If you are in the gym every day trying to build muscle, you may already have the body you envision, you just need to lose the fat. If you are attempting to build muscle and you do not have a lean physique (See: Ideal Body Fat Percentage Chart if you are unsure), I strongly recommend you focus on losing fat without losing muscle before attempting to add some bulk to your frame. Gaining muscle without gaining fat is a very difficult proposition, even if you count every calorie you eat meticulously. I must disclose I have a bias against muscle building – I think most guys have more than enough natural muscle once they reach maturity and after putting in a few good years of quality lifting and eating. If you are at, or above 15% body fat (the chances are likely), I highly recommend focusing on losing fat first. If you are not lean, you have body fat that is hiding your hard earned muscle mass and even more important, hiding the shape of your muscles. For example, your shoulder muscle is a round, teardrop shaped muscle that is involved in all pulling and pushing movements.
In the photo of me to your right taken a couple of years ago, I have 155lb of lean body mass and I weighed around 167lb. Let’s say you want to add 10-15lb of muscle to your frame, do you know how much volume 10-15lb of muscle has? I’m not a big fan of using weight when it comes to building a certain amount of muscle. The better way is to measure your body parts to see if there are any major areas of improvement. You may learn after doing some body measurements that you can definitely get your thighs and calves an inch bigger. I hope after reading this article the choice is very clear as to whether you should lose fat first, or build muscle.
My overall goal is to get to 190 at 10% body fat, so to get to the point, would going up in weight to about 210 lbs and then cutting be more effective than going up to about 14 or 15% body fat and then cutting not to allow my body to become too accepting of holding onto bodyfat.
To answer your other question about adding bulk, yes, adding some fat is ok at 10% body fat, just want to be careful, that’s all.
After changing your body fat percentage from the high teens to the low teens, hitting a plateau is almost expected from my experience. 2) Add more intensity to your exercise program – You may want to first take down the volume of exercise down a little for a couple weeks to gain your bearings, but then whatever you have been doing, take it up a notch either in terms of volume, or intensity. Be sure you are drinking enough water and getting enough sleep, which can easily effect your results. For the answer to your second question, I could write a book on it, but in the meantime, i just added this article so that you can appreciate the difference between maintenance vs. Hey Marc, I’m 15, a male, and I am 5 feet 3 inches tall is 122.4 pounds too much wait for me ?
Thanks your site is amazing and can you do a pull up video on how to do pull ups properly and how to get from one pull up to 20 pull ups?
After reading several of your articles I’m really understanding the science of getting lean alot better.
Hey Devin – I suggest you check out some of the motivational articles under the motivation category (top right of this site there is a box which has the categories tab). I’ve been fasting on water only for 7 days and have dropped from 93 kgs to 87kgs in 7 days. Can you read the message that I sent you on You Tube (PolishBob96), the message that is about my workout and can you tell me if it is a good workout and will this workout make me stronger and build muscle and if it is bad what should I add or get rid? Is there anything that I can do to help this web site grow, I wrote about your website on my you tube account, you can check it out if you want to or when you have the time. Thank you for making a video on how to do a push up properly and how fast that I should do them, I finally know how to do them correctly!
Sorry for all these long message, and sorry If I am being annoying by writing so much and asking so many questions. For nutrition you are saying to eat only all- natural food or organic food and how much water should I drink a day ? You also may consider my BuiltLean Program for a structured approach to getting the body you want. Okay, ignoring for the moment the ludicrous idea that there could be one perfect female body for all the men (or all the women) out there, this idea STILL doesn’t work.
It’s so amazing that the Jesuit order can run your country, use Freemasons to destroy what you are supposed to know, and do away with your Constitution and futures, and yet you retards read shit like this. BTW, No one said this is the look everyone prefers , but what the majority of women and men (in this poll) prefer in the opposite sex.
By Oskar Faarkrog 132 Comments One of the biggest mistakes I did in my 4 years of training was bulking before I got lean. I have personally used the 10 tips posted here to lose 60 lbs of fat and gain a tremendous amount of muscle while staying lean.
