9. Reduce Calories Throughout The Day
One of the best strategies for ramping up body fat burning is to reduce the number of calories consumed at each meal. For example, on a 2,400-calories-per-day diet, consider this caloric strategy for successive meals, beginning with breakfast: 600, 500, 400, 300, 400, 200. (The bump up in calories for the fifth meal is to allow a little more food at dinner.)
10. Keep Carbs Moderate
Some bodybuilders virtually eliminate carbs from their diets. That may be a good idea a few days before a bodybuilding contest, but it’s rarely a good idea for long-term body fat reduction. A good rule of thumb is to eat I g of carbs for every pound of bodyweight on your lowest carb days. Most bodybuilders, even smaller ones, can consume up to 200 g of carbs a day and still shed body fat.
11. Reduce Carbs Throughout The Day
One of the best ways for dieters to cut calories is to consume fewer total carbs. You can cut calories per meal by cutting mostly carbs (as well as some saturated fats). Consider this strategy for consuming 200 g of carbs per day: take in 80, 40, 40, 40, 0 and 0 g at successive daily meals beginning with breakfast. Assuming that you train in the afternoon, take the last 40 g of carbs postworkout (see #14). Your dinner and late-night snack should not include any carbs, as those are the times of day when your body is most likely to store them as bodyfat.
12. Cut Out Fast-digesting Carbs at Most Times of Day
Fast-digesting carbs, or sugars, are poor choices for dieting bodybuilders. Sugars are quickly absorbed, emptying from your bloodstream relatively quickly, and either burned as energy or stored as body fat. As a consequence, you feel depleted and begin to crave more carbs, making dieting a challenge. The best time to consume fast-digesting carbs is post workout when your body can take advantage of the insulin spike for muscle growth.
13. Rely on Slow-burning Carbs at Most Times of Day
Instead of taking in carb calories in the form of sugar, rely on slow-burning complex carbs. These will stay with you longer, helping to moderate blood sugar levels and preventing a feeling of depletion and the accompanying craving for carbs.
Good sources of complex carbs include brown rice, yams, oatmeal, and whole-grain breads and pastas.
14. Consume Fast-digesting Carbs after Training
The best time to consume the minimal amount of sugar you do eat is right after you train. Simple carbs help replenish glycogen stores in muscles, aiding recovery and keeping up your strength while you’re in a calorie deficit. Posttraining, when you’re not in a cutting phase, you might take in up to 80 g of simple carbs with approximately 40 g of whey protein; while dieting, consume about 40 g of sugar with about 40 g of whey protein.
15. Take in Plenty of Lean Protein
One of the best ways to cut calories is to reduce the amount you get from protein foods (without reducing the total number of grams of protein you’re consuming). To do this, switch to leaner forms of protein. Good choices include egg whites; zero- or low-carb whey protein powders; lean meats, such as chicken and turkey breast; and whitefish. At this time, you can take in more protein than during other phases of a bodybuilding diet. Eat at least 1 g of protein per pound of bodyweight per day and as much as 1.5 g of protein per pound (200-300 g of protein for a 200-pound bodybuilder).
16. Eat Fiber
As with water, fiber is crucial for health and for dieting bodybuilders. Fiber provides several benefits. It helps provide satiety, a sense of fullness when you eat. It helps you more effectively digest protein and improves the functioning of your digestive system overall. It also helps block the absorption of some calories. Healthy bodybuilders should consume at least 30 g of fiber a day. On a diet, you might take it up to 40 g per day. Increase fiber consumption slowly to prevent digestive upset.
For example, go from about 30 g to 32 or 33 g daily for a week before bumping up the amount again.
17. Drink Plenty of Water
As it promotes health, drinking a lot of water is excellent for everyone, but it’s particularly crucial for dieting bodybuilders. High-protein diets are dehydrating (as are training and life in general). Bodybuilders have a greater need for fluids. The best option is water, which not only provides fluids with no calories but also contains important minerals. Dieting bodybuilders should drink at least a gallon of water a day, in addition to other liquids they may consume.
18. Avoid Excessively Low-calorie Diets
How low should you go? The conventional wisdom is to reduce total caloric intake by about 20%. If you eat 3,000 calories per day for bodyweight maintenance, then don’t take your diet below 2,400 calories. When calories are too low, your body breaks down muscle mass, slowing your metabolism.
Exercise Your Options
- Burning fat is not just a matter of diet and supplementation. Calories always count, but there are two components to that equation: calories in and calories out. The number of calories you burn can be as important to reducing body fat levels as the number of calories you consume.
Consider implementing the following exercise tips to rev up calorie burning to support your diet and supplementation strategies for burning body fat.
- Perform cardio in the morning on an empty stomach, or with about 6-10 g of amino acids or 10-20 g of whey protein isolate mixed in water. Your body needs to rely on its stores of body fat for energy to help you reduce efficiently.
- Split exercise into two sessions a day, revving up your metabolic rate twice a day. In addition, you are likely to burn more calories in two shorter sessions than in one longer session.
- Perform high reps and more sets. The more exercise you do, the more calories you burn, plain and simple.
- Consider performing whole-body workouts train your entire body three or four times per week, doing one or two exercises per body part. You’ll boost your growth hormone levels, helping to burn bodyfat. It will also increase your metabolism (and it will stay higher for up to two days after such a workout).
Author: Jim Stoppani
Copyright Weider Publications
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