With summer fast approaching, you’re probably wondering what is the best way to lose fat, while maintaining your hard earned muscle and strength gains.
To be frank, the fat cutting process depends on multiple factors. The most important ones include the timeframe, the amount of fat you need to lose, and the end goal that you’ve set out for yourself. If you’re only determined to get lean, with 12-14% body fat, the process shouldn’t take too much effort and strategizing. But if you’re striving for 10% bodyfat or less, which is necessary for a really shredded physique, the task becomes a bit more difficult.
However, regardless of your cutting goal, there are 2 simple strategies that always work, and for some reason they’re neglected by many people. If you use them, your fat loss journey will be much easier and more successful.
If you want to lose fat, you need to get in a caloric deficit. This is a well known, scientifically proven fact. If you eat more calories than your body needs to maintain the current weight, you’ll get bigger. If you eat less calories, you’ll lose fat.
The easiest way to lower your caloric intake is by eating fewer carbohydrates. Foods like bread, rice, spaghetti, and most fast food and processed items tend to have a lot of calories and belong to the „carb“ bracket. Reduce the intake of these foods and you’ll be eating far fewer calories.
However, if it were that easy, everyone would be in shape and rock 6 pack abs. The problem is that if you only reduce carbs, you will get hungry and binge eat. So you need to actually > replace < carbs with something else.
The best food to replace them with are green vegetables and healthy fats. Green vegetables contain a high amount of vitamins and minerals which will provide you with energy while being in a caloric deficit. They also contain a lot of fiber, and fiber will keep you full. Another positive is that they don’t cause any significant sugar spikes which occur when eating the before mentioned heavy carbs.
Healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil or coconut chips, nuts and dairy (unless you’re lactose intolerant) are also viable alternatives that can make dieting much easier. Increasing your protein intake to replace the carbs is also a good alternative. You should definitely keep your protein intake high, but sti, l make sure to include fats and vegetables in there for micronutrients which are not present in protein-rich foods.
Optimize Your Training
Training for muscle gains is far different from training on a cutting phase. When you’re trying to build muscle, you’re most likely increasing your training volume by performing more sets and reps. You focus a lot on each muscle group and perhaps do a body-part split that has you in the gym 4-5 days a week. But when you’re in a caloric deficit, you’re most likely not going to be building any muscle.
Your goal is to maintain the muscle mass you already have, while also avoiding over-training. Over-training can happen if you keep the same amount of training volume while eating far fewer calories, as your body won’t have the same amount of energy to spend in the gym. So what is the best way to optimize your training while shedding away fat? The best strategy is to lower your training volume while maintaining strength. If you force your muscles to lift the same amount of weight as they did before, they will have more than enough reason to stay big and strong. At the same time, they won’t be crushed by the hundreds of unnecessary reps that you would put them through.
The best way to decrease training volume and keep your strength and muscle is by focusing more on multi-joint movements such as squats, deadlifts, bench press and military press, rather than isolation exercises that focus on each muscle separately. Perform more sets of these heavy exercises, with fewer reps, and only do isolation exercises occasionally.
So there you have it! Losing fat is a quite simple and straightforward process that takes some logical thinking and practical implementation of these dieting and training methods. Of course, we could get into a more detailed description of both, and we’ll do that in the upcoming articles. But I hope this overview has given you an insight into a path of fat loss success, and you’ll use it to your advantage.