Note from John: this is a guest article by Tom Venuto, author of the EXCELLENT book, Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle. Why do you always hear that 2 pounds per week is the maximum amount of fat you should safely lose?
Weight loss is somewhat meaningless unless you also talk about body composition; the fat to muscle ratio, as well as water weight. Youa€™ve also probably seen people that went on some extreme induction program or a lemon juice and water fast for the first week and dropped an enormous amount of weight. The main potential advantage of any type of induction period for rapid weight loss in the first week is that a large drop on the scale is a motivational boost for many people (even if it is mostly water weight).
If you have a 2500 calorie daily maintenance level, and you want to drop 3 lbs of fat per week withe diet alone, youa€™d need a huge daily deficit of 1500 calories, which would equate to eating 1000 calories per day. But without that team of trainers, dieticians, teammates, a national audience and all that prize money, do you think theya€™d be motivated and accountable enough to do anywhere near that amount and intensity of exercise in the real world? We respect your email privacy: Your e-mail address will be kept confidential and we will never spam you.
Trainers are becoming more inventive these days in coming up with high intensity workouts that burn a large amount of calories and really give the metabolism a boost. My approach to long term weight control is to lose weight slowly and patiently and follow a nutrition plan that is well balanced between lean protein, healthy fats and natural carbs and doesna€™t demonize any entire food group. In my experience, a high protein, reduced carb approach in conjunction with weights and cardio can help maximize fat loss a€“ both in terms of increasing speed of fat loss and particularly for getting rid of the last of the stubborn fat. If your diet were high in natural carbs but you were able to diligently maintain the same large calorie deficit, the results would be similar. If you want to be one of those a€?results not typicala€? fat loss transformations, it can be done and it may be a perfectly appropriate short-term goal for the savvy and sophisticated fitness enthusiast. This quick-start program takes the guesswork out of everything – just follow the program, apply it to your needs and preferences, and watch the results roll in. Tom Venuto is the author of the #1 best seller, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle: Fat Burning Secrets of the Worlda€™s Best Bodybuilders and Fitness Models. If your daily calorie needs are 2300, then I wouldn’t drop any lower than 1840 calories daily (a 30% deficit). 4) a lot of other foods have a decent amount of protein, too – like dairy products, nuts and seeds, beans, and others. The Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle system recommends only dropping calories to a 30% deficit, and no lower. Thanks so much for writing this, I’ve been fooling myself with stupid diet pills and starvation which has made my weight so much worse. I’m stuck working at McDonalds Fast Food and this makes it incredibly hard not to binge or be tempted to chow down on the food :-( how can i avoid eating the crappy food i gotta serve???
I currently weigh 136 and need to go down to between 110 and 115, to fit within the healthy range for my height (5′). Im not a professional or anything just someone who is losing weight and has gained some knowlege. One last thing i would suggest is to see your doctor for a full health assesment to see where you stand. So as a new years resolution that I am set on completing is to lose roughly 30 lbs in about 18 weeks.
In order to lose 2 lbs a week all i have to do is reduce my calorie intake and workout more. This week I started adding an extra 4-mile walk on my lunch hour for a total of 8 miles a day.
I have been logging my food in MyFitnessPal and based on the reports, I average 140g of carbs, 50g of fat, 80g of protein, and 18g of fiber.
Beverages include coffee in the morning, a diet soda after lunch, and water throughout the day (about 48oz total).
I’ve read that if you over-train, you stress your body and it causes you to lose less weight.
Hi im 5,7 and i weigh and im 184 pounds my calorie intake is 2200 calories everyday and i was wondering if i only consume 1500 calories per day how much weight will i lose? Hi im 19 years old, 5’4 , 240, i am content with my body and the weight is not all in my stomach but i would like to loose 70 pounds in 7 months, what do you suggest i do,take, and eat?