I used to do this whole 6 meals a day thing, getting protein every 2-3 hours, filling myself up on dry chicken breast and  protein shakes, but I made no progress. Drinking your calories is a waste, since you have a limited amount of calories to consume during fat loss. Furthermore, you want to reduce alcohol consumption since it’s diffcult to lose fat if you get drunk several times a week. Instead of buying useless junk like candy and pizza, you should stock up your kitchen with solid and satiating foods, such as red meat, eggs, rice, peanutbutter and rye bread.
Solution: To make sure that you stock up on the right foods, always make a shopping list before you go to the grocery store and stick to it.
If you have trouble controlling your appetite and you tend to crave a lot of junkfood and candy, then you’re most likely not sleeping enough. To lose fat you need to be in a caloric deficit, but that doesn’t mean you should be in a deficit every single day of the week. Solution: The 1 or 2 days a week where you eat more is the perfect time to eat some of the unhealthy foods you miss. When some of you think about fat loss, the first thing that comes to mind is spending hours on the treadmill every week. Solution: Do strength training since that will enable you to maintain and possibly build muscle mass.
If you spend most of your time around people that order pizza for dinner and snack on candy throughout the day, then chances are you will pick up on those bad habits yourself. Solution: Spend less time with friends that eat junk and move out of your home as soon as possible if your family is making it difficult for you to eat right.
Avoid using your mirror to evaluate progress during fat loss, it will just screw with your mind.
Solution: Measure your waist, hips and weigh yourself once a week in the morning on an empty stomach to track your progress. However, for beginners, I would recommend following a full diet plan including calories, macros and weigh meal for at least 3 months. How many calories, proteins, carbs and fats there are in all the foods that are most important for you. Join thousands of skinny-fat men who have gained access to my FREE email series about the 2 Phases of a Skinny-Fat Transformation. I wake up quite late most days of the week so my first meal is brunch where I eat 4 slices of rye bread with peanutbutter and a lot of fruit (bananas, honey melon, smoothie).
I just buy the cheapest multivitamin they have at the pharmacy, I only take it because I don’t like to eat vegetables. Love your blog, I started to lose weight back in April and had some pretty good progress, I was trying to lose some extra weight before a hip replacement surgery.
I’m glad your surgery was succesful, that sounds like an unfortunate thing to have to go through.
As for losing inches around your belly, it depends on how lean you already are, how large your deficit is and your genetics. Thanks Haris, I try to make them simple and actionable, without making them too superficial. I hadn’t measured bodyfat but when I started this journey I was 80kg and dropped to 73 in 1 year or so . Cut down until you have visible 4-pack in good lighting (or around 10-12 % bodyfat), then do the short bulking and cutting cycles after your cut to gain muscle while staying lean. Great site!, I’m having the skinny fat physic as long as I can remember, never been really fat but always light weighted and soft with a little bit of a belly.
I would love to continue bulking because I’m finally making progress again after my newbie gains. When someone is trying to lose fat there are a number of things that they have to focus on to reach success.
Eating 5-6 meals per day is a recommended meal plan strategy from many fitness circles for both fat loss and muscle building. All types of cardio exercises will produce fat loss results to a certain degree because all it takes to burn calories is being physically active.

But when it comes to designing a cardio training plan to lose fat the right way it should be done in accordance with your goals, preferences, time schedule and fitness level.
Increasing protein intake is a nutrition requirement that comes close behind a caloric deficit for getting lean. Cycling calorie intake at high and low levels on different days or periods has multiple benefits for success at losing fat the right way. When trying to get lean your aim should be to maintain muscles and lose fat, not just lose weight.
Your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) is the average amount of calories you’ll consume per day to maintain your body weight. When you are newly starting out to lose fat it’s crucial to track everything that you are eating and drinking. Water is vital for health and keeping us alive, but it’s also important for losing fat the healthy way.
If your aim is to lose fat and keep it off, it’s important that you focus on making permanent lifestyle changes with regards to diet and exercise. Losing fat is based on the simple principle of calories in vs calories out, but fat loss is a broad subject with many internal topics and different approaches that can be used. These people would want to accomplish what is considered to be the holy grail of fitness – turn fat into muscle without getting bigger or smaller. So now that we’ve got that out of the way, the next thing you might desperately want to find out is: can you lose fat and gain muscle at the same time? Not only will a program focused on concurrent fat loss and muscle gains be more complicated than one that is focused on one of the goals only, the results from any attempt to lose fat and gain muscle together will vary considerably depending on a few factors.
