Many fat-burner fads will come and go but there are a few principles that will help you reach your goals. Fat-loss can be tricky, especially for women and one of the biggest mistakes I see women make is getting caught up in the craziness of dieting and exercise and missing the bigger picture. When women lose sight of the proven scientific principles of fat loss, their efforts suffer as a result and this in turn can make them frustrated.
Anybody reading this should take a step back from the tiny focus you have on certain foods, ingredients, supplements or exercise programs and follow a strategy scientifically proven to work on improving the physique.
Any plan should be based around three rules:
- Lose fat slowly.
- Never decrease protein intake when dieting.
- Resistance train when you are dieting.
When you are trying to lose weight, it is important to focus on retaining lean body mass but also dropping fat as well. Use this to help guide you on your way as you head towards improving your physique.
Rule 1: Lose Fat Slowly
This is a very difficult principle for people to grasp as everyone wants the results yesterday. Having a mindset of having to lose 10 pounds by next Thursday or I have to exercise 3 hours per day to lose fat fast only sets you up for failure ultimately.
Being honest here, if you really cut your calories down you will lose fat but this approach can come at a heavy cost. Especially when rapid fat loss is achieved by severely restricting calories, you not only lose fat but also muscle that you have worked hard to build.
Extreme calorie restriction can also lead to very slow metabolism which is not always easy to reverse. This is what we wish to avoid at all costs, a loss of muscle mass and metabolic damage.
Guide: Everyone’s ideal weight loss rate differs slightly but aim for a loss of 1% of your body weight per week. As an example, a 140-pound woman should lose around 1-1.5 pounds per week. Anything more than that can compromise lean body mass.
Rule 2: Never Decrease Protein Intake When Dieting
Is there a need to lower calorie intake when trying to lose fat? Yes, but the main macronutrient you never lower is protein. I actually recommend to people that they increase their protein intake during periods of fat-loss, some even gain muscle as a result.
Increasing protein intake has been shown to result in greater maintenance of lean-body mass during weight loss in both overweight and athletic people. In each study above, protein intakes were 20-100% higher for the group that experienced improvements in body composition compared to groups that consumed lower amounts of dietary protein.
Guideline: Aim for around 1g of high-quality protein per pound of body weight daily. For a 125-pound female, this equates to around 125g of protein.
Rule 3: Resistance Training When Dieting
The last rule is probably the easiest one for you if resistance training is already a defining characteristic of your lifestyle. When taking on an energy-restricted diet to induce fat loss, the body responds to make sure it remains stable and pretty constant by decreasing lean body mass, lowering your body’s metabolism and decreasing overall strength.
The inclusion of a decent resistance-training program will offset any negative outcome that dietary restriction places on you. It is important to make sure that you are doing the right kind of resistance training as well. It is common for women to solely do high-repetition workouts during a fat-loss phase, but this is a mistake.
Guideline: Follow a periodized resistance-training program that emphasizes strength and hypertrophy. (Do not make high-repetition, endurance-based training your priority.) Make sure to pick at least one exercise to target each major muscle group and do 3-4 sets of 6-12 reps.
If you follow these rules, fat-loss can easily be accomplished with no drastic measures. Don’t listen to the horror stories about competition prep and dieting. You can easily maintain muscle mass and not damage your metabolism whilst dieting as long as you do it right. For an amazing fat-burner diet plan that takes 3 weeks and will show you amazing results, click here.