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What Is The Best 12-Week Diet Plan For Fat Loss?

What is the best 12-week diet plan for fat loss? As the weather gets warmer we become more self-conscious about our weight. Here are some free fat-loss plans and tips to destroy the flab and keep hard earned muscle! Try them now.

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TOPIC: What Is The Best 12-Week Diet Plan For Fat Loss?

The Question:

As the weather gets warmer we become more self-conscious about our weight. Since summer is right around the corner it is time to get our fat loss diet in check.

What is the best 12-week diet plan for fat loss?

What is a reasonable amount of weight to lose in 12 weeks?

What are some important tips for someone who wants to lose the fat, but maintain their muscle gains?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

    Prizes:
      1st place - 75 in store credit.
      2nd place - 50 in store credit.
      3rd place - 25 in store credit.

To use your credit, e-mail Justin @ justin.podzimek@bodybuilding.com for more info.


1st Place - soundcheck129
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Summer is about to roll in, so that means it's time to get shredded! Whether or not you went overboard on your winter bulk, everyone could stand to drop some fat to reveal their best beach body. Dieting can be intimidating, especially for those coming off of a mass-gaining diet, but it shouldn't be - if you put your mind to it, you will be able to sculpt your body into any shape you want!

Everyone Can Stand To Drop Some Fat To Reveal Their Best Beach Body.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Everyone Can Stand To Drop Some Fat
To Reveal Their Best Beach Body.


What Is The Best 12-Week Diet Plan For Fat Loss?

Call me old-school, call me lazy, but I like to keep things simple. Dieting down can be mentally challenging in itself, so I don't see any need to over-complicate things.

When I'm cutting, I like to keep my training as similar as possible to my bulking. That means four days of intense lifting. The only real difference is the amount of added cardio. Fat loss isn't rocket science - you just have to create a caloric deficit, which can be surprisingly simple if you're doing a lot of activity.

The reason I like a four-day split for cutting is because it gets you into the gym frequently enough to burn a lot of calories, but no so much so that you'll be limited to a lot of isolation exercises on individual body parts to allow for adequate recovery and may be worn out.

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Also, a four-day split gives you a lot of options to prevent boredom from setting in. I feel the 12-week period should be split into two six-week segments.

During the first six weeks, you could run a split like this:

  • Monday - Lower
  • Tuesday - Upper
  • Wednesday - Cardio and Abs
  • Thursday - Upper
  • Friday - Lower
  • Saturday - Cardio and Abs
  • Sunday - Off

This way, the second six weeks could have this split:

Obviously, this isn't set in stone, but you get the idea.

On lifting days, you should warm up with 10 minutes of cardio and cool down with 20 minutes of HIIT. For cardio days, aim for a 10 minute low-intensity warm-up, followed by 30 minutes HIIT and a 10 minute low-intensity warm-down, in addition to ab work, which can be performed before or after cardio. Try to vary your exercises, whether it be jogging, elliptical or exercise bike, just to keep things fresh.

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Because creating a caloric deficit is essential to losing fat, you'll want to find out what your maintenance level of intake is. If you already have an idea, that's excellent. If not, you may want to refer to an online calculator, such as this one. However, every one is different, so you may not get the exact number.

In order to cut weight, you'll probably want to eat at about 500 calories below maintenance. If at any time you feel as though you're losing too much or too little, simply adjust the amount you're eating. But what to eat?

MAINTENANCE CALORIE INTAKE CALCULATOR
Please note that this calculator is only to be used as a general guideline. Individual results may vary.
Body Weight: Pounds
Kilograms
Active
Not Active
Results:

For the first six weeks, aim for a 40/40/20 (Protein/Carbs/Fat) macronutrient split. This will give you plenty of protein for building and preserving muscle, which will help keep your metabolism firing. In addition, you will have plenty of carbohydrates for energy as well as essential fats.

During the second six weeks, aim for a 40/25/35 or 40/20/40 split. While I'm not a big proponent of carbohydrates, I do realize that they can leave some individuals looking bloated, which is NOT what you want when you're planning on showing off.