There’re only some people who will be able to lose fat and gain muscle at equal rates. Most people would have a better chance of losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time by having one as a primary goal and the other as the secondary goal.
As you would understand by now, the only way you can maintain your current body size and see more muscle and less fat on your body is if you fall in the category of people who are able to lose fat and gain muscle at the 1:1 rate. But even if you don’t lose fat and gain muscle equally, the size of your body will not change very much if you are maintaining and building muscle while reducing body fat. So in conclusion, if you want to get lean and muscular without losing your present body size my recommendation is to focus on a primary goal. If you are aiming to lose weight this year 2014 one of the very important things that you must have in your position in order to do so is a good weight loss diet plan.
In recent times, certain methods of weight loss dieting has gained popularity in the health and fitness world that is aimed at providing better ways of eating to lose weight than the traditional approaches to weight loss. Intermittent fasting is basically a pattern of eating that alternates between periods of fasting and periods of non-fasting. The additional benefits of this weight loss dieting approach is also psychological and social. This article was written to give you some insights about the top weight loss dieting methods that you can choose from to lose weight in 2014. I have been active for years, but this is the first time I have taken a workout regime seriously. How long should a person do this, and when do we know that all of the fat is gone we don’t have to focus on getting rid of the fat and when all of the fat is gone do we have to do any workouts on getting rid of fat or just focus on building muscle again? I eventually wised up, focused on fat loss, then switched to improving my strength once I hit my target. If you’re skinny-fat, the first thing on your to do list should be to lose fat, not bulk up to look like a teddybear.
You don’t have to implement ALL of the tips at the same time, but the more tips you use from this list, the faster your fat will melt off. Then one day I made the switch to 3 meals a day with no snacking between meals and as a result my fat loss took off. I like to have one food that gives me fat and protein and one food that gives me carbs in every meal. If you’re used to drinking a lot of soda or sugary juice, you may see a reduction in body fat simply by eliminating those. Get a good sweat through exercising daily and don’t forget to exercise your brain aswell by reading and learning. Not only is cardio boring but it will increase your appetite, which will make you eat more food and thereby ruin the purpose of burning the calories in the first place.
Also, your joints will get used to training, so once you get lean enough to bulk you will be ready to train hard. If your mom bakes a cake every weekend and you have candy, chocolate and junkfood lying around the house then it’s going to be difficult to lose fat. You are just experiencing the transition phase from a high bodyfat percentage to a lean bodyfat percentage. Weekly measurements don’t lie but looking at yourself in the mirror everyday is a recipe for disaster.
If you follow the abovementioned tips you will be able to lose fat without starving yourself every single day, however you will still experience hunger some days of the week if you’re used to eating a lot. I used to get 200 g of protein per day at 200 lbs bodyweight during my first few years of training, but now I eat 100-120 g of protein per day and I’m still progressing and gaining muscle.
I put a lot of peanutbutter on my bread though and I eat +1 lb of meat for dinner and a lot of rice.
It seems like you know what to do now and how to do it, so just stay consistent and you will reach your goal.
I still haven’t started training or eating appropriately, but I am getting the plan laid out and preparing myself to start mentally within a week, max. I wish to lose weight but when I eat even slightly lesser than I am used to, I feel really hungry. Everything that you need to do for fat loss success comes under three broad categories: Nutrition,Training and Mindset. There are a number of other important factors that comes into play and cannot be ignored, but you need to burn more calories than you consume to lose body fat. The benefits of weight training in a fat loss program includes muscle maintenance, strength gains, health improvement and better fitness. Some people may want maximum efficiency from their cardio workout and are able to do high intensity cardio to make this happen. Instead of staying at the required deficit level all the time, you’ll periodically go up to your calorie maintenance level for refeeding. However, if you are following an intense workout program you’ll need enough carbs to get the required energy to perform your workout. Make sure to include some of the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats in your nutrition plan. That’s one of the reasons you should not just follow the scale to see how lighter you are getting.
