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Bodybuilding and Fitness Newsletter 7/31/2019

These 3 Fat-Loss Rules Will Keep You Healthy While You Get Ripped

Among serious weight trainers, two things are almost always true: we want to be bigger, and we want to get ripped. These are wonderful goals, but we need to keep in mind that our FIRST goal in any physical endeavor is to improve or at least maintain our level of health and fitness.

With that in mind, here are three fat-loss rules that will keep you healthy while you get ripped.

Don’t Diet Too Hard

You see it all the time, usually around New Year’s: people get fired up to lose fat and build a new, better body, and they hit the gym with verve. Along with their training, these would-be fat-losers embark on drastic dietary changes and slash their calories dramatically. Then what happens?

Within a few weeks — or less — they are tired, sick, and discouraged, and they give up entirely.

A large part of the problem comes from overly restrictive diets. While you likely DO need to cut calories to lose fat, you can only take that tactic so far. For a healthy adult male of around 150 pounds, dropping below about 2000 calories a day could become problematic in terms of meeting your daily quota of vitamins and minerals, assuming you’re eating a diet of mostly whole, unprocessed foods.

You’re far better off to gradually reduce your calories to around 2000 a day and then look for other ways to tip the calorie balance in your favor.

Don’t Lose Too Fast

It requires somewhere around 3500 calories to burn a pound of fat. That means that, on balance, you need to burn 3500 more calories than you take in over a given period of time to drop a pound of fat.

Simple math tells you that, to lose one pound a week, you need to create a 500-calorie daily deficit.

That’s a pretty hefty calorie drop or activity increase and can take a toll on your body over time. Bump that goal up to two pounds a week, and you’re looking at a whopping 1000-calorie daily deficit. While you probably CAN do that for awhile, most trainers will burn out on that kind of aggressive routine in short order.

When it comes to fat loss or muscle gains, slow and steady is almost always better than fast and furious.

Don’t Overtrain

Associated with the burning desire to lose fat, New Year’s warriors and other inspired folks often embark on very aggressive training routines, too.

These programs usually take them from doing nothing much in the way of physical activity to hitting the gym four, five, or more days a week. That approach will help them build a bit of muscle and burn some calories in the short term, but it’s not a regimen that many could sustain for long.

Your body is extremely adaptive, but it needs time, rest, and nutrition to recover and produce the changes you want.

A far better approach is to train hard, but for brief periods of time and not too frequently. A good starting point for many looking to lose fat is training the full body with weights three days a week — workouts that should last less than an hour — and maybe adding in 20-30 minutes of moderate cardio two or three times a week.

Even this is too much for some, but it’s a decent first step for most who want to shed fat.

Losing fat and building bigger, stronger muscles are what the fitness game is all about, but you need to look out for your health first. See your doctor before you undertake any kind of exercise or diet regimen, and then keep these tips in mind to make sure that your well-being takes top priority over any other training or eating consideration.

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