The following is an excerpt from the April 2007 issue of Muscle & Fitness:
12 Laws Of Fat Burning
No question about it, burning fat is a 24/7 endeavor. To keep the fires hot, you need to eat every 2-3 hours throughout the day. Not only that, but you must choose the right foods in the right amounts to keep your metabolism revved up so your six-pack will be ready for its close-up.
The way we see it, there are 12 fundamentals - laws, if you will - that are all you need to shed that unwanted blubber from your midsection and elsewhere. Most of them are nutrition-driven, but training comes into play as well. Your mass-gaining phase is over for the time being; now it's time to get lean. These 12 laws of fat-burning will help get you there.
1. Slash (Calories) & Burn:
- Eliminate excess dietary fat - meaning no butter, oils, salad dressings (low-fat or fat-free dressings are okay).
- Remove the skin from chicken.
- Substitute egg whites for most of your whole eggs.
- Avoid whole-milk dairy products.
- Ditch marbled red meats such as rib-eye for lean cuts such as flank.
- Keep some healthy fats in your diet, such as salmon, mixed nuts, peanut butter and avocados.
Step 1 revolves around simple math: You must eat fewer calories than your body is accustomed to in order to drop bodyfat. When a calorie shortfall is created, the body responds by digging into bodyfat reserves to make up the difference. And presto, you grow leaner. All other laws aside, this one heads the list every time, no matter what dietary approach you take.
Most guys who are fairly active and exercise regularly burn about 18 calories per pound of bodyweight or more per day. On that basis, a 200-pounder would consume 3,600 calories daily.
To start dropping bodyfat, reduce your calories to between 14 and 16 per pound of bodyweight per day on workout days, or 2,800-3,200 calories daily. On nonworkout days, drop to about 12 calories per pound per day (2,400 calories for the guy who's 200 pounds).
The easiest way to cut calories?
2. Curtail Carbohydrates:
- Insulin & Supplements: What You Need To Know! - By Christopher Mohr
- Insulin & Bodybuilding. - By ISSA
- Manipulating Your Hormones. - By Intensity Magazine
- Other Insulin Articles...
- White bread
- Most cold cereals
- Any sweets
- Rice cakes
- White rice
- White potatoes
Though calorie control is a must, hormonal control is nearly as important. Coupled with calories, hormones govern fat-burning. Suppress fat-storing hormones and you can expect a significant amount of bodyfat to melt away.
The ideal way to control these hormones is to keep your carbohydrate intake in check, since carbs kick up insulin, a hormone that inhibits fat breakdown and drives fat storage. Eat fewer carbs and insulin levels tend to stabilize, leading to fat loss.
Of course, not all carbohydrates are equal. In short, fast-digesting carbs tend to create a large insulin burst, leading to more potential fat gain. These carbs include:
Conversely, slow-digesting carbs (found in whole-grain breads, oatmeal, sweet potatoes and legumes) don't cause much of an insulin rise, so these should make up the vast majority of your carb consumption.
The commonsense approach is to halve your carbohydrate portions. If you tend to eat a large bagel for breakfast, eat only half and save the rest for tomorrow, or simply eat a smaller bagel. If you typically eat 2 cups of pasta at dinner, eat just one. In time, you'll see the effects of insulin control.
For the remaining 10 laws, as well as a full meal plan and fat-fighting articles on training, cardio and supplements, pick up the April issue of M&F, on newsstands March 6.
For more M&F, visit their website: www.muscleandfitness.com.