But with 25% of your intake coming from carbohydrates, you won't feel like you're on a hardcore diet and wonder if you're going to make it, so it's not a huge sacrifice. Plus, you'll be getting a lot of your calories from fats, which means some delicious food (think bunless cheeseburgers and steak), so you may not feel like you're dieting at all! But you also won't have to worry about staying in ketosis, which can be a hassle.

What Is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a state characterised by elevated levels of ketone bodies in the blood, occurring when the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies (which can be used by all of the body for energy as an alternative to glucose). These ketone bodies are a by-product of the lipid metabolic pathway after the fat is converted to energy.

Similarly, I don't recommend carbohydrate cycling, because you may be prone to make mistakes and keeping track of different splits for different days can be more trouble than it is worth. While it is effective, I think the "best" program would be one that allows you to live your life and not become obsessed with diet or training.

As for what exactly you should be eating...try to eat things you like, it will be easier to stick with the diet. However, it's important to try to eat filling, low-GI foods that will keep you satisfied.

So this means you may want to get your protein from lean meats, fish, cottage cheese and protein powders; carbohydrates from oats, whole wheat bread, sweet potatoes, fruits and fibrous veggies; and fats from peanut butter, olive oil and almonds.

Additionally, meals with all three macronutrients are best for keeping blood glucose levels in check. Eating every two or three hours should keep you from feeling as though you're starving when it comes time to eat, so smallish meals won't be so hard to take.

If you find that being disciplined causes you to crave "dirty" foods, allow yourself a cheat meal once every week or every two weeks. But make sure this is a cheat meal and not a cheat day - it's easy to go overboard, so just give yourself a treat and move on when you are satisfied.

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Switching diet and training in the middle of your cut will prevent your body from adapting and you from getting bored or frustrated.


Cutting Tips:

    1. Stay Positive

      Cutting can be tough, but stick with it. Even if progress seems slow, don't get frustrated, keep your eyes on the prize.

    2. If You Make A Mistake, Get Over It

      Don't dwell on any bumps in the road. No problem can't be reversed with a little extra effort. Get back to your plan as soon as possible, and alter it if need be.

    3. Work Hard, The Results Will Be Greater

      You will only get out what you put into this process. Take it seriously and think of how awesome it will be when you are turning heads everywhere you go. A little pain pays off in the long run and makes you a stronger person.

A Little Pain Pays Off In The Long Run.
+ Click To Enlarge.
A Little Pain Pays
Off In The Long Run.

    4. Do What Works For You

      Don't compare yourself to others and don't judge your progress on anyone else's. Also, don't adopt some method of training or nutrition just because Joe Bro says it's the right way. Insulin spike? No food before bed? The laws of thermodynamics can't be defeated - at the end of the day, it's calories in vs. calories out.

    5. Drink Plenty Of Water...And Not Much Else

      Drinking water will keep you satisfied and purify your body. In addition, the more you drink, the more efficient your body becomes at getting rid of water, so you will look more vascular down the road. Drinking alcohol is not your friend during cutting, and other beverages will cost you precious calories without filling you up.

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    6. Count Everything

      You'll be surprised how quickly an extra scoop of oats, an extra slice of cheese or an extra splash of milk can add up. But look for unlikely sources of calories too, such as supplements. If your pre- or intra-workout supplement is loaded with calories, usually from simple carbs, consider an alternative or cut it out altogether. Cycling off may make it more effective in the future.

    7. Don't Overdo It

      Looking great is super, but if you're not feeling great, then it's irrelevant. Don't make yourself sick with too much activity or too little food. Maintain a reasonable deficit and ensure that you take in enough calories to fuel your exercise.

    8. Emergency Munchies

      If you get very hungry between meals (which is unlikely if you're eating every 2-3 hours, but still), chew on some sugar-free gum or grab a diet soda. While not exactly nutritious options, they are nearly calorie-free and can keep you on track.

BODYBUILDING.COM FORUM: DIET SODA THREAD
Diet Soda.
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Diet Soda.
Of those that have lost 50 + pounds, how many drank or still drink diet soda? I am of a belief that diet soda, while not the whole reason, is a big detriment to losing and keeping weight off.
Started By:
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What Is A Reasonable Amount Of Weight To Lose In 12 Weeks?