Calculating your TDEE is one of the first and foremost things you have to do to when trying to change or manage body weight and body composition. Many try to guesstimate their caloric and macronutrient intake and fail to get any results because they are not hitting their required calories to lose fat and not getting the right balance of protein, carbs and fat.
A few factors will determine the right deficit level for you such as your starting body fat level and ability to comply with the diet. Drinking water regularly will help you maintain your calorie deficit at the required level. Using a program designed only for quick fix, temporary weight loss will make it more difficult to stay lean.
Not all programs or books for losing fat are worthy, but there are some very good informational products that will invaluable resources to help you reach maximum fat loss success. They are not too skinny and not too fat so they don’t want to change their body size.
They want to see the moderate amount of fat on their body be transformed into lean, hard muscle without losing their present body size. The only thing you can do to get rid of fat is burn it off, and the only way to get muscle is to gain it. For example, if your primary goal is to lose fat and maintain all your muscle, you’ll get some net muscle gains due to the program structure. Besides that, body composition improvement will make your body look better no matter the size of your body. But unless you have the right information for guidance you can easily fall into choosing a weight loss diet that isn’t the best diet  for you or which makes use of the right methods and strategies that could maximize your fat loss success in 2014.
Many of these methodologies aims to improve the effectiveness, convenience and user compliance of the weight loss diet which are the main factors that determines ultimate fat loss success.
An example of an intermittent fasting diet plan could be fasting Monday and Friday of the week while eating normal on all the other days. It’s a strategy to lose more fat by eating light during the daytime and leaving the biggest meal for the evening.

You will feel better during the day and also get to focus more on being productive instead of being occupied with preparing meals. A calorie deficit can be created by reducing your calorie intake and performing fat burning workouts.
I am curious if you have any tips for breaking through a barrier like this in your workout regime. I am planning to apply for them after graduating college because currently I want to double major in Exercise Science and Chemical Engineering. It’s not nearly as frustrating to add some fat with the muscle now than it was when I was heavier. The reason why big meals worked better for me is that I could finally eat until I got full which removed the need to snack. Feel free to mix it up by using different sauces, spices or ways of cooking, but don’t change the foods. I used to sleep 6-7 hours a day, but now a days I get 8-10 hours of sleep and as a result I rarely crave junkfood and sugar. Instead of looking leaner, you will start looking like a smaller skinny-fat version of yourself. Hunger is normal when you are in a caloric deficit, and that’s the price you will have to pay to lose fat.
On days where I train very hard I add a 3rd meal either before going to bed or between the 2 other meals depending on when I’m hungry. A vitamin where you piss out most of the nutrients can’t really take the place of that. I know fat loss occurs overall the body and spot reduction is not possible so if my previous question sounds dumb, i think a better question would be, how long did it take you to go from having a fat belly to the flat belly that you have currently? It took me 18 months to go from my fattest (235 lbs) to my leanest (177 lbs), but it can be done much faster, and most of my fat was stored around the hips. I don’t drink tea, coffee but I will definitely try out chewing gums, it did strike me as an idea some days ago but I had no idea that they would be so effective. However, if eating 5-6 meals per day doesn’t fit your personal preference, lifestyle and abilities, then a lower meal frequency like 3 meals per day can work just fine as long as you are consuming the required amount of calories and macronutrients that you need. Getting big and bulky from weight training cannot happen easily especially when your nutrition is aimed at fat loss. There is a large gap in the results produced by low intensity cardio and high intensity cardio. On the other hand, some people may need to settle for low to moderate intensity cardio due to their fitness level and physical capabilities. This strategy produce a few positive results such as preventing metabolism slowdown, helping with muscle maintenance and making it easier for the user to comply with the diet long term. So the idea is to adjust your carb intake at the level that fit you best to lose fat at your desired rate. But keep in mind that even healthy fats also has a high calorie content (twice times the amount of protein and carbs) so consuming too much fat will make it very easy to skyrocket your calorie intake.
Body fat percentage is a better method to track your progress for body composition improvement.