Since 1989, Tom Venuto has been involved in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, success coach, nutrition consultant, health club manager, publisher and freelance writer.
He is an author of "Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle" (BFFM): Fat Burning Secrets of the World's Best Bodybuilders and Fitness Models. Tom has written over 170 articles and has been featured in IRONMAN magazine, Natural Bodybuilding, Muscular Development, Muscle-Zine, Olympian's News (in Italian), Exercise for Men and Men’s Exercise. Tom's inspiring and informative articles on bodybuilding, weight loss and fitness motivation are also featured regularly on dozens of websites worldwide. If you train really hard while watching calories closely shouldna€™t you be able to lose more fat without losing muscle or damaging your health?
Ask any wrestler about fast weight loss and hea€™ll tell you things like, a€?I cut 10 lbs overnight to make a weight class.
But once again, you can bet that a lot of that weight was water and lean tissue and in both cases, you can bet that those people put the weight right back on.
You would lose weight rapidly for as long as you could maintain that deficit (although it would slow down over time).
People ask me all the time, a€?Tom, how is it possible for the Biggest Loser contestants to lose so much weight?
To lose fat, you simply create a caloric deficit by burning more and eating less (keeping the nutrient density of those calories as high as possible, of course). Ia€™m seeing more and more advertisements that not only promise rapid weight loss, but go so far as saying that youa€™re doing it wrong if youa€™re losing a€?onlya€? two pounds per week.
All the new-fangled dietary manipulations and high intensity training programs that really do help increase the speed of fat loss all come full circle to the calorie balance equation in the end, even if they claim their method works for other reasons and they dona€™t mention calories burned or consumed at all. My question is, are you willing to tolerate the hunger, low calories and high intensity exercise for that kind of deficit? It’s not aA quick-fix solution, but it will help you get started and seeing results as soon as your first week.
Tom is a lifetime natural bodybuilder and fat loss expert who achieved an astonishing 3.7% body fat level without drugs or supplements. Losing more than 2 pounds per week is possible, but not necessarily realistic or desirable long-term. Anything lower than that, and you’re flirting with a starvation diet that may have metabolic consequences.
My stomach is almost flat now, but they are still there, and I can’t seem to get rid of them.
I want to be on a healthy diet so I can control my weight and keep it around the 120’s. The more body fat you carry, the more likely youa€™ll be able to safely lose more than two pounds per week.
Well, aside from the fact that ita€™s a recommendation in government health guidelines and in position statements of most nutrition and exercise organizations, ita€™s just math.
Most people arena€™t going to last long on so little food and they often end with a period of binge eating.
But as you begin to utilize higher intensity workouts, you have to start being on guard for overtraining or overuse injuries. But to achieve the extraordinary goals such as photo-shoot-ready, super-low body fat or simply faster than average fat loss, while minimizing the risks, I often turn to a stricter cyclical low carb diet for brief a€?peakinga€? programs.
Ita€™s also a psychological break from the deprivation which helps improve compliance and prevent relapse.
A high intake of greens, fibrous vegetables and low calorie fruits can help tip the energy balance equation in your favor as fibrous veggies are very low in calorie density and some of the calories in the fiber are not metabolizable. You dona€™t gain 50-100 pounds over night, so why should anyone expect to take it off overnight?
But when you set your goals, it might be wise to remember that old fable of the tortoise and the hare, and buyer beware if you go shopping for a fast weight loss program in todaya€™s shady marketplace. Realistically, a 15-20% deficit works better long-term, especially for consistent progress for FAT loss, not just weight loss.
Many foods that are rich in carbs have health benefits and will actually help you in your gym training – like potatoes, sweet potatoes, rolled oats, brown or wild rice, and practically any vegetable. If you avoid the sweets and simple carbs, and focus on eating healthy foods the rest of the time, then you’ll be well on your way to six-pack abs.


For your size it takes about 1700 calories just to maintain your weight so if you want to lose a decent amount of weight you would need to lower your calories to about 1100 calories per day. I am desperate to lose weigh since I’m a brides maid this year and I want to look good. Therefore, we could individualize our weekly guideline a bit by recommending a goal of 1-2 lbs of fat loss per week or up to 1% of your total weight.
The math is based on whata€™s practical given the number of calories an average person burns in a day and how much food someone can reasonably cut in a day. Ita€™s not practical (or fun) to cut calories so much and in some cases it could be unhealthy. Then you have the high starting body weights and the large water weight loss in the beginning. Ita€™s not practical to do that much exercise, and ita€™s not practical to cut your calories below a 1000 a day and remain compliant.
Thata€™s why strict nutrition with an aggressive calorie deficit is going to have to be a major part of any fast fat loss strategy. I explain this method in chapter 12 of my book Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle (ita€™s my a€?phase IIIa€? or a€?competitiona€? diet).
Healthy fats are added in adequate quantities, while the calorie-dense simple sugars and starchy carbs are kept to a minimum except on refeed days and after (or around) intense workouts.
Well, ita€™s certainly possible to lose more than two pounds per week, but ita€™s critically important to understand that therea€™s a world of difference between rapid weight loss and permanent fat loss. Do you have the supreme level of dietary restraint necessary to stop yourself from binging and putting the weight right back on when that aggressive diet is over? Personally, I think short-term thinking and the pursuit of quick fixes are the worst diseases of our generation. Let Tom show you exactly what you have to do each day to lose fat naturally and permanently. My arms and chest are in really good shape, and my waist size is 33, and I’m built muscle wise.
After that, just do the math a€“ theya€™re training hours a day so theya€™re creating a huge calorie deficit. If you manage to achieve the latter, ita€™s very difficult not to rebound and regain the weight afterwards for a variety of physiological and psychological reasons. Unfortunately, very low calorie dieting has its own risks in the way of lean tissue loss, slower metabolism, extreme hunger, and greater chance of weight re-gain.
Or would you rather do it in a more moderate way where youa€™re not killing yourself, but instead are making slow and steady lifestyle changes and taking off 1-2 lbs of pure fat per week, while keeping all your hard-earned muscle? I read burn the fat, feed the muscle and i read where the maximmum would be a 30% deficit for like 3 days and maybe a 10% deficit on the 4th day then back to 30%. And Also if your just going to workout 3 times per week then do it intensely with more interval cardio with light weight training. With the diet marketplace being flooded every day with rapid weight loss claims, these questions desperately need and deserve some honest answers.
An extraordinary effort means a particularly strict diet, as well as burning more calories through training because you can only cut your calories so far from food before youa€™re starving and suffering from severe hunger. Want to know where that 2 pounds per week rule comes from and what it really takes to burn more than 2 pounds of fat per week? Now I want to maintain a a 2300 calories every week to have that constant 1000 deficity per day. I know that I should be raising calories every 4th day to prevent my metabolism from slowing down.
If the low calories is starving you then add 200 to 300 calories twice a week to zig zag your calories.



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