not saying to eat more. The idea is to keep you stomach busy during the day because your body burns calories when it processes food. And it's also a way to speed up your metabolism.
If you skip meals your body stores anything you eat as fat because it thinks that you're starving, it's a way to protect itself. If you eat frequently it doesn't need to store fat because it will never fear that you're going to starve.
Your diet should include healthy foods that burn fat and increase your metabolism, and foods rich in fibres that keep you full and satisfied for a longer time so you don't feel the urgency to eat, and automatically reduce the quantity of food that you eat.
Low Carbs Diet is Not a Great Idea
The low carbs diet doesn't work that well. You can lose weight at the beginning, but most of the people on this type of diet gain weight immediately after.
Plus, low carbs diet will leave you hungry and with low energy, and you might end up wanting to eat more.
Watch the quantity of what you eat, but keep a healthy balance between carbs, protein and fats.
40% Carbs + 40% Protein + 20% Fat = Healthy Balance
Remember that you need healthy fats in your diet, and if you're wondering how to lose fat if I invite you to eat fats I'll tell you right now.
Healthy fats are essential for our metabolism and to keep testosterone high. Healthy fats are principally in:
- Fish Oil
- Olive Oil
Build Muscle to Burn Fat
Seriously? How to lose fat by building muscle?
Muscles burn fat in two ways: to build them and to maintain them. Muscles require a lot of energy from your body, having more muscle makes you burn more fat, so starting a weight lifting program is a great way to lose fat too.
Strength training raises your testosterone. Read the article Lift Heavy Weights to Boost Testosterone to learn how weight lifting increases testosterone.
If you do HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) your body keeps burning fat even after your workouts. You should really take advantage of the afterburn effect to burn fat while you sleep.
In the left menu you can find several links to articles that explain you how to build muscle. If you don't have time to go to the gym you should really consider working out from home.
There are some awesome home gyms that allow you to do a great number of exercises. I own a Bowflex and I am 100% satisfied and would recommend it. It also comes with workout routines, Bowflex exercises famous to be effective to build muscle and burn fat.
There is one more thing I want to mention: your goal should be fat loss. I hear people that want to lose weight but really they should talk about fat loss.
In fact you cant still lose fat while building muscle even if you gain weight.
How come? ...take a look at this:
For the same weight, the fat volume is much bigger than the muscle volume, 4 times bigger. It explains why building muscle makes you gain weight even if you're losing fat.
Anyway, in order to make a successful effort in transforming your body it is essential to understand the difference between weight loss and fat loss.
Do Some Cardio
Who doesn't know that cardio exercises help you burn fat raise their hands!
Low cardio intensity is ideal for fat burn purposes. If you exercise and keep your heart rate around 65% of your maximum heart rate about 85% of your fat burn comes from fat, while the higher the heart rate the less fat you burn.
If you're into weight lifting and spent months or years to build muscle, you may not want to do too much cardio because you risk to burn some muscle too. If you force your body to require too much energy for your daily routine it will necessarily take some of that energy from muscle too.
We don't want that!!
The best combination to burn fat and preserve the muscle is to do just some cardio, together with a proper diet and heavy weight lifting, because we want to bun fat, not muscle.
How to Lose Fat with Supplements
If, and only if, you have followed all the above tips and you still have troubles losing weight there is still something more you can do.
Here I am going to explain how to lose fat with supplements.
Let me say that it should be your last resource to speed up the process, but some people have been quite satisfied of the results. The principle of these supplements is that they raise your metabolism and/or boost testosterone.