Once you know your TDEE you’ll be able to set the amount of calories you need to eat at a deficit to ensure weight loss. It’s recommended to start with a small to moderate deficit when cutting calories then let your results dictate further action. Truth is, when excessive hunger kicks in, tempting you to overeat, water intake may be all you need to take the feeling of hunger away.
It’s much better to start off with a good program that you can continue to use for managing body composition for optimal leanness. But if you lose fat and gain muscle on your body, the muscle can replace the fat and make it look like you’ve turned the fat into muscle. On the other hand, if you are focusing primarily on building muscle without fat, you’ll lose some fat in the process due to the program structure.
By using the guidance in a good program designed to improve body composition you can get some amazing results to end up with a stunning body without really getting bigger or smaller. Here are some of the top diet methods for losing weight that are currently working well for people.
It has been shown that intermittent fasting is a positive method for weight loss dieting that has a number of benefits. This strategy is aimed at helping you lose more fat, because the idea is if you save your biggest meal for dinner and eat lightly during the day, you’re controlling your insulin and blood sugar levels while maximizing your fat burning hormones. So if you reduce your calorie intake while burning less calories than you are consuming, you’ll lose weight. I want to take your advice against bulking, but I am not sure what regimes are good for developing muscle mass without necessarily going through the bulking phase. I have hit a couple of plateaus during this adventure however I been stuck at this weight for over two weeks. Lately I have been utilizing an Atkins type diet, high fat, high protein, low carb approach. Some are advicing me to get into HGH and steroids to burn more fats and get the solid look but am still not convinced. An additional benefit of this tip is that you will eat slowly and this will result in eating less. To ensure that you don’t get any vitamin deficiencies, simply take a multivitamin in the morning.
When you are in a caloric deficit everyday, your body may make up for the deficit by producing less testosterone, and trust me, you don’t want that.
However, once you reach a certain bodyfat percentage you will start looking lean instead of skinny-fat, patience is key here.
Strong lifts was just making me fat before and now that I have implemented MAINLY bodyweight training my physique is skyrocketing to where I’d like it to be. Stressing about it is more likely to cause muscle loss than not eating exactly 2191 calories a day. Common sense would tell you that a much greater amount of calories will be burned from 5 minutes of fast running than 5 minutes of slow walking. By simply eating plenty of protein and following a suitable weight training program you will reduce body fat and ensure maintenance of all your valuable muscles. If you want a fat loss diet plan that use carbs in a strategic way to get optimum results check Feast Your Fat Away. Over a period of time when you develop the habit of nutrition tracking and learn more about foods you may be able to intuitively meet your nutrition needs by simply looking at food portions without measuring and weighing.
You should always drink water instead of calorie drinks for quenching your thirst, preventing additional calories and unhealthy substances entering your body.
The possibilities of losing fat or building muscle without getting bigger or smaller is explained below? If done right, it makes it easier to create the necessary calorie deficit for weight loss, it boost fat burning hormones, breaks food addiction, saves time and saves money.
But some people cannot comply well with a diet that restricts their daily food consumption too much. Therefore, they will do better by eating more food while burning more calories with exercise to create the required deficit to lose weight.
My problem is that I am second guessing my workouts and diets now, and I want to know what the best options are for me at this point.
Just grease you pan with a tablespoon of olive oil, throw you vegetables in with some fresh pepper, red chilies or chili paste, crushed garlic, tbsp of soy sauce and flash fry for 3 minutes. I read that your body can burn fats in place of carbs and it won’t raise your blood sugar. Finally, protein has a high thermic effect which means the body utilize a lot more calories to digest protein than carbohydrates and fat.
I’m very lean everywhere except for my belly they guy who did the measurements thought it was a little odd how lean I was everywhere except for my belly.
I have just started this approach with the diet to lose the last bit of fat to get ripped, ( already a devout gym rat doing HIIT three times a week with weights 2-3 times a week).
And then a run for an hour…i dont like to really lift weights, my diet is rather well, I would asume. But I would LOVE your advise in what I can do to achive a decent toned body (im not picky), what I should change and keep.
One thing in your get ripped article that you didn’t mention is the type of carbs to eat? I am afraid even with high protein and high fat, with little to no carbs I may burn muscle!

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