If you're creating a deficit of about 500 calories daily, as I recommended above, you'll lose roughly one pound per week. This would mean that you can expect to lose 12 lbs during the 12 week period. However, cutting carbohydrates during the last six weeks may prompt you to lose additional weight.

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If you factor in the potential inaccuracy of metabolic calculations, you could reasonably expect to lose 15lbs. Don't try to drastically cut calories in an attempt to drop more weight - this is not healthy and can slow down your metabolism in the long run. In addition, you'll be dropping lean mass, not fat. Twelve to fifteen pounds is still considerable, though, so don't sweat it.


How Can Someone Lose The Fat, But Maintain Their Muscle Gains?

If you want to keep as much muscle as possible while shedding fat, you have to be realistic. Don't think that the less you eat, the more fat you'll lose. If you don't provide adequate energy for your body, you will store fat and drop muscle.

You'll also want to keep your protein intake high. This will ensure that you have sufficient amino acids for the maintenance and building of muscle, even as you are in a caloric deficit. In addition, you'll probably want to use a BCAA or EAA product to boost recovery and provide your body with amino acids without having the significant caloric weight of whole food.

Other supplements you may want to use are multivitamins, fat burners and pre-workout products. Multivitamins will help you make sure your diet does not have glaring deficiencies, which is possible when you are on a reduced-calorie plan.

Fat burners are not necessary, but they will probably flush water out of your system and boost your metabolism slightly. Lastly, pre-workout products can help you get through tiring workouts when your stomach is growling. Watch out for the caloric content though!

Also, try to eat smaller, more spread out meals. This will prevent you from becoming ravenous from waiting too long and will keep your energy levels stable. Whatever you do, don't skip meals! This will be more harmful than helpful.

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Remember to work out hard and believe in yourself. You can definitely maintain your gains if you continue to challenge your muscles and keep your protein intake at adequate levels. On the flip side, though, don't overdo the cardio - this can lead to muscle loss if done excessively and proper nutrition is not followed.

Other than that, give it your best and make sure you get plenty of water. Anyone can be shredded if they want to be.


2nd Place - RooRooTJ
View This Author's BodySpace Here.


What Is The Best 12-Week Diet Plan For Fat Loss?

There are many fad diets out there and commercials, "Lose 30 lbs in one month", "I dropped 2 dress sizes in a week". These are outrageous claims and if they some how end up working, it is only temporary.

Fat loss takes time and effort. Yes someone could drop 5-10 lbs in a week or two, but how much of that is going to be fat and how much is going to be muscle? The key to fat loss is minimizing muscle loss. The more muscle your have the more calories your body will burn. So if you lose muscle, your body will need fewer calories to run. It is simple.

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First and foremost, you need to have your nutrition in order. Start out by finding your BMR. This will give you a baseline for your daily calories to maintain your current weight.

Women:

    655 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)

Men:

    66 + (6.3 x weight in pounds) + (12.9 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years)

  • If you are sedentary : BMR x 20 percent
  • If you are lightly active: BMR x 30 percent
  • If you are moderately active (You exercise most days a week.): BMR x 40 percent
  • If you are very active (You exercise intensely on a daily basis or for prolonged periods.): BMR x 50 percent
  • If you are extra active (You do hard labor or are in athletic training.): BMR x 60 percent

BMR CALCULATOR
Basal Metabolic Rate is calculated by the Harris-Benedict equation, which was created in 1919.
Height ft in
Weight
Age
Gender
Results
Calories

Once you have this figured out, you will have a good idea of how many calories you burn a day just living.


Nutrition

    Ok your have your BMR, now what? Well you need to figure out how much fat you want to lose. It is a good idea to lose 1.5 - 2 lbs of week. While you may not think that is a lot, over a 12 week period it adds up to almost 25 lbs. Who wouldn't want to lose 24 lbs and maintain as much muscle as they could?

    So let's say you are going to shoot for 2 lbs a week. It takes roughly 3500 calories to lose a lb, so two lbs would need 7000 calories, or 1000 calories per day. Now you don't want to create that 1000 calorie deficit in diet alone, so let's create a 500 calorie deficit from diet. So now take your BMR you calculated earlier and subtract 500 from it and you will have your new calorie total for the day.

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    The key to a successful diet is also nutrition timing. If your adjusted daily calorie total is 2400 calories, for a 200 lb man that is 25 and is 6 foot tall and moderately active, you are going to see a lot better results splitting those 2400 calories into 5 - 6 meals a day instead of 1 giant meal.

    You will also need a good balance of protein, carbs, and fats. Carb cycling is a great way to lose weight while maintaining muscle. You use a mixture of high, medium, and low carb days that a based on your workouts. Lets see an example:

    Say your workout schedule is broken down into a 5-day split such as the following:

    Your body is going to most likely exert more energy on your leg and back workout days, than your arm or shoulder days. They are also bigger muscle groups and need more nutrients. So make these your high carb days. These days, you have a higher amount of your calories from good carbohydrates and less of them from fats. Protein will stay the same typically no matter what day it is.

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Need Help With Carb Cycling.
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Need Help With Carb Cycling.
I just need to know if I have the right amount of calories/carbs and if my schedule is right.
Started By:
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    So let's go back to the example with a daily calorie requirement of 2400 calories. Protein is be around 200 - 300 grams a day. You typically will keep protein to 1 to 1.5 grams per lb you weight. So let's go with 250 to stay right in the middle. So 250 grams of protein is going to be 1000 calories, since 1 gram of protein is equal to 4 calories.

    The same goes for carbohydrates; 1 gram of carbs is equal to 4 calories. So for a high carb day you will want to get around 250 grams as well. So that gives you another 1000 calories, and a total of 2000 calories from carbs and protein alone, leaving you 400 for healthy fats. 1 gram of fat is equal to 9 calories, so that would leave you with about 45 grams of fats for the day. You would want to split these number up into your 6 meals relatively equally giving you:

    For a 5 meal plan, per meal:

    For a 6 meal plan, per meal:

    Now on your other workout days, you will drop the carbohydrate intake to about half and up the fat content. So you will be left with, 250 grams of protein, 125 grams of carbs, and 100 grams of fats.

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Cardio/Weight Training

    So now we have figured out where the first part of the calorie deficit is coming from, now we figure out the second half. Most of us will get a lot of this taken care of with weight training, but cardio still has to be used as well.

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    Cardio is a necessary evil for weight loss. Nobody likes to do it, but it is essential to a healthy plan. When I start out a diet, I like to start with different types of cardio to make it interesting and less stagnant. So you need to come up with a 500 calorie deficit from weight training and cardio.

    On days you are training, you will have to do less cardio than on off days. I typically start with 20 minutes of low intensity cardio every morning when I wake up. It gets my day going and gets it out of the way. On days I train, that is all the cardio I do.

    On off days I will do another round of cardio later in the day. Now as your weight goes down, so will your BMR. While you could adjust the daily totals every couple of weeks, I find it easier to add 5 minutes of cardio to each session as my weight loss starts to stall. This is an easy way to adjust for the slight difference your body will need in calories without all the math, ha-ha.

When Your BMR Starts To Drop, Add More Cardio.
+ Click To Enlarge.
When Your BMR Starts To
Drop, Add More Cardio.


What Is A Reasonable Amount Of Weight To Lose In 12 Weeks?

As I stated earlier, don't expect to drop 40 lbs in a month. You are going to lose a lot more muscle than fat by taking things to extreme and will most likely put it right back on once you go off the diet. It is safe to go by the standard 1.5 to 2 lbs a week. It is a healthy, maintainable way to lose weight and keep it off for good!


How Can Someone Lose The Fat, But Maintain Their Muscle Gains?


Make Sure You Get Your Meals In!

    You have to eat to lose weight; don't think skipping meals is going to make you lose weight faster. Your body needs it nutrients to be healthy and keep your body burning like a well oiled machine.

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Eating When Hungry VS 5 Meals A Day?
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Eating When Hungry VS 5 Meals A Day?
What's better for the body overall if my overall goal is to lose weight?
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Multivitamins


BCAAs

    Go out and get some BCAAs - either bulk or from a product like Xtend. These will help your body keep muscle while you are in a calorie deficit. Sip them during your workout or cardio and you will save a lot more muscle.


Drink Plenty of Water!

    Water is key to weight loss, try to shoot for at least a gallon a day.

Water Is Key To Fat Loss.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Water Is Key To Fat Loss.


Stay Positive

    If you lay out a good plan and stick to it, you will see results.


Allow For Slip Ups

    No one is perfect. You are not going to be able to make every meal of hit every macro exactly, things are going to come up. Just stay positive and work around things. If you feel you need it, add an extra 10 minutes of cardio to make up for it. Life is full of little things that will make it hard to stick to the plan 100 percent.


3rd Place - mrkdrt
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Summer is coming. With summer comes less clothing - and that shouldn't scare you! It is more than possible to get beach-worthy in 12 weeks.

With Summer Comes Less Clothing, And That Shouldn't Scare You!
+ Click To Enlarge.
With Summer Comes Less Clothing,
And That Shouldn't Scare You!

Just know, your diet can make or break your goal. Sure lifting and cardio are just as important - but without a solid meal plan, you're selling yourself short and keeping your goal at a further distance.


What Is The Best 12-Week Diet Plan For Fat Loss?

So you want to lose some excess body fat in 12 weeks. Remember, while I will share some golden tips for your diet - you MUST have a good training (lifting and cardio or HIIT) regimen to team up with it.

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Diet alone cannot always get you in peak physique - just as training alone cannot. And though I hope my dietary suggestions for a 12-week goal will help you, the results will depend on the effort you put forward and how committed you are to your goal. You may also consider supplementation - but I'm going to share my advice on nutrition alone, to enforce just how important it is.

First valuable tip - do not buy into fad diets or "diet systems" that guarantee a weight loss in a ridiculously short amount of time. Most of the time, they don't work to promote body-fat loss, just weight loss overall, which can include water weight and some hard-earned muscle!

As much as I respect the ketogenic dieting techniques for cutting, I personally prefer to eat the same foods I consume on a bulk, but just tweak my regimen in a way that promotes fat loss. Three 'macros' of my diet are protein, fats and carbohydrates.


Protein


Carbohydrates

    If you are going to keep eating carbs, be sure to choose carb sources lower on the glycemic index. Simple carb sources (higher on GI scale) are more likely to cause a higher spike in insulin levels, leading to a "sugar crash," and causes greater fat storage.

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Fats

Don't Avoid Fats. You Need Them.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Don't Avoid Fats. You Need Them.

    Avoid dietary cholesterol as best you can, and shy from saturated fats as much as you can. Using low fat dairy, not frying your foods and following the same guidelines for lean meats are just a few ways you can reduce your intake of unhealthy fats quite well.

    Eating "good" fats along with your carbs can support healthy insulin levels the carbs would potentiate.

    Often someone who feels hungry can be simply satisfied drinking enough water. So having at least 2L a day can help you reduce food consumption. Sufficient water helps on meal plans that have higher protein too.

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When Your Progress Slows

    Now, I'm sure you're not jumping into your 12-week goal with no knowledge of fitness or nutrition, but for the sake of reminding, eat frequent meals of similar caloric value throughout your day, rather that HUGE meals only say, 3 times a day. For the same reason, to keep that metabolism burning with fuel, NEVER skip a meal. Ever.

    Find out your metabolic rate, and then decide what your caloric intake should be. A pound of bodyweight is roughly 3500 calories, so for a loss of a pound per week, 500 calories a day should be burned over how much you take in. But as your goal is body fat loss, use the BF calipers (I use the Accu-Measure brand) to accurately measure your progress.

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    If you aren't seeing progress, you may slowly drop you daily caloric intake a couple hundred calories in a week.

    Your meal schedule can change based on your daily schedule, but try to eat within half an hour of waking up, and aim for a meal every three hours thereon, until you sleep. Or base it on your workouts. I eat about 45 minutes to an hour pre workout, then within a half hour of the end of the workout.

    I keep my protein:carbs:fats ratio for each meal about 40:30:30 - but precision is not critical. You can tweak the percentages a bit, but keep protein around 40% and get at least 25% carbs. As I do cardio on days I don't lift, I tend to keep my caloric intake the same for "training" and "non-training" days.

BODYBUILDING.COM FORUM: MACRONUTRIENT RATIO
Protein/Carb/Fat Ratio.
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Protein/Carb/Fat Ratio.
What % of each should I be eating to lose weight and keep my muscles? I need to lose an additional 23lbs I have already lost 17lbs but have more to go. I am currently eating 1200-1450 calories a day.
Started By:
mrsyac2

    An example of my lifting day meal plan:

    • 0700 - Wake up, Triple S
    • 0730 - Meal 1
    • 1000 - Meal 2
    • 1100 - Workout (Lifting)
    • 1230 - Meal 3
    • 1600 - Meal 4
    • 1900 - Meal 5
    • 2200 - Meal 6
    • 2230 - Pre-sleep shake, sleep

    On cardio days:

    • 0630 - Wake, Cardio
    • 0730 - Meal 1
    • 1000 - Meal 2
    • 1300 - Meal 3
    • 1600 - Meal 4
    • 1900 - Meal 5
    • 2200 - Meal 6
    • 2230 - Pre-sleep shake, sleep


What Is A Reasonable Amount Of Weight To Lose In 12 Weeks?

Weight loss can include fat loss, water weight loss and fat loss. The most important thing for your 12-week goal is to lose excess body fat, reducing your BF%. So if you happen not to lose a couple dial notches on the bathroom scale, don't worry. You may have gained muscle - even better! So unless your 12-week goal is to make weight for a boxing match, weight loss shouldn't be your main concern.

Also, don't freak out if your Myotape says you gained size. This too can be added LBM. You should be thrilled!

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The easiest way to accurately measure your fat loss achievements is to break out the BF calipers. Even try out one of those bathroom scales that also measure body fat percentage (but do not take it so accurately). Seeing what your BF% has changed to will let you know how well you've done!

That said, I wouldn't recommend aiming for more than a pound a week in weight loss. While I still feel that amount is pushing hard - trying to lose faster than that can really burn you out, and isn't so healthy IMO. And of course, the most important thing is to stay in good health!


How Can Someone Lose The Fat, But Maintain Their Muscle Gains?


Eat.

    Just as you need to eat to see fat loss, to maintain your lean muscle, keep eating. Eating enough calories to maintain your LBM will help you greatly. Maintaining a positive nitrogen balance (amino acids) will prevent catabolism - so keep that protein intake going!

Keep That Protein Intake Going!
+ Click To Enlarge.
Keep That Protein Intake Going!


Do Not Stop Lifting.

    Do not focus so great on cardio or HIIT that you fall off on your lifting. Not only can you lose some muscle, but also you won't be burning as many calories either.


Stick To It.

    Even if you don't see progress after a few weeks, keep at it. Follow a solid meal plan and training program and progress will be seen. It may not happen as fast as you'd like, but it will happen - just be consistent.


Commit.

    It takes a lot to get in shape. No one said it would be easy. You may have to say no to a few beer-nights or refuse one of your mom's meals (the odd cheat meal won't kill you though) - but the results are worth the effort.

Cheers


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View This Author's BodySpace Here.


Intro

The process of getting yourself to embark on a 12-week plan is one of excitement and anticipation. Hopefully, you have met with your doctor before you start, so that there will be not one serious problem you will have to face.

The key to this 12-week diet is having motivation and keeping it throughout the whole 12 weeks. When things get hard, think in terms of days and not in terms of week or months. Each day is a building step to a glorious day of happiness for you inside and out.

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Don't rush it because you will get your just rewards at the end. The right combination of mental toughness as well as physical toughness combined with proper nutrition will have you losing weight in record time.


What Is The Best 12-Week Diet Plan For Fat Loss?


Nutrition: Stage 1

    The first thing that anybody should be talking about is nutrition. Nutrition is not the icing on the cake. It's the cake. Nutrition is the backbone of any fat loss, muscle gain, or bulk diet. A good fat loss diet puts emphasis on eating a protein, carb, and fat source in every meal as well as taking in adequate leafy vegetables and fruits.

Nutrition Is Not The Icing. It's The Cake.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Nutrition Is Not The Icing.
It's The Cake.

    I feel a person should eat 4 to 6 balanced meals a day which speed your metabolism up and keeps you satisfied throughout the day. This site has numerous calculators that will help you determine how many calories should be eating at every meal as well as the amount of protein, carb, and fat source you should take in.

    This is a list of protein, carb, and fat sources that I find are very beneficial for losing weight and maximizing muscle:

    My Great List of Protein Sources

    My Great List of Carb Sources

    My Great List of Fat Sources

    Vegetables

    Right now, I am currently in a cutting cycle and in this last 4 weeks I started a new nutrition plan. Basically, I am taking in equal ratios of carbs to protein for 4 meals and then the last two meals I cut out carbs. Why? After 6pm or 7pm, my body does not like carbs and has a tendency to store it in my stomach area which I am working on sculpting right now. I suggest you don't take in carbs after 7pm for your benefit.

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    A typical meal for me looks like this:

    Everything is covered right there in that meal.

    Cheat Meal

      You should have one cheat meal a week to reward yourself for doing such a good job. This meal should be yours to delight in. Eat doughnuts, hamburgers, or anything you crave.

bodybuilding.com
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Eat Doughnuts, Hamburgers,
Or Anything You Crave.


Training: Stage 2 Part One

    As for training, I suggest if you are a beginner to start off with doing 3 sets of 10 on exercises. You will rest for 2 minutes between each set. It is good way to get your body adjusted to lifting weights. I would suggest you do bench press, deadlifts, and squats for 3x10 during each exercise. The chest, back, and legs are the biggest body parts on your body and working them will create a chain reaction of growth for your body.

    After a month (4 weeks), you should change up your program and do 5 sets of 5. This is great for gaining strength and muscle mass. You will go hard, but the mind-muscle connection has to be there for maximum benefit. The workout will be hard and you will be sore, but that is where the nutrition will fill in the gaps.

    The last 4 weeks is what I like to call the finishing stage. In this stage, I recommend doing 3 sets of 15. The weights you use won't be as heavy, but your mind will make it seem like it is. You will be focusing in on every rep and squeezing at the top of each movement. You will do the same basic big 3 exercises during this stage. This stage will get you conditioned and in top shape.

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    During those 12 weeks, hit those big 3...three times a week


Training: Part 2

    Cardio should also be included in this stage. You don't just need a one type of cardio like HIIT, but a combination plan. On non-workout days, I like to run between 15 and 20 minutes first thing in the morning at high intensity pace.

    Running before eating is great and you will be amped. Workout days you should run 35 to 40 minutes preferably after your workout at a low-intensity pace. For me, anything under 130bpm is low intensity and anything higher is high intensity. If you don't want to run on a treadmill or elliptical go shoot hoops or jump rope. Variety is the spice of life, so make cardio fun and exciting.

"220-AGE" HEART RATE CALCULATOR
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Supplements

    Supplements are the icing on the cake. If everything is perfect, you should add these in. I am not going to recommend you take fat burners during this first 12 weeks because your probably will lose enough weight before you need that in the beginning. Only when everything is working, should you take a fat burner.

    Since these workouts are hard, I suggest you take:

    Protein

    Multivitamin

    Fish Oil

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What Is A Reasonable Amount Of Weight To Lose In 12 Weeks?

A reasonable weight to lose in 12 weeks is 12 pounds which averages to a pound a week. I really don't care about the weight loss. The true scale is what is your body fat percentage. You may have become a lot more muscular in those 12 weeks and looking at the scale or using a BMI calculator could be the wrong way to go. Getting a skin caliper test or another test to see how much body fat I have taken off is so rewarding and I love it.

(BMI) BODY MASS INDEX CALCULATOR
Weight:
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Body Mass Index


How Can Someone Lose The Fat, But Maintain Their Muscle Gains?

  • Don't kill yourself with cardio. Do not become a cardio bunny and do cardio every day for like 50 minutes at rapid pace. This will have you losing some muscle.
  • Protein. Keep the protein flowing in your system while working out hard.
  • Keep up great meal planning. Eat what you are supposed to eat. Be motivated to succeed.

If you are dedicated to lose weight, you will do it. Do not let anybody tell you different.


What Is The Best 12-Week Diet Plan For Fat Loss?
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